I waited till the weather warmed up a bit and went out fishing on Monday for my first trip of 2011. I had decided it was time to catch my first Frome pike (I must admit I have seen very few there, never mind caught one). I cast to the likely spots with my usual pike flies, from small budgerigar-sized down to some more subtle ones, but could not provoke any response. Will rethink tactics and try again soon.

I didn’t want to end the day with a blank, so switched to grayling. They seemed to be more cautious than usual (water was quite clear) and declined both orange and pink nymphs, but were taken in by more subtle Czech nymphs, and fought strongly.

Despite their lack of interest in bright colours, I couldn’t resist trying the yellow ‘sweet corn’ fly again, and as it rose up at the end of its third drift I watched a big grayling come up after it, hit it hard and turn away. Despite the solid pull, the fish was gone, and just like the last time out, the sweet corn fly proved to be a ‘one hit wonder’, and I could not get another fish to look at it.

Still, a very enjoyable day, temperature somewhere around 7C, so coffee and a Chelsea bun on the riverbank were more a luxury than a necessity, but very tasty all the same.


PS the Czech nymph pictured needs the barb pinching down!