Bodlondeb Holiday Cottage

Betws-y-Coed

Guided Salmon & Trout Fishing & Monthly Betws-y-Coed Area River Report

Monthly river reports for the Betws-y-Coed area-EA Yearly Report 2010,-The best in Wales!

The optimum time to watch Salmon leaping the falls at Pont-y-Pair is from Mid-August through to Oct/Nov after rain.
(Just 80 metres from the cottage)

Fishing is available locally on rivers and lakes,
prices on application.

A local guide is also available to help with advice on conditions, bait, tackle hire etc.

Salmon, Sea Trout and Brown Trout are to be found in the rivers, and Rainbow Trout in the lakes.
Fly fishing for Sea Trout at night is an experience never to be forgotten!!

The local guide can be contacted and accommodation arranged through this website by telephone and the email facility:

Tel:Rob on 01690 710497

Guide cost per day £60

Rod & Tackle Hire per day £25

License and Permits extra

Bait to be arranged

For accommodation rates please see our Tariff page.

Betws-y-Coed Angling club contacts and details can be viewed here: website link

MONTHLY RIVER REPORT

THE 2014 REPORTS FOLLOW ON BELOW.

This is the first river report for 2011.
Last years catches on our three local rivers
Conwy,lledr and llugwy were the best since 1990.
Catches numbering around the 400 mark for Salmon, and Seatrout in excess of this number.
We have had four good spawning seasons in a row and as Salmon are in a four year cycle, I am expecting good grillse returns this season in the four to six pound bracket.
The last two seasons I`ve noticed a large amount of Seatrout arriving the 10th April,
you can set your watch by these fish so I`m looking forward to their return. The average weight of this run is quite large around four pounds.
The three local lakes are well stocked with fish to around three pound (over wintered) and will provide great sport when the season opens.
Elsie lake is any method, Buchan and Godion some superb Brown Trout on the dry fly, with breath taking surroundings.
These reports will be updated on the 25th of each month.

27th February 2011 Fishing Report

Hi all,
No snow melt and no floods this month, the river has settled back now and a river walk reveals the winter flood damage.
Trees down, fences ripped up, bank damage! but nothing that my dedicated team of baliffs cant put right.
Saw a very big dog otter dead by the side of the road, looks like he popped up from a drain then crossed the road he was about forty inches long.
The winter fishing on the local lakes has been excellent, not a blank day!
The season opens on the 20th March, and if its as good as last year we will be seeing a lot of happy anglers.

31st March 2011
Hi all,
The season got off to a very good start on the lakes with rainbow trout in the 21/2 to 3lb class being caught on lures and nymphs depite the odd cold day.
Spring is well and truly on its way,the river is at a low summer height at the moment with salmon and seatrout kelts splashing in the pools.
A spring run of salmon has entered the Dee system so fingers crossed for some early spring fish in the Conwy.
STOP PRESS .......
The salmon have arrived in the Conwy caught a beautiful sparkling silver spring fish on the 6th April approx 5lb.
A well presented dry fly or bearded nymph could find some nice brown trout in the river, but with the daffodils out and sand martins having returned its just good to be out.

29th April 2011
April has been a scorcher!
The river is at summer level and we are waiting now for the big tides coinciding with fresh water to bring in some early Salmon and the much anticipated Sea Trout!.The biggest Sea Trout last season weighed 23lb caught by Otters!
The lakes are really fishing well at the moment with limit bags quite the norm, flys vary from tiny black buzzers to black or white sunk lures, all are catching fish from 1.5lb to 4.5lb, Rainbows with some nice Browns being caught as well.
King Fishers, Swallows and Sand Martins are out on the river, and if you are lucky you will spot an Otter or two.

31st May River Report

In the last month we have had 3 floods which have scoured the river and brought it back to a fine condition.

Seatrout are running in numbers and a fair few have been caught, the best being
31/2LB.

The fishing for the seatrout will now come into its own, flys to use are black & silver, blue & silver or tandem lures. A most exciting way of fishing for them is a surface lure, if you have never tried this method then I suggest that you do so.

Some double figure fish have been spotted running the river which holds great promise for the fishing, the Conwy being famous for its large seatrout or sewin as it is locally known.

