Roger Smith kindly organised our regular outing to this delightful little rivcr in Wiltshire and nine stalwarts attended to try and get on terms with ‘ the lady of the stream’ – an apt description of the wonderful grayling in all her finery. The weather was quite kind to us with no rain, light wind and cloud all day although it hovered around 6 celsius all day. As usual we split in to two groups to rotate the upper and lower parts of the fishery after having our breakfast in the Red Lion at Heytesbury.
It was pretty evident that the lads wanted to get at it quickly as there was some mighty sharp tackling and dressing up in evidence. There also seemed to be many splashes of pink attached to leader material – the dreaded pink shrimp was being let loose on the unsuspecting grayling population! Not sure if the ‘eager beavers’ noticed the wild deer browsing close by or the egret. (There was one egret there last year come to think of it.)
Well, by lunch time, everyone seemed to have had some if not a lot of action on both beats although as is usual, the fish were shoaling in the deeper pools and took a bit of locating. We did notice a much heavier weed growth throughout the length than is normal and this made bottom bouncing with bugs off limits. Small and quite light flies seemed to be the order of the day.
At changeover, sandwiches and tea were gobbled furiously as the shorter daylight hours seriously curtail the fishing day and everyone wanted to get back to it as soon as they could. Conversation over lunch by the Mill revealed that fish were rising to small Olives and were taking dry patterns although the bugs were outscoring the dries by some margin.
The Olives continued to trickle off with the odd pod of fishing sipping them in spasmodically although by the afternoon, and after the morning assault it can get a little more difficult as you might expect.
The 4pm finish saw a bunch of happy and satisfied anglers who had landed a very healthy total of fish and thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Good company, good fishing and pleasant surroundings made for an excellent trip and thanks to Roger for his organisational skills and to Dave Blackbourn for the photo of the merry band.
I am sure 2011 will see us there again.