Solid Contact With a Fish

Hi John,

Many thanks for the guest tickets which arrived safely, I used the first of them last Thursday 13 August 2009.
Unfortunately the ticket got soaked in my pocket whilst wading so please accept this email as my return for the day.

I started at Lower Bockhampton about 12.30pm and fished up as far as Louds Mill to have a look at the new fish pass. There was a just a tinge of colour in the water so it was difficult to see into the really deep pools to stalk big grayling, the forecast cloud and showers for the afternoon didn’t materialise so it was hot and bright most of the time. There were a few small fish on the shallows but little activity or fly life. The new riffles look good and certainly add character to the lower water and the wider access to the bank makes life a lot easier.

I got back to the car about 4.30pm having failed to interest any fish and drove up to Gascoyne Bridge to have a look at the upper water. As I walked down to the railway bridge above Whitfield Hatches I couldn’t believe the extent to which the Himalayan Balsam has taken hold on the bank. Started to fish back up about 5.15pm trying to remember the places where I used to catch, still no sign of fly or rising fish.

Just before 6pm I was fishing through a pool on the bend about 100 metres above the fishing hut when I made solid contact with a fish. Initially I thought it was a sea trout as a bar of silver cleared the water and headed downstream at a rate of knots but once I got some control over the situation and the fish close to the surface I could see that it was a good grayling. It came out of the water a couple more times before I manged to net it (with some difficulty as I’d only brought a short handle net). I caught it on one of my tungsten bead BWO nymphs.

The fish was in excellent condition, measured 45cm against the rule that is stuck onto my rod, and weighed 1.3kg (about 2lb 15ozs). I had the camera but didn’t bother to take any pictures as I was more concerned about finding a place and method of getting the fish safely back into the water. I eventually found a spot about 40 metres upstream where I could return it and after giving it time to recovery it swam off okay.

I continued to fish up through Cuckoo Pound to the bridge, there were a few sedges hatching but not a lot of interest from the fish although I did have a couple of tentative plucks from something in one pool. Packed up about 7.30pm, totally saturated and knackered after 7 hours spent in pvc waist waders, obviously my fitness level needs working on.

Although I only had a single fish it was a very enjoyable and interesting day seeing the changes to the water and surroundings. I will wait until September to use the second ticket when the weather may be a bit cooler and the fish a bit more active.

Best wishes,