As I was woken on Sunday morning by the familiar sound of Shaun tapping the garden fork into our lawn in search of worms, I knew what he'd decided to do for the rest of the day. At last the river levels had dropped enough to give it a go for one of our favourite winter species, the beautiful Grayling. He headed out on his own to brave the cold in search of these wirey little fish, or not so little as he found out! He fished his syndicate water on the river Dee near Corwen and on this occassion he chose to have a go at trotting the worm just in case the river wasn't quite low enough for the fly when he got there. As it was it would have been low enough for the fly and he thinks it would have probably fished better using this method on that day, 7 Grayling and 10 nice wild Brownies wasn't enough obviously, he's so hard to please!
As usual when trotting the first run is always a bit quiet to start until you get the right depth, it's suprising how altering your float by just an inch or two can make all the difference. It's certainly worth spending the time to do properly before you find yourself thinking that the run is devoid of fish and walking away. By mid way down this first run he'd got the depth just right and started to get into the fish, this is were he had most of his fish from, including some cracking wild brown trout and a huge Grayling of 3lb, this cracking fish made his day, but little did he know things were going to get even better. He ventured down stream to the next run he intended to fish, walking at full pace to warm himself up. The day had been ok weather wise as there wasn't too much wind so no leaves in the water to contend with - always two of the worst things when fishing the river - but it was one of those dull damp days so the walk was welcomed.
He waded into the next run, carefully avoiding a few salmon reds he'd spotted inbetween the weed beds. Over the afternoon he did see a few salmon jumping, always a nice sight to see and a good sign for the future runs hopefully. This last run Shaun was fishing appeared to be very quite, not even a bite, and then it happened. One of those magic fishing moments that keeps us going and makes us so patient, a monster of a Grayling had taken his worm! The battle went on for quite some time with this fish, as Shaun tried to steer it away from the main flow of the river, all the time remembering he was only on 4lb main line with a 3lb tippet, he worried he might pull the tiny hook out if he put too much pressure on. At last it came within netting range, not before making one more attempt for freedom running back up-stream, finally it was netted on the second attempt, Shaun couldn't believe it...'what a fantastic grayling'...you'll here him say on the film we've made, there were plenty of other comments he made too, most of which I've had to edit out! To say he was pleased would be an understatement. This fish weighed just under 3.5lb and is one of his biggest Grayling to date, to watch this gorgeous fish swim away ensured that Shaun finished this days fishing with a smile on his face. We are so lucky he captured this moment on film, especailly the amazing underwater release shots, these are just beautiful. I've had to watch them a hundred times over already with him but don't think I'll ever tire of them, what a majestic fish!