Arrived at the car park at Winlaton Mill just before 8am and met up with Cam who I was fishing with for the day. It was a decent start weather wise around about 10°C and broken cloud with a fair bit of blue sky showing. We walked up to the stone bridge that crosses the river and started fishing in the run that runs through the bridge. Cam drew first blood! With a little brownie that looked around 7” on a GRHE and plover that worked well for him all day, I followed him down this run and about 15 minutes later after a couple of tentative plucks landed a small Grayling of about 6” also on a gold head GRHE. Fished on through the next small run taking another small grayling on the good old “KAT122” then just before the bend a hooked and lost a slightly larger fish maybe in the 8-10” range.
Now it was my change to have a go for that large fish that I dropped last time on the deep water on the far bank, despite plenty of fish showing on the surface elsewhere this time he was keeping his head down and despite my best efforts he lives on to fatten up over the close season! I normally get out of the river here and walk on down to the pool just above the butterfly bridge but we fished on through a narrow fast run, the tail of which looked very fishy, so after a bite to eat “Pukker Chicken Pie” today – note to self – only nice when hot!! Anyhow!…. this fishy looking swim did indeed produce another fish, another Grayling again of a similar size of around 6-7” but still welcome. Moved on to the run above butterfly bridge and fished the nice streamy run before it but no joy this time, decided – thanks to Cam to stick a partridge and orange on the point and this had almost instant success in the run below the bridge as I hooked another grayling in the first run on this fly. Sporadic nips and pulls followed in the streamy runs going down back towards the car park and another couple of small grayling were to be had along the way all on Gold head GRHE, Partridge and orange and KAT122.
We did have a walk back up to the stone bridge to fish back through the run there but I was just about done in by this point and left for home about 3pm.
IT was a strange day all in all not a trout to be seen, Cam did land a couple of trout (amongst the grayling) but all I saw were grayling all in the 5-7” range, from what I have seen so far this season that is strange 1. For it to be only grayling and no trout and 2. Not to encounter anything larger than 7” Maybe the trout have turned their thoughts to spawning instead of feeding?
Final thanks go to Cam for excellent company and the superb gift of a bottle of Scotland’s finest ale that was not necessary but most gratefully received.