Sunday, 24 January 2016

Carrots...Not just for Bunny Rabbits

Last night a friend from the USA sent me a picture of a pattern with tying instructions and suggested I might like to try it out for the grayling, so with a trip planned for today I set about tying one up as a sampler to see how it fared. It's called the Carrot nymph for obvious reasons.

Today was so different to my last trip out, a balmy 8C on the thermometer as I set out this morning, the day was to be cloudy with squally rain, however arriving up the Dale it was the wind which was the biggest factor, blowing hard  downstream and the river rising it wasnt easy conditions for the day. The river was rising after the rain last night and it was already high from the storm on Friday but with the weather forecast for more heavy rain over the week with localised flooding I wasnt going to let another opportunity to get out on the river pass albeit a rising river.

The view upstream with no snow in sight but a cold downstream wind blowing hard.

It wasnt too long until I found a bit of shelter and put the nymphs to work and almost immediately the indicator stopped dead and I lifted into the first fish of the day, a small trout, on the carrot nymph, success for the nymph on the first trip out.

Before long the 1st grayling of the day was in the net, again on the carrot nymph.

A deformity to its lip like a clevis lip but a healthy fish and  a welcome bonus.

The next hour went by with 6 more small fighting fit trout falling to the carrot and my dropper but there was a severe lack of Grayling, A lot of anglers have discussed recently how the Grayling haven't really been on the flies or bait this year with the river levels going up and down and for some the season has been a wash out, hopefully as the season starts to come to an end on some rivers the fish will make an appearance for the anglers persevering to get a break in the weather and get out on the bank.

Before too long I was into a better fish and again the carrot had done the business,

As I made my way upstream I stumbled across the first snowdrops I've seen this year, making an appearance on the bank.

The wind and rain was coming down hard making things hard to see through my glasses, the downside to fishing in the wind but wouldn't fish without them.

I managed another couple of trout the various nymphs, this being the best of the day, a quick snap before being released to give sport in another month or so.

With the weather conditions worsening and the river rising I decided to call it and head home earlier than normal but happy in the knowledge that the flies worked and I managed to get out the house for a few hours, which might not be the case next weekend....here's hoping!


  1. Hello George

    Nice article as usual.

    That's a nice looking fly. What is the body material that you've used and have you leaded it?

    With regards to the river, I sat looking at the gauges from Monday to Thursday thinking how perfect the conditions were for my day off on Friday. I turned up to the river on Friday (after a 45 mile journey) only to find a raging torrent. I wasn't best pleased. I'm surprised that you found it fishable on the Sunday though, it must have dropped off quite quickly.



  2. Hi Dave,
    The body is orange nymph skin wrapped over a leaded under body with peacock herl as the back with a gold wire wrap.
    ALWAYS check before travelling is my motto as like you I have a 45 minute trip, you can generally tell if its rising or dropping by looking at 2 gauges one upstream and one downstream It was a bit high on Sunday but still fishable if you know where to go :)
    all the best George

  3. Hello George

    Thanks for the info.

    I checked the lower gauge which was updated to 08.45 that morning but foolishly didn't look at the upper river gauge which may have shown the tsunami that was approaching. You live and learn I guess :)




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