Another boring and unsatisfying night in the house, so i decided to hit the vice to tie up some bugs ready for the weekend as i may be taking another trip up to the river Wye after last times performance, of course weather permitting. Over the winter i have noticed an unusual change which doesn’t normally happen when winter fishing for graying, instead of the fish taking bright pink flies, i have had the considerable majority take the more natural type fly e.g more dull coloured materials used to represent more natural insects. I think this result has occurred due to the weather being fairly mild over the winter which means the nymphs wont disappear in numbers. Below i have tied a variety of graylings bugs and jigs (natural and bright) which have worked considerably well over the past and recent years for grayling and also brown trout;

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On the wye

Alarm clock sounds, an early and extremely cold, frosty start to the morning. Time to venture out and have a full days fishing on the river, as I haven’t had the opportunity recently due to bad conditions. My good old friend Simon collected me and off we went to the wonderful river Wye, personally one of my favourite rivers for grayling fishing among many. As we arrive at the town situated in Builth Wells we purchased our day tickets at the local newsagents. We had discussed and planned on starting further down river and gradually make our way up stream.

We parked the car and tackled up, and decided that our first approach was to be the French leader, which tends to work extremely well when the conditions are right, which they were. The temperature was around minus 4 which certainly didn’t help my feet as I had to jump out of the water every now and again to run around the field just to warm up, not my idea of fishing but it had to done!

As we made our way down to the river we startled four Cormorants which had been nestling write next to river bank, not a nice site to say the least as they like to feast on our enjoyable sport.  We reached our first, lovely, looking run and the first thing that I muttered to Simon there has to be grayling here, to which he agreed. The first few casts saw nothing to the fly, neither did Simons so we just kept scanning the water in search for the ladies. A few cats later and I am into my first fish except it was a brown, disappointment as it rises to the service as I thought this one was to be a grayling, “never mind I said, there’s always the next cast”. And as it happened the next cast resulted in a beautiful grayling around about the pound mark, see image below;

Simon in action;

We fished on for a few more hours with hardly anything else which puzzled me, so we now decided to make a tactical move and have a couple of hours on the Irfon which is a tributary that joins the Wye a little further up stream, this river still being covered by the Wye foundation.

We arrived at the At the river Irfon, and walked down stream then fished our way up through the runs taking small fish here and there they seemed to be few and far apart which sometimes can be a pain as you need to cover allot more water, sizes being around half a pound taken on the French leader once again. The picture below showing Simon with an Irfon lady;

After some well enjoyed sport on the irfon we decided to go and get some grub as not only were the fish hungry but us anglers need to eat too. We decided to finish of our day near the bridge in the town area, back on the Wye where the monsters lie, and what an end to the day it was. The fish seemed to be hard on the bottom due to the temperature plummeting late afternoon, so I slightly changed tactics and put an extremely heavy point fly on and this resulted in us starting to hit grayling in numbers. I moved slightly upstream into what looked like a very fishy pool so I decided to have a few last chucks. After around the third cast my indicator stopped and I felt a very heavy sensation, then it started to move, I first thought it was a big brown until it broke the surface and that it was one of the famous Wye, monster, grayling. By this time my heart was beating fast, I was praying that the fish wouldn’t throw the hook. Simon came to my rescue and scooped it up in one; the net was filled with three pound of pure silver as shown in the image below;

I have been busy on the vice lately preparing some flies ready to wet, nymphs being the main subject. This is my most favourite method when it comes to the still waters, nothing like experiencing those explosive takes! the nymphs that i have prepared, being mainly buzzers and diawl’s in a variation of patterns which are shwon in the slide show below;

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I will discuss the way in which methods can be used to fish the nymphs as the season approaches….

 River Nymphing

There are many methods and techniques in which we use to catch fish whilst fly fishing the river. Using nymphs on the rivers in our days, whether it may be the French leader, duo/trio, Czechnymphing, or even swinging the spiders down and across, All can bring fish to the net. Advancing technology is simply awesome!

