Monday, 11 May 2015

Taf Fechan

Got a day ticket for the Taff through the Wye and Usk foundation passport scheme - £10 for 10 miles of fishing from Merthyr Tydfill AA. Far too much fishing to cover in a day so I decided on the upper reaches of the river.

After a relatively unsuccessful start to the year on some brooks closer to home, the view below was a welcome surprise.

I started off with a 9 foot tapered leader, with a small copper head nymph on the end. This way I thought I could easily switch to dry if required. The section I fished started off above a small cliff and gorge, so it was pretty deep in sections, other parts were slower and flat, with some real pocket rifles in between. I had no success for the first 30mins with a nymph, so I swapped to  a dry to see if I could tempt anything up. I had read that there were wild and spooky fish in the Taf Fechan, so stealth and presentation were key over fly choice. After no success with the dry I swapped back to the nymph, this time on a french leader - immediate success from the first pool, right at the head in the deeper oxygenated water.

Carried on with the french leader targeting the head of each pool, and got some success. All fish were 6-10" and beautifully coloured. There seems to be a pattern to the pools as well - first or second cast near the head would result in a fish, then nothing else from that pool. On to the next, same again. Best pattern was a slovak gammarus. It was fantastic fun, and I will definitely be heading back.

Monday, 4 May 2015

Cam Brook

I'd planned a Sunday fish for a few weeks, it was the second available weekend since the start of the trout season so I was keen for a full day.

Weather looked good, I was up early and by the river by 10am, not too bad for this time of year. Unfortunately the day was interrupted as I had to turn around and get home to take our poorly cat to the emergency vets (he's fine) - so I was back at the river for 2pm.

Cam brook looks like a tricky but nice little stream, difficult wading, some areas are too deep, and very close trees so it's a roll cast if you're lucky. But it looks like it holds some nice trout. As this was my first trip there it was more a reccy trip, which included slipping on the bank and takin a swim! Good to get the first one in early... Phone was wrecked when I got out, but a radiator and rice fixed it luckily.

Not a bad day, could've been better, but looks like Cam brook has potential.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015


Looking forward to May.

Idea of this fly is the tails lay flat on the water, with the thorax CDC propping up the fly like a pronounced dun.

Hook: Daiichi 1270 curved size 14
Tails: Elk hair
Body: Masterclass SLF 09
Rib: Tying thread coloured brown
Wings: 2 large CDC feathers
Thorax: Spun CDC

Monday, 30 March 2015

Stillwater Flies

Tied a bunch of lures, buzzers and crunchers for Blagdon and Chew lake. I fished these lakes when I very first started fly fishing 6 years ago. I remember taking a day off work to head to Chew for the opening day. It was blowing a gale, raining with temperatures just in the positive. I stationed myself near the lodge as I didn't know the area. where I could/couldn't fish, and generally worried I would make a fool of myself. A friendly chap next to me ensured me he was there, same spot, same wind straight in the face conditions, exactly a year before and still managed to catch. This gave me a bit of confidence, but seeing as I couldn't cast (I thought teaching myself was an excellent idea) and didn't know what flies I should use (everyone was using "something orange and bright" - which I now know were blobs) it became pretty clear early on the odds were against me.

I blanked, pretty badly. I remember standing between a group of around 8 anglers, all catching, and thinking what have I got myself into here... I only fished Chew twice, and Blagdon once all year that year, and never had a sniff of a fish. But I am hoping I can redeem myself this year. Hopefully with something below...

 Black Viva

 Crunchers (hot spot on a couple)

 Olive Minkie

 Olive Minkie, Viva, Damsel nymph and buzzers

 White Minkie

White Woolly buggers

They aren't perfect, but I am pretty happy for a first try of stillwater flies (had to make some material subs). 

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Westcountry Fly Fishing

Ahead of March 15th I've been researching where I will be doing most of my fishing in the upcoming season. So far I have found excellent fishing on Dartmoor (East/West Dart and the Teign) and the Taff/Usk in South Wales (and tributaries named "Wild Streams on Wye and Usk passport scheme).

Seems to be plenty of choice going through the passport system, with tokens used throughout both West Country and Wye and Usk schemes. So it looks like I won't be joining a club this year, just deciding where to fish the day before - which has it's benefits. Should certainly challenge me as fishing styles/techniques will need to be worked out on new water each time, but hopefully it'll improve the way I look at rivers.
If anyone has some suggestions on good spots gimme a shout!

In preparation I've also been tying up some early season flies - baetis nymphs, gammarus and JT Olives shown below.

And purchased some new waders - Vision Ikon with the Hopper II boots. Very light and an excellent fit all round, pretty good first impressions. Good service from Sportfish also, free delivery and arrived with 3 days.

Friday, 13 February 2015

Hiatus and new beginning

Had a bit of a fly fishing and fly tying hiatus at the end of 2014. I'd been living in Yorkshire for four years enjoying the many fine rivers it had to offer. I moved up in 2010 for work, and loved my time there, however me and my partner had always planned to return to our roots in the West Country eventually.

So when the opportunity came up near Bristol we both took it. This meant the majority of the second half of 2014 was spent house hunting then moving, resulting in very little fishing time (and hence no blogging).

Since then it has mainly been furniture shopping and decorating, plus a return to 9-5 work from my previous shift job means fly fishing is now relegated to weekends. I will miss the amount of time off  spent fishing and tying, I will not miss nights shifts though!

Having finally found a desk and (almost) setup my study/fly tying desk, I thought I'd take some time to organise the fly boxes before the new year. There is quite a bit of space for new flies which will have to be filled before the start of the season.

Before Organisation - 8 half filled boxes, loose flies and 2 new boxes

Organised with plenty of space

Clockwise from top left - Czech nymphs, favourite bead heads, jigs and gammarus, CDC dries

Klinks and nymphs on the left, Caddis +other dries on the right
 As for fishing, I will be testing out Devon/Cornwall and South Wales on the passport scheme, and getting a permit for Dartmoor at first.

Locally is Chew and Blagdon lakes, so I'll be doing some stillwater fishing too, pretty new to it but we'll see what happens.

And I'll have to make the effort to head back to Yorkshire for at least a few days a year, just for old times sake.

Monday, 11 August 2014

RIP fujifilm...2004-2014

An excerpt from my last blog post

"Also, before purchasing a brand new DSLR then immediately dropping it in the river, I thought I'd get practice using a camera on the river which wouldn't break my heart if it took a swim."

Not two weeks after this I was fishing Cod Beck, fujifilm in back pack. I normally stash it down my waders, but I had my waterproof camera there on this day (should've been the other way around...) as I was taking some video.

Anyway, after a few hours fishing I had waded into a particularly deep section, and had to wade back out the way I had come. As I exited the water my heart sank (despite saying I wouldn't be heart broken) when I realised how wet my non-water proof back pack had become.

Needless to say the camera was soaked. I dismantled it and left it to dry for a few days, but alas she is no more.

Lessons learned? Maybe invest in a waterproof back pack, or if that isn't an option store the waterproof camera where it may get wet. Ah well, that's life.