This Friday was my first chance for a spot of grayling fishing on the Welsh Dee since the end of the salmon season. A number of things had kept me away from the river, not least the wet weather, which had kept the river above 0.8m for a couple of weeks. However, the recent spell of dry, cold weather helped the river level to fall off to 0.72m (Corwen); opening a sensible opportunity to fish the Welsh Dee at Llangollen.
It was a cold overcast start to the day but I was pleased that there was little wind because it should keep the leaf fall to a minimum. I decided to fish the golf course beat because it had been a while since I last fished there. Abergregan is the first pool you reach on walking down from the car park and when I got there the river was running clear but a still too fast to fish anywhere but the margins. Therefore, I continued up to the Meadows where the current was perfect for a spot of Czech nymphing.
With a team of Czech nymphs I started fishing down through the pool from just above the overhanging willow (point: size 12, pink collared PTN with 3.5mm black tungsten bead (TB); middle dropper: size 16, claret nymph with 1.5 mm purple TB; top dropper: size 16, PTN).
I was half way down the run before I my line shot sideways and I was into my first fish of the day. After a short struggle, I guided a nice grayling (ca. 1lbs) safely into the net, which had fallen for the claret nymph. Continuing down to the tail of the run I had four more grayling, ranging in size from 10 to 30cm, all of which took the claret nymph.
After an hour in the river my legs were cold and needed a walk to warm them up. So I headed off up river to try my luck in the Sun Pool. I started at the head of the pool with the Czech nymphs and had only made a few cast before I caught a grayling in the fast water, which was quickly followed by another; again they couldn’t resist the claret nymph. As the worked through the deeper parts of the pool things went dead.
I returned to the head of the pool to run through again with a team of wet flies (point: size 14, Black Hopper, middle dropper: size 14, Dark Olive, top dropper: size 16, Partridge & Orange) on a 3lb copolymer leader. As I worked down through the head of the pool I caught a nice grayling (ca. 3/4lb) on the black hopper and a slightly smaller grayling on the Partridge & Orange. However, from the body to the tail of the pool things went dead again. It was now time to call in to see Alan in Llangollen for a chat and enjoy a hot cuppa & bacon buttie.
When I shared my lan with Alan to fish above Horseshoe Falls for the final hour of the day he mentioned there was a group of about 8 anglers fishing the right bank there. Therefore, I decided to fish the Hollybush Pool from the left bank, because they would have been unable to fish this pool thoroughly from the right bank. At a river height of 0.7m (Corwen) I can just wade down close to the left bank and cast a team of wet flies about ¾-way across the river. Fishing down through the pool by letting the wets swing round in the currently slowly, produced a small brown trout (ca. 20cm) and a grayling (ca. 20cm), both of which fell for the partridge & orange on the top dropper. By the time I reached the tail it was starting to get dark quickly so I called an end to the day.
Overall, it turned out to be a successful day with a total of 10 grayling and a small brown trout. All the grayling were in good condition and this is a good sign as we approach the end of autumn. I won’t be able to go fishing next week but hopefully will be back on the river the week after.
If anyone else would like to contribute to my weekly Welsh Dee fishing reviews then please send me a quick note to email@example.com with any photos by Sunday of each week and if appropriate I will add it to the review.
Tight line until next time, Andrew (5/11/17)