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Reaping the Rewards (Part 2)

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 Following on from our spot of river maintenance, Shaun and myself have been out in search of silver as the spate (and much-publicised sewerage leak) subsided. Being a newcomer to the world of flyfishing, chasing seatrout at night so soon has been a real baptism of fire but with the vast amounts of experience and local knowledge "on tap" here at Foxons there has been no better place to learn!

 Straight after putting the scythe and saws away, I headed out on my own on the Elwy. The river was just beginning to clear with a lovely peaty tea-staining to it, so I added an Airflow clear intermediate sink tip to my Rio Gold line to help get my flies down towards where I hoped the fish would be lying. Using a kind of hot-head Peter Ross on the dropper (very kindly tied for me by Mr Arthur Foxon) and a Raider Cascade on the point I worked my way down the small pools picking up a few small brownies along the way, one small sea-trout jumped but as the light faded I was stopped in my tracks as a great big silver monster erupted from the water and slammed down right beside me! I froze! They were here!

   After 20mins or so my fly snagged as it swung across. Then the snag moved! Three thudding head shakes and a slow, stripping of line from the drag as the beast kited to the far bank. A couple of times it darted towards me and my shaking hands struggled to wind the line on to my narrow spool! I gradually gained line inch by inch. A fine specimen of around 6lb surfaced, flicked it's tale, and came off...


My hands trembled uncontrollably. My next cast went straight in to the trees. Could I re-tie my leader? Could I heck! Time to go home...

 Eager to get straight out, the following night Shaun and I had a late night session further up the Elwy. With a long walk to the beat on a very warm Summer evening I realised the benefit of a proper lightweight breathable jacket, my hoodie was dripping! This beat was like jungle warfare, with overgrown bankside vegetation towering up 3 or 4ft and as the venue required wading another couple of feet down I found casting a struggle. Having quickly moved up from a beginner's outfit to a lovely old Sage VPS last summer, there wasn't enough "ooomph" in the butt section to pull the intermediate tip through the water column to cast and it was folding on me, it's a bit hard to explain but essentially it couldn't generate the lift on the back cast to get above the foliage on the bank. A new rod and a rethink would be required.

 Mr Ellis had no such issues using his 9' #6 Sage Mod, double hauling up and away from the problems and was soon in to a feisty flashing bar of silver...

 A lovely 3.25lb Sewin and a most welcome sight, falling for a black and silver tube fly with a size 12 treble. With fishing proving impossible for me, it was hugely beneficial to spend time watching the master at work. All the tackle was to hand, uncluttered and there for a purpose. It all looked effortless. And silent. Sadly that was the only fish of the session, but I noted for a more refined approach instead of a floating line and separate intermediate tip, Shaun prefers the Rio MidgeTip WF6F/I tied straight to 13lb Seaguar Ace Hard, using Riverge leader rings for a dropper. Something else for my shopping list...


 The addiction was beginning to take hold. The Hugh Faulkus book arrived, as did the ESSENTIAL Bolle clear safety glasses, a wider spooled Vision Koma was purchased and loaded with the Rio MidgeTip. New flies were tied. And a 9' #6 Sage Accel was taken down the river "just to try..." which would have been great if the first cast hadn't flown further than I'd ever dreamed possible!

 That evening on the Elwy I put the new outfit to good use, getting a feel for the rod's action in the darkness. It felt beautiful! The strength lower down the blank was lifting the sink tip to the surface with ease, where the tip could then take over and flick the line back and fully load the rod. It simply felt right. A chunky brownie took a liking to my white muddler dropper to christen the new rod as darkness fell but then a huge otter went and ended my session early so no silver trophy.

 This week we've been concentrating on the Clwyd, with two very late sessions (ending at 3am!) resulting in two very red-eyed Foxons employees! On Tuesday both Shaun and myself lost fish early, well before darkness with no other action until around 1:30am when the Jedi again used his mind control and told this plump 3.5lb Sea-Trout to inhale his tube fly...

With Sea-Trout fever now reaching critical levels, we were again found on the Clwyd last night.  We tried a few pools but saw nothing. As we waited for the night to arrive, a family of otters started patrolling their territory which would inevitably ruin the fishing for us, so in a race against time we marched up stream to try and beat them to the fish. Well, there was only going to be one winner.... And it wasn't the otters....

A fine 4.5lber. Truly awesome fishing!

The otters passed through the pool just as Shaun was returning the fish, so every credit for keeping it safe until it had fully recovered and well clear of danger!

So the fish are running both rivers now, day tickets and club membership for both the Vale of Clwyd Angling Club and the Rhyl & St. Asaph Angling Association are available from Foxons. There are some great fish to be had by fly fishing at night, and it is a fascinating and highly addictive method! With more and more fish entering the river system in the coming weeks, why not give it a go? You'll be hooked too!

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