Situated in the upper river Severn valley at Caersws. I have been fly fishing for about 40 years. I am passionate about trout and grayling fishing in the rivers of Wales, also the conservation and well-being of the rivers and lakes of Wales.
I would like to share my passion for angling by teaching both children and adults in all forms of fly casting, tying, game angling, spinning and bait casting. Fly fishing for over 30 years I have met some fascination people and learnt a lot from other anglers, my aim is to pass on as much of the information I have learnt to help get you catching or casting further.
- A licensed and qualified fly casting instructor.
- First Aider.
- Certified in child protection.
- A member of the Game Angling Instructors Association ( GAIA)
- A member of the Salmon & Trout Association.
- A member of the Grayling Society.
- A fly casting instructor and guide for the Wye & Usk Foundation.
- Guided for the Wild Trout Trust.
- You can find me listed in the directory of instructors at Fishtec the online fly fishing retailer.
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I took Colin out for a day, he fishes chalk streams rather than free stone rivers, so to start with he found the bottom a little harder than the fine gravel chalk stream river beds, the main thing Colin wanted to learn was nymphing techniques.
So we started the day talking about the different styles of nymphing and all the various forms of bite detection, I must admit I could talk fishing all day long but it was time to put all the theory into practise, a quick demo and Colin was away and away to a good start he had a fish on within minutes which was also good as it was also on his brand new 10′ 3#, so my nymphing approach worked and rod christened, one strange thing as the trout season has finished they seemed to be very hungry and kept taking the grayling bugs.
The trout if in the middle of summer would have been fantastic but it was grayling we wanted, then the ladies started to play Colin was really pleased as the grayling he caught were a better stamp of fish to the rivers he usually fishes, by the end of the day I think Colin had caught around 10-12 fish ( Colin used his camera to take the pictures that’s why I’m holding the fish for him )
Thank you, a brilliant day and learnt so much about nymphing that I should be able to put into practice when I get back on the River.
Had a call from Paul who said he had been fishing for 2 years and only caught 4 fish, well I thought to myself that I should be able to sort that out no problem at all, so we meet up had a good talk about his fishing and he said he really struggled with nymphing so we started with that, the main key things to think of are presentation and bite detection, I set him up with 3 nymphs and away we went with in around ten casts he had caught a fish and lost one and this was just the practise area and not the part of the water I thought would hold more fish.
It seemed a little strange as the better looking water was a lot quitter than the practise area, I thought something was not quite right, so I thought I would increase the weight of the point fly and bingo the fish started coming thick and fast both trout and grayling coming mainly to the point fly and the middle dropper.
We stopped for a short while for some lunch, while we sat there I could see a few fish moving on the top so I asked Paul if he fancied learning about down stream dry fly fishing, he hadn’t ever heard of fishing a dry down stream he thought you can only fish a dry up stream on a tight line, I explained that the advantage with a down stream dry is the first thing the fish sees is the fly.
We spent the last hour of the day fishing a dry and Paul caught another 3-4 fish so all in all he had caught in one session one hell of a lot more fish than he had caught in the last 2 years, he had also caught on a rod that he had never caught a fish on before, so lots of fish caught and also lots of fishing techniques learned.
Nigel originally from the UK but Moved to New Zealand wanted to come back to the UK to catch a grayling in Wales, listening to Nigel talk about sight fishing and fish on average 3-5lbs made me a little jealous and also think I hope he isn’t disappointed with the size of the fish in Wales.
I thought I would show Nigel my style of nymphing which seemed of great interest to him and also said that he could see it working back home in New Zealand, as Nigel worked his way through the first run several grayling around the pound mark came to the net, but he really wanted that special fish and asked if I could show him a spot that would hold bigger fish, I explained that every run will hold a bigger fish but it’s a case catching them can be the problem, as they didn’t get big by being stupid you really need a good presentation to fool them.
As we worked our way through the run a few better fish came to the net all to my little black nymph on the point, a couple of fish in the 40-42cm range and then a lump of 47cm which should make anyone happy and Nigel did seemed over the moon, the fish kept coming and a lovely part of the day was you could actually see fish in the run and watch them feed as well.
