Friday, 20 June 2014

Bare Bones

Yesterday being off due to having to work the weekend I headed up the Dale, this one I've not been up for a while so thought it would be perfect to try & tempt some Grayling on the Dry fly, I knew the river would be down but I was surprised by how much when I first saw it.

The river was well down showing her bones and the forecast for the next few days is pretty much the same as yesterday, dry clear spells with temperatures in the 20s. It was going to make things difficult but not impossible.

I decided to start furthest away from the car and fish back down, with the river being in this state I didn't want to totally spook the fish with me fishing / wading up then an hour or so back down again.

As I walked up I was amazed at the amount of bull finches that were around in the small copse's I passed through, I can seem to find one on any other river I fish but there is an absolute abundance of them up here.

The fungi seems to be liking the weather as the picture shows the old tree is full of them.

I soon arrived at where I wanted to start fishing and after sitting and observing the river for a wee while there was no movement at all apart from small par, but I knew the Grayling would be there in the fast water waiting for an opportune meal to come down the river so tied on a pattern I rely on for them and started fishing. First to the hand was this small trout.

Totally wild and always welcome up here. I continued to catch a few more of them and after not seeing any Grayling decided to start heading downstream.

As I made my way a very light shower came on and went off again but this triggered the midges and within minutes I had to roll my sleeves down with the amount of bites I was getting of course I had left my insect repellent at home, always the same!

As I made my way wading through the shallow water I was amazed at the amount of empty stone fly nymph cases which were all over the place, most of them in pretty poor condition but I did find one skin that was intact... if the trout & grayling had been feeding today I can guess what the probable quarry would have been, there was literally hundreds scattered all over the place.

I found a couple of Grayling rising so sat & observed them to see if they were consistent and sure enough every few moments they came up and sipped the fly life from the surface, I dropped downstream and cast just above their heads and sure enough up one popped and took my dry.

First Grayling of the new season on dry fly, it cant get any better than that for a Grayling angler!

I sat back and continued to see if the other fish would rise but the fight the first fish gave me had spooked the others and I never saw them again, even tried running the fly over the spot they were but to no avail so moved on.

I moved downstream and came across the flowers I had first seen last year and like then they had returned in all their glory.

Again this one spot on this river is the only place I have seen them, the colours are really vivid and the pictures dont do them full justice.

As I made my way downstream I stumbled across some of the local geese which frequent the surrounding fields but this one I dont think will make it for much longer as by the looks of things its a sick goose, it wouldnt fly and its head was constantly down, I think one of the predators will have it before long.

I didn't want to distress it anymore than I had to so quickly moved past it leaving it be.

As I turned the final corner to the pool where I would finish up on I was annoyed the moles had been out in force again.

The landowner using the riverbed to fill holes on his land to stop flooding, I just wish he would take it from the edge and not where anglers will be walking when the water is higher, an absolute death-trap waiting to happen now there are two of these to contend with and if your a visiting or new angler on the stretch you better have your wits about you.
I never seen any other fish before finally packing up, a hard day but a satisfying one taking into account the conditions and the lone Grayling on the dry was by far worth the effort.


  1. Well done on your first grayling of the season George, the flowers are Mimulus/ Monkey flower.

    1. Thanks Brian, appreciate the info, I was thinking they were some sort of marsh marigold, they really are stunning.


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