Tag Archives: brook duns

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 🙂

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;-)

Dressing:
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

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Browns and Brook duns.

Well the Brook duns are out in force and about time to!

I manged to get out on the river for a few hours in the week after a bonkers morning so rang the boss and had the day off and after sorting a load of stuff out i hit the river for a few hours.

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I knew one of my mates was on the river that day so i made a quick call and met up with him and his butty. when i met them up around 11.30 the flies started to hatch and the day looked quit promising. Finally we caught sight of the brook duns taking off on the stones as we walked the river. In the  night  we had a fair amount of rain making the river quit cloudy but we knew it would clear over time and i always love fishing the river with a slight colour to it, it can be the best time to look for the larger fish on the move around and with good amounts of brook duns coming down the chances were in are favour :).

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As the hatch was well under way the trout started to go nuts and even the grayling got in on the action. Rob and Adrian were having a right ball taking fish left right and centre in a long pool. I held back just watching and spotting fish but my eye was set on something else. I just knew it would’nt be long and i would here that noise that makes the heart jump and the hand shake. GULP!!! 🙂 took me a bit of time to pin point the bugger because there were a few fish rising on the far bank tight. i waited and watched and then i seen the bugger, i watched a brook dun come down and then that spotty nose pocket through the film of the water and that gulp noise and it was the end of the brook dun. I got myself into a good casting position and made the cast. as the fly went down it went all in slow motion and bang fish on,, cracking fight and what a lovely fish to catch.  It was a lovely 4lb 8oz brown 🙂

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As the fishing was going nuts i sat there just watching Rob and Adrian catching fish and having  great time, we headed up river just using the dries, was plenty of  bugging water but bit sick of chucking tungsten and with so many fish rising it was just pointless anyway!. Rob and Adrian took many fish  around the 2lb mark.. I didn’t have much time left after that so i had 2 head home to pick my son up from school so the boys followed and all in all it was a wild few hours fishing and was great to see a cracking Brook duns hatch for ones 🙂 Rob below with some of the lovely browns he had!

 

 

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Hide and seek!

Last week i bought myself a video camera planning to make a few short videos on fish rising and hopefully a few other catching fish on the dries and nymphs.

For the last few days ive been walking the banks looking for big fish rising and i finally found what i was looking 🙂 check out the video below and see this beast taking brookduns one after anther

After taking the video above watching this fine large brown trout feeding i turned the camera off and made my way to the spot where the fish was. The rod wasnt even set up so that was done in no time still watching the trout rising, but when it came to leader and tipped extra care was taken with trying the knots! didn’t want to hook it and have  knot slip or anything so it was ll down to me to get the cast right and to land the fish,, Well i manged to get the right cast and the trout took the fly sweet as a nut and what a ride it took me on.  after a while the trout come to the net  i made anther short video just before release,, cracking fish and what a lovely wild fish it was 🙂

video of the fish landed just before release 🙂 Hog!

 

Out and about on the Rhondda.

After chatting on the phone to Paul Jenkins AKA Bushy for some time we decided to have a look around the taff and the Rhondda the next morning,

Bushy came and picked me up in the morning around 8 am and off we set but before we even set foot in the river Bushy had to fill his stomach in McDonald’s. Like father like son! Now I know were Kieron gets it from 🙂 After the bite to eat, we checked out the lower parts of the Taff  but the river was still pushing quite har., It was a little to high to get to where we wanted to check out for the grayling so we headed off to have a look at the Rhondda for a spot of trout fishing instead. River conditions were much better up there and it looked quite inviting when we got there so the gear was on in no time and the rods were set up with the french leader and off we set for the first run of the day. Bushy stepped back and let me start the day and in no time I was into my first fish. After this we went fish for fish all day and it just got better and better as we worked our way up river, fishing all the pocket water and little glides we came across.  Bushy being Bushy pulled out all the better fish of the day and I was left with the spats as he called them, Terry sprat was my name for the day after that, thanks Bushy.  It was a great days fishing and great company and as always I learned a few things from Paul and I’ll be trying them out when im on the water next. Just a few photos of are great day we had below.

Bushy below  

River Taff

Decided to hit the Taff nice and early this morning and I was on the river for around 6.30. Due to the overnight rain, the river was running with colour and I did think it was be a waste of time on looking at it first but I knew at some point in the day it would clear a little so I pressed on.

