Wednesday, 8 March 2023

Big Grayling, Barbel No-Shows.


 A good three weeks has passed since I had a decent trip out after anything so I had to put that right. After an exchange of messages Mike and I were R.Wylye bound, however given the fact Brian hasn't had much chance to get out following his invasive treatment I thought it would be good to get him in on the act and get amongst some of the best Grayling fishing this country has to offer, very kindly a couple days later I got the all clear from Mike that Brian could come along, I had a sneaky feeling he would enjoy himself.

 Before we stepped foot on the R.Wylye part of the plan was to target Barbel on the R.Itchen, conditions were poor but I am just conscious that we have so little left of the season and would love to get one more river chalked off, however after a few cold hours trying I called it a night around 0300 as I needed some kip so popped to the car for some shut eye. 

 Unfortunately even after a quick fire 30mins rolling meat in the morning which resulted in nothing so we made the 40 mile journey north to the wonderful surroundings of the Wiltshire countryside with the target of trying to achieve a long standing desire of mine, a three-pound specimen Grayling, a fish that has eluded me for the six years that I've been trying (admittedly not very hard), I hoped I would put that right.

 My tackle for the day was my 13ft Drennan compact X-Tension float rod, centrepin loaded with 4.4lb float fish line and an 18'' 3.6lb flourocarbon hooklink and size 14 wide gape hook (micro-barb), a 7BB wire stem float fished with a combo of red and white maggots but not mixed.

Got the trots....

 My day started off really well as I had banked fish of 1lb 10oz, 2lb 1oz and 2lb 2oz in quick succession and hoped the day would follow that similar vein of form. Within thirty minutes the swim had gone pretty quiet so I decided to move on up the river and quickly crossed paths a spirited 1lb 15oz specimen before finding a few smaller ones between 7ozs and 1lb 12ozs ( slightly bigger ) it wasn't until after I'd photographed a beauty for Brian that was when I started to find some better fish much further downstream. 

2.2 & 1.10 under very gloomy skies.

 A super two hours followed where even though it was very hard graft getting bites and indeed keeping the Grayling on the hook a run of six fish came weighing 1.10, 1.12, 1.8, 2.2, 2.4 and a mega looking 2lb 11oz pewter clad beauty, which incidentally is the third 2.11 Grayling I've caught and all represent my personal best, can't seem to get away from that number :) but with such a pristine fish who could be unhappy about that!

A mint 2.4

Then this amazing creature at 2lbs 11oz

Always wanted this shot!

 That run of fish seemed to spell the end of my days big fish as I wrapped up the day with five fish over 1.8 to 1.12 by which point the sun was going down and we both called a day, Mike had had a great day too landing a couple of 2lbs Grayling and a handful of smaller fish and Brian' day...well you can read it here Brian' Blog I think he would say he had a "cloud nine" kind of day. Must say I really enjoyed myself too.


  1. Awesome trip (once I stopped my comedy of errors). Beautiful river and fantastic fish - thanks for the invite.

    1. I am so glad you got amongst them in the end, there are some superb fish in there!

  2. Love how dark they go, stunning looking fish when they are like that, sounds a cracking day..

    1. It was a super days fishing and yes, those big Grayling take on an amazing colour when they get above 2.4/2.8lb. They really darken up and their dorsal fin takes on astounding array of colours, juve's are just plain, the big adults are resplendent!

  3. Replies
    1. I could not complain, it was a super days fishing and glad Brian and Mike caught well too!

  4. Sounds a great day, definitely a different spin on Brian's blog! good work both!

    1. It worked out well for us both mate, it was a great day, shame the Barbel on the Itchen are vegan.....


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