8am (or when Ellis was ready) till 4pm
Arsenal did it, Liverpool might do it this season, but today Ellis did it. The perfect session, a fish caught in every swim tried. It definitely happened 'cos minnows count, Ellis confirmed my minnow did, which took me off the blank. I needed it. But by the end if the day it was not needed, even ending on a trout. So what happened between them? Grayling, lots of (12) Grayling!!
Ellis and I headed for the Tees at Broken scar. I had never fished this free stretch before, but Ellis had and he was keen to show me it's potential. I am so glad that he did.
Arriving before light careful not to flash the lights in the car park we put on our waders and got to grips with our tackle. We were not dogging, we were stick float fishing!!
I started to tie on a size 18 to 1.7lb bottom, but then snapped it as I am used to 15lb line and trebles! I opted for an 20 to 2.5lb instead. A 4bb stick float was set and off we went. We started in a swim that Ellis fished recently. The plan was alternate trots and fish until we were ready to move on. Ellis let me go first. Nothing. So I let him go in the swim. Nothing. I moved a bit further down, Ellis caught the first fish. I came back, nothing.
Ellis moved to the swim I just left, second fish, third, fourth etc. He was soon emptying the river. Suddenly my float buried and the first fish was hooked, played but lost, then a second. This really was not going well. That's when it happened, the minnow. It was hooked and landed. I quickly asked Ellis if it counted and he said yes, I was off the mark. No more for me, whilst Ellis caught about a million, so we moved on.
The next spot looked like Crabtree set it up. Perfect swims, mist rising off the water, it was looking great. First trot down the float buried, I was soon into my first Grayling. All was well in the world.
A few more smaller Grayling followed and we were both soon into the rhythm of feeding, trotting and catching fish. We were both stood in the water and feeding steadily, Ellis from his apron and me not quite so elegant as I left my bait apron in the car. For my next trick, it was not needed however. I was required with the net. Ellis had hooked into his usual out of season trout, and as before, this one was over 2lb!! It put up a great fight in the strong flow, but was soon ready for the net.
As we walked on, there were more swims to try. Ellis alternating between Grayling and trout. It was about now, I mentioned that Ellis was on track for the perfect session, not wanting to jinx it, we moved on.
As we walked further, the river changed from shallow faster water to slower deeper areas. We were looking for other swims, as always we were planning the next session. We walked the whole beat, then turned around to fish it back to the start. Finding a little spot, Ellis had a cast. He of course had to catch here..... and by sure he did, the mighty minnow!!!
Further impressed with the swims we passed by, we were soon back at the second spot. Again we got into the rhythm and again the fish came. Me on the Grayling, Ellis catching Grayling and Tout.
As the floats became harder to see, it was back to the first swim to finish off. Soon we were both catching again, at one point both at the same time. A double hook up! But then I lost my fish, letting the side down!
A few mins later we were at it again, this time a better outcome, happy was an understatement!
As we fished on, I reverted back to the 18 and 1.7lb hook link, just to prove that I could. My reward was the little trout, I already told you about.
As we packed up it was starting to get dark. Thinking of what sessions lay ahead, we were soon planning the next one. Of course this perfect session had nothing to do with the fish, we were out and fishing. That's what made it perfect! The fish were just a bonus.