Wednesday 24 October 2012

October Grayling and winter comforts.

Shorter days and colder nights foretell the coming of winter there has been a frost and this week has seen mornings with shrouds of fog and fallen leaves starting to carpet the roads and verges “Taking of their clothes before going to sleep” was how my Grandad described autumn trees to me when I was a small boy. It is a time when all angling opportunities need to be seized, the slide into winter offers less and less opportunity for fly fishing. Both myself  and the grayling become lethargic once Christmas has arrived. January and February ..tend to be the time when more than any other I tie flies and contemplate the forthcoming season.  March is keenly anticipated but to often does not realise its is spring time

Regardless of the calender I view the first of October as the first day of Autumn, the trout season has now finished and the ladies of the stream the Grayling become my target for the next few months. I have come to regard them perhaps even more highly than the brown trout. Present in the local rivers since the last ice age they are a fish of simple beauty and offer an enigmatic quarry to pursue through the winter. They really do offer the river fly angler a quarry that reaches its physical peak as the rivers head into winter.

A recent weekend was my first in pursuit of the ladies. I started with dry fly but catching three brown trout on the bounce made me switch to a nymph to try and find the ladies. Above was the first Grayling of the season , small but showing the beautiful markings and delicate lines.

This out of season brownie was one of the few I caught that day . I do not recall a season end where the brownies have been in such superb condition some of the local becks seem to have been brimming with above average fish.  

So far this month I have fished little a solitary trip to the Yorkshire Dove and a visit the Ure with a guest when the river was high and coloured .  The wading was challenging and the fishing hard but a few fish were caught.   For the next few months fishing is confined to weekends and short visits.  Restocking depleted fly boxes is now a priority .  One recent development is courtesy of my good lady who after suffering years of me spending winter evenings in a different room to her tying flies has bought a new bureau for the lounge its tucked away in a little corner and half of it is all for me After years of working at the dining table I now have a fly tying station . 
as she sees it 

As I see it......
 Its next to the wood burner and comes with its own bottle of malt. Suddenly the winter doesn`t seem so bad

Monday 1 October 2012

At close of play take two....

last week I thought the weekend trip would be my last trip of the season but becks like mine that flow quickly can run of as fast as they rise. So on Sunday when I was out doing the monthly invertebrate monitoring I saw rising fish, which together with the clear water was enough reason to fit in one last visit, without it been the last day of the trout season .  I reckoned I could escape for maybe three hours down my beck.

I decided to fish an upstream section a part I only ever fish into Autumn /Winter.  The beck had recovered completely  from the spate of earlier in the week.  This time of year trout can really switch on to feeding and I reckon after two or three days of hiding out of the current they were certainly in the mood.

There was little surface activity a few fish were rising even though lots of small needles were on the wing .  I fished with a small klinkhammer a fly that has proved time and again to be as good at searching for fish as any. A good few decent brownies came to hand.   In fact several of them were as good as you can expect from this stream. For this beck a 1lb fish is a good one and all fight with a tenacity born out of the tough conditions.

An unexpected bonus was catching a Grayling in a stretch that I had long suspected held fish but so far I hadnt located any.  The fish was returned quickly without a picture today was about brown trout.  I will return to that swim further into the Autumn.

 Winter is fast approaching,  but unlike previous years the summer is ending with good water levels. The last spate has helped to clear the summer algae from the rocks and gravels with spawning approaching it has to be a benefit to the river.

The first signs of Autumn are clear falling leaves are now starting to scatter the stream bed.  It wont be long before the first frosts will fill this little stretch of river.

The few hours went quickly aboout a dozen brownies were the result.  The day finished when I needed to change the tippet but when I looked up saw the dimples of rain and looked at the time I realised that the season was finished.  The season had run its course and it was the time to leave the trout alone till next year.

Why Bamboo? because its its a joy, thats why! and they are effective....

 After pretty much a lifetime of fishing and being a fly fisherman for 54 years now I have learned a bit about fly fishing ,  mainly I have ...