Sunday 3rd October, 2021
George was unwell today, so I popped out for a rare solo fly fishing trip. Autumn started to arrive this week, leading to a sudden drop in temperature and the first wet and windy weather we've had for ages. This meant my first choices - the River Dee and Llyn Brenig - were off the cards, so I headed over to Ellerdine Lakes instead.
I started off fishing the top of Meadow Lake facing directly into the strong headwind. This drives food down the lake into this bay and the fish often come in very close to feed, meaning the inability to cast far isn't a major problem. My theory proved right, with my humungus getting a few pulls on consecutive casts, before eventually locking up into a fish after about 10 minutes of fishing.
The long and dirty fight proved to be because I'd hooked a hefty sparctic trout, probably around the five pound mark. It put up a very good fight and really didn't want to be netted. Half an hour later, I got lucky again, this time using a cormorant, with a three pound rainbow reaching the net after a quick scrap.
To rest my shoulder, I tried fishing across the wind instead, but the bites stopped. There must be something that's more convincing to the fish when you're moving your flies in the same direction as the waves I guess. Moving back to the windy spot bagged me my third fish - another chunky sparctic.
After a spot of breakfast I tried a few other likely spots on the other lakes. I had a few pulls, but couldn't connect. The best tactic proved to be stalking the banks with a squirmy wormy fished Czech nymph style and jigged up and down directly in front of the reeds, just a few feet from the bank. This led to four or five solid pulls from trout - which I failed to hook at such close range - but a whole load of lovely stripey perch.
Sunday 24th October, 2021
We've had no fishing for a few weeks as everyone in the family sadly succumbed to COVID 19. It was, therefore, extremely pleasant to spend the day on the banks of the River Dee in our usual spot. The weather was autumnal but mild and the level was exceptionally low for the time of year.
We found the fish at the lowest part of the beat fairly quickly, holding in a small shoal just off the main current. A Kieron Jenkins style chewing gum caddis proved to be the top catcher, with a nice grayling and a couple of trout coming within the first half hour.
George was doing a spot of trotting today, fishing mostly along the margins with his worms. However, despite plenty of bites, he was struggling a bit to keep the fish attached. After lunch, he had the method down and quickly plucked out three good sized grayling and a couple of trout.
I stuck at it with the nymphs and had half a dozen nice grayling and lost a couple of larger fish, including what appeared to be an unusually large trout for this beat. As the weather started to turn miserable we decided to head home, but we had an excellent session with plenty of action whatever the method or fly.
Monday 25th October, 2021
We were back out again today as it's half term, so headed over to Ellerdine Lakes for a spot of autumn trout fishing. We'd got our usual gear - a pair of 6# rods kitted out with a floater and an intermediate - and managed to bag the hot spot at the top of Meadow Lake to get started.
There was a pod of fish smashing into the rudd fry off the small island so I cast into the shoal and then roly polyed the fly back. After hooking and losing a couple, I eventually landed a rainbow of a few pounds, then a lovely sparctic of 3-4 pounds.
A fly change to an eggstasy worm seemed to get even more interest than the previous pattern, so George copied me. He was fishing the pattern on a floater and was getting some tremendous bow wave follows as he pulled the fly back at speed. It was exciting fishing, but they were hard to hook.
After I handed my rod to George so he could have a cast, he instantly hooked into another sparctic at distance. However, after getting it near the net, it had other ideas about being netted so managed to shake free. Moments later, we did get lucky and hook another one - a chunky 4-5 pound specimen with teeth like needles.
Over on Lakemoor George was using the same technique to get the interest of various rainbows, browns, and sparctics in the unusually clear water. They were proving very hard to hook though, often taking the fly and spitting it out before you could strike, or just nipping at the tail to avoid getting hooked at all.
I managed to winkle out a nice brown from beside the reeds while showing George my Czech nymphing technique, proving it wasn't a fluke last time. No perch this time, but it did get the attention of a few fish tucked into the reeds from various spots around the lakes, which shows that you really don't need to cast very far, or at all, to catch at Ellerdine.
Tuesday 26th October, 2021
We were back over in Wales this morning for a relaxing day at Llandegla Fishery in Denbighshire. Conditions were good, with a strong wind, overcast weather, and mild temperatures for the time of year. We both got into the fish straight away, with lures pulled just under the surface attracting the attention of the resident trout.
George was getting good results from his black and gold humungus, fished at speed on an intermediate line, while I was using the eggstasy worm on a jerky retrieve on my intermediate. Within the first hour we'd had four or five fish, including a fantastic brown for George.
Eventually, the fish stopped chasing so we switched methods. We were getting interest on everything we tried, from buzzers and nymphs to dries and blobs fished static. It was really good fun, with several quality fish landed. As the day went on, the fishing did get harder and we had to work to get bites.
We both ended up switching over to apps bloodworm fished on a floater and landed several fish, including a great tiger trout for George. We ended the sesssion with 15 fish between us - nine for me and six for George. Not bad at all.