A Grayling Bonanza at Grove Farm, Bangor-on-Dee

At Bangor on Dee there have been reports of plenty of sea trout in the river, with coarse anglers catching them during the day on maggots. In addition, lots of rising grayling have been seen throughout the beats and the recent dry weather had allowed the Dee to drop back to its summer level (0.48m @ Manley Hall). This all looked very encouraging for my trip to Grove Farm on Thursday, which I had booked the previous week.

I decided on a late morning start because the plan for the day was focus on grayling during the day and then switch my attention to sea trout in the evening. It was a cool overcast start and on my walk up river to the Cemetery Pool I didn’t see any fish rising. Therefore, I opted to fish through the fast run into the Cemetery Pool with a team of Czech nymphs (point: size10, 2x4mm pink tungsten beaded nymph; middle dropper; size 18, red nymph (1.5mm gold tungsten bead); top dropper: size 16, Hare’s Ear). Working my way thoroughly through the run a couple of times produced 15 grayling and one brown trout. Most fish were caught on the red nymph.

I started to work my way back to the car and when I got to the tail of the next pool several grayling were rising. Therefore, I switched over to fish the dry fly, a size 14, CDC olive on 9ft tapered leader tipped with 3ft of 4lb fluorocarbon. Just has I started fishing a thunder storm rolled in and the heavy rain stopped the grayling rising. However, as soon as the storm cleared they resumed feeding and I caught 4 good grayling and missed several others.

After a break for something to eat back at the car, I walked back to the top of the beat to see if I could tempt any see trout with a team of wet flies (point: size 12, March Brown Spider; middle dropper: size 12, Black Hopper; top dropper: size 12, Silver Sedge). In the glide above the Cemetery Pool I caught a couple of small grayling and towards the end of the glide a sea trout fell for the Silver Sedge.

As the light started to fail a grilse jumped in the tail of the Cemetery Pool but it wasn’t interested in anything I offered it. Slowly I worked my way back to the car but didn’t get any more sea trout, just a few more grayling.

Overall, it turned out to be a great day and in the end the tally for the day was 21 grayling, a brown trout and a nice sea trout. It was also it was good to see at least one salmon; I was beginning to think they had turned into a mythical creature on the Welsh Dee!

On Saturday I went fishing with Ludwig, a new Llangollen-Maelor member, to fish the club water at Ddol-isaf and in the process pass on some of my knowledge on fishing this beat of the river. With a clear overnight sky the temperature had dropped to single figures and by 10am it was still only 6°C. It turned out to be a very bright, sunny day which made the fishing quite difficult, especially since the river was running clear.

For the first part of the day we fished from the Cottage Pool up river into the wood. For me, searching the bottom of the river with a team of Czech nymphs produced the best results: several grayling, one trout and I lost a big fish which wouldn’t move off the bottom. Ludwig, caught a few grayling on the dry fly and a couple of trout on the salmon fly.

After a late lunch we fished from below the cottage down to the tail of Mill Run until 7pm. The glide below the farm house produced a few grayling on the dry fly and Czech nymphs. Surprisingly, the fast section into Mill Run seemed to be barren of fish, with the grayling being located below the overhead power cables.

As the light started to fail I lost a small sea trout that took my wet flies close to the trees on the far bank. By now we had run out of time so we called it a day and went home happy with the fish we had caught in the bright and sunny conditions.

At Llangollen I have not heard of any salmon being caught but further up river at Corwen there have been reports of the odd salmon being caught. There is rain in the weather forecast for the early part of next week and hopefully this will produce a spate, which brings a  few salmon up river and improves the odds of catching a salmon at Llangollen.

If anyone else would like to contribute to these Welsh Dee weekly fishing reports please send me a quick note to andrewoverend1@gmail.com with any photos by Sunday of each week and if appropriate I will add it to the weekly review. Anyway, tight lines for now and hopefully there will be some good news on the salmon front next week.

Andrew (3/9/17)

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