Well, I should be on the Upper Avon but a bad chest cough and the impending drive to Leeds later this evening has me at home. Still, I am well enough to catch up on the blog from yesterday, and before I go on apologies to Steve Cullen for any jealousy that may follow after reading ;-).
Between meetings and nativities, I could not manage a day out last week and I really missed it. So in a bid to make up for lost time on the river I had accepted an invitation to the Upper Avon on the 20th and arranged for a day with Graham Lumsdon on the 19th. What a great way to head into Christmas leave. Steve was also going to come down but the weather was to play its part in that. The night before the rain when not horizontal was bouncing 6” of the pavement. I was unconcerned as Wherewell is probably one of the very few rivers that are massively affected by heavy rain. I assured Steve that it would be fine he was going to be coming 117miles after all. The morning dawned and the rain and wind had abated. I had promised Steve a sitrep of how the river was so I wanted to get there nice and early. I was a bit surprised that the river had risen over a foot since the last time I was there and it was carrying a bit of colour. I gave Steve a call and advised him that I thought it might still fish, but it is a long way and Steve made the call to give it a miss. Was it to be a wise decision, time would tell. Graham rocked up in the van ten minutes later and brewed up, although the morning was mild it was still chilly when waiting about. Galvanised with a hot drink we tackled up and headed downstream there were a couple of other anglers but we were on the hoof before they had left the car park.
The last time I visited, I recalled a real slow start to the day. Not today though third cast and I was into a lovely Grayling o
f around 35cm, another smaller fish quickly followed. As I fished up to what I had hoped was going to be the hot spot I was a bit disappointed to only take one Grayling and a little wild Brownie. By this time I had Graham in view and he had hardly moved his feet, he cheerfully reported 7 to measure and a hat full of smaller fish. We divided up the next hundred meters of water a Graham carefully moved up to take the second run. Again it was not long before we were both into cracking fish. The overall average size is the best I can recall fishing at Wherewell and we both had good fish over 40cm. I moved up for a quick chat with Graham and he was carefully picking his way up the river. I got in 50m in front of him and landed just right to pick off a shoal of ladies, by the end of the morning session I had managed 18 measurable fish. I have toiled to get these numbers all day at Wherewell of late. Graham every consistent boasted around 25 and a host of Brownies, good angling. We walked back to the car with the sun beating down on us, could the day get any better?
Well as it happens yes, the afternoon saw a rise of fish you seldom see at this time of year. It’s at times like these you realize just how many fish live in the river and when they are up and feeding it was like shelling peas. I had taken four good Grayling in short order and then the inevitable happened a big stupid Brownie smashed me to pieces. As quick as I could I re-rigged my rod and caught the tail end of the rise taking another four before it was over. I wandered up to Graham who had a big grin on his face and asking whether I had seen the rise. I said I had and enjoyed it very much, Graham took twelve in the short golden fifteen minutes of fly fishing bliss……just brilliant. We bimbled about for a while longer, dipping in here and there. The fish were still happy to take the nymph but the temperature was dropping fast and at only 1530 the light was almost gone. I was only 20’ from Graham watching him lose one brownie then another. I stuck my flies in the area and stated there are no fish here……as I started to reel in for the day a brownie devoured my dry and stripped line from my reel. Graham was laughing and calling me names that need not be repeated here.
What a fantastic day one that will last long in my memory, (that’s about a day, I’ve got kids can’t remember my name half the time) super fishing and great company what more can a man ask for Christmas. Jayne if you’re reading this an IPad Air would be nice XXX.