Because I have been away, I have hardly fished the Eden since the spring, but have done so this past week, the first after the close of the trout season, as grayling come to their best. Delighted that the prospects seem so good. In the mild weather, last week’s hatches (mostly of pale wateries, and some BWO) were immense with both OOS trout and grayling up at them relentlessly. Suddenly, after the rather disturbing reports from spring and summer time, the numbers of both species seem to be much, much higher than we had thought, at least on the upper river (upstream of Penrith). The Appleby waters seem particularly to be graced with large populations, mostly of 20 – 35cm fish (both species). This is the Eden at Holme Farm, from mid-stream, looking towards a storm over the north Pennines.Occasional very large trout are being reported, with the best I have heard of coming to Steven Dawson, with a 4lb trout at Colby Laithes. I have also heard of a huge grayling, possibly in excess of 3lbs up at Sandford. My best of last week was a 40cm trout, and a 38cm grayling; all fish coming to plume tips, size 19, though the numbers have been almost ridiculous. Fish are rising continuously from the very beginning of the hatch, at about lunch time, through to whenever I have left the water. Trout have outnumbered grayling, but this is always the case because of their much more aggressive feeding nature. I have no doubt that in some locations around Appleby, grayling considerably outnumber trout, but the delicate, efficient feeding of the grayling, locked in a feeding rhythm and position, makes it much more difficult to bring to the fly – though a sparse plume tip, as always, completely changes the odds! When the weather finally turns cold there will be plenty of chance for nymph fishing and I shall certainly, as last year, be using the tenkara approach with either Duo, single nymph or double nymph – and I am rather looking forward to this. With the dry fly mayhem lately – similar to what we experienced lately in Slovakia and Poland – one really has to start questioning what on earth we are doing out on the river, and surely yearn for fresh challenge.