The IAC mailing lists are one of the top resources for anglers on the net. There are now several lists, each supporting different disciplines. The lists cover game, sea carp and coarse fishing. As and when more demand arises there will be extra lists added - match, pike etc. In the meantime it is a very comfortable place to be. A place where you can meet and chat to some top anglers. Many of our regular writers can be found there and many more top names are 'lurkers'. They don't say too much, but we know they are there in the background.

The IAC is just about the most informal angling club that has ever existed. There is a very loose committee in place but mostly decisions get made by the members themselves, as the lists themselves are a kind of constant AGM. Questions and answers come and go, as you might expect and good advice is usually forthcoming. Some good virtual friendships have sprouted amongst members on the lists and many of these have developed into real-world friendships as a result.

I speak from experience. Odd informal fish-ins arranged by IAC members have turned into regular events. The excuse is that the members are raising money for charity (we support Second Chance and Angling Link) but in truth, we all go just because we love these occasions. One such regular event is the annual grayling fish-in. In former years this event has always been held over several weeks (one day each week)on the river Kennet. This year was a little different, with a couple of trips to a southern chalkstream and a couple more trips to the usual venue on the Kennet.

The 15th Feb marked the date for trip one - the chalkstream was the venue on this particular day and we had a dozen or so participants, some of whom had never even seen a grayling. The tackle was usually a light float rod coupled with a centre-pin; the bait, two pints of maggots. A landing-net was about the only extra needed, so that's all I took.

Bill and Virginia Rushmer travelled down with me. We managed to only get lost twice on the way in, despite me having been there a couple of times already. We were first to arrive and welcomed the rest of the gang - after we had grabbed the 'best' swims for ourselves first. The trouble was, the fish didn't seem to know these were supposed to be the best swims. We all struggled for an hour or so before I went walkies to see what the rest of the venue had in store. I never did make it back to that swim!

Thanks to a chat with the bailiff, I soon found myself fishing a carrier stream, a long way from anyone else. This stream was little more than a ditch but did it hold some fish! I had already taken seven grayling up to - well, I don't know how big as I had no scales with me - but I thought perhaps around the 2lb mark, when I spotted Billy O'Connor and called him over. Billy hit the carrier stream like a sledgehammer and was followed by several others in the party, all of whom caught some of the biggest grayling they had ever seen out of that little stream.

Back on the main river I rounded up Bill and Virginia. They had switched to corn and caught a whole bunch of fish but were eager to try the bottom end of the fishery. We started at the bottom and worked our way up. Apart from a roach and a dace that Bill took from the weir, we blanked until we re-joined the main party halfway up the stretch. All the guys there were catching, and all had taken good fish. The sun set as we packed the last of the tackle into the car, all wishing that the day had been a little longer - so we could witness the float dip under just one more time.

It had been a great day out and it was nice to put some faces to some of the newer names on the IAC mailing lists. This was just the first of several grayling trips the IAC have had this year, fishing both the Kennet and the chalkstream for the 'Ladies'. We still have some more days to go but I wouldn't be surprised if, at the end of it, we have managed to raise several hundred pounds for worthy charities and had some great fishing whilst doing it.

The IAC is free to join and it's a great place to meet up with other anglers and share knowledge. There is a link to the subscription page on our home page here at FISHING.CO.UK.

Postscript. I was showing the photo's that I had taken of the day to a friend last night. "How big do you think that was" I asked, pointing to one fish pic. "Looks like about 5lb" he answered. Okay, so that's not really possible. But perhaps getting on for three?? I don't know. I'm an awful judge of grayling weights, I really must start taking scales with me on these trips!