Recently, I have been out on the river. How the hell can you do that then, I hear you cry, everything's bloody flooded!
Okay, okay a few weeks ago I was out.
I went up to have a look at my stretch of The Derwent and to see if I could get a mate of mine his first grayling on the BUGS!
Arriving there, we were greeted by biblical rain and a rising river, the worst possible conditions for river fishing, a rising river.
I showed him how to get set up and how to position the flies on the leader, so that they would all be in the taking zone - the bottom two feet.
It was the flies that I chose for him that are worth a mention, as the water was starting to rise I went for a hefty splash of colour, in the team of three, in the form of a Red Tag. No not the old fashioned jobby your grandfather used to use, the new, straight from the continent Red Tag!
Tied on a Jig Hook and featuring modern synthetics and brightly dyed Glo Brite this things has been the downfall of so many grayling, I'm tempted to say that if it really catches on it may be as effective as then Pink Shrimp, allegedly devised by Welsh River boy, now carp angler, sad sad sad, why go to carp!! Tim Hughes.
There is something about this little Red Tag that grayling and very often trout just can't resist!
Anyway the fishing was super tough, BUT he managed to catch his first grayling, and his second, third and fourth as well as a very impressive chub of around 3lb, each of them had taken the Red Tag, fished on the middle dropper.
Pretty little flees with plenty of movement...
Another river I visited was a very swollen, sitting at 1073 on the gauge Welsh Dee. I was there to shoot a feature with new River Champion Terry Phillips, on how he fishes certain flies using braid - nothing new there? Want a bet?
Anyway, he went down one particular run with his not so weighty flies and caught about eight fish, some grayling some out of season trout - does that give the game away on the flies he was using? Doubt it. Anyway I followed him down with his method and only managed one take. Now this could be because he'd just fished through or that I was just rubbish, it certainly wasn't the latter, or was it, you decide? : )
Anyway, the water we were fishing was quite slack in the edges, where Terry had fished, but I was convinced there would be fish further out in the dangerously powerful current which was about waist deep.
I went back to my own method, three bugs on braided leader, fished with a short leader, but how could I fish the water effectively, it was fast and deep, getting a fly down was going to be tricky. Luckily I knew that the water was to be big and had tied up some heavy stuff just in case!
Well, with the help of my massive Bombs, some of which feature three, 5mm Tungsten beads lashed to them, I was able to catch three grayling including the biggest one!
Sacrificial flies are a must, buy these ones actually catch. I had two on the Olive Bomb and one on the scary, heavy, devil may care monstrosity!
First, put on your crash helmet...
Make sure you tie some up!