Tag Archives: dries

Grayling it is

Well finally I had the chance to get out and do a bit of proper grayling fishing without the possibility of killing myself in the process due to high river conditions and wayward tree trunks!

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Sorry for the lack of posts over the past few weeks, between the river being in flood,and personal problems im back and will be updating much more often so please keep on checking out what I’ve been up to.

With the rivers finally dropped off nicely and the weather back to a constant mean, the chance of a blue sky over head and easy wading was grabbed by two hands and I was off out the door like a shot. The river couldn’t look any better but the morning frost was a little hard so I knew I should have left it a little bit later, but I had to get out. In the past years of grayling fishing on the Taff the magic hours have been from half eleven and to as late as three in the afternoon,  just before dark at the moment…

I knew it would be slow at first but I couldn’t help myself, I only took the bugging rod and left my dry fly rod at home. As you avid followers will know, I usually carry two fly rods but thought bugger it and just stuck with nymphs for the day… Not like me ey, Kie ;)… I knew there was a good chance of a hatch of olives could come off, but I have a little trick up my sleeve for when this happens. Anyway, as I thought, it was slow as hell at first, only taking a few out of season browns and not even a sniff from a grayling I moved further upstream and changed my approach.

ALL anglers fish the most likely looking spots, I mean the first crease or run which comes into sight. I do it all the time and am sometimes bit on the ass because of it. I decided to fish the less likely looking spots, fishing the water that I wouldn’t usually expect to catch grayling at this time of year, but today, it seemed that’s only where I could get them! I managed a few around the 9″ mark so it was well worth a shot.

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As time went on I seen the odd olive floating by so I moved into the head of the pools thinking that that’s where the nymphs are hatching so that’s where I would be if there was a fish at this time, sure enough after a few casts I managed one grayling over the 1lb mark and it went a little bonkers after that for some time. As I was looking down river I could see fish rising so I upped sticks and moved down to the tail of the pool to have a little fun. This is where the dry rod would have come in handy but I’ve been working on a few little things to cover this so a quick little change 🙂 and I was soon into fish after a few tweaks.

All in all a great day out with many grayling to the hand and im so looking forward to the next trip out.

Photo gallery below

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Just a few for the morning

Looking in the box today i found that i was running low on a few patterns so i just sat down and tied a few for an early morning trip out with my mate Ceri sweeney.

6 of each pattern tied on size 16 j hooks bought from here.http://www.flytyingboutique.com/.

The water levels around my area in south Wales are quite low at the moment so smaller the better! God we need rain but not to much! Hope you like the patterns!

Jig nymphs.

 Emerges.

 Duns.

All before the rain set in

I was checking the weather report last night and it didn’t look good for today but I sorted the gear out anyway just in case the weather man was lying again 🙂  As I woke up and I listened to see if I could hear the rain on the flat roof but I heard nothing so up I got and opened the window to see. The Taff just below the house was looking totally fishable and inviting.

I didn’t wait around, I just got the gear on and made my way down to the Taff, this only took me a matter of minutes and I was on the river bank checking out the far run across the river where i’ve had some fantastic sport in the past. The water was up a few inches but not noticeable really but it did have a slight tinge of colour to it. Having both rods as usual I only set the 10ft 3wt up to do a spot of light nymphing on the slack side of the run that I was looking at.  The water depth was around 2 ft at most so I pulled about 3ft of stroft off and tied that to the indicator and at the point I  tied on a single nymph, it was a black bead hares ear jig, size 16.

I slowly got myself into position just below the run so I could cast the french leader up into the run and keep the indicator pointing up river giving me direct contact with the nymph.  Light nymphing can be so delicate and the takes just the same. Sometime the takes can be that delicate that you wont even see the line move or stop. It’s like a sense that something is wrong so you strike and there the fish is. Casting my way up the slack side I managed to fool a few trout and as I hit the head of the run I changed the weight of the fly so I could cover the more turbulent water. Many more fish fell to the single fly in this kind of water and after the takes slowed down I came from there looking for the next likely looking spot. At this time my good mate Sion Lewis turned up looking to fill his boots with the wild Taff brownies..

