Thursday, December 17, 2009
A lot less rain than in previous weeks and the river has fined down to a level that is now fishable for Grayling. One regular up from Dorset had a fish approaching 2lb, on a tiny pink nymph with a ton of weight to get it down in the flow. The fish was in peak condition and was not the biggest in the glide that he hauled it out of. A high proportion of the intense rain that we received in preceding weeks ran straight off the valley into the river, resulting in a quick rise in level and deepening of colour. Forty-eight hours after the last shower the river had cleared and has maintained a reasonable level at about what is expected at this time of year. The spring ditches on this stretch have started to flow, although the long ditch that leads up through the village and beyond is not flowing that high up it’s seasonal valley. Two days of this week were spent retrieving the tractor from a boggy morass in the wood. While ambitiously attempting to get close to a recently fallen Ash Tree, the tractor faltered and broke through the surface of the soggy water meadow. There is still a lot of water making its way down into the aquifers which bodes well for the coming months.
The Grayling Fisherman who fished this week has fished here for some time with a fishing friend of long standing. Sadly his friend died recently and the chap is now fishing alone. The impression that some non-fishers have of fishing is that of a solitary pursuit. In my experience the exact opposite is the truth. Most anglers have a friend, or friends, that they fish with on a regular basis. I have my own group of fishing friends, and the camaraderie and team play when fishing is as intense as it is when participating in team sports. Fishing alone has its rewards, but if a fishing pal should turn up unexpectedly then the banter and conversation rattles around like machine gun fire. The Grayling Fishermen had been left some tackle by his friend, which he used for much of the morning. I visited him on the bank in the afternoon, and noticed that he had reverted to his own tackle. I asked why he had made the change to which he replied, “ I always did catch more than he did when we came here, and now I know why!” instigating a clap of thunder and a bolt of lightening that sent the lone fisher scuttling rapidly to the hut.
The eggs in the baskets are now eyed up. The microscopic eggs that I took from the two-year-old fish have been far more successful than the eggs from the three-year-old fish. The Brown Trout in the river look to be recovering well from their recent spawning and as a result of the high water are occupying different lies than they would in the summer.
We have another shoot pending and, with luck, most of the Pheasants are back where they should be. Heavy snow is also forecast which will make the day a little different.