Sunday, 15 April 2018

Sulky Day

I decided after the mild weather we had yesterday that although the forecast was for heavy showers in the Dale I would head further up the Dale just incase the water decided to rise  and also see what it was fishing like, this being the first trip up that far.

The drive up was very moody with low cloud and mist blanketing the Dale & I hoped it would lift soon.

The river looked in fine fettle when I first seen it but standing for a few moments observing the river for any movement of fish there was a really cold southerly wind blowing and it felt really chilled against my face and the mist was just sitting like a blanket over everything.

Starting off on a couple of spiders I made my way downstream towards the wooded area fishing certain spots as I went without any joy.

On entering the wood The birds were chirping all around & the wood seemed alive with bird calls.

I sat against the big tree for a few moments and observed the birds feeding on the pine cones up in the bare branches above me.

It was a free for all, Blue tits, Coal tits, Chaffinches and I saw a couple of Goldfinches too, it really was nice to sit & watch them all jostling for the small cones and extracting the seeds from them.

The wild flowers in the wood were all poking through looking for some sunlight from the Wild primroses, to the wood anemone. It was nice to see the wood starting to come alive with sound and colour.

Moving downstream I managed to connect with my first fish of the day, not the species I had come for but it was a fish nevertheless, A small Grayling.

A few steps downstream and the next Grayling and the next, 5 fish in total in the space of 10 steps, all falling for an early season spider pattern.

Continuing downstream I was finally rewarded with my first trout, a lovely wild fish in perfect condition.

Sitting for lunch with the cover of the high bank behind me to shield me from the slight chilled wind that was continuing to blow I seen my first rise of the day in a streamy section of water so eyes peeled I continued to watch and seen it rise a second time. 

Switching to dry fly was an option &  I really wanted to continue testing my weight forward furled leader I have been formulating and working on & with the slight wind it would be the ideal conditions, so after lunch I switched across onto a dry fly set up.

It took less than 3 casts of the dry fly before the first fish broke the surface and took it down, alas another Grayling which was showing no signs of any spawning, so a quick photograph as it went back to the depths.

I moved on after no further success in the fast water and found another fish rising at the tail end of a large slack, first cast and up it came and took the dry.

Another Grayling and better sized this time and again showing no signs off spawning at all, another quick photograph and it was released to go on its way.

Moving to the bank to see if I could observe any further fish before the darkening skies reached me, the marsh marigolds gave colour all along the bank. 

I had literally only just sat down when I felt the first signs of rain on my face.

 The sky was almost pitch black so I headed towards the car hoping to make it before the heavens opened but it was not to be, I was half way up the field when the heavens opened in torrential rain  which saw rivers running down the road in front of me into large pools where there was pot holling in the road. 
Throwing my kit in the car, I jumped in with waders still on and waited till the worst of it had passed, It was about 20 minutes or so before I finally decided it was light enough to get stripped out of waders and back into normal gear, Thankfully I had remained dry as my jacket and vest had taken the brunt of the downpour.

The drive home was as equally entertaining as the rain came back with a vengeance and the standing water  was no longer standing it was running in all directions all along the Dale roads, the river will rise for sure with this amount of water that fell in such a short period already on sodden land. but thankfully a week of rising temperatures should take care of it all before my next trip out.


  1. Awesome, George. Just awesome. Great news on your WF furled leader.

    1. Thanks Spike, Still got a fair bit of testing on it but the formula is all but squared away Im sure when I get the few lads I sent one too feedback there will be a few tweaks but nothing major, I like it but I would so Im bias....lol

  2. George wonderful report.
    Those Grayling had some heft to them, and the wild brown was impressive.
    I love the colors of spring, we are close here.

  3. cheers Alan, the larger of the two Grayling gave an excellent account of itself, I was impressed, fighting fit although they should be spawning around now but with the weather I reckon its knocked them back a few weeks, Yep spring is definitely here now, even temperatures are rising fast.

  4. Pleasant read as always, that furlie looks interesting George, I’m looking forward to testing it out.
    Nice top shorb loops as well, we must confer notes.


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