Sunday, June 13, 2010

Small Stream Overload

Last weekends excursions were based solely around fishing small streams. First up was an early morning start on the river Clun in Shropshire, one of my favourite little rivers due to the fact that it holds a good head of both wild brown trout & grayling allowing for all year round fishing.

The river was holding a little colour after the recent rain which gave the fish that little more confidence to feed freely in the open water. With fish rising from the off the dry fly or duo approach is always a safe as was the case for much of the time, with only a couple of quite moments before I had to retire for a midday fishing meeting at a local hotel.

After the meeting (and a spot of lunch washed down with a cool cider) I headed off with fellow club member Steve to fish another stretch of the same river plenty of rising fish again generating a decent amount of sport right up 'til dusk. The long day ended with a drive to Mid-Wales ready for my next 'small stream' encounter.

River Clettwr

This was one I'd planned on doing for a while now after walking part of the stretch previously I finally got round to setting a day aside to tackle this wild and rugged small stream.

This is a Wye & Usk Foundation beat that is described in the passport booklet as the following: "This is real mountain stream fishing and a challenge to the most hardy. It can be, however, extremely rewarding to those willing to try! Pure escapism, you won’t know the joys of this stream until you have fished it. Go with a small brook rod and be prepared for a climb". Well I would say that sums up this beat quite well although I would also add that if you intend to fish the whole beat allow yourself a full day, it really is a challenge to get to the end of this beat (and also to find your way back!).

The majority of the stretch runs through a deep valley gorge and is constantly cascading down steep inclines which create dramatic waterfalls and deep pools stuffed full of wild brown trout.

The water is crystal clear and the fish are ultra wary so stealth is key to connecting with these fish. It can't be stressed enough how important this is, most of the false casting is kept to a minimum and normally performed knelt down or squat on a boulder to keep a low profile. If you spook these fish then you might as well carry on to the next pool.

The day was an adventure from start to finish and I eventually returned to the car feeling totally drained but with a sense of achievement that I was able to conquer the fishing and terrain of this beautiful bit of water.