Category Archives: welsh river trails

Fishing the river Usk

Over the weekend me and my good mate sam went and had a little look at the river Usk in Mardy. It’s been a long time since I’ve fished the beat, I think it was the year before on the March browns and we caught it perfect if I can remember rightly!

We got to the river quite early and bumped into another angler walking off the beat but he was on the Wye and Usk passport, so after a little chat and saving the guy some cash in his future trips we headed up river scanning the river for anything moving! We did spot a fish but it only popped up the once. Time was around 10.30am and there were some Signs of fly activity!

Fly life this time of the year can be a right mix-and-match. Olives, small olives, brookduns, yellow mays, mayfly, black gnats and many more! It Can be a minefield for anglers matching the size and pattern that the trout lock onto!

While waiting on the trout to react to the flies, me and Sam done a little nymphing in the fast water and the deeper pools with good results. We both got busted up and was a little disappointed but that’s how it goes.

We did catch around half a dozen between us, nothing big but pure quality!

Finally moving out of the fast water, we made our way to the long tails hoping to find trout rising and there were a few taking olives and the odd bigger duns so we set up the dry rods. I was using my 10ft 3wt with a leader around 16/18ft for Presentation

But just before Stalking a trout rising on the far bank, I watched a guy for a while before going over to chat with him. His name was Glyn and he was quite new to it so I lent a hand changing his set up and helping him get better presentation. Was great chatting about fishing and we dropped onto the subject of the fishing blogs he reads. He said he reads a blog taff Diaries 🙂 made me smile because it was all good. I then Re-introduced myself as the writer. we both laughed for a bit after!

I love how fishing can bring people together from all walks of life on the river. It was great chatting away about flies and leaders and I hope I helped and explained it enough to understand

Sam getting ready to slip the net under yet another lovely river Usk wild brown trout on the dry!

These are the flies I fished throughout the day below. Simple but they do the job 🙂

Nymph images

As I’ve only had a few short hours free due to family and work commitments I’ve been using the time at the vice relaxing and thinking about my favourite time of the year, early season trout fishing!

The March browns and brook-dun hatches! This can be amazing so u need to be prepared I’ve started with a pattern I like to use fishing the slower pools with the French leader and as a dropper when the fish becomes active on the March brown and brook-duns. It’s a great crossover pattern that works great throughout the year in many different sizes!

Hook, hends bl550 size 14

Thread, 17/0 trico

Tail, bronze mallard

Body, olive quill / uv resin

Thorax, hybrid fox squirrel black pepper

Wing case, natural Pheasant tail

Grayling in small rivers

Finally the rain stopped enough to get on a river here is South Wales

The river levels are still a little high in many of the larger rivers so me and a good mate Dan decided to fish a smaller river looking for grayling. The river doesn’t hold a massive head of fish and not that big but it’s not all about that, It was just getting out and walking a new part of the river and searching out the little pockets and pools!

It’s a great little freestone river that is hidden among housing estates and industrial factories but the river is alive. At around 12pm there was a steady hatch of large dark olives coming off and I was hoping fish would react but I only seen one fish rise and that was it but the fish became very active on the nymphs so we tucked in!

Method of the day was the French leader with a two nymph setup, I had two 3m size 14 grub pattern on that took did the trick! Fish seamed to be sitting in around 2ft of water and not much flow but wanted the nymphs dead,dead drift. Takes were very delicate!

My mate Dan went for the pink shrimp on the dropper and a big nasty squirmy worm on the point. He waved it around the river like he owned the place Lol. Love them or hate them they do the business!

Was a challenging day in amongst the trees and trying to get to right presentation but all in all a good day with great company as always!

Jig pattern for grayling

Little pattern that I just tied up for the grayling on my local rivers!

I’m out tomorrow on the lower waters of the river taff near Cardiff so going to give them a dip down in the posh area of the taff 🙂

Ian Gillard at http://get-slotted.co.uk/ sent some trout line hybrid squirrel in rust colour for me to try so come up with this pattern below. Rust and a purple rib. Looks nice and sure it’s going to do the business for sure! I’ve added a little of the black pepper to the thorax also, it looks awesome wet!

Grayling jig pattern

Nice simple jig nymph that I use for grayling!

It’s quite successful in the winter months for myself in the smaller sizes,16/14! 2.5/3m beads silver and copper.

Hook, Hanak h400bl

Size, 16

Bead, silver 2.5m

Body, black rabbit

Rib, Red wire

Tail, Bronze mallard

Coller, glo bright 7

Good little pattern in clear water! It’s a great little pattern fished on the French leader on its own, no dropper!

I like to fish it slowly at distance in around 2 to 3 foot of water where grayling Love to hang around when on the feed, it’s a great searching pattern!

Grayling Fishing on the river Wye!

Bit of a change for my good mate Ian Gillard over the weekend, we both fished the river Wye up in Builth wales, Gods country!

Popped into the local paper shop picked are day tickets up and off we set. My mate Ian never seen the river up there and how clear the waters are and I think it was a little bit of a eye opener. Condition were perfect, Low wind and clear sky’s, What more could a angler want on the hunt for graying.

Water levels were good after the washout a week before with record breaking river levels! Most rivers in wales broke there banks and were quite dangerous!

I thought it would be good to head down river and walk the beat just to show Ian about first and show where the grayling normally are in the shallow waters, Crystal clear water can be quite deceiving in depth and in these places you never know what could be in there!

Dry fly was a little out in the morning the wind picked up and started to cover the river with leaves but then I had the chance to show Ian grayling pulling leaves under looking for insects. Not often seen on the lower taff.

Most of the day was Fishing French leader with light tippets and small nymphs. I opted to use my Hanak 2wt super light in Fishing so fine. What a great rod for it to!

Throughout the day we managed some beautiful grayling and out of season trout that were released as quickly as possible.

Below a few images of the great day we had and a short video on how clear the water was and how beautiful the grayling are up there in the Wye!

New box of river nymphs complete!

Been doing my best on completing this box of nymphs to get started on a smaller box ready for the future trips out!

I’m always looking at new patterns and trolling through fly images on good old uncle goggle looking for new ideas most nights. There are some real awesome people out there tying and always something new to give a go!

We all have our go-to nymphs and patterns that we have full faith in but we are always looking for that edge. Over the years of competing for wales in the river internationals and meeting some real awesome anglers, I’ve collected patterns from most and this is where I mix and match patterns for different rivers. Every little helps they say!

The next box will be more for grayling for the winter months so I’ll post some images after it’s complete. Tight lines guys and girls