Well Saturday morning bright and early, far too early in fact for my liking, Clive arrived at my house keen to get to the working party on the Dove. With talk of fishing adventures past and those to come, we past through the fog and mist on the hills to arrive at Crowdecote, a part of the river I have yet to fish.
After a brief wait for a few other members to arrive we all set about removing the old barbed wire fence. To be honest it was hard graft, but there's no better place to be working than right beside the river. Of course I would rather it had been a fishing rod and net in hand than a pair of pliers and a hammer.
The hard work was interspersed with talk of fishing, peeks at the river and possible lies and some useful tips from members who had fished the section before. And of course the odd bit of humour which mainly came from Alex almost falling into the river. He had been removing a post with barbed wire and two seconds later it along with some of the bank had collapsed into the river leaving Alex desperately clinging to the new fence with a rather worried look on his face!
What was more funny was the fact that Rob was quite happy to stand there and laugh at him and I was too busy trying to get the camera on my phone working, to help the poor chap out.
Nevertheless no committee members were hurt in the shooting of the picture and work was successfully completed. After a break for lunch and a cup of coffee, Clive and I decided that our hard work deserved some reward, so off we set for Milldale.
On the way down we bumped into Adam who had mentioned at the work party he was going to give the river a try as well. On inquiring he told us he had already had 3 small grayling. We pressed on down the river a bit further and dropped in near the "wasps" nest. I opted for Czech nymphing and Clive for a single bug on an indicator, nevertheless after an hour neither of us had had a touch. By this point Adam had worked his way down river and was in the pool in front of me when he hooked into a lovely grayling.
I chatted with Adam to inquire what he had used and he had caught his grayling on relatively small bugs, which he had drifted from some way upstream. Then opening his fly box he kindly gave me a couple of JT grayling bugs to try out. However knowing that I had not caught yet he kindly invited me to fish the pool that he was in, giving an indication of where I might find success.
I must admit I found that gesture extremely gentlemen like, after all if you've caught one grayling in a pool, you undoubtedly stand a pretty good chance to catch another and yet Adam was quite happy to give me the opportunity.....what a credit you are to angling Adam...and a fine example to each and every one of us!!!
Sadly though after just a few minutes more fishing, I heard the peal of girls laughter from behind me and turned to see Clive looking slightly wet and not at all amused. In my usual sadistic way I burst into laughter when I realised he had tripped and fallen in the water...not good....but very funny!!! Given it was quite cold we hurriedly headed back to the car and then set off home.
And so another day by the river ended, this time with scratched hands from the barbed wire fencing, still no "ladies" in the net and yet still happy.