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Tales from Wales

Tales from Wales 30th July

Postby Simon.A.Hayes » Sat Jul 30, 2011 10:13 am

30th of July and the weather is HOT! The river is really, really low! Again we are very short on time this weekend, working away from home in London all week, all the jobs back up around the house. Sonia and I arrived at the river at 1130am, Sonia decided today to stick to normal 7ft 3 weight fishing dry fly upstream. Looking in the back of the car at her kit, Waders; Jacket; Boots. My side Tenkara rod, small fly box! I decided to ditch the waders today and fish in shorts and flip flops. Less than 1 minute out of the car and I was ready to fish, Sonia had only just unrolled her waders! As a good husband should do, I left her the keys and headed off to the river.
Each time I go the the river now with the Tenkara I try to take a new tied fly each time which I sort of invent just before trip. This time a weighted size 12 fly tied on a heavy Grub hook with a partridge hackle up front and grey squirrel at the rear. The weight is intended today as I will be targeting the deep faster water.
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Working my way upstream the fish were very hard to contact! Pools that should produce were dead. Finally after a lot of searching a nice brown trout decided to help me out!
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This was the only nibble of the short day for me. As you can see from the photos this is not the normal type of river for the Tenkara, trees everywhere! But I find that I spend less time caught in trees with the Tenkara because of the fixed line length, with a normal rod you tend to let out just a bit more line, before you know it your stuck in a tree, Been there?
Walked back to the car to find Sonia had only covered about 50 of river and had caught 9 trout all on a dry!!! One thing that I keep saying to her is to cover more water, She answers why move if the fish are there? Maybe we should all learn a lesson form her, Don't be in a rush to move on! Any way we left the river 1.5hrs after arriving. More fishing tales to come.

Simon.
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Re: Tales from Wales

Postby Charlie Dog » Sat Jul 30, 2011 4:17 pm

As you can see from the photos this is not the normal type of river for the Tenkara, trees everywhere! But I find that I spend less time caught in trees with the Tenkara because of the fixed line length, with a normal rod you tend to let out just a bit more line, before you know it your stuck in a tree, Been there?

That looks alot like where I fish in Wisconsin and I have the same feeling about suitability. As long as you have space overhead its a piece of cake, the backcast isn't that far back if you stop at 12o'clock, rod length at most and actually less since it seems to angle up. Also with my Ayu I often don 't really cast in the normal sense, just pick up the line, bring the rod vertical, although not always, and kinda toss it forwards, the rod ending up pretty much parallel with the water. The reason I say toss is there isn't really much of a loading going on, more of a swinging the line forward, and accelerating once I'm at 10 o clock although the Ayu is so flexible I'm not really loading all that much with a "normal" cast.
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Fishing the River Ely

Postby Simon.A.Hayes » Thu Aug 04, 2011 10:18 am

Another trip to South Wales and another chance to take my Brother Tenkara fishing. Again we fished the River Ely but this time downstream of where he lives at Pont-y-Clun, a section I have not been on before. Travelling no more than 1 mile downstream the river is more forgiving, with stone beaches on the inside of the corners with deep runs, ideal for the Tenkara and upstream nymphs. We only managed around 2hrs of fishing nut we, sorry he manage to catch 9 trout and a very nice Grayling just as the nymphs were lifting at the end of the glide. As before he can see the benefit of the Tenkara rod but as yet has not convinced his wife! More to come.

Simon.
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River Calder Fishing

Postby Simon.A.Hayes » Tue Aug 23, 2011 10:05 am

Over the last weekend I had an offer to fish the River Calder in Lancashire by a friend who had known about my Tenkara habit.
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He told me not to bring the T as the fish in the river would be too powerful for the rod? Anyway the day arrived, along with my 7ft 3 weight and the Tenkara packed we set off to new waters.
The river had idea runs that screamed Tenkara. Anyway we went through the first run with “Normal river rods” we both had 2 brown trout, Ian then said to try the Tenkara again through the run. Handing the Tenkara to him with 2 heavy GRHE over the next few casts fish appeared from what were before dead runs before taking the offered nymphs.
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An impressed Ian! In the next run I hook into a good Brown which had the Tenkara bent in half as it showed off it's aerobatic skills, while impressing Ian again that the rod could cope with a powerful fish.
Over the next few hours we swapped between rods as condition dictated, one very fast run with a slack pool impossible to fish with a normal rod produced another very good brown.
By the end of the day a another converted trout man, Tenkara rod to be ordered this week.
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Put a Tenkara rod in the hands of a fisherman in the “right” type of waters and you will convert them. There is a short video, not the best but it gives some idea of the river.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GthNNiXF-Bg&feature=player_detailpage

Simon.
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Re: Tales from Wales

Postby TJ @ Tenkara USA » Tue Aug 23, 2011 3:29 pm

Looks like great tenkara fishing waters Simon. I enjoyed your video.

Thanks for sharing!

tj ferreira
Tenkara USA, Director of Customer Service

Tenkara Junkie - Tenkarajankī
Now sporting all of the Tenkara USA Rods!
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Re: Tales from Wales

Postby Simon.A.Hayes » Mon Sep 12, 2011 12:51 am

Now Sonia has her new rod she is much happier, Take a look at yet another video taken this past week on the river Alyn. Sonia is the first to star fishing a downstream PTN, she did catch bigger fish but I had moved on with the camera. Next it's me on another section of the river we call Worms Wood. Excuse the Tea pot pose, but what do you do with hand that has nothing to do?

