Magical Light

Whilst standing on the bridge trying to decide which colour of polaroid lenses would be best for the light conditions I was entertained by a treecreeper working its way up the trunk of a nearby tree. I decided to pay a bit more attention than usual to the water immediately above the bridge and after about half an hour managed to tempt a decent 36 cm grayling from a corner pool on a single peacock quill nymph.

( Peacock quill nymph dressing: A very small black or gunmetal tungsten bead head followed by a slightly larger gold head bead on a size 16 klinkhammer hook, Tail – grizzle cock hackle fibres, body – peacock eye stripped quill then varnished, thorax – peacock herl green, thorax cover – bronze mallard flank) Various combinations of bead sizes and materials can be used to produce a range of sink rates.


I then spent an hour moving upstream without further fish so I changed to a pink hot spot shrimp (tungsten bead hotspot) plus a small grey UV ice dub nymph on a short dropper. I felt a brief contact with a fish having changed my tactics so I moved on to fish through a nice streamy run between the Metal Bridge and Dairy Pool and missed one good take before hooking and returning a lively and pretty wild brown which must have been 20cm in length.

The pink hot shot shrimp did the business.


As I was walking back to the bottom of the run for a quick snack John A and Elliott appeared in the trusty landrover to check on my progress. Amongst a variety of subjects we talked about were a couple of salmon kelts that I had seen, one very slim, alert and in good condition, whilst a second one looked very ragged having lost many scales and was much more lethargic in its movement. Strange how two fish of similar size travelling to similar parts of the river for the same purpose can suffer different fortunes which can mean the difference between life and death.

Once John and Elliott had departed I fished through the run again and for a second time missed a postive take from a very good grayling which I saw swim off downstream. My mood was soon lightened as I continued fishing when I hooked and landed a 39cm grayling which fought hard all the way to the net. A quick
photograph and measure against the scale on my rod then back into the water to swim away strongly after a short recovery period.

I continued upstream and had my third grayling 32cm, from a pool below Deadmans before moving up to fish a run below Crab Orchard where I had two sprod grayling and a fiesty brown trout of about 33cm. The Shrimp pattern was the most successful acounting for two good grayling plus two brown trout whilst the nymph dropper only interested the smaller fish which I guess were lying higher in the water column. The shrimp photo is of the actual fly used.

On my return journey back to the car the combination of cloud, patches of blue sky and a setting sun produced some really magical light which is hard to capture with a camera but I hope the photos give some idea of what it was like.


Another good day and hopefully time for one more before the season ends,

Tony