With May having arrived in all its summer goodness bringing with it the drawn out evenings and reason to sacrifice sleep in the dedication to catching sea trout.
To put things lightly it has been a slow and tough start to the season. Brief rises through out April saw the Welsh rivers of the Tawe, Neath and Towy that I’m so lucky to easily nip out to, in great condition. The river bed stayed clear for much of the start of the month and with myself spotting some good fish from the infamous Nantgaredig Bridge – a true sea trout fishermen’s haunt. Spirits were high and my youthful determination and excitement to catch one of the early season slabs of silver at an all time high!
Unfortunately out of many, many nights throughout May, other than a good pull I frantically strip striked at, my net has remained empty. This has been paired with most nights loosing all cloud cover and temperatures quickly dropping to 8 degrees after the first two hours of darkness.
With the cold nights and low water intermediate lines and lightweight medium sized flies have been the order. I’ve been using the Airflo 40+ lines in floating and fast intermediate, I must say I cannot fault these lines for night fishing. I’m able to keep the head out on the larger rivers like the Towy and with two or even one (when my timing is right) false casts cover the width of the river. Contrastingly, when fishing the smaller spate rivers such as the Tawe & Neath where the full head (35ft) is often the width of the river, the lines allow you to easily cover the water with minimal casting effort, allowing you to save energy for when the line goes right and that magic moment comes together with a Welsh Sea Trout on the end of the line!
This discipline night fishing in the sport of fly fishing is a true test, not only of ones technical ability, but mental and physical endurance and dedication.
As I write the welsh rivers have finally had a much needed “flush through” to rid us of the algal build up on the bed rock. Even the Tawe, which is blessed with very little agricultural pollution was draped in a blanket of sludge towards start of June. Often as the river has come into condition for night fishing it has risen again, nevertheless this should see a good distribution of fish throughout all river systems.
Along with this, hopefully with the recent spates we have had fresh fish will have entered ready to take, our flies will become less ‘gunked’ and perhaps the fish that entered early become active!
I’ve had some free time recently amongst finishing my three year university studies, which it would have been rude to not spend in pursuit of the Salmon! Mornings and evenings have been spent on the banks of the Tawe to no avail. We had a run of Salmon on Sunday but it seems these were running fish and have since moved on further up river beyond PASAS water.