Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Brief But Beautiful

A short trip out on the upper reaches of the River Wye last Saturday reminded me that the long, warmer days of spring are just around the corner.

Although it was a cool start the sun pretty much shone all day radiating its warmth...something that has been somewhat lacking for many months.

I opted to fish the duo, probably not the best method under the circumstances but I really just wanted to cast a fly line as opposed to fishing my preferred long leader method I mostly employ over the winter months.

With a very low, clear river it was tough but a joy to spend a couple of hours casting a line in some stunning scenery with the sun shinning on my face. Farewell winter Grayling...roll on the rising Trout!

Monday, 4 February 2013

Back On Track

OK...I know I've been a little quite with blog posts lately but to be honest I've had little to write about.

The last month or so has felt like a 'close season' with circumstances making fishing a bit of a rarity with only the odd occasion where I've had a chance to throw a fly into some flowing water.

So Sunday felt like I was being spoilt with a full day out with a friend fishing on a fairly high and fast flowing River Irfon.

Things started very slow for both of us without a single fish to account for in the first couple of hours, but a move further downstream and a change of flies started to pay dividends and although it was still tough going at least we were finding some odd nice grayling which were hard fighting in the strong current.

A deep fat grayling which registered 3lb+ on my 'little samson' scales

Although conditions were far from perfect it felt good to be out again and hopefully if the weather gods are kind it would be nice to thing I could enjoy a few more days like this before the grayling season comes to an end.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

River Irfon Finally Came Good

Another untimely downpour on Friday brought the river levels back up and out of action for any fishing on Saturday but as often with these Welsh spate rivers they do drop extremely quickly without further rain.

By 1.30pm Sunday I was slipping into my chesties and piecing together my 10' #3 Greys Streamflex in anticipation of finding a few grayling on the lower River Irfon which had now dropped to a level that I would consider ideal for this time of year.

I found fish very quickly and although the temperatures had dropped over the weekend the grayling were well spread out and most of the likely spots I dropped my nymphs into produced a fish or two.

The river came good just in time for me to enjoy three hours of quality fishing and even the odd flurry of hatching olives bringing fish to the surface.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Redington Sonic-Pro Zip Front Waders

I had all but covered my old waders inside and out with Aquasure in an attempt to get some extra mileage out of them, but with winter looming and the realisation that maybe they had just come to the end of their life I recently bit the bullet and started looking for some worthy replacements.
I was looking for a pair of stockingfoot, breathable waders in the 'mid-price' range, I also wanted zip front because having worn zip front waders for the last few years I find that they are much easier to get in and out of and are great for those times when you have drank just a little too much coffee in the morning! I must also add that I have never had a zip fail and let in water.

After shortlisted a couple of options I opted to go for the Redington Sonic-Pro Zip Front Waders, there were a few deciding factors but the main reason was that they 'ticked all the boxes' and most of the reviews I read on the internet could not praise them enough.

I also decided to purchase direct from the USA due to them being on offer by one of the US retailers. There is of course carriage and import duty charges to add on to the sale price but there was still a saving in comparison to prices from retailers in the UK.

Having now had them for a few weeks I can report that initial trials have been very positive, the comfort/fit of the waders is extremely good and the addition of two front zipped pockets and two hand warmer pockets are very welcome.

'Stitchless' Sonic Welded Seams
My waders do tend to get some extensive rough treatment during their life but I'm hopeful that the Sonic welded seam technology on the Redington waders enable me to enjoy a couple of seasons of leak free wading before they need replacing, it has always frustrated me how little expectation we have come to accept from such a high value piece of equipment, maybe this technology is a step in the right direction...I will let you know in a couple of seasons!

Monday, 29 October 2012

Chills And Thrills On The Ithon

Taking a peep out of the window on Saturday morning it was obvious the forecasters had got it right, the sky was cloudless and the car was white over with frost. The first hard frost of the year so on went the thermal layers before setting out to the river.

I'd planned returning to a Wye and Usk Foundation beat I hadn't fished for several years...Disserth on the River Ithon, not much had changed since my last visit and I worked my way upstream fishing a duo of tungsten flies on a long leader.

The autumn colours on the trees combined with the bright sunshine was breathtaking and photos can never really do it justice.

Fishing however was a bit of a struggle and I ended up walking away empty handed from pools that looked like they were going to yield a few fish.

Three grayling (and a couple of OOS brown trout) taken on nymphs on the way up and a switch to dry fly on the way back down produced three more which was much more satisfying to catch.

On Sunday I meet up with a mate and we headed a little further upstream the Ithon on some private water. It was a far cry from the cloudless skies of Saturday and for much of the day it rained and the cold wind chilled any exposed parts of the body very quickly.

But the fish were definitely more responsive from the previous day and a combination of long leader/nymphs and dry fly brought some nice fish to the net for both of us with a couple of the grayling getting close to personal bests. We were also treated to a sporadic rise which lasted for 1/2 an hour or so and although we nailed a couple of the fish it was obvious they were tuned into something specific and were not interested in much we were throwing at them!

Last fish of the day and also the biggest one to make it to the net!


With the clocks going back one hour and gloomy overcast skies it all got dark very early, fortunately the long retreat back to the cars did at least circulate the blood and bring some feeling back to the fingertips.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Effort/Reward Ratio...Not Always Obvious

The last few years I've dabbled with casting the odd salmon line out on the off chance that I could be one of the lucky few who manage to connect with one of these magnificent migratory fish that enter the Wye system each year with just one purpose...to ensure the continuation of future generations.

I have likened the process of salmon fishing to that of a coarse angler who is in pursuit of a big double figure carp...a lot of invested time for what seems like a small return.

But my way of thinking has changed quite considerably, I've learnt that for me a major part of the appeal of salmon fishing comes from the casting process and trying to deliver a worthy cast when using a heavy line, big fly and a double handed rod.

I'm still very much a novice at it all but after spending many many hours of effort this season trying to improve my techniques I got my small reward on Sunday when I connected with and landed my first salmon of the season which came from a pool on the River Irfon near Builth Wells.

The Successful Fly
From This Pool
With only a couple of weeks left before the season ends it is likely to be my one and only fish, which on the surface would seem a wasted exercise for the amount of time put into catching it but the learning process together with the anticipation I've experienced means that I'm sure to be doing it all again next season.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Summer Over...Thankfully!

The weather at last seems to be settled into what we expect for this time of year and river levels last weekend were perhaps a little low but with the implementation of a little more stealth than normal fish were definitely on the lookout for an easy meal.

On Saturday I headed off to the River Ithon and had the company of Steve...a mate who I used to fish alongside during my old coarse/match fishing days.

A midday start and a brisk walk down the river and we were soon connecting with some fish but the larger fish that this river holds were definitely very wary and not really showing themselves.

Both of us fished our way up fishing the duo style (Klinkhamer on a dropper with a small weighted nymph 18"-24" below). Persistence paid off and we had both ended up netting a couple of good quality fish along with the smaller ones, arriving back at the car with our lungs filled full of pure Welsh air and the scent of freshly baled hay from the fields...and of course the odd whiff of manure here and there!

This quality trout eventually calmed by Steve after putting on quite an aerial display! 
On Sunday I spent a few hours battling the much stronger winds a little further south on the River Irfon, a totally different river with faster flows...a true upland welsh river originating from the Cambrian Mountains.

The fishing was again a case of an extremely stealthy approach to get the best out of it and fishing was much tougher than the previous day.

All in all it felt like a good weekend to be out fishing and as I posted on this blog last year...I just love Autumn fishing...especially the back end of the trout season.