Winter Grayling

A good friend of mine rang last night for a bit of a catch up, and as always fishing was the topic, we chatted fishing, about the Chalk Stream Club and the next meeting… So as Lewis is part of the next gathering he decided he had better have his Frome Grayling fix…

In true form catching a fair amount of big Grayling topped by this stunning three pound plus fish, photographed by my wife Andrea, while the rest of us were out Redd counting….  Lewis describes his day in a way all of us can relate to…

Today was one of those days that sums up exactly why I love fishing.
Like my fishing brother from another mother, Glen Pointon so rightly said, “fishing runs in my Blood”.
It’s something only us obsessed driven fly bums could relate too and knowing non fishing folk think we’re dead and utter crazy and don’t understand the hype, makes it all the more pleasurable.
This morning I had the urge to start my 2015 off on a high and damn was I in for a treat.
After seeing all the big G-UNITS being caught all over Scotland and from Mr Pointons endless tease of big fish posts on FB. It only seemed right that I paid a visit to a special place that I like to treat myself to every now and again.
So I hopped in the car and off I went.
I had, had countless conversations of this section of river not producing the goods over the past coming months but I wasn’t going to let this stop me giving it a shot.
And after the sound words of my close friend Sandro Soldarini telling me a few years ago, to focus on fishing tough rivers with not many fish, I went and practiced this approach religiously. (So today’s fishing was right up my street)
Hard fishing to big fussy fish is where I get the biggest buzz from. So I knew it would be a case of “Fish hard and slow or go home”.
(Stealth, presentation and good form but most importantly have fun.)
I didn’t get a take for the first 30minutes so thoughts of the dreaded blank started running through my head. But finally I made contact. A small active little fella but none the less a beautiful grayling.
The next fish did the classic bigger grayling trademark take. The indicator just stopped up and as I lifted I could feel the slow heavy thumps of a nice fish. A grayling of around 2lb. I carried on through up the river until I reached the end of of the section taking 9 more grayling ranging in size.
Knowing I spook a few fish earlier on I thought it would go back and give it 30mins before I headed home. Getting back down to where I had spooked the fish fish of the morning I slowly approached the pool and it didn’t take too long until I was hooked up. Another decent fish of about a pound.
In two minds of whether to leave on a good note or see if I could fool the big shadow I had spooked earlier on. I moved up in to the next run.
Carefully casting and dissecting the water the indicator suddenly froze. I struck and everything went heavy. It felt like I had snagged the bottom, suddenly followed by a really big head shrug.
I knew I was connected to something big.
All of a sudden the thing leapt clean out the water, then again. The emotions quickly turned from excitement to panic. Classic behaviour of not wanting to lose such an awesome fish.
It then shot of down stream like a torpedo. Putting as much side strain as my poor Tippet could cope with I held it and moved him over into the slower water. Leaping again. All I kept thinking is ‘please don’t pull out’. One more dart into the fast current and around my legs and I thought this fish was surely in the net but no off he went again, this time heading under the bank and snagging my dropper. Panicking I slowly moved over to where the fish was now snagged up and quickly scooped the net under. Lifting up all I could see was endless amounts of weed. Pulling the weed off, to my relief, I could finally see a head.
This was a serious grayling.
I then noticed my phone had run out of battery (what are the odds).
As I had my huge pan net I carefully propped the net and fish in a back eddy and ran to my car to grab a camera and my Salter Scales.
Measuring 51 1/2cm and weighing 3lb 2oz. To say I was a happy man was an understatement.
What a day.

Lewis Hendrie

Our video clip…



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