Taking a newbie onto the water 07 Mar 2015

Unless you fish describing the excitement that anglers experience at the prospect of going fishing is futile. I will assume if you are reading this inane drivel that you at least fish! My fishing for Grayling this year has been much reduced due to work commitments. The last time I went with Graham the fish were already getting ready to spawn so it was time to leave them be. The opening dates for the big reservoirs seem to get earlier every year due to the mild winters; I think this is the earliest I have ever ventured out on a boat. I was taking Adam Stafford with me after his kind invitation to a little gem of a river last year I though it only fair to reciprocate. I had spent the best part of four hours cleaning and preparing all my kit the weekend before. Half that time was spent shouting at the kids, “DON’T TOUCH”, “WHATCH WHERE YOUR STANDING” and “PUT THAT FILLETING KNIFE BACK IN ITS SHEATH”. For those that don’t know me the last one was a joke :-). Anyway most of my kit survived the ordeal and I was all set for my trip the following week.


The weather was looking pretty outstanding except the wind which I could have done without. I arrived bright eyed and bushy tailed savouring the prospect of the day ahead. Grafham had only opened the previous day and I expected it to be really busy. The opposite was the case though not many people about at all, I bumped into Rob Edmonds and he was getting out for the first time. He suggested a start at G Buoy which was what I had in mind; in fact I thought a tour down the entire North shore would provide more than enough sport for Adam and me. We got kitted up and from the sanctuary of the boat dock the water looked fantastic. As we motored at best speed towards G Buoy I should have realised that this was not going to be the best introduction for a new comer to boat fishing. As I deployed the drogue into the swell we started to drift towards the bank two casts later and we were almost on the bank. Adam bless him was game but I sensed that the day would be much more enjoyable on the other side of the water. After a much slower ride back over the other side in the shelter of the trees by the South side of the Dam it was like a different reservoir. There were a few bank anglers to avoid and the odd anchored boat. Still there was space to drift through. I knew it would only be a matter of time to locate the fish, I just did not expect it to take quite as long. Towards what I was estimating to be the extent of the first drift my rod buckled over in a fierce arc. I was into the first fish of the day, it gave a good account of itself and was certainly in fine fettle. I pointed out to Adam the tell tale signs of a recently stocked fish, the raggedy tail had given this one away. I slipped it back into the water and it shot away back to the icy depths. It had come right of the bottom and a good distance from the bank. We had another couple of casts before I decided it was time to go back round. As I turned the boat I was faced with two boats lowering their anchors in the drift I had just completed typical. I went back round and slotted into another free drift but more boats were turning up. This drift saw another fish fall to the booby, shortly after Adam hooked his first fish. The big grin said it all, more used to the lighter river tackle I think he was really surprised at how hard the fish fought. A few lunges with the net failed but eventually success! The fish lay in the net a lovely bar of silver, a couple of quick snaps with the camera and back it went. Again as we turned to re-drift another boat was dropping his anchor, this was off course after he had motored right in front of us so close I could have passed him my sandwiches! Anyway I don’t want to get into the etiquette debate this early in the season.


I decided it was too busy and motored off down towards the seat, a quick drift there proved fruitless. Another move down to the lodge only to be thwarted by a gang of bank anglers arriving shortly after and wading into the water where I had hoped to fish. I decided that I might as well head back towards the dam and chuck the anchor in. When we arrived back it was pretty busy with both bank and boat anglers. I managed to zig zag my way into a likely spot and lowered my own anchor over the side. Adam and I had not witnessed many people catching fish so it was pretty pleasing to get into a few more fish. It was great to watch Adam playing hard fighting fish and it was fairly evident that he was enjoying the change from the rivers. We both took a few more fish and as the day wore on the wind seemed to calm down a little. We agreed to venture back across to the North shore but when we got there it was pretty evident that we would not be staying. We had one drift which did result in a good fish being hooked. As we approached the bank at a considerable speed I put to much pressure on the kit and the hook peeled out. Back over to the quite corner then, a few more fish gave themselves up and we finished with about a dozen to the boat. It was a great day the banter was good and Adam and I put the world to rights. I hope I have not cultivated another obsession for Adam to immerse himself in! With the promise of another day when the water warms up a bit we headed for home with some fond memories.