The recent wet and windy conditions continued into this week pushing the river level above 1.0 metre (Manley Hall gauge) on Monday, where it remained for the rest of the week. This brought a few more anglers out on to the river at Llangollen. At least one of them, Alan, being rewarded for his hard work with a silver 8lb grilse, which was caught on the spinner on the upper beat on Tuesday.
Alan, also saw a few fish passing through the beat heading up to Corwen on the high water. This welcome trickle of fresh fish through the Llangollen beats, coupled with the salmon caught at Bangor-on-Dee the previous week, gave me a boost of encouragement for this weeks fishing trips.
After heavy rain showers in the upper Dee catchment area on Wednesday evening I was apprehensive for my trip to the river on Thursday. When I checked the Manley Hall gauge on Thursday, surprisingly, it had only risen to 1.1m. Therefore, I decided to fish beat at Llangollen golf course because this section can fish well with the fly up to about 1 metre.
As I approached the first pool on the river, Abergregan, I could see that the water was steaming through this pool making it virtually unfishable; so I walked up river to The Meadows where the pace was slower. I tried getting in the river above the tree at the head of the run but it was just too deep to get into a position to cast the fly (size 8, red Ally’s Shrimp on a 15ft intermediate polyleader).
Below the tree it was just possible to get in above the bankside Willows and make a few short casts. As my third cast came round to the dangle alongside the Willow a salmon took my fly and shot off down river. Eventually, I got the fish under control and had to let it tire itself out in the main flow for 10 minutes before I could guide the 14lb salmon into the net.
After a short break, I fished on down through the rest of the run but didn’t get any more takes. Next, I moved up river to fish the Sun Pool, which can fish well down through the near bank at this height. I worked through the pool with the salmon fly but just had one small pull from a trout towards the tail of the pool. After this I went through the pool with a red flying-C and caught a small brown trout in the tail and had a sea trout chase the spinner. By now the river had started to rise and colour up so I decided to call it a day and head off home with a big smile.
Saturday was my next opportunity to go fishing on the Welsh Dee but this turned out to be a wash-out because heavy rain above Corwen caused the river to rise to 1.3 metre and colour up badly. In this heavily, coloured water (6” visibility) I fished the Broken Bridge pool and above Horseshoe Falls with the fly and spinner but drew a complete blank.
Overall, it was great to get my second Welsh Dee salmon on the fly in 7 days; they seem to be just like buses – nothing for ages and then they come along all together. Hopefully, they will continue to come along to the end of the season now!
The river was in much better condition on Sunday with reports of a few grilse being caught: a small one above Horseshoe Falls on the spinner and three further up river at Carrog on the fly. For the beginning of next week high pressure will be in charge of the weather, so the river should start to drop-off slowly and hopefully chances of further salmon should be good.
If anyone else would like to contribute to this review 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 weekly review.
Tight line until next week, Andrew (17/9/17)