The levels were looking good the river was steady at 0.59m overnight and the weather forecast was rain showers with more persistent rain mid morning so this was a small window to get to the fishing even if only for a few hours so 0800hrs seen me leaving to head up the Dale.
As I got closer to my destination the rain became heavier going from just a slight drizzle to a heavy downpour and the fog and mist rolled down the Dale over the tops of the hills, thankfully the rain subsided after 10 minutes and this allowed me to get changed and set off for the river relatively dry.
As I walked down through the wood I grabbed a couple of pictures to set the mood for the day....Wet.
Dripping with cones, excellent kindling for the Kelly kettle but I was in no mood to try collect them, they will wait for another day.
In all the grey of the air & decay amongst the trees it was nice to see a bit of colour even if only small yellow fungi.
As I got to the river it was running relatively OK as much as I had expected and quite fishable and it was just after 0900hrs, but wouldnt stay that way for long if the weather was correct so got started fishing soon after arriving.
It didn't take long to find the trout par and after 5 or 6 decided to switch to a different run to try and get away from them and the switch worked as the first Grayling of the day was soon captured and netted.
It was nice to get a decent fish in the net and after getting the first one anything else was a bonus now, but it didn't take long for the second to be netted from the same run.
The iridescent colours on the gill covering of both fish looked stunning, almost like mother of pearl.
The next few fish were small par again even managed to grab a small Grayling, always nice to see that the fish are managing themselves and sport for the future.
The rain was holding off but the sky was blackening and I knew by the looks of things it was going to get worse, much worse.
Another couple of small Grayling came to the net before the bites dried up so headed off upstream just as the sky blackened and the rain started again.
I sheltered underneath the overhanging trees as there was no cover at all but it soon became apart this wasn't going to stop so opted for the lets get wet but fish approach and it soon paid off.
Another long fish which looked familiar in appearance to another Grayling I took from the same area on my last visit, so when getting home I checked and sure enough the same fish, identifiable by the single black dot in the middle of the flank just behind the gill plate & the obvious scar along the side.
Again a few small par to close off the run before the heavens really opened in earnest, the rain was literally bouncing off the ground it was that heavy, so I decided to try & take some shelter under the only man made object I had seen around for at least 3 fields, the view from inside.
It was dry...ish, allowed me to grab a cup of coffee and get some heat back inside me all being it wasn't cold but a good morale boost none the less.
I opted to stay under cover for what I thought was the worst of the rain, but it soon became apparent that it wasn't going to go off, so biting the bullet once again so to speak I opted for the fishing as I knew it wouldnt be long before I would be forced off the river with the levels rising.
And my shelter for the brief period.......
The cattle feeder!
Within 40 minutes of entering the riffles I had captured 17 Grayling of various sizes.
Due to the rain the next few pictures are the best of the bunch as most have watermarks in one way or another where the lens got wet in the heavy rain & there was no way I was constantly opening my jacket to dry the lens with my t-shirt.
I was keeping an constant eye on the marker I had placed for the levels and in the 40 minutes of fishing the riffles, the river had risen fast.
The marker was totally clear of the water when entering the riffles and was almost submerged 40 minutes later.
I managed one last fish before finally calling it a day as the river had turned a really dirty colour and with no bites coming like before I couldn't see the sense in staying any longer, The fish had obliged in the few short hours I had, so started heading back towards where I had parked the car. On the way back I took a last photograph of a feeder stream which was totally dry when I had started fishing......this was it 3 hours later.
The walk back through the wood produced an opportunity to grab a couple of pictures again with the help of my t-shirt on the lens.
A few mushrooms sitting proud in the rain.
The spiders web still intact in amongst the holly.
On getting home I checked the EA website for the measuring station where I was, this was the picture it showed.
From 0.59m to 1.88m in the space of 3 hours, I had found my small window and the fish and was thankful for the few hours on the bank.