Wow, what a week , absolutely superb fun in every sense of the word…… from the rocky River Edw beat at Cregrina, to the serene and secretive little Clywedog brook near Crossgates …… and everything in between, literally !!!!.The beauty of these tributaries is their serenity and absolute calm …… hardly ever fished, due to the fact that they require quite a bit of effort!! And , let’s face it, a lot of folks want instant success, easy wading, no hassle, no dramas on the wading front, no clambering in and out of streams, no putting your tiny dry fly between two over hanging alder branches…..it’s this absolute demanding terrain that draws me. Yes of course I can fish the Wye or the Usk , the River Wye is only two hundred yards from my home ….. but I like difficult, arduous fishing, that makes netting that little tubby twelve inch brownie all the more fun. It’s what I do, and have done since I was a teenager, wild streams are my thing !!!! Obviously the mountain llyns are a close second, along with the beautiful expansive reservoirs that are minutes up the road from me …….. In fact a lot of superb bubbling mountain streams are also only minutes from my cottage …… just dam good fun … some have enticing little deep pools that require a delicate approach, in fact so delicate, I take my Rawson, five foot, seven inch, zero weight s-glass rod, which is a beautiful piece of craftsmanship, made for me by the very talented Adam Rawson , just superb fun, and it comes alive when you hook an eight inch brownie on a size twenty two Griffiths Gnat !!!! Takes some beating that …..
This week has been harsh on the weather front …. Hot , hot, hot !!!! I’ve thermometer dipped on all the rivers I go to , some are shaded heavily with bankside tree growth and two I fished are in steep valleys, fortunately staying at a cool 13 degrees.The River Arrow in Llyonshall, only on Thursday, was reading 15 degrees, and a dipped my trustee Hardy thermometer in three locations too ….. it’s getting close to that critical temperature of “19”………At which point it’s a no go on the fishing front. Salmonids ( salmon and trout ) don’t respond well in these warm conditions, and the last thing they need is a fight on their hands in the warmer water, which obviously carries less oxygen …… bear this in mind folks. My fishing stopped on that little brief session on the Arrow, let’s hope we do get a break in the weather ….. much needed I’d say ……..
All week I’ve fished the dry fly, as is the case all summer with me. Call me a bluff old traditionalist, but heavy tungsten doesn’t constitute as proper fly fishing in my book, and besides euro nymphing just isn’t possible on a lot of these wild streams …. How did folks manage before this tungsten fad that’s around at the mo ….. I fish with precision and stalk a lot of my brown trout, casting to risers in awkward places !!!!! Getting up close and personal , casting a delicate line only yards away, coiled ready for that take, I love it !!!! I liken it to shooting in fairness. I could go out with the .22 rimfire and bowl over a dozen rabbits no problems, but field craft, skill, and hunting knowledge is brought to the fore if I use one of my air rifles…Just that finesse of limiting yourself ….. A much more satisfying result with just four good rabbits on an evening sortie, for the table, that will make good eating. Fresh, organic and doing the horses paddock a big favour !!!! I digress, of course I don’t mind nymphing, and with Winter fast approaching, it’s a tactical option, he says in the hottest day of September on record !!!! Lol !!!! However, I’ve done lots of years stood in a river jibbering in mid December, with my line freezing in the rod rings, with numb fingers and numb everything else !!!!! My weapon of choice these days is some gentle trotting for grayling, just as much fun, and dam effective, if I’m not out on a shoot , or tidying up a stream beat for next season ……..
So there we go, a fabulous week as I write this it’s ten bells on the Saturday morning. Yesterday I went hiking up Pen-y-Fan and that was a warm one ….. very warm, but the two of us managed to get up to the summit from the car park in exactly an hour, so not hanging around ….. and a blissful cold drink at the Griffin Inn on the way back to Rhayader. All the streams have been fun, from the Edw, to the sublime Cammarch. The one sortie that stays in my mind for me, is a hectic few hours on the little Clywedog ( not to be confused with the River Clywedog up at Llanidloes ) just sublime sport and dry fly fishing at its best !!!!! I got out hot, bothered, stung, tired, but absolutely loved it….. and a dozen or so brownies made the session even more enjoyable ….
I feel quite honoured to be in the epicentre of some of the best wild trout fishing in Wales …. Most, if not all are on day tickets with the Fishing Passport. Have a peep, you’ll be amazed at how many beats are available ….. sixty in fact !!!! Ok, some beats I fish are with farmers I’ve known for years, and I help out with vermin control etc etc, so they give me permission to fish their river, or stream ….. a fair deal I’d say !!!! Anyway, my wild steam outfit, and in fact my other fly rods are having a break this week, with this oppressive heat, it’s time to call it a day with regards to the fishing….. Hiking and mountain biking will be on the agenda early next week ….. Enjoy this sun folks, I won’t say tight lines, I’ll leave that one for when the weather breaks, have a good one, and stay safe out there !!!!! 😉😉😉🎣🎣🎣🐟🐟🐟