Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Merry Christmas All.

To all who have shared my angling exploits this year, to friends old and new, brothers and sisters of the angle. I thank you, one and all and wish you a very 'Merry Christmas'  and a prosperous new year.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Grayling - Back Amongst the Ladies

What is it about angling for this little fish that captivates us so. They seem to be loved by everyone that throws a line.
 Perhaps it's the anticipation.....
 James had told me that he would be angling for grayling and asked if I'd like to join him again. We had such a great time last year that it made me wish for the winter months to arrive a little quicker this year. I do love my winter fishing and the addition of grayling to my winter list just seems to be the icing on the cake. 
 The Speedia was oiled for the occasion, something I do far too infrequently. I do make things difficult for myself because the addition of just one drop of oil makes such a difference.
 With the bait sorted and tackle ready, an early start was in order.
Perhaps it's the tackle...
 The Allcocks Lucky Strike seems to be just about perfect for small stream grayling fishing. I will  admit that I've not actually tried anything else but I just don't need to. I have no problem at all trotting a traditional style float all day with the Lucky/Speedia combo. Some people actually claim that cane is heavy, it's not. OK, it is heavier than carbon, but let's face it, if you can't hold a bit of bamboo all day.......
Perhaps it's the river....
 The chalkstream, a fragile environment , bestowed upon us by this diverse and wonderful country of ours. How lucky we are to be able to idle away hours of our lives in such enchanting places.
 We arrived at first light, that first glimpse from the bridge giving all the information we needed to assess the days fishing. Low, cold , clear...for any other species I'd have been worried, yet I revelled in the sight before me.
Perhaps it is the company....
 James is a good companion. He's fished the stretch more than me and knows the swims well. Like myself, he is fortunate to have a knowledgable angling father who has taught him a little too well. 
 My love of solitude dictates that I give much thought to who I choose to fish with.
Perhaps its the joy of angling.....
 Having caught a few small grayling upstream I took a stroll to a swim I did well in last year. I could clearly see a few fish present, just drifting into view as they snaffled  passing red maggots.
 The cast is often grabbed by the overhead branches but I succeeded in avoiding the twiggy grasp and the float was on it's way, effortlessly towing line from the Speedia.
 The orange tip vanished and the strike connected. The dark cane of the 'Lucky' flexed it's steel against the fish, which was now sitting in the fast central flow. Such strength for such a small fish. He was no match for such a classic combination though and he was eventually mine.
Perhaps it's the fish.....
 I once read somewhere that a grayling looks like it has been knitted. Well I can see exactly what they meant. They have a look all of their own. Those exquisitely  iridescent colours, that gorgeous sail of a fin, those eyes.
 Add to that the tenacity of a fish twice it's size. The strength to hold in the current, that fight and their wirey, muscular contortions when held a little too tightly for their liking....I love 'em.

We caught many. We once again had a fine day, a day to remember. I could wax lyrical about it all, but will save some for another day.

 What is it then, what does a grayling have that strikes a chord with all brothers and sisters of the angle?

 I'll tell you what it has.....

.........It has it all.