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Wye and Usk Foundation Update

Thursday 25 October, 2012

At our meeting last Friday, reasons for increased salmon catches on Wye and Usk formed much of the discussion: 1248 fish recorded from the Wye and approximately 1250 from Usk (up 64% and 51% on 5 year average respectively) Chris Tidridge from the EA (Midlands) gave us some insight into the workings and need for involvement in the Water Framework Directive, inviting everyone to have their say in the WFD consultation here. There has been a very much more equitable spread of catches on both rivers with salmon able to escape from the estuary in the higher flows for which 2012 will be remembered.

The Grayling Society held its annual conference in Llandrindod last weekend before setting out to tackle some of the locals in the Wye. It was still a bit high but some decent sized fish were landed. While it’s been damp, there hasn’t been much rain this week and he rivers are now quite clear but dropping very slowly. Grayling fishing is really coming into its own with a colder spell due towards the weekend. Barbel are still being caught and chub fishing has been good. We could now see a shift towards seeing more pike in reported catches.

In the office, work is starting on next year’s Passport and shortly, the availability of season rods will be posted. Until recently, you could wait until the season started and take your pick. We don’t think this will be the case for the coming year and advise that you put a marker down early.

Work is being undertaken on behalf of Welsh Water to shed some light on salmon migration in the context of abstraction. Tagged fish will be tracked up the Usk.

Canoeing is permitted on the upper Wye and upper Usk (down to Crickhowell) but under the strictly defined conditions.
Please will you point out to anyone obviously not adhering to these conditions where they may find details and let us know if there are problems on canoe@wyeuskfoundation.org
This does not apply to the navigable section of the Wye.

Events: The Nick Brabner River Walk will be on Sunday 25th November 2012. This is getting booked up. Please let the office know if you would like to come. This is a chance to see salmon spawning/jumping falls during one of the most important stages of their life cycle.

All the best from WUF.


Wye and Usk Foundation Update - Annual Meeting

Tuesday 16 October, 2012

With just today and tomorrow left for salmon fishing in the main river Wye and Usk (upper Wye and tribs finish 25th Oct), both rivers are swollen by overnight rain, but dropping and cooling. We are quite accustomed to losing fishing days with long periods of low water in both rivers but I cannot recall quite so many being lost to high flows. The upside is that between them, fishing has been good, especially for the salmon. Quite how good can be seen on our catches page and (plug coming!) will form an essential part of our presentations at our annual meeting 6.30pm on Friday, Ross on Wye.

The grayling fishing is well underway on the Wye and as the barbel catches start to tail off, chub and dace are featuring more in the catches. There is a lot more grayling fishing available this year including Craig Llyn and Dolgai (open from mid-November) below the Elan junction along with Mortimer’s Cross on the Lugg. Last year, the drought put many of the Lugg and Arrow beats at a disadvantage. This is not the case this autumn!

Frank Williams is running a Grayling course on Sunday 4th November. This is a chance to shorten the learning curve, but numbers are limited.

Events: The Foundation’s Annual Meeting will be at the Royal Hotel, Ross on Wye, 6.30pm on Friday, October 19th.

The Nick Brabner River Walk will be on Sunday 25th November. Again, please let the office know if you would like to come. This is a chance to see salmon spawning/jumping during one of the most important stages of their life cycle. You will need to book by contacting the Office on 01982 560357.

All the best from WUF.


Wye and Usk Foundation Update

Friday 5 October, 2012

Annual Meeting

The Foundation’s Annual Meeting will be at the Royal Hotel, Ross on Wye, 6.30pm on Friday, October 19th.There are no formal minutes or procedures – it’s a series of presentations of the activities and work carried out throughout 2012. We are hoping the Environment Agency will explain how the Water Framework Directive will affect our rivers and above all it’s an opportunity to assess the status of this year’s run of salmon and the two rivers other fish and wildlife. With some imminent changes due in the management of the Usk and the welsh sections of the Wye, we will be putting forward our own plans for the future. Refreshments will be provided and there will be a bar and raffle. This year’s sweep will include a stunning print kindly donated by the artist, David Miller.