Sion lewis with a fine Taff Trout below

Me and Sion slowly worked our way around the runs and pools picking a good number of nice size trout out with a good amount of banter as you do amongst mates 🙂 I did mange a few on the dry after a short hatch of small olives made an appearance and even Sion got in on the action by whipping the rod out of my hands 🙂

The sun was bright for a while but it didn’t take long to cloud over and then the rain started and the river become quite coloured. Fishing become quite tough but we both pressed on fishing close to the banks and margins and the very slow waters of the fast runs. Visibility was very poor but we still manged to take a few in these conditions . Sion moved on up river past me targeting the much shallower water where visibility was much better. I kind of watched Sion fishing for a while and he was doing really well by taking fish from every small run and from behind every rock that was visible. Sometimes I just like to watch other anglers fishing and see how they tackle certain waters and how they go about it.  After another hour the condition just got worse and the river started to rise even more so that was that really. Not a bad few hours and some cracking sport with a good mate!

I’ll leave you with a gallery of the photos that we both took in our few hours out,

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Lewy you old dog, congratulations on making the Wales team mate, Proud of you and look forward to fishing with you in the international next year. We got lots of fishing to do now and we got a good excuse for it now 🙂

Wales takes gold on the river Tay.

Well what a hard week that was on the river Tay in Scotland, never have I ever fished a river so fast and wide and dangerous. The flow of water going through there was just beyond belief! Well where do I start really.

Dunkeld Bridge below 

I was lucky enough to be reserve for the Welsh rivers team for the international held on the river tay in Scotland and god what an eye opener it was. We headed out on the 23rd of June in advance of the comp so we would get a whole week of practice in for the international that was going to be held on the 29th. Conditions were not great with rain most days and an up and down stream wind. At points in the day, there were waves going down river and it was just bonkers to say the least. Kieron Jenkins, Captain of the team assigned everyone a different method to fish that day and would swap everyone the next day. Great tactics to covering all the water and seeing where the fish were and what depth they would be feeding at certain times in the day, Dries would go first then wets then the bugs would come in on the French leader and stimmy behind. Many fish come to all methods through the week but it was far from easy.

 The fly life wasn’t the best throughout the week but the odd day the fly life would be fantastic but you wouldn’t see a fish rise. This was so confusing and I just couldn’t believe that nothing was picking off these wee beasties, frustrated wasn’t the word for it. Most nights after a hard day searching out the water we would all be called in for a meeting by Kieron and Paul to discuss the day’s fishing as a team and lay the flies on the table for all to see. Then as a team we would decide on the best method to cover the water that we tackled that day. After the meetings we would all have a few hours tying and then to the bar for a little banter with the other teams. All in good fun. I met some cracking chaps and I do hope I get the chance to be there again some time.

Competition day…..

It was a nice and early start, double checking the gear over and then a quick breakfast and off we set to meet the controllers for the day’s fishing ahead. Around this time reports started coming in that the river had risen around 3ft over night and this was quite concerning for the fishing ahead.  The plan was that i would run for Kieron in the morning and then in the second session I would run for Mark Willows, this was a great opportunity for me to see other anglers on the water in focus mode and to see their styles in action. Kieron, me and his controller got to our peg and what we knew about the water just went straight out of the window. River was up,coloured and the wind was making a quite a nuisance of itself. The time come for kieron to step in for his first session and he started off in a lovely run screaming fish but it wasnt to be. Everything was working against him and he left the first session with a blank but made up in the second session. fishing was out and out hard going.

