Searching for the grayling with Paul Jenkins


Sunday morning was a bit of a blessing with good cloud cover and no rain or wind but the weather report was saying it was changing for the worse in the afternoon so me and Paul Jenkins made the most of the good conditions and decided we would search out the grayling along the river Taff!


Paul hasn’t done much fishing on the Taff for sometime due to fishing other water far and wide like the wye and other hidden little places so it was a change. We were on the water around 9.30 and checking out the fist pool of the day but someone already beat us to it so we moved up river to a long sweeping bend. Ideal place for the grayling to hide out. The far side was around 4ft deep with lovely pea gravel with the odd big rock around the place.


Nothing much going on with any sort of fly hatch going on that early so the bugs were out. we both set up on the nymphs. Paul moved in above me fishing the shallow side and I went below fishing the deeper side with the heavy bugs dragging the bottom. Paul was fishing the lighter nymph in the shallower water just on the edge of the drop off. Grayling love that edge and the slope into the deeper water so always concentrate on them areas, they will produce fish! Paul was the first to hook up to a lovely grayling around the 1lb, fin perfect.


Slowly we moved around the river searching all the likely looking areas and we did fish the slower deeper waters with the klink and dink and was rewarded with a few grayling but they just didn’t seem to be in that water in numbers! We targeted the heads of the pools with a little faster water due to seeing a few flies hatching. Fish did start rising but only for a short time and not really worth changing over, the wind started to pick up into the afternoon and the leaves stared to fall making things interesting and becoming a pain so we set off again up river to more open water and much slower.


French leader twirly style!

We changed over to long leaders and light nymphs and this seemed to do the trick. We started to pick off grayling in good numbers by working down river very slowly pitching the nymphs upstream and letting the leader go past you and down river with lots of upstream mends to keep the dead drift going. The slower the better and the takes were coming in thick and fast. We were having so much fun we didn’t realise the time and with that we decided to call it a day.


It was a great day out with Paul and the fishing was brilliant. Till the next trip and I can’t wait, ive got that grayling bug big time!

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First session on the grayling.

The trout season has just passed so the grayling are the next target.  Thymallus Thymallus, the lady of the stream!


Waking up nice and early with a zing in my step I was soon out the door and down the river setting up the 10ft 3wt. due to being so early and cold the nymphs were what I started on!

The  point fly was a size 16 squirrel and partridge jig with a 2.5m bead and the dropper fly was an olive caddis pattern also with a 2.5m bead. These two nymphs are great all year around!I


I headed for the slower waters around 3/4ft of where the grayling like to hang around this time of the year, I opted for the two nymph setup with the French leader. I slowly fished up river casting a long line covering a lot of water with not much disturbance.  It wasn’t long and the leader slipping up river to a fine grayling around the 1lb mark! First of the session and in perfect condition.


As the afternoon went on a few small olives started to hatch and it wasn’t long and the grayling started to rise. Problem was there were so many small grayling it was quite impossible to hook a better size grayling due to the fast little buggers taking the fly or dragging it under, so  I changed back to the nymphs and fished hard on the bottom and it worked quite well.  I still caught many smaller grayling but there were many more bigger fish than small so result!

click on the images below to enlarge





Late season trout

Only a few days of the trout season left now and to make the most of it my good friend, Nicholas Steedman, and I spent a day on a small stream hoping to find some late season trout. A cold night meant that the fishing was slow in the morning although we both caught some lovely small trout in their spawning colours:


A superb hatch of various insects in the afternoon brought some great dry fly sport. The fish were clearly feeding hard before the winter and we were both able to pick off a number of fish that were picking off duns and emergers.


The standout fly of the day was this hot spot nymph:


The hot spot is tied with the new Harvey Angling micro fibre which is perfect for creating a bright target point on nymphs. However, it’s so fine that you can also use it for bodies on nymphs. The olive fly in the photo below was particularly good during hatch in the afternoon:




Liquid Glass UV Cure Resin

Cold, damp spring days aren’t favoured by many but for the fisherman, they can offer superb fishing. Inverterbrates seem to favour these dour days and hatch en masse. None more so than the dimunitive Iron Blue Dun which can often save the day when you might have second thoughts about going fishing. Today was one of those days and my good friend, Nicholas Steedman, and I experienced a hatch of Iron Blue Duns of biblical proportions. The river was covered with duns! These rare occasions can prove frustrating – with more food available than even the greediest trout can feed on, they become selective and tricky to fool. Surprisingly today the stand out fly was a Large Brook Dun ’emerger’ which is generic enough to pass as a general olive emerger pattern. Large Brook Duns are frequently claimed to be of no interest to the fisherman but these large upwings often get blown onto the water or hatch mid-river (despite only being meant to hatch by crawling up stones on the side of the river). With thousands of Iron Blue Duns and a smattering of Large Brook Duns plus a few other species the trout were spoilt for choice today but the larger imitation certainly proved the most effective at fooling some tricky trout:-)

I’ve included a few photos of the fly below (previously posted on an earlier post). The body is natural stripped peacock quill which is protected by Harvey Angling’s Liquid Glass UV Cure Resin which dries clear and tack free – exactly what you want from a UV resin! Give the fly a try, you won’t be disappointed;-)

Hook Tiemco TMC 200R #14
Tail: Coq de Leon
Abdomen: Stripped quill (natural) and liquid glass uv resin
Thorax: Fox squirrel
Wing: cdc
Hackle: Metz Honey Dun

The Liquid Glass UV Resin is available from Harvey Angling

march brown


March Brown Fly Pattern!

