05/03/2020 - End of season panic starts here!

It's that time again. A sense of deja vu. The end of the river season fast approaching and still so many targets yet to be achieved and venues yet to be visited. Suspect I'll still be playing catch up this time next year, particularly if the end of season "washout" becomes a permanent fixture. 

Thankfully the weather seems to have sorted itself out for the time being - welcome respite for some parts of the country and a window of opportunity for anglers everywhere. However, with local rivers like the Trent and the Derwent still having some way to go before they are back to "normal" winter levels, it's still a case of looking further afield and higher up the catchments to find some fishable water. For that reason, I headed west on the A50 into Staffordshire once more in search of a decent grayling. Whilst I has spent most of the week closely montoring the water levels on .GOV.UK there was still a sense of trepidation before I got my first sight of the river. I needn't have worried as it was running at a good level and had a nice tinge of colour to it - not tapwater as on my previous visit! Looking back at the obvious line of muddy footprints leading across the field form my car I was also confident that nobody else had been recently.

It was looking even better when, in the first swim, I had a grayling on only my second run down with the float. However, after my last two sessions on the river, I'd learned not to count my chickens and so it proved. Once again it was a case of catching the odd fish here and there, with somes spots appearing to be completely barren. What has also been noticeable this year has been the lack of small grayling. Whether these have been moved on by the floods or have been victims of predation (I've seen evidence of both the furry and feathered kind) is debatable. However, having seen the "remodelling" done by the power of water alone - whole bushes and trees ripped out and carted off downstream since my last visit - I wouldn't want to be a little fish living in a spate river while it's in flood!

By mid-afternoon I'd reached the bottom of the section and had 12 grayling and a single chub that had caused me some fun and games in some tree roots. Four of the grayling were over the pound mark - 1lb 2oz, 1lb 4oz and two at 1lb 6oz. Judging by the number of maggots down the necks of those that I'd caught they must have been feeding well. There just wasn't the numbers there.

Headed home on the A50 with mixed emotions. I might have one more chance at the grayling a bit closer to home before the season's end - it's a while since I had a 2lber - but my next session will for something completely different.

1 comment:

  1. Stunning looking grayling, they always look great in the last two weeks of the season