About 10 minutes into my journey up the Dale a policeman stood in the middle of the road turning people around, there had been an accident and the road would be closed for quite sometime, I asked if I could get to the place I park if I went some of the back roads and was informed no the road was closed further up the Dale so that was it for my location, so decided to head over to another river only to find that the A1 had been closed due to bridge demolition...so that was that out the question too so finally after some faffing around with diverted traffic, I headed further afield in search of a days Grayling fishing. leaving the house just after 7am I got onto the river just before 10am, am sure somebody didn't want me to go fishing today.
The river looked very different to my last visit after almost 2 weeks of heavy floods and one particular night it was almost at its highest record recorded, some trees that were in the path were now leaning precariously downstream with the pressure of the water on them, a couple of large extraction holes dug by the farmer had been filled up with rocks and gravel, which I'm really glad about but the worst part of all a particular run that I'm very fond of is totally changed and for the worse but hey ho that's nature.
You can see from the debris line how high the river was during the last couple of weeks, to where it is normally in the background.
I wanted to experiment with some bugs that I had made up on Saturday night, so not keen on being up to my waist in freezing cold water nymphing I opted for an old technique that I use a lot which is to trot artificial bugs, quite a few anglers would stand in awe at the thought of that but that's another story!
I had also brought golden banded midden bugs (Dendrobaena worms) to any normal angler but again another story where anglers look down their noses!
It was almost 40 minutes before the float dipped away and the first fish of the day graced the net.
I was delighted that the bugs had been productive and I love it when something you have created from nothing bears fruits.
Sometime later & no more fish I decided to switch over to worm as things were slow and I wanted to see if the fish would take the natural over artificial especially seeing as so much natural food would have been washed downstream in the floods. I trotted the float down through a deep swim and I thought I had snagged up but then the snag moved and continued moving and I knew instantly I had hooked a salmon then about 5 seconds later my thoughts were confirmed as this bright red fish completed some acrobatics and the hook hold was gone. I estimate a fish around the 8 - 10 lbs size and although nice to see them so far up the river I hate hooking them as I prefer to leave them well alone.
I started taking fish from various parts of the river, plenty of smaller Grayling which kept the sport going with the odd better fish showing up from time to time.
I took a couple of minutes to try the underwater camera but within minutes my fingers were numb and aching so that was swiftly stopped but one image that did come out which I thought was rather pleasing to see was this Grayling looming from the depths as the camera captured both above and below water shots.
The fish continued to come with a few small trout thrown in for luck, both on the worm and the artificial bugs also.
As I walked downstream to my next place I wanted to try I stumbled across these large brown mushrooms growing at the base of the tree.
The base of the tree was surrounded by them and they were large, I just wish I knew more about my fungi's...as they would have been lovely sliced up in the pan, but if in doubt leave well alone is my motto.
Am open to any readers informing me what they are.
The fish continued to come to the net but at a very slow pace throughout the next few hours again as before mainly smaller Grayling with the odd better fish appearing from time to time but it was just great to be out on the river again after a few weeks away so the slow fishing didn't really matter as there was much more going on around to keep me occupied.
I left the river just as it was beginning to turn dark and the journey home was just as frustrating as the journey this morning, almost 90 minutes for what normally taken half the time.