Thursday, 16 April 2009

On Tuesday I was lucky enough have a day's fishing on the Honddu at the Pandy beat. This a lovely river which is part of the Monnow system, in Wales, just a few miles from the border with England.

I was fishing with Dave Smith whose knowledge of these rivers is exceptional. We fished together taking it it turns to fish the runs, gutters and pools that made up the river. It was in need of some rain really as the water was pretty skinny in places. There were a few rises, but I opted for a heavy nymph. Dave fished a dry caddis pattern with a beaded nymph tied off the bend. The first few pools produced very little, however, as we waded up carefully, we spooked a couple of fish that were obviously lying low, right against the edges and amongst the boulders. A change to a tungsten-beaded nypmph made a the difference and I hooked a very clean wild fish - about 10". It put up a good scrap and introduced me to the quality of fish on offer in these rivers.

Eventually, with a few more takes between us to the nymphs, the sun came out and we started to see more olives and Large Brook Duns scome off. Even a few caddis were showing and we were persuaded to fish single dry flies. We both took a few fish, but we needed some creative casting to make the most of the tricky lies the fish were choosing. This is favourite type of fishing - using a 6'6" #2 rod, casting between the trees and bolders, 'hunting' the wild browns.

There is clearly fantastic fly life in these rivers. The may-fly hatch is supposed to be excellent - certainly I plan to return very soon to experience this. My thanks to Dave Smith for such a great day's fishing, excellent banter and the best pork pie I've ever had. Please take a look at the Monnow's link below. The fishing I experienced is available though the Wye and Usk Foundation.


Andy Baird said...

Very, very nice Dave. Quiet water, short rods, light lines and small flies... just perfect!

Would be interested to hear about the rod...?

Andy Baird
Northern Ireland

Dave Wiltshire said...

Hi Andy. The rod: A flull-flex ORvis superfine - cost me only about £125 and I love it. I really like my fast action rods, but this is just a dream to fish with... and a 12" fish will bend it through to the andle - stunning!