Sunday, 16 September 2012

Returning favours

I have already expressed my exctiement about the wet summer allowing us a very productive back end and, indeed, the river does look good. Therefore, I find it strange that I'd like just a little bit of rain to pick up the levels. You'd have thought I'd had enough of the stuff. Perhaps with the cooler mornings and the strengthening breeze, my thoughts are turning to Autumn. Certainly my thoughts are turning to grayling. Although September is amongst my favourite fishing months and it's no coincidence that it heralds some of my biggest brown trout. I still have every hope of some more cracking wild fish before the trout season ends.

Today I was meeting up with Mark, an excellent angler, and the person who had first introduced me to a favourite (and very much visited) stretch of river. My turn perhaps to pay back the favour as I introduced him to some techniques to get the most out of the season's back end and the joy that is the grayling season.

Before he arrived, I couldn't help but get to work running the nymphs through some very good looking water. Despite careful wading, my first sighting of a fish was darting for cover amongst a plume of silt. A reminder that the river is at its lowest since May (now there's a sentence I didn't think I'd write!).

Not long though, and the first trout came bouncing to hand.

A small, but welcome brown trout

Working my way through the likely runs and seams, a better brownie took a nymph with gusto and put up a spirited fight before gracing the net.

A better fish, fighting much more than its size suggested

I was also really pleased to make contact with a grayling. Not a big fish, but the rumours are that they are showing themselves which is a good sign for the coming winter. They have been elusive this Summer.

A grayling from some slower, deeper water

Every trip, you learn something new or experience something new. Now, I don't know what this is... On a fence post was a huge gathering of black ants (big ones too!) and they were all dead and apparently stuck together. Anyone have any ideas? My only thoughts were that, perhaps they had been attracted to the new post's sap and had met a rather sticky end? Well it sounds plausible to me...
The Black Ant mystery...

 Mark worked his way through some very productive water and really got to grips with some new techniques. I love fishing, but thoroughly enjoy watching others. The joy of guiding I suppose is watching others make contact with fish and really enjoying their fishing too.

Mark, running the nymphs skillfully along a foam line

Mark unhooks a fish that fell to the nymph

The wind picked up and made good presentation a little more challenging. No worries though; job done.

Guided days and casting tuition is available at the River Fly Box



Suburban Flyman said...

Dave the ants are possibly from a songbird or Green Woodpecker anting. Applying ant secretion to their feathers and then clearing the beak on the post. Enjoying the blog. Cheers Mike.

Dave Wiltshire said...

Interesting, thanks Mike. There are a good number of green woodpeckers in the area and I saw several that morning. Have not heard of that behaviour before. What does the any secretion do for their feathers... some sort of waterproofing?


cofisher said...

Great looking water and beautiful fish...size not withstanding. Nice!

Suburban Flyman said...

The ants produce formic acid - as the bird agitates the ants the acid is squirted from the abdomen. I am not sure it waterproofs more acts as repellent against parasites and infection. It is odd how it has discarded them - obviously was not impressed with the taste but they are crushed by a bill.