This week saw me heading out to do a spot of grayling fishing on the River Dane. I was looking forward to walking along a stretch with a rod, net and essentials and pitting my wits against the grayling that thrive in its waters. Well that was the plan anyway, what actually happened was something all together different.
It turned out to be a cold morning, very cold in fact, the frost was thick on the ground and it took longer than expected to load the car as my locks had frozen solid! With a bit of persuasion they eventually opened and I was on my way to the river. I arrived at roughly nine o’clock and making my way the the top of the stretch wondered how the river would look. I wanted it to have a tinge of colour and be at normal winter level. Which is exactly what I got. I went about setting up my rig quickly and fed two or three white maggots every few minutes whilst I did so. After an hours 40 minutes fishing I hadn’t had anything of any size, just a few tiny grayling not even an ounce. It looks as if the future population will be a healthy one as a small fish today, if cared for, could be a specimen of tomorrow. I had one last trot through before I wandered off to find another swim that hopefully held some bigger specimens.
The next swim I settled into seemed a good bet for a grayling or two. Just above the swim was some shallow fast water and I had dropped into the pool at the foot of it. The water towards the far bank still had a lot of pace on it, but nearer to my bank it was steadier. I deepened the rig until it dragged under then took a small shot off. This is something I do if I want the bait being dragged hard across the bottom and it certainly stops the float dragging under nine times out of ten. First cast produced a unmistakable slow bite that was met with a writhing fight. The first proper grayling of the session at around 12oz. I fed a few more maggots and returned the fish upstream so as to hopefully not disturb the shoal if there was one there. Second trot through produced a similar bite and another grayling was making its bid for freedom.
Again I fed some more maggots and returned the fish upstream. I settled back in the swim and sent the float down the river. No bites this time. A few more maggots were fed and I tried the float on a different line further out over the middle of the river. Right at the end of the trot the float buried and I struck into a much better fish. If this was a grayling it was going to be a new PB. Slowly the fish made its way towards me, on a 0.09mm bottom and an 18’s hook I took it steady. I was almost sure this was a chub. A huge white mouth opened and gills flared below the surface. It was definitely a chub. A nice sized chub though and I certainly wasn’t complaining. I landed the fish pictured below a few seconds later.
I upped the feed a little after the chub and a few more trots through went by before, a little further upstream this time, I struck into what was obviously another chub. The chub played itself out like the one before and soon another 3lb plus chub was lying in the net. This was turning into a good little session. Sure the grayling seemed to have moved out of the swim but there was obviously some hungry chub present. I rested the swim for a few minutes after this fish and had a cup of tea to warm my hands a little. I watched the frost metling, dripping rhythmically from high up branches. I kept feeding maggots though, gaining the chubs confidence as I admired my surroundings. With the tea break over quicker than I would have liked, I re-baited the hook with a single white maggot and cast out. First cast another bite and another chub. Amazing! It was certainly great fun on light tackle and the centrepin. This chub was a little bigger maybe 3lb 10oz and its throat was full of maggots. I saw this as a sign to cut back on the number of maggots I was feeding but still feed as often. Next trot down another chub, and so it went on. In all honesty Ive never had such consistent chub fishing from this river before. I’ve definitely had bigger chub from here but never in this quantity and the fish themselves were in absolute pristine condition.
In two hours from that one swim I had two grayling and nine chub for cumulatively about 24-26lb, the biggest fish being the one below at just over 4lb. As I have said on light float gear it was brilliant sport and although it was only just after noon, I decided to leave the river and head home for a warm bath and a hearty meal. I didn’t want to push my luck. The river had already rewarded me with some cracking fish in beautiful countryside.
As I walked back across the field to the car, the ground still hard under my feet, I wondered if I would have another session like that on that stretch again. It’ll have to go some way to do so but I shall certainly look forward to trying.
Don’t forget you can get twitter updates notifying you of new blog updates by adding @NorthwestFish or you can follow my blog by clicking the link at the top of the page.
Until next time,