Sunday, 11th July, 2021
We were up bright and early for the long drive over to Llyn Brenig this morning. Conditions were looking pretty good for the time of the year, with overcast skies and a fairly strong wind. The Scierra Pairs competition was on, so there plenty of boats bobbing about, and bank space was limited due to the high water level from recent heavy rains. After finding the sailing club bays so full that wading was difficult, we drove around the Nant Glyn bank and headed up the dirt track towards Tower Bay.
We had a range of rods and lines set up to share between the two of us, ranging from a #6 set up with dries, a #6 midge tip to fish the washing line, a #6 with an intermediate, and a #9 for pike fly fishing. As we were getting set up, we noticed a few trout feeding in the shallow water very close to the shore, maybe just a couple of rod lengths out, so we decided to go after these first.
After missing a few fish on dries on the first few casts, I eventually hooked a fish while skating my fly back across the water to re-cast. It looked like they were up high in the water column and wanted to chase. The first fish I hooked felt like an absolute unit. Brenig fish fight very hard indeed, but this one was really giving me the runaround. When we landed it, we found out why. It was built like a rugby ball with a body almost as wide as it was deep. Although it was only short, it was well over 4 pounds, maybe pushing five.
After missing far too many trout on the dries, I eventually decided to switch lines and tried an intermediate with a booby on the point. I was expecting the fish to have dropped a bit deeper as the weather got sunnier, but they still seemed to be high up in the waves, often trying to smash the fly as I stripped it back across the surface at speed.
A couple more very solid fish followed, all taken on flies that were being pulled at high speed across the surface or just below it. The fish were bow-waving behind the fly and trying to smash it off the top as I pulled it towards the bank, however, they were often not fast enough, so I was missing loads of fish.
As things went quiet, I decided to try some different methods and switched over to a washing line, with a booby on the point and buzzers on the droppers. After no action for ages, this eventually started getting some interest, with another absolute chunk of a trout nailing the booby as it slowly sank through the water.
George eventually found the fish too, with his fish falling to blobs pulled at speed through the shallows. Given that the water here felt as warm as bathwater, we were surprised to find the trout there feeding so well. Perhaps the chop and waves were driving food into the shallow water and they were happy to be a bit warm in return for richer pickings?
As we headed back down the lake, we drove past Scierra Pairs organiser Phil Dixon, seemingly being chased by a large naked man riding a bicycle! We're not quite sure what he was doing, but it was an amusing way to end a great morning of fly fishing at Brenig.
Sunday, July 27th, 2021
We headed over to Carrog on the Welsh Dee this morning for a bit of summer trout and grayling fishing. Some salmon anglers were having some double-handed casting instruction further upstream, so we stayed in the lower parts of the river to give them room. The weather wasn't the nicest, with dank weather and overcast skies, but it was lovely to be out.
We spent some time trying to catch fish on dries, but while George was successful in getting a couple of fish to come up, I was having no such luck and eventually switched over to the French leader. This seems a much more successful technique for me, and I'd hooked and returned a couple of lovely little trout within 20 minutes of starting.
Further upstream, the French nymphing technique seemed to become much more effective, with an arm-wrenching take turning out to be a lovely grayling of around a pound. It took a tiny perdigon nymph.
After George had cooked us lunch on the JetBoil, we headed upstream to fish the rockier part of the river, which often holds good numbers of grayling. It was here that I discovered something new. Rather than wading close to the bank, where it's really rather dangerously rocky, if you make it to the middle, you can wade over clean ground and fish over the rocky parts! This revelation led to a couple of decent fish from parts of the river I'd never have been able to safely reach before.
As we neared the end of the session, dark clouds drew in and it started to rain heavily, giving us both a drenching, so we decided to call it a day and head back. A few trout and grayling wasn't too bad, we thought.