Nice and early start again this morning but not the best of days for it with a heavy down stream wind making casting and presentation a right royal pain in the butt.
I wasnt the only one on the river nice and early though.
I was on the river bank nice and early and kind of thinking what kind of day it was going to be with the condition against me. I was carrying two rods as normal, one rod set up for nymphing and the other for klink and dink. Both methods were going to be a bit of fun to use in the wind but I was hoping that it would die down later on in the afternoon. I’ve been fishing my normal spots over the last few weeks but today I took a different approach and fished the spots that are hard work to get at and taking full advantage of the lower water condition. I kept close to the banks fishing all the slack sides of the runs and where the wind wasnt making a ripple on the water. On times the gusts of wind would blow the indicator right out of the water and lift the nymphs right to the top, and with the klink it would shoot off like a pond skater and drag the nymph all over the shop. As I picked my way through a few spots I gradually started picking up a few small grayling and a few flighty trout that just wouldn’t stop jumping. As I was fishing quite close to me just beyond the rod tip, wading was a quiet affair and it was all slow-moving. It was working well so I stuck at it most of the day while the wind was blowing but as I thought it might it started to calm and it give me the chance to fish more open water. Getting the chance to fish the open water I set up the french leader, on the point I put a 2.8m hot spot jig and on the dropper a small pheasant tail hot spot. The nymph that was most effective throughout the daybelow.
I got myself into a nice looking run with a slow spot at the back-end and after only a few casts the indicator slipped away up river and me following with a steady lift, I was finally into one of the better ladies of the river. Thinking if there was one there, there had to be more so I fished it to its death but only managing a handful of trout and a few smaller grayling afterwards, most fish fell to the point fly and here is the first better size grayling of the day below.
The day was challenging and quite difficult but im a stubborn bugger and wouldn’t leave the river without a few better size grayling under my belt. As the day went on, without seeing any fly life of any sort I stuck to the nymphing and pulled the dry rod down to keep tangles to a minimum. Fishing become really slow in the backend of the runs in the afternoon so I moved into the heads of the runs searching out to see if I could find grayling on the feed. I walked into the head of the last run of the day pitching the nymphs high into the churning waters thinking i’d be lucky, but I was. I picked another hand full of grayling and trout from there, I finally called it a day and made the journey home. I’ll leave you with a few more photos of the fish that I manged to pick up throughout my day’s fishing and a few under water shots.
I was out the door this morning by eight and in pursuit of the lovely grayling that swim the river Taff.
The river is just recovering from a heavy flood and I didn’t expect much because of past experiences of fishing after big floods but it didn’t bother me if I caught something or not, I just love being out on the water. The river bed has changed quite a lot and the shingle beds have moved all over the place, not a good thing for the reds im sure! But something good came out of it with a few nice holes and a few new runs scattered around the river making great spots for the grayling to ambush their passing prey or my nymphs:).
I had a play around with my video cam in one run that was fishing well and came up with this below.
I was fishing the french leader but not fishing it far away, more bugging really, fishing it just beyond the rod tip and keeping everything tight. I didnt even bother looking at the deeper waters I just concentrated on the water averaging from a few inches to about 2 ft. Two nymphs as usual, on the point I was using a size 16 silver bead hares ear jig and on the dropper a copper head PT jig. I caught a good number of small grayling and one half decent grayling running on the 1lb mark, also a few nice size trout but I do wish someone would tell them that its out of season and they should stop taking my tasty nymphs 🙂 With the quality of the trout now at the moment it should be a cracking trout season. I’m so looking forward to hitting the small streams and one of my favourite rivers, the Rhondda!
The biggest grayling of the day below after unhooking.
The day turned out better than i thought it would so it was great. Im really looking foward to the weekend so roll on friday to wet a line again!
Not the best conditions to fish the taff this morning with blustery wind blowing down river and as all anglers know, its a kiss of death and can be really hard work.
I was determined to fish this morning whatever the condition and whatever the outcome. With the weather, I only took the one rod for nymphing knowing that presentation was going to be a nightmare and I could put my full concentration on the one rod and not worry about anything else. The taff is still holding a good flow of water and has been for a good while now. I’m unable to fish my favourite spots and im just waiting on the day that it is possible. Today I set up the long leader with two 2.8 jigs. Due to the water I was fishing, I had around 8ft to the point fly and a dropper around 20″ above that. For the tippet material I was using 3lb stroft ABR. I targeted the back-end of the pools and behind the boulders that are usually standing right out of the water, this makes good places for fish to pick off nymphs and not exert too much energy at the same time. Hot spots as I call them. Not easy to get the nymphs to fish natural today with the wind so I was keeping everything low and waiting for gaps in the wind so I could get the drift that I needed. One of the places that I was talking about is shown below. I managed a few grayling but more trout than anything from behind this rock so I left them to it,
Working on up river looking for little eddies and pockets I manged to catch a trout well battled scared up by the cormerons, not looking its best but getting over the worse by the looks of him, it’s never nice seeing these fish scratched up and bite marks all over them. I had one small grayling with a perfect bite out of its tail aswell, check these out below.
