Grayling fishing

Mrs Grayling remains elusive


The slog for a first grayling of the season remains futile. I’ve been out three or maybe four times over the past few weeks and have failed. I’ve picked up a few trout, both on the Seven and on Pickering Beck – some quite good ones – but no grayling.

I got fed up with trying to fashion a coiled bite indicator so bit the bullet and grudgingly bought one from Tungsten Beads. Actually, it’s pretty good – much thicker and tighter than the feeble efforts I’ve managed to make. It looked like this before I started fishing:

And this after a few sessions:

Even the stretched version is not bad, so I’ll persevere with it until it finds a resting place in a tree and then I might even buy another one.

Today I was on Pickering Beck. The weather was benign – around 9-10C with only a gentle easterly. The water was up and coloured but fishable. I used the French leader and hooked four or five not-bad trout. But no grayling.

Early on I was fishing near the hut when I heard a sort of vague snorting sound. I looked across to the far bank and there was a sleek otter – a big ‘un, about the size of a border terrier – staring back at me with a ten-inch trout in its mouth. It looked at me for a few seconds before executing a silent dive, its back arching, and disappeared with barely a gurgle.

It popped up again a few seconds later and had another good look at me. I managed to get the camera out and pointed it roughly in the right direction:

Hopefully you can just about make it out. So that was a bonus. Well, I’ll plug away and who knows perhaps I will catch a grayling this season. One thing has become clear – this French leader lark can certainly take trout. I know what I’ll be kitting up with early next season.

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