Simon.

http://youtu.be/YrPnOdlrzww
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A few more reports.

Postby Simon.A.Hayes » Sun Mar 11, 2012 1:05 am

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.

4th Feb
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.
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Simon.

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.

Simon.

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25th Feb
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.

Simon.

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3rd March
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!!

Sonia

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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,
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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.
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Fish could be seen trying to hit the fly as it covered them in the fast water.
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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.

Simon.
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Re: Tales from Wales

Postby Darrin Terry » Sun Mar 11, 2012 8:26 am

Very nice report, Simon and some nice photos too. I always enjoy pics and stories with grayling as we've not got them here in California, at least the place that I've read about them being hasn't been known to have since the 1980's.
2012 Days Fishing - 18/366
Iwana : Series I : 11 ft Iwana : Series II : 12 ft
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River Dee North Wales

Postby Simon.A.Hayes » Sat Apr 21, 2012 8:58 am

Tuesday the 17 finally came, and the weather was promising, sun, warm and no wind! After the weather of the last week this must be the eye of the storm! Had arranged to meet Louis " Orangeotter" at a farmhouse on the way to Bala for breakfast at 0930. The sun is still out I'm amazed, an excellent bacon roll and we set off to Bala to pick up our ticket for the day from the post office. £7.50 for the day, a bargain.
As Louis had fished here before he led the way to the first section which was on the Dee a few miles outside Bala. Accessing the river here was very easy from the layby,
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We decided to fish here until midday and then move to another section. The first stretch of river had a steady flow around 2ft deep.
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Both of us fished upstream nymphs, no fish up to the first set of riffles, I had 1 touch but no fish, plenty of photos. Louis is still using my spare rod until his turns up so he took the opportunity to try out my other rod, finding it a lot lighter and with the 12.5ft furled leader reaching more water.
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Louis then moved above the riffles to a run about 50mts long. Immediately he hooked into a very large Grayling well over 2lb on a PTN,
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with the fish netted and photographed I joined him in the section.
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Time now was around 12, then the hatch started, Grammon where popping off in the centre of the run, a feeding frenzy started! Big, Big Grayling were humping through the surface taking the emerging nymphs just sub surface. A friend of Louis last year caught a nymph which Louis had copied but as yet not proved its worth, one was handed to me and attached very quickly. Second cast and my big grayling was on, big smile and photographs as my new tamo was wet.
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Other fish came and went, this only lasted for around 30 mins and then stopped as quickly as it started. One fish was still rising at the tail of the pool, I covered it, the fly disappeared but before I could react the fish snapped the line, I can only guess what and how big the fish was? What did I learn? If you match the hatch you catch very quickly! The fly in question was in "Trout & Salmon" sometime last year.
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By now the low pressure promised had started to come in, cloud cover and a downstream wind making fishing very hard, also the fish now had no interest I what we had to offer.
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We made our way back to the cars for some lunch then still in our waders off to another section of the Dee lower down.
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The wind by now had become cold in the face and strengthen, but as we walked downstream fish could be seen rising taking what we later discovered to be a large hatch go March Browns,
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Louis pointed out this was an excellent indication of the river doing well as there had been a decline in this insect over the past years. A few were captured to be copied by Louis on his return home, they turned out to be females. We tried spiders at first to tempt the rising fish but for some reason they were not willing to feed on our offerings? March Browns were still floating downstream so we both changed to our own versions of a Brown Klinkhammer. Then the fun started, in the last run before the car it seemed like every cast produced a good fish, mainly grayling but to make the day legal one fine brown trout decided to play,
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Grayling do not know they should be now breeding and not taking our offerings! At around 4pm we decided to call it a day and pack up, one good days fishing had not been spoiled by a leaking wader sock, if you gets chance, fish the upper Dee it's stuffed with good fish, but it also helps to have a fellow angler with you who has the killer fly.

Simon
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Sunday 12th Aug.

Postby Simon.A.Hayes » Mon Aug 13, 2012 12:17 am

Sunday 12th.
A return to the lower Alyn this time on my own allowed me to fish Sonia's favourite run. Expectations were high! The river was at last at Summer levels and running clear. The weather was sunny with an upstream breeze, perfect! I still had a Dry LDO from my Scotland trip so this was my first choice, casting upstream into runs and pools that should hold fish produced nothing, evenly decided to change to my weighted shrimp pattern, yet again hardly no interest! At this point I'm getting to the top of this run and thinking I'm going to have to take a master class from the wife!
Rounding the corner I came to a small island that has become a lot smaller in the floods. A fast run on the far side looks very promising, flicking the shrimp into the very fast flow over the top of the island, the line stops, I lift into a very large Grayling.
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Unlike Sonia's at the weekend this does not go jumping all over the place it just stays deep and uses the current. After a short fight I bring it into the net with a smile on my face as it looks one of the largest, maybe the biggest I've caught on the Alyn?
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A few photos and the fish was released back into the run.
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Another smaller Grayling followed from the same run before packing up and heading for home. Hope you can get an impression of the size of the fish from the photos.


Simon.
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