Armed with my new 4 weight[Streamflex], I thought a short trip to the Dee at Shocklach may be worthwhile. The middle Dee here is a a varied but relatively straightforward venue, but careful wading a necessity as there are many very deep drop offs and the flow very powerful in places.
I started at the bottom end of the beat just speculatively casting a small olive imitation to get the 'feel' of the Streamflex. Although defined as a middle to tip actioned rod, I think more emphasis on 'tip' compared with most of my previous rods applies here. With the favourable, but unusual here, upstream wind line delivery was a achieved with effortless flicks. I'm no casting officionado, but I think I will like this rod.
Anyway, no signs of any fish in the early morning sunshine so when I reached the next bend upstream on went a trio setup. There is an underwater build up of rock at the downstream end of the bend so I began by working the rougher water direcly below. At about mid river the sacrificial dry dipped and I was in. The fish felt like a real lump, holding itself downstream in the pacy water. A large Grayling surely, however when I finally lifted its head a 30cm fish had taken the place of the 'lump'. This was my first Dee fish of the year, and I had forgot how powerful the flow is when compared to the Alyn, thus exaggerating the fishes mass.
Next cast, a smolt pounced!. On wading slowly back to the bank, I dropped the trio rig directly below me where a 35cm Grayling took on the dangle. When wading the Dee, some Grayling always seem to drop below you picking off the morsels you may have dislodged. I've learn't never to ignore and usually fish this area whilst making my way back to the bank. With the run quickly fished out, I walked slightly upstream where the river runs over a nice gravel section. A few fish were beginning to rise to what appearred to be emerging caddis of some type interspersed with what I would guess as Olive Uprights[?]. The rises did appear to be from Parr mixed with some splashy Grayling.
Off came the trio rig an a #16 loopwing emerger tied on. This was the shucking CDC type shown in a previous entry.
I worked the runs with the emerger, and the rewards were fun but scant in that only a mixture of Parr and small Grayling obliged.
For casting practice and a change the trip was worthwhile. In hindsight though, as the Trout population is really starting to thin out in these relative low stretches this of the Dee I should save Shocklach for June 16th and beyond to concentrate on the Grayling. There's a few lunkers this low down.
On the positve, it's the first time I've tried these loopwings and their floatability is excellent. Just a quick wash after a fish and an Amadou squeeze, and your back in business...