As I drove through the darkness heading up the Dale the Hills were illuminated by the bright full moon which was slightly orange in colour and quite beautiful, I only wish the camera was not in the boot as I drove nearer to my destination the prettier it got, with some cloud masking it from time to time.
As I parked the car and got out the thing that struck me the most was the smell of coal & wood smoke heavy in the air, all was quiet apart from a far off pheasant making a racket and there was a light frost on the ground...perfect!
I made my way to the river just as it turned light and it wasn't long till we were amongst the fish, an out of season Brown Trout succumb to the trotted float first, but it was a fish and we were off the mark.
A few trot through's and the float dipped away again & I could feel the distinctive fight of a Grayling on the end of the line.
A pretty fish as the first lady of the day and a good size, hopefully more would follow.
A few more trot through's and I hooked what I thought was a big trout only to see the big distinctive sail like fin of a female Grayling break the surface and I knew something was wrong I had hooked her in one of her pectoral fins, I was hoping the hook would hold as she was a big lump of a girl but alas the hook gave way and she slipped back into the depths.
A few chosen words to myself and we were fishing again, the next 6 fish were all small grayling which had moved in on the scene, and were taking the bait as soon as I dangled it in the water not a foot from where I was standing so I decided to give the run a rest and after a brew and and slight change in position we were amongst the better girls again.
I heard a noise behind me and looked around to see another angler entering the water some 100 yards upstream, first time I've seen an angler on this stretch for a considerable amount of time.
Quite a few smaller Grayling made their presence again and then the run died away so after almost an hour and a half we had nearly 20 Grayling of varying sizes with an out of season trout and it was only the first run of the day.
I walked up towards where the angler was fishing and bid him good morning with a tip of the hat only to be ignored, so again said good morning then saw that he had a pair of small earphones in his ears, no wonder he never acknowledged he couldn't hear me! Now I'm all for listening to music but whilst fishing.....No thanks I would rather listen to the river, and the nature surrounding me. He informed me that in 20 minutes time he would be moving up the river to a distinctive pool, was that a warning not to fish the pool or just small talk, who knows but I left him to it and moved on.
I dropped into a run where I had some success last week when the water was slightly higher and it wasn't long till I was releasing the first fish.
closely followed by several smaller Grayling before again the run stopped producing, so another wander upstream to see that the angler had now leapfrogged me and got to his pool and was fishing, so moved further upstream and across to the other bank as I wasn't too concerned about fishing the pool, I knew I would get a fair crack at it on the way back downstream.
The next few hours produced plenty of smaller Grayling and some better fish also.
As you will see from the background stone I managed to stumble into a pretty good shoal of all sized grayling and spent over two hours taking fish nearly every trot, just a few of the many taken from that small run not even 30m long. There was a good out of season trout also came out the run, it had a tail on it like a big paddle in comparison to its body which was lean. I released a few Grayling at range also from this run which were not included in the final tally.
The camera captured this shot just as the Grayling was closing its Gill cover, no harm came to the Grayling in any way.
It was late into the afternoon now & as I stopped for a brew and to stretch off my now aching back the tally of fish was into the 40s and it was turning out to be an exceptional day.
Whilst having a seat and a brew whilst I was flicking through the pictures, decided to complete a few arty shots with the natural materials around where I was sitting.
I started making my way back downstream again and stumbled over the angler who commented that I was a fishing machine as he had watched how I had taken so may fish from the one run and that he was amazed, I informed him it was years of practise and a good teacher and made my farewell, so I was being spied upon. maybe if he lost the earphones and watched & listened to the river he would learn more.
A few fish came to the net on the way back downstream, in particular from the pool he had been so desperate to get too, he couldn't have fished it that well.
As I made my way downstream picking fish from here & there the light was starting to fade, it wouldnt be long till I would be heading home, always the one last run through...........and another.......and another...
What happened to the camera for the next few shots I'm unsure of, wether the autofocus never worked properly or not who knows so have only chosen to show the first three as the others are far too out of focus to see anything.
Autofocus getting worse