Fishing tales on Tenkara in Wales, United Kingdom

Re: Fishing tales on Tenkara in Wales, United Kingdom

Postby ConorUK » Sun Mar 27, 2011 2:40 pm

21 March
Time was short but the weather was nice so I went for the closest stretch of river, upstream of Llay road bridge. I approached chairman Howard Stevens and longstanding member Peter Hayes (who has been fishing the river for 50 years!). who were together having a natter. As I approached Howard commented tongue in cheek how I looked just like a poacher with my short telescopic rod (the tenkara rod unextended). Both Howard and Peter were sporting cane rods. They had the upper hand in terms of English (Welsh!) heritage, so with a stiff upper lip worthy of an Englishman (I am Irish) I didn’t rise to the bait. I do get an awful ribbing in the club about my Tenkara deviancy, but its all been kind hearted and with a great show of tolerance

After a nice natter with Howard and Peter I headed upstream in search of some rising trout. After 80 metres the first turn looked promising with three rising fish, but that was likely to be on Howard’s upward fishing visit, so I made a wide berth and kept walking upstream. After a while I settled on a stretch to fish on dry.

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I stuck to the Coch-y-Bonddu that had been successful a few days earlier and I rose two fish in quick succession. But missed both. Having no more luck I headed downstream fishing a heavy nymph. I reached an interesting stretch that had a shallow run leading into a tight deep pool.

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I crawled along the bank trying to entice trout with my nymph, moving it slowly with darts amongst the unseen depths of the flow, tempting a snag at any second. The line jumped forward. A take. I missed. Then a few minutes later, another jag of the line. And I missed again. Damn. It was time to go.

Here is a pretty run that I had passed up on earlier. Hard to fish but with fat trout to be had in the depths.

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Re: Fishing tales on Tenkara in Wales, United Kingdom

Postby ConorUK » Mon Mar 28, 2011 1:27 pm

22 March
I arrived at the horse field for a lunchtime outing. The car thermometer showed 16 Celsius. Positively balmy! I opened the boot to get out my waders and a pong of smelly feet smacked me in the face. My God, it was bad. If I put my feet into those waders I would stink the office out with my socks afterwards :oops: But there was no choice. As I walked down the path the stink stayed with me until I neared the water.

The river looked lovely, the water twinkling the reflection of the sun in places and in others dark and inviting.

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I fished dry upstream through the pool and into the top of the run with no luck at all. And no fish rising either. That was all I had time for. As I neared the car the stench got bad again. Curious. Aha – it was rotting hay along the side of the road where I had parked, not my feet after all :lol:
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Re: Fishing tales on Tenkara in Wales, United Kingdom

Postby adventureR » Mon Mar 28, 2011 2:54 pm

Hey Conor enjoying your posts.
The pics of the stream look just like one here in Tennessee called Round Lick Creek.
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Re: Fishing tales on Tenkara in Wales, United Kingdom

Postby ConorUK » Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:45 am

hi there adventureR, thanks for the feedback, I will look out for pics of your creek, especially any fishing tales!

24 March
Today I headed south to the ‘winter’ beat of the river for a change. There was one stretch I wanted to focus my efforts on.

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Half an hour later and I was having no luck either weighted nymphs or on dry. I moved way downstream. There was a fish rising at the tail end of a smooth slow flowing and deep run. The problem was that I couldn’t fish upstream due to the high banks and deep water. It would have to be a floated downstream dry. With an extra long leader I floated a small klinkhammer over the area. The Ayu rod worked well with this technique. No drag on the fly, it bobbed along nicely. Nothing happened. Several more times failed to elicit a response either. The fish kept rising though. This is one aspect I particularly like about using a Tenkara rod. Used carefully, you hardly cause any disturbance to the water. Unless you hook trees and have to wade in!

I changed tactics. A few seasons ago I found that a small Peter Moss pattern fished downstream just in the subsurface causing a slight bulge in the water attracted surface feeding fish. When all else failed. I gave it a go. I cast across and allowed the fly to work its way down, keeping in close contact with the fly…..the water boiled and a fish was on! The fish went deep and used the current to good effect.

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It was a pretty grayling, although I had been convinced early on it was a trout that took.

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I walked back upstream through the natural path in the light woodland happy with the visit.
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Re: Fishing tales on Tenkara in Wales, United Kingdom

Postby adventureR » Mon Apr 04, 2011 5:04 pm

Conor here's some pics, or links to some. I can't figure out how to put pics on the post.

http://i1207.photobucket.com/albums/bb4 ... retree.jpg

In front of this great tree is a pool hidden by the glare on the water. I have caught a great many fish here. At this part of the creek there was only a trickle of water entering and exiting the pool. The pool is about five feet deep and covered with giant slabs of limestone.

http://i1207.photobucket.com/albums/bb4 ... kcreek.jpg

And another nice spot. A large amount of fish hide in these small unvisited creeks here. They are a wonderful place to visit in the summer especailly since most creeks are spring fed and refreshingly cool.

