Seriously though after watching the rivers rise with the rain yesterday then the overnight heavy rain that was forecast moving across from West to East I knew the rivers would all be on the up. I had planned a road trip to a river in the borders but with the weather and rising levels I didn't want to waste diesel getting there only to find them unfishable so opted for a foot trip instead and went a wandering on a tributary up the Dales I've not fished for over a year now.
My sister sent me a picture yesterday I only wish was true.
At the moment its difficult enough trying to find a single day without an entire weekend!
I arrived at my chosen destination a little after 8am, it was still raining and after procuring a ticket set about setting up the bugging rod as it was a fly only stretch I was on and I wanted to try some bugs out that I had recently tied.
The river was up on its normal levels but still within fishing levels and quite clear seeing as the main river was very brown.
After a few casts through the first couple of pools, I felt the line stop so struck & first fish of the day was on, unmistakably the tell tale signs of a Grayling.
A lovely Grayling from a small river which with a 10ft rod you could touch the far bank in places and definitely very welcome as I thought I may struggle with the conditions.
Not taken on the bug I had hoped for but self tied never the less and proved that the pattern worked so I was content, everything else was now a bonus.
I marked the water mark with a stick before heading off up the river as I wanted to see on my return what the difference was from starting to finishing in the levels.
One flower out and the rest all pushing through, I really hope that all we are going to get this winter is the current conditions we are getting because if not then nature is not going to know what has hit it if the weather takes a turn for the worse.
About 30 minutes or so had passed and I was fishing some slack water to the side of the main flow when the indicator stopped again and fish on, another Grayling.
Not as big as the first but again most welcome and this time it took the bug that I was testing so was pleased that they work, nothing nicer than catching fish on bugs & flies that you have tied yourself.
I continued in the slack water and it produced a small trout soon after the Grayling, I had an inkling that there would be more Grayling there, so rested the run and had a coffee and watched the world go by. It was lovely to be out in such a small river which makes a change from the normal as you get the feeling there is nobody else around for miles, no noises apart from the river & the birds.
After resting the run I went back in and about the 4th or 5th time through the line tightened and another fish on, something more substantial than the last and was taking line as it went across the current.
Soon afterwards the another Grayling was in the net and a lovely sized Grayling at that.
I continued on in the run for some time but nothing else showed so moved up the river.
I got to a pool which I knew in the past had produced a few good Grayling for a friend so sat below a tree to grab some shelter from the continuing rain all be it drizzle now and planned my approach to fish the pool, as I sat I seen a few small flies hatch off and come down stream, that I was not expecting to see.
After around 20 minutes or so the indicator stopped and another Grayling was on, only to be released at distance, I checked the hook and the point had been damaged as it trundled along the bottom so a quick fly change and within 5 minutes I was tightening in to my next fish another Grayling.
I was surprised that I was doing so well as the river was clearly rising and starting to colour up which wasn't a good sign but it was inevitable with the amount of rain that had fallen during the night.
I decided on another 10 minutes in my current position before heading back downstream before the water became unfishable. I hadn't gone more than 10 paces downstream when the indicator stopped and the next fish was on.
A long lean fish which again took the point bug I was testing out.
The river was starting to rise quite quickly now and was colouring up so much so I could no longer see the bottom or my feet, so being on unfamiliar water I opted to walk the bank instead of wade back downstream as you just never know when a hole may appear and I didn't fancy a swim.
On the inside of a bend came the next few fish which was still relatively clear tucked behind an overhanging tree with the branches in the water which were catching a lot of debris and filtering the water through, the first one I managed to get to the net the other 2 were Jagged.
I was almost back where I had began and at the pool I had taken the first couple of fish from which was now dirty if you went more than 2ft from the bank and had risen quite considerably past where I had placed the stick before heading upstream
Never the less I had nothing to loose and spent about 30 minutes fishing through then came around for a 2nd go when the indicator stopped on the first cast back at the top of the pool and the fish shot off at a rate of knots, I suspect it was a big trout as it never had the characteristic fight of the Grayling and I never seen it as the fish and hook parted company. a few more steps and I felt another tug and fish on, another Grayling to the net.
After fishing through the rest of the pool, I decided enough was enough, the water was up and colouring and I couldn't complain at the last 4 hours I had caught more than I had imagined and revisited a small river which always throws up a few surprises, I definitely wont wait 12 months before revisiting again.