Sunday, 10 June 2018

Not quite Mayfly madness but enjoyable nevertheless...

A few sessions recently. The Wellow has been fishing pretty hard I have to say, but my timing has been out as I only make the jaunt during the day. A few smaller trout on the nymph with small numbers of Mayfly trickling off and few rises. The scenery however is looking beautiful with birdsong and damsels all around.

The Bristol Frome of evening has been giving up its secrets as the Mayfly drift amongst the shady runs. Trout, Dace and Chub all making use of the bounty. Colossal struggle with a fine wild one that fell to the dry as the sun dropped. A few smaller trout and some really large Dace looking a bit worse for wear from spawning. This urban river never ceases to amaze.

Saturday, 19 May 2018

A bit of Wellow heaven...

Beautiful run of weather for May with average temps at 25C. Spent lovely morning on Wellow fishing beat downstream of normal haunts. Lower section usually interrupted by angry Rainbows but not today. A lovely wild Brownie taking the nymph under a shady run.

Fishing was slow and very few rises. No upwings coming off despite mild weather. Mainly Caddis and Chiromonids in great rafts over the water. Moving upstream I came across a wonderfully wild section of Wellow with mixed cover and open gravel runs. Having fished a number of sections of the Wellow this area is about as good as it gets.

Beautiful Demoiselle

Went on to catch another two wild brownies on the nymph all relatively deep in oxygenated runs.

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Wellow and Chew back to back

Beautiful weekend saw me fishing Wellow on Saturday with Red and on my own at River Chew on Sunday. Both days despite warm weather proved difficult with no Mayfly yet and just a few upwings coming off with very few rises. Masses of Chronomids in swarms over the rivers. After frustrating few hours on Wellow, with just one tiny par on the nymph, walking back to car a rise was spotted. Red handed me his rod all loaded up with a small dry black knat pattern, scramble down the bank, and a few casts later a lovely little brownie in the net. Stalking a fish like this makes it a special.

Sunday similar situation on Chew. Really difficult with few fish. Managed a couple of Grayling from fishing heavy nymphs in faster flow and a couple of small Brownies all sub surface. The Balsam seems to be less prevalent this year with the banks well covered in nettles. Hardly any sign of other fisher folk as I was cutting virgin trails through the undergrowth. Managed a swim in one pool which I was convinced was wadeable from previous visits, lesson learnt always be wary where you can't see the bottom as contours change dramatically each year.

Friday, 4 May 2018

2018 First Fish of the Wellow

Finally water had dropped a little for a nice afternoon session on Wellow. Overcast but mild the water was clear, but not gin clear. Tried the dry for a few rising fish but missed the takes as they were quick little rises from smaller fish. After the rises stopped went to nymph and connected with half a dozen fish in one turbulent pool all coming to the net. Best a lovely long slender Brownie of about 14 inches. I was pleased to hook a number of smaller fish some no longer than my finger which indicated the resident population were doing well. My final fish was on the dry a confident take mistaking my Klink for an LDO.

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Spring is finally here on the Cam Brook

Couldn't wait to get back on the Cam as the weather had warmed to a balmy 15C with lovely sunshine. Fished exclusively on nymph as nothing rising and not many hatches coming off. Managed two beautifully marked wild Brownies both way down in the water column. Extra weight made the difference to get the fly down.

Bee Fly taking nectar from the Primroses

The trout today were quite noticeably different in markings from last weekend while occupying the same stretch.

Sunday, 8 April 2018

2018 River Season Opener

Not quite right as Red and I had previously made a quick foray over to the Taff in March but really not worthy of mention as the fish were well and truly in their winter state of hibernation. The Taff a river which has come back from decline seems to be running clear now but still needs some TLC. The banks festooned with Japanese Knotweed interspersed surprisingly with large amounts of discarded scrap metal and plastic.  Loads of early upwings (LDO's) coming off in the coldest of March days but nothing taking. I came back across the bridge saddened that if only a fraction of the population queueing to spend their money in the Merthyr retail park realised how lucky they were to have a gem of a valley on their doorstep then that TLC could be realised. Hats off to the teams already working there but they need help.

Anyway this year I will mostly be fishing Avon and Tributaries Angling water. Salisbury was just too far for me to really warrant the outlay and whilst I enjoyed the well manicured banks the feral fisherman in me just wants to get back to the variety and jungle warfare of the local streams. I met up today with Red and Paul who were going to introduce me to some new water. The Wellow was running high so we headed to the Cam Brook. A lovely long stretch in a hidden valley with the brook bissecting mixed woodland and open farmland. The water was clearer than the Wellow and dropping but still in relatively high flow with the hills seeping from recent rains. Sporadic upwings were coming off but all the fish were deep, very deep. Heavy nymphs were needed to find the fish, lifting to induce a take in the odd back eddy or slacker water. I had two nice buttery wild Browns in the net and just a couple of other pulls I could not convert.

Spring had not really sprung but Primroses and Wood Anemones were making it feel warmer than it really was. Interested to find some Common Broomrape on the banks. A parasitic plant that does not require photosynthesis and therefore gives it an opaque, ghostly appearance without the need for green chloroplasts. 

Bird life was quite spectacular. At one point I could have been transported to the Forest of Dean with a male Pied Flycatcher displaying and Wood Warbler trilling in the trees. Kingfisher, my first clocked Swallow of the year and Green Woodpecker also observed.

Best shot I could get of Pied Flycatcher with my new waterproof Panasonic Lumix camera.

Friday, 16 June 2017

Hazy summer day on the Upper Wylye

Spent glorious Friday on Wylye Salisbury beat. Exceptionally warm but a fairly stiff breeze. The beat was dry fly only and no wading so accurate casting from the bank was required. In the breeze plenty of flies went astray and a found it tough to calibrate an effective leader length on such a small river. I found 7-8' was about the optimum on my 7'6" rod. Just the odd rise and most fish I targeted I either got a rise or hooked. Other than that I often saw the flash of a fish just sub-surface and tempted it on my old faithful olive Klink.  Caught 4 Grayling and 3 trout, one a really nice size that I thought might be stockie but with good fins had obviously been in the river some time. No Danica but just the odd Yellow May dun. Really pleased, despite the difficult conditions, to have netted some fish.