Paul's Diary

  • Thursday 18th October 2012

    October is usually a busy month for the hunter-gatherer. Not so this year - the lousy weather combined with the local trauma of the missing child have combined to keep us away from the river and the woods. We tried an odd excursion to the lakes but it wasn't much fun in the cold and mist, and the few fish we caught were plump with eggs. Yesterday saw the end of the season, both for salmon and the lakes, so now it's the gun and the grayling rod. Oh - and maybe a bit of sea fishing.
    Tonight has seen some frantic plucking going on. The Reverend Dick arrived with some beautiful Welsummers - three pullets and a cockerel - so my fine young mongrel cockerels had to go. Slim youths, the heaviest was just short of five pounds, but they looked pretty good once their feathers were off - they'll make three excellent dinners.
    Tomorrow sees the delayed start to the season at Llynlloedd - there are lots of birds and the forecast is good - so we're hoping for a great day. As soon as we finish I'll be off to Llandrindod Wells for the annual Grayling society bash; flogging books on Saturday and grayling fishing on the Wye on Sunday, with intervals of feasting and the odd glass or two.

  • Thursday 4th October 2012

    The tragedy of a missing child supercedes any thought of visiting the river for any purpose as frivolous as fishing. The search is being carried out by the professional agencies and volunteers are not wanted at present. So that leaves me to continue preparing for the launch of The Forgotten Flies Of Roger Woolley at the Burton-on-Trent Fly Fair on Sunday.

  • Saturday 29th September 2012

    I hate salmon fishing. I think.
    We had a huge flood on Wednesday. On Thursday I spent all morning on the river, spinning. I touched nothing until I was about to leave, then I hooked, and subsequently lost, a big salmon.
    Yesterday it was still big water, but clear. I left the shop at 4.15, cast a fly at 4.30, hooked a salmon at 4.35, and landed it at 4.55. Less than ten pounds but in a strong flow on a single-handed rod it was quite a handful!
    Today I should be working on a new catalogue, but it is such a big job that it is very easy to keep on putting it off until tomorrow. Tomorrow is Sunday - no fishing on the Dyfi, and rain is forecast. Perhaps I'll start tomorrow.

  • Wednesday 19th September 2012

    It was great to finish the outdoor game fair season on a high note. The weather was perfect for the Midland Game Fair, the ground was firm, and country folk from far and wide came for a day out.
    Today I should have been out on the reef with Charlie, but the wind of the past few days has built up a bit of a sea, so our trip was cancelled. Instead I'll pick up Duncan and Luke and we'll have a day on the lake.
    I'm not finished with shows, though; tomorrow I'll be packing for the Pike Angler's Club conference in Harrogate.

  • Thursday 6th September 2012

    The nights are drawing in. On Monday I tried, unsuccessfully, for a bass in the dusk, then locked my keys in the car and had to watch while the tide came halfway up the wheels before I escaped. Last night I spent the last half hour on the river - it was quiet and very cold so I was surprised when my fly was grabbed by a lovely fresh two-pounder that took in Llyn Bwtri just on dark.
    A nice gentle sporting day today, starting by delivering Roger Woolley flies to Ludlow Bookbinders for the de luxe copies of the forthcoming book. On the way back I stopped for ceps and chantarelles in Ceri Forest before meeting Duncan in Newtown and catching some Severn grayling on dry flies. This evening was a Dyfi & Mawddach Wildfowler's meeting where we agreed to merge with the Dysynni club, then came home with a bootful of woodpigeons that Pete had shot in Shropshire today. Now there is some serious cooking to be done!
    I've just seen photo's of Weston Park taken earlier this week, and all is looking great for the Midland Game Fair.

