Photograph by Steve Barnett

Friday, 26 September 2014

Easy Way to Autumnal Success

There are a few days left of the trout season and we now have the bonus of some very easy grayling fishing to keep us delighted right up the end. 
The low water conditions, whilst a source of concern, present the careful fisher with some easy access to places that are normally just that bit too hard to fish from the bank. 

It is a favourite ploy of your faithful correspondent to go out on the dry gravel and silt beds and sit cross legged for a while until the fish are relaxed and rising again.
 Here is one such place where being that bit closer renders the task of managing drag just that bit easier and more effective.  The trick being to raise the rod so a minimum of line is on the water and that minimum is kept under control by lots of little sideways, partial, roll casts.  Once you are used to this, it becomes second nature and easy to make these mends without moving the fly unnaturally.  Here you catch grayling in Autumn, brown trout in Summer and wild rainbow trout any time at all...

The pan net with its fine mesh makes releasing fish easy and safe for them.
It does present a problem for my assistant, Henry.  "Where did THAT one go?"

On my Mother river the fly life is amazing even now, but though there are many olives, sedges, yellow sallies, needle flies and willow flies to eat, it is equally amazing how the fish can become preoccupied with little smuts and midges.  There is only one policy really worth trying at times like these and that is the old "match the hatch" plan.  This means you need to have a range of suitable fakes at your disposal and you must keep watching carefully to be aware of the removes at the fishes', now all day, mealtime.

Olives: Grey Duster; Kite's Imperial, Pheasant Tail and Tup's Indispensable (Variant) are my favourites.

Sedges:  Nondescript Sedge and Double Badger are all I use.

Yellow Sallies:  Double Badger does the trick

Needle and Willow Flies:  If the Double Badger isn't working I resort to Phil White's excellent fake that uses a single turkey or goose biot for the wing.  You know when these are on the menu because you can hardly see the flies that the fish are rising to but they will be visible on you as they crawl on your hands, neck and face.  Try not to crush them when you remove them from your person.

Smuts and Midges:  Tiny Grey Dusters work as do the Aphids, but the best of all, especially for grayling, is the Sturdy's Fancy.

Links to the recipes are on the right hand panel of this page.

Make the most of the next few days.  The close season is a long drawn out affair that sends most of us a little potty by Spring...

Regular Rod