First of the Grayling

First of the Grayling - That amazing dorsal fin
My first proper grayling of the season…it’s on!!!

It’s Saturday, 7am, and this previous week seems to have somehow blurred into one…long…continuous…day. A good week, you must understand, but one filled with nerves, a lack of sleep, as well as sore hands and a fried brain due to too much casting practice and study.

Last weekend saw the gathering of GAIA members/instructors at the Gwent Angling Society’s mentoring weekend, the Saturday of which, saw us wannabe coaches/instructors practice and prepare for the terror known only as ‘Pre-Assessments’. As well as practice and mock-assessments, the day saw us all polishing a variety of demonstrations which we needed running smoothly and professionally in order to be presented again the following day to paying members of the public.

Covering everything from the generalities of fly casting (including rod actions, grips, stances, casting strokes, etc) to slack-line casts, and from spey casting techniques to improving your single/double hauling were all covered and, I’m very happy to say, all were enjoyed by our guests. I was personally looking forward to the widely anticipated ‘Four Essentials of Fly Casting’, but alas, it’ll have to wait…

As always, a fantastic weekend with lots of new information either learned or taken away for further study, and with a few minor amendments made to my assessment outfit.

The one thing I’ve learnt very quickly during my short time as a GAIA Associate; GAIA is a body utterly dedicated to the constant improvement and development of it’s members. No egos, just knowledge and friendly help. A huge thanks guys, to a fantastic weekend. See you all in November!

After more practice and study during the week I’m about ready to sleep (finally), but it’s time to introduce Dan (who, I’m happy to say, has just completed his first season as a single-handed trout addict angler) to the wonders of grayling fishing on the lower Taff.

Back to Saturday morning then and, after collecting a very excited Dan (adorned in new breathable waders) and after a short journey south, we were both geared-up and stood looking down at our wondrous river. A quick introduction to this lower section of river, it’s invertebrates, and the feeding patterns of grayling out of the way, and we were meeting up with Mostyn and Mark, our two other companions for the day.

With a laminated GAIA syllabus tucked snugly in my chest pocket I continued to work on my casting practice a little throughout the day (whilst no one was watching I’d run quickly through overhead and Belgium casts, rolls, jump rolls, single/double speys) all the while keeping an eye on my guest for the day (who seemed to be having much more of a ‘fishy’ day than I). Still, practice is practice, and there are only 32 days/768 hours until my assessment.

I did, however, manage a little fishing. Watching Dan grinning ear to ear after catching his first grayling followed by a couple of out-of-season trout and plenty more juvenile grayling (annoyingly attacking anything presented to them), was enough to light the fires.

Near to the end of the day, and rigged up with a Czech/short-line nymphing setup on my 10′ 4wt, I happily managed to land a beauty of a grayling pushing 2lb+. Taken on a large olive Czech nymph fished close to the bottom, she gave one hell of an account of herself and, after a little coaxing, swam confidently out of my hands.

A great day, and I’m very pleased to say that our ‘Grayling Newbie’ enjoyed himself immensely. Glad you had a great day Dan!

A typically tiny juvenile grayling…
First of the Grayling - Juveniles

…and a much more respectable Lady, taken by yours truly at the end of the day
First of the Grayling - My personal beauty of the day

Safely returned
First of the Grayling - ...safely returned

First of the Grayling - ...safely returned

7 Responses to “First of the Grayling”

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