Thank the Lord for Grayling, Saturday 6th April

After another dry but cold week I decided to have another bash at these elusive Brownies on the Blyth. Saturday arrived and it was a semi decent morning , if still a little chilly for the time of year. Arriving at the farm there was barely a breath of wind and clear skies meant it was a little chilly at about 8°C but bright sunshine as I arrived at about 9.40


I kitted up at the farm with a scruffy March Brown on the point and a black and peacock on the dropper. The water level and indeed the river in general looked in great condition, maybe this was the day that the Brownies eventually showed their faces?

Fishing down through the farm stretch it was quiet, I did  spot a few young deer on the far back galloping about, the birds were in full song, it was almost as if spring had sprung!!  Almost…. but the trout didn’t seem to want to play early on, I fished all the way down the farm and around the bend without any success, so decided to have a walk up to the viaduct, spotting another couple of deer on the way up, there do seem to be more about this year than last.


Stopping at the pool I hooked and lost a decent Grayling last year and nothing doing although this pool that goes on for a good 80 yards or so is a beautiful pool and once things get going I am sure I will have some success in there. I did at this point notice a very limited hatch of olives coming off although no fish was seen rising to them.

Resting half way back to the farm I decided to have a break and thanks to Mrs Blood it was a tasty four pack of Ginsters sausage rolls on the menu today, very nice! With a couple of juicy apples for pudding…. how the other half live Eh?


Looking through my fly-box as I munched I decided to go heavy! On went a weighted GRHE with a  yellow thorax and a Whickham’s Spider on the dropper, I was  just above where the steep path comes down to the river , in that really slow deep run on the opposite bank , second cast with these flies and a pull!! Strike and a hook up, I knew immediately that this wasn’t a stock fish but I didn’t care, I quickly got him to hand , a beautiful grayling of about 5”, I was over the moon to catch something after such a slow start to the season.

You wouldn’t think that such a small fish  could bring so much pleasure lol!!

It really does make you appreciate the good days when you can seemingly do no wrong.  Anywhoo, this fish had taken my weighted fly, I slipped him back and fished through the rest of this pool without further action.

Almost back to the farm stretch now, I stepped back in to the water and ran through the riffly pool just above the deep dam pool , swinging the same flies through here and the line tightens and another fish on, a slightly bigger Grayling  this time, maybe 7” this one took the Whickham’s Spider. It was now about 4pm and my back was beginning to feel the strain. I fished out this pool and had another pull but missed this one.


I climbed out and had another half hearted effort through the farm pools but didn’t see any action in here.

So still no Brownies to be seen although I was seriously over the moon just to hook in to a couple of Grayling and on the upside I managed to get 2 fish to hand out of 3 takes so I have got to be pleased with that.

Talking to a few fisherman on the river and reading around the fishing forums it would seem to be similar on a lot of the rivers at the moment, the Brownies don’t seem to be in the mood just yet, after one of the coldest March for many a  year maybe this isn’t helping, with many a night last week with temperatures still well in the minus °C.

In the back garden this weekend I did notice that my forsythia which normally flowers mid  – Late Feb into Early March hasn’t  even flowered yet in early April so maybe that is an indication of how the unseasonal cold had stunted things so far this year?

I am now officially past the stage of “well it’s nice to get out” and “if I catch it’s a bonus”  I want some bloody fish!!  I don’t mind not catching as long as I get the odd bite here and there!

Hopefully it is  just a matter of time before they get going though, all being well I will have a days holiday booked off on Friday for another battle for these elusive Brownies


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