Last week saw me on the local canal. I enjoyed the session but I really wanted to be back on the river chasing those lovely big grayling. The river levels were up and down though and thats why I ended up trying the cut. This week, however, I managed to catch the river as it was fining down after another week of unsettled wet weather. The air temperatures have also begun to drop a little too. But this didn’t worry me much as I was sure if I could locate a group of fish and presented a bait on the right line, at the right depth and the right pace I would get a bite or two. Easy!
Of course I am joking about it being easy. It’s certainly challenging fishing but one of my favourite methods. Coupled with the fact the fish I was after is fast becoming one of my favourites, it comes as no surprise I couldn’t wait to get to the river. With something to attend to first thing though, I indeed had to wait. Early or late on the stretch I am fishing it seems, so I filled my time for the rest of the morning, and arrived at the river just after one o’clock. I planned to fish until I could no longer make out the float which would give me a good couple of hours.
There was still a little water on the river but the colour had started to drop out. The extra pace meant a change of float pattern from last visit; the faithful Loafer. A little heavier, it would hopefully allow me to fish more turbulent water and with a bulk of shot down the line, push the bait more towards the bottom layer. Red and white maggots would be todays bait and I began to feed these, three or four at a time once I had selected my first swim. I’d give it an hour and move on if nothing materialised. First run through produced a bite, a lively fight ensued, a fight that was characteristically ‘trout.’ Obviously training for its pilots licence it spent more time in the air than in the water. Real swim destroying stuff.
It was a lovely fish though at around two and a half pounds. I returned the fish and fed a few more maggots. I was pretty sure any fish starting to feed on the free offerings would have backed well away so I didn’t fish for around ten minutes. Instead just concentrated on feeding and taking in the lovely surroundings. Eventually I made another cast, running the float down the crease, the float being pushed from calm water to fast as the flow dictated. Twenty minutes went by before another bite materialised. Another trout this time and immaculate little fish of around five ounces. Time to move on.
For the next hour I tried a few different swims I hadn’t fished before. Running the float through them a dozen times. Trying to get a feel for them with the hope of chancing upon a fish. No fish came whilst doing this but it allowed me to build a mental picture of them. I was now heading into the witching hour. Behind the tree’s, the sun was starting to disappear and I took this as my cue to head to a previously fished swim to spend the rest of the session there.
With the bottom being relatively clean here, I set the rig deep so the maggots would be tripping the bottom. The buoyant top of the loafer would prevent the float from being constantly dragged under. I started the process again, as I had in all the other swims, feed a few maggots, side cast the rig, run through, holding back where needed, and repeat. Third put through and the float vanished. A solid and quick strike saw me bending into another spirited fight. At first I feared another trout. Except when the fish changed direction, a brilliant silver flank flashed in the depth. It was a grayling and it looked like another good fish. I took my time and played the fish toward the net. As it surfaced and attempted one last lunge for freedom I managed to slip the net under my prize.
The fish equalled my PB set a few weeks ago at 1lb 12oz. A different fish too. I was very happy indeed. With the fish photographed and rested until strong enough to swim strongly away, I decided to have one last cast. By now the light was fading fast and I could hardly see the float. I could see it enough to know it had gone under though and my final fish of the day came in the shape of a plump three pound chub.
A very enjoyable session came to an end just as a huge hailstorm began to rain down. I hurriedly packed away and walked as fast as I could back to the car. It was worth getting soaked for to catch another stunning grayling though. Yes, they certainly are up there with my favourite fish at the moment. Long may it continue.
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Until Next time tight lines,