Thursday 28 November 2013


November fishing is ok I guess  its the first month after all of the river trout season has gone .  Don't get me wrong I love to to fish anytime and fishing in November is better than not fishing at all.  But as much as I would like to say " I love Grayling fishing " the truth is, largely I don't. Grayling are a stunning fish and always enjoy catching them but as the winter draws in  the manner of fishing for them with leaded bugs in steely grey cold winter rivers really does nothing for me.  I guess at heart I am a dry fly man , not out of prejudice or snobbery but out of sheer bloody enjoyment.  My first trout was on a dry and and I hope that so will be my last.

Anyway a couple of Sundays ago after working a lot of weekends and with a weather eye looking towards the forecast for an icy blast that week I headed of to the river.  Several layers of clothing layered under my PVC chesties to protect my buggered knees from the cold. At the beat I usually check the book to see who has fished recently, well the answer was  the last person to fish was me... In September . The lack of bank side prints would seem to confirm it.   Even otter prints seemed to be absent .  I worked my way up the first few pools with the confidence of fishing a familiar water.  The fish are in there I know they are.  But after 45 minutes of careful progress they were all still in "there" and hadn't visited my net.  I was using a duo of a caddis pattern with a green bead head and size 18 pink southall shrimp.  A combination that has worked well for me on this stretch.

Around lunchtime things the sun made an appearance warmed a little and a few small needle flies came of and a few olives , I was just  wondering if perhaps I had overdone the layers of clothing when all negative thoughts disappeared when I spotted a rise about 30 m upstream in the fast water at the top of the next glide.  Its amazing  what effect  the site of a rising fish has on my demeanour I changed to a little cdc olive and worked my way up the pool , after 15 minutes of slow progress I had taken two tiny grayling and I was as near as I could get to  the fast water where a couple of fish were feeding, at that point in the stream there is a big back eddy which combined with a silty bottom takes the clouds of river bed you stand in back up to the head of the run,  the fish go down pretty smartish .  So it means a cat of about 30ft across conflicting currents so you get about 6ft of drag free drift. Which is usually ok if you drop your fly on the money.

There was a couple of fish rising I figured decent grayling and joy of joy second cast the lower one took .  Now here's the thing what came out were two lovely brownies of about a pound and half each in pristine condition they both fought like tigers, for that 10 minutes the sun shone the air was warm and the trout rose. Almost as if they were reminding me about them and saying don't waste your time go home tie flies and come back next summer....Now I don't think I will manage do that, the draw of the running stream is too strong and I will keep returning to get my fix. I will be wading the river in the forlorn  hope that just for a brief moment the river will perhaps just for a few moments once again forget its winter.


MarkW said...

I love fishing dries anytime of year, but there is a certain satisfaction that comes with catching a few in the winter on dries! Well done

ssj said...

I've had a similar experience lately but as I write this a storm is moving in that will bring temperatures into the 0 to -0 degrees F. This will put an end to things for at least three months but I will remember this autumn that lasted a month longer than usual.

Constable Wallop Brook

 I picked this rod up at the Grayling Society Auction at the last Symposium. What a cracking little rod !!! . I am getting increasingly fond...