Tuesday, 2 August 2011

A more superior fisherman

Reports from the R&G members forum suggest that their stretches of the Alyn are not fishing too well this season. Persistently low levels seemed to be most agreeable reason. Until lately...
Indications of  more proficient fisherman have been filtering through. On Saturday my intention was to do a spot of Grayling fishing on the lower Alyn, but whilst driving I was thinking about this new fisherman so much that I found myself turning right and heading to the R&G stretch. Rather than turn around I continued and arrived at the Sewage field at about 07.30. Setup the 'T' with a couple of nymphs and stealthily fished the riffles, runs and pools. Stealth had to be the order of the day in the form of crawling, hiding behind trees and bushes. Early morning sun casts a long shadow over the water here if your not careful. Anyway, two finger sized Grayling from the first run I tried, then nothing, not noticeable anyway. I worked my way through the deeper run of the Kingfisher pool, then spotted the first rise of the morning. I crept (on kness and elbows again) upstream and nearly put my hand in this...

Plenty of fish bones and the like here

Now these pictures were taken after I had prodded and poked to reveal the fish bone and other mush...however is this more proof of our ultimate fishing visitors? Can this be the spraint of an otter?

As for covering the rise I had seen, no takes so I kept creeping upstream and eventually into the Sewage pool.
All I connected with were two salmon parr and two fingerling Grayling. A really disappointing early morning session. However with approx 90mins fishing time left, I exited upstream of the sewage works, jumped into the Landrover, still wearing my waders, and headed for the lower Alyn at Ithells Bridge.
What a stark contrast...
I climbed over the style below the farm and tentatively peered over the high bank into the water. Around 20 Grayling up 11/2 lbs could be seen in the clear water. So creeping into the river just downstream and carefully flicking a small pink tinged nymph into the shoal, I caught 8 in succession until one particular splashy specimen disturbed the lot.
I then quickly worked the water upstream past the farm and around the two bends until, in a shallow straight section, another Grayling shoal were spotted enjoying the sunshine. Some sight fishing and inducment again picked out another 8-10 fish.

So, mornings result stats
River Alyn Sewage Field: 2 small Gralyling, 2 Salmon parr in 2 1/2 hours
River Alyn Ithells Bridge: 18 Grayling up to 1 1/2lbs, numerous parr!?? in a little under an hour.

Possible conclusions: There have been reports of Otter in Worm's Wood where there have been a much higher ratio of Grayling to trout caught lately. This is the first I have heard of a potential Otter as low as the Sewage field, where fishing has also been rather slow of late. Reports of trout catches lower down at Llay road and in to the much lower Alyn are more stable. Do we therefore, have welcome fishing adversaries working their way down river. If so, will it be a year or two before the river again sustains a 'reasonable' head of trout and predator?

Monday, 14 March 2011

Underwater snag conspiracy

A Sunday morning grueller on the Alyn from Llay Road bridge...covered a section and half of our river before sight or sound of anything fishy. In the meantime, I've never lost so may nymphs on underwater snags. Off the record of course, but stealthily placed traps by the dry fly only brigade?
Any way, still raining when I arrived with the overnight drizzle adding a tinge of colour. Olives were coming off sporadically all morning and thankfully after a noticed increase in activity a rise was spotted adjacent to the stile between the corn and sewage fields. Mental note of position, as it looked 30 or so metres away. Tenkara'd (new verb there) the spot with a beaded nymph and a Partridge and Orange (well waxed amber actually), a twitch and miss first flick, then second flick the same again on the drop and a lively 6" brown succumbed to the spider. It was now 11.30ish and I had been on the river 3hrs.
An hour and many more lost flies later my second and last fish, an 8" brown, savagely took an olive biot nymph from the fast water running into the '...good place for Kingfisher's' pool.
This was a tough morning's fishing. Conditions were Ok although cold. I was of the impression that I had fished too early, family commitment dictated this. Also confirmed by the arrivall of Simon and Sonia confidently strolling in the sunshine over the Sewage Field. Not sure whether their confidence was justified; Sonia's forum entry implied lost flies and little activity...Simon did you fare any better?

So from the Grayling bonanza last week to the realities of early season brownie's. That's fishin'...

Monday, 7 March 2011

2011 begins

It's been a while since my last post. The main reason is not due to a lack of fishing but lack of a decent camera (drowned the last one). I feel you do need to grace a blog with relevant pictures. The last third of 2010 passed in a fishing flash; I seemed to be a magnet for browns on Meadow Fisheries' Meadow lake; autumn produced a couple of 40+ grayling sessions with the Iwana on the Alyn and inevitably the Tenkara became my goto river tool...

Anyway, lets get back into the swing of things for the year ahead. Christmas was a 'white' off and even the fastest sections of the lower Alyn were frozen over. Incredible...
Managed only one productive January outing with a couple of hours on the lower Alyn predictably with the Tenkara. Two fish from one pool, a fingerling Grayling then a couple of flicks later one going over 35cms. Both fish admiring a small beaded GRHE.
February was then written off as my Cricket club enrolled me on a level two coaching course which took up four consecutive and quite intense Sundays. A practical coaching assessment due in April...

The season can now 'kick off proper like' as Rossett and Gresford's waters on the Alyn opened on Thursday 3rd March. Desperate as I was to get on the R & G waters I would have to wait till Sunday. I got the feeling from the R&G forum that Sunday may be quite popular, especially for the few hours either side of midday where the LDO hatches were occurring. So, an early start at Worm's Wood and plan to dip my toes in for 08.00.
So anxious was I to get onto the water that I forgot the T. My StreamFlex though had been wedged in the back of the car for the last few months, so at least a trip back home could be avoided. Or can it, do I have reel? I quickly fumbled in the reel pocket of my waistcoat only to pull out a spool full of #5 floating, but no reel. Further fumblings into my tackle box and some luck, the reel body was found with the added bonus of #4 DT line to match the Streamflex. As my indicator leader was at home on the T, I just tied a parallel leader on the end of the line with a Tungy pink bug on the point and a small conventional GRHE on a dropper. I was hoping I would be able to spot takes on the line tip...
I fished the first pool above Griffin bridge and it became obvious that relying on the line tip for bite indication may be tricky. I therefore droppered a #14 parachute with a pink post onto the leader. As covered in previous posts, shortlining with a dry droppered this way enable you to tighten up the dropper hinge in order to induce a little movement on the nymphs without overly dragging the dry. Having the dry on the line like this does not act as the indicator totally but enables you to find and focus on the hinge and spot the some quite minute takes
I moved up to the style at the entrance to the Wood where two fingerling Grayling showed their admiration of the GRHE. OK, no pink. I replaced the pink bug with a small #16 emerging caddis pattern tied on some new jig hooks. This did the trick, next fick and an 8oz Grayling obliged. After one more bumped fish I moved up to the next pool and run. This run hadn't changed much since last year and is one of my favorites being around 10 yards long. I now paternoster my dry so it can slide up the leader if you need to adjust the depth of the nymphs, so I added 12ins between dry and nymphs and on a short line flicked up, let drift down with the current to a point directly across and then tighten to the 'hinge' to enliven the nymphs a little and finally dangle out... thump thump. Another 8oz fish had taken the caddis on the dangle. A couple more followed.
Moving upstream again, I took no fish from where the industrial legacy of Gresford remains. Further up and around the bend a couple more 8oz Grayling and then from the next pool up again around half a dozen fish from 8oz to 1lb for a total of 13. A relative good return I'd say...

Sunday's profitable team. Not in order, the beaded caddis was on the point