Sunday, 21 March 2010

Wuddy Hell

In between refereeing my son's football and a family party I managed to sneak ninety minutes on the Alyn at Worm's Wood. I've never fished this stretch before and it has the reputation of being rather wild.

I took only the Iwana with me and set up a with one of Simon's custom Tenkara leaders. On the end of which went a simple duo rig. Size 14 olive parachute and a size 16 ptn. With Grayling season over, I didn't really want to nail things onto the bottom. I covered the first couple of pools and receive no interest.
When I reached the upstream end of the horse field there was a fish rising sporadically directly across from me. The fish refused to show when the duo or the solitary dry were passed through its path. Therefore decided to have one last cover with a small partridge spider tied 12 inches below the dry. This resulted in the fish (a brown) swirling in the vicinity of the spider. I struck but nothing and fish put down.

Wandering slowly into the wood I made speculative casts but couldn't move anything else initially. About 50m into the wood I tip toed my way into a nice glide. I stopped and surveyed the scene. Was that a small rise in front of me? Maybe?
Quickly tied on a size 20 olive parachute and first cover, this little monster slowly moved up and sipped the olive down.

My first brown of the season, at 12 inches. Rather battle scarred too. Check out the scarring above the anal fin, and chomped tail. Maybe a stocked fish...

This was my first dry fly outing with the Tenkara. What did I learn?
Simon's custom furle casts beautifully and coupled with the Tenkara, very few, if any false casts are needed. Important on overgrowb areas.
One thing I did get rather paranoid about was lining fish with the florescent green leader. I compensated for this by carefully positioning myself to give an across and only slightly upstream cast. The Tenkara length can be utilised to keep as much line off the water as possible.
Another area to work on is getting the tippet part of the cast to collapse to enable maximising drag free drifts. I started with level length of 2lbs mono to the fly, but found this was often collapsing too much, thus staying in close proximity to the end of the custom furle. The resolution this time was by attaching 3-4 foot of 5lbs mono, then upto 3 foot of 1.7lbs tippet. The heavy mono kept the collapsing thinner gauge section away from the furled leader tip.
A chat with Simon about this me thinks...perhaps using a lighter olive leader or could he splice in a clear mono tip section?

Monday, 8 March 2010

Guided Tour

The plan for Sunday was to have a tour of the Rossett and Gresford Flyfisher waters of the Alyn with Simon. mandy and I had spent the night in Haydock at a friends 60th birthday party, so after a hasty M6 sprint(yes occassionally the M6 allows this) got the gear together and called Simon. "Is one o'clock Ok?" were his words. It was now just past eleven and I was raring to go. I decided I would have an hour on one of the WAA Alyn beats.
I crept upto the river as the beat below the farm has high banks and what with the bright sun and all...
The river looked incredible. The clearest freestone river in clear freestone riverland. In fact clearer than that! Had someone exchanged it for a chalkstream? One thing was 'clearly' apparent, no fish could be seen and this would be tough.
I laced the short furled leader onto the Tenkara, coupled with 3lb mono to the top dropper and 1.7lb mono to the small pink tagged hares ear on the point. Anyway, only 45 mins till the redezvous on the R&G stretch, so I will have to work through this short area as quickly and carefully as possible. With the quoted clarity I didn't expect much, however half way along the sheep run where there is a relatively deep pool, the leader jagged back upstream and a finger sized Grayling left its sanctuary and swung to my hand. Ah well, at least no blank today. Then two flicks later, my nymphs had descended perhaps only 6 inches when I felt the tip of the Tenkara pull and a spritely 30cm Grayling had taken the ptn on the dropper. Fantastic, and perhaps they're looking up also? Delight over, the fish released itself. No matter, spirits lifted and just maybe...
I quickly worked through the remainder of the sheep run, but not a signal. Not one that I noticed any way.
I climbed out of the river and jumped in the Scenic and made my way to the R&G rendevous point.
Simon was there already. I told him of my brief session lower down and that perhaps it could be a better day than anticipated.
It was suggested I try a pool where Simon had had a 2lb Grayling on Thursday, so with the new tip indicator Custom Furle Simon had 'sewed' i dropped into the pool. Several drifts through and not a tweak. An Olive dun floated by, the first I have seen this year. I so wanted it to get nailed by some leviathon lurking under the bridge, but alas, it was free for the rest of its short remaining life.
We walked the river for a short distance with Simon advising on the various pools we passed. I stopped at one and fancied a few flicks. Simon left me to it and wandered upstream to the next pool.

Check the well edited clip above. Yours truely and the Tenkara coupled with a tip indicator Custom Furle.
By well edited, it gives the impression I have caught a nice Grayling. However, when Simon had moved upstream of me he hooked into this fish and took advantage of the clear conditions to get the fabulous underwater footage. The clip of me nymphing, was the next pool upstream where another fish took the nymphs on the drop and once again proceeded to release itself.

Well, Simon showed me most of the R&G waters and they are truely stunning. Full credit to this small club for the amount of work that has gone on to improve fish habitat, anglers accessability and such. IMO the prettiest stretch is part of the 'newly' cut section that was dug to allow the passing of the adjacent A483. Stunning. There is a diversity in R&G's waters to the tune that at the upstream end there is some wild fishing where the Alyn cuts through Worm's Wood and runs over bedrock. This stretch is un managed and seriously productive jungle fishing.

So a special thanks to the club for allowing me to try before I buy, because it worked. Membership request honourably submitted.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

The Tenkara Setup

For Sunday's trip, I bent the Tenkara rules slightly, by adopting shorter than usual leader lengths. The adopted setup utilised a 7' custom furle that is really designed for dry fly fishing. Reasoning that if I am using weighted nymphs, then these are providing the majority of the casting weight. Arguably a full leader of mono can be used, but furled leaders in the right colours make excellent strike indicators.

Custom furle attached to 'lilian string'

From the above it can be seen how easy it is to attach the leader to the Tenkara. Has anybody tried something similar when attaching leader to a fly line? Dissolve the PVC on the end of the flyline to expose the core, tie a knot in the end of the core...

To remove your furled leader from the Tenkara, pull on the tag end of the attachment loop
It is important not to take everything as read in the world of Tenkara. If you plan to wield your Tenkara on overgrown streams, pay particular attention to the length of cast. You may may to shorten everthing up by 4 or 5 feet. Therefore it will pay to have a few different unorthodox leader types. Simon at Custom Furles is making me a variation on the furled leader shown above that incorporates a tip indicator. Basically bright red silk at the end. The olive/yellow leaders are rather tricky to see as strike indicators in broken sky reflective water.

Incidentally here is the successful ammunition from Sunday's trip, from L to R, Peacock Quill Pink Tag, Hares Ear Pink Tag, Green Brassie, Olive Hares Ear. Four to the pink tags, and one Grayling each to the brassie and hares ear