Tuesday, 29 September 2009

The Grayling Trail, Milldale to Dovedale with La Petomane

....The end of the trout season is here. The weather has changed. The warm evening breeze and the late evening fishing sessions are becoming a distant memory. Sitting around a smoking Kelly Kettle is no longer just a luxury, it's nearer a necessity to keep us going as the air cools and wind picks up during these autumnal evenings. The nights are drawing in quick...it will, as the saying goes, soon be Christmas.

So, it was one of the last Sundays of the season and I had finally managed to persuade my angling and dramming chum, Chris Kelting (aka Keltong) to join me on my favourite Dove. We left Chris' car at Dovedale and made our way round to Milldale, tackled up and walked down to the start of the LADFFA stretch. I'd told him that it would be much quieter at that end...it was heaving.

Chris dropped into one of the first pools and I into one further downstream. We both hooked into Grayling in our first few casts, Chris landing 3 good fish in three minutes on the duo. The water was the lowest I have ever seen it and incredibly clear.

After a while, we made our way down to Ilam rock where we were to meet up with Matt and Glen who were making their way up from Dovedale carpark at 2pm.

A few yards upstream from the footbridge, I had been watching a massive Grayling that was just sitting in an opening in the weeds. I pointed it out to Chris and he was on it with his Klinkhammer and nymph. Chris couldn't believe how close he was getting to it without it being spooked...he also couldn't believe how the big fish was completely ignoring the fact that a wee nymph was repeatedly passing it's nose without it flinching or having a snatch at it. Please expand the pic to see the fish.

We soon met up with Matt and Glen and we decided to stop at the boards to light the Kelly and to get our snappin out. We all made our contributions to the feast. Chris produced chocolate brownies, lovingly baked by his wife Nik, Matt pulled out a huge banana loaf he had made the night before, encouraging eyes to become way bigger than bellies, I layed out a dozen or so freshly cut ham baps for all to share, and we all looked on in anticipation as to what delight Glen might have procured on which we may all hungrily feast.

A box of individually wrapped Ferrero Rocher chocolates arrived on the boards, accompanied by much merriment and mockery on our part.

"Whats up with yer, get them Rochers in yer youth, nowt up with em."

The deal at "The Spar", apparently, had been buy one, get one free, so one box stayed at home chez Pointon, and the other was before us now, embarrassed by it's edible, and considerably more impressive culinary neighbours. Nevertheless, ignoring the funny looks we were being given by passing walkers. We shared the food around and filled our bellies, and made ourselves ready for the evening of fishing ahead.

The fish were fewer than the laughs, and we spent the evening learning fishing skills from one another. finishing off our cakes and butties, and making fun of Glen's chocolates. One passing visitor, having spotted them remarked...

"Oh, Ferrero Rocher, you must be a different class of fisherman"

I remember thinking he'd hit the nail absolutely on the head!

Please expand the pic above to see Mr Pointon impersonating the windy French performer, La Petomane, much to the amusement of Matt and Chris.

In terms of amount of fish caught, this wasn't one of the seasons best, but in comedy terms...it's a cracker.

Don't worry. We returned Mr Pointon safely back to the sheltered accommodation well in time for his medication and his doze.



  1. Great read, best laugh in ages - what would we do without Glen! Keep fishing the Dove as much as you like and keep posting.


  2. I've come back to read this as you mentioned it today. Very funny and we don't need to catch fish to enjoy ourselves. Great.

  3. Dave....I know...he's mental.

    Gary...Cheers mate, i reckon you must be waiting to leave for the Pabna eh?


  4. Wood

    The big grayling would have been spooked.

    They don't always move when spooked - you need to back up and wait for it to start feeding again.


  5. Cheers Alex, although, I'm not sure it was feeding in the first place, so Chris hadn't got a chance in hell of catching it anyway....would love to catch one of those Lunkers so I will bear that in mind next time that i'm stalking one.

    Cheers Dave