The Flee & Float has been designed to share with others my Passion's in Fishing.
Fly fishing using Split Cane & Carbon fly rods in pursuit of wild river Trout & Grayling, using self tied flies. Trotting for Grayling using Centrepin Reels and Cane trotting rods.
Hand making Furled leaders for Fly fishing and making floats for trotting for Grayling.
Today I was meant to be participating in the Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust Grayling Day, however with Storm Callum hitting the country over the last few days that put paid to that, this is only the 2nd time since 1967 that it has been cancelled due to flooded conditions so not too bad going.
With the fishing off, I decided to head up onto the river anyway but instead of rod & reel I simply took the camera.
The photographs will simply tell the story of my walk along the stretch.
Same Photo different camera settings.
Back home in time for lunch, there's always next week for the fishing!
With only a couple of hours fishing available to me today as I had to be home for midday, I left the house at 0830hrs and headed up the Dale.
The thermometer in the car read 2 degrees and the grass in the fields had a light covering of frost covering it, the long summer days are most definitely behind us now.
What's turning out to be the norm at the minute, the river had risen on friday night with rain and was just above my fishable level I set for that particular stretch due to having to cross the river in several different places anything above 0.47m makes it more difficult with the flow at the crossing places, so I was slightly above the comfort level.
Nevertheless I was determined to get a couple of hours in and try out some of the nymphs I had been tying up on a few nights this week.
I decided to start with the following two nymphs and go from there.
another #16 pheasant tail variant with a 3mm gold bead. A #18 with 2.3mm bead also in the photograph.
The first chosen runs drew up a complete blank, and not even a twitch on the nymphs so I headed upstream and crossed over the river rather gingerly as the pressure from the water was strong and I didnt fancy an early bath.
The small section of water I had chosen to fish looked really enticing but nothing much was coming from it and almost ready to move on I finally got an indication of a fish.
With nothing further coming after another 10 minutes of fishing I crossed back over the river and headed upstream in search of some fish.
Just as I was walking up the field I caught sight of the White Egret again off in the distance to the left, this time though with a friend, a heron on the right.
As I predicted as I got closer they both took to the wing, but what I hadn't seen was a 2nd heron sitting on the tree above watching them both, which also took to the wing as I approached.
Dropping into the next piece of water I had chosen it wasnt long until the indicator stopped and the fish was on.
I decided to change over on one of the nymphs and try another I had tied up.
#16 black & pink with a 3mm bead
The next few minutes were the most exciting with not one double hook up but two!
The first double hook up was simple & straight forward the smaller fish on the point and the slightly larger fish on the dropper, larger fish into the net first followed by the smaller fish on the point fly.
The smaller of the two
And the other better sized fish.
Then it happened again, but vice versa this time the larger fish on the dropper and an even larger fish on the point fly, They were both pulling in different ways & I had to support the rod with my other hand to gain some control over them both, The point fish was a clunking fish which I estimated to be around the 2lbs mark and the dropper fish a better than average fish, I managed to get the dropper fish into the net when just as I was about to dip the net for the bigger Grayling it twisted and the fly parted company with it, lunging the net forward was just instinct to try & scoop it but all I seen was it disappearing back into the peaty water!! Not a good time to be around me as the air turned quite blue for about a minute afterwards.
The Grayling I managed to net on the dropper
After I had composed myself again I got back into the water and shook the last 5 minutes or so off, nothing else for it but to carry on.
Not the Big Grayling I had lost but just a pretty in every way.
and another soon followed
It was time to call it and head home but a thoroughly enjoyable couple of hours albeit a bit frustrating at losing the best fish of the day but thats fishing, some you win & some you lose but still a very peaceful and rewarding couple of hours.
Another couple of nymphs which will get a swim next time out.
#16 black with silver rib and 3mm gold bead.
#16 yellow with black rib and 3mm black bead.
Next week something completely different in the sense that I will be attending the Yorkshire Grayling Day being organised by the Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust.
I had two goals today, one was to visit my happy picking ground and gather this year's harvest of Sloe Berries that I use in my Sloe whisky making and the other was to spend a couple of hours on the river, which Im happy to say I achieved both.
Driving up the Dale this morning I decided to stop off on route and grab a picture of a beautiful big building I pass regularly but never stop and take a photograph. The Bowes Museum.
