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
Toby below with a fine Rhondda trout on the line.
My last trout of the day.
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.
I was up at the crack of dawn this morning all set to fish the Rhondda in its low state.
The weather was not looking to good first thing this morning with heavy cloud cover and a little bit of a chill in the air, but by the time I got on the river and set up my greys 4wt with the dry and my streamflex 3wt with the french leader the cloud started to disperse and the sun started to make a show. As I said the river was very low so a stealthy approach was needed, this is where the french leader comes into its own by enabling you to cast the nymphs well up-stream and keeping minimal drag for presentation. At the moment im using a 21ft camo leader so i can cover a lot of water without making a step. Enough waffle, back to the fishing.
It was all slow-moving, just picking through the pockets with a 2m flash back PTN. In no time i was into the first trout of the day and after that many more came to hand on the leader. I didn’t see any fish on the fin so the dry rod was on my back and that’s where it stayed most of the morning until around 12ish when a few brook duns started hatching and a few B.W.O and a few other upwings that I could get close enough to identify.
As i moved around the Rhondda picking a few fish up from the small pockets and glides i decided to take a bit of a break and turn a few rocks over and see what was going on. I didn’t have anything on me to put the nymphs in so i improvised with an old can that i found on the back side. Worked a treat too. I found mostly stoneclingers and a few cased caddis and small lava of some sort and a few snails. I only took photos of the stoneclingers/Heptagenid below.
After letting the nymphs go i done a little more fishing but with the dry fly. I was fishing blind really just casting into likely looking places behind rocks and along side the fast water, well what fast water i could find. Didnt do bad though with a few to the net and a few miss takes and after that little bit of fun i made a move home to earn a few points with the wife 🙂 Few photos to finish off below
As its friday i finish early from work and had the chance to fish the Rhondda for just a few short hours. Its been a long week and i just had to get my fix, I was counting down the hours so i get in the car and get home as soon as i could. No messing around, i had all my gear ready by the front door and it was on in no time at all and i was on my way. I was on the river for around 1.30 . As norm i had my both rods with me, my 10ft 3wt for the french leader and my 8ft 4 wt for the dry, i was all set up ready for action. Before i set off, i had a quick look on the taff where the Rhondda meets and did see a few flies on and a few small fish rising so it was looking good.
As i moved on up the Rhondda i could see a few blue wing olives on the water and a few sedges but i didn’t really go for the dry rod straight away. The lower parts of the Rhondda is mostly pocket water with not a lot of slow water so it was down to the french leader. The water was very clear and low so i knew that i had to take my time and stay low and utilise the long leader. I set my video cam up and moved into position and made a few casts and pretty much straight away i was into my first fish of the day. Not a bad start.
Moving up river steadily making up good numbers on the leader i had to give the camera anther go in a lovely looking spot on the back-end of a deep fast run. I had a few cast in the head of the run but nothing so i moved back down to the end of the run in the shallow water and made a few casts then managed to pick one out. Video below of the one i had out and a few other videos i done not long after
As i moved up under a bridge a rise caught my eye so quickly changing over rods and i slowly made my way to a spot where i could get a cast in. As i moved on i seen a few more rising picking off the olives at the head of the pool so i kept low and made the cast. This was the pool that i was working my way up and where i done the videos.
After playing around with the videos and catching a few more lovely trout i had the phone call telling me, come on its time to come home 😦 I didn’t fancy being in the dog house again so i made my way. It was a cracking few hours out and i really enjoyed it. I’ll leave you with this last video of my outing.
This trout give me a cracking take and put up a good fight.