Sunday, January 31, 2010

Time For Tying

All plans of getting out on the river today were again scuppered by a day of heavy rain late in the week causing the rivers & streams in the welsh marches to rise beyond a realistic fishing level.

I could have travelled that extra distance to the spate rivers of Mid-Wales were the extra water would have passed through quickly but with the temperature well below zero and the roads looking very icy I decided instead to have a good session at the tying bench and after watching Andy Murray endure the wrath of Federer in the Australian Open final I set to work tying a few patterns.

Concentrating mainly on Klinkhamers I soon got into a rhythm and tied a selection of sizes from #14's to #20's. This was the first time I had tied any Klinks since my very early attempts as a beginner 12 months ago - and found it so much less frustrating this time...once you get a feel for the breaking strain of various threads and also having better materials & tools than I did back then the whole process becomes that much easier.

I also found a little time to experiment with a 'detached body' Mayfly pattern, something I'd not tried before but I will surely be setting aside some time in the future to try and master the technique (hopefully before the start of the big hatch in May).

Variation of one of my favourite Grayling Bugs.

Friday, January 29, 2010

The crabbing has slowed again. Saw a limit from a boater in the bay and a few other crabs from the pier but no big numbers. Maybe all these storms have got them hunkered down. Better weather and slower tides will hopefully kick a few out this next week. Surfperch fishing is slow. I haven't seen any sharks or rays yet this year. Spring low tides are coming so at least we can go clamming and cockling.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The crabbing has picked up again in the bay. Last week a local had twelve legal dungeness in his pot after an overnight soak on the pier. Two of the regulars caught their limits from the pier this morning. The crabbing can be even better from a boat if you're in the right place. I'm not supposed to tell you the good spot, but if you see fifty crab pot floats in one little area I think you'll get the idea.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Winter Wonderland On The Lugg

No matter what the season the Lugg valley has always something special to offer. Today was no exception as three of us took the plunge on a return to this quiet stunning part of the UK.

The recent heavy snow made access possible only if you had 4 x 4 vehicle capabilities which fortunately one of us had...even then the lane down to this particular bit of river was a little hair-raising!

For Grayling fishing in these conditions there are some absolute necessities...plenty of thermal layers and a good supply of heavy tungsten nymphs, the leafless low hanging trees mean that you are almost guaranteed to adorn a few with some of your flies as was the case today (looks like another purchase from Joel at Tungsten Beads for a fresh supply).

The fishing was as expected with water temperatures extremely low the Grayling were tightly shoaled and not as willing to open there mouths, I managed to net three fine specimens which were all very welcome with the two other fisherman catching 4 & 9 (well done Colin on a good tally under arctic conditions).

When the snow starts to thaw we have a likelihood of the rivers becoming unfishable so this trip out was something to be savoured and with the right thermal protection, beautiful scenery and a few willing fish - extreme winter fishing really can be a wonderland.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Xmas Fishing Blues

With the eagerly anticipated Christmas break well and truly over I have to say it ended with a little disappointment as far as Grayling fishing goes.

The 2 rivers that I had hoped to get really stuck into were plagued by rain just at the wrong times causing levels to remain high through most of the 12 days I stayed in Mid-Wales.

The upper River Wye was well over fishing level virtually throughout leaving me to concentrate my few fishing trips on the River Irfon.

My first outing was a new one for me...a relatively new Wye & Usk Foundation beat called Llwyn Einon. The lower part of this beat looks like it should be stuffed with Grayling but after 2 hours without a single pull on the leader and snow falling hard I called it a day.

A final 2 more trips lower down on the River Irfon produced a catch of 17 & 20 but the Grayling were still proving elusive with the majority of the fish caught being Trout. These trout were all in superb condition so I assume that they have already finished spawning.

It seems that since the start of November any chance of fishing has been very much the exception which really highlights the case for taking any opportunities we can when conditions allow us.