Reaching the river this morning there was a bitter cold wind blowing down the Dale and I knew it was going to be difficult with bite detection if I was using nymphs, as I approached the river I bumped into another 2 anglers who had been on the river for over an hour fishing upstream spiders & nymphs and they haven't touched a fish between them, that didn't sound good at all. After a 10 minute chat we parted company and I headed downstream in search of a secluded break away from the bitter wind.
I was fishing for about 30 minutes and the indicator stopped and I thankfully lifted into my first fish, a big relief that I had managed one after the conversation with the other 2 anglers earlier.
A nice Grayling just over 42cm in length.
I was chuffed that despite the conditions and the other anglers comments I had managed to winkle out a lovely grayling & on one of the nymphs I had tied recently, a small #18 2mm pheasant tail nymph.
I decided to give this stretch another run through as the wind was being dampened somewhat by the trees and it wasnt as strong , making indication easier.
I was almost finished on my 2nd trip down the runs with nothing to show when another fish took the nymph at the very bottom of the stretch.
Another very welcome Grayling.
Making my way upstream in search of more secluded water I stumbled across the predator's banquet table which I had seen on my last trip, Nice to see its still making a meal out of them, with several piles of these dotted around the riverbank.
I was had just slipped into my next run when I managed to hook a couple of small Brown Trout, unbeknown to me the 2 anglers were watching me from afar and the next thing I knew was a voice over my shoulder asking what I had caught them on.
I stepped out the water and walked to where they had settled behind a tree out of the wind for a break and we started to talk again, still they had no fish between them so I was glad that I was able to pass them my camera for a view of the 2 Grayling that I had caught downstream. After a few moments of sifting through their boxes they both produced some pheasant tail nymphs and started to attached them.
They were both heading off in the direction of where I had just landed the two small Brown trout so I left them to it and walked upstream a little before dropping back into the river.
I had been fishing for around 20 minutes or so when I felt my next fish and lifted into it, only for it to slip the hook and disappear back into the depths. Thankfully it wasnt too long until I felt my next fish and this time it slipped into the net soon afterwards.
I had to admit it had been a tough few hours and I was just so pleased that I had managed to capture a couple. I decided to fish one set of runs before making my way back to the car so I could then take my time picking the Sloes before heading home.
Some fungi I came across as I walked, I have to admit I love stumbling across these plants and getting down close with them.
I was fishing again and the third cast through another Grayling graced the net.
With no further fish taking an interest as I reached the bottom of the runs I decided to call it a day and head to my happy picking grounds. I was hoping to see the 2 anglers again as I made my way back to the car but there was no sign of them, Curious to see if they had caught anything or not.
A quick 10 minutes drive and I was parked up and heading to the Blackthorn bushes hoping that they were still laden in fruit and sure enough they were.
It's been a good year this year for the fruit & the berries are large and ripe, albeit a few weeks earlier than normal.
I spent around an hour picking at leisure before heading back home to de-wood and clean them, a chore I always hate as it feels as if your picking each one twice, but it wasnt too bad with most berries thankfully coming without their small stalks.
12lbs of Sloes collected and ready to bag for freezing, all worth while in the end, and I always reap the benefits from them when the whisky is ready in 6 months time.
Now it's finally that time of year I've been waiting on for the last few months. The Grayling season starting off in earnest.
Time to put away the delicate Brown Trout dries and break out the trusted Grayling dries, The Grayling Witch, The Supa Pupa to name two of my most productive dries, but also time for the nymphs and some serious tying in order to fill the hungry appetites of the Grayling.
a #16 Pheasant tail nymph with a 2.8mm copper bead.
a #16 micro glint with 2.8mm copper bead
a #16 Pheasant & Partridge
This year also after a year's sabbatical Trotting a small red worm with a centrepin & one of my own handmade floats, but not quite yet until there is a heavy frost or snow on the ground, plenty of fly life still around to keep the Grayling rising.
What could be better than getting up on a crisp autumn morning, walking across the fields in the early light of dawn and catching Grayling from your favourite rivers....Magical!
Especially when you are rewarded with sights like this.
To all my fellow Grayling anglers around the UK & afield I hope you have a great season.