The high tides this week were felt all the way up river past Farndon and these would have given any salmon or sea trout a free ride over Chester weir. Thursday was my first outing on the Dee and because of the high tides I decided to try my luck at Bangor-on-Dee, to see if I could intercept any salmon coming in off the tide.
I fished from Fletchers Run on the Sutton Green beat down to Eel Cottage on the Captains Beat but didn’t get any interest on the fly or see any fish moving through on what were ideal conditions. Other anglers have been reporting a similar results on the salmon front; therefore, I suspect there are not many grilse entering the system at the moment. It would be great to hear of anyone having better results.
In the evening I drove up to Llangollen and fished the left bank above Horseshoe Fall until midnight. It was a beautiful evening and at the top of the glide below Duncans Pool there were a few grayling rising and I saw a couple of small sea trout jump close to the trees on the near bank. While the sun was setting, I fished down through the glide with a team of wet flies (point: size 14, March Brown Spider; middle dropper: size 14, Black Hopper; top dropper: size 12, Silver Sedge). In the crease between the deep channel and the far side of the rock platform I caught a couple of grayling on the Black Hopper. About halfway down the run a fish swirled at the flies and I bent into a good fish, which headed off down river taking me down to the backing.
Eventually, I got the fish into the slack water but while guiding the fish to the net I lost it when my line got stuck in weed. From 30 metres I could see that it was either a brown trout or a stale sea trout in the 2lbs+ bracket. Working my way to the end of the run I caught a couple of small brown trout and grayling.
It was now quite dark so I walked up river to Duncans Pool and switched over to a sea trout fly set-up (point: size 12D, Stoats Tail; dropper: size 12 Teal Blue & Silver; on 8lb copolymer). I started fishing the fast run above the main pool and worked my way thoroughly down to the tail. I had one take, which turned out to be a greedy grayling that took the top dropper.
While making my way down I heard one fish jump close to the far bank. Therefore, I went through the pool again with a surface lure but this didn’t raise any interest. It was now midnight and the mist had started to descend on the river therefore I called it a night.
A number of local anglers have reported catching a few sea trout this week but overall the sea trout fishing at Llangollen has been very poor year-to-date. There have been reports of significant numbers of sea trout down at Bangor on Dee but I haven’t seen any on my visits there; so can’t help anyone on that front.
I went to the Lake District at the weekend to celebrate my dad’s 83rd birthday with the family, so was unable to the Dee but I did manage a day’s fishing with my brother at Arnside. At low water by the railway viaduct there is an estuary lagoon, which often holds flounders and during July and August a few bass and sea trout.
With some luck it is possible to catch the sea trout on the fly, while they wait for the next tide. Using a sinking line and a size 8 Teal Blue & Silver I fished along the pool. After about 30 minutes my line when tight and I bent the rod into something solid. Eventually, I got fish off the bottom and I was surprised to see a large flounder surface – the first I have ever caught on the fly ☺
I continued fishing through the lagoon with the fly and hooked another flounder which I lost trying to get it onto the sand. When the tide came in my brother had a couple fish attack his surface lure but hook them.
Next week’s plan is to go fishing on Thursday and Saturday. So hopefully, I will have more to report. If anyone else would like to contribute to this review please send me a quick note to firstname.lastname@example.org with any photos by Sunday of each week and if appropriate I will add it to the weekly review.
Tight line until next week, Andrew (27/8/17)