While I was in work on friday counting down the hours I had a phone call of my mate telling me about the great day that he was having on the river with the dry. He went on to say about what the hatch was like and what was on, then with a bit of a giggle he told me his biggest at that time was a 3lb 3oz brown, jammy bugger 😦 Not something you want to hear while stuck in work is it! With this news I was already planning the trip for saturday morning and crossing my fingers that the weather would stay fine.
The fly box has been a little bare with dries lately because of the nymphing i’ve been doing throughout the winter months, so friday evening was spent tying a few dark olives patterns to cover the hatch that is mainly on at the moment. I did tie a few small gray dusters up and a few griffin gnats just in case they started to pick of smaller flies in the evening.
I was out the door just gone 7am in the morning and busting for it, little early for the hatches around here at the moment but I had a few places that I wanted to check out with the nymphs. I had a good idea of the time that the hatch would start because of my mate’s success on the day before so I had plenty of time to have a little fun with the nymphs. As normal I had two rods with me, one set up on the dry and the other with the french leader, this is so there is no messing around changing over and re-tying leaders and so on. In the past i’ve missed out on a few chances to catch the bigger trout feeding because of chopping and changing and as you know they don’t rise very often. This gives you that little bit more of an edge of catching a fish of a lifetime in my eyes and it has worked for me.
I finally started the morning in a nice long run that had lots of pocket water so the french leader was the best option. I set up and cut off around 3ft of stroft ABR and attached that to the indicator but this time I decided not to tie in a dropper because of the water condition, the rivers in south Wales running low and very clear so I wanted it to look as natural as possible. I tied a 2.5m copper head hares ear jig to the point and made my way up the run casting the nymph far away from me and keeping out of the trouts vision. In no time, the leader slipped away up river and then shortly after the trout slipped into the net and was quickly released after a quick poses.
The first run of the day and also the first fish of the day below
Another fine trout below that fell to the nymph while searching out the water in the photo above.
I spent a lot of time fishing the water quite hard, increasing the numbers slowly with the nymph and hoping to bump into something a little bigger but they didn’t seem to be there. It doesn’t really bother me catching a big fish but it’s always nice to land one now and again. At this time I started to see the odd olive flying past so I made my way to a little slower water to see if there was anything rising but I seen nothing for a good while, so I sat back and just watched this one pool knowing there was fish there. It was only a matter of time before they started to look up and see the olives,.
This was the pool below
Finally a trout broke the surface taking an olive, that was my cue to take the dry setup off my back and give it a whirl. Here is the pattern I used to imitate the large dark olive below and the first trout that was fooled by it of the day 🙂 Result!
Over the moon with the trout above, I went searching for trout rising and with that the bugging rod was taken down and it didn’t have a look in for the rest of the day and rightly so. Every pool that I came upon had a trout picking the olives off but only the one and it seemed they were the better size ones, I really wasn’t sure why but I didn’t think too much about it. As I moved up river scanning the water I could see that the olive hatch was reducing so my time was limited to find fish on the fin. Knowing that this was happening I jumped pool to pool looking but the rises were getting scarce. Time was getting on and I was thinking about calling it a day to go home and watch the wales match, where I was going to get out of the river just below a bridge, I walked out onto the bank and I seen a rise right tight to a large rock on the opposite back. The fish didn’t rise again so I just thought bugger it i’ll see if it’s still looking up, I cast the fly around 3ft above where the rise was and in seconds the trout took the fly and made a mad dash for cover, straight away I knew this was no tiddler. Seconds later the trout was tail walking and trying to chuck the hook but I had a good hook set and after a few mad dashed around the river the trout was to hand and a quick photo and then released to fight anOther day. Cracking result and what a trout to finish the day off.
The last and the biggest of the day below.