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Sub Zero Grayling

Tuesday, 17 January 2012  |  Simon

14th Jan 2012 ... The river levels were now back to normal, the temperature was sub zero but had stabilised, and the forecast confirmed a clear blue sky and lovely winter sunshine….. Who could wish for a better invitation to get out and catch some Grayling in a well-known Yorkshire town ?

Richard and I set out to try a stretch of the river Colne we had observed during the recent floods. It was just within the Huddersfield boundary and had fairly easy access via public footpaths and the canal towpath. On arrival we were informed by a resident that lived & farmed on the banks, that due to a chemical fire in 2010, the river had been subject to sever pollution and he didn’t think anyone bothered fishing it anymore? Having done a little investigation, he was right .. see the links below

Despite this news, and having walked the river for a couple of miles the previous week, we were convinced this stretch was worth an afternoon spent exploring. There were some fantastic features that just had to hold Grayling and would no doubt be perfect hunting ground for some rather nice brown trout come the new season. The conditions and the location couldn’t have been better for the first Grayling outing of 2012.

We decided Czech Nymphing was first on the agenda. I had tied up a few of my own recipe bugs to try out, the first one was going to get its head wet on Richards line. He opted for 2 flies, JCB (Jamie’s Calder Bug) on the dropper and a heavy beaded nymph on the point. No sooner had he cast them into the head of one of the pools, he was into a very nice fish,  I hadn’t even had a chance to rig my rod by this point! … I was quietly pleased to see it had taken the JCB.

The day progressed with constant action from some pretty impressive fish. A few got away as always, but we landed over 30 fish between us. None of the fish we caught were on the small size so I suspect these fish were survivors of the pollution or had been gorging on some seriously nutritious food since stocking!  One of the memorable fish landed gave a fight WAY above its size, I was fishing with a 10ft 2wt and it was bent in two with the fish stripping off line every time it was ushered anywhere near the shallow water. I was expecting some kind of river monster, but quietly hoping for a very large Grayling. It turned out to be a lovely out of season brown trout of about 14”, It was quickly released and on its way.

Although the weather was below freezing all day and very cold on the fingers, the glorious sunshine and the perfect conditions led us to have a fantastic first outing for 2012.  We had a day full of good quality fishing, a picnic lunch break, with Crispy Crème donuts for desert, and a longing to go back for more…  Perfect!

- Jamie

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