It’s always nice to fish a new river and for this grayling session I was on the Frome, a river I’d been intending to fish for a while. Initially, I wanted to try for some of the hard to catch monster roach that inhabit this river. The conditions were a tad too cold for this, in my opinion, so a day after grayling was probably the right choice. A number of heavy frosts and then some snow melt going into the river were what swayed me. However, I made a promise to myself to target some of the big roach, probably next season.
I was fishing with a mate called Bob, who I’d recently met at the launch of Mark Wintles latest book, Big Roach2. We’d spoken online before we met, but it’s always nice to put a face to the name. We share a lot of passions, mainly big roach and cricket, but Bob’s also a cracking angler who knows the Frome like the back of his hand. When he invited me down for a bash at the grayling I was thrilled as his local knowledge would give us a chance of some big girls.
After meeting Bob and driving to the stretch of river, we had a little walk with Bob pointing out some classic swims. Long glides, slacks, hatch pools and carriers were all in front of us, making this a cracking stretch of water. Add to that the fact that this stretch had produced 4lb+ grayling to fly anglers in the summer and I was chomping at the bit to get going!
Bob showed me a good swim on a carrier to start of on. A lovely trot between a couple of fallen trees. My 2 swan loafer float ran down a couple of times with no action, before diving under on the third trot. A good battle followed with me winning, the result being a grayling of around a pound and a half in the net. More of the same followed with most of the grayling between the 1.4 to 2lb mark. I weighed one, just to get my eye in, so to speak, and that fish weighed 1lb 13oz. After 8 good grayling from the first swim, plus a few sea trout and one fish lost that felt really big, I moved on.
I wasn’t taking any photos of the fish I caught (apart from the one above) because by now heavy rain had set in. It was so heavy it was soaking me through. All of my maggots in my bait apron started to float and the fishing was going down hill fast. Swims were now producing only the odd smaller grayling plus the usual sea trout. I think the sudden influx of heavy cold rain had put the grayling down, though there was to be one final drama played out. Bob hooked and lost, at the net, the biggest grayling he’s ever seen. When you consider the fish he’s caught and seen in the past, this tells you it must have been a possible record breaker. I didn’t know what to say to him, but I’ve a feeling we’ll both be back in better conditions!