Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Catch Magazine #6

More stunning photography to be admired here, in issue #6.


Friday, 26 June 2009

Weather for fishing... and festivals?

The thunder storms started to roll over last night and it was very much welcomed - to break through the muggy, humid feeling. Today saw a steady fall of rain through the morning but when I made it to the river this afternoon, it was dry and overcast. It felt like perfect conditions.

I stood on the foot-bridge over the Wellow for 10 minutes or so and gladly watched several fish rising. I started procedings with a #19 CDC Comparadun and took two fish quite quickly. Lovely little sipping rises they were, but spunky little scrappers they turned out to be.

As I moved on upstream, I missed a few rises before the heavens opened. Tree canopy is very welcome at these times, as it can be pouring with rain, but you remain almost spotless. However the water was starting to colour - but this can be useful to give them some confidence to feed.

Compare the water clarity here with the first picture - the colour picks up very quickly!

Duns were hatching sporadically and there were a few sedge around. A change to a CDC & Elk gave instant reward - two fish from the same pool snatching at the fly, despite not seeing either rising before hand.

The fish then started to pluck at the fly - as I have seen before: they seemed to want to sink the fly first and then go back to collect the goods. A tricky one to call. To strike or not???

Rains started to fall heavily and, as the sedge imitations started to invite only splashy rises, it was Parachute emerger that brought the next batch of success.

Whilst crawling under the trees I caught sight of this Vapourer Moth caterpillar. Stunning little things. Just consider the imitation possibilities...

Orgyia Antiqua - The Vapourer Moth

Eventually it was back on with the CDC Dun patterns and a few more obliging fish. The day I stop being amazed by the beauty of these small browns will be the day I pack away the rods.

If Wednesday saw the largest fish for me from the Wellow this year, then today gave me the smallest - my penultimate fish being just 3 or 4oz. A great sign for the future.

A lovely afternoon with eight wild browns to the net. Great fishing weather. Could be fine for festivals... If you're at Glastonbury this weekend, I hope you have a great time.


Wednesday, 24 June 2009

This evening I took a short session on a part of the Wellow I have not fished this year. The water looked great, if a little low. Thankfully the Ranunculus keeps the level a little happier in places. Stealth as ever was the name of the game. A #14 CDC Dun pattern, tuck cast behind a tree gave me my biggest Wellow fish of the year; this 14" beauty:

It turned my full-flex #2 inside out and bending through the handle as it made for the roots. I was lucky to steer it out and net the fine creature. Maybe not a monster by the standards of some bigger rivers, but these are wild, small stream fish. It always suprises me how such fit, strong fish can sip at the surface with such finesse.


Friday, 19 June 2009

CDC Comparadun

A dozen; destined for a swap on the other side of the pond:

Hook: TMC 103BL #13
Thread: Sheer 14/0
Tail: Coq de Leon
Dubbing: Pale evening dun, superfine
Wing: Natural & Olive CDC in split thread


Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Last weekend saw the BASC Wales & Borders Show go off with splash... quite literally on the Saturday. As I drove over the Severn Bridge, the clouds were heavy and were delivering exactly what they had threatened: rain; and heavy stuff at that. As the rains came, only the very brave showed up, leaving it pretty quiet. I was tying in the GAIA tent, and casting lessons were available outside. The Easterly wind wasn't helping, but the River Usk's trout were rising steadily all day.

After a couple of beers, great sleep and stunning breakfast at the Old Six Bells, Sunday was a different matter - warmer, calmer and less rain. Even some blue sky. Plenty of people through the tent made it an interesting day.

So, the weekend was a good one. There was lots happening and it was great to watch the falconry displays.

Alongside GAIA was Dai Roberts from the Riverfly partnership. A very knowledgeable guy, I chatted to him about entomology for some time. We even tried matching the very naturals he'd kick-sampled in the morning. We also played around with some #28 and #30 flies just to keep those cold fingers busy.

-#28 CDC Comparadun, #30 Klinkhamer & #30 CDC Shuttlecock

Many thanks to Mark Roberts (GAIA and Gwent Angling) for the invitation to the event. It was great to see some old friends and meet some new ones.

If you get a chance take a look at the recent interview with Hans Van Klinken (father of the Klinkhamer). Vern-o, a great fly tyer in his own right, delivers the goods.


Thursday, 4 June 2009

Last Saturday saw me visit the River Monnow, following a kind invite from Dave Smith. The forecast was for it to be an absolute scorcher - and that it was. I spent some time when I arrived watching fish from the bridge. The water was crystal clear and the fish were on station taking nymphs and duns - very much the opportunists.

We ventured through several sections of the river. My first fish was a nymph caught chub - a little unexpected, but it put up a healthy scrap. We both caught a couple of trout on a Klinkhamer - enjoyable search and sight fishing.

We spent a good hour and a half trying to tempt one particular specimen from a fast riffle. This fish must have gone 3.5lb if not more - and it was holding in the flow, knocking off duns as they passed. When its huge spotted snout broke the surface the adrenaline really started to pump. It was not to be however, and we left him to find more obliging fish.

Dave Smith, casting and covering the monster:

We were joined by another angler, Neil, and after a great BBQ and a beer amongst stunning surroundings, we fished into the evening as the Mayfly spinners started to cloud. It was hard fishing though and they were tricky to tempt. In fact it was very tricky to work out what they were taking. Eventually as the light started to fade, we had some sporadic action on the Mayfly imitations. A great day on a fantastic river. I hope to return soon.

This weekend I will be fly tying at the BASC Wales & Border Counties Game & Country Fair. Hopefully I'll post some pictures of the event and maybe a few more from last weekend's fishing.