I had pretty much written off getting out today when I came home from work last night as the river was rising and just after 2100hrs last night it was 1.53m, which is too much, so had settled for a day writing & catching up with some float making.
The wife asked for the ipad around 2200hrs and I had left the gauging station open when closing it down, she asked if I had seen that the river was dropping and passed it back to me, and sure enough it had peaked and was on its way back down, but I really needed it to be less than 1m to achieve any chance of fishing, so hoping for some overnight drain off I went to bed with fingers crossed.
0600hrs the alarm went off and the first thing I did was fire up the ipad to see if the water had dropped, 0.97m measured at 0545hrs that will do me, not ideal but I knew I could find a couple of places at around 1m to fish, so at 0630hrs after a quick coffee I was out the backdoor in the dark, head torch on and turning the midden for my supply of worms to enable me to get a day's fishing in. Any of the neighbours looking out must have thought I was mad!
The tackle sorted, lunch & flask done another quick coffee then headed off, what greeted me on the way to my destination I can only describe as stunning, picture postcard scenery and right on the doorstep near enough...lovely!
It wasn't long till I was sat on the bank beside a river still high and coloured but that didn't matter I knew just getting out was half the battle and any fish was a bonus.
I decided to tackle up with one of the recent bigger cork floats I had made so chose the Avon style to start to see how it would fare and got started trotting in my chosen run. I would estimate 40 minutes or so had passed before the float dipped away and fish on but it wasn't the tell tale signs of a Grayling this was pulling away fast into the deeper water and I knew it had to be a trout, and sure enough the first fish of the day slipped into the net a lovely trout still in mint condition which I estimate to be around the 3lbs mark, hook out and released back into the depths straight away.
Another 20 minutes or so before the float dipped again and thankfully this time a Grayling, nothing big but a welcome sight after 2+ weeks of no fishing.
I decided to persevere on in the swim after all I didn't have many options open to me as where to fish as most of my Grayling runs were unfishable because of the high water & in the end I'm glad I stayed still for in just under 2 hours of fishing the swim I had accumulated 15 Grayling and 5 trout. Most of the Grayling were around the size above of the first fish but a few were of a slightly bigger size.
With the swim pretty much exhausted as I had fished on for a further 20 minutes or so without any further bites I decided to head to my next pool to see if anything was around so after a quick coffee I wondered off downstream.
After 10 minutes fishing in my second swim, the first indication of fish being there showed and the float dipped away to give me another nice Grayling in the net.
next trot through and almost in the same spot as the first grayling another grayling too the worm.
Another half hour passed and 2 further trout graced the net but no Grayling so decided that was it for this pool and moved on to my final spot having a stop off for lunch behind an old fallen dead tree out the wind & rain which had now come on.
It didn't take long in the new run to start hooking into fish, all be it trout again to start with, I normally dont bother with pictures of Out of Season Trout but this one looked like a trout from a Scottish river I know with its gill cover markings, very nice indeed, and as always returned immediately to carry on its business.
Back at it again and with a bit of skill & technique making the bait rise & fall in the water I managed to grab my biggest Grayling of the day.
A lovely long fish weighing 2lbs 8oz
Using the same technique that caught the fish above, I managed to grab another Grayling from the pool and a further two trout.
It was getting well on in the afternoon now and I decided to head back downstream to my first pool and finish up there before heading home so back in the pool I managed another couple of Grayling.
The light started to fade and I was hoping for one last Grayling before calling it a day and making my way back to the car as the smell of coal from the nearby houses was now heavy in the air and the owls had already started to hoot and just as I was about to call it I seen the float dip away and I took my final Grayling of the day.
& that was it, time for home but I couldn't have asked for a better day considering the conditions, the river was still carrying a lot of extra water and I had come away with 23 Grayling & 11 trout for my efforts, more than I had first expected, especially seeing as I was almost not coming and if it wasn't for me leaving the page open on the ipad and the wife seeing it I would have had a less exciting day writing and making floats.