Monday, September 14, 2009

Cluns Alien Invaders!

Last Saturday myself and two others decided that a trip to the River Clun in Shropshire was in order so we headed towards the upper reaches where the river thins out a bit but previous experience told us that there were still plenty of good sized grayling along with the trout to be caught from the deeper pockets of water.

After our arrival at 7.30am we spread out along the 2 mile stretch and began fishing. The river was low and relatively clear and with the bright conditions the fish were going to be very nervous so stealth was a must to get the best out of the water.

The first decent pool I came to saw a couple of brownies come to hand taken on a small tungsten head pheasant tail nymph fished beneath a klinkhamer, then a little while later a couple more, nothing big but the trout on the Clun can weigh a fair bit more than trout caught on a lot of other waters due to the abundance of food available to them.

My journey upstream saw me under attack from a bombardment of missiles fired from the 'over-ripe' Himalayan Balsam (Impatiens Glandulifera) pods which stretch along most of this river bank, when these things go off it makes you glad you put your Polaroids on. Since its introduction into the UK from Asia during the late 1930's and its escape later in the 50's into the British countryside the spread has been phenomenal with few rivers escaping the invasion.

A switch to one of my favourite grayling bugs fished with a fair bit of weight in the deeper glides started to produce a few decent fish, the grayling along this river are a real eye opener...its hard to imagine where they all hide but I'm convinced that some of the deeper depressions in the riverbed can hold a substantial amount of fish and if they are not spooked then catching 2 or 3 from one spot is always on the cards.

Below: possibly the darkest trout I've ever caught.
Taken from right below a wall which is permanently in the shade.

Although there was plenty of flies coming off the water (mainly Stoneflies) the surface activity seemed restricted to the smaller specimens resulting in rather futile splashes at anything that was chucked at them.

Between the three of us we ended with a total of 44 fish with the majority of them being grayling, so under the conditions we all left happy and looking forward to our imminent return...hopefully when the Himalayan Balsam has died of a bit!