Since November I haven't managed to connect to anything large Grayling wise and I know the right locations are being fished, conditions in fairness have not been perfect on any of the trips but when you travel a round trip of more than 5 hours you have to stick to it. Armed with three pints of mixed maggots, bread and sweetcorn I was ready, arriving at dawn with the intention of fishing through dusk and make the absolute most of the opportunity.
|What is there not to love about a brisk winter's morning trotting.|
Brian and I decided to fish areas we knew fairly well and things were looking hard from the beginning as we noticed immediately that the river was up 2-4 inches but running like chocolate, not what you want to see when targeting Grayling, more akin to targeting Chub. Nevertheless we got to building a couple of swims each and working them furiously. When fishing for Grayling usually I find either bites come really quickly or they take a fair amount of time where the fish are either tight to near/far side vegetation or they are further down the run and take time to draw them up to the trotting run.
|4lb mainline just in case a large takes a liking to the hookbait.|
I had a dilemma with the bait situation as with the visibility poor I felt sweetcorn would be better as it is bigger and bolder in colour but with the maggots there would be more of them covering a larger area and drawing them in from wider areas as they hit the creases and get deposited, yes that means probably taking longer to catch them but with the maggots I felt more confident for some reason, over an hour had passed before the float slipped under which resulted in my first Grayling of the day, only around the 10oz mark but it was a start, then the Trout found the loose feed in the murky water and started to attack my hookbait, three came in quick succession.
The Grayling procession did come along when the Trout either had all been caught or wised up, the latter is unlikely though knowing their unstoppable love for maggots and any bait for that matter. Nothing large did show until half way through the day when I slipped the net under a nice fish of 1.10, not massive by Frome standards, however it finally represented a photographic opportunity, hard to imagine there hadn't been one until then!. Slow wasn't the word but after slipping that Grayling back to the unusually murky depths a large spent Salmon charged around the shallows below me and provided a brilliant spectacle, the Kelt was estimated to be approaching the 20lb barrier and a very impressive creature, such a shame it probably wouldn't see the next week.
|Best of the day, it was tough!|
The larger Grayling were proving very elusive and I fished my socks off and trying everything possible, by this point dusk was approaching and the temperature dropped from around 3c to -2c or -3c in a matter of minutes, it wasn't even dark when both mine and Brian's nets were frozen stiff, not particularly comfortable but you have to be in it to win it, no prizes won for sitting at home, or already packed up on the way home. We both stayed through dusk into night and switched over to a short running ledger rig baited with corn to try and tempt a nocturnal Grayling, an hour later and without as much as an indication of life we then headed to a nice war pub for some well earned grub and plenty of drink. We shall be back but boy it has not been easy and for every one of these tough trips just makes my personal best Grayling feel even greater of an achievement than I had already felt.
|A very large sky, beautiful sight.|