Monday, April 20, 2009

Easter Highs & Lows 11/4/09-19/4/09

Just returned from a 9 day break in Builth Wells & managed to fit in a few outings on the nearby rivers. The first couple of days was tough going with the wind blowing hard downstream making presentation a real problem.

The initial trips to the Wye (3-4 hour sessions) resulted in a best catch of 6 fish including a couple of 11"+ Grayling. The Grannom hatch on the Sunday was one of the best I'd personally witnessed with flies so dense I had to be careful not to leave my mouth open for too long...... although this did very little to entice the fish to rise.

On the Tuesday I'd made up my mind to try out a river I'd not fished before - The Llynfi of the most productive of the Wye & Usk Foundation voucher beats (R19) in 2008.

Arriving at around 8.30am and making my way down the steep slope to the beat start, the river looked just like what I'd expected but with no recent rain was low and clear. I set out upstream, but with the sun blazing it soon became apparent things were going to be tough. After 1 hour I hooked my first and only trout (10") which took the GRHE nymph. Little in the way of hatches to talk about and no fish rising throughout the session.

There is no doubt this stretch holds a load of fish, as I walked back down the river to return to the car I spooked a number of trout out of the nearside bank, one or two fish I estimated at well over 12". So I shall be returning back here when I deem the conditions to be right to redress the balance in my favour without any excuses!.

I also managed a walk along the W&UF's Upper Irfon beat which runs north of Llanwrtyd Wells. Parking at St David's Church I walked the the length upstream of the road bridge and from what I saw this is real wild river fishing, I will be looking to return armed with my 7' rod to see what the water below.

After a couple a brief sessions on the lower Irfon - resulting in a couple of small brownies - I headed back down to the Wye on Thursday, the wind had changed to a brisk upstream direction and the sky was brewing up for a storm. I couldn't wait to get fishing and with the wind in my favour opted to fish upstream with a Klink and Dink.

I didn't have to wait too long for the first fish and the 4 hours that I fished resulted in 10 trout, more importantly 2 of the trout were 16" + 17"+ long which are some of the largest I've ever caught out of a river, they were really meaty fish and I can only imagine they had gorged themselves on the vast Grannom that had been hatching all week.

The lows of the week came when I decided to have a round of golf on Friday which was a soggy affair to say the least, then later in the evening I thought I'd have a look at some of the photos I'd taken of the large trout I'd caught the day before only to find that the entire weeks photos had been deleted from the memory card!!!!!
I'd rather not go into details as to how this may have happened but to say I was gutted would be an understatement. I did manage one more go on Sunday which produced 8 fish and after taking a few photos keep the camera close to me until having a chance to upload them.

PS. As always all fish handled carefully and returned.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Brockhill Farm Trout Pools 8/4/09

In between all of the river fishing I often participate in a little 'stockie bashing' on a local stillwater of which I hold a season ticket.

Now I'm not the biggest fan of artificial fisheries but if they are done properly then they can generate quite a bit of pleasure and this place is a little gem. Its called Brockhill Farm Trout Pools and is situated between Redditch & Bromsgrove in Worcestershire.

There are two spring fed pools that measure approximately three acres in total, built in 1991 the pools are well established and are surrounded by pretty countryside and attract plenty of wildlife.

The pools are open from the beginning of March to the end of November and can fish well all through, although at the height of the summer they can suffer from a lack of oxygen and fishing becomes very difficult.

They are regularly stocked with good quality, hard fighting fish with a minimum stock size of 1 1/2lbs, going by experience I would say the average size is around the 2 1/2lb - 3lb mark.

They also allow 'catch & release' which for people like me who are fishing for the sport is essential and offers good value for money.

As I work locally I can just pop down for a couple of hours when I've finished, the great thing is that you rarely get more than a couple of people down there in the week and often you can have it all to yourself.

This evening I managed to get there for 5.30pm, there was a stiff breeze whipping across the pools and no signs of any surface activity so on went the intermediate line and a deadly (secret) fly that has worked really well early/late season for the last couple of years. I didn't have to wait long before I saw some action and soon had a 2lb rainbow in the net.

It pays to move around a little here especially if you've had no signs of a fish and by 8.00pm it was time for me to call it a day with 5 fish for my efforts and many takes and lost fish, its certainly no comparison to stalking wild brownies in remote wales, but I must say it fills the gap very adequately!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Builth Wells Area 4/4/09

I decided to pop down to the Wye around Builth Saturday afternoon for a few hours fishing in the hope that the trout may have 'switched on' now the temperatures have risen a little.

The river is running extremely low and clear at the moment so expectations weren't too high, although I had noticed quite a few Grannom coming off the river as I walked along it earlier...the trout seemed very reluctant to rise!!

I headed for a stretch well below the town bridge and had hopes of fishing upstream 'New Zealand' style but unfortunately this stretch is prone to catching the wind which was skimming downstream making a decent presentation almost impossible, so I opted for the 'across & down' approach with a team of three consisting of: beadhead PT pupa on the point with Partridge & Orange and Waterhen Bloa making up the other two.

I hooked and lost what seemed a sizable fish early on but the three hour session ended with just a handful of Parr and one decent out of season Grayling.

The river conditions at the moment certainly don't help, with the low, clear water making the larger and more wary fish very nervous and probably not prepared to venture out to play until it gets a little darker. Also this year there seems to have been a large number of Goosanders & Cormorants patrolling this stretch of river which has possibly made them even more skittish.
Hopefully the rain forecast for the next week will freshen things up, with easter looming I may find myself with a couple of extra days available to try and sort out some of those larger specimens that the Wye holds.......i'll keep you posted.