NEWS, VIEWS & REVIEWS FROM FLY FISHING SNOWDONIA
I had a good day out on the Dee last week with some other members of the Grayling Society. A cool, bright day with a slow start but as the morning warmed the fish started to move. Even though the river was running high and fast it was clear and most fish were caught on spider patterns and dry flies.
Even though there wasn't a hatch this beautiful 'lady of the stream' rose to take a Klinkhamer from the surface.
Today's fishing was tough but with low clear water a few fish were encouraged to take a small spider.
Although it's not quite winter it was a cold, clear day yesterday and the temperature barely got above freezing. The fishing, though not easy, did prove to be productive. Since the weather, and water temperatures have cooled the fish are a lot more feisty. These lively little grayling were just two of several caught on a variety of flies from beaded nymphs, through spiders to dries.
It's not unusual to catch out of season wild spotties when fishing for grayling. This beautiful specimen of a river Dee wild brown trout was quickly released unharmed.
This is an great piece by ITV Wales on the problems of agricultural pollution in Wales. The Welsh Government claim to care for the environment but their inaction shows that their priority is supporting farming bad practice.
Another lump of a grayling caught by a satisfied client last week. This one rose to take an elk hair caddis.
Even when there is no hatch grayling are very willing to rise to a tasty morsel. This one took a size 16 Klinkhammer. My client's fin perfect and hard fighting first grayling brought a huge smile to his face.
The Grayling Society symposium and dinner is followed by an auction to raise money for the Grayling Research Trust. I had the privilege to successfully bid for a beautiful Rod Dibble split cane rod. It's a wonderful casting tool and plays a fish gently to the net. It's a pleasure to use and I'm confident I'll have many successful outings with it.
Just look at that face, cute or what? Bugs really are endearing little critters and this stonefly nymph proves the point.
Of great concern is that aquatic invertebrate numbers are collapsing at an alarming rate, not just in Britain but throughout Europe. Germany has recorded a decline of 75% in 27 years. Not so long ago scraping squished bug gloop of the car windscreen was an essential task after a long drive, alas those days are gone. And this is worrying, not just because bugs are cute, but they are an essential part of the food chain for fish, birds and mammals.
Now I freely admit that Euro/Czech/French (call it what you will) nymphing isn't my favourite way to catch grayling, but it can be effective.
Personally I like to cast a fly line when I'm fishing and get as much pleasure casting as I do catching fish, and tossing a team of nymphs just doesn't do it for me, I find nymphing boring (there I said it)!
But it is a very useful tool to have in your angling armoury and when the fish are in deep fast water it's a technique I employ to great effect.
I've recently returned from a short fishing trip to Slovenia on the rivers Lipnica and Sava Bohinjka. The scenery was amazing, the weather was good, our accommodation comfortable and the food very good. Most things are reasonably priced, including the rates for a guide, but the fishing permits were quite expensive at €40 - €60 per day and double that for the 'Trophy Waters'.
All in all I thoroughly enjoyed myself with a few days of excellent fishing. However the vast majority of fish caught were naturalised rainbow trout (introduced several years ago and allowed to breed) and these were caught by the barrel load! The rainbows were perfectly, and beautifully, coloured to blend in with the bleached white riverbed and gin clear waters. They were fighting fit and excellent sport. The disappointment was the almost complete lack of grayling and brown trout. I caught just 2 fingerling grayling and one small brownie.
Our guide said that a severe flood a few years ago washed most of the grayling out of the system and are struggling to re-establish themselves. I suspect the large numbers of predatory rainbows are a more significant factor.
There are also large rainbows stocked in the Sava Bohinjka , 600mm and over, and these seemed to be the fish that several anglers wanted to target. I was happy to let them get on with it preferring the smaller wild fish.
Had a few hours on the river Dee yesterday, for most of the time it was lashing down with rain and a biting cold wind was blowing but the colder weather encouraged the fish to feed. Most were smaller grayling and 'spotties' but all were lively and good sport
Guided fly fishing trips on rivers, streams and upland lakes in Snowdonia. and surrounding areas of North Wales.
Fishing for summer & winter grayling and wild brown trout.in the spectacular, tranquil countryside that is Snowdonia National Park.
Fly fishing and casting lessons for beginners. Casting fault analysis, single handed spey, slack line and presentation casting tuition for more experienced fly fishers.
Develop your watercraft skills on freestone rivers and upland lakes.