The first Annan Open Grayling fishing day of the season and myself and successful Scottish International angler John Watson met up with the larger group at Lockerbie Truckstop for our beat allocation. We were given one of the very low beats near Annan, Newbie, another new one for us.

We were joined on this occasion by another angler, a friend of John’s called Billy. Once tackled up Billy headed off upstream, I decided to take a look at the water immediately near the car and it looked an exceptionally fishy run so I opted to start here. John went a little further down stream and started his attempt to stay regular, catching fish.

Neither of us was managing to squeeze one out of this water despite trading places and offering any fish each others bugs. We decided to move upstream a little, but on the way John was disappointed to realise his iPhone seemed to be dead. No calls, not text and no pictures- that was tough shit.

Angler on the Annan

Worth the early start to fish on a morning like this

As we made our way we thought some water we were passing looked worth somewhere to float a trout or Grayling so he entered upstream of me. I think John decided he wanted to keep loose before me and after a few minutes he was out and heading upstream again. I decided to stay with it here , the brown water was a little shallow but I hoped I might find a little deeper water within reach so decided to stay dookin’ it out. After covering a fair bit here I wasn’t showing much signs of squeezing a lump out of here so found a spot to exit and headed on up myself.

I couldn’t see where John or Billy were but seen more water I felt worthy of dropping my bomb like bugs in. There was a decent pace here and the water was deeper than it might look from the bank so I was able to fish a reasonable amount here though the water pressure was pushing your feet off the bottom once you were about knee deep or more. Just then one of the day organisers a very helpful chap called Michael turned up to check we had found the beat OK. He asked how we had fared at the bottom of the beat, had we managed to get one out there? He said there were usually fish there and also said where I was fishing was better fished from the far bank so I opted to return downstream and cross over. No point in us all fishing one wee bit. He also said the fish had been proving a little elusive at times but were taking natural style rather than the more widely used bright coloured bugs. All good info.

Autumnal Grayling

My best Grayling of the day

I tried a section between a couple of bridges and it was here I was in to my first fish, but alas it was a Brownie and not my desired quarry. Released I then decided to try fishing some less easy to cover water with a Klink and Dink approach and so returned to the car for another rod. Fishing two small bugs under a big bushy brightly winged Klinkhamer I  soon had my first Grayling of about 30cms. Unfortunately in the process of restarting I ended up with a right tangle in my line. Once I sorted it out I fished a matter of minutes when I happened again!- the  bushy Klink was tending to twist my leader. I eventually sorted it out and decided to replace it with a small bobber type indicator to allow me to cover this water. I then crossed over to the far bank and tried here too.

Another Annan Grayling

Grayling from further upstream

About then John and Billy returned and admitted they would be completing a log as Billy had managed 10 and John 7.  Billy’s had apparently been decent sized ones, but John said his were less substantial offerings. By all accounts it sounded like they hit a shoal of Grayling

I went on upstream to try the area I originally set out to, and here I managed another couple one of about 20cms and one a mere tiddler of 10cm. Still, better out than in.

A great day to be on the river as it was near perfect weather, and right at the end John claimed to have. I say claimed as he was unable to furnish any documentary evidence of such fish as his phone was so coincidentally flat though miraculously found some charge right at the end after we were done. A less trusting person wouldn’t believe him….. 🙂

Time now for a dump of the catch record now to the Annan river management team.

Oh and the Rugby Ball title? I really couldn’t say, just a wee bit crap!