Tag Archives: Jig hooks

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 🙂   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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Must have nymphs.

Every angler you meet on the water will have his or her favourite nymph patterns, but most often or not it the humble hare’s ear and the pheasant tail in some shape or form.

I’ve been playing around tying a few variations of the hare’s ear and pheasant tail nymphs and by far the ones below are my go get them flies, I have these tied in 2.5, 2.8, 3.0, 3.5, 4.0  so I can cover all conditions and water depths.

Give these two Nymphs a go and im sure you wont be disappointed.

Out and about in heavy water conditions

Well, as everyone here is south wales knows, the rivers are all in flood and have been for a few weeks now but I just had to get out and wet a line somewhere to relieve the tension.

I didn’t rush out as early as I normally do, I think I left the house around 9ish and to tell the truth I didnt really know where I was heading with the waters so high in all the rivers in my area. Even the streams are high and would be a battle to keep your feet stuck to the bottom, so the only thing I could do really was to cover as much water as I could and find the slacks and the back ends of the pools. I took the two rods as normal but I knew that I would probably be stuck to bugging with the conditions. I didn’t see much fly life around just the odd olive passing by. I only saw two fish rise so that didn’t really warrant me to set the dry-fly rod up so I took it apart and slid it in the back of my vest to keep it out of the way so I could concentrate on the nymphing side of things. As usual I was using my 10ft 3wt streamflex, set up with the french leader for the nymphing. I was using two nymphs as normal; on the dropper I was using a goldhead 2.5 phesant tail flashback and on the point I was using a copper head 3.5 peeping caddis.  Most fish came to the caddis pattern as i expected with the flow being so fast and with a small amount of colour to it. Fishing was good and for the water I could fish I just fished every little bit of it till it was bugged out as I say!. I even left a few spots for some time and then went back and this is a good little trick to getting another chance to catch a few more. Ill let the photos do the talking!

Finally a bit of fun on the dry

While I was in work on friday counting down the hours I had a phone call of my mate telling me about the great day that he was having on the river with the dry. He went on to say about what the hatch was like and what was on, then with a bit of a giggle he told me his biggest at that time was a 3lb 3oz brown, jammy bugger 😦 Not something you want to hear while stuck in work is it! With this news I was already planning the trip for saturday morning and crossing my fingers that the weather would stay fine.

The fly box has been a little bare with dries lately because of the nymphing i’ve been doing throughout the winter months, so friday evening was spent tying a few dark olives patterns to cover the hatch that is mainly on at the moment. I did tie a few small gray dusters up and a few griffin gnats just in case they started to pick of smaller flies in the evening.

I was out the door just gone 7am in the morning and busting for it, little early for the hatches around here at the moment but I had a few places that I wanted to check out with the nymphs. I had a good idea of the time that the hatch would start because of my mate’s success on the day before so I had plenty of time to have a little fun with the nymphs. As normal I had two rods with me, one set up on the dry and the other with the french leader, this is so there is no messing around changing over and re-tying leaders and so on. In the past i’ve missed out on a few chances to catch the bigger trout feeding because of chopping and changing and as you know they don’t rise very often. This gives you that little bit more of an edge of catching a fish of a lifetime in my eyes and it has worked for me.

I finally started the morning in a nice long run that had lots of pocket water so the french leader was the best option. I set up and cut off around 3ft of stroft ABR and attached that to the indicator but this time I decided not to tie in a dropper because of the water condition, the rivers in south Wales running low and very clear so I wanted it to look as natural as possible. I tied a 2.5m copper head hares ear jig to the point and made my way up the run casting the nymph far away from me and keeping out of the trouts vision. In no time, the leader slipped away up river and then shortly after the trout slipped into the net and was quickly released after a quick poses.

The first run of the day and also the first fish of the day below

Another fine trout below that fell to the nymph while searching out the water in the photo above.

I spent a lot of time fishing the water quite hard, increasing the numbers slowly with the nymph and hoping to bump into something a little bigger but they didn’t seem to be there. It doesn’t really bother me catching a big fish but it’s always nice to land one now and again. At this time I started to see the odd olive flying past so I made my way to a little slower water to see if there was anything rising but I seen nothing for a good while, so I sat back and just watched this one pool knowing there was fish there. It was only a matter of time before they started to look up and see the olives,.

This was the pool below

Finally a trout broke the surface taking an olive, that was my cue to take the dry setup off my back and give it a whirl. Here is the pattern I used to imitate the large dark olive below and the first trout that was fooled by it of the day 🙂 Result!

Over the moon with the trout above, I went searching for trout rising and with that the bugging rod was taken down and it didn’t have a look in for the rest of the day and rightly so. Every pool that I came upon had a trout picking the olives off but only the one and it seemed they were the better size ones, I really wasn’t sure why but I didn’t think too much about it. As I moved up river scanning the water I could see that the olive hatch was reducing so my time was limited to find fish on the fin. Knowing that this was happening I jumped pool to pool looking but the rises were getting scarce. Time was getting on and I was thinking about calling it a day to go home and watch the wales match, where I was going to get out of the river just below a bridge, I walked out onto the bank and I seen a rise right tight to a large rock on the opposite back. The fish didn’t rise again so I just thought bugger it i’ll see if it’s still looking up, I cast the fly around 3ft above where the rise was and in seconds the trout took the fly and made a mad dash for cover, straight away I knew this was no tiddler. Seconds later the trout was tail walking and trying to chuck the hook but I had a good hook set and after a few mad dashed around the river the trout was to hand and a quick photo and then released to fight anOther day. Cracking result and what a trout to finish the day off.

The last and the biggest of the day 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 🙂

Seasons greetings

Well the 3rd of March saw me fishing the River Ebbw for the start of the trout season with Kieron Jenkins and Jonathan Bishop. Haven’t really done a lot of fishing there but as always it was great to get out with the boys and fish different places.

I only took the one rod for the bugging and not bothering with the dry rod, there were a few olives hatching and a few fish rising but not enough for me to fight with the other rod on my back. The Weather was on the change with the threat of rain looming over us from the start. The setup was simple for the condition, the river was running quite low with a hint of colour so it was a short line from the indicator, around 4ft to the point fly and a dropper around 18″ above that. Due to the hint of colour, I put a 3m red tag jig on the point and a dark small 2.3m hares ear on the dropper, Keiron and Bish moved down river a few hundred yards from where I was going to step in, at this point I was looking at a nice looking run not very wide and looking to be around 2 half ft deep. There was a little break at the bottom of the run just before it dropped off into the ripple, first cast was a little short the second was on the bottom right behind the rock that was making the break. As the leader slowly moved down river it stopped and I took it as a take with a sharp strike down river, I was hooked into a lovely wild trout in great condition after the winter months, here he is below. Many fish came to hand and I was surprised to catch so many so early in the season, I’ll leave you with a few photos of the day.What a cracking start to the season!

just waiting on the indicator to slip away 🙂