We are having an amazing run of early salmon, one of our rods caught 4 salmon and 2 seatrout spinning in a morning.
The biggest salmon last month (May) was 22LB caught by myself.

Fish have been running on every flood with double figure fish being spotted and all in superb condition.
A nice 2LB brown trout was caught on a fly the other day, these fish are in very good condition and are great sport on the dry fly.

We are not the only fisherman on the banks as Otters are regularly being spotted.

June Fishing Report.

It`s been a good month on our rivers with good catches of salmon and sea trout.
The lakes are fishing well with very good catches of rainbow and brown trout.
The best catch this month was a wild brown trout of 3lb, and regular bag limits of trout on both dry and wet flies.
For information on fishing and accommodation in the immediate area, please contact Rob on 01690 710497

July Fishing Report

Seatrout fishing has come into its own with the low water height in the rivers.
Fish in the 2 to 3lb range are common with a sprinkling of big fish splashing about in the pools at night.

The best fish so far 91\4 lbs caught by myself on a secret homemade fly.
Seatrout fishing at night is truly the creme de la creme of all game fishing.

Fish being caught on a variety of flys with black and silver being dominant.
A lot of seatrout have been caught on the floods that we had had on spinners, one guest caught 10 in an hour.

The lakes are fishing well with rainbow trout being caught by a variety of methods.

Otters have had young and mums are busy chasing their yougsters of a night on the riverbank.

Mink are not as prolific as they were, I put this down to them predating on the mink.

Due to good weather the swallows have had two clutches of eggs.

A Grilse run is expected on the next flood.
Salmon have been about but not prolific as yet.

For information on fishing and accommodation in the immediate area, please contact Rob on 01690 710497

Bob the Baliff.

2012 FISHING & RIVER REPORTS

April.
Welcome everyone to the new season.
The river is very low as we speak, and at Summer levels.
Hotel fishing is also available on 9 miles of three rivers for Salmon & Sea Trout, Brown Trout is also available
Fresh fish have been reported running the Welsh Dee, with fish to 20lb showing.
I will have more to report next month as things are quiet at this time of year.
Work is progressing on the river, tidying up after the winter floods, repairing styles and cutting of fallen trees etc.
Bob the baliff.

May
Hi all,
The Brown Trout fishing on the river has been good with fish to 11/4lb landed on fly,
not yet in full condition but a welcome start to the season.
A surprise sighting of a Deer has been reported around Betws! maybe we will see more of these visitors.
Reports of Sea Trout jumping have been seen off the Menai Straights and anglers have been catching them on lugworm from the beaches, this sends good signals for the season.
Sand Martins and Swallows have arrived and Kingfishers have wintered well.
There have not been as many Mink sightings as in previous years, maybe the Otter`s have moved them on!
Bob the Baliff.

Our fishing Blog can be accessed here: website link
Why not add your photographs and tell us about your fishing experiences in the area!

The optimum time to watch Salmon leaping the falls at Pont-y-Pair is from Mid-August through to Oct/Nov after rain. (Just 80 metres from the cottage)

June 2012
Hi, and welcome to my monthly river report for June.
The last week in May saw us with wall to wall sunshine!
The Conwy valley looks stunning, the colours on the trees and the flowers and wild garlic are a sight to be seen.
The Swallows, Swifts and Sand Martins are busy collecting mud from the river banks to repair last years nests, or make new one`s.
I watched the Sand Martins as they screeched and dive bombed a Mink who was looking to dig out their burrows for an easy meal.
Mink show no fear of humans as they will come right up close, as happened to myself the other evening.
I spent a pleasant day on the coast last week walking out across the sands at low water, pushing a net along in front of me in 2ft of water, collecting shrimps for Salmon fishing.
I did well but unfortunately caught some Weaver fish at the same time, these have stings that can be very painful.
A fisherman I know was rushed to hospital after grabbing hold of a Weaver. (His hand blew up to 3 times its size in just 20 mins).

At the same time I guess I must have caught about 50 baby flat fish, each about 1 inch long.
Well lets hope that the shrimp bait works, watch this space!

The Conwy has seen some early Sea Trout arriving and if you do manage to connect with one of these fish, the chances are that it will be a decent size.
Three nice Salmon have been caught the biggest being 11lb and in superb condition.
All were returned as per Environment Agency rules until the middle of June.

