"Youth, gert thee sen back on the river fur them Graylin, Ellastone'ull be swayt....brother!", came the potteries accent down the telephone as I explained my shock of having to leave Islay behind, to Glenathan T. Pointon (formerly of Haddon).
And so, at 9am this morning, I poured my "sen" into my thermals and chucked a couple of rods into the back of the car, an optimistic 6ft 3wt and a more realistic 8ft 4wt, and made my way down to the Dove at good old Ellastone on the DRAC section....a lovely stretch of river, packed with fish.
On arrival, I jumped out of the car and hurried to have a look at the conditions from the bridge, and Glen was right, it was sweet. Levels were up a little and running fairly clear.
I set up with a duo rig, a balloon caddis on the dropper and a Pheasant Tail on the point and made my way up towards the fast section having decided not to wade up the middle given that there was an extra half foot on the levels and didn't fancy a deep wade through freezing water.
I was casting for about an hour and I was having no luck at all and so, convinced that I wasn't going to hook into a fish this morning, I made my way up the bank to head back to the car.
I was surprised to see a "Glen Pointon" van speeding down the lane, and I waved, as if I needed to attract his attention, momentarily thinking that he must be just passing through and that it must just be a coincidence that he had just crossed the bridge over one of his favourite stretches of river in the world.
I decided to head back to the river with Glen to see if he had any better luck than I did. I got back into the river and fished the calmer water closer to the bank. I was hitting the bottom regularly but all of a sudden, my indicator fly dropped swiftly away and I was into a fish. The fish wasn't giving much of a fight and I presumed that it would be a small Grayling. When I got it to the surface, the Grayling had a red band all the way down it's middle and it was massive, I reckon it must have been well over 2lb and closer to 2.5lb. I'd hooked into a (out of season) Rainbow that must have been near enough under my feet and in water that I had waded through on more than one occassion.
As soon as Pointon had set up (which was after about 3/4 of an hour, his gear in such a state!), he started to catch Grayling from the slacks in midstream, his best fish being about 1 3/4 lb.
I managed one Grayling, but the nymphing method employed by Glen was certainly the method of the day.
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