Fly fishing diary: February 2020

In a month of very stormy and extremely prolonged wet weather, we fish the River Dee, Ellerdine Lakes and visit the British Fly Fair International.

Fly fishing diary: February 2020
© Fly and Lure
Fly fishing diary: February 2020
Picture copyright © Fly and Lure
Fly fishing diary: February 2020
Estimated reading time 5 - 8 minutes

Sunday 2nd February 2019

We were back on the Welsh Dee in Corwen today. The level had dropped nicely to around 75cm and was running clear and cold. George was fishing a team of North Country spiders on his Loop #4 Evotec rod using the excellent new Sunray Short Head line, while I was using a team of grayling bugs on my Guideline nymphing rod.

Our usual spot on the Dee always seems to hold fish.

We found the fish in their usual haunt, with lots of little plucks coming on nearly every cast. Eventually, I managed to hook one and after a short scrap, landed a nice grayling just under the pound mark. The fish were holding just to the side of the main current in about 2-3 feet of water. All of them were taking the top dropper, so must have been fairly high in the water.

George caught this one in the slacks beside the main current.

George's spiders got off to a good start. After spending five minutes sorting out a tangle, he came to the top of the stretch I was fishing and pulled out a good fish on the first swing through.

Another one slips safely back.

We managed a few more fish, mostly to the nymphs, but eventually had to call it a day due to the freezing water temperatures which were really starting to make us cold. Nice to be out in the wintery weather though and good to find the fish feeding once again, as the river's been tough of late.

Saturday February 8th, 2020

We spent an enjoyable day at the British Fly Fair International in Staffordshire today. George and the England Youth Fly Fishing team were raising funds to help cover the costs of attending the Internationals in Ireland later this year.

James, Isaac, Tom and George were collecting funds for the Youth Fly Fishing Internationals in June 2020.

George, Corey, Isaac, James and Tom all worked very hard to sell raffle tickets and fly stands to anyone passing through the doorway at the top of the hall, successfully raising hundreds of pounds for the team.

Charles Jardine, former England Youth Manager, also dropped by to say hello.

As usual, we managed to come away carrying a bag laden with fly fishing goodies, including some great new materials and enough flies to last us much of the season. Just as well we picked up some tying gear, as Storm Ciara is due tomorrow, which will put paid to any fishing, unfortunately...

Sunday 23rd February, 2020

With Storm Ciara a fortnight ago, followed by Storm Dennis last weekend and a week of very wet and very windy weather, it's not been the greatest month for fly fishing. However, we did manage to get out on the banks today to meet up with some GAIA friends who were having a social at Ellerdine Lakes.

A windy day at Ellerdine.

The weather was pretty horrendous. We'd driven through huge puddles on the way to the Lakes and it was blowing a gale and chucking it down with rain when we arrived, making for some tricky casting conditions. As usual at Ellerdine, we were using two rods - one with an intermediate and one with a floater.

George was using my shooting head line today on a #4.

I landed my first one in the margins of Lakemoor, where it took my Eggstasy pattern as it drifted round in the wind. I was using a four-weight today, so it put up a very good fight on the light gear. Another nice fish followed on Meadow - a rainbow of a couple of pounds, then I managed to lose a much better fish or maybe five pounds on the opposite bank.

A nice little rainbow from Meadow Lake.

A quick trip over to the little lake saw George catch several smaller trout in quick succession. The water was the colour of drinking chocolate but the fish were still very active and feeding well on pretty much anything he chucked at them. The howling wind made it a challenge to present neatly but it didn't seem to make that much difference and might not have been noticeable given the choppiness of the water surface today.

George pulled out several from the little lake.

George managed to beat me in a 5:4 win by our lunchtime finishing point, which wasn't too shabby given the conditions. It was just nice to get out and enjoy some fishing, even if the weather was somewhat ridiculous for fishing.

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