Wye 2020

Richardgw

Active member
Messages
806
Reaction score
45
Location
Ross on Wye
Happy New Year and tight lines to all Wye salmon anglers. Let’s hope for better conditions and more fish than we have experienced over the last two years; and may they stay on.

Earlier in the week I spent a couple of enjoyable hours on the bank moving flotsam and cutting back brambles and other annual growth in readiness for the start of the season. River at Ross is dropping nicely and looking in good order. Perfect for the old devon minnow. Even saw a fish, probably kelt, but you never know. Shame we can’t fish from the old start date of 26th of January.
 

OURTREV

Member
Messages
260
Reaction score
9
Location
Newent on Wye!
Rich
We'll soon have the whole stretch ready for the new season and let's hope for a lot more salmon than we think we are going to get.
Hopefully we'll have all of the members fishing this year how does the old adage go, you'll catch nothing when your fly is not in the water.
60 days to get the kit checked.. :D
 

peterchilton

Member
Messages
993
Reaction score
12
Location
Mid Wales
Looking at the catches Ross was actually one of the few beats that improved on 2018 in 2019. Back to double figures in 2020?
 

OURTREV

Member
Messages
260
Reaction score
9
Location
Newent on Wye!
Looking at the catches Ross was actually one of the few beats that improved on 2018 in 2019. Back to double figures in 2020?
I've found and have been going through the Clubs catch data over the winter. Apart from the our recent resurrection the last time we were in double figures was 1999 when we were on 12(5yr ave). This was the year when C&R was introduced from season start until June it was also the year when the decline of salmon fishing in the Club commenced with a vengeance.

Totals of salmon caught fell off a cliff and went down and down until 2004 when fish being reported stopped completely and I can't even find any year diary for the years 2005 -2008. I probably don't need to say that 2005 was the year when worm fishing stopped and we lost nearly all our salmon fishers in one hit which may be why I can find no diaries.

For me it also bears out those prophesies the are currently running with many clubs in Wales in that their membership will dive in the future, we've seen it happen.
However as a newbie I wanted to try salmon fishing for myself before they were gone and came to the sport late and had to use spinning and fly fishing. Before I knew it I was on the Committee and having to reinvent the salmon section from nothing.

Attracting some excellent and experienced salmon fishers is the secret and we have proved that it is possible to work at improving the fishing with some basic hard work on the infrastructure. Work such as trimming back the whips on the willows and overhanging branches etc so that the members can fish easily off the bank when the water is too high to wade.
Sharing information is another important aspect of modern salmon fishing on the Wye. I don't believe in secrets and all members are in a messaging group so they know when conditions are right and what is being caught.

So Peter I hope you are right and we can nudge up our total again but if we can't it will not be because we haven't tried our best. :D

Trev.
 
Last edited:

Wye me?

New member
Messages
98
Reaction score
0
To Braid or not to Braid

With the start of the season near enough to get us looking at the gauges on line and dusting off the gear I came to the same question that has troubled me for a few years now.....
Stick with braided line with just four foot of nylon, to protect the fish, or go back to nylon throughout?
My reason for this thinking is that I have lost a lot of fish in the past two seasons when they turn away downstream, shedding the hook, (yes Stan they were barbless but that's another debate), so is this due to braid not "giving" enough?
I'm sure this topic has been done to death elsewhere on this forum but my enquiry is specific to the Wye, mid-section beats especially, which is unlike any other [quality] salmon river in England, (yes I know and Wales Lynn), so your opinions boys and girls are what counts...……… And surely we can discuss this topic without falling out so PLAY NICELY.
:batty::batty::batty::surrender:
Yes, yes, yes. This is all about spinning and yes I will defer to the fly rod as soon as possible but for now, unless Beelzebub :evil: is skating down river or the water is fly-friendly :lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol: I will be chucking metal not fluff on day 1.
Thoughts/recommendations or just what you use?
Happy New Year
Lawrence
 

OURTREV

Member
Messages
260
Reaction score
9
Location
Newent on Wye!
One more thing I thought of after I did the first post. Like many anglers it took a few years to learn the beats and I'm still learning now and always will be but again Ross Club take the trouble to show new members the water when they first join, ISCA do the same on the Usk, so they can hit the ground running, they know where to park their cars where to access the fishery and point out lots of little things that I had to learn by experience.

