Up to Pickering Beck once again to have yet another go at getting to grips with this French nymphing business. The conditions were pretty much spot on: no wind and the water up an inch or two from last time and with the merest hint of colour. It was pretty cold though, 3C according to the car, and within a few minutes of getting into the water my feet had pretty much disappeared as far as my brain was concerned.
Anyhow, I’d rigged up with two beaded hare’s ears, the fatty on the point and the little one about 14 inches above it on a 4 inch dropper:
After losing the point fly on a snag – I gave it a tug and it broke at the dropper knot, so that was down to me – I re-rigged and made my way to the nice deep run where I’d picked up a small grayling on the last outing.
I lobbed the flies into the pool and followed the line back with the rod tip held aloft – that’s right isn’t it? Each time the indicator (a couple of inches of fluorescent braid) made an odd movement I gave a little jerky strike. Mostly just the bottom – pulling out the odd twig or leaf. But then and lo and behold this little critter was on the end:
A few casts later, same pattern: many ‘false’ takes then another little grayling:
I pulled out another of similar size from the same pool and hoped I might have a few more – but no such luck. I moved on to the next pool but nothing was doing. Still, three fish was not a bad start.
After half an hour of working my way upstream to no avail I came to a little weir where the pool is deepish for this beck – maybe four feet – and where I have caught decent fish on the maggot. I’ve struggled here with the fly:
I managed to get a decent foothold on some submerged masonry blocks on the left-hand bank and got the flies into the pool. There was quite a bit of bumping as the point fly tumbled along the river bed, and I pulled out more than a few fairly substantial branches. But then I hit a better fish, which indeed turned out to be a grayling – maybe three-quarters of a pound:
And then a couple more, a shade smaller:
That turned out to be it for the session (a bit under three hours): half a dozen grayling and a couple of small trout. A good day for me and the confidence in this system of nymphing is growing. All the grayling took the dropper. So what would happen if you dispensed with the point fly and instead nipped a BB shot on the end? Surely that would at the very least reduce the number of snags. When I get a bit better at this, I might give that a go.