Sunday, 8 October 2017

A Day of Dries

This week I finally found time to get some tackle made in preparation for the Grayling season, with a couple of floats finished off, a couple of furled leader indicators made up and some flees tied.

A mixture of point nymphs and droppers

Flees & Floats with a couple of furled leader indicators, as this year I plan to give the trotting rod some daylight unlike last year when it never seen the river once.

After a hectic week at work and some intense negotiations with my boss over work load, I was in desperate need of some me time. I had all intentions of going along to the annual Grayling day held each year in Wensleydale and catch up with old friends but today was just one of those days where I needed to be alone and have some me time, so rising early I headed up another Dale for the first time this year in search of the Grayling.

I retired a couple of trusty friends yesterday in the way of my simms 4 seasons old wading boots, they have finally given up the ghost but after 4 seasons I think they have ran their course and I only hope the new set lasts as long as the old ones.

The river over the last couple of days has been up in spate and running off again only to be topped straight back up again so I knew it was high and most probably running with a colour in it.

Sure enough on reaching my starting point my suspicions were confirmed a large water with a lot of colour in it but undeterred I scoped out a place where I suspected a few fish would be lying. About 20 minutes into the session and the first fish of the day sent the indicator to a standstill,  but it wasn't what I was looking for instead it was a heavy with milt trout around 2.5lbs which was released immediately to carry on its breeding.

Moving down the pool I intercepted another 4 trout smaller in size and all released immediately, so I decided to move away as the trout seem to be in residence more than the Grayling.

Sitting on the bank looking at my intended pool to fish next, I noticed a few olives hatching, followed by a few more, the heat from the sun was starting a hatch and a few fish were moving on them almost immediately.

After 10 minutes of watching Grayling rising freely to the olives I decided to switch over to upstream dry fly, as there is no nicer way to take grayling than on the dry fly in my opinion.

2nd cast upstream and my fly was sipped down by a small Grayling. At least I knew my little CDC olive was working.

The next 30 minutes consisted of casting upstream to have the fly sipped down by a rising Grayling and soon I had over 30 Grayling & a couple of small trout cross my fingers, all around this size which was absolutely great fun on the dry fly.

The olives continued to hatch so I decided to head upstream to the next long pool and see if I could find any larger fish, almost immediately the fly was intercepted with this slightly larger fish.

More of the familiar sized fish took the dry and  it was turning out to be a great day on the dry fly, nothing large in size but who cares when they are rising freely and it was giving me plenty of great sport on the 3#.

A few larger trout made an appearance amongst the Grayling and like the earlier one were well advanced into their spawning regime, but the Grayling were now more abundant than the trout, with the odd slightly better sized fish making an appearance.

I reached my finishing point and sat on the bank in the warm sunshine taking a few moments before heading back to the car, when I seen this fungi taking refuge at the base of the tree.

The day which I thought was going to be a difficult day chucking nymphs along the riverbed to try & seek out fish had turned into a day of great sport on the dry fly with over 80 grayling caught in the few hours I was out and a few trout which although were advanced in their spawning regime were still golden in colour.

I took a walk past the blackthorn bushes on my way back to the car to see if they were in fruit and confirmed a thought I had...
Last year the bushes I was stood beside were laden in fruit with over 8lbs picked in less than an hour and the ones I frequent further down the Dale were bare, this year the roles are reversed and these bushes are bare, all bar one sloe which I found tucked away and the bushes further down the Dale were heavy in fruit as I picked them last weekend so my suspicions that these Blackthorn bushes only bare fruit on a 2 year cycle was confirmed, Im unsure about elsewhere but certainly in these neck of the woods they only bare fruit every other year.

Making way way back to the car I passed by the old derelict farm, still stood proud. There was rumours it was going to be renovated back into a working farm but not this year thats for sure.


  1. George a nice time decompressing....
    Do you use the centerpin on your grayling outings? If you do how long is the rod?

    1. Hi Alan, I only use centrepin reels I haven't used a fixed spool reel in any trotting I've done since being a young lad.
      It varies depending on what mood Im in, I've got 15ft & 13ft trotting rods made of carbon but for some odd reason I always favour one of the 10ft split cane trotting rods I have. Just more pleasure in matching a centrepin with a cane rod.

  2. Really need to investigate furled leaders and there uses for 2018

    1. No finer presentation with a dry fly, turn over is 2nd to none.


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