The weather in the North of the country has been nothing but heavy rain & high winds all week, with rivers being in flood most of the week so hopes were not high within the Grayling fraternity that I associate with, many calling off there trips because of the weather conditions, I knew if I could get the river below a metre I stood a chance so yesterday I loaded the car in preparation for coming off night shift this morning hoping to grab an hour or two. The weather didn't look good throughout the night 35mph winds with heavy rain from 0100 - 0500hrs.
On checking the river levels this morning the place where I was thinking of fishing was indeed fishable but the winds and weather for the day did not look good but with it probably being the last chance before Christmas, I took the plunge and headed out.
As I drove up the Dale straight from work the winds were still strong & I knew it was going to be a struggle and the driving rain wasn't helping any either. Thankfully as I parked the car the rain subsided but black clouds were looming, so it was a dash to get changed into fishing gear whilst it was dry and before long I had my head down into the wind and was walking to the river.
Even setting the rod up was a challenge with the wind & I knew if I caught even one fish I would be thankful.
Before long I was in the river with the wind at my back thankfully, and trotting. It didn't take too long to have the first fish, nothing big but very welcome on a day like today.
After almost an hour of trying to keep the float going where I wanted it to go I had seven Grayling all similar in size to the fish above and four small trout so I was well pleased.
A move was needed as the wind was relentless, so after a short walk downstream I managed to find a swim where the trees on the far took most of the strength from the wind and made things more bearable and before long I was missing bites, so with some tackle adjustments the missed bites turned into fish in the net.
A couple of nice Grayling in quick succession from the run.
The second fish didn't want to leave me after I had released it and kept coming back to see me.
A couple more smaller Grayling followed as a half hour ticked away followed with a couple of trout.
The rain was on and off for much of the morning & combined with the wind the wind chill factor was definitely in the minus.
Nothing more came from the runs and it was time for a walk to get the circulation moving again so I decided to head back upstream to some of the deeper water and see if I could tempt any fish, after almost an hour of searching one fish graced the net.
It was time to find some shelter of some sort and have lunch so searching around I found a small gulley protected by a bank which if sat down would get me out the wind so that was it lunch and some rest-bite from the wind and a reflection on the mornings fish.
As I walked back downstream to where I had been most productive in the morning, the sun began to come out and a rainbow formed.
I was hoping I would find more silver in the form of grayling at the end of it, & sure enough soon after I was getting fish in the net again.
I continued to take smaller Grayling for a period of time, with the odd trout thrown in for good measure and before long another couple of better fish turned up again.
Even the sun came out from behind the clouds from time to time and the wind has slightly subsided.
I was missing a few fish and I knew it had to be the smaller Grayling snatching at the worm so a bit of adjustment with a fingernail the worm was reduced in size and almost immediate it paid dividends as the best fish of the day Graced the net.
with the shorter worms I was hitting a few more small fish with the odd better stamp of fish thrown in from time to time.
It was finally almost time to leave as the daylight was fading and as we all do, one last cast produced another fish.
But the one last cast turned into another last cast
And that really was the last fish of the day, but certainly not a disappointing day with 27 Grayling and 9 trout, certainly tried my patience at times with the wind but common sense, dedication and skill avoided a few wind knots and the river gave me my just reward. To my Scottish mates who say centre pins cant be fished in wind.....You either got it or you aint ....lol
I would like to take this opportunity to thank my longtime fishing friend Martin Smith for my handmade buffalo horn dubbing needle with paua shell insert that he made and sent me with a couple of nymphs thrown in for good measure, superb work and very much a surprise, thanks mate.
Martin is an accomplished fly tier specializing in custom flies for trout, Pike and other predatory fish, top class angler as well....Looking for something special see his facebook page here.....MScustomFlies