As far as seasons go. 2016 has so far been one to forget the only hope for redemption is that the grayling will come in at the last lap and rescue the year. So far a lot less fishing has been done than I would like . Time has been in short supply and the only other thing in shorter supply has been water in the local rivers and streams . The last month also resulted in probably my all time shortest trip when one of my much loved Winstons snapped when casting on about the fifth cast , Cant understand why but can only guess it had a weakness following an errant fly or nymph giving it a knock. Anyway as I`m the original owner and have registered the warranty it will very shortly be winging its way to the states for repair.. The accident happened on what was pretty much my last trout trip of the season so at least I wont be without my favourite 8ft 4weight when the new trout season starts next year.
On Sunday I had a day on the Ure , The day was organised by the Salmon and Trout Association and the dales rivers trust. It was essentially a social day held around a 4 hr grayling competition.Its a day for members of the organisation primarily and its a fund raiser. I have never been on the day before but its an annual event going back many years. When I got there I was one of 69 people fishing and looking around the pub where everyone met a few things were obvious, firstly most people knew each other and amongst the crowd were some serious anglers and some old friends. Hot tea and bacon sandwiches were the introduction . Fishy tales and stories of defeats and victories filled the air as could be imagined in a pub full of anglers.
After the draw which put 6 or 8 anglers on a beat of river we all set of to find our allotted section. Myself and three companions were on a beat just upstream of Wensly , very pretty water and as we walked along the river I dropped into the pool below , A nice riffle emptying into a deeper pool looked suitably fishy and I decided to wait for the start time right here . As it got to 12 o clock I started with a size 18 Klink , There was an odd rise and the only insects I could see were a few small olives and sedges , I hoped that the klinks ability to bring fish to the surface would see success so that went on to start with, The third cast the grayling above came to hand , next cast another grayling rose and was netted this time a little six incher. A couple of casts later my cast strayed into the faster broken water and a reasonable out of season trout took and proceeded to cartwheel around the swim . After that I couldn't buy a fish and I moved on.
The next three hours was a struggle, nymphs weren't working at all and rising fish were very rare. The river was low but it was great to fish a new stretch on one of my favourite rivers . On the day the fishing wasn't great but perhaps I should say the catching wasn't great , The fishing was in fact excellent, Met and chatted to several old friends and had a brief chat to Oliver Edwards , First time I have met him and he was a proper gent, On the odd occasion in the past I have met "top" anglers they have sometimes been a bit full of themselves. But he was a proper gent and seemed interested in where we had come from and his commenting that the days fishing had been as hard as he could remember for a while helped the pain of a low catch. Socialising around fishing is something new to me , to me its always been an intensely solitary pastime but more and more I find myself sharing a day with a friend or acquaintance, There is a knack to river fishing and socialising it seems to me that the trick is getting the balance right in how much time you spend with your companion and how much time is spent in solitude.
Its interesting that I ended the paragraph with the word solitude . Its a word that is often misused and misunderstood. All to often confused with loneliness another word that has been on my mind of late. I have a an old friend that is suffering at the moment with loneliness and depression and he asked me how I coped with the loneliness of been out on the river. "Lonely" I questioned "on a river". I can only say that I have often experienced solitude and occasionally been lonely but the two states have never existed togather. Truth is when it comes down to it loneliness is a state of mind, Solitude is a state of being. All my life I have never been happier that when I am alone and fishing a river and if its in my beloved Yorkshire than so much the better, Incidentally I will be back on the Ure in the future weeks and months, I left the angling club on the Ure a year or two ago mainly as I had gained access to one of the wolds chalk streams and you can only fish so many places and felt that I couldnt fish them all. But both decisions weren't my best, I missed the Ure as quickly as I regretted my decision to join the chalk stream syndicate, I am pleased to say that both decisions have now been reversed so one again I can at least look forward to summer days in the dales next year. The blog has been on my mind of late too. I have had several emails and even the odd conversation on the non virtual variety complaining at the lack of activity. Truth is I think to a large extent its run its course, Increasingly I find myself setting down things that perhaps arent in keeping with a fishing blog and then deleting them , Some of you readers may think the last paragraph falls into that catagory well perhaps it does. But the blog is going to continue but its going to change. I guess you the readers will decide if the change is good...