Sunday, 4 May 2014

Trout Outing...maybe not.

This was the first trip back up the Dale since the 3rd March and I have to say it was good to get back to the stunning scenery and the abundance of new life that is currently happening from flowers through to animals its great to see everything flourishing in the Dale.

The first thing that caught my attention as I walked down from the car was the Curlews are back in the Dale, a bird I love to see return each year and nice to see them in good numbers. As I got closer to the river the pungent smell of wild garlic hit my nostrils, its literally everywhere right now.

The wild spring flowers are all around with the bluebells and primroses.

The day was overcast & wind was still cold and blowing from the north west which was keeping the fly life off the water as I sat for almost 40 minutes before deciding what to fish and in all that time never seen a single fish move of even any fly life on the water so opted for the upstream spiders as my starting method.

Within 3 casts of starting I had the first fish of the day on a small wild brown trout.

Well at least I knew the spiders were working  so continued to fish the pacey runs and took another 3 small trout of equal size to the first before finally moving up to the river, little did I know at the time this was the only brown trout I would see for the remainder of the day.

As I was moving up I spotted a couple of deer crossing the open field heading to a small copse on the riverbank.

The next fish I connected with literally took the spiders as they landed on the water and I knew straight away it was a Grayling for the way it took the fly.

The Grayling have clearly spawned as the fight this fish gave was 2nd to none and it was fully back to fitness, there wasn't a mark on the fish and it was quickly photographed and slipped back to fight another day.

Dont worry I'm not going to fill the blog full of Grayling pictures as some take offence to this sort of thing, showing pictures of fish that are still out of season. As I made my way up the river I continued to take Grayling after Grayling, all around the size of the one taken above but this is meant to be the trout season, where are all the trout!

As I sat to grab a breather another angler approached me from up the river and we sat and chatted for 20 minutes, he too was struggling for trout, he had only taken 2 small trout but  had not hooked any Grayling, I told him of all the Grayling I was getting and he told me that he had been on the river  yesterday with another 3 anglers and they had all blanked, which I found to be very strange as I would have expected the sun yesterday to have brought out a good hatch of fly life.

As we parted and he wandered downstream,  I moved to fish a stream and again almost instantly had another Grayling on, count so far 12 Grayling. Everyone fighting fit and all took a spider I had made up with some small green beads behind the hackle that I had bought originally to make up some rainbow lures for a friend, but had tied some spider patterns up too, as you do.

I was amazed at the amount of mallard duck on the river this year some with their young

far more than I have seen in the past few years on the stretch, at one point I counted over a dozen making there way upstream when they caught a glimpse of me.
 As the day wore on the sun tried to poke its head through but the clouds kept blocking it out and the wind never really relented much which kept virtually all the fly life off the water with only a very small and quick hatch of flies hatching, literally 5 minutes and it was over and no fish moved to them at all.

As I made my way back down towards the car the aroma of wild mint started to fill my nostrils and the new lambs were all around, it was certainly great to be back on the river.

I fished a few more runs before turning up the hill towards the car and yes you guessed it more Grayling, The count for the day was 18 Grayling and the 4 small trout early on in the morning,
A very good day in my books all be it, it turned into a ladies day with the amount of Grayling caught and I wasn't too downhearted about the lack of trout as this area isn't stocked and every fish was 100% wild, which I would gladly take any day over a  stretch which is stocked.


  1. Nice report George , and a good day with the lady's. The smell of wild garlic really s strong along the river banks just now , really let's you know your out on the riverbanks enjoying some fishing.

  2. Thank Col, certainly is its everywhere I was impressed how much mint is also around, always nice to sit and rub that to release the strong aromas.

  3. Certainly an action packed day George, even if the trout weren't playing ball, I noticed the two or three grayling I've caught recently have been in great condition too which is nice to see.

    1. Certainly was Brian am always content when I go fishing even if I dont catch anything just to be out on the bank watching everything around is good enough. Everyone of the Grayling were in top class so hopefully in a month's time they will still be as willing to take flies on the surface, nothing more pleasurable than dry fly for Grayling.


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