Apart from a gusty westerly breeze, today has been a beautiful day and more reminiscent of early spring than the last knockings of winter. As I drove north through the Howgill Fells a brooding low cloud lent an unusual light to the valleys borne of Fell Head and Bram Rigg; a blue-grey shadow which emphasised the darker recesses of these lonely hills.
I was hopeful for a pleasant day’s grayling fishing and the morning was to be spent on the Eamont, with an afternoon session on the parent river, in the hope of locating a shoal or two. Unfortunately, the going was slow all day, although I did get a big surprise late on in the day…..
At Whinfell, I started well with a decent - but out of season - trout to the olive caddis and then a grayling of 13oz to the trusty orange bug. However that was pretty much it for the following couple of hours as I struggled to find fish in the strong flows (the river was higher than I expected and the Eamont fairly bombs along with extra water).
Later, on the Eden, I fared little better with only a couple of immature fish coming to hand. Midway down the flats pool however, I connected with something very heavy indeed. The next five minutes was spent applying steady pressure to a fish which did little but sulk in the current below my rod end. Typical large grayling behaviour I thought, and when I finally caught a glimpse of around two feet of sub-surface lilac-silver, I realised I was attached to the grayling of a lifetime!
Following another five minutes or so of cat and mouse, the fish eventually tired and surfaced, spent, in front of me. My dream grayling will have to wait for another day though. Attached to my pink shrimp was a well mended salmon kelt of around 4lb - the second ’silver tourist’ I have hooked on this beat recently!
Little else of note other than a complete lack of dark olives, a few of which I would have expected to see on a day like today…..