Let`s hope that the midges give us a break this season. I have given enough blood last year!
Cheers,
Bob

Nick & Salmon

July 2012
Hi all, as I write the river is running high, it seems as if it hasn`t stopped raining since March, Sea-trout fishing has been very slow! anglers unable to get on the river.
Salmon anglers have fared better our best fish 16lb.

When the Conwy is in a big flood it demands respect , it took the life of a canoeist in June but his three friends managed to swim to safety.

All creatures feel the effect in prolonged weather rain or shine, we lost some sand-martins but the kingfishers seemed to survive.
The badgers seem to be taking it in their stride but look very bedraggled!
A friend of mine lost all his chickens to a vixen and her cubs last month and if that wasn't enough he lost his colony of bees.

During a break in the bad weather we managed to get some spraying done on the Japanese knot-weed a truly obnoxious plant!

I caught a monster of a brown trout last week which pulled the scales down to over 5lb I`m sure it didn`t get to that size by eating flies more likely Salmon parr !!

Good news for the Conwy fishery last week when poachers were jailed for 3 years this must send out a very clear message to would be poachers

PS. yes my net caught home dyed shrimps do work !! a 7lb Salmon could not resist them.
See you next month.
Bob.

August 2012

Hi all, What a strange (summer) this has been up to now .This part of north wales gets its fair share of rain but this summer the river levels have very rarely dropped below 1metre on the gauge, which is not good for seatrout fishing at night.

On the few occasions that the anglers have been out some good size fish have been caught around the 3 to 5 lbs range.
If you have never tried this type of fishing I urge you to do so as its an experience you will never forget.
You don't cast a line in mid summer till 10.30pm with only bats and otters for company, your senses come alive. I guarantee you will be hooked.

A local lady came up to me the other day most upset telling me she had just witnessed a very distraught mother dipper going from rock to rock and whistling loudly as it followed its nest downriver. It had become dislodged in the heavy rain, its unfortunate young being carried down stream inside the nest .

The floods don't seem to bother the otters we have watched as a mother has brought up her two young, week by week. They grow up on a diet of fish, eels and frogs the three of them being regular visitors to the night time anglers.

One of the young otters must have upset its mother one night last week, because she gave a loud verbal telling off followed by a cuff round the ear. I could hear the otter whistling in pain for a good five minutes.

I had a day out last week after an invitation to go wreck fishing, a 6am start followed by a very rough 3 hour trip 20 miles out. We went to two first world war wrecks both 350ft deep, using short 7 ft rods and 1lb lead weights, what a difference to the type of fishing I`m used to.
On our first drift over the wreck we had pollock to 22lb and cod to 16lb, the skipper told us of a further wreck a few miles out, a submarine, another casualty of the first world war.
We finished the day with a very large box of quality fish, fresh cod and chips that night with a nice glass of wine never tasted so good.

The quality of the salmon we are catching this year has been very good, I assume they`ve had good feeding out at sea. Some are shaped more like tuna than salmon.

It won`t be long now before we will be collecting our brood stock, we collect a number of cock and hen fish, then we strip the eggs from the hen fish and the milt from the cock fish and mix together, they are then laid down in trays in an environment agency hatchery to be reared on and returned to our rivers.

We have been busy the last few weeks keeping the grass cut and the banks clear together with some prudent weed cutting.

So its with crossed fingers for some nice dry warm nights, I will leave you till next month, For information on fishing and accommodation in the immediate area, please contact Rob on 01690 710497

Bob.

Bodlondeb HC2 Animation

September 2012
Hi everyone, my report is a bit late this month, its a busy time on the river, Salmon fishermen are out on the floods while Sea-Trout fishermen are praying for a drought.

Some good catches of Salmon are being recorded while Sea-Trout fishing has suffered with the high water levels all summer long.
On the occasions when they have managed to get out some good Sea-Trout have been caught in the 3lb-5lb bracket.

This year has thrown up a surprise regarding the native Brown Trout following on from my capture of a 51/4 pounder.
Reports have come in of fish been caught between 2lb and 31/2lb, these fish are really remarkable for our spate rivers as the capture of a 1lb Brown Trout would have been regarded as quite a prize.
I`m not sure what is happening but various theories have been put forward and I will keep you advised of the outcome.

