I haven’t wet a line in this beautiful little chalk stream in over a year, and was really looking forward to wandering the banks, stick ‘n’ pin in hand, hoping to catch my first grayling of the season. Arriving before sunrise we could see the stream had broken it’s banks - but as the sun rose we were relieved see it was still gin clear. It hadn’t been fished in quite some time and we soon discovered the trout were ravenous!
Meeting back at the fishing hut for a nice cup of tea and some breakfast - me, James and Richard realised that although we could spot grayling we couldn’t get through the trout - it was going to be tough going. The trout were always going beat the grayling to the bait, so I scanned the bottom searching for lone grayling. And I found one - a fantastic 2lb 0oz on some shallow gravels. My day was made!
Next I tracked a big grayling upstream for about 40 yards before convincing her to take a bait - great fight - and my second biggest grayling ever at 2lb 4oz - what a brace of fish! Three more grayling including one at 1lb 15oz, a few more trout and three little jacks - turned a tough morning into a proper red letter day. As the light faded it was difficult to drag myself away - can’t wait to return...
2lb 4oz, my second biggest grayling ever.
2lb 0oz, a brace of ‘twos’ - fantastic.
1lb 15oz, nearly a hat-trick!
Thirty one trout, the best two both going about 5lb.
A few days ago while searching for perch I spotted some big old chub, I didn’t have any chub gear - and it was too tight to chuck a lure at them. But James phoned, when I told him what I was watching he abandoned his carp trip and shot down to meet me...
Forgetting his polaroids! So I was fish spotting and James was putting a bait in their path - full account is on James’ blog, but to cut a long story short he had three including a 6lb 3oz monster! Yesterday I had a couple of hours of daylight and I wanted one - to the river...
They were still there, tight to the submerged trees, and after pulling the bait away from a couple of smaller chub I hit the 5lb 9oz beauty (above). A recapture but I’ll take it as my reward! Fishing on for an hour I lost one of a similar size and landed a bonus barbel!!
Mitchell Avocet Silver III 2000 FD. I bought 2 of these reels six years ago and they set me back £12 each, since then I’ve used them for all my fishing (except trotting where I use a centerpin).
I can’t begin to count how many fish they’ve caught - but it does include carp to 28lb, pike to 18lb, barbel to 12lb, chub to six and both mine and James PB crucians. I’ve got my money’s worth out of them!
I have finally used one to destruction - having caught one jack it seized as a second hit the lure - I had to handline the pike in. Time to replace them - and I’m definitely buying Mitchell!