Ok – even though I have caught grayling in the past it has been totally by accident, usually when I am on the Clyde fishing for trout I pick one or two up. I have only ever been proper grayling fishing once before and conditions were poor – not only was it cold it was also a howling gale – not that they mind the cold much.
Anyway – I decided it was time to go proper winter grayling fishing so had to get suitably attired so that I would not moan about the cold all day (something I am aware I am notorious for – as well as coming down with blinding migraines) – so I was prepared with: three pairs of socks, two pairs of thermal long johns, two thermal vests, two t-shirts, a polar buff, a wind proof jacket and my fishing jacket and waders – of course this was all topped off with a classy hat stolen from the wife.
As it was I did not get to put on my actual fishing gear as the river was bloody frozen!
My pal Campbell told me he had once caught 30 in the one day , my pal Allan told me they average a pound and a half – therefore I was expecting to catch thirty fish averaging a pound and a half – no such luck in these conditions.
The drive to the river was a mixture of highs and lows – really quite literally – at one point we were happy that the temp was minus 4, we then got a bit down as it plummeted to minus 13, we were then elated when it reached a rather balmy minus one just before we got to the river only for it to plummet back down to minus 13 again to ensure that the river was absolutely full of groo (thats floating ice to non anglers) making throwing bugs around pretty difficult – Campbell assured us his bugs would smash through the ice however seemingly the Grayling do not fancy the cold much. Additionally at these temps not only does your reel seize up your bug also transforms into an ice cube which are notoriously hard to get a fish to keep in its mouth unless it is chilling with a Gin!
Additionally in the half hour we walked along the river bank Campbell’s beard turned white with the cold while Allan informed us he could not now feel his face meant actually being in the water for any length of time ensured freezing cold nuts (I had a packet of KP Jumbo Salt & Pepper Flavour Peanuts in my pocket for energy if the going got tough)
The river was only a few steps away from actually being a glacier – not that it was not the most prettiest sight of the winter – I mean it was pretty damn impressive – we could actually hear the ice moving in the water..
There was quite a lot of mist rising from the water – if you used your imagination it looked as if the water was actually lovely and warm and inviting – a bit like a hot tub – you could just strip off and jump into the lovely warm water – certain death would probably ensue however I did say it was supposed to be in your imagination.
Maybe some folk would have actually dived in (figuratively) and had a cast however we decided to get our asses back to the fishing hut before bolting back up the road – even the cat seemed surprised we were out..
Anyway, it was not all bad news – it meant I was forced to get my JVice out and tie some flies – it was great and now it is out I have decided it will stay out for the remainder of the “tying season” – not only have I bugs to tie up but also a brand new selection of dry flies for next year – judging by the amount of trout fishing I did this year by my reckoning next year I should need at least a dozen – not of each pattern - a dozen full stop #smile#
Oh – for this week you can take your pick of any of the pictures above for the 50th tenuous fishing photo – they are all on a shaky hook.
Any of you guys doing any fishing at the moment?
Let me know in the comments!