The bigger Autumn Salmon should be making an appearance shortly and therefore we will be out fishing in earnest collecting our brood stock to deliver to the hatchery.

Other wildlife on the river seem to have had a good summer despite the rain, Mink and Otters in particular.
A few Swallows still linger on while most of their friends have begun the long journey to Africa.
In Egypt last January while on holiday on the Nile, I was watching Swallows diving and screeching, who knows they may have been the same Swallows from Conwy looking for some winter sun just like ourselves, except we had the luxury of a plane while they flew every inch of the way.

While talking to an RSPB officer from the reserve at Conwy estuary, he told me of a large family of Stoats that play early morning and evening on the paths, before the visitors arrive and there have also been sightings of big Dog Otters. If you have never been to this area then it is well worth a visit.
Fishing can be good on the estuary for Bass on the fly, and large Mullet on the float.

The Deer that I reported in my last piece are now starting to be seen on the banks of the river, a strange sight but becoming more frequent, seeing their tracks can be quite exciting!

As I write its bright sunshine and the river is at its proper summer level for the first time in months (An Indian Summer?)

Bob the Baliff.

Bob & Fish web

October 2012
Hi all, sorry my report is a bit late, it`s a busy time of the year, so to keep my editor off my back (HaHa!) here goes;
As my last report said the rains havn`t stopped, a bad season for Anglers as the fish have been going through fresh and like rockets!
We need the fish to be in their spawning colours.
Our numbers caught are down but due to the above it looks like it will be a good breeding season.

If you choose to visit the valley at this time of year it is lovely with the trees taking on their full Autumn colours.
When the sun shines there is no finer place to be, as one of our hotel guests remarked " that you would think you were in Canada".

The fish that we are catching must have found good feeding out at sea because the Salmon are in prime condition with the weights above average.
We have had fish to 25lb!!

We have been troubled with more poaching this year on the river, I have nothing but contempt for these people. They will take fish from spawning beds using pitch forks and large treble hooks, they have no regard for the future of the salmon stocks.
I don`t think the recession can be blamed as these people look for easy money whatever the state of the economy. I just wish the courts would hand out much tougher sentences when they are caught.

The nights are drawing in now and there is that cold nip in the air, the frost over the garden looks very pretty but feels very cold.
It will soon be time to put the rods away till next season but a wary eye must be kept while the fish spawn and we must keep the canoeists away from the spawning beds

There is no better sight on a crisp winter day when the light is right, than to be looking down into a secluded pool watching Cock fish ploughing through the water warning each other off from the Hen fish as she cuts a redd with her tail in preparation to lay her eggs.
We never cease to be amazed at the wonderful natural world.

For any further information, I remain at ;
Email: broodstock.live.co.uk
Bob.

Bob on the Conwy

November/December 2012

Welcome to our final report of the fishing year.
At the moment the spawning of Salmon and Sea Trout is carrying on in earnest, with Salmon cutting redds in the gravels of the headwaters. With fingers crossed we look forward to a good end to the spawning season.

Looking back over the year I can`t remember when we have ever had so much rain. Considering in April their was a hosepipe ban in some areas of England and very low levels in the reservoirs.

I will post a photograph later of a 40lb 50" long cock fish in full spawning colours.

That`s all for now, I will look forward to seeing you again next season.

For any further information, I remain at ;
Email: broodstock.live.co.uk

Bob the baliff.

Salmon Leaping Pont-y-Pair

FISHING & RIVER REPORTS - 2013 SEASON

April 2013

Welcome everyone to the new season of fishing & river reports, here`s Bob`s first report of 2013.

Hi,
Well it's 2013 and the start of yet another season.
The weather to date has been very cold indeed with a biting north wind and low temperatures even now on the 23rd April. Crossed fingers for a good summer, although looking at the snow, scorched grass and wind damaged trees you sometimes think summer will never arrive.

The first swallows and sandmartins were spotted last Tuesday screaming 12 inches off the river looking for insects, while male black birds fight over territory in the hedgerows, bowling over into the field unaware of any danger to themselves.

I sat watching the yellow wagtails by the waterfall, when a bright blue flash appeared left to right, a kingfisher, nice to see they survived the harsh winter.

