On Sunday I headed up with my mate Tom to fish the River Taff on the Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association stretch of water. It’s a new one to both of us and the day was always going to be experimental but hopes were high for a Brown Trout or two! Expanding my love of small stream trout fishing with lures, we hit the river armed with UL lure rods, micro spinners, soft plastics and plugs.
We started by the Aberfan footbridge at a nice deep pool on the meander all looked pretty good as we pulled up next to it, then to add to the excitement, as we were walking up to it Tom spotted a dark-backed fish sitting in the shallows, by the time I’d come over to have a look it had darted off but we have reason to believe it could have been a spring Salmon!
We worked this stretch of water briefly before deciding to head down stream along the path and work our way back up. Long story short it was cold, gin clear and we saw nor hooked any fish. A very nice stretch of river nevertheless, just a shame about the litter that smothers the banks.
We had worked our way all the way back up stream to where we started only to be greeted with a large hatch of blue winged olives, which the fish which we deemed non-existent had suddenly begun taking off the top in abundance! Typical, no fly gear and as you’d expect the fish were only interested in the hatch. We watched this in awe before knocking this on the head and headed for lunch.
The next stop was to where the river narrows upstream and it was much more like we are used to back home! We only just got to where we fancied on this stretch, when within a few casts I saw a fish shoot past my right and hit Tom’s Lure (Rapala CD1) but in the excitement the hooks pulled as is often the case with Browns and their soft mouths. We saw a few more fish and had a few follows along this stretch including a small fingering for myself that was much darker with almost luminescent orange spots along its lateral line.
We worked our way up but time was running out and we had to head home, as we got to the patch where Tom had hooked and lost the fish earlier, I said he had to have a cast in there just on the off chance. Low and behold, first cast, fish on! Not huge but a very pretty fish and again far darker than the fish we get at home. Quick photo and it was released.
As we headed for the steps by the bridge to go home I spotted a nice lie where I thought there could be a trout holding, a few casts and it resulted in two missed fish, I was using barbless singles and both times the hooks had pulled…not quite a secure hook up I felt and for me now my confidence in singles for trout is unfortunately low! From the flash I saw on hook up through the crystal clear water it looked a very good fish too, possibly a PB but that’s fishing and you can’t land them all.
All in all, a very nice day, the afternoon being the highlight along with sitting watching (in a little frustration) big swirls as fish engulfed Olives off the top (oh to have a fly rod and selection of dry flies with me).