So, where do I start, well, I’ll finish first !!! Yesterday was my last day out chasing the ever gorgeous Welsh Gold ….. a biting morning with an ambient temperature that struggled to get above seven degrees in the Elan Valley. I was adventurous and initially headed up to Claerwen ……. Ohhhhhhhh she wasn’t playing ball at all this morning , she was defiant and certainly had a grump on !!!!! A pokey easterly wind, and boy was it fresh to say the least !!!!! No takers after an hour working along the shoreline across the dam….. onto tactic number two , drop down into the Cwm Elan, see if life is a bit warmer and calmer !!!!

Ahhhh, enroute down, I bumped into an old fishing buddy Mac …. He was only out in the Valley for a couple of hours , just to clear his head from house renovation jobs !!!!! We all know what you mean on that score Mac ……Was great to see him, and to be honest we’ve had some great trips into the wilds of Wales this season, with Llyn Bugeilyn and Nant-y-Moch reservoir fished to name a few …… and excellent days we’ve had too !!!! Always great craic with this calm, witty, dry humoured gent ….. That niggling easterly wind had followed me down to Caban Coch, but a bit less puff in it than up at the exposed Gigantic Claerwen ….. and success, managed to winkle out a couple , my buddy Mac called it a day at twoish ….. yours truly persevered !!!! And another move was imminent !!!!!

Onwards to Garreg Dudu reservoir …. Now this teddy bear can be tricky, but she can also be very sporting, particularly along the far bank in low water, working slowly along it with dark flies and a good south westerly can be very productive, and early season I’ve managed a few fabulous quick sorties early bells before the sun has properly woken up, managing a dozen to the net, then back home for breakfast …. I did bump into a very pleasant gent there, he asked about the far bank, and I mentioned it’s good in lower water ….. Glad you had some sport there Billy, perhaps we’ll have a day in the summer …..Cochybonddu or bracken clock week is sublime ….. I’ve let Billy know, if he can make that and hit the timing right, fifty or sixty fish or more on the dries is very possible ….. just the timing has to be right, as does the weather conditions, to bring them out in their hoards !!

I managed to winkle out another five along the rough shoreline of Garreg Dudu …. Lovely solid takes to, beautiful brown , buttery yellow, Faberge eggs…. Just a marvel of colours, survivors that have stood the test of time and put up with man’s intervention. These massive dams block water ways and streams, but they’ve adapted, thrived, and now call these deep peaty reservoirs home ….. And that was that , a sublime celebration of not only where wild fish take me, but of a fascinating eight months. The trout season for me was finished for 2023…… and one word to describe it “ wonderful” , no in fact two, … varied as well ……

My clients have been fun, enthusiastic and thankfully even on tricky days, I’ve managed to get them into brownies, in some cases some lovely quality fish too …. A couple of gents had their first dry fly caught brown trout on the River Arrow and Edw, just a joy to watch, as that feisty ten inch fish is played to a waiting net ……… fantastic !!! The Serene Wye and her tributaries have been superb as well …. In fact fabulous I’d say ….

So that’s the seasons all wrapped up folks, actually I’ll be shooting and enjoying the wind down in fairness…. The River Wye awaits, and chasing the finest of ladies, Thymallus Thymallus….” The Grayling “ …. I like to leave this fishing till the cooler months as you still hook into brownies on the rivers, they need a break from heavily pressured waters…. Spawning is important, and an air of calm for salmo trutta is much needed….. So, for me, it’s some sessions on the range, up to Griffin Lloyd shooting grounds, dusting some fast clays, and getting the rifles out for some check zero practice, along with the air rifles, which is also good fun. I normally have some ratting sorties to get stuck into up Shrewsbury way, on some old farms, so that keeps me busy, ohhh and then of course a few driven shoots.

It just leaves me to say, I hope you all had a good season too….. and if you ever fancy a day being guided in the Elenydd, I know a chappy who knows a thing or too about the local area, and has been fly fishing on streams and mountain llyns since he was fourteen !!!! Apparently he’s a good egg !!!!! 😉😉😉😉😉🎣🎣🎣🐟🐟🐟

Ohhh I nearly forgot, I know it’s seasons end for the wild brownies, but for those who are getting out tommorrow, chasing the Lady of the Stream, then the tightest of lines, stay safe and I hope to see plenty of smiling, keen enthusiastic faces in the 2024 Season, all the best to you …… Joe 🎣