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 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.