Of all the places I'm lucky enough to explore with a fishing rod, the Wye has to be up there with the most beautiful of the lot. This week it has been in sparkling condition and equally sparkling form. I had two days to enjoy the place in all its' glory. With Stephen Hall booking a guided trip, my first task was to find the fish. The Wye can be a changeable place at the best of times, but it didn't take long to find visible fish in some glorious looking spots:
I'm also a relieved man looking at the fine summer weather. I am eternally grateful that so many readers bought the book and have embraced fishing for coarse species on the fly. The last damp summer was a better one for study than practise however, and it's great to see so many people getting out and catching fish. We've had a terrific response to both the "Flyfishing for Coarse Fish" FaceBook group and the www.flyforcoarse.com contest.
A sunny river certainly helps:
As for the wide list of species on the current menu, chub would be right up there with the finest of the lot to tempt on the fly. Dries, wets, streamers... you name it, if your presentation is up to scratch they'll gobble it up. I made sure I didn't hammer any one area on my recce, in high hopes that my guest Stephen Hall would enjoy some first rate sport. The river didn't disappoint, but I think even Steve was surprised at just how effective the fly rod proved. Perhaps the best moment of the day was a shoal of chunky fish that came up for floating grasshoppers cast near a weed raft and given a good "Kick"!
Everything was alive. There were damsels and olives everywhere. And at this time of the year, you just know that the fish will be in the bug infested, well oxygenated shallows where you can get at them.
We even found flashing barbel, although with a slight algal bloom on this occasion it proved tricky to get them to locate a well weighted Czech Nymph. Waders are virtually essential for this fishing, although it has been so hot I've taken to wet wading in shorts and a pair of "flats sneakers". I still can't believe my good fortune at finding a pair at half price in my own ridiculous shoe size, a 14. They're brilliant- and I intend to take them bass fishing in future too:
If it's a thrilling event to discover something new yourself, I think I get just as much of a kick from introducing a fellow angler to unfamiliar methods. Steve learned several new tactics- and when takes on the dries, erm, dried up, I advised a switch to streamers. Throwing a Woolly Bugger or Popper into the shade of trees is a great way to excite lethargic fish. It was challenging fishing, but he landed the best of his five chub on a well placed streamer- a fish that pummelled well even on a heavier seven weight outfit. Great catch!