I ended 2011 pretty much as I started it with a trip to the River Dee at Cefn Mawr in search of the Lady of the Stream. True to form the heavens opened, the rain came down, and the Dee rose to a near unfishable level.
So keeping a close eye on the online river levels courtesy of the Fishing Wales website, myself, Graham and Terry decided that we would give it few hours on New Years eve. We had the river to ourselves, not surprising really considering the height, colour and pace of the Dee.
The stretch at Cefn Mawr was formally part of the Maelor Angling club which has now joined up with its neighbour Llangollen Angling Club to form the Llangollen Maelor Angling. This amalgamation has seen two stretches of water come under one club and one ticket which at £85 per season is great value for money. The Dee offers some brilliant Grayling and Brown Trout fishing in beautiful surroundings.
Back to the fishing..... In the company of the current national rivers champ and good friend Terry Phillips and the jolly Graham Kennerley we started on the stretch of the Dee at “Dollies”. I was still threading the line up my rod rings when Graham netted the first Grayling of the day. An incredible start considering the river was so high. Mind you he was being coached by Terry!!!As you would expect the Grayling were tight into the bank out of the main flow and once tackled up I followed Graham downstream. Twenty minutes later and I was into my first Grayling of the day. A fish of about 20cm took my olive nymph on the middle dropper. A quick look at his belly showed two dirty sand lines, a tell tale sign of the Graylings urge to hug the bottom. We continued to fish the slack water tight to the bank as we moved down stream keeping a low profile. A shout from Graham and fish number two was on, but looking at the bend in his 3 weight Streamflex this was no small Grayling!! A Salmon of about 7lb leapt clear of the water with Graham’s pink shrimp in its mouth!! A good battle took place but in the end the Salmon was the victor once it decided to give up swimming upstream against the strong current and bolted downstream! At lunch we had had about 4 Grayling each mainly to nymphs hard on the bottom in the slack water.
After lunch we headed to the “Country Park” beat with a mixed bag of success. I managed two Grayling and four out of season Brown Trout, whilst Terry gave us both a master class in Grayling fishing taking 5 Grayling in as many casts from one pool. A cracking session on the Dee considering the high levels and a great way to finish 2011. We will be back in 2012 once the river has dropped a little!
Andy Taylor Hardy Greys Academy Instructor www.flyfishingtuitioncheshire.co.uk email
Andy is a qualified game angling instructor offering fly fishing tuition across Cheshire and the Midlands