Hi, and welcome to my monthly river report for June 2012.
The last week in May saw us with wall to wall sunshine!
The Conwy valley looks stunning, the colours on the trees and the flowers and wild garlic are a sight to be seen.
The Swallows, Swifts and Sand Martins are busy collecting mud from the river banks to repair last years nests, or make new one`s.
I watched the Sand Martins as they screeched and dive bombed a Mink who was looking to dig out their burrows for an easy meal.
Mink show no fear of humans as they will come right up close, as happened to myself the other evening.
I spent a pleasant day on the coast last week walking out across the sands at low water, pushing a net along in front of me in 2 ft of water, collecting shrimps for Salmon fishing.
I did well but unfortunately caught some Weaver fish at the same time, these have stings that can be very painful.
A fisherman I know was rushed to hospital after grabbing hold of a Weaver. (His hand blew up to 3 times its size in just 20 mins).
At the same time I guess I must have caught about 50 baby flat fish, each about 1 inch long.
Well lets hope that the shrimp bait works, watch this space!
The Conwy has seen some early Sea Trout arriving and if you do manage to connect with one of these fish, the chances are that it will be a decent size.
Three nice Salmon have been caught the biggest being 11lb and in superb condition.
All were returned as per Environment Agency rules until the middle of June.
Let`s hope that the midges give us a break this season. I have given enough blood last year!
Bob Tel:07920106558 for information on fishing.
Hi all, as I write the river is running high, it seems as if it hasn`t stopped raining since March,Sea-trout fishing has been very slow ! anglers unable to get on the river.
Salmon anglers have fared better our best fish 16lb.
When the Conwy is in a big flood it demands respect , it took the life of a canoeist in June but his three friends managed to swim to safety.
All creatures feel the effect in prolonged weather rain or shine, we lost some Sandmartins but the kingfishers seemed to survive.
The badgers seem to be taking it in their stride but look very bedraggled!
A friend of mine lost all his chickens to a vixen and her cubs last month and if that wasnt enough he lost his colony of bees.
During a break in the bad weather we managed to get some spraying done on the Japanese knotweed a truly obnoxious plant!
I caught a monster of a brown trout last week which pulled the scales down to over 5lb I`m sure it didn’t get to that size by eating flies more likely salmon parr !!
Good news for the Conwy fishery last week when poachers were jailed for 3 years this must send out a very clear message to would be poachers
PS. yes my net caught home dyed shrimps do work !! a 7lb salmon could not resist them.
See you next month.
What a strange (summer) this has been up to now .This part of North Wales gets its fair share of rain but this summer the river levels have very rarely dropped below 1metre on the gauge, which is not good for sea-trout fishing at night.
On the few occasions that the anglers have been out some good size fish have been caught around the 3 to 5 lbs range.
If you have never tried this type of fishing I urge you to do so as it’s an experience you will never forget.
You dont cast a line in mid summer till 10.30pm with only bats and otters for company, your senses come alive. I guarantee you will be hooked.
A local lady came up to me the other day most upset telling me she had just witnessed a very distraught mother dipper going from rock to rock and whistling loudly as it followed its nest downriver. It had become dislodged in the heavy rain, its unfortunate young being carried down stream inside the nest .
The floods don’t seem to bother the otters we have watched as a mother has brought up her two young, week by week. They grow up on a diet of fish, eels and frogs the three of them being regular visitors to the night-time anglers.
One of the young otters must have upset its mother one night last week, because she gave a loud verbal telling off followed by a cuff round the ear. I could hear the otter whistling in pain for a good five minutes.
I had a day out last week after an invitation to go wreck fishing, a 6am start followed by a very rough 3 hour trip 20 miles out. We went to two first world war wrecks both 350ft deep, using short 7 ft rods and 1lb lead weights, what a difference to the type of fishing I`m used to.
On our first drift over the wreck we had pollock to 22lb and cod to 16lb, the skipper told us of a further wreck a few miles out, a submarine, another casualty of the first world war.
We finished the day with a very large box of quality fish, fresh cod and chips that night with a nice glass of wine never tasted so good.
