Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Wonder of the Wye

My fishing began at a young age and like many kids back then it was on moving water and regardless of the amount of stillwater fishing I partake in during the river closed season nowadays, I am always counting down the days until the rivers are back in season.  Its like a first love you never forget, always comparing them to your current flame!   Now, my pregnant wife is the best thing that has happened to me however, the Wye runs a very close second and is much more forgiving - sometimes!  

Today I took the fly rod onto the Monnow hoping to catch a few wild brownies on the dry fly.  I have to admit it was all a bit half-hearted, with every cast I made, I kept thinking of the neighbouring Wye, was it low, was it clear, would I be able to spot a few fish!    As I cast my dry fly, only to miss a rise, I was not concentrating 100% so I decided to scratch that itch, I wound in the floating line and headed back to the van to take the drive upstream to the Wye.

Any fisherman who has a favourite water will understand the feeling when walking the banks as you visit each swim, memories of previous captures come to mind, each step evoking vivid pictures of red letter days.  I stared into the Wye as I walked and through polarised sunglasses I spotted a big chub hugging the over hanging branches of a willow, then below it a flash of a barbel, I stood still and crouched so as not scare the fish.  It was another "Wonder of the Wye" there were dozens of barbel, chasing each other in groups of 3's and 4's over the gravelly river bed.  

You can just make out the barbel
To watch fish, whichever species in their natural environment is a privilege and it stopped me in my tracks, I spent the next couple of hours, just watching, sitting still in the warm sunshine as the barbel darted in and out of the weed beds, sending plumes of silt downstream as they laid their eggs.  It was the first time id actively observed barbel spawning and I hope its not the last.  It can be quite rewarding to walk the river banks during the close season,  not just fish spotting, but also nature spotting, I saw dragonfly's, damsel and mayflies, young ducklings and several species of butterfly.

A nice Chub in the edge
The pics I took weren't great, these are the best of a bad bunch, next time I hope to do better.    Im hoping the Wye will reward me this season with PB barbel and chub, ill be trying my best and you'll be the first to know.  Tight Lines