Pink Shrimp for Grayling

Alex Jardine Pink Grayling Bug

Featured in a previous post about Flies for River Dee Grayling this pink shrimp caught me a few fish on a recent trips to the river. A fly which had been described to me by Alex Jardine of Aardvark Mcleod as “The only fly you’ll ever need for grayling”. So, it had to be worth a go, right? Certainly.

The body is a mix of two coloured dubbings, Flo Pink and Lavender Ice Dub in a 50/50 mix, covered with a pearl shell back and ribbed with pink wire. Alex mentioned the use of purple wire as the rib, which, im sure would work also. Ice dub has a tendency to loose its colour when wet, so a brightly coloured thread layered over the dull lead body is key to tying this fly, allowing the colour to penetrate the dubbed body once wet.

Fished Czech or French style under the rod tip with either a team of flies or as a single fly to target fish in clear water.

Pink Shrimp (Alex Jardine)

Hook: Fulling Mill Czech Nymph Size 12
Underbody: 2 layers lead
Thread: Glo-Brite No4
Body: Flo Pink Ice Dub Mixed with Lavender Ice Dub
Shellback: Broad Pearl (Tyers Mate)
Rib: Pink UTC Wire
Black Pen Coloured

River Dee Grayling Flies

With the Grayling Festival coming up at the end of the month, many anglers are getting ready for a (usually) alcohol filled weekend meeting new friends, catching up with old, and fishing for Grayling on the famous Welsh Dee. So before this armada of anglers get stuck in, I decided to get a couple of days in on the river before they take a pummeling by some of the best anglers from around the globe.

The fly box has been stocked with the usual grayling bugs, but there’s a few that I’ve been waiting to try for quite some time. Over the weekend I had the chance to try some of the new ‘nymph-it‘ thread material (which will be available very soon) on some new grayling bugs. The speed of which you can tie great looking nymphs is unheard of, and the juicy looks gives them more appeal for both grayling and human. Im 100% sure with the right weights, these simple flies will work a treat on the Dee, and any other rivers for grayling.

A the moment, I’ve only tied with the olive although I seriously can’t wait to get my hands on the other 12 or so colours.

grayling flies for the river dee

Fly 1 – Red Tag Olive

Hook: Fulling Mill Jig Size 12
Bead: 4mm Tungsten Bead
Thread: Olive Nymph-It
Body: Olive Nymph-It
Hackle: Caddis Green CDC
Thorax: Caddis Green & Olive Hares Ear

Fly 2 – Olive Jig Nymph

Hook: Fulling Mill Jig Size 12
Bead: 4mm Tungsten Bead
Thread: Olive Nymph-It
Body: Olive Nymph-It
Thorax: Caddis Green & Olive Hares Ear
Thorax Cover: Large Mirage Pearl

Fly 3 – Pink Shrimp (Alex Jardine)

Hook: Fulling Mill Czech Nymph Size 12
Underbody: 2 layers lead
Thread: Glo-Brite No4
Body: Flo Pink Ice Dub Mixed with Lavender Ice Dub
Shellback: Broad Pearl (Tyers Mate)
Black Pen Coloured

Squirmy Worms

Deer Creek Squirmy Worm Material

When you struggle to find a materials it’s always good to turn to a mate who can point you in the right direction, recently I’d run out of the Squirm Worm rubber and desperately needed some for an up-coming trip where I was pretty sure the trout and grayling hadn’t seen the imitation worm… yet!

Lucky for me, my mate Chris Rawle Custom Flies sorted me out with a selection of Squirmy Worm Material from Deer Creek to tie me over for the next couple of weeks.

Oh, and the Charlkstream Grayling certainly liked the Brown Squirmy Worm and Maggot tied with this versatile material!

River Test Grayling Fishing Kieron

Stalking Grayling on the River Test

River Test Grayling Fishing

Every winter I always try and get down to the river Test for a few days grayling fishing, the clarity of the water on both the Test and it’s carriers are something that has to be seen to be believed – Crystal clear waters, even with the most horrendous conditions – which hinders much of our fishing through the winter to say the least! If you can get on the Test, anywhere throughout it’s 40 mile length, you’ll be in for some amazing fishing.

My mates Will and Sean joined me for a session below Andover on the Timsbury Fishing stretch of the River Test, a section I’ve only fished once previously. The beat is around two miles long, including a great section of carrier.

Unfortunately the heavy rain we experienced Saturday evening and into Sunday morning coloured the main test up somewhat, granted it was still ‘clear’ but there was a lot of leaves and floating debris which made spotting them a little difficult. The carrier was absolutely gin clear which made for very interesting fishing.

Top Grayling Fly

The french leader was the best method on the day, with mainly trout coming to the dries. Hot spot hares ears and Hot Head maggot imitations dropped strategically in front of the larger grayling with fine 6X tippet taking most. With the water being so clear, Airflo Sightfree G3 was my choice as it’s suppleness and clarity in the water is second to nonem the thin diameter also cuts the water tension quickly, sinking to my desired depth quickly. The extra strength of fluorocarbon also helped when snagging the occasional branch!