It introduces new members to those who are already members it does a good job of breaking the ice and everyone benefits from tips and wrinkles that work on our beats.

Don't know what will happen when I peg it but it works well enough now.

Trev. :thumb:
 

peterchilton

Member
Messages
993
Reaction score
12
Location
Mid Wales
Maybe your rod is too stiff (said the actress to the bishop), many spinning rods are, to enable distance casting. The same can be said for braid, same breaking strain casts much further and easier than mono, so everything is a trade off. So buy a soft carp rod :)
 
Last edited:

Richardgw

Active member
Messages
806
Reaction score
45
Location
Ross on Wye
With the start of the season near enough to get us looking at the gauges on line and dusting off the gear I came to the same question that has troubled me for a few years now.....
Stick with braided line with just four foot of nylon, to protect the fish, or go back to nylon throughout?
My reason for this thinking is that I have lost a lot of fish in the past two seasons when they turn away downstream, shedding the hook, (yes Stan they were barbless but that's another debate), so is this due to braid not "giving" enough?
I'm sure this topic has been done to death elsewhere on this forum but my enquiry is specific to the Wye, mid-section beats especially, which is unlike any other [quality] salmon river in England, (yes I know and Wales Lynn), so your opinions boys and girls are what counts...……… And surely we can discuss this topic without falling out so PLAY NICELY.
:batty::batty::batty::surrender:
I fish braid and attach10ft to 15ft of 20 lbs monofil to the front (using a Fishermans Knot – 9 turns on the braid and 5 on the mono) before the swivel and trace. I find this set up provides a cushion when a fish is on a short line. It also protects and lengthens the life of the braid as the mono section is easily replaced when it gets gradually shortened or damaged on the river bed.
 

tenet

Well-known member
Messages
2,422
Reaction score
41
Location
cotswolds
Fished Lower Symonds Yat back in the day and ABU multipliers were de rigueur on the beat with Ron Burford the ghillie very sniffy about fixed spool reels. Always fished, especially the prawn, with clutch loose allowing any fish to run before using the thumb to lock spool and the subsequently tightening the clutch to suit.
The beat used to take in excess of a hundred fish in those days and 20 - 30lbers not that unusual in the early months of the season. Happy days.😎
 

fixedspool

New member
Messages
440
Reaction score
0
One more thing I thought of after I did the first post. Like many anglers it took a few years to learn the beats and I'm still learning now and always will be but again Ross Club take the trouble to show new members the water when they first join, ISCA do the same on the Usk, so they can hit the ground running, they know where to park their cars where to access the fishery and point out lots of little things that I had to learn by experience.

It introduces new members to those who are already members it does a good job of breaking the ice and everyone benefits from tips and wrinkles that work on our beats.

Don't know what will happen when I peg it but it works well enough now.

Trev. :thumb:
This is so true. Poor fishermen fishing in the wrong places will catch nothing and neither will the good anglers too. Knowing your beat at all heights of water is vital. On many beats there are often no surface indications that one particular spot will hold taking fish above others looking similar nearby. Much of most beats have water that has never and will never probably produce a fish. Secret is to know your beat and fish the known taking spots. Fish, like humans take up the most comfortable places first and if these are not occupied lesser spots probably won't be either. On the upper river in particular know spots never change, the bed being rocky gutters. Taking places are specific almost to the point where you can predict the cast that will produce a take -if its occupied.
So a mile of water may have just half a dozen prime spots. Fish these first, then fish them again later and leave the rest to others.
Newcomers, without guidance will probably fish the whole beat and therefore be just having casting practice most of the time which is why they should seek advice from an angler or ghillie experienced on that beat as has been suggested.

As for the braid question. Bin it !!!! 15/18lb Maximan has I suggest taken the bulk of Wye fish over the decades. It it isn't broke why fix it with something whose abrasion resistance is rubbish So much new expensive tackle, so many tactics etc. etc. The salmon is still the same as it always was -a bit of an idiot.
Find one, show it a reasonable fly - pretty much any fly- in a reasonable manner and if its a taking fish - bingo. If they fought dirty like a coarse fish and went for the snags, or even just turned downstream and kept going you wouldn't land many anyway, especially the bigger fish.

