Friday, 14 December 2012

Grayling On The Rhym

With the heavy rain and high river levels lately its been a struggle to get out on the river and do some fishing here in South Wales.  So when we had a forecast of no rain for the whole week, I made some arrangements with my friends Sion Lewis and Neil Ashman (both Welsh river international fishermen) to have a day out on the River Rhymney.  This was my first time on the Rhymney so Sion and Neil were to show me around.  All three of us were using 10ft 3# rods set up with French leaders and teams of weighted nymphs.  We arrived at 10:00am and made our way down river to our starting point. There was still a hard frost on the river banks and surrounding fields.  We decided to go fish for fish and Sion was first up to have a go.  Sion fished heavy bugs in the first run and covered every single part of the pool but not a single touch so onwards and upwards, we went, into the next pool.  Again, Sion fished every part of the pool with not a single touch so we all decided to fish close together (around 20 or so yards apart) giving each other room to cast and if one of us missed fish the person below fishing has the opportunity to catch them when moving up river.  We fished four different pools hard, deep and covered every square inch but not a single thing,  not a single attempt at our flies. :o

After that we had a break and had a chat as to where we thought the fish may lie.  We concluded that, even though we were fishing deep runs, they were not deep enough and were too fast for the grayling to shoal up in. We decided to move up river a little where there were some very deep slower pools.  As we headed on to the pool that we were to fish, at the back of a run we noticed some very large shapes in the water.  At first we thought they were small salmon but uponcloser inspection we realised that they were barbell.  All three of (us one by one) optimistically had a go at them, as none of us had ever caught one on the fly before.Sadly we still haven’t and, as they were not interested, we carried on up the pool in search of grayling
Neil trying to get the barbell to bite 

This time I was the first to wet a line in the deeper water.  Upon my first cast -with a 4.5ml tungsten nymph to help me get right quickly- my indicator shot under and I had a fish on. Another cast into the pool and another fish, and another, and another, which was very nice after a slow couple hours. This carried on for a good hour for the three of us as there was so many grayling in the pool.  :D
One of my decent grayling 1 1/4 lb

After fishing out that pool we knew where to go to catch more fish in the next pool. After a short walk up river we spotted a deep pool near to where we parked the cars(which was ideal!).;)The pool had two big boulders placed in it to create slack water in high water and create holding spots for fish so we had an idea where to put our flies.  It was big enough for the three of us to fish so it was every man for himself.  On our first cast all three of us were into fish, all around the 1 lb mark. :o We all knew we were into another big shoal of grayling and thought we were going to catch some larger specimens,  so we carried on fishing and catching nice grayling up to 1 1/2lb.  :D In the end i had to stop fishing as it was so cold ( -5 degrees to be exact), and after putting my hands in the water numerous times (to return fish) I was in pain. :(  SI just sat tight holding my hands tight together blowing into them whist watching Sion and Neil carry on catching before heading home.

It was a great days fishing on a new river and will definatly be back some time soon to fish it again.

Sion trying a new method of fishing

Sion and Neil fishing a pool full of fish whilst i keep my hands warm

Average fish of the day around 3/4lb

One of Neils catches

a short video of Sion and Neil having fun

Monday, 3 December 2012

Split Cane/Bamboo care

Looking after a cane rod is a simple affair of common sense and an awareness of what is going on around you. The best way to look after your cane rod is to fish with it, and fish with it a lot. It does them no good to be left in a cupboard. Here a few simple suggestion in the care of cane.
1:  The time that requires the most attention is when playing and landing heavy fish. When the fish is mid current let the rod tip come down to about 45 degrees and play the fish with the middle and butt of the rod, cane is such a forgiving material there is little danger to the tippet.
It is as the fish comes to the net that greatest care is needed.
Having the fish at your feet and the rod pointed straight upwards puts tremendous strain on the tip and it is then that damage can be done.
A long handled landing net is ideal, putting the rod hand behind you and reaching forward with the net also helps to reduce the angle of the rod tip.
The critical thing is to never point the butt of the rod at the fish.
2:  When putting rod section together and taking them apart there is a simple saying “Putting together, hands together (5” or 6”). Taking apart, hands apart (about 2 feet). Always slide the ferrule together and apart never twist. Ferrules should go in at least ¾ of their length if they do become tight get in contact with the maker and he’ll offer advice.
3:   Don't put rods away when wet. If it's chucking it down when you finish fishing put the rod away and make sure you dry it all out when you get home.
4:   Avoid bending the tip at severe angles, be it pulling line off the reel or landing fish.
5:   Use common sense. It’s a valuable piece of equipment, look after it and it will keep it's value and last many years.
If you ever have any questions or problems with a rod get in touch with the maker and have a chat.
The rod maker will know the rod intimately, He will have spent at least a month of his life with it probably longer and he will be keen to see it looked after and used.
There is plenty of advice on the forums so if you are looking at trying cane for the first time either have a look on them or get in contact with a rod maker they will have plenty of suggestions.
Alternatively have a day with a guide who is experienced with cane.  Guide  Split Cane Rod Maker