Richie Martin 3lb 1.5oz Grayling

It’s a trip I’ll not forget, spending time in that landscape with such a good pal is enough reward, but catching so many unbelievable fish, well it’s what dreams are made of!

Some anglers may dread a 16 hour round trip to a venue but for Richie Martin, it was full of excitement and he was rewarded handsomely for his efforts as he banked this stunning 3lb 1oz grayling.

He told us “After a last minute call from my great mate Simon to say ‘come on bonny lad’ I threw a rod and some tackle into the back of my car and started the 7 and half hour journey north!

When we arrived, we was greeted by an absolutely stunning sunrise and was keen to get set up as quickly as possible as the river looked spot on, the flow was heavy but compared to my local Hampshire Avon which has decided to live in the fields over the past few months it looked perfect!

Armed with my trusty 15ft Acolyte and some heavy floats I was soon pulting maggots and long trotting some likely swims. Simon had started quickly and before long had notched up a few stunning Scottish 2lb+ grayling, but as the morning ticked by my confidence grew.

The grayling seemed to be in the deeper areas of the river, making presentation tricky, with 11.5ft under the float and a gusty wind it took some patience to keep things accurate. But persistence paid off, as around midday a confident dip in the float had me connected to a heavy steady fish. After a few heart stopping moments she was mine.

A quick call and back up arrived to take some stunning pics! 2lb 14 ½ ounces and half a meter of Scottish Grayling, what a way to get off the mark.

About an hour later, and not to be outdone, I received a call from Simon, ‘I’ve got a beast in the net here mate!’ I immediately down tools and raced downstream to meet him. Greeted with a beaming smile he pointed to a giant Grayling cradled in his net. The first 3lb Grayling of the trip and an absolute beauty at that! Photos taken and a celebratory can of red bull downed for energy, I made my way back upstream.

I managed another 3 fish before the sun set, all were around the 1 ½ pound mark, they looked like triplets, a great sign for the future! Meeting back at the van, while cooking burgers we talked tactics for the next day, Simon was on a role and wanted to go exploring new swims, I however decided to stay where I knew the fish were and what a great decision that proved to be!

As morning broke and the sun peeked over the beautiful landscape, I was ready to get going, and within the first hour had my first fish of the day, another huge fish of 2lb 13 ounces, soon after that the float dipped again and another 2lber.

Simon was trailblazing about ¾ of a mile downstream so I phoned to give him a quick update. 5 minutes after that call I struck into something completely different, staying low in the heavy flow, testing every inch of my Acolyte and making the line whistle in the wind I was into something special. Visibility was pretty good which made the whole experience terrifying, I eventually saw what can only be described as a river monster.

The power was unreal, using its broad flanks and huge dorsal in the flow expertly to seek refuge in some of the huge boulders that lay deep in the river! I somehow guided it through this treacherous underwater obstacle course, over the net and was stunned by his size, 51.5cm long and 36cm around chest! A true giant.

On the scales and the needle settled on 3lb 1.5 ounces, secured in the net I made the call, Simon captured the moment beautifully and began to make his way back down stream, but before he could get too far, I was in again. Another 3lb fish, this was turning into a day you could only dream about!

The rain, came in and the wind picked up making presentation almost impossible, so we decided to call it a day. I managed to land 7 fish over 2lb… 2.2, 2.2, 2.8, 2.8, 2.10, 2.13, 2.14 ½ and two fish over 3lb … 3lb and 3lb 1 ½ ounces. Between us we managed 16 fish over 2lb and 3 over 3lb

It’s a trip I’ll not forget, spending time in that landscape with such a good pal is enough reward, but catching so many unbelievable fish, well it’s what dreams are made of!

Well done Richie!