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Grayling fishing page 2


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By this time I had come over four hundred yards, and worse than all, had passed another angler who was walking up. Twice I tried to net the fish, knowing full well he was not ready for it. The hank was high, the current deep and strong, so I still walked on. Had he been fairly taken I should have got him; but I stilt had the discomforting feeling about his ownership. Making a last dip at him with the net, the rim touched the cast - and he was off. Never was there such a sense of relief n the atmosphere; although never has a grayling made anything resembling the prolonged fight that he did. Here was a fish of perhaps two pounds and a quarter, free after a run of over six hundred yards from where he was hooked.

Whenever I think back on it, I inwardly thank goodness that he escaped, for I dare not have returned him to the water after landing him; as the other angler would have guessed my guilty conscience at putting back such a plucky prize caught fairly on a fly on the first of November. Nothing has made me a firmer believer in the wiles of the wicked one than this bad quarter of an hour's sport. Even the vain curiosity of wanting to measure the length of the cast could never tempt me to make the necessary number of paces into the meadow above that ditch. I prefer to regard it as an infernal record.

The final wind up after the last day of a grayling season is somewhat sad to a man who has no chance of shooting. Rapidly shortening days, the curtailment of outdoor exercise, and the inevitable four months of winter, make one look forward to the coming spring and its early trout fishing prospects with something like apprehension, lest anything should occur to render this day the last of rubber boots and flooded meadows. Yet this is an ungrateful feeling to harbour, seeing that one has all the pleasant memories of a good season to dwell upon, while less lucky men have put away their rod and reel some two months previously, without ever experiencing the aftermath of autumn enjoyment that the grayling season affords to those who can take advantage of it.

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