End of Season Salmon And Sea Trout Fishing Report.

Rene’ Alleyne is a sea trout and salmon expert based on the River Towy in West Wales. Here Rene’ gives us his end of season round up. We have to say, with all of this water about it’s not been a bad year at all for migratory game fishing in Wales.

We are coming towards the end of the season now, and turning attention towards some back end salmon. There has been plenty of water on the Tywi since the last few week’s of August and good number’s of sewin and some salmon were landed on all beats at Golden Grove with various methods, including use of spinning and fly fishing tackle.

A decent back end Towy sea trout

A decent back end Towy sea trout.

It has been a strange season for myself. I have had some belting sewin up to 15.5lb, and some good salmon, but from the very beginning of the season I have lost a lot of fish. Some in snag’s and some have just come off! It just goes like this sometimes. I am sure we all have spells of losing everything you hook, whilst at other time’s everything that takes is landed. Still, I can’t complain, at least the fish were there to get into!

A 15 pound night caught sea trout.

A 15.5 pound night caught sea trout.

From June onward’s, there were plenty of sewin in the 2 to 5lb range around and the night fishing could be very good, although we kept getting small dirty rises in the river levels, which would unsettle the fish for a few nights. This continued right through until August, when we had some proper floods on the Tywi. At point’s, there were literally fish everywhere on the beat’s at Golden Grove, with 140 fish landed in just one week and amazingly 60+ fish were landed one day. It was good to see so many fish around, especially the smaller fish and hopefully we will see some of these young fish returning in future seasons.

A sewin taken at night on an Airflo Rocket fly rod with forty plus line and V-lite reel.

A sewin taken at night on an Airflo Rocket fly rod with forty plus line and V-lite reel.

I have been using the new Airflo Rocket fly rod in 10 ft 7/8 through the summer at night and I must say this rod was an absolute joy to fish with. It does everything I need it to and cast’s very smoothly, whether using small flies or big surface lures. It will cast two heavy tubes at distance no problem at all. I’m looking forward to getting back out at night with this rod already for next season.

Into September now, and I will be trying for a salmon or two on the fly. I was out the other week giving it a go with the double hander, and got in to a good fish, which turned out to be an 11lb sewin, followed shortly by a 6lb+ sewin, and a decent fish lost. The next time I was out with the double hander I got in to a tidy fish, which turned out to be a wild brown over 5 lb, on a monkey tube fly. A proper trophy sized brown trout for any UK river.

A bonus specimen brown trout on a double hander.

A bonus specimen brown trout on a double hander.

We are due some rain this week, so hopefully we will get some good fly water and a chance at a few salmon before the end of the season.

Tightlines to all for the rest of the season, Rene’.

Rene Alleyne’s Sea Trout Blog – Early Season Sport

The Sea trout season is up and running now, and with a decent rise in river levels, the fishing is really starting to pick up… So It’s time to get your fly fishing gear out of storage and hunt down a sea trout! Veteran sewin chaser Rene’ Alleyene has already ventured out and started his season on the famous River Towy. Here he gives us his first report of the year.

I started the season with my usual setup for night fishing, two Airlite nantec rod’s, some Airflo v-lite reel’s, loaded with slow inter, mid inter, fast inter and Di3 Airflo forty plus lines. April got off to a good start. I was out with Barry Stearn, at Golden Grove, on his first night session of the season in the  first week of April. We weren’t fishing long when there was a big explosion of water, and Barry was into a fish. After a good fight, I managed to get the net under it for him, very relieved. A belting seatrout, weighing 15.5lb. A quick photo and the fish was released and went back strong. Barry took the fish, using a fast inter forty plus and a 3 inch aluminium tube.

Barry Stearn with his 15.5lb sewin

Barry Stearn with his 15.5lb sewin.

Through April we had very low water and bright sunshine in the day time. The algae was getting worse by the day, making fishing difficult. I was mainly fishing at this time with slow and mid inter lines, with plastic tubes and snake flies, to try and keep the flies out of the weed, and I did have some decent takes, and a few fish lost, one very good fish. I was out fishing with Philip Bissmire one night, when he hooked into a cracking fish, which spent most of the time in the air and managed to jump into a snag and the fish was lost, very unlucky with that one. I managed to land my first sewin of 3lb the other week,it  gave a good account of itself, and was a lovely bar of silver.

The first sea trout of the season for Rene'

The first sea trout of the season for Rene’ – a proper silver bar.

