Sunday, 11 November 2012

Chalkstream Grayling Trip - Day 2

Day 2 - River Avon: On the second day of my trip south in search of chalkstream grayling I left Fairford in Gloucestershire heading for Amesbury in Wiltshire to fish the River Avon with my friend Chris. I was to fish as his guest on Salisbury and District Angling Club's stretch of the River Avon...

Chris fishing upstream dry fly to rising fish on the Avon
Chris fishing upstream dry fly
to rising fish on the Avon
Now I might have called this a chalkstream grayling trip, but for the second day running I wasn't fishing a true chalkstream. Yesterday's river, the Coln, was actually a limestone river and today's river, the Avon, isn't a true chalkstream either. Chris told me the river was running high and carrying colour as a result of last weekend's rain and so it was when we reached the river. You could see weed and the gravel bottom, but no way would you be able to see fish. However, there was light at the end of the tunnel in the form of a hatch of upwings, and unbelievably, given the state of the river, there were fish rising to take them. So it was off with the nymph leader and on with a tapered dry fly leader and a CDC Upwing. The stretch we were fishing was designated "no wading" so we both targeted rising fish from the bank. Fish were straight onto our artificials and after yesterday's tough day this was pretty straightforward dry fly fishing, catching grayling and the odd trout with relative ease. There were no monster sized fish, all were in the 7" to 10" range, but it was fun fishing a good hatch so late in the year and it was another new grayling river for my collection.

River Avon grayling - another river for my grayling collection
River Avon grayling - another river for
my grayling collection
We moved off upstream after a while to the "wading" stretch and tackled this with upstream nymphs. The reasoning being that it was only the small grayling that were rising, the bigger fish were taking the nymphs below the surface??? We probably caught more fish on nymphs and they may have been slightly bigger but not much - so much for the theory!

The hatch persisted for the full day and there were still fish rising as we returned to the cars, but having fished the full length of the beat we decided to call it a day and save ourselves for the River Anton tomorrow...