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

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

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

 

How to fish Buzzers

Kieron Ronsfishing Buzzer Article

One of the featured flies – GB No5!

My most recent article on buzzer fishing can be found in this months Total Fly Fisher Magazine, explaining the most effective angles to fish, what flies to fish and sizes to achieve the best from where you’re fishing – including a diagram of my leader setup! Along with 5 favourite patterns.

Inside this months magazine you can find:

Buzzers, The Angle of the Dangle – Kieron Jenkins

FLY V’S LURE! – Steve Cullen

Predator Prime Time – David Heseltine

Surface Sport Guaranteed – Matthew Eastham

Tackle Awards 2014!

And much more…

Purchase the current Total Fly Fisher magazine here: http://www.totalflyfisher.com/current-issue Or at your local news agents.

 

6 River Fishing Tips

When river fishing, there’s nothing worse than not being in the mood. Fishing a river can be challenging when you’re on the ball, let alone when you’re off it, so keeping everything in check and your fishing tackle in order could save your sanity when your struggling to keep things together.

Here are 6 tips to keep yourself in the game, even on those off days.

  1. Make sure your kit is prepared the night before you go, there’s nothing worse than leaving a piece of tackle at home
  2. Prepare your flies – Never be caught short without your favourite patterns.
  3. Keep your fly vest organised
  4. Ensure you have all the parts to your rod… (Yeah – I’ve done it!)
  5. Clean your fly lines after each trip or so, that means they’ll perform just as well on your next trip.
  6. Dry your waders after every trip, nobody likes wearing damp, smelly waders.
Kieron Jenkins River Fishing

Kieron fishing on the River Ure, Yorkshire. Image courtesy of David Southall

Kieron Jenkins River Fishing

Kieron fishing on the River Ure, Yorkshire. Image courtesy of David Southall

 

 

Rivers International 2014

Welsh-Team-with-Trophy

For the thirds consecutive year I’ve been lucky enough to be part of the Welsh international team which has won Gold at the rivers championship – And each one feels better than the last.

Fishing for your country is a pleasure and being part of such a strong team has its perks, you always learn of each other and watch how other anglers fish and approach a water – Which is what being in a team is about.

At dinner time, Wales were leading the field by 2 place points and we all went into the third session with renewed confidence. After dropping 4 place points in the third session, England were ahead going into the 4th session. But after a good last session for Wales we brought the score to a level playing field. The final score went on the accumulated number of fish points and we came out n top by just 8 points! That’s 8cm in length overall! An extremely close match, too close for my liking! For more of a report see here : Rivers International Report

Anyway, that’s enough about the scoring, lets move onto the fishing. When we fished the river Ure first of all the water was high, coloured and frankly awesome; we caught plenty of fish on all sorts of methods, with many fish being caught on dry flies in the slack water. When we arrived just a week before the match, the Ure was a totally different river. On it’s bones and still dropping throughout the week. As comp day approached much of the water was either dead slow – just like a still-water – and just a trickle at the head of the run.

Fishing the Ure Kieron Jenkins

Dries and nymphs was certainly the way to go, with many small grayling and decent trout occupying the middle of the the runs. As a team we put all our eggs in one basket and set out with one fly rod solely for dry fly fishing and the other, for a single nymph technique. My best nymph throughout the whole week had to be CDC Red tag and the Olive blob tail nymph. The Olive nymph also worked well with a bright orange bead – I must thank Toby at Funky Fly Tying for sending up a load of beads the day before the match – Saved our Ass!

For me, the competition was fairly tough, with some decent anglers in my group, and many lost fish, I managed a respectable 7th place position – Taking a 1st, 3rd, 4th and a 1st position in the four sessions. It didn’t help being drawn a mile away from the fish in the second half of the day, and having to hike back up stream to where the majority of the fish were!

As a team we fished extermely well together and I for one am extremely proud of each angler.

Next competition for me is the Lexus team comp and then the rivers trial the day after! Wish me luck :)

Float Tubing on Cwm Hedd

As the nights start to get longer, only just before they start getting short again, there’s plenty of light left to head to a river or pond after work. Fortunately for me - Cwm Hedd is only 15 minutes away and over the last two week’s I’ve managed to blow the float tube up and have a couple of sessions.

The evening fishing at Cwm Hedd has been brilliant with plenty of fish feeding from the surface. Most fish have been taking egg laying buzzers, keeping the fish extremely high in the water for prolonged periods of time. My favourite fly for these egg layers is a cull, pictured below. Fished on it’s own or in a team of two, with a red shipman’s buzzer on the dropper, these two flies have been taking the majority of my fish recently.

cwm-hedd-dries-ronsfishing

Just last night I managed two and lost two from the float tube in a 50 minute session. The cull doing the damage again. The fish were leader shy so de-greasing the leader regularly helped no end when trying to sink the leader in next to flat calm conditions.

*Don’t forget to toggle the quality*