Blog, news and reviews from Snowdonia Fly Fishing Guides
River Dee 'spottie'
On Monday I was walking the dogs up on the moors in a tee shirt. Two days later it was -3c and I was brushing an inch of snow from the car before setting off for a day on the river with my mate Karl. The weather added an hour to the journey and we tackled up in driving sleet and a biting cold north easterly. The first hour was pretty depressing, cold, wet and no fish! Towards lunchtime the temperature and my spirits lifted slightly as I started catching a few. I felt sure this lovely little wild brownie was a sewin when I hooked it as it spent more time in the air than in the water and putting a lovely bend in my fibreglass rod.
The day ended with very weak watery sun, but it was enough to see a hatch and catch a couple on a dry fly. So a very enjoyable, if cold day, with my final tally being 14 fish caught and safely released and of course a few that got away.
The weather is unseasonably warm, the ponds are alive with spawning frogs and the air is thick with insects. Snowdrops, daffodils and crocus are in bloom and the birds are collecting nest material. It's easy to be lulled into a false sense of security. Last March we saw the 'Beast from the East', dropping temperatures up here to -14 for a couple of weeks, undoing all the early preparations made by birds and amphibians.
When I'm not fishing I love walking the mountains and moors with a couple of the dogs. I'm looking forward to getting out on some of the upland lakes when the trout season starts next month. Some of these lakes are crammed with beautiful coloured truly wild brownies and are rarely visited by anglers. The one pictured below is teaming with natural invertebrates and it can be challenging to get a fish to take an artificial fly. Conversely some other lakes have less aquatic invertebrates and the fish rely on wind blown terrestrials for food - now these are the lakes where the resident spotties will happily rise for a well placed dry fly.
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.
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
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.
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.
Well the brown trout season is over for another year and here's a couple from my last day caught on a mini streamer pattern.
Wild brown trout are probably the fish I enjoy catching the most, very closely followed by grayling. For their weight brownies put up such a spirited struggle and they have the most beautiful markings. This one fell to the charms of a small dry caddis pattern.
Sunday 28 May saw a group of Grayling Society members meet up for a day's fly fishing for wild brown trout on the river Dee.
The guys had a great day with over 90 fish caught and safely returned.
Thanks to Bala Angling for allowing us to use their waters and the Bryntirion Inn for their hospitality.
It was a pleasure to organise and host the day and will organise another later this year.
A stunning river Dee brown trout caught on a size 20 Pale Watery pattern and returned to fight another day.
Well that's it for a few month, the end of another grayling season. It actually ended at the end of October with the onset of some of the worse floods ever. The Dee, my home river for grayling, was in flood almost constantly for several months and when the floods receded many rivers had suffered substantial damage. However I'm confident the rivers will bounce back quite quickly. I was out a couple of times this week on different rivers and it was good to see a few fish rising and fry in the margins.
Looking to the rest of the year I'm hoping it will be a good brown trout and sea trout season and that the grayling are on form come the summer.
Even though the fishing was tough today and few fish were rising this stunning example of a truly wild (no stocked fish here) brown trout exploded out of the water to claim an elk hair sedge.
After putting up a scrap it was returned unharmed
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.