Tying a few of my personal favourite spiders, topping the box back up in a couple of sizes.
Woodcock & Orange
Partridge & Hare
Partridge & Yellow
All with a personal twist whether it be fluorescent thread or the peacock herl thorax these four flies have accounted for most of my Trout & Grayling over the last couple of years & I wouldn't go out fishing without these in my box.
With the tying done and the boxes topped up and some food in my stomach I headed up the Dale after tea.
The river was completely different from last week in the fact we have got water in the rivers again. On Thursday alone the gauging station which I use went from 0.8m to 0.87m in the matter of a few hours, exactly what we needed to flush away all the slime & rotting debris clinging to the riverbed.
The river had dropped to a more reasonable level on Friday but then again yesterday the river rose again and started falling off in the late afternoon, the level was still fishable.
The view upstream was somewhat different from the last couple of weeks, no pebbles showing and the groynes doing their job.
I started off with the spider patterns I had tied a few hours earlier and before long the small salmon Par had intercepted them giving me more tentative plucks than actual fish being intercepted. so when I started seeing fish rising I decided to swap to dry fly and see if I could intercept some of the bigger inhabitants of the river.
It didn't take long for the first of the trout to sip down the fly.
As the evening wore on the small trout kept coming to the dry fly giving great sport.
The bigger fish were not showing at all & I suspect they had their bellies full of food from the amount of stuff washed downstream in the last few days, but like the past few times out on the stretch I decided to fish on into the darkness and see what would happen....I wasn't to be disappointed!
As the moon came out the river upstream was easily seen from my vantage point and sure enough fish after fish stated smutting the surface and I knew if I could see the fly upstream with the moon at my back I would be in for a good night.
Last nights full moon throwing shimmering light on the river. There was no need for a long line and spotting the buoyant dry fly on the surface was quite easy and I started getting tentative gestures at first which then turned to positive takes.
The Grayling had come on the scene and were feeding freely under the cover of darkness and in some cases within a rod length of where I was stood in the river, where it was simply a flick of the tip to get the fly to reach them. Not wanting to spoil the moment I decided that I wasn't going to move from where I was stood unless the size of the fish dictated otherwise, small Grayling kept coming sipping the fly, some I connected with some I didn't but it was really great fun fishing upstream dry fly with nothing to aid you in total darkness but the rays of the moon on the water, the anticipation of the rise was brilliant.
Another good Grayling worthy of a picture from the stretch
between the Grayling slurping the fly down the odd better trout was sticking its head up also and taking the flies which I couldn't identify in the darkness and a couple of the better trout lead me a dance in the darkness....
The most subtle of bites as Ive experienced over the last few weeks of these fish in the darkness and its only when you tighten up on them that then you know that they are slightly more substantial a fish than they make out to be when breaking the surface to sip the flies.
Another couple of smaller Grayling and a single smaller Trout, before this one decided to run rings around me literally in the darkness, after taking the fly it decided to run straight at me and if I hadn't side stepped from where I was stood in the water I swear it would have run into me, It ran downstream into the darkness where I couldn't see and it was a few minutes before it decided to come back up and I managed to net it under the light of the moon.
It was just before 2200hrs when things went quiet again and I decided to make my way back across the fields to the car where I glimpsed a few deer feeding in the field under the protection of the darkness, as I drove home my senses were still very much alive and a coffee and a sit down to reflect on the last few hours before bed, Three game fish, Salmon Par, Trout & Grayling all of varying sizes all caught using the light of the moon upstream dry fly fishing, cant really get any better than that and a night I will remember for a while.