I know a secret location where I watch a pair of peregrines year on year nesting and hunting, it is amazing to see a flock of brown so high up in the sky, unsure whether its a bird circling and looking for prey, but it is quite a special event if you are lucky enough to see it stoop and descend on a pigeon or mallard, hitting it with an audible thump at over 100 mph!!

Salmon that have spawned high up in the headwaters in winter are now returning back to sea, they are called kelts, and they need to regain condition, some die after all the effort and some return to do it all again year on year.

The warm balmy sea trout nights will soon be upon us when anglers try their luck, casting a fly at night for these shy creatures, an experience not to be missed.

The first spring salmon caught on the Conwy was on the 12th April 10lb, what a prize, better than the lottery for the lucky angler, and on fly.

For information on fishing and accommodation in the immediate area, please contact Rob on 01690 710497

Or Click to email

MAY 2013

Hi, what a difference three weeks makes! The whole of the valley is now in full leaf with swathes of bluebells and wild garlic in full bloom by the river banks.
The grass is growing at a pace forcing the strimmers out of winter retirement.

The swallows and sand-martins are very late this year and will have to get on with raising a clutch very quickly.

The last two floods we had brought in two good runs of salmon with six being caught and released in a day, the best being 13lb.
While watching a kingfisher that was fishing from a branch, you can learn a lesson from a true fisherman, a flash of blue and he’s in and caught a fish before you can blink.

I was distracted by a commotion further down stream when i noticed a lamb had fallen into the river wondering how i could save the poor thing to my amazement it proceeded to swim like a fish to the other side.

The river at this time is full of smolts (young salmon) as they greedily take any fly from the surface. The sea trout are starting to nose there way up river and anglers are eagerly waiting their arrival.

I took a family out fishing today from Maryland America, three teenagers, i can only say that if they are ambassadors for there country they do it proud; it was a pleasure to teach them. The creatures they have to live with makes you glad you walk and fish here.

We look forward to a good season.
Bob

July 2013

Apologies to Bob for posting this late as I lost his email amid a very busy spell.

Hi,
what a difference a few weeks make, prolonged temperatures in the high 80's!! Compare this to my last report of prolonged winds, cold and rain.

A different set of problems arise with these very hot days, salmon fishing effort on the river is nil because the river is so low and very warm, night time sea trout is also very slow with a chance of a fish on surface lures, it can be extremely exciting fishing (if you can handle the midges)

A hot day also brings out one of my biggest problems of all, the great British public!
No matter how many programmes are on TV about how precious and fragile our environment is you would not believe the mess and litter, the fires, snapped branches and tents that we have to deal with on a daily basis.
When I think that EA bailiffs and police go out armed to the teeth with stab vests, mace spray and back up, you sometimes have to stop and think before confronting various situations that you find night and day.
When the weather breaks 99% of these problems disappear. I don't have a problem with people enjoying themselves in the countryside on the river, but there is a hard core of general public who don't give a damn about anything or anyone. Right that's my moan out the way!

In recent weeks we have found half eaten body's of sea lampreys at the side of the river which the otters find very tasty. These prehistoric creatures enter the river to spawn, here they find a site to there liking by taking rocks of some size,and moving them to one side by clamping on with their mouths , they look like an alien from another planet with their strange sucker type of mouths and several rows of teeth.

A fishing friend of mine caught one at night by hooking it by the tail, amid the general confusion when landing the beast it then clamped itself to his leg, can you imagine the howl of protest at midnight.

In the past month we had two poaching incidents on the Conwy both were witnessed at midnight and sorted out by quick response by the environmental agency team.
The prospects for fishing look good given rain as reports of fish jumping in the Menai Straits have filtered through, these fish are frustrated waiting for fresh water ( aren’t we all )

I remain at Click to email

Thanks Bob

UPDATE: Salmon jumping at Pont-y-Pair today 1st August, they have arrived with the rise in river levels after the last few days of rain!

August 2013.

Hi all,

At the end of July the hot weather broke and gave us a flood of just under 3 metres; however the expected run of salmon didn’t happen which baffled many anglers.
The river ran dirty clearing much of the summer debris away.
The seasons this year were about 6 weeks late, bait fish at sea didn’t arrive till late followed by the late appearance of mackerel and other species which I think have a knock on effect with the salmon and sea trout in the river. Each season brings its own problems to cope with!

