Tuesday, 5 April 2011

A spectacular Grannom Hatch on the Wye

I was lucky enough to discover quite early on this morning that I would be given the opportunity to set off to fish for the day. This was most unexpected and given the fact that I went to bed thinking about nowt but fishing after such a great day yesterday, and consequently dreaming about nowt else but fishing, the last 48 hours has turned out to be a full on angling experience.

I jumped out of bed to have a look at the weather. No more rain during the night, a light breeze and yes still overcast. Looking good I thought. A quick call to the Peacock, a text to Jan, and I was booked on. Yes!

I decided that I should perhaps give my confidence a boost and head to a spot where I thought I was most likely to get into a fish early on, and so, it was on with the trusty LTD sedge, a couple of casts with a careful mend to avoid the drag and wallop...fish on.

The river was up by a fraction compared to yesterday with a slight colour in the main flow, all was looking good for 'ron. I was tempted to revisit more of the water where I had success yesterday but managed to persuade myself that I should visit other places where I hadn't fished with the dry during trout season before, so I called in at the Spar shop for some provisions and pointed the car towards Caudwell Mill and the lower beat of the Peacock Wye.

I walked a little way up the river and started to see rises and made a cast or two. The LTD was getting hammered by Brownies and Rainbows alike especially in the faster water. The lower beat is the place to be if you want to get away from the people and the traffic and I knew quite early on that I was in for a special day.

I began to walk further upstream and noticed an increasing amount of fly life as I did so. I reached a short stretch that I hadn't had much success in during grayling season. A deep long glide with a myriad of complex swirls and flows, basically drag hell. All of a sudden the river was alive. There were fish moving everywhere and the river appeared to boil. I've never seen such a response to a hatch before and I found my self gazing at the spectacle for minutes on end instead of getting on with what I was there for and cast a line. There didn't seem to be a pattern to the rises, fish were leaping from the river, brownies and rainbows alike as well as more delicate rises that just blemished the surface. Tight in to the opposite banks and hugging close to line tangling, expensive fly stealing branches and tree roots, bigger fish emerged, top and tailing mostly in the most impossible to reach without drag places.

For roughly 40 minutes, grannom were hatching so profusely that, if it wasn't for the fact that the air temperature had risen to what felt lie about 14c, you'd be forgiven for thinking that it was snowing. As I watched the river, there wasn't a moment when there wasn't some disturbance that had been caused by a rising fish, and I've never ever experienced anything quite like it before, it was amazing and the fish were going mental! Around this time last year, I remember reading an angler's comments on a fishing forum concerning the fact that trout don't like grannom and, in fact, it isn't until other flys start to hatch that trout become interested in rising for food. Let me tell you, Wye trout love grannom.

I made a cast and kept as much fly line off the turbulent water as I could and waited to see if I'd managed to put them off their rises by getting so close to them and the river.....smash, a brownie was on and it gave me a right run around the whole pool. Rises, still everywhere I made another cast, and another, nothing it would seem would put these fish off their feeding frenzy as the grannom came off in their hundreds. I was chuffed to bits to see such a spectacle, and obviously, I'd taken advantage of the situation and managed a few fish. Jan arrived and he encouraged me to have a go at a fish that was top and tailing right in the most difficult place to cast to on the far bank. A fish of much bigger size, age and one that knew what I was at. I made a good few casts to it but it never once made a move towards my sedge.

When all the activity was over I sat down to think about what had just happened on that short stretch of this beautiful river. If I was still a smoker, It would have been the perfect moment to light up a fag....I carried on upstream, preferring to fish the faster, shallower water and I continued to tempt a fish or two, mostly brownies today and no grayling (all excepting my last cast of the day that is). I couldn't believe how different the banks looked compared to how they were when I fished there during the winter. Jan and Warren have obviously been doing a lot of work and their are some very fishy looking, previously hard to get to swims that will now be accessible to the Wye angler come the summer months.

What a top day, without question one of the most amazing day's fishing I've ever had, and one that could spoil the angler for ever. I think I may pack in and take up golf.......not.



  1. Sounds like a top day Woody! Well done mate...

  2. Good angling ulc, days like that are hard to come and finding a sedge hatch a rate buzz..

  3. Woody, what size sedge pattern were you fishing during Grannom hatch?
    Thanks, Andrew

  4. Hi Andrew,

    I was fishing size 16 and 18 LTD sedge patterns. My desert island fly.