I had the opportunity to spend a few hours with Andy Cliffe while on a recent visit to my mums. Andy was kind enough to show me some Grayling fishing nearby and took time from his busy job to do so. The weather was fairly warm for the time of year and Andy assured me the water depth would be OK for fishing. We were to start at a section Andy had fished the month before with great success. We met for a coffee and discussed the various qualifiers we had both entered and the pros and cons of multi-entry qualification. As you can imagine it was an interesting chat, I am sure some clarity will fall out of the weeds soon. Anyway, to the fishing, we got into the river and Andy was surprised that it was carrying a bit more water than he had thought. Being the gentleman that he is Andy gave me first dibs we both fished double nymph and soon enough we both had a few fish. Andy seemed a little disappointed with the numbers, but I was over the moon just to be out. The average size of the grayling were very good and there were few fish below 20cm. What was rather strange was the large numbers of Brown Trout that were ravenous for the Grayling food we were offering. We only fished a short run before we were off in the cars to see another stretch, Andy’s time was limited and he was keen to show me as much of the stream as he could.
The next run looked really promising but it again yielded only a few Grayling, the Brown trout made their presence felt and we both took several OOS Trout. After a short walk, we arrived at a large weir pool where we both took several fish. Andy connected with a good fish and as I fumbled in my pocket for the camera the fish came off. As time was pressing
on we again made a move to another section where Andy gave me a lesson in catching Grayling. Andy was all too soon pulled back to work and he left me to my own devices. As he walked downstream to extract himself from the river I caught a cracking Grayling I called after Andy but the noise of the river and the wind and rain prevented him from hearing. Just as well really as my fly pinged out of the fish and landed several feet above me in a tree! It had started to rain by now and I am not talking a light shower but more the scene in Forrest Gump when the rain was coming down in Vietnam. The light was poor and my eyes are not what they used to be however I managed to re-rig and opted for Duo as I could no longer detect takes with the double nymph due to not being able to see. To be honest, the Duo was not much better even at short range, I could barely make it out. Luckily for me seeing the takes was not that important as the fish were right up for it and more often than not the line would just go tight and I would be attached to a good Grayling or Brown trout. By about 1500hrs the rain had failed to slow and it was almost dark I decided to call it a day.
My sincere thanks to Andy Cliffe who took time out his day to show me the ropes. I look forward to my next trip up North