This post is a bit of an apology as I have not updated the blog for a near age. This is not because I have not been fishing, in fact I have fished a hell of a lot lately. The main reason is that my little digital compact is broken and I am not sure of my ability to paint the scene and get you to come on the journey of my fishing trips with me if no visual aids are available. But stick with me and I will try to fill you in on the past weeks of my fishing life.
I have got to grips with my new section of the Taff now and Taff troubles are behind me, I have learned a lot about her nature and that of her inhabitants. I now know where the deep holes and current seams are along with a few spots where a big head occasionally breaks the surface (next season will be interesting). I have had good success now and the days of tough fishing seem a million years ago, she is giving up her bounty readily now I have earned her trust with my own blood and tears as well as a good amount of time.
Most of the time has been spent on a very unseasonal Taff in Wales. I have been throughly ringing the dry fly sponge to get every last drop out before the winter means the Sun miraculously provides light with absolutely no warmth in it. Don't get me wrong, I adore the sensation of rigging up with the hands shaking with a mixture of frost bite and excitement, putting on nymphs so heavy they will kill you if your back cast catches you and spending the day up to my wotsits in water so cold I feel like Leonardo from Titanic. I am ofcourse exaggerating, winter fishing is an absolutely amazing experience and I get out just as often as I do in Summer, just for much shorter periods. However while the Sun still has warmth left in her beautiful rays I am intent to chuck as much floating fluff as I can, and the grayling have been rewarding me. Most days have seen catches of over 20 fish to short sessions, most are small but who cares. Soon only the lonely LDO and gnat hatches will convince them to look up so make the most of it!
During teh unseasonally hot weather I was lucky. Lucky because I got to fish with a good friend and lucky because I got to witness something very special. The grayling is a fish very dear to my heart and my personal best is a lovely 18'' fish of 2lb 6oz. This is a big grayling and i caught another 2lber on the next cast.
My PB grayling, fought like a demon and still gives me shivers.
However this was caught last season (February 2011 to be precise) on a chalkstream in Hampshire (the enigmatic and famous Test). The Taff is a very different river to this so I was delighted to hear the screams of Nick. The kind of scream that has no real words but you know the meaning, it is a mix of disbelief, pure emotion and shock, he had caught something very very special. Without my compact handy I ran to the car to get out the dSLR and nervously did a mountain goat impression down a steep rocky bank into deep rocky water with over a grand of camera equipment around my neck, thats how special this fish was. The lady was immense, she weighed in at bang on 3lbs and is the biggest grayling I have ever seen, I feel lucky to have even seen her. You will forgive me if I do not tell which river she came from, we are an overpopulated island as it is and I do not want any more pressure on this ecosystem than there already is.
Other than that I have managed a mini adventure with a week bivvied up chasing carp, I blanked. So is the way I suppose shit happens.
It will be Christmas before I can afford a new compact so I aim to work on my skills with words as my brush to take you on the journeys until then, my apologies in advance.