Saturday, February 9, 2008

Fishing will always come first

I got up this morning to find we had some decent weather at last - a beautiful springlike day.
I did a few jobs to keep the better half sweet and then it was decision time - Newcastle were playing Aston Villa on Sky TV, so should I stay at home and watch a load of overpaid primma donna's prancing about a field or should I give in to temptation and hit the river.
Not a lot to consider really - I was on the River Eden just after one o'clock for an afternoon session for the Grayling.

Even though it was a warmer day than we've had recently I didn't expect any activity at the surface so it was on with the bugs and a spot of Czech nymphing.
They didn't let me down - third cast I dropped a fish and two casts later I was into the first of the day - a 43cm (17") Grayling to an Orange bug on the point.
Judging by the scale samples I've taken in the past, a fish of this size would probably be about three year old (a third winter fish) - Eden Grayling tend to be fast growing and three year olds are usually in the 38 - 45 cm bracket - my best measured Eden fish was 49cm (19 1/4") and weighed 2lbs 14ozs.
The Eden has produced some very good fish in the 40 - 47cm (16" - 18") range over the years but the downside of fast growth is short lifespan and we have yet to find a fish over four years old.
My second fish came soon after the first, quickly followed by a third and one dropped in between - all coming to the pink shrimp on the top dropper, these were 28 - 30cm fish.
Another one came to the pink shrimp in the next pool down plus a few tentative tugs when the flies were on the hang and that was it.

The Flies for the day - The Orange bug and Pink shrimp

In 2007 the Eden Grayling population definitely seemed to be on the increase again, we've been in a bit of a trough for a while so hopefully this is the start of a peak period, which we haven't really seen since the late 90's - long may it last.

Not that there was ever any doubt as fishing will always come first but my decision was confirmed when I got home to discover that Newcastle had produced another poor performance and suffered a 4 - 1 defeat.

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