Hello from a North Wales Newbie

dloboeht

Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2021
Messages
6
Location
North Wales
After 30 years of coarse fishing and many years of longing to start fly fishing, I finally took the plunge this year. After much researching (lots of reading this forum) and as a birthday present to my self, I picked up a rod (Shakey Agility Rise 7' 4#) and reel (Orvis Battenkill II) and a few bits and pieces to get me up and going and began fishing my local small tributary of the Welsh Dee, the River Alyn on the WAA beats.

I have lived near this river for over 20 years now, first on the upper reaches in Mold where I moved with my family as a schoolboy shortly before the major flooding of the Alyn in the early 2000s before later moving to Wrexham. I have spent a few mornings trotting the lower reaches of the river for the winter Grayling over the last couple of years but every time I accidentally hooked an OOSWBT, the urge to fly fish for them grew. Coupled with a growing discontent of the coarse (and especially Carp) scene with the lack of fish care, emphasis on size and numbers of fish and total disregard for rules, I knew it was time to make the switch for my own enjoyment of the sport. (I have always enjoyed the traditional methods and tackle a la Chris Yates etc.)

My first few trips have been a baptism of fire with the levels so low but I have thoroughly enjoyed clambering through head height Nettles and Himalayan Balsam, seeing every fish in the pool spook after a misstep while wading, losing £20 worth of flies in the trees, sweating profusely inside my pvc waders in 30degree heat and catching a few WBT, Grayling and Dace for my troubles. So far I have only had 1a dozen or so short evening sessions on the river after a day of work but I feel like I have learned so much already and actually putting into practice some of things I have read in books over the years. (Peter Lapsley's River Fly Fishing being a notable book that I have read cover to cover a few times over the last decade)

By far the most enjoyable thing so far though has been a switch of focus from catching fish to 'fishing'. By this, I mean that I am focusing much more on my surroundings than I ever did before. I have learned to differentiate some of the insect life around me and find I'm taking more of an interest in wildlife. For instance, I spent ages just watching a banded demoiselle sat on a leaf last night and almost forgot I was fishing. I also wondered what those tall pretty flowers were covering the banks and then spent hours reading about Himalayan Balsam when I returned home and the problems that invasive species can cause to our habitats. (now I truly know what "Piscator non solum Piscatur" means)

I know this style of fishing is not everyone's cup of tea. Each to their own but, I am astonished that during these trips, I have not seen another angler. Maybe this will change as autumn approaches but for now, this my own little piece of paradise.

AT
 

GEK79

Well-known member
Joined
May 10, 2021
Messages
973
Location
Ireland
W
After 30 years of coarse fishing and many years of longing to start fly fishing, I finally took the plunge this year. After much researching (lots of reading this forum) and as a birthday present to my self, I picked up a rod (Shakey Agility Rise 7' 4#) and reel (Orvis Battenkill II) and a few bits and pieces to get me up and going and began fishing my local small tributary of the Welsh Dee, the River Alyn on the WAA beats.

I have lived near this river for over 20 years now, first on the upper reaches in Mold where I moved with my family as a schoolboy shortly before the major flooding of the Alyn in the early 2000s before later moving to Wrexham. I have spent a few mornings trotting the lower reaches of the river for the winter Grayling over the last couple of years but every time I accidentally hooked an OOSWBT, the urge to fly fish for them grew. Coupled with a growing discontent of the coarse (and especially Carp) scene with the lack of fish care, emphasis on size and numbers of fish and total disregard for rules, I knew it was time to make the switch for my own enjoyment of the sport. (I have always enjoyed the traditional methods and tackle a la Chris Yates etc.)

My first few trips have been a baptism of fire with the levels so low but I have thoroughly enjoyed clambering through head height Nettles and Himalayan Balsam, seeing every fish in the pool spook after a misstep while wading, losing £20 worth of flies in the trees, sweating profusely inside my pvc waders in 30degree heat and catching a few WBT, Grayling and Dace for my troubles. So far I have only had 1a dozen or so short evening sessions on the river after a day of work but I feel like I have learned so much already and actually putting into practice some of things I have read in books over the years. (Peter Lapsley's River Fly Fishing being a notable book that I have read cover to cover a few times over the last decade)

By far the most enjoyable thing so far though has been a switch of focus from catching fish to 'fishing'. By this, I mean that I am focusing much more on my surroundings than I ever did before. I have learned to differentiate some of the insect life around me and find I'm taking more of an interest in wildlife. For instance, I spent ages just watching a banded demoiselle sat on a leaf last night and almost forgot I was fishing. I also wondered what those tall pretty flowers were covering the banks and then spent hours reading about Himalayan Balsam when I returned home and the problems that invasive species can cause to our habitats. (now I truly know what "Piscator non solum Piscatur" means)

I know this style of fishing is not everyone's cup of tea. Each to their own but, I am astonished that during these trips, I have not seen another angler. Maybe this will change as autumn approaches but for now, this my own little piece of paradise.

AT
Sut Da chi.. Welcome your amongst many anglers who each enjoy there own little piece of paradise... Enjoy your journey it's a fantastic road.. And lots of great folks here to ask...
Gary
 

PaulD

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 11, 2020
Messages
2,531
Location
South Northants
By far the most enjoyable thing so far though has been a switch of focus from catching fish to 'fishing'. By this, I mean that I am focusing much more on my surroundings than I ever did before.

I know this style of fishing is not everyone's cup of tea. Each to their own but, I am astonished that during these trips, I have not seen another angler. Maybe this will change as autumn approaches but for now, this my own little piece of paradise.

AT

It's not a 'style', it's proper fishing, you and your environment, not dictated by magazine articles by 'what should happen / be done', not dictated by recommended by 'techniques'.