The quality of the salmon we are catching this year has been very good, I assume they`ve had good feeding out at sea. Some are shaped more like tuna than salmon.
It won`t be long now before we will be collecting our brood stock, we collect a number of cock and hen fish, then we strip the eggs from the hen fish and the milt from the cock fish and mix together, they are then laid down in trays in an environment agency hatchery to be reared on and returned to our rivers.
We have been busy the last few weeks keeping the grass cut and the banks clear together with some prudent weed cutting.
So it’s with crossed fingers for some nice dry warm nights, I will leave you till next month, should you require any information about the fishing I remain at ; Tel: 07920106558. Bob
Hi everyone, my report is a bit late this month, it’s a busy time on the river, Salmon fishermen are out on the floods while Sea-Trout fishermen are praying for a drought.
Some good catches of Salmon are being recorded while Sea-Trout fishing has suffered with the high water levels all summer long.
On the occasions when they have managed to get out some good Sea-Trout have been caught in the 3lb-5lb bracket.
This year has thrown up a surprise regarding the native Brown Trout following on from my capture of a 51/4 pounder.
Reports have come in of fish been caught between 2lb and 31/2lb, these fish are really remarkable for our spate rivers as the capture of a 1lb Brown Trout would have been regarded as quite a prize.
I`m not sure what is happening but various theories have been put forward and I will keep you advised of the outcome.
The bigger Autumn Salmon should be making an appearance shortly and therefore we will be out fishing in earnest collecting our brood stock to deliver to the hatchery.
Other wildlife on the river seem to have had a good summer despite the rain, Mink and Otters in particular.
A few Swallows still linger on while most of their friends have begun the long journey to Africa.
In Egypt last January while on holiday on the Nile, I was watching Swallows diving and screeching, who knows they may have been the same Swallows from Conwy looking for some winter sun just like ourselves, except we had the luxury of a plane while they flew every inch of the way.
While talking to an RSPB officer from the reserve at Conwy estuary, he told me of a large family of Stoats that play early morning and evening on the paths, before the visitors arrive and there have also been sightings of big Dog Otters. If you have never been to this area then it is well worth a visit.
Fishing cn be good on the estuary for Bass on the fly, and large Mullet on the float.
The Deer that I reported in my last piece are now starting to be seen on the banks of the river, a strange sight but becoming more frequent, seeing their tracks can be quite exciting!
As I write its bright sunshine and the river is at its proper summer level for the first time in months (An Indian Summer?)arm nights, I will leave you till next month, should you require any information about the fishing I remain at ; Tel: 07920106558. Bob
Hi all, sorry my report is a bit late, it`s a busy time of the year, so to keep my editor off my back (HaHa!) here goes;
As my last report said the rains havn`t stopped, a bad season for Anglers as the fish have been going through fresh and like rockets!
We need the fish to be in their spawning colours.
Our numbers caught are down but due to the above it looks like it will be a good breeding season.
If you choose to visit the valley at this time of year it is lovely with the trees taking on their full Autumn colours.
When the sun shines there is no finer place to be, as one of our hotel guests remarked ” that you would think you were in Canada”.
The fish that we are catching must have found good feeding out at sea because the Salmon are in prime condition with the weights above average.
We have had fish to 25lb!!
We have been troubled with more poaching this year on the river, I have nothing but contempt for these people. They will take fish from spawning beds using pitch forks and large treble hooks, they have no regard for the future of the salmon stocks.
I don`t think the recession can be blamed as these people look for easy money whatever the state of the economy. I just wish the courts would hand out much tougher sentences when they are caught.
The nights are drawing in now and there is that cold nip in the air, the frost over the garden looks very pretty but feels very cold.
It will soon be time to put the rods away till next season but a wary eye must be kept while the fish spawn and we must keep the canoeists away from the spawning beds
There is no better sight on a crisp winter day when the light is right, than to be looking down into a secluded pool watching Cock fish ploughing through the water warning each other off from the Hen fish as she cuts a redd with her tail in preparation to lay her eggs.
We never cease to be amazed at the wonderful natural world.
For further information, I remain at; Email: broodstock.live.co.uk