Well with Christmas day over with I was keen to get outdoors and hot-footed it down to Wherewell for the day. I had read with some sympathy of fellow anglers suffering from cabin fever due to their local rivers being in spate. The rain this year has been extraordinary and there seem s to be no end to it. I awoke very early and resolved to take my DSLR with me to try and capture a nice sunrise. As I was driving down the A303 it dawned on me that the sun might not rise at all. The rain was bouncing off the windshield at an alarming rate. I arrived at Wherewell in the pitch dark around 0700hrs sunrise was due at 0806hrs. Oh well never mine the sun forgot to show so the camera stayed in the bag and I attempted to tackle up in the half-light.
As it grew lighter I could see the mass of swans that have made the river their home swimming in the adjacent field where once there was a herd of cows. The river had blown its banks in many places and my heart sank. While waiting for my mucker to arrive I wandered over to the river and was taken aback by the clarity of the water. Ok, it was not crystal clear but even with the extra two to three foot of water, I could still see the bottom. I went and had a chat with Robbie who has been busy trying to manage the extra water as well as looking after the fish in the lake. He informed me that those that had made the effort were catching a few fish.
As always, my first port of call was just beside the hut and I was not surprised when my dry dipped and the line shot away as a Brownie thrashed around bellow. Landed and safely returned my very next cast did throw in a surprise. I had joked with Robbie that the fish from the lake would be joining their cousins in the river, and sure enough, after a very spirited fight, I landed my first ever rainbow from a river in this country. A cast or two after that and the first Grayling made an appearance. The weather was miserable but the fishing seemed to have picked up from my last visit. Last time out I had fished upstream from the lodge and Paul had gone down so for a change we swapped over. I had a great mornings sport and everywhere I plonked my flies I was rewarded with some sport. Even the dry fly was attracting its fair share of interest. I think that because of the mild weather the Brown trout are still well up for it and there were plenty about.
I met up with Paul and his mucker Wayne who managed plenty of sport but only one Grayling between them. After a bite to eat and a chinwag about Christmas and mince pies, we set off for the afternoon session. I pushed further downstream and continued to have a very successful day with several good fish to 35cm. Last Grayling season I had much fish over 40cm but they have eluded me thus far this year, perhaps the New Year will be more forthcoming. I passed Paul on the way back upstream and at last, he was getting into a few Grayling. I decided to fish up behind him but this was a waste of time and I only managed one small Brownie.
With the poor light fading fast I decided to call it a day as I could no longer see my flies, but what a great day to go out on. I had a great time with plenty of fish and broke out of the cabin for the day, the weather be damned.