NEWS and Events.


February - grayling

It all looks cold and it all looks glum
Not so my pessimistic chum
The ground is hard, the waters' cold 
The fish are here, so have no fear
A hook through my thumb, I glad it's numb
It could have been worse or so I'm told.
One in the lip, would take the pip.
                                            anon (2006)
 (well nobody would admit to it)

Last week I had the opportunity to take a friend grayling fishing on the Avon, all was ready (or so I thought).

I arrived on time but my friend had already warned me that he would be late, so nothing else for it. Tackle up and start without him. Out came my 7'9" Hardy Gem smuggler, I started to put the rod together to find that one of the spigots was loose, then another was loose. No good, I will have to wax the spigots again - no, the spigot wasn't loose it had come unglued from the other section of the rod. This did not bode well for a good days fishing. Out came my 9' Orvis T3. Boots on, leggings on, jacket on, net ... net, where is my net. There are usually 3 in the car - who cleaned out my car?. Silence - that would be me then I guess.

Ok, I am fishing barbless and will be releasing everything so the lack of a net is not a real problem, I can reach in and release easily on this water without a problem.

Quick walk to the water, start fishing with a sawyers bug, one knock which I missed, a few more casts and then the phone rings. It is my friend, I ask the obvious question - "where are you?". I get an unusual answer - "watching you doing wiggle casts", "was I.... Oh yes I was". A few minutes later we are both back at the car park. My friend is trying to get some thermals on but as the car park is the Church car park and they are getting ready for a wedding it all turns into a farce.

Kitted out, togged up, tackled up and anything else we could think of we set off for the river. My friend has opted for an odd rod that has an aircraft warning beacon on the top or it should have. Ok it wasn't that long.

Let me explain a couple of things, I have fished this section of the Avon for over 40 years, my friend has never been here before. Me - guide, friend - guest. So my friend gets setup with some secret flies he knocked up for the occasion fished "Spanish style" a bit like "New Zealand style" but with a longer link.

Me, I am still fishing with a plain old nymph. I must admit that I have not fished here in the winter for about 30 years, so this could be interesting.

My friend is straight into a fish, then another and another. So I change over to follow the winning formula. No good. So my friend lends me his rod - now I am into a fish. Suddenly I am be guided by my guest.

We end the day having caught a number of very beautiful grayling mostly around a pound and in excellent condition. The best fish was over 2 lbs. Being a very modest person I can say it wasn't me, the trouble is, it wasn't me it was my guest turned mentor.

What do you expect if you take Charles Jardine fishing.


Tight lines.