Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Fly Tying At Our Fingertips

After walking to the bottom of the beat on our chosen Wye tributary fishing venue last weekend myself and fishing buddy (Nick) promptly set up our rods in preparation to work our way up river.

Now Nick is someone who is always looking to try out new innovations that may improve his fishing experience and today he pulled out a something pink that certainly made me look twice (no not that!) it was a Camou French Leader but it was vivid pink in colour and had the obvious benefit of being easily detectable as you follow it down the river.

Nick with a nice Grayling caught using the 'pink' french leader
Anyway the days fishing was pretty average really and with the high winds and drizzly rain making fishing difficult we decided that the local pub was the best option to round the day off. It was here that the pink leader was brought back up where Nick explained it was one of many items that he had brought back from a visit to the FlyFishingPoint shop on a recent trip to the Czech Republic.

 Below: some of the vast selection available online or when you visit the FlyFishingPoint shop

This led us on to a discussion about fly tying and the huge variety of materials that are now available online from our European cousins.

It's the phonomenon of the modern age that we can sit in front of a computer and within a few minutes we have browsed a shop, added items to our basket and paid at the checkout, with delivery of the purchase arriviving within a few days.

A variety of 'Quill Body' nymphs I recently tied with high quality quills purchased from an online Romanian shop
I understand that by doing this we are losing the personal touch that we expect from 'physical' shopping but to have such a huge amount of choice available online has to be good news for us all.

Monday, 21 November 2011

A Lack Of Daylight

The winter daylight hours really do make you appreciate the time you get to spend out fishing at this time of year. Unlike the summer when you have the luxury of many hours of daylight, every hour spent fishing is a bonus at the moment.

On Saturday my trip out to this upper Wye tributary was a late start...arriving at 10.00am I parked up, got my gear sorted out, then ambled down the river taking in all the sights and sounds that attract me so much to river fly fishing.

On the way down the river I met a gentlemen out walking along the river who was the kind of guy you could happily talk to all day, a local man with a vast knowledge of the river and many years experience of fly fishing the surrounding area.

On this particular morning he was walking the stretch of river counting the Salmon Redds (where the gravel on the riverbed is excavated during spawning). He had counted a total of 5 along this length of river which was certainly encouraging on this particular Wye tributary.

At this time of year it is important that when wading on Salmon rivers to be very mindful to steer well clear of areas that look like potential Salmon Redds, these are usually obvious to see by an area of the riverbed that has a scoured, fresh looking patch of gravel as in the picture below.

Large 'Salmon Redd' photographed on the River Irfon on Sunday
By the time I eventually got to my starting point and started fishing a good portion of the daylight hours had passed (note to self... less wine the night before andget out of bed much earlier!!!).
A bit of a frustrating few hours followed with many lost flies (trees, sub-surface snags) and a sense that I never really caught the fish I should have, saying that there were still Grayling caught with a couple of very large fish amongst them. Next time I return I have a new plan to try out...!!!

The best of the day

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Tungsten Flies And Thermal Underwear!

Waking up early Sunday morning in Mid Wales was a bit of a shocker with the car and surrounding fields white over with a severe frost, my thoughts immediately plunged back to last years harsh winter weather which resulted in a very lean time for me as far as winter grayling fishing goes.

On this occasion though the bright sun soon burnt away the frost leaving a cold but beautiful morning. I headed down to the River Wye but unfortunately Friday's downpour had left it with just a little too much water/colour pushing through it so I dropped back to the lower part of the River Irfon which I knew was running high but relatively clear.

Setting up my 10' #4 Greys Streamflex with 2 heavy nymphs I worked my way slowly through the likely looking areas, the point fly was gently tripping along the bottom where I assumed any feeding grayling might be. The first couple of fish were out of season brown trout which had likely entered the Irfon from the Wye in readiness to spawn, then a move a little further upstream found me my first grayling...nothing to shout about size wise but a grayling all the same.

A few more fish came to hand but on this occasion the bigger grayling remained elusive and after a few hours waist high in extremely cold water I wished I had put some thermals on and then retreated back to the warmth and a hot mug of coffee.

I guess for the next few months heavy flies and thermal clothing will be forefront in my mind when planning fishing trips.