Saturday, 22 April 2017

A Game of Two Halves

With me & my good lady making our usual visit to the Harrogate flower show tomorrow this weeks fishing was to be a game of two halves, first half was a couple of hours straight from work on Thursday night as it was meant to be the best night of the week for temperatures and I arrived just before 6pm at the river. Setting up the new 3# I was hoping to christen it properly and not have the uncharacteristic words uttered from my mouth again like I did on Sunday, it had seen a Grayling now all I wanted was a trout.

Walking upstream along the bank the first thing I noticed was the grannom hatch that was taking place they were everywhere but not many fish were moving for them.
I decided to sit at the head of a pool where I had a good vantage point to see the full pool so settled in and had a sandwich & a drink which was to be my evening meal. Watching the pool the hatch was a good one with literally thousand of grannom coming off but hardly any fish moving at all & the fish that were moving I thought to be small Grayling.

It was great to sit on the bank with the last of the days heat and listen to the Curlews and Oyster Catchers call out to their mates.

After something to eat I decided it was all or nothing so attached a small size 18 dry fly and covered one of the fish that were rising, almost immediately up it came and took my artificial, my call had been answered a small brown trout.
For the next hour the same routine with small brown trout and the occasional small Grayling took the fly.

As I decided it was time to start heading back towards the car I came over the top of the bank to see a lovely barn owl hunting just above the willows so I crouched down and sat and watched as it flew across its big white face peering down at me as it flew past, that made my evening as I love to see these majestic birds.

I dropped down into a final pool and the first cast at the head of the pool seen a lovely Grayling role on my dry fly and it was on.

A lovely long fish at just over 42cm long and in excellent condition a quick photograph and off it went back to where it came from.

Back to the car and call it a night, and what a lovely evening to be on the river all be it for only 2 hours it was well worth it.

Today seen me drive the country lanes through the sea of yellow rape seed fields surrounding the back lanes on route to the river.

I decided to spend a few hours at Devils bridge in the hope that I could tempt a couple of brown trout, as the river is really low and very clear so I had to look in the deeper water for the trout. I also felt that the current furled leader I had been using was a bit on the heavy side for the rod, so after some consultation with my mentor Steven I had knocked up a lighter leader in the hope that it would balance out better so a bit of trialling had to be done too.

There was a cold downstream wind blowing so the fly life was virtually none existent on the surface but I decided that I would go looking as I wanted to trial the leader and I had built it for dry fly fishing.

Walking upstream the pheasant were out in force and teaming up with the hens, I must have lifted nearly a dozen birds from the undergrowth as I walked up to the pool I had in mind.

A couple of fungi on the willow trees

On reaching the pool there was nothing moving at all and a horrible cold wind blowing, I sat for almost 30 minutes looking and waiting to see if the wind would subside but nothing!
Deciding to have a few exploring casts hard against the bushes on the far bank after a few casts a fish came from nowhere and took the fly.

A lovely golden brown trout as wild as they come had took the fly.

I managed to lift a small grayling from the same patch of water before I decided enough was enough, I had tested the leader which was nice and did exactly what I wanted it to do so I can now go ahead and knock up a couple of 3# furled leaders for myself.

A couple of hours on the river all be it nothing moving at all had seen a nice trout  and I had learned how the leader worked out, a nice couple of hours.


  1. Well done George, hard earned fish are the most satisfying at times, nice write up mate.
    When the fishing gets easier give me a shout please.

    1. You can say that again, nothing more rewarding than a fish you have had to work for. Its Yorkshire we are on about its always tough fishing....lol, be in touch soon mate.

  2. George when I read the title of this post I though I was being informed about a football game.
    That sure is a trophy grayling, and the brown is handsome indeed.
    The owl takes it though, impressive.

    1. Thanks Alan, Im in agreement the owl was the icing on the cake

  3. Hello George

    Great write up as usual and a cracking picture of the owl. They really are the most stunning of birds if you're lucky enough to see one.
    I followed your lead and purchased one of those Shakespeare 3# rods with the free line. It feels lovely and I'm looking forward to using it once I've got my new club membership sorted out.



    1. Thanks Dave, After using the original agility all winter I was really pleased with it hence the buy of the agility 2 and I have to say Im just as impressed on the couple of times I took it out, The leader felt heavy to start but that was soon rectified with a new one I tied at the weekend & it handles lovely now, Id recommend them to anyone for the cost they are 1st class.


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