NEWS, VIEWS & REVIEWS FROM FLY FISHING SNOWDONIA
There are many arguments within the angling community about otters. Love them or hate them they are here to stay and we need to live with them.
Cards on table, I love the little critters. In my opinion they have a greater right than I to catch fish, I do it for sport they do it to live.
On Saturday I had the pleasure to watch one feeding for several minutes unbothered by my presence. A few minutes later I entered the river and was rewarded with a large grayling. The Welsh Dee is a very productive river and there's room for anglers and the resident otters.
Please contact me if you want the whole video.
Well the 2018 - 19 got off to a great start. Whilst it was a wet day it was most definitely not a damp squib. The river levels are still low but the water temperature has dropped bringing the fish out of their stupor. In amongst the profusion of salmon parr and small brownies were some large 'ladies of the stream' with a hunger that needed to be satisfied.
The weather here is amazing. After a long, very cold winter and cool wet spring we've had weeks of unbroken hot, sunny weather. The rivers and lakes are low but surprisingly productive with brown trout, sea trout, grayling regularly being caught along with the occasional smolt.
I love summer fishing, there's not a lot better than standing waist deep in a river, fishing a dry fly, with the sun beating down.
The last few weeks have seen spectacular hatches of aquatic and terrestrial flies and the sport has been excellent. Long may it continue.
This is a simple, effective dry fly pattern that imitates many flies. I tie in a range of sizes from hook size 20 up to 14.
Black thread, black sheet foam, small stiff cock hackle.
Cut a strip of foam 2-3mm wide, depending on hook size. quickly flame the end and squeeze to flatten. Tie in tail (optional) Tie foam onto top of hook with pointed end over the eye. Tie in hackle. Fold foam over the hackle and tie in.
That's all there is to it.
Whilst I love fishing the rivers in the region I equally enjoy taking a walk up into the mountains in search of truly wild spotties (brown trout).
This stunning large upland lake is full of wild brown trout that only get to see an artificial fly on my rare visits. This isn't a long thin lake but the reflected hills give that impression.
Well the new rod is nearly ready, just a couple of finishing touches before it gets an outing.
I've made no secret of the fact that I love fishing with fibreglass rods. They are tough, light, responsive and feel great when bending into a fish. What's not to like? If you think they are too soft to cast effectively you'd be wrong. Modern 'S' glass rods are powerful and can, if handled right cast a good long line. Glass rods are warm, tactile and wondrously translucent.
Martin, a good friend, fished with glass for the first time yesterday, using an 8' 4 wt rod I built last year and was an immediate convert after his catch rate out performed his favourite carbon rod.
For me fibreglass rods have more 'feel', I can detect takes more easily and when hooked the rod's softer action makes playing a fish a more pleasurable experience.
Using a glass rod isn't something that can be rushed, to get the best out of one needs a slow, gentle casting stroke that encourages the caster to relax. Using glass is a transcendental experience.
This amazing hatch of midges was trapped in a thin film of ice. The trail of them was several metres long and there must have been hundreds of thousands of them.
I dare say the local wild brown trout population ate their fill.
Well I finally made a decision on colours. I'm using an olive silk thread and silver trim. The silk will get darker and translucent when the resin is applied so will be muted and subtle with the silver adding a little bling. The ferrule wraps will be white silk which will become all but invisible through the finish.
I've recently received the components for my next fly rod. Over the last few years I've used fibreglass almost exclusively for my fishing and this new build will be a 7'6", 4 weight, 4 piece using an exclusive Taniwha Rodworks S-helix fibreglass blank.
At the moment I'm struggling to decide what colour whipping thread to use for the wraps on an olive blank and it's proving to be surprisingly difficult!
I usually tie spiders on #12 or #14 hooks but occasionally tie up a few on size 18's. these are tied in a range of colours and all have a starling hackle.
Dead easy to tie, perfect for tempting wild brownies and very effective on heavily fished waters.
Looking back to this time last year the weather was very different. Not the dank, dreary, mild, wet stuff we've had recently, but dry, bright and cold, with low, gin clear rivers.
As we approach the winter solstice I'm beginning to look forward to early March, with longer days and the start of the trout season. I always enjoy getting back onto the upland lakes to chase a few wild brownies.
Lots of claims are made by manufacturers about tippet materials but how accurate are they?
Back in 2015 Yellowstone Angler performed a range of tests and a wide variety of lines. It was interesting reading then and it still is now. The article can be found by following this link
The best nylon in the test was Stroft GTM. This is an excellent tippet material, but my preference is Stroft ABR. In their review Yellowstone Angler said "The only downsides were their poor spool design and slightly higher average cost than other nylons". I disagree on the cost issue, I think this is really good value for money, especially the 100m spools, but totally agree that the spool design is poor.
The smaller 50m spools are more convenient and easier to carry than the much larger 100m spools but buying the 50m spools is way more expensive. Neigher spool systems interlock which is a pity as I prefer small 100m spools that lock together, but if you only carry one or two spools this may not be an issue.