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Re: Fishing tales on Tenkara in Wales, United Kingdom

Postby ConorUK » Tue Apr 05, 2011 1:50 pm

thanks for the link to the pics. the one of the limestone pavings is just like one of our pools in the woods! i will go there on my next trip this week and take a photo and maybe catch a fish :lol:

29 March
Today I decided to see if there were any monster trout in the works pool this season. There were two good fish rising, but they ignored my offerings on dry and I didn’t prolong the frustration, leaving the pool after 5 minutes, for the next turn in the river downstream. I switched to the Peter Ross pattern, fished downstream after my recent success covering a rising fish.

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On the second sweep there was a confident ‘pluck’ of the line, and a fish was on! It hurtled upstream towards me and a small grayling was soon in my hand and off he went again.

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I ventured downstream, fishing the odd run here and there with the Peter Ross but with no luck. Then I reached the ‘cliff pool’. This is probably the deepest gorge in the river, and is reminiscent of the deep mountain pools you see being fished in USA and Japan on the Tenkara method. I usually ignore this pool as being ‘impossible’ to fish. However, I lingered here and tried a few flies, letting them drive as deep as I dared, lying on my belly in the sand, and then when they failed, I tried a big bushy dry fly, having seen a good fish come to the surface in a flash at some unknown bug. All my attempts were in vain, but I think I will try again a few times this season.

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Re: Fishing tales on Tenkara in Wales, United Kingdom

Postby ConorUK » Fri Apr 08, 2011 1:10 pm

1 April
Following the high gales last night it was cool and still windy as hell at lunchtime so I decided to go for a swim instead of fishing. However, as I came to the crossroads the urge to fish came on me, and I turned for the river instead. I met a club member on the way upstream and introduced myself but the wind was that bad I couldn’t hear his answer. There were casualties of the gales. Here was a tree down.

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I continue upstream and fished nymphs in sheltered areas getting a few pulls but no connection. On the way back I tried this area, the ducks being annoyed at being moved on.

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It was a blank visit but it was nice to get some colour in the cheeks, as they say!
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Re: Fishing tales on Tenkara in Wales, United Kingdom

Postby ConorUK » Sat Apr 09, 2011 12:59 pm

5 April
I was going to fish the nearby bridge, but there were loads of cars parked there. I suspected that this was because the club was hosting visiting columnist for Trout and Salmon and Daily Telegraph, Jon Beer, that day. Jon had expressed an interest in Tenkara – our club probably contains the most Tenkara enthusiasts on any one river in the UK – and fellow ‘Tenakara man’ Simon Hayes was doing the demo. I hope they did well and look forward to reading Simon’s next update and indeed a mention for Tenkara and the river Alyn in a future article in Trout and Salmon.

For myself, I headed for the woods, to fish the newly opened stretch where a natural dam had been cleared. So far this season I had not caught here, disappointing after waiting so many months in anticipation of fishing it.

Water levels were quite low, despite overnight rain. I stopped to fish under some newly fallen trees but had no luck.

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I moved downstream to the new stretch, and decided to fish it upstream on dry.

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On my first cast into the tail of a pool a fish took my fly, a size 16 parachute olive. I was so surprised I was slow to strike, but I connected, and a small trout came to hand. I was off the mark!

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After a small celebratory jig, thankfully witnessed by nobody, I had the woods to myself, I continued to fish the stretch. Some of the currents were really difficult, but with the Ayu rod I was able to reduce the drag to a minimum. Another fish rose…missed! I continued along and was almost at the top end of the stretch. Another rise, I hardly saw it in the rapids, and this time I connected. Another small trout, but a very welcome one, and with very pretty markings.

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It was a great visit, catching trout on dry, in one of the few parts of the river were I can cast a 13+ foot rod without worrying about trees!
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Re: Fishing tales on Tenkara in Wales, United Kingdom

Postby ConorUK » Wed Apr 27, 2011 6:01 pm

12 April
Enthused by a video on the Tenkara website about fishing unexpected lies in fast flowing water I headed upstream of Gresford weir to fish some similar runs to those I had seen in the video, albeit on a smaller scale! The water looked very fishy, but I never saw a rise and I never connected with any fish, whether upstream or downstream on a variety of flies, even the trusty partridge and orange fished across and down over weed beds failed to elicit a response. Judging from other fishing reports recently it seems the fishing is challenging of late!

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Re: Fishing tales on Tenkara in Wales, United Kingdom

Postby ConorUK » Thu Apr 28, 2011 1:30 pm

14 April
As I walked downstream I found a pool with a fish rising steadily right up against the far bank in an awkward back current. I spent the next 20 minutes trying to get him to rise to a huge variety of flies and he was having none of it. Something wasn’t right with the presentation due to the current. Determined to tempt this fish no matter what else happened I decided to overreach my cast but then gather it in slightly. The fly, at this stage a Coch-y-bonddu, sailed across the river, high and between two branches overhead, so far so good, and then it continued towards the undergrowth, and just before it was a lost cause, I stopped short, the fly bundled down heavily on the water, and that was it, the fish spooked and gone, but as the fly wobbled there in the backcurrent, and just before it was about to be swept off at speed, there was a mighty take, and the fish was on! I went back to work absolutely thrilled to have won over that trout!

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