Cheshire-based Orvis Endorsed Guide, Ian Griffin, reflects on his 2022 season.
It’s been a strange season with rivers running low for most of the year but still I managed to get to fish in some nice places with good company. The year started chasing the ‘Lady of the Stream’ on the river Nith in Scotland. The beat produced some nice fish up to about 2lb mark, from here I moved onto my home water on the Ribble River in Lancashire again after Grayling, fish here are generally not as big as the Nith but still beautiful to catch.
February saw the opening of the salmon season on the River Nith which was affected by high water but we had to give it a go despite the conditions, then back onto the Ribble for brown trout season and it fished okay with some lovely wild fish coming to the net, as well as a few of the recent stockies that fought well on the Orvis Recon 3 weight set up.
End of April and I was off up to the might River Tay fishing the upper beats which I have done for many years now, usually with good success, beats fished were Upper Bolfracks and Upper Farleyer, it’s a long time since I’ve seen as many fish going through the system at this at this time of year, hooking them and keeping them on was a different issue, but we stuck at it and were rewarded in the end.
All of this was mixed in with introducing new clients to the sport as well as guiding them on rivers and still waters.
Mid May and I was off to the USA for 3 weeks social fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. Fishing off the beach chasing snook, red fish, spanish mackerel and such like – great fun on the Orvis Helios 3, thanks to Orvis USA for loaning me the kit.
Back in the UK and the Ribble was calling and there was some lovely browns and sea trout coming to hand with the odd grayling and chub showing up.
July took me back to the River Nith where we had some mixed results, sadly no salmon but plenty of browns, grayling and sea trout amongst the group.
September back again on the Nith with another group from different areas of the UK for a mix of single handed and double handed tuition & guiding with fly dressing in the evening. Plenty of fish caught on single handed rods with sea trout proving the best at around the 3lb mark, all clients had had a really good time.
End of September back to the USA just in time for my name sake (Hurricane Ian) to wreak havoc, mandatory evacuation from where we were staying but for us, all turned out OK our disruption was minor compared to those further down the coast. After things settled I did manage to get out into the bays with a local skipper and had some great sport with red fish, plenty of snook & speckled trout.
Salmon season came to a close on the Ribble with one strong pull on the last day but it was sadly not to be, so it will be back to the Grayling on there for me until 2023.
Just back from my last course of the year up on the River Nith, hosting a client who came over from Switzerland for the 3 days, shame the river and weather didn’t know he was coming, and it was a real struggle to get him onto the water. We managed in the end and first cast he was into a fish less that a rod length out, the fish pulled hard for about 20 seconds and then shed the hook, but he was happy that despite the conditions he had a fish on. I’ll be back up there for the last 3 days of the season myself followed by a day’s grayling fishing myself at the end of this month.
So that’s a brief account of my season/exploits for 2022, dates for courses for 2023 at Friars Carse Hotel on the banks of the River Nith are well underway and should be out soon.