It’s that time again that the March browns are starting to show up in and around the large dark olive hatches so I had to restock the dries box for the pattern that I use to match the hatch. I didn’t have many left from last year so it was a few hours on the vice and I was ready to go!

I do enjoy this time of year when the March Brown’s starts to hatch because this is the time that the larger trout start to show looking for a mouth full after the long winter months!

I find the key to catching the larger trout of the river is to spend a lot of time watching the water and timing the hatches perfect In certain spots of the river.  Most large deep pools hold the bigger fish but they are not always seen! I can spend the whole hatch watching one place of the river and waiting for that tell-tale sign or sound, the dimple or the slurp! This can get the pulse going and the hands shaking for sure. It doesn’t  always happen but when it does its fantastic!

This trout below was one of them fantastic days :) Watching and waiting will pay off in the end!


When I get to the river bank I decide there and then what im going to do after looking at the conditions. if it feels right I go looking and watching. But other days I just like to amble my way up river fishing most spots and taking in the scenery and the local wildlife..

march brown

I’ve also been tying the March brown nymph that works very well before the hatch starts. I like to fish this with the French leader in the long slow pools where the larger fish tend to wait around waiting on the hatch to start, I also fish this nymph if there is a tricky fish feeding that don’t want to eat the dun. I like to put a small amount of gink to the cdc and the tail, this helps to slow the fly down as it goes through the water column.  This can be a killer and has worked on so many occasions for me!




Large dark olives are out in force!

Headed out this morning around half past 9 with a plan :)

The plan was to see if the trout had moved into the shallower glides and runs already with all the fly life that has been going on, I did turn a few rocks over at the start to see what was going on under there. loads of stone clingers and olive nymphs ready to emerge :) The wind and the bright sun was a bit of a pain from the start so I did wonder if the flies were going to make a appearance later on in the day with any good numbers. Only time would tell.

As ive said in other posts, early season can be tough and frustrating but it does get better as it goes on so hang on in there!.  I started with fishing the French leader with only the single nymph. set up was 4ft of 1.40 stroft around 3ft from the indicator to the point fly, the fly choice was a 3m silver head hares ear hotspot, scruffy as hell thing but a good early season fly for me!


 The dry fly patterns I use to match the large dark olive hatch are the cdc emerger for the start of the hatch that works a treat and as the hatch goes on and the trout switch to the dun I use something a little different :) Both patterns below!



As I was bugging my way into the second run of the morning my good mate Sion Lewis AKA Lewy give me a ring asking where I was, not long after Lewy met me on the river hoping to brush the cobwebs away after a long absence off the river due to work commitments. It wasn’t long and lewy was into his first trout of the season for him.  Not a bad trout for the first either, lucky bugger :)



As we moved our way around the river the olives started to hatch and the trout started to feed hard, we both were taking fish on the nymphs and the dry but we both decided on moving out of the faster flowing waters to go on to the flat pools concentrating on the rising fish!  The olive hatch was in full swing and fish started to rise all over the place. I did see a good number of March brown going by. I did catch one and give it a good looking at and they were march browns! It’s nice to see them in good numbers on the river Taff, over the years the hatches of the march brown have been very rare. I’ll try to get a good photo next time out, my little camera just doesn’t do the job so ill have my kit with me on the next outing. .

I’ll leave you with a few photos of the trout that we both caught :)

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Pheasant Tail Emerger Pattern

It’s great to have the dry-fly setup once again and my go to pattern early season is the pheasant tail emerger. Fishing is still slow but I enjoy just creeping around the river when the hatches start. At the moment the large dark olives are coming on around 11am to about 2pm and then they tend to peter off, but in this time you can have a little fun, they don’t turn their noses up to this pattern and It have accounted for many of my big fish that I’ve managed to catch over the years on my local waters!

 I tie this fly in size16/14/12s

  • SONY DSCHook. Kamasan B100.
  • Thread, Black UTC 170.
  • Body. 4 pheasant tail fibers
  • Rib. 2lb mono.
  • Hackle. Blue dun.

I like to tie this pattern on the kamasan due to the quality of the hooks and the strength. It’s Very important to have full confidence in the hooks when you hook into that fish of a lifetime! These have the thumbs up from me! Here is a link for the hooks so please check it out they won’t let you down! ..