Tag Archives: river taff

Well I didn’t expect that! Welsh Rivers Champion :)

Hopefully you’ll forgive me for the lack of blog posts, for the last few months or I’ve been practising for the Welsh trials on the Merthyr tydfil angling waters so much and not having the time to sit down and write about my trips out but there again I wouldn’t want to share the info on what has been successful for myself would I.. ūüėČ

My nights have been filled with fly tying and sorting all my fishing tackle out.. I’ve converted to an Airflo mesh vest over the last few weeks, I’d simply had enough of chest packs and needed something I felt more comfortable in to fish all day without any¬†hindrance. Fishtec offered this to me at a great price so I thought I’d bite the bullet and go for it. Also, fly after fly come from the vice with parcel after parcel from fly tying boutique hitting the floor. More beads and hooks than you can imagine!

I set the alarm for 6am but with things going through my mind I was up an hour before the alarm so I just laid there thinking about what tactics I would apply on the pegs that I was drawn. In the night it started raining quite bad and with this bizarre weather we been having lately I just hoped that the river would be in good condition for the trials to go ahead. I thought the river would have coloured up with the rain but for some strange reason it was as clear as glass and still on its bones as it has been for some time. A few of us met up in the Albion cafe for a quick breakfast in Cilfynydd.

8’o clock was the time that everything kicked off by Paul Jenkins reading out all the safety regs and rules to the anglers and controllers. Everyone knew their pegs from the draw the night before and as soon as Paul finished everything and handed out there cards and troughs, half a drain pipe with a measure, to the controllers it was a mad dash to the cars to the first peg of the day. Mine was A1 and kick off was 9.30, I knew the peg quite well and was quite¬†confident that I could put a few points on the board early on to settle my nerves. This was my second trial so the nerves were a little shot and the hands were shaking. As I was a little early on my peg it gave me time to give the water a good looking over and see if there was anything rising, and to check over the likely looking spots.

Before I knew it my controller Tom Pitchford said the words, go get them Ter and all the best. I had a 2 rod setup, one on the dry and the other on the french leader. For the conditions the french leader was set up for light nymphing Рa small weighted nymph on the dropper with a small 2mm on the point.  For the dry I was using a long tapered dry fly leaders bought from fishtec, 9ft with a 4lb tip and added on a few feet to get that little more better presentation with the small olive pattern that I was using. I decided to give the dry a whirl down river style to a few very spooky fish that were rising below me in dead slow water just a few inches deep. Soon as the leader touched the water a few feet above the one fish I was targeting, it spooked and that was that, the fish were switched on from all the hammering they took over the weeks coming up the main day. I decided I had no chance in that pool so I switched over the french leader working up into a more promising looking water. Second cast saw the leader slip away up river and a few dodgy seconds after, I had my first fish to the net, A nice brown over the 30 cm mark.

After that I didn’t look back just fishing the more oxygenated¬†waters with the light nymphs and changing the depth, I slowly built my catches up to six fish for the first session and before I knew it I was going into the second session, time just shot away from me! ¬†I didn’t do so well in the second session but I managed to take 2 but I was happy because I didn’t blank.

We all had to go back to the daggers pool to hand our cards in and have a spot of lunch to get the energy up ready to tackle the final session of the day. As we all know there was talk of who was doing well and how many fish were landed and lost, I tried to keep away from all that so I didn’t dwell on things, I just thought im giving it my best and I just kept to my plans that I made the night before and the morning. My second peg was B2 down river so I got there nice and early to just look around for rising fish. As I sat there on my peg I seen 3 fish rise in front of me and I only had 10 minutes to wait to get in there and try catch one, it seemed an age for ten minutes to pass but soon as it was said go I had the dry rod in hand and the fly was on its way over. First cast, just seconds into the third session I had my first fish to the net, my confidences was higher than ever and the fish was measured and marked down, card¬†signed and fish¬†released in no time, the dry fly was treated and off she went flying again. This time the other fish didn’t want to take it so I cast just above where it was rising and pulled the fly under and bang fish on but a second after it come off. Not letting that phase me I searched the water and¬†some how I spotted a fish on the bottom, I don’t do this often but it happened, I switched over to the french leader and because this fish was not interested in the dry,¬†I put a small nymph on and placed it just above the fish and a quick flash I was in, result! Fish was landed and another few points on the board.

