A while since my last posts, things have been very busy here in Wales. The UKTenkara forum has really taken off in the past 6 months. Plenty of very good and interesting posts from this side of the water, come and take a look.
With the weather report showing bad weather for Saturday fishing did not look like a happening, on waking the weather was fine but cold -2. So I decided to give the river a quick try. On arriving the water was clear slow with ice forming at the edge. I set up the Tenkara with a my thread furled leader and a pink shrimp on the point. By this time the clouds started looking bad, I decided just to try two pools close to the car.
The first one just below the main road bridge produced nothing after 20min, so closing the rod made my way to the second. Casting up stream with the heavy shrimp produced nothing for 15 min, decided to give it another 5min as the rain had started, the line stopped and I lifted into my first Grayling of 2012. Not large but success! Then the heavens opened. End of the fishing so back home to enjoy a weekend of rugby.
Wed 8th Feb.
After having a injection into the joint of my toe this morning, I stayed home from work and as the weather was clear decide to fish the lower Alyn at 3pm for 1hr. Again the river was clear and low with the temp today a warm 2c! With the foot still aching in waders I was only able to fish a shot section below Cooks bridge. On the point I had a pick shrimp and on the dropper a heavy hares ear with a pink bum. Working my way up stream casting into the slower deeper runs, bites started to happen. with a wind blowing up the river the furled leader ballooned upstream if you kept it clear of the surface, so with these conditions I tend to leave a couple of inches touching the surface to anchor the leader. Rather than seeing the bite with the leader stopping I was watching for the leader to straighten, then lifting, hopefully into a fish. But Grayling can be a bit nippy, so I missed a few. In two runs I managed to bring to hand 5 Grayling, one very small the others around 9 - 10 inches.
Let's hope the fish are starting to shoal.
After checking the river on the way home yesterday, Sonia and I were ready by 11am for a couple of hours on the Alyn. With a tight time scale because of the Rugby games Sonia decided with the downstream wind to stick with her 7ft 3wt, just fishing drys.
I set the Tenkara up with a level line around 15ft fishing a single weighted shrimp pattern. The river was running fast but clear, for the first 1hour the fish did not want to know, for me or Sonia? We had bought some radios in the US to keep in touch while fishing, mine crackled into life, Sonia had caught a grayling on a Griffiths Gnat on the top. Just as she did I hooked into my first Grayling. The fish then started to take for both of us, Sonia ended up with 6 all on the dry! I stayed with the bug, fished upstream catching another 4 including a big OOSB!
Arriving at the run and corner In the photos a fish jumped to take an upwing! A quick change to a Griffiths Gnat and I had my first Grayling on a dry this year, a couple of meters further up the run another rise, cover the fish with the fly with all the leader clear of the current, another Grayling!
Over the radio came the call to go home as Sonia's waders were leaking resulting in very cold feet. Just to top off the day Wales Beat England!!!!!! And it was defiantly not a try at the end.
The start of the trout season is upon us and we are both excited about getting on the river again. Last night we decided to start at the sewage field as there are a few pockets of water we both wanted to try, plus we wouldn't have to walk too far as I was still suffering from an annoying cold. Having parked the car we wandered into the field and Simon got into the river to start fishing while I walked further downstream. The sky was starting to change and it was clear that a heavy shower was heading in our direction, then the wind increased and it poured down so we both took cover until the worse of the squalling weather was over. I was being optimistic so I started with a dry fly until I got the message the fish weren't at all interested, the wind was gusting making it difficult to control the leader and a few times the fly came off the surface of the water. It was definitely time to tie a nymph on the end of the tippet so I put a pheasant tail with a bead on instead. Further downstream Simon was into a fish which he quickly lost while I soon ended up caught in a branch so I had to retrieve my fly before fishing again. Having tried all the runs I didn't even have a nibble so I opted for downstream nymphing instead, another run and then tight against the bank my leader finally straightened and I was into a feisty little fish which soon came to hand. The first fish of the season was a lovely 7ins grayling and I was as pleased as punch to have caught this little beauty. In another run I soon made contact with another little fighter and I could see it was a slightly larger brownie, he didn't want to make my life easy so he decided to head towards a snag in the river but I managed to get him in the right direction and release a stunning little fish. Moving further upstream I saw a trout rise in an awkward run around a bend so I swiftly put on a Griffiths Gnat and started casting in that run and I let the rod do what it does best so it avoided the drag and the fish took the fly with a savage take. This time I had to concentrate as I was left with no doubt that he was a better fish which wasn't interested in coming anywhere near me; when I thought I was winning he suddenly made another dash for the far bank so I was back to having to try and get him under control and heading in my direction again. I had to remember how to bring in decent size fish with the Tenkara as the last two were easy compared with this boy who was giving me a battle and reminding me what fun you can have on a river. Eventually he was under control and released, I was feeling tired and dry mouthed so I had a drink and let the water settle before trying for another fish I saw rise in the run. I tried another run but failed to keep in contact with the fish so he was lost and as the weather was coming in again it was time to call it a day and head home to have lunch and walk the dog. Not a bad first day!!
Saturday 10th March.
A busy day in store, loads to do and somehow try to fit a few hours on the river before the Big rugby game kicking off at 2.30!
Eventually manage to get Sonia up and going, the wind was forecast to be low, no chance a strong breeze that would be blowing straight down the river. Sonia decided to stick with her 7ft brook rod today as she finds it hard to cope with the wind using the Tenkara. Still she managed to catch 18 all on the dry.
I stuck with the T and fished a area on the lower Alyn called "Ithalls farm". This section has high banks due to it being very close to where it joins the River Dee. Conditions despite the wind were good. The water is crystal clear with a steady flow. I set up with two nymphs and fished them upsteam using a level line coloured with yellow model paint,12ft in length with a Tippet of 3ft.
Immediately I was into my first Grayling, I'm now really getting used to detecting the takes using this level line, it just stops or straightens. Slowly working my way around the bend towards the bridge,
staying on the left side 8 more Grayling fell to the nymphs.
After plundering this run the wind became impossible so I changed my tactics and fished down and across with a Tenkara style partridge and orange.
Fish could be seen trying to hit the fly as it covered them in the fast water.
All missed until a large Grayling decided that he wanted it. Sonia called on the radios that we carry when fishing pointing out that the game started in 30min. Time to go, a successful 1.5hrs on the river.