Stokesley AC - Grayling Cup

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Simon R

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Date - 23rd February 2003
Venue - River Swale, Catterick, North Yorks

Our penultimate match of the season was on our club stretch of the River Swale at Catterick. There was only four of us fishing (which wasn't a bad thing, since more than about half-a-dozen and it starts to get a bit cramped) myself, Keith (orvil), John and making the trip up from Leeds in the hope of getting a grayling for 'The Race' - Haydn.

The river was very low and clear, I'd fished it the week before, catching only a single small spottie and it was if anything even lower (certainly the lowest I've ever seen it at this time of year).

The draw saw Keith on the upstream end peg, usually good for a few grayling and the odd winter barbel.
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I was on the next peg (known as the pipe peg - due to a big grey pipe half buried in the bank)
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John was in the middle of our stretch, commonly known as the 'chub hole'
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And Haydn was pegged at our downstream limit which does sometimes throw up a decent weight but is very fast and rocky and not the easiest peg to fish
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It became obvious very quickly that the fish were not going to be easy to tempt, the water was so clear that in most pegs the bottom was clearly visible across three-quarters of the river. The water was also exceedingly cold - after 45 minutes stood thigh-deep in the river I'd lost the feeling in my toes, so decided to have a little wander along and see what, if anything, was getting caught.

Haydn was catching - unfortunately all inanimate objects, he'd already lost a float, two feeders and a number of hooks, thanks to the rocky nature of his swim. Keith hadn't had a bite but John had had a 10 inch brownie and there was a few fish rising at the bottom end of his peg.

An hour later and John finally caught a decent grayling, followed by two more smaller ones. He'd took a step too far and got a wader full of water so in an attempt to warm his feet a little he came for a walk along the bank just in time to see me land this plump speciman.
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You may not be able to make-out what it is, so here's a close-up
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It may not be a big-un but its another species for 'The Race'[:p]

That was the only bite I had, John caught another grayling and Keith caught a decent trout towards the end. Haydn had had enough by 2pm, the rocks having claimed half the contents of his tackle box and he left clutching a large bunch of wild daffodil bulbs that were 'about to fall out of the bankside'. Typical bloody Yorkshireman - Owt for Nowt [:D]

John Micklewright won his first match of the year, his four grayling weighing 2lb 10oz, the biggest being 1lb 1.5oz (which is about as big as they get on this stretch of river)
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I didn't bother weighing my minnow, the long fight had left it exhausted so I thought it best to return it straight to the water.

One match left this season - back on Renny Lake in a fortnight.

Tight Lines

Simon
 
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patriot

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Sep 2, 2002
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Nice to see you snare a monster simon looked cold mate you did,nt go for one of your walks did you lol lol only joking. See you sunday if not before.

Graham.
 
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