The sea trout arrived in July (6 weeks late) but as I write this, anglers are having some very good nights, most fish are around the 2lb mark but beautiful fish of 6lb have been caught in the last week.

One chap could hardly contain his excitement when after his fourth cast his fly was eagerly taken by a 6lb fresh run sea trout in complete darkness with his rod bent double and shouting for help he managed to land it, when I came across him he was shaking with excitement as he stared at his prize.

If you've never tried sea trout fishing, it’s one of those things to put on your wish list. Imagine hearing splashes in the river, bats flying around and owls hooting and you become very aware of your senses, and when the pull comes from the sea trout its like an electric shock, pure magic!

We are suffering something of a mink explosion at this time, these voracious creatures seem to be expanding despite the otter population, and one 2 ft long specimen ran over my feet while I was fishing one night. I will get my traps out in the coming weeks and deal with these wayward creatures.

As mentioned in my last report the six week school holiday is coming to an end (thank god) the great British public were even worse this year, words fail me when I come across the litter, cans, bottles, tissues and nappies that have been abandoned by these people enjoying some of the most beautiful countryside in Wales. The Welsh blame the English but believe me its fifty-fifty.

Now for some good news, very good reports have come back from the little streams at the head of our rivers where juvenile salmon and sea trout are there in high numbers, if we are allowed to control the numbers of birds eating fish i.e. Cormorants and Mergansers a lot more of these fish would survive to adulthood, the English Environment Minister seems to be making all the right noises on this issue but a deafening silence from the Welsh and the Scottish, however we will see what happens in the future.

Some very nice brown trout have been caught by my anglers this year, these beautiful butter yellow fish are around 1 1/2lb and are truly wild, when the river is low a well presented dry fly can give excellent sport, and if you’re lucky you may see a splash of blue as a kingfisher joins you on your fishing foray.

Bob

Sept/Oct 2013

Hi all,
No rain to speak of for a long time certainly no big floods, we have had a couple of small rises when some fish ran up the rivers, a lot of the salmon are colouring up now taking on spawning reds and browns.

The sea trout were late arriving and a lot of them are still silver, catch figures for sea trout are good this year but due to lack of rain salmon catches are down but I am expecting a good late run.

When salmon are intent on running after a dry spell, anglers can get very frustrated seeing a lot of fish jumping but not looking at a bait or fly, and over a pint or two at night lots of excuses as to why it was a blank day.

This year has seen a lot of mink on the river, this cheeky animal shows no fear of humans and can reach a fair size with a variety of shades, they will eat most things, nothing is safe when they are hunting, not as many otters seen on our rivers this season with only a few sighting.

I had more poaching incidents this season than before with people fishing and not buying a ticket, I caught three and reported two more to the environment agency who caught and prosecuted them with heavy fines, this should deter anymore would be poachers.

The season ends on the 17th Oct, then our broodstock collection starts in which we endeavor to catch and transport hen and cock salmon to the hatchery where they are stripped of eggs and fertilized for next years stocking. Given decent water it could be done quickly but if we get a long dry spell it could go well into November watch this space.....

For information on fishing and accommodation in the immediate area, please contact Rob on 01690 710497

Bob

FISHING & RIVER REPORTS 2014.

Hello again everyone, welcome to the 2014 season reports.

Bob will once again be writing a regular blog on the fishing and wildlife in the area over which he has responsibility.

Betws-y-Coed Angling Club will be supplying catch statistics and fishing news about the stretch of waters under their control.
Their contact details and reports can also be found on their website : website link

Here is Bob's first report of the year:

April 2014

At last spring has arrived!!
I normally look forward to some rain through the year but I didn't think it was ever going to stop. A friend of mine fishes two lakes down south, he hasn't seen them for months and assumes all fish lost, so the south suffered more than us, it makes a change some would say.

Out of all the seasons spring is my favourite, new life everywhere you look, and of course the promise of a better fishery season, although after last years disastrous season I wait with fingers crossed.

Most of the west coast rivers returned the worst catches in a long time, sea trout never turned up until June and the salmon were very thin on the ground, but fishing is not a about catching it's about the experience of a day on the river and all it entails.

