Sunday, 20 June 2010

River Edw - Hergest Beat

Saturday saw yet another small stream ramble on the River Edw - W&UF beat R13. I have a bit of a soft spot for this river due to the exceptionally pretty location and the abundance of plenty of small fiesty wild trout.

With low, clear water every moment again had to be delivered with stealth but that in itself is part of the enjoyment of the day when the reward is a hard fighting fish.

This well marked trout was as big as they got.

The larger fish this little river holds were definately not showing themselves and will wait for a little rain to bring more colour & water before having the confidence to feed during the day.

Female - Calopteryx virgo - Beautiful Demoiselle

Sunday, 13 June 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.

Monday, 7 June 2010

River Towy - Abercothi Estate

Last weekend I had my first ever attempt at Sea Trout fishing and although I ended the session fishless I must say that the whole experience has left me with a desire to add this fish to my catch list sometime soon.

To be honest I don't think I could have fished a better venue with 400+ Sewin caught on this beat last year the Abercothi beat on the River Towy is prime Sea trout fishing. It was described ‘Best in Britain’ by the Salmon and Trout Magazine (1990).

Head ghillie Cyril Fox has an amazing knowledge of this venue with countless years experience on the beat and just before dark talked me through the pools I was to fish...where was safe to wade, places to cast, best lies etc.

Although there were no fish caught they were undoubtedly in the river with many splashes heard through the early hours but with the desperately low water the odds were agaist us.

Outside the fishing lodge at Abercothi

I look forward to a return here soon and hope my luck changes for the better.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Late In The Day

I have been spending the last few weekends trying to get my head around some very hard to catch rising fish on a very low and clear section of the upper River Wye.

Daytime fishing in these conditions can leave you going home with very limited success, but if you leave your fishing until the sun is disappearing below the horizon then great rewards can be had.

I am convinced that the larger trout spend most of the day hidden away under bankside crevices or sheltered in the deeper parts of the riverbed when the river becomes low and clear and only venture out when they feel safe to do so.

At this time of year this part of the river has a superb hatch of Yellow Mays (Heptagenia sulphurea) and these flies are emerging well into the evening along with many sedges and a mass of midges which can instantly transform the surface water into life with hungry fish.

As the sun sets the fish are without doubt much more confident to feed and with a little perseverance trying different methods and flies you can eventually hit on something that brings immediate results.

A normally hard to catch chub falling to a GRHE nymph

I would add that there is no sure fire method that will catch fish all year round but I'm confident that what I have learned the last few weeks will definitely work under similar conditions in the future.