Sunday, 24 February 2013

Roll on Spring

The wild garlic is just starting to poke its head up along the river bank and there's a hint of spring in the air. Today was to be my last effort with the grayling this year - afterall, the River Usk opens it doors for Trout next weekend and other weekends will be given to teaching and a little bit of river management before the 1st of April.

I haven't seen that gravel dry for months

 The river was clear and looking very inviting. I was only on for a very short session; the wind was biting and flurries of snow were falling. It was great to walk the bank with a semi-firm foot fall. I actually cannot remember the last proper rainfall. Now it's been a while since we have been able to say that.
A Stone Clinger Nymph... waiting for some warmer weather

The lower, clear water meant that stealth was, as ever, really important and my feeling was that a French leader would give me a little extra lead over the fish with the added bonus of the super-sensitive take detection. Simply, it was a small jig on the point and a natural shrimp on the dropper. It wasn't long before a trout hoovered the point fly and kicked around in the current. A nice fish too... just a few weeks too soon. The grayling were not too far away though.

The French Leader
My last grayling of the season

I am currently offering a few lots to be auctioned for the Monnow Rivers Association. Please take a look at these and the other lots. The money is well used for habitat restoration and management:

A 2 hour single handed spey casting lesson

24 dry flies

All lots currently available

The diary is filling up now with demonstrations and teaching (along with some great fishing for myself!)  and I am really looking forward to the 2013 season.

Thanks to all of you for following along and your continued support.


Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Wild Trout Trust

I spent Monday with the Wild Trout Trust, looking at the River Chew and judging its potential. Spilling from the huge Chew Valley Lake, we are very lucky to have access to a really fantastic stretch of river that changes in characteristics throughout its length - and this gives so many possibilities for fish and invertebrate populations. There is already a superb head of wild trout and grayling and very good fly life. However, having the opportunity to discuss habitat restoration and improvements is not to be sniffed at. Theses guys really know know their stuff and I cam out of the session enthused. This is a small step forwad that could potentially lead to years of work and development. Exciting times ahead.

The Trusts's work is wide and varied and I suggest checking out the WTT website.


Saturday, 2 February 2013

Forward Planning

Things have been pretty hectic, hence the lack of recent posts on the blog. Some exciting plans in the pipeline too. Partridge are kicking things off with the 2013-season 'River Days' being arranged. I'll also be tying at a 'Partridge Day' later in the year. I'll post more details very soon.

I am also delighted to have been invited to tie at the BFFI again this year. This will be my fifth year tying there and I am as excited as ever. If you're free on the 22nd and 23rd of June, I highly recommend getting your self to the show.

The tying will blow you away and if you need any help with your casting, or just want to watch some of the best casters and instructors in the country, AAPGAI will be at the show giving demonstrations and some tuition.

Weather has continued to get in the way of the fishing, however I ventured out into the snow and was lucky anough to find some grayling. Snow and Grayling seem to go together so well.

The sun has been shining today and it's pretty hard not to let your imagination run into Spring time; thoughts turn to brown trout and even an early season Sea-Trout. Before then I have stacks of flies to tie and some new materials to explore. Indeed, I have some news coming up about a few new ventures for 2013 - watch this space!

My most successful sea trout fly last year - more to be tied for 2013!