Friday, 1 March 2013

Back on the River and Catching the Ladies

The weather had finally been kind (albeit cold).  It was dry and the river levels were down to a good level and in parts were crystal clear (as you can see in the pic of Irfon Bridge below - river bed highly visible).  If truth be told, the river was too clear for the section of water I decided to fish last Saturday (24/02/13).

Having been awake since 5! I decided to go out early and have a few hours before lunch.  I stayed in town and went to one of my favorite summer time dry fly stretches of the river.  A place where there are usually a good head of Grayling.

The stretch of river I fished was from Irfon bridge up towards 'Black Pool'.  Making your way from the bridge up river, the water level changes from rapids to a long slow moving run of shallow (knee deep) water up to a very deep pool that forms off the back of a gorgeous water fall. 

Irfon Bridge, River, Irfon, Builth Wells, Fly Fishing, Grayling
Irfon Bridge
Black Pool River, Irfon, Builth Wells, Fly Fishing, Grayling
Black Pool in the distance
Having been sent some flies again by Dan Popp (Small Stream Addicts), I was eager to give them a go.  I decided to fish one of my favorite methods, the Duo (Klink and Dink or whatever you like to call it).  I set up my cast with an olive klinkhammer with a silver bead hot spot nymph about 3ft below.  If anything this set up was a little long for the main stretch of river but was ideal for the main pool at the top of the run.

Fly Fishing
Dan's Nymph
Fly Fishing
Dan's Klinkhammers
It was cold, very cold! After being stood fishing against the far bank where the river does run a little deeper, I had had no luck and to top it all off it started snowing!  Not only that but the wind was blowing straight up the river and I had no shelter what so ever.  Despite the rather unsuccessful start to the day i made my way up to the pool.

After fishing for half hour or so I had still caught nothing.  Then, the clouds broke and the sun shone for the first time all morning and boy was I grateful for the warmth.  However, it wasn't just me that seemed buoyed by the sun as within 10 mins of the sun coming out I had my first fish of the day, a Grayling of about 1/2lb taken on the nymph.  On the very next cast and as the nymph drifted through a channel formed by the big rocks, another small Grayling.

River, Irfon, Builth Wells, Fly Fishing, Grayling
One of the small Grayling
After a couple more casts I hooked another fish, one that turned out to be biggest and last of the day.  I netted a Grayling of just over a pound, lots of damage down the flanks (I assume from the Cormorants or Goosanders), but in the sunshine managed to get a lovely shot and the fish even played its part by raising fin.

River, Irfon, Builth Wells, Fly Fishing, Grayling
Biggest Grayling of the day
Then it was like flicking a switch, nothing, and before long the sun had gone again.  3 fish in 10 minutes and all in the sunshine!  With the sun gone and having just about lost the feeling in my face, hands and legs i decided to call it a day and head home for some dinner and a much needed thawing out!

Until next time...


  1. Cracking little write up Craig - Sounds like you had a great day.

    This time of year I usually end up fishing the Trio, the dry fly being something rather substantial, a stimulator created totally of Tiemco Aero dry wing. Three of four full strands for the tail and a few more for the wing, basically as much as you can get into it!

    This means you can suspend very heavy bugs in shallow or deep water. The winter is a funny time and sometimes if your flies aren't suspended just above or on the bottom the fish wont eat. This is where this method, opposed to the duo or French leader comes into play. I usually fish the 'Stimmy' on a sliding dropper knot so the depth can be varied, as you mentioned you were fishing too deep in the post for a short time. Maybe it would have caught you an extra fish or so?


    1. Thanks Kieron, was a good day, just very cold!

      I like the sound of the dry made from Tiemco Aero dry wing - I did find a couple of my heavier bugs dragging under the klink!

      Fishing a nymph under a dry/klink is my prefered method of fishing over the winter so im definately going to learn the sliding dropper knot. Its something I saw in Total Flyfisher a while ago but never got around to doing. As you mentioned, I may have had an extra fish with that method.

      Many thanks


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