Monday, 29 December 2014

Up the Creek without a Paddle

My weekend to be on shift so no fishing until I came off the night shift this morning, the temperature was minus 3 in the car as I drove up the Dale, it was  cold but the sun was just creeping over the tops of the hills and the forecast was to be sun all day. The ground was hard, sharp and white under foot as I made my way to the river and found it in a low and clear state, a first for a few weeks.

It didn't take long to tackle up and I was soon hooking the first worm onto the hook and trotting the float through one of my favourite runs, and sure enough within 10 - 15 minutes the first fish was on, nothing big but a very welcome fish as always.

I stayed in the run for over an hour pulling small Grayling & the odd trout before deciding to move downstream to see if I could temp any of the bigger Grayling with my offering.

As I walked downstream I came across a canoe paddle someone had lost whilst on the river, they were certainly up the creek without a paddle as this part of the river is miles from anywhere.


I know how much these things cost as I used to be a Canoe Instructor in my Army days and thankfully the guy had sense to put his name and telephone number on his paddle in paint so after a quick call when I got home, he will be reunited with his paddle as Ive stored it safely for him to retrieve at his leisure. My good deed for the day completed.

It didn't take long to reach my chosen run and after a few minutes the first decent fish of the day slipped into the net.

Its always nice to catch fish of any size but after all the small Grayling in the first run its a nice confidence boost to get a bigger Grayling and to know that the bigger fish are feeding also.

After a few trots through the float dipped away again and I knew this was a better stamp of fish as it was putting up a good fight in the fast water and was a nice surprise when I seen it come to the surface as it was a really long fish and it too slipped into the net.

I measured the fish and also weighed the fish as I wanted to see the difference in weight to length ratio that people have been going on about, the fish length from fork to snout was 51cm which would make it a weight of over 3.5lbs according to the ratio tables that's going around.

It was nowhere near 3.5lbs, that's why I never guess the weight of a fish or use the length method as they are very inaccurate, I'm a great believer in weighing a fish for accuracy and piece of mind, If you dont weigh it you'll never know for sure!

Continuing in the run I managed to tempt another 3 small Grayling before I called time on it and headed off downstream in search of the fish.

As I was passing through a part of the river the boulders were all covered in a thick coating of frost so grabbed a quick shot with the camera.

The sun was really low in the sky and very strong, thankfully I had my sunglasses with me on this occasion and it made all the difference in watching the float as it travelled downstream in search of fish.

Thankfully the float continued to dip and fish came steady to the net, mainly small Grayling but occasionally a better stamp of fish made an appearance.

The day wore on and it was mostly small Grayling of this caliber that took the bait

They kept the day interesting and  its nice to see the river in a healthy state and occasionally the trout would show up and put in an appearance then it was time for another move as the trout seem to push the Grayling out as it wasn't that often I caught grayling again after the trout had moved in on the bait.

The odd better Grayling kept putting in an appearance from time to time making this worth while

I noticed this fish has had a tangle with a predator at some point with a single puncture mark just by its dorsal fin, thankfully I haven't came across too many on this river like that, unlike rivers further North where every other fish has puncture marks from the black death and other predators.

Like all the rest returned safely to give sport another day.
I proceeded back towards the bottom of the stretch ready to call it a day and as always one last cast turns into 4 or 5 but virtually on my last cast this Grayling took the worm.

The final Grayling on the final cast of 2014, a nice way to end the day. A plentiful day with small Grayling which kept the sport going in between the bigger Grayling making an appearance, and that my blog readers is the last trip of 2014 for me so I would just like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Prosperous New Year and tight lines for 2015.


  1. Like the Grayling pics with the hard frost George, have a great new year.

  2. Thanks Brian, all the best to yourself in 2015


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