Prospects: There are just under two weeks of the salmon season remaining, trouting has now finished although grayling fishing is technically well underway. Everything hinges on just how much more rain will hit each catchment. Given the high flows, and that the reservoirs are full and discharging, perhaps now is the time to look at the higher Upper Wye and upper and middle Usk beats. The rate the rivers are dropping (if they are indeed dropping!) is taking much longer than at any time during the season.

The Nick Brabner River Walk will be on Sunday 25th November. Again, please let the office know if you would like to come. This is a chance to see salmon spawning/jumping during one of the most important stages of their life cycle. Details will be posted on the events section of the website shortly.

All the best from WUF.


Wye and Usk Foundation Update

Thursday 27 September, 2012

Annual Meeting 19th October.

In the last mailing we noted that at last, the lower Wye beats were managing to get casting after months of intermittent high water. I’m afraid it didn’t last long. September 2012 is bidding to enter the record books for its heavy rainfall, perhaps not so much on the Wye and Usk but in the northeast and borders of Scotland, where your correspondent is currently…….. not fishing the Tweed! The rain started on Sunday (22nd) and although pausing today, looks set to come back at the weekend and later too.
Previous good returns from all angling disciplines before the rain, turned into disappointment for many anglers when it fell. Barbel fishers were doing particularly well, as were those after grayling. Wye salmon anglers have taken the monthly total to 139 and the annual total to 1039. Modest as this may seem, when the number of days lost to high water and the relatively low angling effort is considered, there is good reason to dispel some of the gloom that has surrounded the Wye. We look set to record the best catch for 15 years. Why is this when other rivers are below par? We’ll save that for the meeting on the 19th October! The Usk catches remain a secret but we suspect it is also very encouraging.

Good news for grayling anglers: the Mortimer’s Cross beat on the Lugg will be open again this winter for day tickets. The fishery was extremely popular when available a couple of years ago with plenty of 2lb+ grayling caught. From October 18th to March 2nd there will be 3 rods available daily, £15 per rod.

Prospects: There are just under three weeks of the salmon season left and only a few days trout fishing remaining, although grayling fishing is now well underway. Given the high flows, the emphasis will be on the top end of the upper Wye and upper and middle Usk, initially. The latter settles more quickly and the whole Usk should come into perfect order along with the Wye above Hereford, but will it stop raining?

Our annual meeting is at The Royal Hotel, Ross on Wye 6.30pm, Friday 19th October. There will be a series of presentations and updates on progress of both Wye and Usk, Raffle and light buffet. All welcome, please book a place with the office by phone or email (as below) so we can anticipate numbers. Advanced notice of any questions much appreciated. The Nick Brabner River Walk will be on Sunday 25th November. Again, please let the office know if you would like to come.

All the best from WUF.


Monday 17 September, 2012

Saturday 15th, 7.30pm, a 28inch salmon approximately 9lbs was taken just above the Carrots Hole, Lower Carrots on a 2inch Waddington Shrimp fly.


Wye and Usk Foundation Update

Monday 17 September, 2012

Annual Meeting.

Our annual meeting will be at The Royal Hotel, Ross on Wye 6.30pm, Friday 19th October. There will be a series of presentations and updates on progress of both Wye and Usk, Raffle and light buffet. All welcome, but please book a place with the office by phone or email (as below) so we can anticipate numbers. Advanced notice of any questions much appreciated.

Many thanks to all those who responded to our request for information on Japanese knotweed our weeds@wyeuskfoundation.org report line was quite busy for a few days. These sites have been entered on our database enabling us to deal with a whole section in one visit. We won’t get to all of them this year but as we work downstream, all will eventually be treated.

Prospects: For now the weather has settled and comes as close to an Indian summer as 2012 will allow (ie not much rain for a few days!) The rivers are both very clear and on the low side; temperatures are dropping. With two weeks left of the trout season, conditions are fair but likely to be better in the bigger streams and rivers. Grayling are a bonus for Wye fishers. Hatches are sparse and nymphing the order of the day. Coarse fishing is becoming a little more challenging without the blanket of colour that the Wye has been so generous with this year.