We had a walk further up stream to a nice run that sometimes throws up a bigger fish, but today wasn’t the day for this run all that seemed to be feeding was quite small fish, by the time Nigel had worked his way down the run it was around 3pm and as on so many days this year it’s been like a switch has been thrown and the river just dies, but Nigel had knocked another item off his bucket list and I was glad to be of assistance.
Well this is a crazy time of year for a fishing guide, but the weather has been quite good so things have been looking up, lots of clients and best of all loads of fish.
Also lots of people coming for casting lessons from complete novices to people coming to improve their skills, it’s been a very good year so far with everyone picking it up really quickly, or it must be the quality of the instruction !!
We have also had some amazing weather sun, wind, hot, cold and surprisingly not that much rain, bar for the one day the river rocketed up and coloured but it didn’t actually rain where we were, as we walked up the river the Carno brook was ragging and just above where it flows into the Severn was still clear and on its bones.
One gentle man had flown 11.500 miles to fulfil another item off his bucket list and catch a grayling in Wales, and he did rather well ( more to follow on this )
I had Charlie and his son George for their first days fly casting/fishing day and they absolutely amazed me how they both picked up the casting, usually if two people come on person will learn a little quicker than the other but both of them picked up basic roll and overhead casting straight away, which made my life nice and easy.
After a short break we thought we would have a bit of fun and do a spot of fishing, which looked a lot better prospect than the last few weeks, Llyn Clywedog had started releasing water and now the water height was spot on, I set George up with a dry with a nymph underneath it and Charlie with two nymphs, a quick demo and they were away George hooked into a nice grayling almost straight away but with the lack of experience it came off which was a real shame, then Charlie shouted he had a fish on a nice trout and his very first fish on the fly and no sooner I had un hooked it George had a small grayling, so things were looking up, after around an hour they landed a few more fish and several lost ones so we decided to have some lunch and a move to a new run.
When we walked to the new run it had a nice bit of pace to it with the extra dam water pushing the levels up, in this run Charlie was came into his own with catching several fish, I think George was feeling a little tired by know he hooked a couple of nice fish but lost them which he was a little disappointed with but it’s all a learning process and as he was tired we called it a day, which wasn’t a bad decision as it started to rain quite hard jut after they left.
Few hours on the Wye with Tony sun is out with a bit of an up stream wind, but quite a lot of fish rising so it would be rude not to, couldn’t see anything on the water surface so tried with a good old sedge to start and the fish seemed to love it for around 4-5 fish and then they switched off but with still the odd fish coming up here and there, it seemed as if they had switched off to my fly so I changed to an olive emerger and a fish came up straight away and nailed it so I thought I was onto something, but no another 3-4 fish and they started to ignore it which seemed strange, so back on with a sedge but a slightly larger one and absolutely nothing at all but the fish still were rising on and off, I stopped and really studied the water surface but I couldn’t see anything, so as a last ditched effort I thought I would try a beetle pattern and bingo they really seemed to like it and take it very confidently with another 4 fish being caught, not a bad few hour on the Wye.
After sorting a few things out this morning I thought I would go and have a fish for a couple of hours, when I arrived down the river the water level had risen slightly as Llyn Clywedog is releasing water, there was a couple of guys worming and had next to no luck so they told me.
I set up with a dry sedge and a size 18 black nymph and quietly worked my way up stream, with in around 10 casts the dry dipped under and a grayling had taken the nymph, in the first run I hooked and landed 5 grayling but no trout, I had to turn round and go to another run as one of the wormers had set up camp at the top of my run, but never mind loads of water to fish, in the next run only 2 small grayling, but as I walked to the next run I noticed 4-5 fish just below an overhanging bush I put a longer cast up stream and let it drift down under the bush and dingo 4 fish in all and yet again all grayling, so I moved to a fast run to see if the trout were hanging about in the faster water but no just grayling again, so it was time to head for home.
Quick walk in the sunshine with the rod, to start with the fish really seemed thin on the ground, mind that might have been something to do with the cormorants that were about, I think I fished two runs before I started to find a few fish and the best bit the new nymph caught the lions share of the fish.