Saturday, 28 March 2015

Devon excursion fishing the Batherm and Exe

Another longer excursion to deepest darkest Devon. The contrast of this weekend from last couldn't have been more stark, wet wild and windy with higher temps. The afternoon was forecast to brighten up but it never did if anything it got worse. I met with Red with first stop Nick Hart's fishery where we had chat and picked some tokens for the West Country Passport beats. Nick suggested we try the Batherm and offered us some time on the Exe adjacent to his stillwaters. We set off to the Batherm first expecting a sunny afternoon back on the Exe. The Batherm was a great little stretch with riffles and pools. I caught 3 out of season Grayling and 4 palm sized WBT. The first Grayling was a lovely male fish all coloured up - if only I could select the type of fish with a fly as I felt uncomfortable disturbing them at critical point in the year. At one point Red and I watched a group of about half dozen good sized Grayling  spawning in a shallow run quite oblivious to our attention.



After covering pretty much all the beat we headed back to the Exe. The Exe was a different beast all together. When you spend so much time fishing small streams its difficult adjusting to a wide fast flowing body of water. I just went bigger with an 8'6" 5wt and heavier nymphs under more buoyant dries. It seemed to do the trick as within the first hour I had netted 3 Rainbows and a WBT. All on the nymph. In the end the weather beat us as squally winds and incessant rain called a halt to proceedings. Fished out and exhausted we headed back up the M5.

An Exe escapee of about 2lb.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Early start to the river season on the Wye and Usk at Longtown

Red and I set off on a cool cloudy morning in Bristol to fish the Longtown beat on the Wye and Usk Wild Streams. Pleasantly surprised by this lovely little stretch of the upper Monnow. An upland stream cascading through the Brecon's with a beautiful backdrop. The river was gin clear and fairly low but steely cold topping out on the thermometer at about 8C. We fished plenty of runs but found it tough with the deeper sections only showing signs of fish. By midday Large Dark Olives were trickling off frequently but rises were scarce. We had a couple of tugs each from fish in the deeper pools and I watched a small WBT chase my nymph in fished deep. After a short lunch break in the glorious sunshine we set off again changing tactics to heavier nymphs. I was rewarded immediately with a good fish and to my surprise it was lovely Grayling at at least 15" and well over a 1lb which I quickly returned.

The afternoon wore on even with the warming sun but it still did not bring the trout on the feed. Despite the hard fishing Dippers, Grey Wagtail and Wood Anemones added to the ambiance and contributed to a pretty special place.

Red casts to likely looking run.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Last few sessions of predator fishing on the Bristol Avon deliver a fine Perch

A quick few hours on the Avon with a duo approach of light spinning tackle and fly rod. I think the Pike must be a bit lethargic at the moment as I had some quick pulls but very few connections. Lots of follows by Perch in the 1lb range and luckily managed to bank my personal best stripey whilst jigging with a weighted black jelly eel. The fish must have been in the region of 3lb a great chunk of a thing - not on the fly but I was pleased and impressed the old Avon had turned up the goods.