Thursday, 28 October 2010
The Little Avon with BIG potential.
As a youngster, there was a river I used to peer into and watch the trout feeding below a bridge. A couple of decades on, and I finally fished it... but with a fly rod in search of grayling. My thanks to my host, Peter Anderson for his kind invitation to sample an absolute jewel of a stream in South Gloucestershire.
We started the day with a quick look at the water. Nicely coloured and at a good level, prospects were good. It was pretty mild, but there was a brisk breeze. Peter kindly let me fish the first beat, and with a couple of casts, trundling a cased caddis through the runs, I connected with a fish.
A couple more takes followed, although keeping on the hook was somewhat easier said than done. The fish were very forgiving of our presence and even with the shorter rod, short lne nymphing was perfectly possible. Despite some fantastic looking water though, the fish were not fully playing the game. We were having to scratch a little.
Perfect to look at, this run suprisingly didn't deliver:
We split for the latter half of the day, and I picked my way through some lovely looking water, this time with the 10' #4 rod. This gave me the perfect control. A few fish obliged; changing to two flies helped: a cased caddis and a shrimp pattern.
Look at the tail (paddle!) on this beauty:
After a few more takes (and a few more lost fish...) I found a few rising grayling. With initially little sign of fly activity, it was a #20 CDC Shuttlecock that brought the fish up - and some great rises too, watching the fish appear from the depths and assault the fly!
It soon becamce apparent that there were a few spinners about - checking the spiders' webs can be a superb way of identifying the hatches.
A crumpled Pale Watery spinner. Note the length of the tails:
Pale Watery (Baetis Fuscatis spinners were evident. However, these spinners crawl down into the water to lay there eggs, meaning a well presented spider pattern is often what is called for. However, perhaps for another day.
Peter had caught some superb fish and certainly knows his way around this little stream. And what potential it has.
Some handsome grayling for Peter:
A good sized, out-of-season Brown for Peter, carefully released in the water: