Sunday, 30 August 2015

Hesitant.......What a Grayling Day!

I had planned to go on the river a bit closer to home on a stretch I knew would fish well in the sunshine that was forecast for today, but a flash rise in the levels last night scuppered that, so plans had to be changed at the last moment before setting off this morning, it simply meant I would need to drive further up the river and hope for the best.

I arrived just after 9am and the sun was trying to poke out from behind the cloud which was covering the Dale, my first glimpse of the river confirmed my fears it was still up and peaty dirt coloured, I wasn't backing out now so would fish for a few hours and see how things went. 

The tools for today were wading stick, bunnet and fly rod, and off we went.

It took almost 40 minutes of changing flies and casting until I finally connected with my first fish, a small Brown trout, taking the point fly of three. A small dark trout but with vivid red dots showing through on the peat stained body. 

What happened next was a sheer fluke but landed me my biggest fish of the day. As I was unhooking and photographing the small trout above,  I had let my flies drift from the tip of my rod which was tucked under my arm, and just as I released the trout, my line went tight and the line started spooling off the fly reel, something had taken my flies as they drifted from the tip of my rod, and was heading across the fast stream at a rate of knots. I managed to slow the run and turned the fish to find a large Grayling attached to my first dropper.

A long heavy fish measuring 48 cm, not bad for under arm fly fishing.

It seemed I had now the flies on which were attracting the fish so fished on through the runs and fish started coming to my cast thick and fast, even getting a double hook up on one cast, mainly all small par with the odd bigger fingerling Grayling thrown in.

Perfection in miniature

As I made my way downstream the deeper water seemed the more productive and I was getting pestered less by the small par which gave way to better sized Grayling.

The Grayling were definitely the fish of the day with plenty smaller fish coming to the flies where the par had seemed to go quiet, not that I was complaining as they were a nuisance in the slack water.

I took another 5 Grayling of similar size before the run went dead and I moved on in search of more.

It didn't take long to find them again and like before it was Grayling being the more dominant fish.

with only the occasional brown trout making a cameo appearance, again heavily coloured

The river still wasn't clearing in colour which after a few hours, I thought it might.

but, I wasn't complaining the fish didn't seem to mind the colour, it just made wading a bit hairy at times not seeing the bottom, thankfully the wading stick saved me a dooking a few times.

The Grayling continued to come to the flies and this was the best Grayling day this year to date in sheer numbers of fish taking the flies.

The day that had started off with me having a hesitant mind was turning out to be almost a red letter day in the way of Grayling.

I only seen 1 other angler all day and he was after the big fish of the river, The salmon, we chatted for a few moments and went our separate ways.

As I fished my way back towards the car a few trout made an appearance.

the lovely red spots showing bright against their peaty coloured bodies.

I fished it back to where I was going to call it a day and the best trout of the day obliged.

I'm in awe at the variation of the trout this far up the river, none are stocked so they are all wild fish but the colour variation from large dark spots to small bright red spots, not large fish but fighting fit fish that give you a run for your money in the first few seconds.

The last fish of the day was another trout.

but what a day it had turned out to be, over 80 fish to the flies, the river was up,  peaty dark, yet the fish especially the Grayling made the day worth while, long may it last into the coming Grayling season if this is a measure of whats to come.


  1. A wonderful outing. Again those brown trout are spectacular.

    1. thank you it was a great day for sure.

  2. -a great day George some lovely grayling , and trout too. Perfect!

    1. Cheers Col, I initially thought it would be a total waste of time with the water being up & coloured but after finding the correct flies it was no looking back after that, cracking day

  3. Some lovely looking grayling George, brilliant sport

    1. Cheers James, was a cracking day's sport indeed

  4. I think that qualifies as a red letter day George. That's more than I catch all season :)

    Out of interest, did you get them on your trusted spiders or was the nymph employed?



    1. cheers Dave, You know the old saying you need to get out more...lol :) It was a mixture of both mate, nymph on point with a couple of droppers of spider & unweighted nymph.

  5. Apologies Dave I read your last comment but deleted it by mistake.....the weather should be ok this weekend so I wish you well, I'm going a bit closer to home onto a stretch I've not fished this year so hopes are high :)


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