May 25, 2011

32+ inch salmon Courtfield 11am today

I had a lovely salmon this morning off the wood crib of the Courtfield beat which took me a good 15 minutes to land. I had put on a new mepps fying c silver spoon with black lettering salmon red and unfortunately did’nt have my pliers to remove the barbs and one of the hooks. So I had to land the fish and was lucky to get the hooks out without causing any bleeding but it took a while. After the event it is’nt very good to say this but it brought it home to me how important it is for the fish not to have the barbs on and also that third hook.

I measured this fish against my rod but and it was just over 32 inches. I told Katie on the phone that I thought it was 12 to 13 lbs a bit bigger than the last one caught Wyebank. She pointed out that that one was 15lbs. As I was able to release that fish without removing it I think I probably over estimated its size. Today’s fish was in good fresh condition, no sea lice and I reckon the conversion to about 13lbs is good.

By 12.30 the water was colouring up badly with bloom. The Wyebank is keeping reasonably clear and I fished it yesterday evening with no success with a cascade. Today I fished the spinner slower and deeper as the rocks are now so covered in blanket weed that the spinner is less at risk of getting stuck in them as it catches the soft blanket weed first.

Yesterday’s rise of 4-5 inches is disappearing already but it should have brought some new fish up from the lower beats.

May 19, 2011

Fly Life bonanza Courtfield and Wyebank

Invertebrate Fly life along the Wye at Courtfield and Wyebank has been fantastic this Spring. The mayfly hatch has diminished today to a trickle and I suspect it will be over by the weekend after a month of pretty well continuous daily hatches from early morning till dusk. During the peak there were some fantastic afternoon hatches about 2.30 with green drakes pouring off the water. It should of course just be getting into the hatch at this time of the month. There was lots of spinner along Legg Meadow this afternoon with  warm sunny spells to bring the mating mayflies out of the trees and bushes after the last few days of cooler weather.

The sedge flies are hatching in profusion, too many too identify without a net and a guide book and even then its pretty uncertain with a lot of species. The Alder fly is also once more making its friendly self apparent in a way unseen for many years

Yesterday evening there was a large swarm of Sherry Spinner (Blue winged olive) through the wood beat of the Courtfield on a par with the River Kennet, but extraordinarily early. Also large swarms of medium olive  red spinner which I have’nt seen here in such numbers for years.

Bleak? in their multitude have been surface feeding along with dace, the occasional salmon parr, some large chub and the odd trout. Trout fishing has not been too good and most fish would seem to be feeding on nymphs and sub surface food. But then the water along Wyebank is now so low that the trout have had to abandon their bankside haunts and move into the faster mid stream flow. Also there has been virtually no fishing effort at all. Rather disappointing in that regard. Shad have been scarce so far and only the odd  tiny twaite have been taken accidentally on fly whilst trout fishing.

Also exciting is the re appearance of spotted flycatchers after some years of absence.

So all in all it has been  a prolific Spring at the waterside on the river Wye at Lydbrook.

May 16, 2011

Salmon on the increase at last

Well judging by Ray Morris’ comments at Wyesham “just like the old days” the river Wye is on the upturn. It is proving to be a great season for 3 sea winter fish with fish in the high teens and high twenties and a 30 pounder. Talking of which I lost a huge fish rather quickly yesterday, Sunday morning, on the Courtfield beat off the end of Legg Meadow crib which I reckon must have been in the high twenties if not bigger. Canoeists saw significant numbers of salmon this weekend between Kerne Bridge and Lydbrook. At £35 a day the Courtfield and Wyebank beats now give a fantastic chance of catching salmon at a snip of a price. Book with the WUF and get fishing!

May 11, 2011

15lb fresh Salmon caught on Wyebank

Just broken my duck this morning at 9 o’clock.  Caught a 15lb lovely fresh salmon in superb condition in the Wharf pool of the Wyebank beat.  Went down with fly rod and spinning rod to find the water 6″ up and back to Summer Level (0″ on the gauge at the steps).  Stretched for time so decided to spin with a well worn salmon red flying C and copper spoon.  I get the feeling there are more fish about.  The water is in absolutely perfect condition and even the Mayfly were already hatching this morning at 8.30am.

On a slightly different note to the salmon fishing, the Mayfly has been hatching well now for nearly two weeks, still time to get out and get an illusive large trout!

May 6, 2011

Fly and Fish as river Wye drops

After another week of dry hot sunny days and dropping levels the river Wye at Lydbrook is some 8″ or more below summer level. Despite the heavy algal bloom, which  diminished a little by the end of the week, and possibly the lowest levels at the end of April for decades, fly hatches have been increasing all week.

Mayfly hatches have been excellent. The green drake has been most prevalent early to late afternoon. Mid week saw a hatch along Legg Meadow of the Courtfield beat, which would have matched the Kennet at Hungerford in the 1970s. The hatch has been accompanied by some heavy falls of spent gnat. Blue winged olive was hatching well today along Wyebank amongst large swarms of silverhorn sedges. At 3pm today the Wyebank stretch was alive with fly life including sedge, mayfly, olives and yellow may dun.

For the record the mayfly hatch is normally expected towards the end of May running into early June and the BWO mid June to July. As with the grannom all species have been hatching remarkably early.

Looking down to wharf pool Wyebank

Rudi Lighert had a 10 lb kelt on Tuesday 3rd below the island at the top end of the Wyebank and Nicholas Briant fishing Wyebank for 2hrs in the evening on Thursday 5th hooked and lost a strong fish of around double figures in the wharf pool of the Wyebank beat. Salmon fishing is definitely still on along Wyebank which is still perfect for fly fishing.

Wharf pool Wyebank fishery still holding fish as at Friday 5th May.

May 1, 2011

Mayfly hatch

A dribble of mayfly have been hatching since last Sunday with some small falls of spinner. Today the hatch was sufficient to start getting trout interested  with a steady hatch in progress after 1600 hrs along the Wyebank stretch. Yellow May dun are also now hatching all day long and the fine evenings have brought some good swarms of male spinner. I was particularly pleased to see a female iron blue spinner on one of the more damp and windy days last week, a fly I have’nt seen for years.

Despite the continuing daily drop in river levels, now 6″ below summer level on the Wyebank gauge, and increasing algal blooms, the opportunities for trout fishing remain good. Although salmon are rarely showing I believe there are a reasonable number holding in the Courtfield beat and fishing with small flies and spinners is still worth the effort.