Monday, 23 January 2012

River Monnow

I have to confess the Monnow is a river I seldom get to fish so it was a bit of a treat to get a chance to go and give it a go on Sunday.

All looked good when we arrived and expectations were high...but fishing rarely turns out as you envisage, today was one of those days.

As it turned out the most productive pool of the day was the first one we fished, which just added to the expectation that we had caught the river just right and were in line to catch plenty of grayling.

Running a team of three nymphs hard along the bottom using my Streamflex 10' #3 seemed to be the right line of attack but after our initial success we struggled to find any of the bigger fish and although some of the pools looked like they should hold plenty of big grayling we could only connect with the smaller specimens and the occasional out of season brown trout.

Biggest of the day taken from the first pool
We were left to analyse the day over a couple of pints of Hobgoblin in the friendly surrounds of a nearby Inn and the only conclusion we came to was that Hobgoblin is a damn good pint of real ale!

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Little River Avon

It's not often I get a chance to sneak away from work to go fishing but when I had an invite to join Peter Anderson on the Charfield AA waters Little River Avon I just couldn't say no.

The Little River Avon is a small tributary to the River Severn and is situated in South Gloucestershire, we had arranged to meet at 10am but I couldn't resist getting there a little early a taking a quick stroll down to have a look.

This stretch of river is full of bends, riffles, tree roots and deep pockets of water, in places it gets narrow enough to almost jump across and today it was carrying a little extra rain water from the night before and a tinge of colour. It reminded me of the River Clun...a similar sized river I have fished many times in Shropshire.

When my host and guide for the day Peter arrived we chatted for a while then set off downstream where Peter highlighted the potential target areas which were noted for our return upstream.

I had decided to start with a short rod with a duo set up, whilst Peter opted for short line nymphing. We started at a lovely looking pool which I was informed held some grayling, so as I set my rig up Peter dropped his nymphs into the flow and within minutes was into his first fish, unfortunately this slipped the hook and a couple of casts later saw another on the hook and quickly into his hand.

This was the sort of start we had hoped for and when I got in and fished up through the pool with my duo rig I was also fortunate to connect quickly with a couple of nice grayling. Early signs were good and we progressed upstream through some nice looking water but finding more feeding fish proved very difficult, a switch to a short line nymph set up brought a few smaller grayling but it became evident that our good start was not going to continue through the day.

We finished around 3.30pm with a few more smaller grayling knowing that today the river had fished hard but nevertheless it was a lovely place to spend a winter's day where temperatures were close to double figures.

Monday, 16 January 2012

A Fair Cop

As we headed through Mid Wales early on Sunday morning I thought my luck was in as I was kindly asked to accompany an attractive young lady to share the front seat of her car!

 It took her no time at all to get down to business and she soon got out her...ballpoint pen and her pad of fixed penalty speeding forms! yep you guessed it...whilst heavy in conversation with travelling/fishing companion Nick I totally failed to keep a check on my speed through a 30mph zone and was duly nabbed by the lady in blue.

Not the best start to the day but I was still looking forward to spending the next few hours in pursuit of some grayling.

The Wye tributary we fished was still running a little high and carrying slightly more colour than we would have like but as long as the last couple of days of heavy frost hadn't shocked them too much we still anticipated finding a few feeding fish.

Well it was certainly a slow start and likely looking spots yielded nothing, but a little further upstream Nick latched into a good fish which certainly tested out his recently built 11' 3wt rod. We had both opted to fish variations of long rod - short line nymphing, switching between heavily/medium weighted tungsten flies to enable us to get down to the riverbed quick in the stronger than normal flows.

The day continued with us both taking the odd fish as we progressed upstream and we finished with a handful a Grayling each but they were all quality fish with most measuring over 35cms.

It seems like this was the first days fishing this winter where the air and water temperatures made me feel glad I'd doubled up on my thermal layers, but fortunately we seem to have so far escaped the Arctic conditions which virtually wiped out last years winter grayling fishing.