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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

My date with the lady of the stream

The winter saltwater fishing has been brilliant so far this year, but every so often I am drawn towards a session away from the coast. Usually this urge would be satisfied by a day on the canal targeting pike and perch, however as a result of the recent weather my favourite marks are all under an inch of ice taking that option out of the equation. After some serious thinking there was one stand-out option, fish the rivers for grayling!

As a complete novice to river fishing and having only caught one grayling previously, this idea got me very excited and lead to an evening browsing the web for any tips and tricks that would aid me, watching plenty of youtube videos in the process. With a good idea of the best tactics to use, I set about finding my old coarse fishing gear at home. The only thing left to do was get some maggots, a tub of hemp and some brown crumb groundbait from the local tackle shop and then it was go time.

My chosen venue was the River Goyt which rises on the moors of Axe Edge in Derbyshire and eventually joins with the River Tame in Stockport to form the Mersey. Spoilt for choice with stretches to fish, I settled on an area in the lower reaches renowned for large chub, trout and my target species, the grayling. On arrival riverside, I first threw in a large helping of brown crumb and hemp mix to get some bait down, hoping to draw the fish up from downstream, before getting my gear ready. The set up I used was a 12ft quivertip rod, 2000 size reel loaded with 4lb mono and a rig consisting of a semi-fixed swimfeeder and a hooklength of around 30cm to a size 16 eyed barbless hook.

With everything ready, the swimfeeder was filled with the groundbait mix and the hook loaded with double red maggot, before casting slightly downstream of where the original bait had gone in. Leaving it in the water for around 10 minutes at a time, I soon found myself starting to get bites and eventually got the hook up I was after, landing my first grayling of the year, happy chappy!

Soon after I was in again, another grayling but this time a little larger at probably a little over 1lb in weight.
I was getting into a nice rhythm and soon had number 3 on the bank but having already had a few I didn't photo this one, opting instead to release it whilst it still had plenty of energy. I had been fishing for around 2 hours before I decided to change tactics, still using the swimfeeder rig, but instead of live red maggots, I decided to trim down a piece of red power isome to form an imitation maggot. Half an hour passed with no bites and I started to think the isome plan was going to fail, but as usual that one last cast saw the rod arch over and I was into grayling number 4, the isome had worked, great news. I have been informed that power isome may not have been used in this way ever before making it even more special :)

After a further hour, I decided enough was enough, a great day had and yet another target species caught at the first time of asking, can't go wrong this year.

Thanks for reading,
Tight Lines,