After the morning session were over we all had to go back and meet up and have a bite to eat before leaving for the last sessions of the day. This was a tense time waiting on the boys to come in and say how they done in the sessions. I think the all round smiles said it all when we all finally met up that we were doing well.  Food was done and handshakes all round and it was back out for the second round, eager and confident. This time I was out with Mark willows for the final sessions of the day, we got to the peg nice and early checking that water out and just hoping that we didn’t have to run out looking for something that was fishable. Mark set the one rod up on wets and the other on the heavy bugs. Before we knew it, it was time for Mark to get in and fish his heart out. As I said before nothing looked familiar and we were all back to a blank canvas.  As Mark fished the wets and covered a fair bit of water, I spotted a few fish on the other side rising, this was our opportunity to give them hell, the information was passed over to Mark and he instantly changed methods and made his way straight to the spot with plenty of time to spare in the first session. I had my fingers crossed that we wouldn’t blank in the first, with only minutes to spare Mark had a measure in the net. Big smiles all round. Mark moved out of the spot where the fish were rising and left them alone till the next session started, he changed over at this time doing a little bit of heavy bugging but with no success. The second session kicked in so he moved back into the spot where the fish were, after a few casts, Mark was into a fine trout and no blanks, that’s all we wanted to do. The last session ended with 2 fish and god what a relief it was.  Mark done so well and I was proud to be there with him.  After a big handshake we moved out to go back to the hotel to find out the final scores. We all waited in the car park after putting in the score cards.  You could feel the tension in the air. As we all moved on down the car park I could see paul with his hand in the air and with the biggest smile i’ve ever seen. You could see how proud he was with the team. We went into the club and straight away the handshakes kicked off with everyone  saying well done boys 🙂   We did it! Wales takes the gold, what a feeling and I was so proud of all the boys for pulling out all the stops and bringing home the gold for Wales. I don’t really remember much after that but here are the photos of the team and the captain Kieron Jenkins and Alun Hughes for taking top rod.

I’m a proud Welshman and im so proud of the boys for doing so well in the condition. Well done to all.

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What a busy boy ive been!

Well not really had the chance to get out and do a spot of fishing but i have been tying a few flies ready for my trip up to Scotland for the international on the river Tay. This is going to be a big learning curve for myself and its going to be great to meet up with some of the best anglers in the country.

I’ll put a post up after I come back and a load of photos leading up to the match. It’s not long now 🙂

Well not long ago I was lucky enough to have the chance to fish the river Ebbw with kieron Jenkins and fish for some beautiful wild trout, check out Kieron jenkins’s feature in this months http://www.totalflyfisher.com/ and tell me what you think:)  It’s a great read so please have a look.

Look its me below 🙂

Hard going is not the word for it.

After chatting to Paul Jenkins in the week, we decided to have a trip out together over the weekend and see if we could have a little fun chasing the brown’s on the sunday as saturday was a no go for Paul because the wales match was on.

Paul arranged to pick me up at 8.30 outside the house, I did plan on sleeping on till eight but my son had other ideas, 7 o clock he was pouring milk in my ear and that’s not nice im telling you After jumping out of bed and getting the milk out of my ear, I checked out the window to see what sort of morning it was, to my surprise I couldn’t see a thing, I could see about 20 yards at most, Pontypridd was covered in a blanket of heavy fog, but best of all it wasnt raining. Happy days as we say!. After a strong mug of coffee and a few tracker bars Paul turned up and off we set. We decided to have a look up the Rhondda to see if anything was moving, The Rhondda on times can fish well early season but today it was hard going, The river was on its bones and as clear as glass, not good really. We both opted for the french leader and decided on going fish for fish,  I set up first so I was the first stepping in the water, I went into the tail end of a long deep run and kept low keeping my shadow of the water as much as I could. After around 15 minutes of fishing hard I hooked into a trout on the tail end and soon as the hook set the trout left the water and that was that, Not a good start for myself. After my brief encounter it was Paul’s turn. Paul stepping into the run that I lost the first fish of the day below. Bad angling on my part but you can’t get them all as Paul said!

