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River Test - 26/12/2010

Posted by Nicholas S , 03 February 2011 · 5,936 views

Going fishing on Boxing Day when the thermometer is registering -10C really makes you question your sanity. That was exactly the case when Alan and I ventured off in the half light early on Boxing Day. Despite the Siberian conditions we were both very excited. A day Grayling fishing on the Test is always special and although the weather was doing its best to force us indoors, nothing was going to get in the way of us getting to the river! I must admit, when we arrived and got out of the warm car I was seriously wondering whether this was going to be a wasted trip. Fishing in these conditions is extreme and to try and catch Grayling on the fly was not going to be easy. However, we had the whole venue to ourselves and after being shown around by the keeper we eagerly started to get kitted out.

The morning started remarkably well with me catching a nice Grayling of around 1lb on my second cast (I must admit this was a bit of a fluke)! It was quite unprecedented and we hoped would bode well for the remainder of the day.

Unfortunately after a fishless hour or so we quickly realised that it was not going to be an easy day. However, as the hazy sunlight wore off it began to get easier to spot fish so instead of working our way blindly upstream we decided to change tactics and only cast to spotted fish. The move paid off and by lunch we had both caught a few after working our way up some lovely runs.

A brief and very cold lunch ensued. I can confirm that fishing with the rod rings constantly freezing up is annoying enough but trying to eat frozen sandwiches, bananas, Christmas cake and squash is not much fun! Still, with only our enthusiasm to fuel us on we explored further upstream from our morning sortie and soon realised much to our surprise that a small hatch was beginning and fish were beginning to rise. With boyish excitement I fumbled around trying to change my nymphing outfit to a dry fly set-up but failed to connect with a single Grayling and only hooked one large stocked Trout which came off! As the rises and light began to diminish we decided to explore the rest of the un-fished small carrier on foot only fishing the prime spots. The carrier was a lot more intimate and similar to some of the small streams I tend to frequent. I couldnít resist a few more casts in a very tempting Grayling hole and was quickly rewarded with three nice Grayling including my best of the day, probably around 1.25lb.Eventually the light thwarted us with seemingly still miles of river un-fished and left for another (hopefully warmer) day. It was a great day out and we were thrilled to both catch in such harsh conditions. I think Alan caught 2 Grayling including a new pb for him of 1lb09oz. I caught a few more (5 in total) but all of a smaller stamp. Canít wait to go back to this venue in the autumn when the days are both warmer and longer.

Feb 04 2011 05:46 PM
Great write up Nick, was like reliving the day. I seem to remember that I caught the biggest fish tongue.gif
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