I must admit during the week it's not often I get up before the alarm goes off but today I did, up, dressed and coffee made in the Stanley mug and I was out the door well before half six! This felt good until 15 minutes later I was nearly at the river and it was still dark, I do a fair amount of bass fishing in the dark which isn't a problem on tame rocks, gravel or sand, but I didn't fancy stumbling around on boulders in a weir pool with no head torch. I eased up on the cruise control(courtesy car, Vauxhall meriva, terrible) and took my time, I needn't have worried as by the time I'd put the line through the rings and got the waders on a lovely soft light started to light the valley, picking out the tops of some tall trees on the far side first, they shone a deep reddy brown.
I had the 10wt for a quick go for a toothy one as well as the old Daiwa Lochmor 8ft 4wt with me, I've really enjoyed using this little rod again recently, and it's just thing for generally prospecting with small nymphs and dries once the sun is a little higher.
After walking down the lane and cross a stile or two I leant the Lochmor against a tree on the bank and made my way upstream of a slack in between reeds where a tongue of current runs in. Clipped to the wire trace is my favourite early morning or late evening Pike snack, a Gartside gurgler tied on a 6/0 big mouth extra weith the barb crushed down, it's not the easiest thing to cast but the commotions that it's air resistant body create on the surface when you pop and gurgle it across a likely looking spot definitely ring the dinner bell for old Esox the toothy one! I popped it into the first spot with no interest, mainly due to the fact it's full to the brim with cabbage weed, that combined with the lower summer levels mean there's not a great deal of room for a large predator to inhabit, but it's always worth a chuck! Another step or two and I worked out a little more line, landing the fly on the other slack side of the current I threw a mend in the line and stripped once, stripped twice... BANG!!! What followed was quite a show, not a big fish by any stretch of the imagination but wowzers was he ever full of beans! I could have a stab at describing the acrobatics but luckily I had the GoPro on me so here's a little over a minute of the best bits, parts have been slowed down a touch for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy:)
After that I tried a couple of other spots for Pike with no joy so put the 10wt down and had some fun with the Lochmor, I caught plenty of Chub, Dace and a few Grayling, mostly on nymphs but by mid morning they were taking midges and a few olives off the surface so I switched to a size 18's emerger which seem to fool them adequately. I side note on Grayling, I'm amazed how many I'm catching on the river these days, it's a large, lowland stretch I'm fishing but I think the weir and addition of the trend in later years for the level to be very low for many months of the year mean certain locations are now booming with ladies, these aren't big fish, mostly they're around 6-8oz and just today I caught 2 that were no bigger then my little finger so they're obviously breeding, could be interesting in a few years...
I suppose really I should've been looking for a trout or two as the season is over next Saturday, hopefully we'll have a bright day during the week so it stays light to a decent hour meaning I can get to the river after work, it's always nice to end the summer with a few spots, fingers crossed!...