Paul fished through a few lovely looking runs and pools without even a take or anything, Hard going be buggered, we both must have covered well over 200 yards of the river with only a few fish to hand. On this we decided to leave the Rhondda and take to the bigger river, The taff. After a short drive we got to where a little  slower water was to fish the dries. We needed something to pick our spirits up after the disappointing effort up the Rhondda.  After standing at the back for a few minutes we were in luck, there were a  few olives on the water and a few fish rising close to the banks, finally something to target. Paul stepped in and started to work his magic with the dry by picking a few trout out on the 12″mark. We were on the look out for the bigger boys but it wasnt to be, maybe some other day! Slowly we worked our way around the long slow runs and pools with a few fish to hand but it was far from easy. Maybe next week will be a little better but who knows. Just a few photos of are day below.

As you can see Pauls eyes are all over the shop, he spotted a fish rising up river 🙂

For the rising days to come.

I’ve had a few problems over the last few weeks and unable to go fishing or even tie flies but im on the mend now and hopefully i’ll have a few trips out soon. Sorry for the lack of posts guys!

Last night I decided to sit down and start tying a few dries ready for the coming trout season, it’s not far away and im counting the days down till I can stick my feet in the water that hasn’t been fished all year; pocket water, my favorite! Fast shallow runs with rocks everywhere with flity trout laying in wait for  passing prey. What more could a fly fisherman ask for  🙂 This is what im talking about below

I’ve got a load more dry-fly patterns to tie up and post soon,  im just waiting on my new hooks to arrive from Phil, http://www.flytyingboutique.com/

A few dries from tonight

Thought i would sit down and tie a few dries tonight and give the bugs a rest.

Here are  two patterns that i use to imitate the olive hatches on my local rivers and streams in the summer months.

I’m no expert on tying the dries as you can see below but they work very well so that’s the main thing 🙂

More patterns will be up soon so please keep checking out my blog posts.

The dries below are all size 16.

River Taff

Nice and early start again Tuesday morning on the lower beats of the Osprey’s water.

Lately i’ve been fishing the higher waters but this morning I decided to check out the lower beats down by upper boat for a change. Not a very nice walk first thing but worth a shot. The weather was perfect really, not to cold with plenty of cloud cover and the wind was non-existent. Happy days as I say!

The river was running low for a change and clear as glass, it’s been a while since i’ve seen the bottom so clear with all the rain we have been having lately. I didn’t hang around with setting up both rods, one for the dry and the second as always, the french leader. As I was sorting out what flies I was going to use, I could see a few small splashy rises on the far side of the river so I thought i’d have a play around with a small nymph on the french leader. The water was quiet low and slow where they were, so I pulled off around 2ft of 3lb stroft and attached it to the indicator and then a small 1.5 gold head pt. After greasing the indicator I made a few short casts besides a small rock that was on the end of the glide and pretty much straight away the leader slipped away up-stream and I was greeted with a small grayling.  After playing around, catching a few more, I left them to it and moved on looking for a few trout in the little deeper runs further up river. There was no fly life that I could see so I stuck with the nymphs on the leader, just picking my way up through the weed beds with a few trout for my efforts.  As the runs got a little deeper I  made the set up a little longer and put a dropper in to cover two depths. It was working quiet well with fish falling to both flies so I left the set up as it was and carried on picking up good numbers of trout and grayling. The grayling were not big but very welcome anyway.

As I moved up river, I could see someone else fishing and when I got close I could see that is was my mate Robert. I could see that he was having a little fun on a few fish rising in a long pool. As I got up to him, he was into a grayling and then another not long after. We sat around chatting and then moved on to the next run together. I handed over my 10ft 3wt streamflex and gave a few pointers on using the french leader in the shallow fast run. It wasn’t long before Rob was into his first grayling and he took to it like a duck to water really.  We went fish for fish for a bit before deciding to make a move up river again and fish anther pool that fishes really well on times. Rob moved in to fish the pool and I made a move up river to leave him in peace  so at this point we parted company. As I moved up river picking a few more trout off with the nymphs and the dry, I had to cut it short because of a phone call.  It was a good day and a mixed bag so i’ll leave you with a few photos of Rob and a few more Trout that I had to hand after parting company.

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.

This is where i stept in above

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.