How did the old guys manage I wonder with the tackle available then. A £1000 rod, a £500 reel, £150 fly lines etc etc. does not make you a better fisherman.
The problem now is where to find a fish to show a bait to but if you can it's not rocket science. A bit more research and less thrashing might be more productive.
 
Last edited:

Wye me?

New member
Messages
98
Reaction score
0
Maybe your rod is too stiff (said the actress to the bishop), many spinning rods are, to enable distance casting. The same can be said for braid, same breaking strain casts much further and easier than mono, so everything is a trade off. So buy a soft carp rod :)
Thanks Peter, yes my old rod was too stiff and I replaced it ready for last March, still lost one fish out of three..
Monmouth fisher has a good point about the clutch but, as the video I posted last March shows, there is a risk of playing a fish longer than is good for it (?)
Maybe fixedspool has got the right idea, it always worked in the past and I too used Maxima on a multiplier when I first learnt to spin for salmon on the West Wales rivers in the 70's !
Ok so it's 20lb nylon on one spool and 15ft leader on braid on'tother…. Off to the shops this weekend then? Or will Garry Evans have anything at the Casting Day in March (after I've restocked the fly box with Geoff that is) :thumb:
 

tenet

Well-known member
Messages
2,422
Reaction score
41
Location
cotswolds
On a nostalgia trip reading this thread - picture of me back in the early 80's with a fresh fish circa 20lb. As said above Happy Days:thumb:

 

fixedspool

New member
Messages
440
Reaction score
0
Someone didn't like me calling salmon idiots Emailed me and said they were quite intelligent and difficult to catch. Well they are when they are not there of course. To try and convince him I related an incident from 1988. Anyone remember that year?.

I had a friend from the Midlands who fished mostly on the middle river with the traditional Devon minnow. He didn't fly fish a great deal.
I was on the river as it was fining down and it was obvious a run of new fish had just arrived in the beat as I had five that afternoon. I rang him to come down tomorrow and assured him he would catch one on the fly. Well that morning we fished it down in all the likely spots and I was dumbfounded that he never had a touch. Back at the top at lunchtime we were looking at the home pool when a fish showed right in the tail. He saw it to and he was off down to the pool. I told him not to go straight for it but to work his way down until he reached it. He never did reach it because ten or maybe eleven fish intercepted his fly on the way down. All were landed, all the hens went back, each fish fought and was netted in the pool amongst those already there and they never gave a toss - Stupid or what. It was not a big pool and while he was packing up I had a go for the one in the tail he never reached and caught that on too.
He was not, as he would admit a particularly skilful fly fisherman but he didn't need to be on that particular day. If a monkey could have cast across the pool he would have hooked on too!!

You can only catch what's there and only as good as the beat you fish. One year on the upper Wye beat I fished due to low water and drought we had just four fish all season. In 1988, if my memory serves me right the beat produced 206. My employer was unwell that year and he never fished and just sent the odd guest. I fished on my own most of the time, bloody lonely it was!!:)and caught 162 of them myself. Having said that they were not all on the fly by any means. They don't eat once in the river but take prawns and shrimps, oh and worms too. How stupid is that>:D
 
Last edited:

Wye me?

New member
Messages
98
Reaction score
0
Worm or snare!

The above tale reminds me of the good old bad old days on the Tiefi, as with most Welsh rivers in the 70's, there were considered only two "proper" ways of catching salmon; Worm or Snare. Yes, a snare! In the upper reaches where there were narrow gullies the locals would put in rabbit snares to tail fish which would soon die of exhaustion and could be recovered after dark... Savage but then these were tough days, all fish were eaten not sold as many in mid Wales were pretty poor back then. And there were loads of fish to be seen in those days.. However, we boys from Abertawe were considered posh, (or just mad), as we used spinners and plugs and sometimes even LET THEM GO????
 

fixedspool

New member
Messages
440
Reaction score
0
The above tale reminds me of the good old bad old days on the Tiefi, as with most Welsh rivers in the 70's, there were considered only two "proper" ways of catching salmon; Worm or Snare. Yes, a snare! In the upper reaches where there were narrow gullies the locals would put in rabbit snares to tail fish which would soon die of exhaustion and could be recovered after dark... Savage but then these were tough days, all fish were eaten not sold as many in mid Wales were pretty poor back then. And there were loads of fish to be seen in those days.. However, we boys from Abertawe were considered posh, (or just mad), as we used spinners and plugs and sometimes even LET THEM GO????

