I am off for a three day fishing and drinking extravaganza next weekend on the Welsh Dee so thought it would best to get my eye in so I dont look quite such a tit. A trip house hunting to Cardiff gave me the perfect opportunity for a sneaky afternoons fishing on the way home.
After struggling to find the beat (all the Welsh sign posts look the same just full of Ls) I nearly killed myself getting down to it! The footpath was more of a climbing wall as I descended the valley like a drunken mountain goat. The view at the bottom was more than worth the near death experiences though.
I walked down to the very bottom of the beat, well beyond the beat actually but we will get to that. The fly life coming off was incredible there was everything I can identify and more. BWOs, yellow mays, mayflies and sedges as well as some large olives which I can not identify. I started fishing a klink and dink approach with a tan and yellow klink hoping to imitate the yellow may duns as the fish seemed quite keyed into these as they took off. A few slashy rises for the dry and nothing to the nymph soon saw me cut the nymph free and just fish the dry. Needless to say with the sheer lack of skill I have with a dryfly I managed to catch nothing but a small salmon parr on my first walk-up.
The sign of good fishing to come! I hope these are coming off in force next weekend on the Dee!
I want to live here!
Next time through and I changed to a foam mayfly I acquired during the mayfly swap on ukflydressing.com and the first, and largest, trout of the day was quickly to hand.
The mayfly seemed to disappear then so I made my waw back down to the bottom of the beat and watched swathes of small olives boiling over the water and delicately touching down, I presume to lay their eggs, before taking off and disappearing into the swarm. To imitate the gentle impression these olives were making on went a griffith's gnat. A bit of a bogey fly for me this one, I had never caught anything on one before but somehow it seemed right to try again.
At this point a brilliant old man came hiking up the banks I struggled to pass all day as if they were paved. He politely informed me that I had dropped down too far and was in fact poaching his water. We chatted for a little bit and he kindly showed me the very well hidden marker for the end of the Wye and Usk beat I was meant to be fishing.
I was incredibly embarassed, really don't like poaching and especially when I get caught!!! even if it was truly an honest mistake.
From that point I only had about 2 hours left but the fishing exploded as the olives carried on their dances for the rest of my time there and some buzzers started hatching. One particular swim left me incredibly satisfied. A large rock had split the current in two and between the flows was an area of slack water with a few fish rising in it. The water below was too deep to wade so the only approach was from the side across the nearest fast water.
The cast was a tricky one as I am a pretty average caster at the best of times. The best I could do was to deliberately overcast the spot and let the line ping back creating slack in the tippet and then before it hit the water make a dramatic upstream mend to land the line in an S across the fast water. This introduced enough slack for the little gnat to sit perfectly still in the slack water for about five seconds before the current dragged it under.
I waited for the first rise and plopped the gnat right in to the rings with the slack and it was immedately smashed by a little wildie who left the water with my fly wedged in his scissors. Two more followed in quick succession from the same eddie before I decided to elave them in peace and began to slide and curse my way back to the car.
Not the biggest fish I have ever caught but pretty and the tricky cast made it one of the most rewarding.