Torrential rain, gale force winds, trees and Rivers don’t go very well.
Rain for the rivers are great, although it stops us fishing for a couple of days, the extra water freshens the waterway, removes slime and weed from the bottom and allows the fish in the river some freedom from anglers. Wind isn’t usually an issue when river fishing, and trees? They help too, both anglers and fish, in many different ways. But when these crazy weather systems hit together, for fishermen they can be disastrous.
If your lucky enough to be able to get yourself into an already swollen river, you’re more than likely going to hook more leaves than fish… But when the storm passes, the leaves have made their way downstream and out of your favourite pools, the fishing can be immense. For now, when our rivers are in these states, you can either sit down and tie a load of new flies or find some alternative fishing. What do I do? I head south in search for Grayling on a chalkstream.
Chalkstreams are usually set on very flat ground, unlike the rivers here in south Wales. They have numerous carriers taking water away to various mills, most not used now, but this is a welcome hand when water levels rise. These carriers move water away from the main river, it’s fairly tough to flood a chalkstream! Heavy rain hardly puts a dent in these chalkstreams, allowing them to be fish-able almost all year round.
I was lucky enough to be invited to the river Anton along with good friend and current national rivers champion, Terry Bromwell. We had a brilliant days fishing, with loads of Grayling and a fair amount of out of season trouts. Chalkstream Grayling are great fun to catch, especially if you get a decent day with good visibility into the water.
Tackle for a Chalkstream is much the same as your usual river fishing kit, consisting of 9/10 foot 3/4 weight rods, long tapered leaders for the french leader and a couple of select nymphs. I can’t say much, but keep an eye out in Total Fly fisher over the next couple of weeks!
Here’s a few snaps from our day on the Anton 🙂