2nd November was the 40th anniversary of my first ever Grayling fishing session.  This was on the River Wharfe at Ilkley in 1972.  So on 2nd November 2012 I went to the exact same spot on the River Wharfe to re-create the event on its 40th anniversary.  In 1972 my grandfather, a life member of the Ilkley Angling Association, took me to the river, told me where to fish and how to fish and left me to it.  That day I caught five Grayling.  So in homage to my grandfather I set up his tackle from 50 odd years ago and went to fish with it on the Wharfe.  The river conditions and the weather conditions were not good.  However within 10 minutes of starting to fish I caught a Grayling of about 12oz.  I was VERY happy.  After that all I caught was Trout but I had achieved what I had set out to.

I have my grandfather’s copy of ‘Grayling and how to catch them’ by Francis Walbran (published in 1895).  It was given to my grandfather on his 18th birthday in 1919.  I read it as a young boy and he later gave it to me.  In the book Walbran recounts some of his experiences Grayling fishing on the River Wharfe, including at Ilkley.  In the 1890’s the River Wharfe was full of Grayling; it was full of Grayling in the 1970’s and it is still full of Grayling in the 2010’s.  Its nice that some things don’t change!

Ilkley Angling Association sell day permits for £11 to fish the River Wharfe.  The river at Ilkley is full of wild Brown Trout and Grayling and is excellent water for both fly fishing and trotting.  Let me know if you fancy fishing there.