Back up to Pickering Beck with the French leader. I find the method hard work and frustrating, but it’s starting to become disturbingly addictive. If I was more adventurous I’d have a go at the Seven, but as far as the grayling are concerned that river has been a dead loss so far this winter. Pickering on the other hand has produced a few fish, so boringly I decided to return.
It all looked pretty good. The water had a bit more colour in it than last time and was up a few inches and the temperature was rising nicely. I’ve invested in a proper French leader – Hends 4.5m – together with a braided indicator. Twelve quid for a bit of nylon and a couple of inches of braid rankles somewhat, but there you go.
I normally use 3lb tippet, but had run out and hadn’t got around to replacing it. I found some thinner line in my vest pocket – 2lb – so decided to give that a whirl. Mistake. I put on a hare’s ear on the point, size 14 jig hook with a 3mm copper coloured tungsten bead. A size 16 goldhead hare’s ear went on the dropper.
Started fishing in the pool that had produced last time out:
I got snagged pretty early on and the line snapped as I tried to free the fly. I re-rigged with similar flies, cast in, got snagged, pulled the line and it snapped again. So I rummaged around in the vest and found some 5lb line. I put that on. Got snagged. This time as I gripped the line and applied pressure there was some movement and I slowly pulled in a chunky bit of slimy old branch about three feet long. When I got it to hand amazingly I could see three of the flies I’d just lost embedded in it. A result of sorts.
Anyway, shortly after that I hooked a small brown on the point fly, and a few casts later the indicator gave a twitch and I had the first little grayling of the day:
Nice! I plugged away for another fifteen minutes or so and was rewarded by another small grayling:
Nothing else from that pool, so I worked my way upstream, eventually arriving at the pool that had produced some of the better fish last time out:
First cast I managed a small one:
Had another that slipped the hook before I brought it to hand, but I’m counting it. So four little grayling (all on the dropper -thanks for the advice!) for the two-and-a-half hours I was on the water. I’ll take that.