Monday, 18 November 2013

And so to Grayling

Ian into one of several Grayling
Now that the salmon season is over on the river Eden our thoughts turn to Grayling fishing. The Grayling is a fish that "in my opinion" certainly doesn't get the reverence it deserves and is often simply seen as an ancillary to salmon and trout fishing. However, when it becomes the only target species available on the river to the Game Angler, therefore creating a welcome extension to the season, (especially on the fly) only then do people actually realise the full potential of this magnificent fish. 

Another good specimen
With water conditions continuously fluctuating over the last 3 weeks, a trait that any avid Grayling fisher will tell you is not ideal as results are consistently better during periods of more settled conditions, we have had to work hard for good results. That said I was recently guiding on the Eden for several members of the English Police Fly Fishing Association, (EPFFA) who certainly understood this, but despite these difficult conditions they still managed to tempt a few of these, often fickle fish, to take their flies. A good result in the circumstances!

Colin also had one or two
The most successful method in the recent high (but clear) water levels has been a variety of heavier offerings in the form of weighted nymphs etc, using a short line Czech Nymph approach, which is usually the case with Grayling, but once the water does decide to settle for a spell, and some anglers will be surprised to hear this, we will see some good results to spiders and dries at times too, usually in the middle of a crisp winter day when the sun decides to bless us with a slightly milder spell, often around mid day, and an hour or so either side. This will sometimes encourage very sparse hatches to occur, (usually midges or the odd olive) over a short period of time, giving us a small window of opportunity to tempt these predominantly bottom feeders to the surface during the long winter months.

A keen fisher under the far bush
I was hoping to indulge in a reconnaissance trip today to identify as many productive areas as possible before arranging a few trips for the near future, as I have several eager people awaiting the nod from me to let them know when conditions are worthy of a visit. Unfortunately I have had to put that off (yet again) due to a rising and colouring water from yesterdays additional rain. No fear though, as it will not stay up forever and I will be dropping you guys an email soon. You can see from the picture on the right that the river is out of order again for now, but if you click on the picture to enlarge it you will see that the difficult conditions haven't discouraged all from venturing out.