Day 4 - River Anton: Following a successful afternoon on the River Anton yesterday I was looking forward to fishing the same river again. I was fishing alone this time, Chris had work commitments, but he had fished the same beat last week and had had a good day. When I opened the curtains in my hotel room my heart sank. Yesterday's sun and blue sky had been replaced by cloud and light rain - not what I wanted to see on my last day. It was still raining when I got to the river and it made for a depressing sight: steady rain, cold and very dull. Chances of spotting fish were virtually nil. If I hadn't already bought the ticket I think I'd have set off on the long drive home, but this was an expensive beat and I simply couldn't leave without getting something for my money...
|River Anton - fantastic beat but|
I set up my Greys 9' #2 XF2 Streamflex rod, feeling very low and dejected with the conditions, and set off upstream. I'd only walked a few yards when, unbelievably, I spotted a fish against the far bank. I couldn't tell if it was a trout or grayling but cast my trusty Mary Copperhead at it. When it plopped into the water the fish shot off upstream, spooked I thought, but then the leader tightened so I lifted and was into it, a good size grayling on my first cast. Maybe this wasn't going to be such a bad day after all! I took a few steps upstream but quickly stopped. There, in exactly the same scour was another grayling, so I edged back a few steps and cast again. The result was a repeat of the first cast and so it was 2 grayling in 2 casts. A remarkable start on any day, but on a day like this I couldn't get over it. My depression now lifted, I was on a high and actually enjoying the conditions. I could see into the water and spot fish surprisingly well and continued to catch fish regularly as I progressed upstream.
|A fine River Anton grayling|
There were fish everywhere. You couldn't walk more than a few yards without seeing fish, some singles, others in small pods. On one occasion I spooked a trout from under my bank. It shot across stream and took up station right next to a grayling that I hadn't seen, giving its location away to me. A quick flick of the nymph and the grayling was fooled. Thank you Mr Trout!
|River Anton, tributary of the|
Near the top of the beat there was a footbridge across the river. As I crossed I spotted a pod of 3 small grayling. I climbed into the river and cast to them. The lead fish took first cast and what looked like a small grayling from behind took the scale down to 1¾lb. I caught another of the pod, which was only slightly smaller, and the third didn't hanging around to be caught.
|A lump of a grayling from the|
By 1.30pm I'd reached the top of the beat. I'd caught far more fish than I thought possible; in fact, if conditions had been perfect I'd still have been happy with my catch. The rain was now heavy and the wind had picked up so why hang around? I couldn't better a session like that so quit while the going's good I thought and headed back up north. What I thought was going to be a disastrous day turned out to be possibly my best of the 4 day trip. Fantastic sport.