The end of the trout season in October signifies different things to different people. For some it is the time to pack their rods and fly boxes away, stay warm in doors as the weather gets cooler and look forward to fishing again in the spring. Perhaps for others, it is the transition between fishing and shooting: swapping rods for guns ~ and with pheasants becoming the quarry in place of trout. However, as with many anglers, it is for me the chance to target grayling. Beautiful, slender fish with that magnificent dorsal fin, they offer a great prize for the angler: especially one that is willing to face cold, frosty weather. I will be honest: I almost prefer catching grayling than trout - I look forward to the time when you can go 'all-out' for these fantastic fish.
A brownie, picking at drifting nymphs:
However, I feel that anticipation for the start of the trout season that I have always done - the onset of spring and the reminder of early season nymphing blending into superb hatches of up-wings or caddis; fish showing all over the surface of the stream with the evening crescendo.
The winter months are also a time for replenishing the fly boxes, tying up favourite patterns and even adding a few new ones to try on the trout. There is something very pleasing with sitting at the vice and tying a fly that you have planned for specific river or even a certain pool or run. You can almost imagine tying it on the leader, making the cast and letting it fish through the pool. Exciting.
I have struggled to make it to the river recently. But when time has allowed, I've been getting the boxes filled with rows of neatly tied flies, all in preparation for coming trips.