Another weird day on the Aire!


Yesterday was a welcome day off and seeing as the clocks are about to go back I decided to try get the most out of the day by getting out on the BCAA stretch of the River Aire. You may recall last time I fished the Aire my catch of the day was (and I’m being serious here) a 7 DVD collection of vintage pornography which rumour has it was still playable when carefully dried and cleaned. This time I wanted no funny business, I simply wanted to catch a grayling or 2 and having checked the levels it looked low but still fishable.

I didn’t get parked up in Gargrave until 1:30pm which wasn’t the greatest of starts but when I got to the river it did indeed look low but fishable. I decided to fish ‘klink n dink’ but then remembered I’d not packed my dry fly box so nymphs it was then! There was a nasty wind blowing downstream so not fancying upstream nymphing into that I settled on good ol’ down and across! I fished the weir, the run with the dirty great big pipe, and then several likely looking bits all the way down to just before you hit the railway but apart from 2 offers there was nothing doing.

Gah, another blank! I hopped back over a very dicey stile and began plodding back. After maybe 50 yards my attention was drawn to some ripples spreading out across a slow glide. They were emanating from under a tree. Was it a fish? No, way too big for that? Duck…no. Otter? Ooh could be. I got closer. A large object drifted out from under the tree and into the slow current. What am I seeing here? It was a rabbit. In the river. Face down. There was movement, it looked like it was still trying to get it’s head out so I downed tools and ran back down to the dicey style and crashed out into the river with my net to intercept the rabbit. WHY DOES THIS SHIT ONLY HAPPEN TO ME? I netted the rabbit and plonked it on the bank, but it was very dead and what’s more it looked as if it was badly myxy’d. I’ll never know if the rabbit was in its death throes when I spotted it or already dead and being tugged at by something under the water e.g. pike, mink.

I gave my net a damn good wash in the river then set off back but decided to have a few last casts in the last pool where I’d got a couple of offers. Light was going rapidly but maybe that would work in my favour. It did! 3 offers and finally a nice grayling to the net!


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