The season has slowed down since my last report. June was a good month on many rivers but July was more difficult. There were fish showing in all the main pools on all the major rivers but were very difficult to tempt. Persistence was needed and when applied by the angler sooner or later he/she was successful. The Towy did record some good fish with a 14lb and a 11lb fish caught on the Golden Grove but the plethora of fish in the 2-3lb range which were plentiful some weeks ago have gone quiet.

The small sewin are now appearing in various numbers in the different rivers. These can vary from ½ lb to 1.5lb and are more easily caught. As these fish come from this years smolt run it is unlikely that they will be as numerous as in some past years as the severe drought of last year not only dried out some of the smaller tributaries but also allowed the piscivorous birds a bonanza to the detriment of fish survival.

August is a strange month and very difficult to predict, both from the weather and fish behaviour. One of the many ways of tempting fish this month is to fish in the  wind during the day. In most of the west facing rivers we often get wind (form the west) during the day which often falls away at dusk. This is good for the angler as it gives him/her two bites at the cherry.

To catch fish during the day with traditional trout flies (usually size 12) one only needs a floating line with a three fly leader. Flies that are successful are Peter Ross, Mallard & Claret, Black Pennel and maybe a Butcher. The point fly is best a double hooked fly to just get the cast sub – surface. A 6lb tippet is best and for this reason a rod which is not too stiff at the tip will allow one both to hook the fish but to play them carefully to avoid breakage.

The best days are cloudy with little or no sun. The technique is simple. Starting at the tail of a pool the angler carefully wades upstream making casts of 60°upstream and across. The fly should be retrieved in short pulls which should be a little faster than the current. On completion of the cast the flyline should sweep up off the shoulder of the angler. If one retrieves too fast the line will sweep upwards in front and above the angler and if too slow will end behind the angler. It takes a few casts to get the speed of retrieve right for each pool. This method is a very good way of tempting sewin and although the majority will be small sewin, do not be surprised if one of the larger fish takes. I have successfully caught fish up to 6lb using this method and it is well worth employing on grey, windy days.

The nights draw in this time of year and night fishing can start earlier. Although this can mean more fishing it also means on a clear night that the mist is far more likely. If this is the case it might be judicious (for those brave anglers) to go to the river in the very early morning i.e. after 2am as this might well be the best time.

August is also probably the best time to fish a surface lure and is without doubt one of the best methods for tempting difficult and big fish at this time of the season.

Some typical daytime flies in Size 12.  The pattern is unimportant and most anglers have their preferences.

I hope we all have a good August and that the fish are a little more forthcoming than of late!



Please note that the views within this report are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect those of the Wye & Usk Foundation.