  • Wednesday 29th August 2012

    Back from the Fens. Okay - it does occasionally rain in Quy - and when it does it buckets down! Despite a terrific storm on Saturday the ground stayed firm and we had a good day on Sunday. Luke and I had fun with the pike and perch, and sold (and bought) a few books.
    Once again we came home to a flood in the river and an evening spinning. I found sewin everywhere as well as the odd bigger sea-trout, now getting rather tarnished; I even had a small dark grilse on a Toby. My ego was flattened slightly when I was joined by a fellow angler who then caught two salmon in successive casts, both much more beautiful than mine!
    In this morning's post arrived my Hardy Smuggler flyrod, beautifully and inexpensively repaired repaired by Chris Ward of Hooked On angling. A super job!
    Loading up tomorrow for the Falconry Weekend at Newent.

  • Wednesday 22nd August 2012

    A short dirty flood on Saturday morning prompted me to dig out my spinning rod. There were too many leaves in the water to fish the plug, but a simple spoon fished okay and I had a few sewin before hitting my first salmon of the season, a fresh nine-pounder. Of course I had not bothered taking a landing net and hooked it off a high bank with nowhere nearby to beach it. I managed to hand-tail it at about my sixth attempt - a very unlucky salmon!
    Fired with enthusiasm, I was out with the flyrod before work on Monday and Tuesday mornings. but the water had dropped and nothing stirred.
    Off to the Fens tomorrow - it never rains in Quy!

  • Thursday 16th August 2012

    Should have been bassing off Bardsey today, but too bloody breezy. Never mind, I got a good morning's work done, then had a couple of hours on the river having lots of fun catching small sea-liced sewin. We had another good day with Charlie last week, catching plenty of bream and mackerel ( and a huge cod for Luke!) and I had one short evening session on the estuary catching a nice garfish, a small bass and a few more mackerel. Our only trip to the hills, on Sunday evening, found the lake calm and the fish difficult. A tremendously concentrated rise started at dusk in one small area of the lake, probably to buzzers. Duncan and I had a couple each which we returned, then, when it was quite dark, I hooked a better fish on a big dry sedge. I decided to keep this one and to find out what they had been feeding on, so I landed it, killed it and opened it up. Its stomach was crammed full so I opened it carefully in the light of my small torch, expecting to solve the mystery. The answer - a three-inch mouse, half digested. Lovely!

  • Sunday 5th August 2012

    I'm not still sulking about all the cancelled fairs. Actually I had kept most of July and August free for fishing, but didn't want to bore you too much with the details. I've been to the river pretty often - usually just for an hour at dusk - and have reverted to the five-weight rod that I use for almost all of my trout fishing. The bigger sea-trout seem to have moved upriver, but there has been a good run of smaller sewin the past few days. Some of them are very small but there are enough two-pounders to make it interesting on the small rod. I popped out yesterday afternoon, finding a couple of shoals in broken water and catching half a dozen and keeping just one before I took shelter from a shower that turned into an hour-long thunder storm. A mile from my van, and dressed in shirtsleeves, it wasn't long before the torrential rain had soaked every part of my clothing down to my socks. I tried ignoring the rain but a thunderclap right overhead frightened me back under the tree which only seemed to concentrate the rain into spouts pouring into the top of my waders.
    The only wetting my boats are getting is on the inside as they fill with rainwater. I did, however, manage to get out on a highly successful bream trip with Charlie Bartlett from Aberdyfi - and we are going again tomorrow!

  • Friday 13th July 2012

    The CLA Game Fair has been cancelled! That means our three biggest shows of the summer - the CLA, the Falconry Fair and the Scottish Game Fair have all been cancelled - plus the Welsh and Irish fairs almost washed out. I'm going to have plenty of time for fishing but that won't feed the kids. Well, perhaps it will.
    You'll just have to buy more books!
    Last night I thought I'd drown my sorrows in salt water and try for a bass or mullet. Found a strong cold wind blowing in my face and no fish - unless you count the lesser weever that swallowed my expensive Serbian grayling bug. Don't think I'll bother now until it is warm enough to wet-wade. Probably next February.
    I've spent this morning at the computer - think I'll abandon it this afternoon and go and try for a sea-trout.
    Later... That was a good move! The river was running fresh but dead clear - just right for floating line and small flies. I had three up to four pounds and swapped the biggest for a haunch of roe venison on the way home!

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