Tag Archives: Jig hooks

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 🙂

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 🙂 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 🙂

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 🙂 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 🙂 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 🙂

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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 🙂

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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 🙂  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 🙂

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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! 🙂 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 🙂 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 🙂  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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