Enjoy and learn to be successful in your own environment . . . It's brilliant.
 

wobbly face

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 21, 2009
Messages
22,428
Location
Not So Greater Manchester.
Welcome to the forums dloboeht.
Well you've started something now. :ROFLMAO: Observation can be key in fly fishing, not just looking for signs of fish to catch but which part of a river or bank of a stillwater to fish when prospecting. Fly fishing entomology can be a hobby/pastime in it's self. Fly tying is another hobby/pastime. We have very talented people on here who even make their tackle, rods, reels etc.
Fly fishing does seam to put you amongst nature and in the environment more so than other branches of fishing. Enjoy. (y)
 

dloboeht

Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2021
Messages
6
Location
North Wales
Welcome to the forums dloboeht.
Well you've started something now. :ROFLMAO: Observation can be key in fly fishing, not just looking for signs of fish to catch but which part of a river or bank of a stillwater to fish when prospecting. Fly fishing entomology can be a hobby/pastime in it's self. Fly tying is another hobby/pastime. We have very talented people on here who even make their tackle, rods, reels etc.
Fly fishing does seam to put you amongst nature and in the environment more so than other branches of fishing. Enjoy. (y)
Don't give me any ideas! I have been wanting to build cane rods for years, just never had the space to set up a workshop at home 😂 I also furled a few leaders and bought a tying vice this week so I'm definitely up for some DIY where the opportunity arises.
 

dloboeht

Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2021
Messages
6
Location
North Wales
It's not a 'style', it's proper fishing, you and your environment, not dictated by magazine articles by 'what should happen / be done', not dictated by recommended by 'techniques'.

Enjoy and learn to be successful in your own environment . . . It's brilliant.
I totally agree. My coarse fishing had become stale and lazy in the last couple of years especially with the problems that lockdown introduced with having to book on to a certain swim prior to a session which took watercraft out of the equation which has always been important to me as someone that takes the 'roving' minimalist approach. I feel like this recent change has really got me excited about fishing again and eager to continue to learn.
 

GEK79

Well-known member
Joined
May 10, 2021
Messages
973
Location
Ireland
Welcome to the forums dloboeht.
Well you've started something now. :ROFLMAO: Observation can be key in fly fishing, not just looking for signs of fish to catch but which part of a river or bank of a stillwater to fish when prospecting. Fly fishing entomology can be a hobby/pastime in it's self. Fly tying is another hobby/pastime. We have very talented people on here who even make their tackle, rods, reels etc.
Fly fishing does seam to put you amongst nature and in the environment more so than other branches of fishing. Enjoy. (y)
👍👍
 

Whinging pom

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 10, 2021
Messages
483
Location
Northants
The Welsh guys on here always strike me as an affable and knowledgable bunch. Hope you strike lucky and get to fish with one of them.., you pick up so much seeing a river through another’s eyes
All best on your new journey
 

Vintage Badger

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 16, 2021
Messages
1,098
Location
Cheshire
Welcome to the forum and fly fishing. I see you've bought a fly tying vice too... it's a slippery slope you are treading but it's too late to turn back now! ;) Just remember that flies have landed a lot more anglers than they ever have fish! So don't go too mad, stick to simple but effective patterns for the water you are fishing, or you'll end up with boxes full of stuff you never use.

Banter aside, there's a real wealth of information on this forum, so feel free to 'ask the audience' if you need any advice or suggestions.
 

dloboeht

Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2021
Messages
6
Location
North Wales
Welcome to the forum and fly fishing. I see you've bought a fly tying vice too... it's a slippery slope you are treading but it's too late to turn back now! ;) Just remember that flies have landed a lot more anglers than they ever have fish! So don't go too mad, stick to simple but effective patterns for the water you are fishing, or you'll end up with boxes full of stuff you never use.

Banter aside, there's a real wealth of information on this forum, so feel free to 'ask the audience' if you need any advice or suggestions.
Thanks for the advice. I'll try not to get too carried away and remain pragmatic when it comes to my fly selection. I'm already seeing that certain patterns are scoring better than others (Size 14-16 Griffiths Gnat springs to mind) so I hope to build up some confidence in a few patterns to use throughout the season rather than confuse myself with too many options.
 

Whinging pom

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 10, 2021
Messages
483
Location
Northants
And beware going into Foxons in St. Asaph It is actually possible to go in and buy one bag of feathers or one packet of hooks, But really hard!!
The place can fleece your wallet and overload you with options like no other . It takes tears of practice and discipline to enter that place!
( just ask vintage badger😂).
 

Vintage Badger

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 16, 2021
Messages
1,098
Location
Cheshire
And beware going into Foxons in St. Asaph It is actually possible to go in and buy one bag of feathers or one packet of hooks, But really hard!!
The place can fleece your wallet and overload you with options like no other . It takes tears of practice and discipline to enter that place!
( just ask vintage badger😂).
Fortunately I live just far enough away to have to plan a special trip there when I actually need something. If I lived locally I think I'd be living on bread and jam half the time! Foxons reminds me of a larger version of a shop in Ruthin in the 1970s (sadly long since gone) called The Trigger and Tackle - a fantastic little mancave of a shop crammed with tempting goodies that regularly relieved me of my pocket money!

In fact, I'm sure I still have a few of the flies that I bought there... which brings me back to my first post! :giggle:
 

dloboeht

Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2021
Messages
6
Location
North Wales
And beware going into Foxons in St. Asaph It is actually possible to go in and buy one bag of feathers or one packet of hooks, But really hard!!
The place can fleece your wallet and overload you with options like no other . It takes tears of practice and discipline to enter that place!
( just ask vintage badger😂).
Ah yes, I was almost tempted to bankrupt myself when I went into Foxons a few years ago while passing through St Asaph and this was before I had ever picked up a fly rod! 😂
 

Latest posts

Top