27/01/2015 - Grayling galore!
After the success of my last trip and with the weather set to take another turn for the worst, I was itching to get out a bag a few more grayling. A check of the EA river level readings showed that the river had been dropping nicely over the last few days, so I duly booked the day off and set off down the A50 to Staffordshire once again. As I turned into the carpark I was pleased to see that, at least for the time being, I had the river to myself. When I got home from the last trip and looked at the map I found that I'd not actually gone right up to the top of the section, so I had a leisurely stroll across the fields to see what I'd missed. There was an obvious, but tight little pool at the upstream boundary, so that's where I started - running a double maggot on a size 16 past some hawthorns under a small stickfloat. A few trots down and I had my first fish of the day.
Off the mark
Unfortunately the inevitable happened and I got tangled in the above-mentioned hawthorns (doh!) and, whilst I successfully retrieved my tackle, I'd probably put paid to any more fish out of the swim so made my way downstream, dropping into any likely spots no matter how small. Had a couple out of little pool about as big as my bath just by lowering the float in off the rod top.
Worth a go!
One was a little tiddler that must have struggled to get the double maggot in its mouth, but nice to see given that there'd been a recent, serious pollution incident upstream.
A little one on the "rhubarb and custard"
Came to the first of the swims I'd fished last time. Whilst the river level was only up by a few centimetres from last time, the swim was noticeably more "boily". However, the long rod proved a help rather then a hinderance this time, allowing me to guide and hold the float in a little slack to the left of the main flow.
Spot the float!
Had a couple of small ones, before my next strike was answered by a good thump and the sight of a better fish twisting madly under the surface. Let him do the normal grayling trick of hanging like a dead weight in the current, before easing him upstream and into the waiting net.
Got into a nice rhythm, flicking in a few maggots and then watching the stick float trundle after them, my only interruptions the azure blue flash of the kingfisher heading upstream and the acrobatics of a treecreeper on the trunk of an alder opposite. Carrie on picking a couple of fish out of each deep hole before moving on downstream. The "twin alders" produced the goods again with another couple of fish over the 1lb mark. The sun even managed to peek through at this stage, lighting up one of the better fish for his release shot.
Next swim down was where I had previously dropped onto a number of better fish. However, it was just the one this time. The pattern seemed to be that individual swims weren't as prolific as last time...or was it just because I had itchy feet and wasn't spending so long in each one??
Another nice one
By the time the light started to fade at about 4 o'clock I'd covered and seen a bit more of the river and had 33 grayling, including 8 over the 1lb mark up to 1lb 5oz. Whilst the average size won't raise any eyebrows, this little river had again provided me with great sport and I walked back to the car for a well-earned bacon sarnie and a coffee more than satisfied with my day.
As an aside, I'd googled the collective noun for grayling without much success (pod?) so, based on their bonkers antics when hooked, I thought I'd come up with my own - a "gyration" of grayling!