With them now spawned and back in season there is nothing finer than Grayling on a dry fly.
With the hot weather making things very difficult and no sign of it getting any better I decided to head high into the Dales where I know a head of Grayling can be found where the river runs deep & cool, so just after 6pm last night I headed off for the journey to my chosen spot.
I knew I would probably have the river to myself, after all most English people were celebrating the football win and all the small villages I past through on route there were revellers all outside the pubs with pints in their hands and football shirts on.
The river was actually in better condition than I had anticipated, the pools looked good and the water was running cool, it was actually nice to leave a pair of shorts on below my chest waders and wade allowing the cool water to keep me in fine fettle.
I sat and watched the river for signs of a hatch before deciding what method to fish and with not much initially showing I opted for running a nymph through the deep pools & it took just over 30 minutes to get this sort of reaction on my face.
The first Grayling on the new season & although not on a dry fly, what a fish to open the new season account.
43cm of sheer delight. That gave me all the thrills and spills of a fighting fit fish, with leaps from the water and deep long runs, I was glad to finally slip the net under her.
Returned as always to give pleasure at another time.
I decided to rest the pool and moved on upstream where within a few moments I was in another fight with a pretty fish, and this one wasnt giving me much slack either in the faster water, a nice Brown Trout.
I had definitely chosen the right time to fish, the river was in good condition, albeit the current weather conditions and nature was showing all its beauty as always with my favourite wild flowers, the Mimulus (Monkey Flower).
I never tire of seeing these wild flowers
I sat at the edge of the river in the late evening sun taking in my surroundings and everything that was going on, the noise of the oystercatchers overhead calling to each other, the sight of lovely wildflowers and the cool water around my ankles as I dipped my feet in the river, it couldn't get more peaceful thats for sure.
I decided to change over from nymph and fish a dry fly for the remaining time down through all the rough water, so a quick spool change and I was tying on my chosen dry to start with.
Targeting the faster water with a buoyant dry I was soon picking off all kinds of species from small Salmon Par, Grayling & Brown Trout par.
A healthy looking river even though the predation that covers this particular section with the cormorants, Otters & Mergansers that patrol its length, it was still nice to see the amount of small fish showing all over the faster water as I waded through it.
The fish only got slightly larger on the dry fly.
With the larger fish staying well hidden in the deeper pools, I wasnt complaining it was lovely to be out and with the earlier success on nymphs everything else was a bonus.
I fished back through the faster water and sat by the pool I had the earlier success on watching for signs of surface movement of larger fish until last light but nothing came of it, so made my way back to the car and headed home a happy man, 2 large fish and over 30 smaller mixed fish how could I not be a happy man.