Tag Archives: french leader

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

Welsh river trials on the river Tawe , leg 1

Well we asked for rain and we got it but way to much and on the day of the bloody trial. Typical hey!

Condition are not the best river rising and slightly coloured but the weather says it’s going to pass over around midday, Fingers crossed for the boys because it’s going to get interesting.

Today I’ll be controlling Terry Evans / Wales manager and good friend!

Always a tense time waiting for the time to kick off, it’s like time slows down. Your thoughts go onto that first fish and to get it the net to settle them early match nerves!

My thoughts on condition and looking at the water and height, Ide be using the French leader with a variety of colours, silver beads, black, orange and even white but with black pearly body’s and flashy Darker flies, Not forgetting the streamers in places!

It’s going to be interesting how Terry is going to attack the first beat and get the best out of it. Fast runs with good depth and lovely long pools, Looks quite fishy

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Well terry headed into the head of this run and took a fish straight away but didn’t measure at 17.2cm Very unlucky and was needed due to conditions changing quite fast. Water was coming up and all the branches and rubbish started to come down. Most casts coming back with weed or small branches attached.

Finally a measure came in falling to a black small streamer pulled through the edge!

Not long after terry hooked a good fish but spat the hook while playing, Not a good thing to happen in a comp that is tuff Fishing but you must not think about the what ifs and carry on looking for the next one!

Conditions are changing by the minute now, There could be a few blanks in these early sessions for a few but that’s comp fishing, you haft to fish to the conditions and this could happen on comp day, You must be able to adapt to the changing conditions as quickly as possible.

As you can see in a short space of time the difference in water level after the first sessions below. The river was getting big and nasty!

The day was turning into a nightmare for the anglers and I was very glad I retained my place due to winning the brown bowl and didn’t haft to trial

There was much talk about blanks and how hard it was getting but the rain blew over and the river peeked so it started to drop quickly and the colour started to run out in the afternoon session. Look at that rise :S not good!

Still pushing but more fish able Terrys afternoon peg was a cracker but it wasn’t going to be easy due to a small river running in on the left side looking up river giving it more colour. But there was a seam between rivers that screamed fish. Terry managed 1 in the 3rd session and 3 in the last session.

Good angling in the condition for sure.

Overall a very tuff and hard trial but fish were caught and the first part is over. Next the taff for the final! Good luck to boys and good hunting for that one. Hopefully better condition

I’ll leave you with a few photos of the day below and what the boys had to contend with. If it was a normal days Fishing you would have packed up and gone for a pint! But this is comp fishing ūüôā

Finale results for leg 1

Grayling candy

Well the grayling are back in the crosshairs and the vice has been red hot getting ready for it!

Hopefully the weather will be kind this year, giving us many chances to fish for the stunning fish!

Been tying all sorts and in all manner of colours,Pinks,purples, Flo orange and Gold. Always great to have a wide selection of colours in the box but also don’t forget the drab flies, the more natural looking colours, brown, tan, black, and greens!

Below there are a few selections of my favourites ready to hit the water. I’ll put up the more natural patterns soon. Warning please wear dark glasses with these images ūüôā All materials are bought from Funkyfly tying, Great company and great products!

Searching for the grayling with Paul Jenkins

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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

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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.

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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!

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Large dark olives are out in force!

Headed out this morning around half past 9 with a plan ūüôā

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 ūüôā 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!

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¬†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 ūüôā Both patterns below!

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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 ūüôā

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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 ūüôā

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Finally a day on the grayling

The conditions are great but the levels are not, the Taff has been holding its high level for weeks but it’s nice and clear and all you can do is fish the inside line in most pools with a fair bit of dodgy wading. Bit cold for swimming this time of year so much care is taken and with shore footing!

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I’ve been catching quite well and enjoying catching the small grayling in the shallower waters close to the banks but now and again you find¬†a few fat¬†pigs hiding in a hole ūüôā¬† bloody Grayling are stuffed solid and I think a few that I have caught have been quite close to bursting haha¬† food must be plenty in there! Good news for all!

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I’m quite impressed on the condition of the grayling this year and its great to see them in good numbers in all sizes¬†once again! Like everything it has it’s ups and down but the¬†Taff hasn’t really had a good grayling year for a few years.

Tactics! I’ve been mostly working the inside of the fast runs due to the higher water levels, grayling like to just sit off the main flow darting in and out picking off food passing so less energy is used!¬†Sp,¬†target the slower water out of the¬†main flow,¬†this can prove deadly but don’t forget the fast water entirely. Everywhere is worth trying!. In the colder months of winter,¬†grayling can be very picky on where they lay, they move around a lot. In the morning they can be right in the tails of pools and in the afternoon they can move right into the heads of the pool in a foot of water or less feeding hard. Some people can make the mistake of walking through this water and I have many of times thinking they are just not there, take the time to work the water’s and it will pay off in the end!

This fish below was¬†caught¬†in a tail end of a deep pool using the French leader with¬†the two nymph setup. Tippet 1.80kg stroft. length around 4 half feet from the indicator to the point fly. dropper tied on around 20″ above point fly! Nymphs… Point fly 3.5m hotspot hairs ear jig and on the dropper a 3m copper olive caddis pattern, this¬†was the fly that fooled¬†the grayling¬†below!

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DSCF1151All in all it was a cracking day and many fish¬†fell to¬†both of the flies shown¬†above so get tying if you haven’t got them in your box! Not done much on here for sometime, sorry about that people but I will be back on track from now on! cheers for checking in guys and girls ūüôā

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