Fishing the Taff

So I guess it’s back to the usual British weather? Strong winds, high rainfall and not much chance to go fishing.. It’s a shame really because most rivers I hear of are on fire at the moment with great fly hatches and plentyful fish numbers.

It’s fair to say the weather the last few weeks has been atrocious, and a couple of my own fishing plans have been messed up. It’s nothing compared to one of my guiding friends thought, the water has been so high he’s had to cancel ALL his booked days in June. But, he’s off to Cuba on Sunday so that’s not so bad I guess? Last Saturday evening saw the river Taff drop an unimaginable 1 meter in 6 hours leaving it fishable at a push – with no more rain forecast for the following night it was a cert we could hit the river. Even if it was a bit high.

I got on the phone to Nick Steedman who has been toying with the idea of heading to south Wales for the past few weeks, but of course the water had put a dampener on most plans, and we arranged to meet the day after. Dan Price ( came along too and we headed to the higher end of the Taff to try and escape some of the still swollen inlets..

Usually by now the fish are spread throughout the river after spawning, dropping back from the very upper reaches and into the main river system and should be packing on the weight.

As we headed to the river it was still about a foot from normal and had a very enticing peat stain colouration. I love the rivers when they’re in this state, what happens is the high water pushes the fish to the slower more manageable pools where feeding doesn’t take up much energy. Confluences and creases usually mean fish, and lost of them!

The first section we came across were a series of small weirs, put in by the EA to help retain water flow before a large weir further down stream. These weirs create lovely looking runs but never seem to hold many fish? Anglers are a bunch of suspicious creatures and im probably top of that list. I have my suspicions of why the fish aren’t there  in numbers and have always come to the same conclusion, the bug life doesn’t seem to be as abundant as other more natural parts of the river. I guess it takes time to rejuvenate after man had destroyed a perfectly natural habitat? I mean, further downstream where Bushy and Terry were fishing, in the natural runs fishing was much, much better. After fishing these weirs for over 2 hours our fish tally was probably below 10.

We decided to move downstream and swap areas with the guys below. Not even finishing one pool, we’d taken more fish in under half an hour than we did the whole series of weirs above.  There was much more fly life, Large Dark Olives, Brook dunns and a smaller olive which we were unable to catch. Dan’s trusty Marc Petitjean split wing olive took most of our fish on dries, some which were very willing, and some which took some fishing.

Throughout the rest of the day we must have handed over 100 fish between us is just under 3 hours. Nothing massive, two or three over a pound but most were between 6-9 inches. A sign of a healthy river with an abundance of wild trout.

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