The grayling ranged from fingerlings to fish near enough 2lbs in weight, with larger fish being spotted, but spooked before getting the right cast. The majority of the fish were around 11 inches long, with the odd rainbow and brown trout mixed in.

Here are a few favourite fish from the day. The two bows, although out of season, gave hell of an account for themselves, taking both Will and Sean two or three runs downstream!

River Test Grayling Fishing Kieron

Fishing The River Test Will Thomas

Fishing The River Test Sean Jones

Fishing The River Test Will Thomas

A few hours Grayling Fishing

Grayling Fishing Ronsfishing

Well it’s that time of year again where many anglers go crazy over the ladies, of the stream that is! A great time of year for river angling with many beautiful fish caught on even the coldest of days.

This past weekend I’ve been lucky enough to get out for my first grayling of the season. An extremely windy day with a river which seemed to be filled to bursting point of fallen leaves, but still able to produced some cracking fish.

I’ve been lucky enough to have the chance of try some new fly fishing tackle from Fishtec, of which, I can’t comment on at the moment unfortunately – But all I can say is it’s perfect for river fishing, especially on a smaller river…

The fish however seemed to be very obliging with many grayling falling to the usually hares ear jigs. As I gradually made my way to some turbulent water in a series of weirs I convinced myself to try something bright, such as the pink beaded grayling bugs below. The idea behind the brighter colour was to, in theory, aid the sight for the fish between the tumbling leaves in the white water at the head of each run. A duo of flies tied with 3.5mm tungsten beads hit the correct depth quickly and took the majority of the fish out of each weir where the more sombre flies seemed to loose their effectiveness.

Grayling Fishing Ronsfishing

The above fly also caught my mate Alex the best fish of the session, this beautiful lady below…

Grayling Fishing Ronsfishing

Fishtec League Match Results!

Fishtec Celtic League Winners 2014

Fishtec Celtic League Winners 2014

Many of us are looking forward to the final results being uploaded to the Llandegfedd website but until Bob sorts out his technical issues we’ll have to wait that little bit long! However, there’s a short piece regarding the League Match results at the Fishtec Blog.

**Edit – Results are now live, find them here: Fishtec League Match Results

For me personally the last two league matches fished exceptionally well, I managed to win one and place second in the other – A great few days on chew including the practice.

The fishing has been tough for weeks with water clarity not being at it’s best, with unsettled weather and plenty of rain, the colour gradually dropped out, clearing much of the lake and the last league match fished well.

A slow intermediate fly line, two diawl bachs and a small tequila blob on the point caught me 10 fish, with 7 of which taking the super diawl bach on the middle dropper! This particular fly stood out in the overcast conditions with the UV over rib -  A great combination when there’s low light and the fish are high in the water.

A slow figure of eight retrieve as the flies slowly sank through the layers seemed to be the best retrieve, buzzer were hatching well as temperatures rose through the day allowing the fish to feed well in the recently cleared water.

Draycote’s on Fire!

Evening Rise on Draycote Water

Sunset at Draycote

For the last two weekends I’ve had the pleasure of fishing at Draycote water, a water which is now classed as one of the best top of the water fisheries in the UK, and boy did it live up to that statement!

At the beginning of both days the weather wasn’t really in our favour with bright, warm sunshine and light winds. Fortunately there were a couple of fish hitting the surface, mostly to fry around the jetty and the odd fish sipping buzzers. I tackled up with the 12ft fast intermediate mini tip from Airflo, a four fly setup, a sunburst booby on the point, two diawl bachs and a cruncher on the top dropper, all strung together on 10.4lb soft plus Grand Max fluorocarbon.

Tofts was literally stuffed with fish, they were extremely high in the water and would chase the booby as soon as it had hit the surface. One thing I noticed was that if your flies didn’t turn over, you’d struggle to get any takes. The weight of the nymphs and heavy leader above would be just enough to drag the booby down before you had chance to straighten the leader, so turn over was key.

After the first initial ‘pop’ of the booby and there was nothing following, the key was to slow up and fish the booby close to the surface and let the nymphs fall through the top foot or two of water. After the first two or three drifts on both sessions we’d put plenty of fish in the boat ranging between 2.5lbs and 4lbs, a great average for the number of fish caught! As the day progressed we got more follows to the booby, this indicating that the fish had come up even higher in the water with the building cloud.

I came off the mini tip and strung up with a straight floater and two dries on 6lb nylon. The flies were spaced around 10 feet apart, with a 5ft length from a floating poly-leader. First cast, rose one to the top dropper but missed it, a size 12 hopper, re-cast and placed it back in the same place, it came back, this time not leaving it behind.. A cracking first fish on the dry with full silver bloom in its tail.

The fishing from here on was immense with action every drift to the dries. When fishing dries I usually cast very short, usually only 5/6 yards from the boat, mainly to aid sight of the flies but on that particular day the fish were so high in the water, you could literally drop the flies to the end of your rod tip and they would eat it. Being so high in the water the fish couldn’t see the boat, hence them coming closer.

Fly Fishing Draycote