Have to admit back then there was not really a culture of 'letting them go' though we were one of the first beats to insist all hen fish caught after the end of August were returned. Most of the fish caught in 1988 were killed and many of them sold, at a very good price too, at a local pub who took all you could catch. He presumably sold them on. I admit there were times when I though 'what the hell am I doing' but it was my job and if I didn't catch them someone else would. That was my reasoning then anyway

Do I think what we did back then has resulted in the situation we are in now. Definitely not. As I may have mentioned before numbers of fish on the redds were awesome and outings with the bailiffs who tried to protect them confirmed this. Apart from huge numbers taken by poachers downriver every man and his dog virtually thought it was great sport to snatch fish from the tributary redds. We had good spawning on the beat I fished and I tried personally to protect that. However one morning I found a black spawned out fish dumped by gatepost -a message from the poachers that they had been and done a job.
However despite all this there was still a huge surplus of fish with dead ones evident up and down the river who had successfully spawned.
No Goosanders then, Cormorant heads had a bounty on them. River was clean and healthy, salmon parr and then smolts were everywhere. We had EA baillifs on every few miles of river, officials you could talk to , a working Wye Owners Association. no petty rules and restrictions on methods, no flyings cs either if I recall and no PC snob to sneer at you if you used one.
I look at the river now and despair and in what time I have left it won't I fear get any better. Still I had forty years of fishing most days either for salmon trout or coarse fish. and looking back wouldn't have done anything else.
Good luck to those of you who carry the torch and hopefully someone, someday will listen.!!!
 

Oscar

Active member
Messages
3,232
Reaction score
23
Location
Cirencester
This is so true. Poor fishermen fishing in the wrong places will catch nothing and neither will the good anglers too. Knowing your beat at all heights of water is vital. On many beats there are often no surface indications that one particular spot will hold taking fish above others looking similar nearby. Much of most beats have water that has never and will never probably produce a fish. Secret is to know your beat and fish the known taking spots. Fish, like humans take up the most comfortable places first and if these are not occupied lesser spots probably won't be either. On the upper river in particular know spots never change, the bed being rocky gutters. Taking places are specific almost to the point where you can predict the cast that will produce a take -if its occupied.
So a mile of water may have just half a dozen prime spots. Fish these first, then fish them again later and leave the rest to others.
Newcomers, without guidance will probably fish the whole beat and therefore be just having casting practice most of the time which is why they should seek advice from an angler or ghillie experienced on that beat as has been suggested.
Glad you've posted this, as this is precisely the reason I can't bring myself to fish the Wye - it's just too damned hard to find the fish!

Living an hour away there's no way I could commit the time to learn a beat, so stick to other rivers which are further away but easier to read.

Oscar.
 

fixedspool

New member
Messages
440
Reaction score
0
Glad you've posted this, as this is precisely the reason I can't bring myself to fish the Wye - it's just too damned hard to find the fish!

Living an hour away there's no way I could commit the time to learn a beat, so stick to other rivers which are further away but easier to read.

Oscar.
Sorry Oscar but it was not my intention to put people off from fishing the Wye -just a few pointers I thought might be helpful to some. The Wye this season I am sure will produce a fish of a lifetime for a few and perhaps the odd red letter day regarding numbers if your in the right place at the right time. It may never be like it was that's for sure but still well worth a visit I reckon.
 

Richardgw

Active member
Messages
806
Reaction score
45
Location
Ross on Wye
Have to admit back then there was not really a culture of 'letting them go' though we were one of the first beats to insist all hen fish caught after the end of August were returned. Most of the fish caught in 1988 were killed and many of them sold
1988, the last year of plenty. We had lovely water right through July & August and a massive grilse run.