The image below is me holding a lovely winter grayling on the river rhymney

Due to the bad whether that has made the rivers high and colouerd i have not been out fishing as much as i would have liked too this time of the year. through all the bad weather i have been making the most of my vice as with no flies i cant fish in the greatest of weathers. Grayling sizes have been in decline this season, not only is this due to the high waters but also a vast disappearance of the numbers of grayling. This seems to have occurred not only on one river but a few. There have been disputes on what has cause this sad demize to happen. Some say they have been eaten by the cormrants or other water preditory birds, and others say its just there lifecycle and that they tend to die off every few years, who knows??? Hopefully this will change in the future and population grows.

As I haven’t been out venturing of to the rivers recently, the vice has been well occupied. I have tied up some nymphs that I use for both grayling and trout. See slide show below

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Descripition of one nymphing method i use to catch grayling and trout with nymphs.

Duo/Trio,nymphs fished under a dry fly or boiant indicator.

– A Tapered leader is usually used to help turn over the dry and the nymphs, typical lenth is ( 9/12 ft)

-A big boiat dry fly used as a indicator placed at the end of the tapered leader before the nymphs

-One or two nymphs can be hung under it all depending on the depth of the water, water speed and the weight of the nymphs being fished under the dry fly

-Suitable rod (9 ft #3/4-9.6ft #4/5-10 ft for a #3/4) the rod lenth and weight is normaly chosen by the size of the river or the size of the fish you are targeting.

How the method works-

This is more of a summer method, but can easily be used in winter when the conditions are right. A very simple technique to use and also very effective when it comes to catching quantities of fish due the presentation. A dry fly is attached to the end of the tapered leader, whether it may be a klink hammer or just a bushy dry fly filled with floatent, two to three feet from the nymph depending on the depth of the pool you are fishing. This is critical because the fish may be feeding on the bottom where as your flies are being presented mid water. This method works exceptionally well as it works not only one, but two depths of the river (the bottom of the river and slightly higher than the river bed, the ocassional fish will come up and take the dry) the best of both worlds!! A long lengthy cast is required up stream as the trout and grayling can become very spooky on times, This style of fishing can cover a lot more water inturn you cover more feeding fish.

French leader-

The set up-

-Long tapered Camo leader, ranging from 4.5 to 9.0 meters in length

-Yellow mono is attached as an indicator

-Suitable rod (10ft for a 3/4)

How the method works-

The French leader is a fairly new invention to some of those anglers who have just started out on the rivers. It has been adapted into being used in more than one way. Bugging as it’s well known as is a popular way to use the French leader. 2 or 3 heavy nymphs are tied onto the cast, this will enable the flies to reach the bottom where the fish maybe lurking.

A cast is made up stream at around a 45 degree angle; a nice lengthy cast is made so the flies are able to reach dead depth by the time they have reached directly in front. You should feel every indication from the rod tip right through to your fingers whether the flies are just hitting bottom or a fish has taken. The indicator would be held 1cm from the water’s surface, this way it is easier to see indications. When the drift has come to it’s end and the flies are just about to lift of bottom, this can be very effective as the fish are more than often teased by movement. Never lift off to soon!

another way it can be used is long range which i will explain closer to the coming season…..

Hi there fellow fisherman, as you can tell i am currently in the middle of creating a blog and is new to  the whole system. As you know fly fishing is the most partisipated sport in britain. On my blog i am willing to share and post all of my interesting adventures out ont he south wales valleys rivers. Not only will i post fly fishing trips but i have a great passion for course fishing, i persued this type of fishing before i was able to cast a fly rod confidently and also catch fish with ease. My aim of this blog is to give as much relivent advice to people who have a passion and want to learn certain aspects of fishing. I have many methods to show you and gossip about which can have a massive effect when it comes to catching quantities of  many different kinds of fish. My main target will be rivers but i will ocasionally post blogs of my couse fishing adventures and fly fishing on still still waters. I have many different fly patterns to share and will explain step by step how to tie these patterns with no complications.