Into May now, and last week we had a good rise in river levels, which has cleared out a lot of the weed. Some really good sewin have been landed on the fly and spinning. The Tywi (aka Towy), at Golden Grove was at a nice height for night fishing last night, so I went out for a few hour’s. I fished the pool through first with a mid inter, stinger on the point and a size 6 single on the dropper. Picked up two nice brown’s, but no takes of a sewin. I gave it 5 minutes and then went through with a fast inter and a 1 3/4 inch copper tube. Waded out into the river, and fished this slow until it came down below me, and then a very slow retrieve. After a few cast’s doing this, everything went solid, and I was into a cracking fish. The fish came straight up and was thrashing like mad on the surface, but then headed straight for a snag in the water. While trying to stop it going in there, the hooked pulled and everything went slack…. oops. After taking 10 minutes on the bank to pull myself together, I went back in fishing the same way and after four or five cast’s, had a belting take, and I was in again. The fish headed for the snag again, but this time I managed to keep the fish my side of it, and after a strong scrap managed to land this one. Weighed in the Mclean’s weigh net, a quick photo and the fish was released. A cracking sewin weighing just over 11lb. It’s funny how you can go from being devastated, to being over the moon in just a short space of time with fishing.

First big Sea trout of the season from the river Towy - 11lb

First big Sea trout of the season from the river Towy – 11lb

I am hearing some fish showing at night now, and hopefully thing’s will pick up now. More rain today, so it’s looking promising for the rest of May.

Tight lines All,  Rene’

Fishing the Towy for Sea Trout

Rene Alleyne River Towy Sewin

The first of my season – 12lb Sewin

My season started off on the Tywi in April and I have been a regular rod at Golden Grove up until now. The first week or so of April started off with fairly low water. There were a few kelts caught and the odd few small sewin. There was a good rise in water in the second week and things started to look up with some awesome sewin up to 15lb being landed with the odd salmon falling to spinners in the high water. Shortly after this the water dropped and cleared just enough to start fishing at night and by the third week of April I was well into them.

I have been fishing at night with a two rod setup, a 10ft 7/8 Airlite fly rod and a 9ft 6 7/8 Airlite. A couple of Airflo V-lite 7/9 fishing reels both loaded with forty plus fly lines – with my favourite two being the fast intermediate and di 3. It’s not often that I use a floater for any of my sewin fishing, but when I do, I use a set of Airflo polyleaders to help turn over.

During the first couple of months there has been some surprisingly big sewin around and my first fish at night of the season was a 12lb bar of silver, followed by another double figure fish of 10.5lb. During the last two week’s of April, there were some fantastic sewin caught by some of the rods fishing there at night, up to 14.5lb, caught by Berwyn Morris. Also a few nice salmon being caught during the day.

Rene Alleyne River Towy Sewin

10.5lb Sewin

May was great. It started off very well just as April – I was out one night with a couple of other rods and it was a very quiet night. Conditions weren’t great with heavy mist on the water and not much in the way of action. It had just gone 1:30am and I was around halfway through the pool when I had an arm wrenching take – but no hook up – It really woke me up from staring into the darkness. Next run through, another ferocious take but this time the fish stuck.

This fish was very strong, and was giving massive head shakes as it tore around the pool, but my Airflo rod and reel combo held up well and I managed to safely land the fish. A belter at 16lb. It had snapped the tube in half where it had been giving massive head shakes. A few photos which didn’t come out great because of the mist and the fish was returned. The other guys fishing all had a couple of hits with no lock ups, but as I just step back into the water I hooked into another good fish which was on briefly, but managed to throw the hook. After that it all went quiet again.

At times throughout May the fishing has been difficult as the water conditions were bad. There has been a lot of small rises in water levels so it has sort of been between day and night fishing a lot of the time, with a murky colour in the deeper areas. There was a week where the day fishing could have been really good, but the sun, which was very high in the sky, killed it and fishing was tough. Night fishing wasn’t too bad and some nice fish were being caught. With there being some colour in the water I have been using mostly tubes around the 2″/2.5″ with the Fast Intermediate fly line. The weight of the tube and density of the fly line lets me fish the tube very slow through the pools which has brought the most success for me, with some beauty’s between 3.5lb and 12lb up to the end of May.

Rene Alleyne River Towy Sewin
Now into June I managed to grab a few days fishing with a friend – Again the conditions haven’t been great with really thick mist on the water for the majority of the night. It got to 1:00am and I was making my way through the pool when my friend had just walked back and was saying to me how quiet it was, when bang, a good solid take. This fish did not show at all during the time between hooking and landing. It just buckled the fly rod and was determined to stay on the other side of the pool. I wasn’t quite sure how big this fish was but we did know it was a good strong fish. Eventually I managed to bring it to the shallow water in font of us and then it turned on it’s side and we got the first good look at it. A belter of a fish weighing in at 16.5lb. It was a cracking fish, in excellent condition.