No Goosanders then, Cormorant heads had a bounty on them. River was clean and healthy, salmon parr and then smolts were everywhere.
Here lies two of the most significant problems on the Wye and what do the NRW/ Welsh Government do about them?! They fully accept farm pollution is a major problem with 148 incidents reported on the Wye alone during the period November 2018 /November 2019. But then why cave in to the farming lobby and withdraw legislation for agricultural pollution that was due to come into effect from Jan 2020 and replace it with a code of practice and self regulation? This may be fine for those many farmers who will willingly follow the new code but there will be others who in absence of the threat of significant financial penalty will carry on as they always have. This even though it only takes one pollution event to devastate several miles of river life.
 

OURTREV

Member
Messages
260
Reaction score
9
Location
Newent on Wye!
1988, the last year of plenty. We had lovely water right through July & August and a massive grilse run.




Here lies two of the most significant problems on the Wye and what do the NRW/ Welsh Government do about them?! They fully accept farm pollution is a major problem with 148 incidents reported on the Wye alone during the period November 2018 /November 2019. But then why cave in to the farming lobby and withdraw legislation for agricultural pollution that was due to come into effect from Jan 2020 and replace it with a code of practice and self regulation? This may be fine for those many farmers who will willingly follow the new code but there will be others who in absence of the threat of significant financial penalty will carry on as they always have. This even though it only takes one pollution event to devastate several miles of river life.
I fish or perhaps should say fished a small trout river in Gloucestershire in 2016 when a local fruit farm left open a valve when fertilising the orchards with liquid fertiliser. The valve was open for a number of hours and killed every fish in the River for 11 miles. One pollution incident one wiped out river. :(
 

peterchilton

Member
Messages
993
Reaction score
12
Location
Mid Wales
Although not listed on the WUF website (lol) it does seem that the Wye was stocked with fry from the river Shin in 1984, The "unofficial stocking" of fish from the Shin was 250,000. Maybe this was the source of the 2SW summer run of fish in 1988 examples of which can be seen here, there was also a decent grilse run that year.
 

fixedspool

New member
Messages
440
Reaction score
0
I fish or perhaps should say fished a small trout river in Gloucestershire in 2016 when a local fruit farm left open a valve when fertilising the orchards with liquid fertiliser. The valve was open for a number of hours and killed every fish in the River for 11 miles. One pollution incident one wiped out river. :(
Its true that pollution and predation are big factors in the survival of Wye fry, parr and smolts and however you look at it the water industry and farmers are mostly to blame. The recent decision by WAG to suspend the compulsory restrictions they were about to impose on farmers and introduce a voluntary self regulation system instead is a real body blow and sooner rather that later there will be consequences as indicated by Richardgw.
We have all seen raw sewage issued from sewage works at Hay on Wye and downstream at Redbrook. This is probably endemic throughout the whole river and no one seems to be seriously addressing it.

A friend of mine on the river every day was an avid worm fisher. He used to follow the farmers plough and get a supply. He now tells me that since they have used a tar like fertiliser from a bio digester on the fields adjacent to the river there are no worms anymore. This field was recently under two feet of flowing water during the recent big spate. Diluted enough not to cause damage on its own perhaps but death by a thousand cuts is still death.
We are watching a natural disaster unfold before us and NO ONE of any real clout is speaking up for us. Both WUF and EA never mind the fat grannies in the Welsh Government are a a bunch of jobsworths full of clever talk and no action. Going for a lie down now.:help::help::help:
 
Last edited:

Wye me?

New member
Messages
98
Reaction score
0
Glad you've posted this, as this is precisely the reason I can't bring myself to fish the Wye - it's just too damned hard to find the fish!

Living an hour away there's no way I could commit the time to learn a beat, so stick to other rivers which are further away but easier to read.

Oscar.
Still worth a go Oscar, I'm just under an hour away, far longer to the upper beats, but I've found that, through the contacts/friends you come across in the Wye Salmon Association, there are many people who are able to put you onto the best chances of success. AGM is soon so take a look online and come along to the meeting..... Lots of owners, guides and other "helpful people" will be there.
 
Top