Well, as I’m conjuring up yet another blog, it’s absolutely pouring down here in Rhayader …… Just another glorious day in mid Wales !!!! The big wild reservoirs are here for a reason !!!!!! The sheer amount of rainfall we get in mid Wales….The positive side of things folks is that this’ll be the last blog prior to the new season, which on the rivers up here, opens on March 3rd, with the big wild reservoirs and mountain llyns opening for anglers on March 20th…. It’s funny really, every season you think to yourself strewth, that’s way too early to fish the cold upland big waters, that chill in the air, leaden skies, a brisk northerly wind, a ripple that just doesn’t look promising!!!! But, guess who’ll be up there on the twentieth of March …. Yep, yours truly . It’s a lovely feeling bringing to the net that first wild brownie from Claerwen or Craig Goch …… that long wait, those evenings thinking of a tight line and a nice solid thumping on that rod tip ….. you smile to yourself !!!! The season has begun ….. you feel smug, the fly angler is back !!!!!!!

We love our administration as fly anglers don’t we…. Neatly lined up flies.Like guardsmen on parade …. Perfection in a fly box !!!! Kit checked to the nth degree, a new fly line for the six weight big water rod ?? some new mono for the early season euronymphing rig !!! Funnily enough I’ve just purchased some Stren clear/ blue monofilament ….. darn good stuff, with a section of RIO indicator line added, then your chosen tippet length. I wasn’t sent just one spool from Amazon, but four ….. maybe because they were in a small sealed box, it was in the “too difficult” pile to open them and repackage the one spool, for a keen, razor sharp angler in Rhayader !!!!! Four spools should last me an age……. Happy days ….. I’m not complaining that’s for sure !

There is always the look forward to a new location, planning it with fishing buddies over a pint in a cosy pub. I’m actually doing that this weekend, and I can’t wait, discussing tactics and techniques with a good buddy Tim, who’s a very proficient angler. He moved over here from South Africa, and is now renovating a cottage on the fringes of Rhayader. We’ll dwell over wild mountain llyns, expeditions and new sections of the Upper Wye, the anticipation, the finite detail, the itinerary for the day, and of course, the star of the show, salmo trutta…… whilst supping some very fine ale in The Crown……

I do love taking clients out early season …. The Elan Valley brownies are feisty and hard as nails in the clear, cold water. Takes are a rod wrenching smash, and generally, a good stamp of fish can be had with the right ripple. You get that hunch don’t you as you survey your area…. You plan on working the water quite fast. With early season large Stillwater fly fishing, I don’t hang around, keep on the move, cast retrieve and move, then repeat …… also stops you getting jibbering cold too !!!! The upper Wye is fun too, just outside Rhayader and up beyond Clochfaen near Langurig ….. You can be rewarded with a fleeting hatch of dark olives at the warmest part of the day, when that pale watery sun just ignites some short lived activity on the insect side of life ….. That can give you some fun, early season sport, with the lady of the stream also muscling in on the hatches, with some hectic dry fly action, particularly down on the Builth stretch !!!!!! So it’s not all about bouncing a heavy tungsten nymph, sporting lively colours from the 70’s !! Finesse and presentation will still pay a huge part in your armoury. Let’s hope that this persistent rainfall doesn’t eat into early March. Now there’s hoping !!!!!

The river Wye at the moment is raging in fairness. It flows behind my cottage, below a steep gorge….. I did take a walk there this morning, prior to a gym session….. and since then, there has been lots more heavy rain !!!! I generally have favourite wild streams that I like to fish early season, the Edw, Arrow and Llynfi are fun. Fishing a single tungsten nymph, or duo, depending on any surface activity…. If the fish are looking up , sport can be sporadic but fun in a short window of time …. I always find the Lugg and Ithon seem slow to get going …. But, when they do, surface summer sport can be superb fun on these varied fun tributaries ….. The Cammarch and Irfon are also slow to wake up …. Just a case of giving things a go , after all, what beats a slow wade up a gorgeous tributary of the Wye….. timeless serenity !!!!

So, as I wrap up another blog, I’m essentially just letting my mind wonder, like we all do as anglers….. it’s how we stay alert but at the same time, we’re a million miles away !!!! Who says we can’t multi task !!!!!! Concurrent activity plays a huge part in fly fishing and ringing the changes is key to success, and being totally observant all the time …. Kind of blending in and being part of the river or wild Llyn, soaking up nature as we present our offerings. We strive to identify the hatch quickly and make the necessary changes, the thrill when we deceive a good brownie to the dry fly …. Just fantastic !!!! AND, It’s just around the corner folks …… who’s like a kid at Christmas, I certainly am ! I’ll say it now in case I don’t write a blog early bells into March , I wish you all a safe , fun season ahead. Laugh with fishing buddies, chat about tactics, cast a demon loop under that alder, put that dry fly bang on his nose, and most of all treat our lovely wild fish ooooooooh so carefully ….. wet hands, wet nets……….. and awaaaaaaaaay …. Tight lines my fellow anglers….. 😉🎣🐟🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