A Return To The River

Fishtec Blogger Craig Bufton returns after taking a major break from fishing and writing about his adventures.  Read on to find out how his long anticipated return to the river Wye went on an extremely rare dry winters day!

I’m sure we all at one time or another have had a break from fishing. For me, it was the birth of my son as well as moving house. It was probably the best part of eight months without so much as wetting a line.

Having finished off the last house project (for now…) the itch was certainly returning. I checked the weather reports and 18th Feb looked promising for a day on the Wye. As with all my fishing trips, it inevitably rained the days preceding my day out. Constant checks of the river levels showed only a slight rise in the river so I was on.

Only a slight rise in the level - Fishing is on!

Only a slight rise in the level – Fishing is on!

The morning started……annoyingly. I arrived, put on my waders and realised my reel was hanging in the back garden. I was straightening my Airflo Super Dri Elite line that had been sat spooled for nearly 12 months – amazing how well it straightened overnight! Having now moved out of town, it was 20 mins home and back and I could finally tackle up my Airflo Nantec rod with a ‘New Zealand Strike Indicator’, with a size 14 Red Tag Nymph. Additionally, I set up my 10ft Streamtec rod with a team of Czech nymphs.

It was a beautiful morning, cold and crisp although the sun was shining very brightly on the water. Now I had 2 options; Do I head upstream of Builth Bridge and fish the section of river I knew very well or downstream and explore some of the river I often avoid, for no real reason other than its further to walk. Given the river was pushing through pretty hard I opted for downstream where there were some shallower water and chance to fish off the bank.

River Wye below Builth Wells town bridge

River Wye below Builth Wells town bridge

I started Nymphing, an hour or two went by without so much of a nibble. By this time I had made my way down to Church Pool (http://builthwellsangling.co.uk/fishing/maps.html). With some slack water off the main flow, I changed to my Airflo rod and plopped the PTN just in the food line. No sooner had it hit the slack water when the indicator dipped under. I enthusiastically struck, grayling? Trout? Salmon?………….Nope, twig fish! Second cast, this time an actual fish. A lovely little Grayling of about 7 inches, which was quickly followed by another. Despite my best efforts, that was it, so I made my way further downstream towards the fly run. The walk down takes you away from the river bank through woods where I took in some of the sights on offer.

I arrived at the fly run, which has been a good spot for me in the past. Unfortunately, the fish were not obliging. Coupled with the fact I managed to lose my snippers and Strike Indicator tool, my mood had faltered somewhat! Interesting however to see some of the lasting effects from the recent heavy storms.

The lasting effect of the winter storms - plain to see!

The lasting effect of the winter storms – plain to see!

I headed back up river and decided to finish the day just below Builth Bridge. I cast up and under the bridge to a spot that usually holds a good head of smaller fish such as Salmon Parr and Dace. My indicator shot under the water about 3 or 4 times to small fish before this beautiful little out of season brownie took my fly.

A nice brownie to end the day.

A nice brownie to end the day.

All in all, I had a reasonable day – It was just great to be back on the river, and I remembered what to do!. My next trip is already in the planning stage (this time a Stillwater I think).

I have also come to an agreement with Irfon River Leisure Park www.irfonriver.co.uk to fish their private beat on the Irfon. The Irfon just happens to be my favourite river and where I’ve caught my biggest Grayling to date of 2lb 2oz. The park is only five minutes from my house too so I intend on fishing a lot more this year and will keep you posted.

Tightlines, Craig.