I didn’t really know where to start on the river this morning due to the colour so I headed up river for the shallow runs and pools that I knew for. On being so early and still quite cold there was no fly life buzzing around so the french leader was set up with only one 2m hares ear jig.  Not a very heavy fly but I was only fishing the margins and little ripples and glides,  just picking my way up river slowly.  It seamed that I was flogging a dead horse but after covering a few runs I finally managed to catch one small trout in the edge. Not very big but I was very gracious of catching the wee fella in the conditions.  By the time I worked my way up river a fair distance without catching a single fish, I decided to sit down and just chill for a bit just watching the water and wildlife. It’s surprising what you see if you open your eyes and keep still.  I was lucky enough to watch a King Fisher on the far bank doing what they do best.  On this part of the river its quite wide and my zoom on my camera was not good enough to take the  picture, gutting really but I am saving for a new zoom  lens 🙂 As the morning started to warm up, the fly life started to kick in with a few small olives coming off and I did push a few brook duns off the bank side while walking up river. It was just one of them days on the fishing side. It seemed that the river was void of fish and movement. As the day went on with only one fish to hand I was feeling a little daunted and my mind was wandering of the fishing.  I made one last ditch attempt to find fish by getting out of the river and walking up river a few miles. By the time I got to the place I wanted to be, the river was clearing off nicely.

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The flow was a little faster where I ended up so I had to change the setup, I pulled off around 4 feet of 3lb stroft ABR and tied in a dropper around 18″  from the point fly. As always I had a Hares ear jig and on the dropper a PT flash back. The decision  to move up river and changing the set-up was a good idea, it all come together and fish started to come to hand in no time. I was quite glad really.  In the photo above on the left hand side you can see a large boulder and this is where this little beauty come from below

As I was releasing this trout the heavens opened up and I mean it was hammering down to say the least. I took cover for a few minutes until it passed over and carried on fishing. As i was moving on,  I came upon a long pool with a few fish rising in the back edge and along the far bank. I slipped the dry rod off my back and set it  up with a 15ft tapered leader that Kieron Jenkins kindly got me, for the fly I used a size 16 olive pattern. There were a few Blue wings around and a few iron blue duns. I couldn’t really see what they were taking so i took a chance and after the second cast, the fish took the fly as sweet as a nut!. A few more came to hand after the first one and it was going well until I got to the middle of the pool and for some reason it went dead,  so after that I made my way back down river to get closer to home because it was getting quite late in the day. As i moved back down from where I came from I could see a few fish on the fin, so I had a play around before making a move home.

The Cynon outing

I had a phone call last night off Kieron jenkins asking if i would be interested in fishing the Cynon with him. I’ve never fished the river before so it was a good opportunity to have a look and it’s always an experience fishing with Kieron to say the least ;).

After a quick journey on the train in the morning, i met with kieron and off we set to fish the Cynon. Seeing the river for the first time kind of reminded me of the river Rhondda but not has rocky. I couldn’t wait to set up and get a fly in the water like always. As we havent had much rain for the past few weeks, the water level is very low so we decided to go for fish for fish. I set up on the dry,  Size 16 cdc olive and Kierion set up the french leader. With the conditions, using the leader, kieron pulled off around 3ft of nylon and attached that to the indicator and then from there the nymph, he used a 2m flashback ptn. Cracking all round pattern for any river and conditions.  The weather seamed to be holding for us with heavy cloud cover and the odd glimpse of sunshine breaking through and the odd small shower.

As we moved up river seeing a good few fish rising we thought it was going to be like shooting fish in a barrel, but it wasnt to be. They were highly spooky and just didn’t want to know the dry. We came to the conclusion that they must have been picking up midges or something. Kieron tried all kinds of flies but only managed one. Just one of them things i think. The leader was more effective so that’s what we did for the rest of the day with the odd flick of the dry with no success.

Kieron below holding a fine brown trout

As we picked our way through all the pocket water and runs we came across, we found that we would only pick one fish out of each pocket and run and no more. The fishing was quite hard and in some parts where you would think you would pick one out it was dead.  Hard fishing but great fishing,

There were a few sherry spinners around, a few Blue wing olives and the odd brook dun but it didn’t help with the dry fly fishing so we just kept on plugging away with the nymphs  picking a few more trout out. At this time it was getting quit late in the day and we were both running low on energy   so we called it a day.

Brook dun below

Just a few more photos of are day below

We will be fishing it again when we have a little rain and the level is a little higher so we can see if it makes any difference on the numbers. All in all a great days  fishing and great company and as always i learned a few things off my good mate Kie

A photo of the river when we were leaving below