Not a bad days fishing with lots of small grayling and a load of trout but as always its never about size for me it’s just getting out and enjoying something that I love.
After a late night last night at the vice tying a few different patterns to play with, i checked the taff river levels to see how the old girl was running after the resent rains and after seeing the levels i was in with a chance to wet a line in the morning.
I didn’t get up early as usual, I woke around 8am and didn’t rush to get out, I checked the levels and it was okish and it didn’t alter that much overnight so it was more of just getting out really and looking for the shallow parts of the river where the fish would be sheltering from the heavy main flow. As my streamflex 10ft 3wt is still out of action, I set the french leader up on my greys 8ft 4wt, I’ve done this in the past in tighter smaller rivers and got on fine but I was fishing a much bigger river so I just had to stick it out. It wasn’t that bad really but I did miss my 10ft. As normal I always carry two rods and the other rod was set up for the klink and dink. I didn’t see any fly life today or any movement on the water surface , the only movement I seen on the surface was a large salmon showing it’s head a few times and then disappearing back into the depths. After seeing the tourist playing around I got back to the nymphing. I managed a load of the yearling grayling and around the same amount in brown trout.This grayling was the biggest of the day below.
I was catching fish on both methods and all in about 2ft of water, I did walk in a little deeper water taking it easy and it was touch and go so I made a move back in the bank. Last time I thought I would be ok out there, I took a dip and a fair swim :S Really dont want to do that again that’s for sure, Brown pants after that one. As the day went on, the fishing started to slow so I decided to check out what was moving around on the bottom, after a few funny looks off people wondering what I was doing I had a right mix of nymphs and shrimps and caddis cases and as i’ve done in the past I found an old can and used the bottom for a petri dish. Works quite well. The macro shots are not the best but not bad considering its on the bank side freehand.
Not a bad day and it was nice to get out and wet a line and wash a few troubles away. I’ll leave you with a few photos of the lovely day. Just before I leave I had a lovely christmas present off the wife:) I had an under water video camcorder so i’ll be making a few more short videos of my forays the next time im out, so please look in time to time and see what ive been up to.
Well not much to say of the day today, I was only out a few hours with my mate Lewy looking for the ladies.
It was an over cast day and a strong down stream wind that made things tricky with presentation and casting the french leader at a distance. There was a few fish on the fin but only small grayling so we kind of missed them out and let them get on with their business. I was looking for the better grayling in the drop offs of the pools and runs that i know and just testing really to see if there are a few better fish moving. It’s a little early on the taff from my experience over the last few years fishing it for grayling. We both managed to catch a good few small grayling and a bag full of out of season trout, i wish someone would tell them that. No harm done and all were returned safely as always.
My mate Lewy above has just started fishing with the french leader so ive been helping as much as I can and giving him a few tips, hes picking it up quite well so its been great watching him catch more fish and even catching fish in places that he would have never have caught fish before. As we both picked our way up the pools and deep holes, I came across a long run that had a fair depth to it, this called for a reset of the depth and nymphs. I pulled off around 6ft of 3lb stroft ABR and then tied in a dropper around 18″ above the point. I decided to put on a size 14 pink jig 3.5m gold head on the point and on the dropper a 3m pink buggy thing. The flow of the water in this part was quite fast so it called for the weights. After a few casts up river I moved up a few feet and could see a channel in the weed so I pitched the nymphs well up passed it and in the centre. As it was moving down, I seen a flash and a fish turning so I struck and I had a fish on, It shot up river like a clappers and then with a sharp turn back down river exploding out of the water. Straight away I could see it was a salmon, after a little bit of a run around i landed this fine fish. Result on the french leader and not a bad feat on a 3wt rod and 3lb tippet.
I didn’t get many photos of the day but I think the one above made up for it.
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.
Why is it that every time you book a date to meet up with your mates and fish, the heavens open and smash your plans to bits.
