Another early season days fishing, another new stretch of river or in this case, brook. I spent several hours exploring the small Bideford Brook in the Severn Vale from around 11.30ish. The stream was nicely clear and not very high although I expect during the summer it will be much smaller both in width and depth. Nothing was rising when I first arrived but around 1ish I noticed several large olives hatching off above the small stone bridge and changed to a size 16 bead head PTN. The gold head hares ear about the same size had produced nothing but the PTN with a duller brass bead did. I am convinced that in clear, small streams that the golf beads are to bright. Once I changed the fly I started getting takes, connecting with most of them. The first trout was more a troutlet but I’m not complaining. It was my first trout of the season so I cann’t complain.
I didn’t see that many trout at first but once I remembered how to be stealthy I did. I was able to get quite close and saw a rise or two. Late in the afternoon the last of PTN’s disappeared up one of the many trees so I gave a Snowshoe emerger a try. Resulting in another trout a bit bigger than my earlier ‘conquests’ and a couple of other rises.
Its began! The trout season that is, and my first trip this year found me heading to the Welsh town of Usk and what can be described as a institution, ‘Sweets Tackle’ run by Jean Williams. We have spoken before on the phone but today was my first visit. I stepped through the door and found myself in a time capsule. A very pleasant experience and friendly. Jean helped get me sorted (day ticket and a loan pair of thigh waders). Its nice to find a shop like this!
I made my way to the river and it wasn’t to bad with a nice air temperature but the river felt a bit cold which is understandable this early in the year. It was also getting to a reasonable height and the water was pretty clear. I was hoping for some form of hatch but as I later found, not happening although I did see a few large dark olives coming off. The March Browns may have been there but I didn’t really see them but any time now and they will be hatching properly.
I did get one take and long range release to a partridge and orange at the tail of a pool but nothing else. I’m sure deep nymphing may have worked better. I realised soon after I got there I really didn’t have the right flies for free stone streams like the Usk… better get tying.
I packed up late afternoon and returned the waders, I promised I will be back, there’s 2 miles of river to explore. Jean said it takes about two years to learn this stretch.
As I write this the trout season starts tomorrow in Wales, I’m not sure what their current condition is but I have to wait another couple of weeks before I can fish. If I manage to have a weekend without the kids then I’ll try and get out, all it takes is a click to the Usk and Wye foundation website and I can book on line. The trout tickets are pretty reasonable as well as the salmon. In a months time the Chalkstreams open and I’ve just got that season ticket sorted out. Whether I get there for the opening is also dependant on having a free weekend and the conditions. Apparently the rivers are still somewhat out of condition. The stream on the way to Gloucester that I have my eye seems OK but still a little coloured. My main task this week is to sort out the two fly orders and get my kit ready.