Thursday, 8 January 2015

First Fish of 2015

As I left work last night at 2200hrs the rain was just starting to come on and the forecast was heavy rain passing over the region through the night, I just hoped it wouldnt ruin the river too much as today would be my only chance to get my first session in of 2015 with the imminent storm over the next few days.

The alarm was set for 0630hrs and it was up and straight onto the gauging station where I wanted to fish, it had half a metre of extra water on it from yesterday's reading but it was still at a fishable level.....Just!

As I walked down to the river I could hear it long before I saw it and it didn't bode well but I knew it was fishable in a few places and sure enough it was very dark Newcastle Brown Ale colour.

This wasn't going to deter me as I had brought along a new rod to fish with.....well newish as it well out dates the amount of years I have walked this earth, at a ripe old age of 60 years old.
Two rods recently came into my possession which I am greatly thankful for, an Allcocks "Eclipse" split cane rod dating back to the late 1950s and a J Aspindales "Suredale" rod dating back to around 1949 ish.

On carrying out some investigative work on the "Eclipse", it seems it was more expensive than the popular Wallis Wizard..... "The Eclipse was priced at one hundred and fifty shillings (£7.50) and was more expensive than the Wallis Wizard priced in the same guide at one hundred and forty one shillings (£7.05). As reflected by it’s price when new, the Eclipse was clearly positioned as a top of the range rod and that, together with its relative scarcity is reflected in it’s current value."

I hate to think what it would cost brand new at today's prices.

I really was excited about using it for the first time and I was not disappointed, the rod performed more than I could have imagined today and it was a joy to fish with, the action, the lightness of the rod and the appearance all made for a very enjoyable day and that was without any fish coming into the equation.

After setting up I started trotting down the area that was fishable close to the bank and about 20 minutes went by before the float dipped away and the first fish of 2015 was on the line.

Not the biggest Grayling in the river but that didn't matter to me it was the first fish of 2015 and am just happy it was a Grayling,

The fishing was difficult  to say the least as there wasn't many fish coming to the net and those half dozen fish that did fall prey to the worm were almost as small as the worm.

I wasn't too worried about not catching many fish as my trips to the river are about more than just catching fish after fish, the dippers playing on the far bank, the buzzard squealing overhead were all part of the trip and I was thankful just to be out on the river. I decided to stick at it in the current spot as there wasn't too many alternatives with the high water, It was nearly an hour before my float dipped away again.

A better Grayling had made an appearance and I knew If there was one there would be more.

and my thoughts were right, before long I was taking fish nearly every other trot through with the worm, not big fish but enough to put a bend in the rod and give me sport, many were around the size shown...

It was another 13 Grayling of the size above before I knew there was something better on the line again.

Then within 5 minutes of taking the fish above another better fish made an appearance.

Things were beginning to look up on the size of fish now coming to the net.
It seemed that the small fish had been driven out by the slightly larger fish as the smaller fish dried up and the bigger Grayling continued to feed.

The fishing had improved over the hour and more and more medium sized Grayling were being caught with the occasional better fish which warranted a photograph.

The rod was a sheer joy to use and for something that was 60 years old and still performing as well as the day it was first made is an achievement to the makers all those years ago.

This was the sky just around lunch time, although a hardly a cloud in the sky the wind was starting to pick up pace and become blustery, the first signs of tonight's storm approaching.

A couple of Arty shots whilst I had something to eat and grab a warm coffee.

An old rod coupled with a modern centrepin and a float less than 3 weeks old all working together catching the wildest fish in northern rivers.....purely my opinion about Grayling being the wildest fish in rivers.

After lunch it was back to the fishing for another hour or so as the squally winds were starting to cause white caps on the river and it was a biting cold wind. This Grayling came to the net, although looking fit & healthy it sported a predator mark on the other side, obviously black death or something similar, although not fresh it was beginning to heal up.

Another couple of medium sized fish came to the net before this one showed up and I had decided this was going to be the last fish of the day as the wind was biting cold now and picking up in strength.

As I started to walk back up the bank in the direction of the car  I tried another spot for 5 minutes to see if there was any fish showing and within a few minutes I had found the small Grayling again.

I stared off the session with a small fish & I ended the session with a small fish but I wasn't complaining by any means a very enjoyable day with over 30 fish caught, I couldn't have asked for a better way to start the New Year.


  1. George well done mate its a shame you use a kiddies pond net to make the fish look bigger wink ,wink, not a bad day after all with higher water than you wanted mate ......

    1. ah ha, very funny coming from a Yorkshireman at least my net knows what a fish it.....:) have a good one mate.


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