Sunday 1st March, 2020
After weeks of relentless rain and wind the opportunities for fishing have been few and far between. It was still blowing about 20mph on today's trip to Chirk on the Welsh border, but at least the sun was shining.
This beautiful fishery has recently reopened after changing hands and the new owners have already put in a lot of hard work to improve the lakes and renovate the lodge. We started on the upper lake, both fishing humungus patterns on intermediate fly lines. The fish weren't biting that aggressively, but you could feel the occasional pluck as a fish grabbed the tail.
After a move to the opposite side of the lake, I eventually found the fish. A countdown of about 5-10 seconds followed by a slow figure of eight retrieve led to the first fish - a small rainbow - with its sister following on the following cast. Within the next ten minutes I'd hooked two more and landed one of them, before eventually giving up my space to George.
Down on the lower lake George tried a similar method and quickly caught two nice trout. We reckon the fish were a couple of feet down today, judging by the countdown and retrieve speed required to get any interest. Static or slow retrieves nearer the surface didn't seem to get any interest at all.
We ended the session with a 4:2 win to me, which was not too bad for a few hours in the cold and such strong winds. It was great to be out though. We're looking forward to fishing dries here as the weather warms up in spring.
Sunday 7th March, 2020
The weeks of relentless rain seemed to have stopped so we popped over to the Welsh Dee, only to find the level had quickly come up since we checked in the morning, leaving us with a weekend without fishing.
Saturday 14th March, 2020
No fishing again this weekend, but I was doing something fishing related - taking my Lead Angling Coach course over in Staffordshire. The course went really well and I met some interesting coarse anglers and learned a few things from them. One more weekend to go and then I'll be fully qualified.
Saturday 21st March, 2020
After an extremely stressful week at work due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic it was nice to get out on the bank and do a spot of social distancing. George and I had a long stretch of the Welsh Dee to ourselves, with only a few sheep and their newborn lambs for company.
Stupidly, I'd managed to pick up the wrong rod tube, so was French nymphing with an #8, while George was sensibly using a #4. The river was still fairly high at around 83cm following the recent rains, but it was extremely clear so we'd opted for a weighty bug on the point and smaller natural patterns on the droppers.
While both of us had a few pulls we struggled to hook anything today. However, with the likely prospect that fishing is going to be off the cards for a while (sadly including the Youth Internationals George was due to fish) it was just a relief to be outside and making the most of the great outdoors while we could.