I managed 6 fish in this small pool on the small nymphs so I sat back at this point still¬†searching out the water leaving a few good looking spots above me for the next session. As the second session kicked in I could see another angler above me so I moved the 30 metres as you should and then come back down river so I had 30 metres above and below me that was untouched. I had this water all to myself and had no pressure off anyone so I took my time and took 4 fish in the last session. I tried not to think about how well I done I just wanted to get back and hand the cards in and have a drink because I was so drained from all the adrenalin. I was knackered. I shook hands with Tom and he said you done good butty and that meant quite a lot for me… cheers Tom.

We finally got back and cards were handed in and it was that dreaded wait for the final result. Everyone was talking and comparing catch rates and so on but I just sat back thinking I don’t think ive done enough to get in the team.¬†I was hearing of sevens in sessions and so on so I thought never mind maybe next year.

The Merthyr angling committee¬†and Paul Jenkins got up and called out from 4th to 1st. I resigned¬†to the fact that I wasnt in but as the first place posistion¬†was said, the Welsh rivers champion is Terry Bromwell, I nearly s…t a brick. I didn’t know what to do or say. Me!¬†I bloody won it. I couldn’t believe it. Getting in the team I was planning on not winning the bloody thing. Shock set in and I looked over to Kieron and he just give me that cheeky smile that he does. I knew what he meant and it meant a lot to me, Cheers Kie for being a great friend and keeping onto me about getting the right gear and adjusting to the condition.¬†I cant forget Paul aka cake killer and non- sharer ūüėČ ¬†Thanks for all the help over the years guys. I wouldnt have done it without you Boys.

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!

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 ūüôā

For the rising days to come.

I’ve had a few problems over the last few weeks and unable to go fishing or even tie flies but im on the mend now and hopefully i’ll have a few trips out soon. Sorry for the lack of posts guys!

Last night I decided to sit down and start tying a few dries ready for the coming trout season,¬†it’s not far away and im counting the days down till I can stick my feet in the water that hasn’t been fished all year; pocket water, my favorite! Fast shallow runs with rocks everywhere with flity trout laying in wait for ¬†passing prey. What more could a fly fisherman ask for ¬†ūüôā This is what im talking about below

I’ve got a load more dry-fly patterns to tie up and post soon, ¬†im just waiting on my new hooks to arrive from Phil,¬†http://www.flytyingboutique.com/

Windy old day on the river taff.

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.

Making a quick exit below!

Hotspots

Sat at the vice for an hour today while my boy was having his afternoon nap ūüôā

Not knowing what I was going to tie at first I just sat there sorting a few things out and doing a bit of a stock check and flicking through a few tying books that I have. After playing around and putting a load of beads on jigs,¬†I decided to tie a few more hotspot jigs, they have been doing me proud over the last few weeks on the river taff. over this weekend the taff has been as clear as glass so i’ve been tying them on the dropper around 25″ from the point fly. Due to the clearer¬†waters i’ve just spaced them out that little bit further¬†away to make things a little bit more natural. Well that’s what I was thinking.

Just a few grayling and trout that fell to the hotspots over the weekend below. Its been a great weekend but as always monday is on us before we know it and back to normality ūüė¶

Nymphing on the River Taff

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 ūüôā 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!

Blustery old day on the taff

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.

Finally getting the chance to wet the feet.

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.

A few dries from tonight

Thought i would sit down and tie a few dries tonight and give the bugs a rest.

Here are  two patterns that i use to imitate the olive hatches on my local rivers and streams in the summer months.

I’m no expert on tying the dries as you can see below but they work very well so that’s the main thing ūüôā

More patterns will be up soon so please keep checking out my blog posts.

The dries below are all size 16.