On Saturday I headed for the River Test in search of my first grayling accompanied by James who has had some recent successful trips to the river. A 4.30 am start and a long journey saw us on the riverbank at eight, just in time to watch the sun rise.
And reveal the murky water - it seems I'd brought my grayling luck along with me, and as we soon discovered it was going to be difficult.
After chucking a few lures about for pike we set up the trotting gear and headed off in search of a grayling. And I got one pretty early on - mission accomplished, my first grayling of about 6oz was in the net - plenty of time to find a pounder.
The early success wasn't the story of the day, we both worked really hard to find them and getting them to stay on the hook, especially the bigger ones proved nearly impossible - made even more frustrating because they came straight to the surface before twisting back into the depths shedding the hook. Giving a tantalising glimpse of what you would have won.
We covered a lot of water, meeting back up occasionally - each hoping that the other had found the secret - no it was just tough going. Eventually I stopped moving about and opted to build a swim, which proved a good call in the end.
If I had landed everything I hooked I would have bagged up, probably loosing 2 grayling for every one I landed (and I managed to loose what felt like a good pike on a plug).
My hard work resulted in 15 grayling to about 10oz and half a dozen or so trout thrown in for good measure. A tough day but a beautiful place and a the result I was after - my first grayling.