If you are an artist or photographer then the Conwy valley is the place to be, with ever changing light and stunning scenery you would be hard pressed to match it.
Betws-y-Coed and the surrounding areas have always been a Mecca for artists and poets through the generations, and judging by the amount of cameras that are seen around the village it seems the photographers are finding that out too!

At this time of year we can get a full seasons weather in a week, one minute you're sweating in 67 degrees and the next day freezing cold.
On a positive note the mink population seems to be steady and not increasing, same with the otters, this however cannot be said for the Cormorants and Mergansers, the number of these fish eating birds is increasing year on year, good for twitchers, not good for young salmon and trout.

While on the river the other day I sat down for a break on one of our homemade benches with a homemade cake in hand, when I spied two salmon side by side, they were kelts about 10lb, lying motionless out of the current on their way down river and back to sea, as I watched and wondered what was in store for them, will I see them again? Only much bigger, and how many of their young will survive? Lots I hope.

See you next month

Bob
(Click to email)

MAY 2014

Hi All

I hope you are enjoying this lovely spring weather? It puts a spring in the step and yes even a slight smile on peoples faces (well sometimes).

I was chatting to a sea fishing friend last night who told me he'd been fishing at low water the day after the most violent storm to hit the Wirral peninsula, he caught fish after fish, cast after cast, then when the tide turned and it became stormy he ran for cover! You don't have to be mad to be a fisherman but it sure helps.

When you spend a lot of time in the country or coast you notice changes a lot more than casual trippers; storms, droughts, floods, they all have the power to destroy and yet they also provide pickings for those animals, humans included, who have the eyes to see.

For instance my best brown trout came on a very big flood, I was fishing alongside a log which created an eddy out of the way of the main raging river, 11 months of the year that log is dry way up the bank, he was taking advantage of it and so did I, 5 1/2 lb he weighed and he didn't get to that size eating flies!
High water mark after storms, on river and beach will see others, particularly fox and badgers looking for dinner, while above you will see buzzards and the ever increasing red kite, looking for casualties.

I recommend a book by High Falkus in which he talks in detail about the above and it also comes complete with very good photographs of a wide variety of animal tracks in snow and sand and explanations on how to read them!

On the river, now is the time to see if you can fool the wily brown trout on fly.
I like to walk and spot a rising fish then use a dry fly to try and fool him/her, but these fish are wild, not stocked, and you need your wits about you.
To me catching a 1/2 lb wild brown is by far, a lot better than catching a 3lb stocked rainbow trout. Next month I will talk about that most crafty of adversary the sewin or sea trout.

Cheers Bob

JUNE 2014

Hi All

Mother nature never knows how to stick to a plan! Every season holds surprises, whether your an angler, birdwatcher or indeed a farmer, when trying to plan ahead you do it with crossed fingers.
Last season everything was a month behind, I saw the first swallows this year on the 20th April, sand martins are down in their numbers this year, the mink haven't helped this situation digging them out of their nests which are holes burrowed into the riverbank.
I always listen out for the first cuckoo, I have it in my diary as the 27th April.
This is my favourite time of year with the trees in full bloom and the anticipation of a lovely summer.

I was watching smolts (baby salmon) doing somersaults trying to catch flies in a pool the other day; perfect salmon in miniature, these amazing creatures are on their way down the river to the sea where they will face a multitude of dangers before returning to their place of birth and I wondered just how many of these fish will make it back.

Bailiffs and police caught some poachers with nets after salmon a few weeks ago, these people do not care what damage they do often selling their catch for a pitance, I hope they throw the book at them.

I went fishing last week on a reservoir, I caught four nice fish; 31lb, before the heavens opened but being dressed for the storm I carried on, don't let anyone tell you that waterproof clothing is waterproof, it isn't!
What a horrible feeling it is when you feel ice cold water trickling down the inside of your jacket/pants, I don't think I've ever been so wet in all my life! I sloshed my way back to the car but at least I had some fish for tea.

On the 24th May I took delivery of my 10 week old hens, two of which turned out to be cockerels!! What a gentle breed the Orpington partridge are, they've settled into their home and they're doing their best to take over ours as well.

