River Witham

River Witham
River Witham near Barkston, Lincolnshire

Friday, 11 November 2011

Grayling Society Symposium, Appleton-in-Westmorland

Last Saturday morning I was up at 5am bleary eyed and set off for Appleby, a mere 150 miles, to attend The Grayling Society's annual symposium.

A great weekend was had, starting on Saturday with talks from Simon Johnson Director of the Eden Trust and Paul Proctor, guide, angling consultant & writer, followed by a demonstration from Jeremy Lucas on his leader-to-hand technique (a relative of French nymphing), down on the river Eden.
A glimpse into Jeremy fly box!
This was followed by a slap up dinner, and charity auction which raised a princely £1300! At dinner I sat with Jim Fairgrieve of the Scottish National Fly Fishing team and his wife which was illuminating.

Next morning saw by bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, and up at the Warcop beat on the Eden for a days nymphing for the 'ladies'. I was joined by Jim and 3 others and we spread ourselves about the beat. I'd tackled up with my 10' #3 weight Streamflex, with a furled silk leader, level Stroft tippet and 2 nymphs, a weighted shrimp on the point and copper-bead PNT on the dropper.  I went upstream and was into a small out-of-season brownie on the PTN almost immediately.

 In turned into a very pleasant day, water was cold to wade in but the sun came out periodically to warm us up, and with very little breeze it wasn't difficult to fish.

 In the morning I picked up a further brown (to a #16 PTN) and a one grayling.  In the afternoon I went downstream, and had another couple of grayling all to the weighted shrimp.
 Wading quite deep (above my waist) on a delicious bend into a sandstone cliff I attempted to dead-drift my flies along the near edge (seam) of the main flow and felt a very gentle take that then felt like I'd hooked a submerged log!  This log then rolled and pulled, as I had very little line out I was trying to play the fish on the reel, when it came to the surface.  Wow it was a 'log' of a fish definitely over 40cm, and in my excitement/fear I bullied it and when it rolled again it threw the hook.  Drat, and double-drat, that would have certainly been a PB.  Well it happens, c'est la vie as the say.

I fished on to dusk, and returning to the car met Jim tackling-down, telling me that he had too many grayling, including 1 of 43cm and 1 of 45cm, and 6 or 7 broons!!  Well he is an expert, and he was using the French leader nymph technique.  I must try this I thought.

Back home I've done my research and made up my own 12m leader set up to try out next week on the River Derwent , in Tyne & Wear.

1 comment:

  1. I love seeing pics of fly boxes! Great blog, you got a new follower!