Delayed Gratification.

I was pleased to give instruction to Malcolm on what for him would be his local beat on the usk. Malcolm had contacted me with a yearning to start fishing for grayling and trout on his local patch. He already had experience fishing the waters of Tasmania for its brown trout and kahawai  but wanted to learn how to get stuck into his home waters.

Foliage.

Foliage.

 

I decided that it would be good for Malcolm to get on the river as soon as possible so he could fish what was left of the trout season and have a full winter on the grayling. Conditions couldn’t have been worse, high sun, windy and a very low river. But we both new this and instruction was the order of the day. The Trallong Abercamlias beat is manly bedrock with gravel. Difficult casting because of foliage (Malcolm soon found this out). First step was to allow Malcolm to feel comfortable wading on the bedrock which can be a challenge. We set up with an upstream nymph under an indicator. I took Malcolm a while to come to terms with the casting and line control.

 

We fished the whole beat which given Malcolms health was good going on a day when the fishing was hard, very hard. Im hoping the day on the river has given Malcolm the confidence to fish the rivers of the Wye & Usk with a bit more confidence (especially with a wading stick).

The Greenman

 

First client of what was a busy August was Yorkshires finest Pierre Mahon. Pierre was in South Wales for the green man festival at Glanusk and wanted to brush up on some new techniques. He has been fishing since a child but had recently picked up a fly rod in the last few years, fishing the Wharfe.

Bright light!

Bright light!

 

 

We fished Penpont which I have to say was disappointing. The bottom of the beat has a large campsite which seemed to have a lot of tents and vans with fishing rods set up outside them. Whether the beat has been fished hard by campers legally or illegally, or if it’s a case of a lot of water disturbance by dogs etc, what every the reason the fishing was extremely poor, even for a warm day in August.

Christmas jumper

Christmas jumper

Pierre did nothing wrong, we fished the entire beat but to no avail. After lunch Pierre described a situation on the wharfe where he has seen big fish crashing into fry on the surface of a deep pool. He was unsure how to tackle them. I explained that he would need to fish a streamer so we set up a 6wt skagit line with a heavy sinking streamer and spent most of the afternoon session mending the fly through the bedrock runs at the top of the beat….this is instruction at its best, you cant get this from a book or youtube.

Luckily Pierre winkled a trout out of the river when he came back on his own during the evening. Well done Pierre, good work.

 

 

Sustained high!

The start of June give the rivers the sustained high pressure the olive spinners needed to fall to the river after their aerial dance. They make great, if brief fish food with the right conditions and tend to bring the big fish up as the sun goes down.

Spent spinners.

Spent spinners.

I fished a really small beat on the upper usk, just looking for fish riding in the meniscus. Each fish i found came to the net on the first or second cast (it doesn’t happen like this all the time). 

Slurp slurp!

Slurp slurp!

Fished every night of the week the spinners fell, each night I waited under the bridge with the bats for the big trout that never came (the bats were hard on the spinners).

Bat house.

Bat house.

Show time.

Well, after many completely fruitless early season attempts, when the river should be on song, I finally get a good day on the upper usk last sunday. Pulled this guy from the first run on the 2nd cast on a #16 copper john.

Sulking

Sulking

He stuck around for a copule of shots.

8

Same very light hatch of LDO knocking about. Still not seen a march brown on the river this season. Certainly not seen a worthy rising fish yet.

LDO

LDO

Best fish was this close to 2lb nympher.  I was snapped by a better fish within 5 seconds of hooking it on a small nymph.

Butter belly.

Butter belly.

This is not Crickhowell!

Not the banks of the usk!

Not the banks of the usk!

 

First outting on the Taff today. Called into www.cliff-harvey-angling.co.uk to pick up my ticket and off I went loking for the first trickle of LDO and maybe some grannom. After consulting my good friend FALNM on the length of the beat, I began to walk the river, looking for the first of the noses.

At the end of a long glide a good size fish was busy pushing water every now and then, though the hatch hadn’t started yet. I made a note of its position and carried on my walk along the banks.

The first fish i had a crack at was tucked under a branch which was touching the water. This was a very clean fish taking duns. I got him to take the #14 Wyatt DHE twice over 15 mins, but the hook didn’t connect. Strange but true! Maybe im rusty.

After a couple of small fish on the same fly, I made my way to the first good fish I had spotted earlier. Just on the tail of a pool, he was in full flight. Another fish was showing 10ft above ‘my’ fish. The fish seemed to be taking crippled or spent LDO rather than the duns, so i changed to a clipped hackled parachute pheasant tail type fly that I tied years ago for evening spinner falls. Up he came, down he went, twang went the 3.5lb tippet. Great.

Moving on to my fish, tied another of the same fly on. Downstream cast, plenty of slack, ‘nom’ and all hell brakes lose. After a good scrap that puts any brown of the same size to shame, out come this alien.

River rainbow

River rainbow

 

Not a fish I have caught in a welsh river before, obvious cormorant abuse on its flank. It pulled the 4wt about a bit.

After a few more smaller fish i decided to walk the river again, looking for better fish. Didn’t take to long to find a long snout, again not taking the duns but either cripples or spent flys. Upstream cast, no interest. 2nd cast, nom, good fish. Took me all around the shallow pool for a minute than ‘twang’. Not amussed. I had seen the fish and it was very long, but slender, it length would have made him over 3lb. Needless to say this spool of tippet will be burned.

Finished up with a skagit line spey casting a streamer walking down from the top of the beat with the heavy rain colouring the river. No takers. Good day.

Impossible to take a photo of the taff in this area without a plastic bag in shot!

Impossible to take a photo of the taff in this area without a plastic bag in shot!