Fly fishing diary: June 2019

George breaks three fly junior fly casting records and we fish at Llandegla Fishery, our local syndicate and Ellerdine Lakes.

Fly fishing diary: June 2019
© Fly and Lure
Fly fishing diary: June 2019
Picture copyright © Fly and Lure
Fly fishing diary: June 2019
Estimated reading time 8 - 14 minutes

Sunday 2nd June 2019

George and I were in Llandegla today for another junior coaching session with Corwen and District Angling Club. The weather wasn't on our side as there had been a sudden drop in pressure which seemed to have put the fish off their food. George caught a couple on sedges first thing after spotting some hatching alderflies, then switched over to a zonker on a Di3 line. By 10 am, he'd landed four or five fish and lost half a dozen more.

George scoops up another.

Most of the juniors (and adults for that matter) were struggling a bit and the usual methods that work well at Llandegla weren't really doing it today. Just before lunch a few of the juniors went off for some one-to-one instruction from coach Paul Ainsworth. James Penwright joined George in reaching Level 6 in his Angling Trust Cast Award, while other juniors Ben achieved his Starter Award and older brother Oli reached Level 1. All were delighted with their achievements.

Picture copyright © Fly and Lure.

In the afternoon, the boys fished one of Llandegla's other pools and found the fish there far more cooperative. They decided to pair up and have a bit of a competition, with the older and more experienced juniors, James and George, each fishing with Oli (6) and Ben (5). Within an hour or two of frenetic action, the boys had landed about fifty fish between them! James and Ben pipped George and Oli 27:25. They all had a great time and it was tough to drag them away at the end! 

Sunday, June 9th, 2019

After catching a couple of trout on the evening rise at the syndicate last night, we popped out to Ellerdine Lakes first thing to try and catch a few fish before the forecast rain set in. The weather was sunny, the lakes were clear and looking stunning, but the conditions weren't the easiest and you had to work hard to get a bite.

Picture copyright © Fly and Lure.

George hooked and lost a fish on Cranymoor when pulling a lure on a Di3, while I managed to have a couple of refusals to my dry fly, but that was it for the first hour or so. A move to Meadow Lake saw us find a pod of fish in the top corner - including a number of very good looking sparctic trout tucked into the margins. I tried stalking these, but although they showed some interest in the fly at first, I couldn't persuade them to take it.

Picture copyright © Fly and Lure.

George managed to hook a nice rainbow on a dry fly, but "let it go" before netting it, so turned his attention to the rudd instead. He also managed to winkle out a couple of smaller bows on the little lake before breakfast, but it wasn't an easy day and most people, including me, were struggling.

Just as the weather was starting to turn, we popped over to Marsh Lake to see if we could find any fish. I tried a number of techniques but didn't get a sniff, unfortunately. Meanwhile, George managed to scoop up one final fish before we got rained off due to lack of appropriate clothing!

Sunday, June 16th, 2019

As a special Father's Day treat, George bought me some new flies from Craig Barr and took me down to the syndicate for lunch. We had both lakes to ourselves, though that may have been helped by the weather, which was somewhat damp.

Picture copyright © Fly and Lure.

The fish were playing quite hard to get today. By the time George had tackled up his two rods I'd already been fishing for 10 minutes and had tried a couple of the usually productive spots, to no avail. However, when he did arrive, it only took George one cast to find the fish. He was chucking a tungsten-headed Ellerdine Enigma lure on his intermediate line and spotted a fish bow wave towards the fly. A short hang at the end of the cast was all it took to persuade the fish to take.

After going through a range of methods I switched over to one of my new flies - a hot-headed blue flash damsel. Cast after cast it didn't really seem to be doing much, so I reeled in and got ready to move. As is often the case, it seems, the action of reeling in the fly quickly resulted in an immediate bow wave and a fish was soon attached.

Picture copyright © Fly and Lure.

After a short interlude where heavy rain forced us to take shelter under an oak tree, we decided to bear the rain and get back to it. Although we tried stripping quickly and roly polying the flies back, with the odd follow here and there, reeling in the fly seemed to get far more interest. I'm not quite sure why, but this retrieve can really work. Not that you could really do it that often. But, anyway, just to test George's theory that it was the retrieve they wanted today, I hooked a second one!

Unfortunately, thunder and lightning forced us to put down the rods and run for cover which cut the day short, but it was still a great morning, despite the inclement weather.

Saturday 22nd June 2019

It was our annual trip to the British Fly Casting Club event in Oswestry today. The weather was nice and warm but there was a lack of wind, which kept distances down and the grass, once again, was on the long side, so conditions were not the best.

George set a new junior record in the accuracy event.

George managed to get some good results, setting a new junior record for accuracy, a new record for the T38 shooting head and extended his record for the 55g salmon overhead. He also did a PB with the 7 weight, hitting over 92', so went away quite happy. A tangle with the 5 weight stopped him getting the whole line out, but he'll have a crack next year.

A 92' foot cast on the 7 weight and a new 30 yard badge.

While I didn't better last year's distances in the 7 weight or ST27, I did manage to beat my five weight PB, so have improved a bit!

Not bad results and some improvement on last year.

Sunday 23rd June, 2019

We popped over to the syndicate for a couple of hours this morning. It was stocked a week ago, so the fishing was fairly easy. We were using a mixture of small nymphs and dries to start with but realised they were chasing, so switched over to damsels.

Picture copyright © Fly and Lure.

These took most of our fish. They were feeding in the top foot of the water. A long cast followed by a fast figure of eight retrieve seemed to be the most productive method, with George taking half a dozen nice fish in the first hour and me on around eight.

After we'd had some fun, we both went back to the naturals and picked up a few of the longer-term resident fish on very tiny midge patterns. One of these was a cracker - a good few pounds - and it went on some blistering runs along the lake. Great fun.

Sunday, June 30th 2019

We had a good turnout for today's junior fly fishing coaching session at Llandegla with six young fly fishers attending between the ages of 5 and 12. George managed to catch five good fish early on by pulling a humungous, but the others, who are less experienced at casting were struggling a bit.

Picture copyright © Fly and Lure.

We tried a range of different methods, spent time helping them improve their fly fishing and fly casting skills and did what we could to get them catching. Unfortunately, the weather conditions - bright sunshine and strong winds - made that a bit tricky.

James managed to catch a few fish, including a lovely tiger, with Ben doing a great job of netting. We also saw some big fish in the lakes. Both James and Harry lost good fish - probably solid double figures - but nobody managed to land any real monsters today.

By the end, we'd managed to get nearly everyone catching and as usual, they all had a great time. If you fancy bringing juniors for some coaching, you can attend the sessions free of charge by joining Corwen and District Angling Club.

Llandegla's trout are really pretty - check out those spots.

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