We took a few misty photos and the fish was released, which went back very strong. That was the only take of the night but was well worth sticking it out.

Rene Alleyne River Towy Sewin

We are well in to June now, and hopefully thing’s will settle down a bit with the weather. The river’s coming good for night fishing now, and the fish should start to build up in the pool’s now.

Tightlines all

Sea Trout Fishing Tackle Setup

 

Sea Trout Fishing Tackle

Sea trout are funny things, they tend to make human beings obsessive and with the sea trout season nearly upon us, I for one are one of those who are obsessed and cant wait to be back out on the river. It’s hard graft early on in the season as there are not so many fish around, the weather is usually a bit groggy but going through a pool at night, waiting for the first heart stopping take of the season cannot be beaten.

Unfortunately I haven’t picked up a fly fishing rod in months. It’s been a very long winter with some terrible weather and Im hopefully that it will settle down soon. To keep me somewhat sane through the closed season, I’ve dug out my fishing equipment and started to get everything in order.

I like to use two fly rods at night, with my favourite being the Airlite from the Airflo range. For the past three seasons or so I’ve been using these almost religiously and find these rods will do everything I want them too. The two I use are, 10ft 7/8 weight, and the 9ft 6′ 7/8 weight. Each rod allows me to cast well and in tight spaces. Both are kitted out with Airflo V-lite 7/9 fly reels, loaded with a set of Forty Plus Lines – slow intermediate, fast intermediate, and a DI3. I find this set up ideal and the 40+ lines cover everything that I need them to, whether it’s a short cast or long cast at night, or for finding the right depth while fishing through a pool.

My preferred leader for night fishing is either Maxima ultragreen in 12lb, or Airflo sightfree extreme in 15lb. I started using the sightfree extreme last season and found it to be very strong, especially when you hook the odd tree on the opposite bank!

Flies wise, I would normally use tubes between 1 and 2 inch including a few large singles at the beginning of the season, and as the season progresses the fish become more active and a surface lure, depending on weather conditions, can produce some decent action. I’ve had some good fishing as early as the second week of April on a surface lure, so it’s worth mixing your tactics up a bit. Generally though, I would use two tubes, or a tube and a big single on the dropper as we start the new season.

I like to use a headlamp with a red and white light. The red light is great for using close to the water, and doesn’t effect your night vision as much as the white light. In my fishing bag I usually have a spare jumper in case it get’s a bit chilly, a couple of 5ft Airflo polyleaders fast or extra fast  if I need to get the fly down a bit deeper, a spare headlamp and something to drink.

I’m looking forward to getting out on the river and tightlines to all for 2014!

A season on the Tywi for Sea Trout

I started off my Sea trout season on the Tywi mainly fishing the middle of the river this year for the whole of the season. This year the season started off with very cold conditions and the river was clear and up a few inches, it pretty much stayed that way from April 1st, until the first week of June.

I like to start night fishing as soon as the season start’s if conditions allow, it can be very cold at night at the beginning of the season, so I always take plenty of clothing and a warm hat. This is usually enough to keep you warm early season to put a couple of hours in. If it get’s to the point where your finger’s are getting numb, it’s time to head home.

I had my first outing at night in the first week of the season, it was a very cold evening and windy, so decided to fish an hour in to dark. My fly fishing tackle for most of my sea trout fishing consists of a 10ft 7/8 airlite rod, an airlite reel with a selection of 40 plus fly lines. This trip I decided to fish with a 40+ fast intermediate. I decided with the windy condition’s to fish with a single 2 inch aluminium tube with a fairly short leader of around 4ft or so.

I like to fish a fairly square cast at night a lot of the time, with a very slow figure of eight retrieve and just let the flies swing around with the current and slowly retrieve when it’s come around 2/3rds of the way. I tend to mix it up a bit with faster retrieves and casting angles, but I find the slower the better, especially earlier in the season.

So first run through I got about 1/3rd of the way down the pool and cast square to the far bank and just letting the fly swing. As the line started to swing, a good solid take and a good fish on. This fish fought very hard and used every inch of the pool before I slipped the net under it. A cracking 10.5lb Sewin in prime condition and a cracking start to the season. I finished the run through the pool and then called it a night as it had got very cold.

