Winter Gold

A cold start after rather hairy and icey drive South...

Today was a strange one; it was the first day in weeks where temperatures had broken above freezing, even jumping as high as 8°C here in South Wales…tropical temps considering the last few weeks have been absolutely freezing! Still though, the morning saw minus temperatures again and, after yesterday’s ‘thawing’ and last night’s freezing, Liam and I’s trip to to fish a Mid-Wales tributary of the River Wye was cancelled, the roads leading to our destination were literally ice. The fact that the last few miles of the journey would see us having to drive over back-country ‘tracks’, we’d need either horses or a tank to get there. Damn it, the trip was cancelled.

Undeterred, we opted to fish our respective home waters on the River Taff (my home river) for a few hours, home to some some very underrated brown trout and grayling. Thanks to the now fast-thawing snow and last night’s ice, road salt was making it’s steady way into the river…not a good sign. Best crack on before the fishing turns to s&£t!

It wasn’t exactly a strange morning; I knew the grayling were shoalled up, and so I’d need to do the legwork to find them. That said, and with the main trip cancelled, I was just happy to be out…that and Wales were to be playing Ireland at 3pm. So from 10:30 until 14:45, I was happy to fish a familiar stretch of water I know well.

The grayling didn’t show for the entirety of the day, but I worked the stretch of water hard, and with a number of techniques, enabling me to search every square-foot of water, and at every depth. Whether the grayling were there and weren’t feeding, or whether they weren’t there at all, I didn’t mind. I just love being out in the snow.

At the end of the session, two beautiful winter browns were landed, the second of which saw a tense five minute fight, with multiple aerialised leaps before the fish was safely cradled in the net. Unhooking the barbless hook kind of opened my eyes – her teeth were amazingly sharp! I’m not normally one to take pictures of out-of-season trout either, but I couldn’t resist a quick lift and snap of this trout before she was safely returned.

A quick stop further upstream to see how Liam was doing and it was home for the rugby, and another result for the day – Ireland 21, Wales 23. What a Sunday.

Winter Gold…19 inches of pure, wild, and pi$$ed off brown trout…
Winter Gold…19 inches of pure, wild, and pi$$ed off brown trout…

…and the bugs that did the fooling…
...and the bugs that did the fooling...

The river always looks beautiful in the snow…
The river always looks beautiful in the snow...

Cold enough?
Cold enough?

Magical!
Magical!