In the next fortnight we will be making our first night time trips after that wonderful fish the sewin or sea trout as the English know it. These silver trout run the river from May onwards looking to spawn as the salmon do. It is a totally different experience to any other form of fishing.
We wont be casting a fly on the river till 11pm and we can fish until first light, making sure to be very quite and not showing any light on the water, pitch dark and the odd otter for company it is not for the faint hearted.

I had a nice surprise when I was told how many followers I have for this piece every month, its in the thousands!!!

You make me feel quite humble,
More next month..

Cheers Bob

July 2014

Hi All

I trust you're all looking suntanned and all healthy? With temperatures being higher than Spain! What a difference to a few months ago, even Glastonbury wasn't a mud bath, its been a very good year for our song birds with some species on their third clutch which has a knock on effect for owls an raptors, mice and rats get being in abundance, lets hope the Maltese hunters don't shoot them all.
Year on year I've noticed a drop in numbers of returning swallows & martins, this years breeding will give them a helping hand as well.

Interesting to note you cannot fish on or around the offshore windmills, the reason I mention this is they have turned ( no pun ) into safe feeding grounds for a huge variety of fish and molluscs, divers have reported an oasis for under sea life, which again has a knock on effect, this year both bass and sea trout sizes have increased, is there a link? The lads who fish the edge of the exclusion zone seem to think so.

The river is very low at the moment with surface lures being the top flies to use, fish become very canny and don't forgive a clumsy cast.
I decided to go sea fishing last week with nothing doing on the river, I took a carp rod and dug some lug worms and collected some mussel's on the way down to the beach at very low water, tackled up with an all sea bomb and let my cocktail bait roam around the gully that I had picked, not long to wait before a bang on the rod produced a nice red spotted plaice.
Happy days....

Bob

AUGUST 2014

Hi all,

It's every sea trout anglers ambition to catch a double figure sea trout in their angling lifetime, and I know anglers who have traveled far and wide and spent a lot of money and time in the pursuit of this ambition. One man I know catches doubles every year but the time and energy he puts in boggles the mind.

This season I caught my first double! It takes years to get to know a river, heights, tides, moon phases etc. and I knew there would be fish in a certain place, 2 pulls and a change of fly, the line straightened and the fight was on, 40 minutes later and a sparkling silver 13 pounder was grassed! ! Superb!

Two small floods have brought in salmon and sea trout and given fish starved anglers some much needed sport.
I came across two first time sea trout anglers one night, they were kitted out in all the required gear, all brand new, with headlights on and full of excitement, I gave them some advice and moved on, returning later, I saw a very wet and despondent angler sitting on a rock eating a pork pie having just fallen in!
His friend was pulling a treble hook out of his coat, "how can you fish when you can't see anything" was their moan as they trudged back to their car, I told them about an 86yr old who stands waist deep for 4 hrs in pitch blackness and they said " your all mad"!!
We look forward to some good autumn sport from now on, fingers crossed.

Tight Lines,

Bob.

SEPT/OCTOBER 2014

Hi all

Welcome to my last blog of the season! It's amazing how quickly it passes, in the past few weeks we have had a few small rises in water levels, enough to bring up some decent salmon, a few 10 pounders and some grilse at 3-5lb, also some nice sea trout around 5lb.
So right at the end, the dire season has to some degree been saved.

Still in nature, a bad season for one species is a good one for others, bees have made a good come back, and many birds have had three clutches, in fact a lot of wildlife have had a very good summer!

I had a good holiday in Cornwall in September, lovely weather, nice people, and great fishing, Pollock and Ling to 14lb! Two local fisherman were taking anglers out to local reefs fly fishing for bass to around 8lb!
Who needs Spain.

The environment agency has in their wisdom decided to stop all stocking of welsh rivers, which is a big blow to anglers and broodstock volunteers who have worked tirelessly for years to improve welsh rivers, four of us last week fin chipped the last of the fish to be put in the local rivers, and unless a miraculous change of mind happens it does not look good for the future.

On a lighter note, pick a sunny day and come to Betws with your camera, the trees are very colourful at this time of year, and given rain you may see a salmon leaping!
Finally I would like to thank all who read my efforts and wish you seasons greetings.

See you next year

Bob

Red Spotted Plaice-web

Tight Lines!!

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