Tag Archives: Jig hooks

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!

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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River Rhymney

After speaking to Kieron Jenkins in the week at Gareth Haveys fishing shop where Gareth was holding a ospreys night with a 10% off everything, we decided to go give somewhere a look on the weekend to see if we could nail a few grayling. That was if the rivers dropped off after the crazy weather we had on thursday and friday.

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Kieron picked me up at 8am and then we went and picked up Sam Richards, a young youth angler. The taff was still pushing so we decided to go over and give the Rhymney a look. It’s great to have so many great rivers just a stone throw away from the house that hold grayling for the winter fishing. It was a quick stop to purchase our day tickets and off we set eagar to find a few graylng. After a short drive we got to where we wanted and before we knew it we were on the bank ready to step in. The river was running with a few inches over normal and a slight colour to it but was looking good. The method of the day was heavy nymphing keeping a short line and using heavy bugs to get them down hard on the deck.

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Sam was the first to enter the river and was the first to hook into a grayling and shortly after a second came to the net, Sam had it spot on. ¬†Kieron moved on down river picking his way through the water not leaving anything unfished, so I moved on up river out the way and after a bit I manged a trout but nothing after that for some time.¬†I moved on back down to find kie and sam, after a short walk I caught up with them and after that we all stuck together just working the likely looking spots for the grayling, Sam stepped in below us in a little deeper water and shortly after sam was into a fine grayling on the dropper fly. ¬†Sam stayed in this pool for some time then hitting into something totally different, me and kie could see this was a decent fish. Kie stepped in to give him a few pointers and to ready the net but it was a long way from being netted, the fish held deep and just made his way up river and then back down, then it showed itself in a blast of energy by jumping clear of the water around 3ft. It was a salmon estimated around 8/10lb easy. Sam done his best but it wasn’t to be, the fish took him down river and pulled the hook after around 5 minutes. Unlucky sam but what fun fair play.

Sam below well bent into the salmon

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After that little fun we moved on and kie just done what he does best and started to pick off grayling in the good numbers and me,well i was a little slow this day and just couldnt conect with many fish. ¬†Its good to have a few bad days because it makes you more egar to get out ¬†and get it right! ūüôā It wasnt long after and the tempture started to drop and the light was faiding so that was a q to make a move.. Not a bad days fishing and far from easy but we all fooled a few so happy days.

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Ill leave you with all the photos taken on the day below

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Slow and steady is the way!

As you know I had plans to go out today with my good friend Ceri Sweeney. I was picked up by Ceri at 8 and off we set to see if we could have a little fun tracking down a few trout and grayling.

Overnight we had rain bringing the river up a few inches and giving it a slight colour but this was a good thing because the river really needed it. After a short drive we finally got to where we wanted to try first but for the water and the time there was no point of setting up the dry so I kept that on my back and set up the french leader on my 10ft 3wt. For the flow of water we were in, I had a 3m hares ear jig on the point and on the dropper a 2,5m hotspot pheasant tail. My thinking for the hotspot was that it would stand out in the murky waters. Ceri also setup on the french leader with similar weights and we pressed on fishing a long run on the far side. I decided to go below Ceri and give him some room and fish the back-end where it was a little shallower to get some idea where the fish were. After a few short casts i was into a lively trout about half a pound and as quick as i hooked it, it was released to fight again, in that Ceri just above me took a fine grayling about a 1lb and in the flow it put up a good account of itself and after a quick photo the fish was on its way to get about its business. Not a bad result in a short time.

Ceri netting the grayling.

After Ceri slipping this one back there was no stopping him taking around 6 more grayling in the same area and one trout,¬†I didn’t have much luck on the grayling front but I was doing well on the trout. As Ceri was picking the grayling off I spotted a few fish rising on the far side of the run in the slack so I¬†pulled the dry fly rod off my back and set it up. Not sure what they were taking I put on one of my newly tied emergers . I watched for a bit before taking a cast to see if I could work out which was the best fish and after a few moments¬†I decided to go for one just off the bank. First drift nothing but on the second drift, bang fish on. It was a trout about on the 1lb mark, didn’t get a photo holding it because it had other ideas by jumping out of the net and unhooking itself, these trout are getting wise :).

As we pressed on up river I had a phone call off another mate, Mark willows, asking what I was up to and if I was fishing. After a short chat, Mark was on his way to meet us and have a dangle!¬†Ceri wasn’t staying long because of other commitments so he planned on making a move about 1pm but before that time mark met us up and we all pressed on looking for the fish with a good amount of banter:) ¬†I wasnt even fishing and I was having bites off Mark ūüôā I think it would take more than 3lb stroft to pull that fella in mind! After covering a fair bit of the river picking off a few more fish ,¬†Ceri had to leave so I stayed and Mark left with Ceri to go up river and fish somewhere else. I planned on meeting Mark further up river later on because I wanted to check out a few spots that I havent fished for some time. Just before the boys left,¬†I hooked into a fine trout and Ceri took this photo for me below.

I made my way out of the fast water looking for slower waters to see if there were any fish rising, I seen the odd splashy rise but there was no way I could cover them on the far bank so I pushed on looking for something that I could cover without drowning. I finally found a few rising in the backend of a large pool so I slowly made my way up trying not spook the buggers. I spent some time creeping around there, taking a hand full of trout on my size 16 quill dun. One of the better ones below.

I finally met up with Mark and he was with one of his mates, I was introduced and I knew his face straight away, Rob Evans, Hywel Morgans apprentice ūüôā ¬†had to get that in Rob, Mark told me to mind so get him for it hehe. ¬†We all moved onto a long pool looking for likely spots and with that I could see a rise on the far bank so I moved over and after a few casts I was into another fine trout, i netted it after a good run around. Rob said pass the cam over and took this below, another fine river taff brown trout, Cheers for taking the shot Rob!

After releasing this fish I made my way out of the river with Rob to give the water a break, we talked for some time about flies, nymphs, river quality and how well the taff is doing for what it used¬†to be like, it’s just great having this wonderful river just a stone throw away from my home in Pontypridd. As we talked on, Mark was still fishing targeting fish rising just above us in the dead slow water, not the easiest place to catch fish, fine tippets and long leaders are a must in the areas and a delicate cast. Mark is a fine angler and one of the most patient anglers I know, if there are fish there he will worry them out or if that didn’t work he would wait till the cows come home for the fish to rise again. Mark below with one that he worried out. Good angling butty.

Rob below nymphing this fine run

As me and Rob watched Mark working the river I spotted another fish rising not far from where the other fish fell on the dry. This rise looked much better and I¬†even seen the fishes’s nose at one point. I made my way over slowly to get the right angle on the fish to get the best presentation and not to spook it. First cast was on the button and a few seconds after the trout come up over the dry and a split second after the strike, the trout was on and I knew it was a quite a good un at that. After a good run around and some wild runs I managed to slip the net under the fish and have a good look at this wonderful Taff Trout. After a quick photo courtesy¬†of Rob the trout was on its way back into the depth of the Taff.

It was a great days fishing with great friends and it was very nice to meet another fine angler Rob. Rob it was a pleasure mate.

I’ll leave you with a gallery of all the photos taken on the day.

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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.

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 ūüôā ¬† 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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