Sea Trout Early Season

With it being so cold and windy at night, for most of the time I fished the same setup up until the middle of June, with either a 2 inch aluminium tube, 1.5 inch aluminium, or a 35mm 1.8 Gray’s needle tube. I like to use the needle tubes if I want to fish the fly a bit deeper, as they are a good weight and very slim.

It had been worth the early season effort at night and by the first week of june, I had landed six Sea trout over 10lb and quite a few between 4lb and 8lb, and a few lost.

10lb sewin

The day’s started to warm up in June and there was no rain for a long time, the river levels dropped below summer level the lowest I had seen it for some time. To say the fishing was difficult in June and July would be an understatement. One of the biggest problems for weeks was the mist at night. Very warm in the day, but with the clear skies at night the mist would be on the water as soon as the sun started to set and there would be a big temperature drop, which is never ideal for fishing at night.

There were fish in the system, but very hard to tempt, and zero new fish coming through, with the low water condition’s. I had some success fishing a slow intermediate 40+ with surface lure, small half inch plastic tubes, tied on Scandinavian tube liner and small singles, with fish up to 14.5lb by the end of July.

The fishing picked up a lot in August and September and there were good numbers of fish being caught. I had a session one night where in between landing a couple of Sea trout, I had two flatties on a 1.5 inch tube, which was a bit of a surprise to me. It seemed this season that everything was 4 to 6 week’s behind what it would normally be.

Flat fish on the fly

Hopefully, condition’s will be kinder for the 2014 season. It was a season for big Sea tout thoug  with two of my friend’s and myself catching our personal best’s of 15lb4oz, 16lb8oz and 18lb 2oz. And although very tough at times, I won’t be forgetting this season in a hurry and looking forward to the next already.

Sea Trout in the water

Two Sea Trout lying side by side caught in consecutive casts.

Switch Rods for Salmon

Rene's Last day of the season Salmon

Rene’s Last day of the season Salmon

Well, the end of the general trout season is here and over the last few weeks I have been doing a spot of fishing for salmon on the Tywi. There was a rise in water over the weekend of the 5th and 6th of October so a good opportunity to try for a salmon, and try out my new Airtec swtch fly rod.

I have been using this rod paired with an Airflo V-lite 7/9 reel, a fast intermediate line and a 5ft polyleader. I have to say the setup is balanced and fishes very well, casting wise it’s better than I expected, not having used a Switch rod before. Mostly fishing doubles and needle tubes, the fly line helps carry these heavy flies a long way.

On the Saturday, I managed a day on Golden Grove and on my first run through, hooked into a small Sewin which was returned safely around the 1.5lb mark. I was halfway down the pool on my second run through when the line just stopped dead, lifted, and the line forced it’s way up river. After heading upstream the fish came clean out of the water almost somersaulting resulting in a thrown hook. A clean looking salmon around 8/9lbs in weight. No more salmon hooked that day but did land a few small Sewin.

Sunday’s fishing started well with a couple of small sewin on size 10 doubles, in just a couple of hours. After fishing just quarter of the way through a pool after lunch my line tightened up and everything went solid. As soon as I lifted the rod, I knew immediately that it was a really good fish. After a few solid head shakes and hard thumps on the line, the fish turned and took off down river and was stopping for nothing, my fly fishing rod was doubled over and not even the hardest settings I dare to go on the V-Lite was stopping this fish. There was room to go down river after it, but it was going around the bend and heading towards an underwater snag. Then, the dreaded feeling of the hook pulling out, and a deep sinking feeling, I was gutted. It was a great tussle though and not the first, or last time a salmon will do that to me.

The night before the last day of the season saw some torrential rain falling in the Tywi valley, the river was likely to rise, hopefully not too much but the water at Golden Grove was perfectly fishable even with the water pushing with an extra half a foot of water. I fished the same setup, but without a polyleader, a size 9 Salar Double on the point and a size 10 double on the dropper. There was some colour in the water so the larger flies would hopefully help visibility.

Fishing the same pool as I had lost that fish in the previous week, the line once again tightened as I proceeded around half the ways down the pool. A slight lift of the rod was all that was needed and the fish was on. Fourtounatly for me, the fish didn’t head for sea and stayed well behaved lounging around the pool. A good, strong fish but up a great fight before I managed to get it in the net. A salmon of around 10/11lb which was released and went back strong. I hooked into another fish briefly later in the day and saw quite a few Sewin going through but that was it for me.

A cracking way to end the season and i’m looking forward to the 2014 season already to try some of the new fly fishing tackle from Fishtec, along with giving the switch rod a real good go.