Friday 25 December 2020

Not Blanking

Early this morning I packed the bins and camera into a rucksack and took them east to a nice spot on the River Frome. I took some other stuff too... the wellington boot visible in this pic.

I snapped that photo just after casting out at 08:04, and immediately WhatsApp'd it to Rob in Switzerland. Three years ago to the day, we were supposed to be doing exactly this but got badly rained off. It was a beautiful, crisp, winter's morning, and I wanted to share it with Rob, knowing he was with me in spirit. However, I certainly wouldn't have predicted that I'd be sending him another photo exactly three minutes later...

This is possibly the smallest Grayling in Dorset

Yes, it might be tiny but it is a Grayling, and it meant I wasn't going to blank. Result.

The last couple of times I fished the Frome I caught nothing, and talking to other anglers at the time it seemed I wasn't the only one struggling that winter. I didn't go at all last season and have no idea what the fishing was like, but judging on today's return, this winter looks promising. I ended up with 7 Grayling and a little Trout. None were much bigger than half a pound or so, but it didn't matter. It was just good to get some bites...

Grayling are beautifully marked.

This pic shows the odd, snouty head shape

No other anglers to compare notes with today. The riverbank was empty. Perfect.

I spent all day with my bins around my neck and the camera within reach. No decent photo opportunities came my way, but there were a few birds to look at. A Cetti's Warbler in riverside reeds was nice, and a totally appropriate Kingfisher dashed across the flooded meadow. Flyovers included a Green Sandpiper heading upstream and two Egyptian Geese downstream.

And finally...

Instant feedback from the excellent Med Gull man, Camille Duponcheel, on yesterday's colour-ringed adult at West Bexington. Turns out it is an 11 year-old bird...

Just 4 sightings in 11 years. White 35ET has kept itself under the radar*.

Hopefully the angling urge will occur again before the winter is out. Mind you, gulls can be a bit distracting...

*Ah...I've just worked out why. It didn't get a colour-ring until May this year!


  1. I've only seen Grayling three times before, always in the same 8" deep chalk stream in Hampshire. Beautiful fish, they really are (yep, even that embryonic one in your second pic). Bettered possibly only by Barbel or Zander for sheer good looks. Despite playing what was undoubtedly a Berkshire Barbel for the best part of eight seconds, abruptly ended by my falling off the submerged rock I was stood upon - a full on immersion moment ensued - I've yet to actually clap eyes on one. Some day....somehow...

    1. When it comes to fishy looks I would struggle to pick a top three. Perch would be right up there, and Rudd, and Pike...

      Your comment reminds me that I've been meaning to put together a Barbel-themed post, so I must get on and do it. Berkshire Barbel will feature! 😁

  2. Well done on taking a few grayling Gav, they are so pleasing to catch even in flood conditions.

    1. Thanks Dave, yes, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I must have fished at least a dozen swims for those fish. Missed a few bites too. I might do it again. 😊

  3. A lovely change Gav, and some lovely fish too...

    1. Thanks Stewart, must admit I was quite relieved to actually catch a few!