Well I woke up at 8am to the sound of rain yet again against the window and the sight of black skies. First thing I done was check the river levels of the taff and its colour. Its only over the bank where I live and I can see a fair bit of the river from my window. It was a little high and with a slight colour to it but fishable. After a quick chat on the phone to Toby about the conditions he was on his way over with Nicholas
It wasnt long before the boys turned up and we were all on our way to fish the Rhondda. By this time the rain was coming down hard and it wasnt looking good for the river. The problem with the Rhondda is that there are so many run offs from the streets and roads that any good amount of rain affects the level and colour. In the space of getting the gear on and setting up, the river was totally unfishable, very disappointing for the boys traveling so far. It was a quick think and we were on our way to the clydach to try to make the most of the day. At this time, the heaven opened up yet again and the day looked to be a disaster. It was really disappointing and I kind of gave up and thought there was no point of going on but we pressed on and had a look . When we checked the stream out it was looking perfect and totally fishable but it wasnt for long. About half hour in with a few small trout to hand the river just went like soup 😦 Mother nature was against us this day. But myself, im damn sure its Toby’s fault, Stormbringer as I call him. After following Nicholas up-stream and watching him take a few trout out of the soup, we all decided to make a move. On the way back down to the car and after a little chat, we decided to give the Rhondda another look. I didn’t expect much but when we got there the river was running much clearer and looking not too bad. It was still running with a fair old flow but we were just busting to wet a line. For the conditions, we all set up on the french leader with a mix of heavy nymphs. I found myself in the middle of a long fast flowing run with a fair old depth to it so i cast the leader around 10ft up river and laid it on the water. As the indicator came close I rose it out of the water and for a second the indicator stopped so I struck and fish on, on the first cast too. It was looking good. We all made up for the lack of fishing and with a good number of fish to hand. It was great to finally catch a few and give the boys a bit of fun. It all turned out quite well at the end and here are a few photos of our trip out
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.
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.
As always the weekends go so fast and Monday morning is on us before we know it but this week wasn’t so bad because me and my mate Nicholas Steedman arranged a trip on the Rhondda mid-week.
The morning came and the rain with it! I think he must be some sort of relation to Toby aka Storm-bringer. Whenever he tells me he’s coming over the bridge for a trip the heavens open and the rivers rise. Toby& Nick , next time just come over and don’t say nothing please :). Well as I was saying the rain was in and the wind started to pick up and this was all before we even placed a foot on the river bed. Nick picked me up at 10am and after a quick check of the gear we were off to fish the Rhondda. This was Nicks first visit so I was hoping he would like the river and I had my fingers crossed that the river would perform.
The conditions were not ideal at first and I wasn’t very optimistic of catching because it was up about 6″ and coloured, six inches don’t sound a lot but in the Rhondda it means a hell of a lo., the flow of water is crazy for such a small river. It’s difficult wading at the best of times. As for the conditions, the dry fly rod was left behind and the bugging rod was the answer. Nick set up the french leader and I done the same and after a quick chat about what flies we were using and depth we moved onto the first run of the day. Myself, I had around 6ft of tipped with a dropper about 18″ from the point. The point fly was a 3m gold head hares ear and on the dropper I had a black 2.5 flash back pt. After a few casts with no success I decided to fish the water at my feet and close to the bank. After only a few flicks I was into my first Rhondda trout of the day on the point fly. I stepped back and Nick followed with catching around four trout out of the head of one pool, not the biggest of fish but all were in top condition and their stomachs where all fat. They were on the feed big time. It rained for a few more hours but not hard so the river started to clear up and the fishing just went wild. Nick was taking full advantage of the river, pulling trout from everywhere, the smile on his face said it all, It was a tag team. Nick was fishing the left bank and I was fishing the right bank. we slowly moved up river taking fish in the shallows and glides. I think Nick was well impressed with the river and the quality of fish.
Moving up river into the long runs and deep holes we started to pick up one or to better fish. Nicholas moved on to the right hand side of the river where there was a run along side a wall, it didn’t look deep but looked a good spot for fish to lie up out of the current. It was one of them spots where there was nothing else to hide behind so he was on a winner. He caught 5 trout that I seen so he was on the ball fair play, nice going Nicholas. As that little spot went quiet we slowly fished the ripply water leading up to a small weir. Nicholas moved in for the kill and had five cast and five fish. It was really good to watch. After dragging him out of there 😉 we moved on up into a pool where I’ve had some amazing fishing in the past in a similar condition. I had the first few casts this time and managed a few before Nicholas moved in. After taking a few out at the back edge, Nicholas pitched his nymphs into the main flow and as the leader was going through the run, the leader stopped and he lifted into the take but it just stopped dead! His rod was double to say the least and all this time the pressure was on and there was nothing he could do. The line just went across the river and so slow you could see the line going back and for, it was a big, big fish. The pressure he put on didn’t even change the fishes mind, it was like it didn’t even know it was hooked. It moved across the flow and went into a snag and that was that. I feel for you brother 😦 I’m still gutted. Would have been great for you to catch a monster on your first outing on the river. There is always next time and ‘im sure you will be back soon.
I’ll leave you on that and here’s a few photos of the great day we had.