Blog, news and reviews from Snowdonia Fly Fishing Guides
Today was my first day on the river this year. It was cold and windy but dry. A relief after a few days of very heavy rain. The river was flooded, fast and coloured, it didn't look good. I was fishing with a couple of very heavy tungsten bugs to get down deep quickly.
At the bottom of the beat there is a large area of calm sheltered water. I cast just a few feet from the bank, shook some slack onto the water and lifted the rod for a roll cast. Bugger, I've caught the bottom or a waterlogged branch. I give it a tug, no joy, so I reel in some slack and give it a real good pull. The branch pulled back, and then started to move out into the river. At this point I realise it's not a branch, or any other debris washed downstream, and it's definitely not a grayling, my target species. After 10 minutes or so with my rod bent double and my arm screaming in pain I managed to get this mysterious brute close enough to see. I assumed it would be a salmon, but no, it was a pike (around 24", not huge but big enough). She had my lovingly tied, size 14, hot pink tungsten bead nymph firmly attached to the side of her huge jaws.
Now I start looking around hoping there is someone, anyone, around to help get her out of the water unhooked and sent back on her way. Unfortunately I was all alone, not a sole in sight, with no net and no way of managing this beauty.
As the banks were so flooded I figured I'd just walk back and try to gently get her onto the bank.
Now while she was in the water my 5 wt rod and 4X tippet was able to offer some control but as soon as she stared coming out of the water the tippet snapped and she slid back into the water.
I was both relieved and frustrated I know a small barbless hook will soon be discarded but I would have loved to unhook her and get a photo or two.
I'll be going back very soon equipped with appropriate tackle to do battle again!.
A few weeks ago I had the good fortune to cast an A Jensen saltwater rod. So impressed was I that I immediately contacted the company to find out more.
As a result of a number of emails back and forth I decided to try their Trophy Specialist.
This is an 8wt, 8ft, 4 piece rod that was designed for marine sea trout fishing in Scandinavia but I want it for bass and pike. I was surprised at just how light and responsive the rod felt, I actually tried a 6wt line to start with as I struggled to believe this remarkable little rod would handle anything bigger, but it does and with gusto!
On my scales it weighed 115 grams, which is a little heavier that the advertised weight. It's a 4 piece that comes with alignment dots on each section. It has a very nice matt green finish (I like a matt finish) with a couple of stripper guides and large, sturdy twin legged snake guides. The full wells cork handle is a good quality with little filler and composite cork detail at the ends. The fighting butt is similarly finished and the reel seat is black aerospace aluminium and dark green carbon. The cordura rod tube is extremely sturdy and the rod sock is so bright you'll struggle to lose it.
The rods shouts simplicity and oozes quality.
In the hand the rod feels light and delicate, yet as soon as it's called upon to perform it does so, delivering high line speed, tight loops and long casts. This rod really is a beauty, and a beast!
At the time of writing Jensen rods are not available at UK retailers
I've had these waders for some time and really put them through some tough treatment both in the UK and abroad.
The verdict so far is very favourable, they have performed brilliantly in very hot conditions and some biting cold weather. They have stood up well to bramble, blackthorn, heat, cold and travel.
The Ikon Waders come with and without a zip front. I choose to use the ones without, but often roll the top down and use the shoulder straps as an additional waist belt. They have a good sized front chest pocket with waterproof zip on the outside and a inner zipped net pouch pocket. They are comfortable with plenty of room in them, robust and durable and good value.
A well know fly fishing guide and instructor John can often be found fishing or guiding on the Welsh Dee or passing his knowledge to others at game fairs and country shows.
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.