Monday, June 22, 2009

Spiders Score On The Wye

Quite often you get to the river not really knowing what to expect, other times it turns out completely different from what you thought...this was was of those weekends.

I decided that this weekend my club waters on the upper River Wye was to play host for my fly fishing. I got to the river around 11.00am on Saturday and I had planned to experiment with a short line - upstream spider set up. When I got to the river the wind direction/strength put paid to any method fished upstream so I settled for fishing a team of spiders across and down, trying to maintain as much 'dead drift' as possible.

Fish came instantly and it was obvious from the start that something had triggered these fish into feeding mode.

Although the river was low I targeted the deeper waters that still maintained plenty of flow and the fish were queuing up to be first to my spiders.

I found that the favoured fly was a bead head Greenwells pattern so I added another in place of the Snipe & Purple which out the three was the least productive. This resulted in an occurrence that I can only remember happening once before and today it happened four times...that being the catching of 2 fish at the same time!

At the conclusion of the day (7.30pm)I had taken fish mostly on spiders but also later on the dry fly and nymph with a good number of hard fighting Grayling making up the numbers (biggest 14").

Sundays session (3 hours) saw the river in much the same mode but the wind strength was considerably less enabling me to fish upstream as I had planned the day before, taking many fish again. This is a fantastic way of fishing enabling you to search out lots of water very quickly and catching fish right under your feet.

A valuable lesson was further instilled in me that if you're not in the water then you're not gonna catch anything, what looked like being a hard river turned out to produce one of my most memorable weekends on the river bank.

Monday, June 15, 2009

River Lugg 11/6/09

Last Thursday saw me visit the River Lugg to fish a lovely stretch a couple of miles downstream of Presteigne.

I was invited as a guest as this water is controlled by 'The Pheasant Tail Fly Fishers' club, myself and club member Graham set out early afternoon to give ourselves a good few hours to fish.

On arrival we geared up and headed downstream where my fishing partner and 'guide' pointed out some of the likely fish holding spots. He has fished this stretch many times and has normally scored well taking good amounts of both trout & grayling.

I was left at the start of the stretch while Graham headed back upstream and with no obvious fish rising I decided to go for an upstream dual nymph approach using two tungsten headed nymphs (2mm & 2,5mm). Although this is a relatively small river here there are some deep pools with a strong flow so this approach would enable me to get the nymphs down quick.

I was soon unhooking my first fish...a nice brownie of about 10" quickly followed by a couple more including a decent hard fighting grayling of about 13".

This stretch has a variety of water from deep pools to long riffles and meanders through some of the most beautiful countryside you could wish to fish in...uncultivated meadows and wooded valleys accompanied me on my way steadily upstream.

I took fish from the likely areas pointed out to me and as the sun started to set the masses of spinners began to fall sparking quite a bit of surface activity, a lack of good imitative fly patterns led to a frustrating couple of hours as I struggled to make much of a connection with the rising fish taking just a couple on an emerger pattern.

A final change back to the nymph took a couple more as I met up with Graham who had a similar story to tell. We walked back in the closing darkness where we were fortunate to spot an otter cruising down river and we were urged on back to the car by the loud grunting of a nearby deer.
Last fish of the day went to Graham - caught around 10pm!!!

Lots to talk about on the way back but a sense that there was probably more fish that we should have both caught on the dry fly, I feel a few hours at the vice tying some spinner patterns is called for before my next outing.

You can read Grahams' views of the evening at his blog

Monday, June 1, 2009

My Overview Of The River Edw

Aberedw - 29th May (Beat 16)

OK, I know from my recent reports it seems like the Edw is the only river I've been fishing lately but to be honest I really wanted to fish the 3 lower beats while the river was at its best.

The Wye & Usk Foundation manage 4 beats on this river and the only one I've yet to fish is the top beat at Hundred House. The reason I'm in no rush to fish this beat I will explain later.

My latest excursion found the river in prime condition...good height with a fair bit of colour in it. I arrived at 5.30am!!! and headed straight to the beat start, as you go through the gate I would advise applying a fair bit of stealth...the pool immediately in front of you holds a fair number of fish with some 10" and over.

The beat is split into 2 sections comprising of a total of 1 3/4 miles, it flows over a mixture of bedrock & gravel with quite a steep gradient making for some dramatic features with plenty of deep fish holding pools to target.

For anyone thinking about fishing here I would advise you don't leave out fishing the top section of this beat, its a bit of a climb up & down the hill from where you park the car but well worth the effort. I had posted my return voucher in the box before I'd fished this section, initially considering to maybe just have a quick look as I was running short of time. I ended up rushing through most of it taking at least another dozen fish.

End result, well over 30 fish with many in the 10"+ bracket (biggest 13").

My final opinion of the Edw is basically that this river is a little haven for wildlife and has an exceptionally good head of fish. The 2 lower beats (Aberedw, Hergest) I was most impressed with the lower half of the Cregina beat also a pleasure to fish, the problem I found with this beat is that above the bridge it takes on a different appearance, the lack of gradient means it runs slow with fewer target areas that are likely to hold many trout.

The top beat at Hundred House is also described as 'slower' so I think I may have a walk along it before parting with my vouchers.

I'm convinced that the higher water levels and clarity (lack of) helped with my trips to the Edw but because these beats run fast - even in low water they will have plenty of oxygenated water in them with fish eager to open there mouths.

The other point I think is most important is the incredible amount of invertebrate life this river holds sustaining a healthy population of trout.

As a footnote: I am concerned that some of the other Wye tributaries which run through the more mountainous regions are suffering from high acidity levels causing a noticeable lack of invertebrate life with an obvious knock on effect. I know the Wye & Usk foundation are tackling this problem and look forward to some long term results.