Monthly Archives: August 2018

  • Wednesday 29th August 2018 - Family news

    Today Bethan and Dewi arrived from France - to live once more in Machynlleth. Well, it will be a first for Dewi, who has lived all his life in France. He starts at the Machynlleth high school in a few days. We celebrated with a meal entirely from the garden, except for the mackerel I caught this morning and mushrooms picked just before dinner.
    We had a wrecking trip planned for today, but a dodgy forecast relegated it to an inshore trip. Then, once we had crossed the bar it became apparent that it would be much too rough to anchor, so we had a couple of bumpy drifts for mackerel before calling it a day.
    We've had lovely water on the river, but it is behaving oddly. I've had two or three short sessions, losing another salmon, but seeing no sea-trout at all. I've seen and heard of several more salmon caught, but the sea-trout run has dried up - at a time when they would usually be prolific.

  • Friday 24th August 2018 - Much more to report!

    Where do I start? Well, with the mullet, i suppose. I went to the Broadwater with Duncan, only to discover that i had taken an empty rod-tube! So, i was a spectator. My mate, Tommy, was also there (he is ALWAYS there), and I watched as he and Dunc covered hundreds of mullet with every conceivable fly. As on Dunc's previous visit, they were touching fish continually, and sometimes hooking one, but despite the occasional follow, the mullet were not taking the flies. I went again a day or two later, taking a light spinning rod, some tiny Mepps and Droppen spoons, and worms. i had exactly the same experience with baited and unbaited spoons, touching fish continually, but never actually hooking one, and never having a genuine take. So I'll leave them alone for a while!

    Following the rotten auction results mentioned in my last post, Trout and Salmon Magazine asked me to do an article on book prices. Initially I refused, but on reflection I decided that it would not do any harm to write about individual authors and their books, together with a price guide. So here is what I came up with - It is good discipline to have to fit everything into a half-page:

    The Angler's Bookshelf - Sidney Spencer The Angler's Bookshelf - Sidney Spencer

    Pondering on who to discuss next, I delved into Richard Waddington's books on salmon earlier this week. The British Library Catalogue says that Waddington was also the author of Teach Yourself Fishing by "Tom Rodway." I had my doubts about this, as Waddington was a wealthy toff, an expert on salmon and grouse, but hardly interested in the bream and pike that occupied Rodway. Anyway, to make my point I compared the two author's writing on salmon, and one point of difference was that Waddington always insisted on playing a salmon until it was on its side, then hand-tailing it; whereas the only method of landing a salmon mentioned by Rodway was the gaff.
    There is a point to all this! We have had a drizzly week and the river, while remaining clear, has livened up a little. Determined to have a cast, but still troubled with my shoulder, this afternoon I decided to take my everyday trout rod (5-weight with a floating line, 6lb leader) to look for a sewin. I fished a team of three flies for an hour, catching about twenty yellow-fins but nary a sea-trout. Then, at the tail of the second pool, as I was about to pack up, a salmon took my middle dropper, right under the rod-tip. I was on a fairly high bank, without a landing net, but the fish had plenty of room to run, and there were few snags (apart from the other two flies on the cast!) Waddington's words rang in my ears - "Once the fish is on its side it is beaten and easy to tail by hand." Well, of course, he was quite right, and it was. A nice 8lb fish, not very fresh but still a salmon! On a #12 fly - I suppose you might call it a pearly-bodied Wickhams spider.
    No trout fishing at all, though I did winkle out a 3lb sea-trout on a Rapala on a small flood a few days ago. It is turning out to be a mushroom year - every time I venture out I come home with something. We've had a good lot of field mushrooms this year - so many that I have invested in a dehydrator - the first batch of mushrooms and tomatoes went in this evening.

    Rico Rico

    Destined for the dehydrator Produce of field and garden, destined for the dehydrator

     

     

     

    8lb salmon on #12 Wickhams 8lb salmon on size 12 Wickhams spider

  • Wednesday 1st August 2018 - much later!

    Half a year has gone, with little sport to report. A damaged shoulder has made both fishing and shooting difficult, and a serious case of laziness has curtailed my diary-keeping.
    Two major irritations today. First I heard - too late - of an online auction in America of a serious collection of angling books. I looked at the site and the prices realised were pathetic. Presumably that is down to poor advertising by the auctioneers. Certainly , had I known about it, some of those books would have fetched higher prices.
    Then, against my wishes, Amazon refunded a customer in Alaska. He had given me a street address to which, he afterwards told me, USPS will not deliver. So not my fault, but it cost me a hundred and fifty quid!

    We're just home from the Game Fair at Ragley Hall. It was blazing hot on Friday, high winds on Saturday, and pouring rain on Sunday - normal Game Fair conditions, and we didn't do too badly. Takings are about half of what they were ten years ago, and the stand prices are only double what they were.

    No sport to relate. While at the Northern Ireland Game Fair at Shanes Castle I had a couple of hours on the marvellous River Maine. During a dusk caddis hatch I caught fish continually - roach, perch, trout from tiddlers to a pound or so, and finally, as it got dark, four dollaghan, each over a pound. I've never known such a density of fish. Of course, the shoulder suffered for a couple of weeks after that!
    Drought has kept me away from the Dyfi. I missed a tiny spate over the weekend so I went for a look last night, but only came home with mushrooms. Tomorrow I have planned a mullet hunt. I'll keep you posted.

    Now that the powers-that-be have completely banned anglers from taking bass, the estuary is full of them. Those with commercial licences continue to take hundreds, while the holidaying angler cannot take one. There are boats fishing over the reef every day, livebaiting and lure-fishing for bass. I assume that they are putting them all back.

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