Grayling time on the Lyd is always a bit of a bitter sweet affair- some beautiful fishing at Sydenham, with some stunning grayling, but also the prospect of a long wait before you can return.
On this occasion I was joined by top snapper Paul Hamilton, to try to capture the rich colours of autumn as well as some grayling. Well, that was the plan anyway; it was typically slow in the morning and not brilliant for aesthetic purposes either.
I always find Grayling a real paradox- fussy and elusive one day, stupidly gullible the next. But what an exotic looking, ornate creature for a cold English stream. This trip required persistence though, as my best tied bugs, shrimps and czech nymphs were ignored for the first couple of hours. Worse still, I was facing a ribbing from Paul, by his own admissions not a fly fisher. And then the inevitable comment:"What you need is a couple of maggots!"
Very satisfying then, when finally I found a productive swim. A pink shrimp did the business for two half pounders, before the unthinkable happened- rise forms and a fish that weighed over a pound to a Klinkhamer. A beautiful male fish too, with a classic, sail fin. And not a maggot in sight...