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Fishing tales on Tenkara in Wales, United Kingdom

Re: Fishing tales on Tenkara in Wales, United Kingdom

Postby ConorUK » Thu Apr 05, 2012 2:21 pm

Thanks for the comments JD, much appreciated :)

Friday 30 March
It was a busy end to the week but I promised myself at least one lunchtime trip to the river a week. I only had 20 minutes fishing time, so I went to a deep pool on the river to concentrate my efforts.

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Slowly I worked my way upstream on a dry fly in the shallow water and then switched to a double gold head nymph fished deep. No takes. A fish was splashing with abandon at the head of the pool, so I decided to swap back to the dry fly. A few casts later and I connected! Off dashed the fish deep into the pool and he gave me a right run around before coming to hand.

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There was time for no more and I headed downstream for the gap in the hedge back to the car. But I was tempted by a few downstream casts on a single gold head nymph into another pool below. I let the nymph free fall deep and then used a series of slight darting movements between two boulders that sometimes holds nice fish. I was just fooling about really, and then, a vicious take and a decent fish motored upstream passed me.

What was it? Off he went downstream again and the rod bent over. Lovely! Up he went again the leader V-ing along the surface film. The fish showed in the shallow water…. A trout and a big one at that, at least a pound. My heart pounded, I rarely take a net, and today was no exception, but he was coming to hand, damn, he slipped away at the last second.

An eventful 30 minutes fishing well worth nipping out for!
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Re: Fishing tales on Tenkara in Wales, United Kingdom

Postby ConorUK » Fri Apr 06, 2012 11:47 am

Thursday 5 April
The end of the week loomed and it was time to go fishing at lunch! The temperature had dropped hugely from my previous trip with morning frost and snow on the hills. Last week people were sunbathing on the beach! The river had a nice quick pace about it, injected with extra volume from some heavy showers of late, but still running clear.

I walked downstream to see if any fish were rising in a place they often do at lunchtime at this time of year. The run was dead. I kept going a little further and decided to give a deep pool a try with a gold head nymph fished downstream from a crawling position amongst wild garlic on the bank. I gave up after 10 minutes and one missed take. To hell with it I thought, I will fish upstream on dry and leave it at that.

I started upstream into the previously dead run.

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There was a small fish rising at the tail of the run in no more than a foot of water. I gave it a go. The fish rose straight away, but he was beaten to it by a leviathan…. I struck and I was into a massive trout for our stream, over two pounds. He surged passed me like a possessed beast. I checked his run lest he enter the deep pool beyond where I wouldn’t be able to wade. He headed for a tangle of roots and other snags. But I steered him away again, abusing the top half of the rod by ploughing it through the overhead branches to keep contact and I was showered with early buds of spring.

No net again. How proverbial. I decided not to hesitate, drew the line close and hauled in the trout. What a beauty he was with a large leopard spots all down his flank and a thick body and massive head. I grabbed hold of him…but he thrashed again and was gone. I didn’t mind. What a great fish, and on a dry fly. A rare event for the Alyn.

That looked to be my lot for the day. But when I started to fish upstream again, I saw one, then another, then a dozen rises. A raft of large dark olives was on the river’s horizon and a feeding frenzy was on.

Every single cast after that produced a fish. Here are a sample of fish that came to hand as I worked upstream.

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But so far no decent fish. Then came a nice trout.

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Then came a few more smaller fish and then a salmon smolt!

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More fish came to hand as I worked up to the head of the pool and that was it. That was some 40 minutes fishing! I was knackered. Looking downstream lots more fish were still rising but it was time to go.

I waded upstream for a gap in the trees to get to the road. This was a broad shallow run of ripples over stones only a few inches underneath. Nonetheless I kept casting upstream as I proceeded. You never know, it was one of those days! And then a rise behind a large semi-submerged rock! And another decent trout!

