Fly fishing diary: May 2021

We mix things up with a trip on the boat at Llyn Brenig, a day of action at Llandegla, and a day of grayling fishing on the Dee.

Fly fishing diary: May 2021
© Fly and Lure
Fly fishing diary: May 2021
Picture copyright © Fly and Lure
Fly fishing diary: May 2021
Estimated reading time 7 - 11 minutes

Sunday May 2nd, 2021

After a few weeks with no fishing, due to various reasons including a knackered shoulder, it was good to get back out on the water today. After a 90 minute drive, we arrived at Llyn Brenig and were quickly heading out towards the buoys that run alongside the fish cages.

Picture copyright © Fly and Lure.

I'd opted for a pair of buzzers and a blob on the point with a floating line, while George had gone for a black humungus on a Di 3. His choice appeared to be a good one, as he was into a nice trout within the first few minutes of our initial drift.

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Brenig trout fight really hard and this one was giving George's arms a grueling workout. After several near misses, he eventually scooped up the trout, which weighed in somewhere around the three-pound mark we reckoned.

Picture copyright © Fly and Lure.

Moments later, I had a fish take my blob just under the surface, while George simultaneously hooked into another larger trout on his huey. Both fish went on some blistering runs and spent quite a bit of time in the air, so the fights were quite spectacular.

Picture copyright © Fly and Lure.

After the next few drifts failed to deliver, and the wind was spinning us round like a top, we decided to head over to the rocky shore near the quarry, just down from Tower Bay. Following George's success, I'd switched over to a black huey, and hooked a solid fish first cast.

Picture copyright © Fly and Lure.

George and I both missed a few more fish, which seemed to be holding within casting range of the shore. Just as George was making us a warming cup of tea, I hooked into another good fish, which ran along the shallows due to its inability to dive into deep water.

Picture copyright © Fly and Lure.

After spending a bit of time watching the ospreys, we headed down the Brenig Arm, which was looking stunning in the spring sunshine. The wind here was all over the place, making getting a decent drift somewhat challenging, and the drogue somewhat redundant.

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As the weather was starting to turn cold and windy, George decided to get out the Jet Boil again and cook us both some lunch. Unfortunately, that turned out to be bad timing, as a squall blew in, quickly whipping up waves and pelting us with freezing cold hail for about 20 minutes...

That's the downside of Brenig, the fishing can be brilliant, but you generally get four seasons in one day - three of them winter, this time around...

Sunday May 16th, 2021

After spending far too long waiting for George to get his gear ready, and then turning around after a 30-minute drive to retrieve the stuff he left behind, we eventually made it to Llandegla Fishery in Denbighshire, North Wales.

Picture copyright © Fly and Lure.

It's the first time we've been able to visit since Wales reopened its borders, and there were already a few people fishing and seemingly enjoying decent sport. Seeing as it's early summer, I'd gone for a buzzer set up, with an 18 foot leader, a pair of slim buzzers on the droppers, and a blob on the point, while George had kicked off with a humungus.

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While we didn't really get many bites, we did catch consistently all morning, with most of the fish slamming into the fly and shooting off at speed. No particular method seemed that effective, with dries, buzzers, lures, and the washing line all taking fish.

Others on the lake seemed to be sticking to the bung method and were catching steadily. George struggled a bit to start with but eventually started catching after changing his technique. For him, a large orange snake pulled back at speed on an intermediate seemed most effective, quickly racking up four fish, and losing a massive one.

Picture copyright © Fly and Lure.

I think I caught something on pretty much every method I tried. The fish were very off-and-on though - one moment feeding ravenously, the next proving hard to fool. We finished the session with a 6:4 win to me, which wasn't bad going. We'd also lost several fish each, and would have hooked plenty more had our concentration been a bit sharper!

Picture copyright © Fly and Lure.

Sunday May 30th, 2021

Sudden changes of plan seem to be a recipe for disaster when it comes to fly fishing trips. We'd originally intended to head over to Brenig to pike fly fish from the boat, but with the weather being sunny for a change, decided at the last minute to head to the River Dee instead.

Picture copyright © Fly and Lure.

There were flies everywhere when we arrived, with splashy rises all over the place, so it was a shame to discover that we had left the dry fly box at home... Instead, we were both switching between spiders, nymphs, and streamers, with the aim of catching a trout.

Picture copyright © Fly and Lure.

The bottom end of the beat looked good, but there was no interest in our flies, so we headed back to pick up the lunch from the Defender and fish the middle section of the beat. While George was cooking our lunch, I managed to find a few fish that were feeding just off the faster current, though I was struggling to hook them.

Picture copyright © Fly and Lure.

A change of fly did the trick, with three fish coming in quick succession - all of a decent size. It's a shame they were the out-of-season grayling, instead of the trout we were actually targeting, but they were fun to catch and then went back untouched.

Picture copyright © Fly and Lure.

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