Fishing the River Taff in Flood

It usually takes a few days to come back down to earth after such results in a competition – Check blog post: Wales Win Gold – On these competitions the fishing is normally very good with large numbers of fish being recorded, the Tay, however was tough, with my best day being just five fish. Two grayling, one very nice fish over 2lb and a couple of small trout.

With the weather deteriorating the past week the fishing bug is still strong and pushing to get out, it looked like a washout for Saturday and was in most sections of the Taff but the upper river was still clear. The biggest part of finding a fishable river is looking for clear water, the high isn’t usually an issue with the fish, its more of a physical obstacle for anglers! A high, clear river produces some of the best fishing and this statment is very true on the Taff, especially the upper sections where there are plenty of smaller fish. High water pushes the trout out of the runs and into the edges and creases looking for comfortable, slack water. It still surprises me where fish can be found, not only in the edge, but in the tiniest of creases in the middle of a swollen the river.

With the Welsh river trials just around the corner, Kibble and I took a trip to the top of the competition section just to get our hand in. WE are surprised with the clarity but the height made things difficult. It was funny as we could look at a stretch of water and think it’s fishable and crossable as after the week long session on the Tay we felt invincible!

It’s not like Kibz to go anywhere and forge something.. as we setup he realised his beloved nymph box was sitting at home on the radiator, drying out after a soaking from Scotland! A second nymph box with heavier flies such as peeping caddis and czech nymphs saved the session… I opted for a french leader with two light flies, to fish the edges whilst Kibble worked the deeper, fast runs with his heavier bugs.

The first pool we came to looked big and powerful, but we jumped in and quietly worked our way upstream. Within a few casts of just stepping in off the bank I netted one nice trout of about 13 inches which was closely followed by another. What surprised me was that each fish took the top dropper and not the heaviest fly on the point, each take was visual, the fish would raise in the water and flash as it took the fly. Interesting to see when the water’s ‘peaty’ as the flash is enhanced and everything looks twice as big!

As we came to a deep undercut by a fallen tree, the run opened up and most of the flow was to the inside of the bank causing a small slack in the centre of the river. After just a cast my point fly was deemed too heavy and snagged the bottom, something iron and heavy, which now has a pretty little red tag resting upon it. I retied the cast and put two small flies on hoping they would fall through the water steadily as they travelled downstream.

The indicator was resting just on the inside of the crease when it darted towards me, as if a fish came from the current at speed, I struck and a 40 yard downstream dash resulted in me netting a fish of about three and a half pounds. A stocked fish but in pretty good condition, shows they don’t all come in like wet bags.

There’s a lot of bad feeling recently on the forums about stocked fish in the Taff, but it must be said that if it wasn’t for the stocked fish our day would have been extremely tough, with only a few wild fish being caught. Same happened on Sunday, Terry and Bushy fished below where I did and took just stocked fish. The fish are averaging between one pound and two, with a few bigger fish mixed in… Great sport on my eyes. If you’re not catching, you’re not learning.

We ended up with around 30 fish between us with most being eleven inch or above. Looks like the trials are going to be tough if this weather stays as it is…

Here’s one wild fish I managed though, taken out of a pod of stockies which me and Kibz whacked for about half an hour!


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