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Re: Fishing tales on Tenkara in Wales, United Kingdom

Postby ConorUK » Sat May 12, 2012 11:36 pm

Tuesday 1 May
Thanks for work pressures fishing eluded me for another few weeks, and then the rain started, and never stopped. The following photos are a day after the peak of the flood which went fairly high, probably as high the last ‘big one’, a few years ago, which caused a lot of devastation and a huge dam in the woods. I didn’t go to the woods, but will venture there once the waters have gone down. Such extremes, from low water for months on end and then a massive flood, do not do the stability of the water any good. Perhaps the silver lining will be lots of fat trout (and carp!) deposited from upstream fisheries!

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The river burst its banks as expected in the big bend in the sheep fields
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Lots of wood left behind by the flood in the sheep fields
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Re: Fishing tales on Tenkara in Wales, United Kingdom

Postby jd_smith » Sun May 13, 2012 8:07 am

The pictures show a different creek than we're used to seeing in your posts Conor. I hope for you, that things get back to a fish-able level before long and work allows you some time to enjoy it. I remember the photos of that last blow out and the dam it created in the woods.

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<{(((((><{

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Re: Fishing tales on Tenkara in Wales, United Kingdom

Postby ConorUK » Sun May 20, 2012 1:49 pm

hi JD, no dam this time round thankfully :)

Monday 14 May
The river was now recovered from the floods running almost clear but at a higher level and flow. I struggled with the new water levels. I have got so used to fishing in low water I found myself out of my depth (pun intended!). But it was great to be out again, in lovely weather, and with a healthy flow to the river. In one deep pool I fished a heavy double gold head nymph downstream. What it might have represented to the fish that rose to it I don’t know, but judging by its size and ‘look’ it was a decent sea trout that briefly slashed at the fly. Whether it intended to connect I don’t know but I probably struck too early in excitement. That was the only take of the visit, but a memorable one. I will be back!

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Re: Fishing tales on Tenkara in Wales, United Kingdom

Postby ConorUK » Thu May 24, 2012 10:10 pm

Tuesday 15 May
Another visit and another blank, this time not even a take from a fish!

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Re: Fishing tales on Tenkara in Wales, United Kingdom

Postby ConorUK » Thu May 24, 2012 10:19 pm

Monday 21 May
The river was now running clear but worryingly water levels already getting low again. I assume this is because the plentiful rain of late hasn’t really made an impact on ground water levels. Didn’t have time to fish just to have a quick look.

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Re: Fishing tales on Tenkara in Wales, United Kingdom

Postby ConorUK » Sat May 26, 2012 10:45 pm

Wednesday 23 May
I fished a stretch that usually yields at least one or two half pound brownies. Not today! No rises so fished a gold head nymph deep both upstream and downstream. Huge amount of fly life on river, but no rises. Had two plucks at the nymph but I might have been imagining things. That’s three blanks in a row! Must try harder!

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Re: Fishing tales on Tenkara in Wales, United Kingdom

Postby ConorUK » Sun May 27, 2012 12:29 am

Thursday 24 May
A hot day and it wasn’t any cooler on the river. The first cast in a pool – a take, missed. Another take, missed again. After some of more of this I spotted dozens of 2-3 inch fry – recently hatched grayling? Too small to hook themselves but able to grab hold of the gold head part I imagine. I imagine all the decent trout have been gorging themselves on eggs and fry of late. Enjoyed exploring some new runs and pools formed from the floods, but no luck with catching fish! Moreover, after 3 seasons fairly heavy fishing and zero TLC my tenkara line is now ready to be replaced as its starting to unravel at the tip. Its had a good run!

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Re: Fishing tales on Tenkara in Wales, United Kingdom

Postby ConorUK » Sun Jul 22, 2012 11:59 am

27th June
Wow, a month gone without fishing! Sporadic high water from our very wet summer made fore a forgettable June. With the water level getting back to ‘normal’ albeit with a fast pace, I tried my luck in a stretch that can be dynamite when the fish are rising. Today they were not! I fished upstream on dry without a take, I then fished a little bit of the stretch downstream and had a small grayling, and thankful I was for that!

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