Upriver salmon fishers will be hoping for yet more rain thus earning the displeasure of those downstream! Fish are now being caught in the beats below Monmouth – big tides should help here. Wye catches range from Coedithel in the tideway, Golden Mile below Hereford right up to Spreadeagle – so just about anywhere can produce a fish. The Usk reverted to fly and spinner only, the Wye remains fly only.

While we continue to urge proper care and handling and that every coloured fish is returned (mandatory on the Wye) we have heard concerns about the viability of returning late season fish. Two pieces of evidence enable us to reassure fishers: Firstly, evidence of the annual catch up shows that properly handled every single fish can survive to spawning. On top of that, work carried out by the NRA in the ‘90s radiotagging Wye fish throughout the year showed that it was the late season fish that survived best (<98%) followed by spring fish caught in cold water with fresh summer fish the least likely to survive.

Availability: Wyesham has additional dates available on 1st, 6th and 8th October. Most remaining Thursdays available on Cadora plus a number of dates on Upper Redbrook. There is a selection of fisheries free on the middle Wye including Goodrich, Courtfield, Lower Carrots, Whitney, Holme Lacy 3 and Whitney.

The Nick Brabner River Walk will be on Sunday 25th November. Please let the office know if you would like to come.

All the best from WUF.


Wye and Usk Foundation Update

Wednesday 5 September, 2012

Both rivers are holding at a steady height, helped in the case of the Wye by a steady discharge from Elan. There is a very slight peaty stain to both but clarity is excellent. The cooler nights battle with the daytime sun to bring a net cooling. So for now, all change in respect of the weather.

Salmon catches finished on a healthy total for the month: You need to go back to 1993 and before that to 1988 to find a higher August total on the Wye (212). We suspect the Usk did well also. When levels were right, trout and coarse fishers enjoyed some excellent sport….as did grayling fishers.

We are now spraying Japanese Knotweed and would appreciate if you would report any that you see in either catchment on weeds@wyeuskfoundation.org

Prospects: With three weeks left of the trout season, conditions are finally ideal and there are opportunities in every stream and river across both catchments available. Last week was a better week for Grayling and the coming week should be even better. As levels drop, salmon fishers on the lower rivers might finally be in the right place though unless it drops very quickly, just about all the Wye and lower/middle Usk should produce fish.


News Update Correction

Wednesday 29 August, 2012

In the newsletter sent out today, it should have pointed out that all legal methods are allowed on the Usk until 15th (inclusive)….not 1st September the date when the Wye becomes fly only.

Apologies all round WUF


Wye and Usk Foundation Update

Wednesday 29 August, 2012

Yes, it’s raining again today but there will be some brighter weather towards the weekend. This rain will add to the succession of small, dirty spates. The only merit is that they disappear quite quickly (hoping I’m not doing a Michael Fish here!). Fishers are continuing to find that fish (of all species) can be caught in what we see as coloured water. Both Wye and Usk flows are running with a bit of a peaty stain and when even a small amount of silt is added, this really looks opaque. Luckily it clears very quickly, often in a matter of hours.

On Saturday, 1st September it will be fly only on the Wye and fly and spinner only on the Usk. We make our annual plea that hens and coloured fish are returned on the Usk; it’s now mandatory on the Wye. Both rivers are holding a much larger stock of salmon and the remaining month and a half could see big catches. In recent years the Usk has been taking about half its annual catch in these last six weeks.

Salmon catches in August have been good for those who made it to the right place at the right time. Frustration for those who fish the lower Wye – the speed with which Trothy and Monnow can colour the river has been in marked contrast to last year and many anglers have been reduced to a few hours with the spinner between spates. Nonetheless, both Wyesham and Bigsweir have added to their score. The middle Wye and Usk have had more opportunities and it is good to report that those seizing the chance on the beats downstream of Hereford and middle Usk have been catching fish and seeing fair numbers.

The upper Wye has had the better of what opportunities have been available and several beats have exceeded catches from the recent past: Spreadeagle above Glasbury the most notable with 80, Nyth 60 and Rectory 55. New fishers are visiting the area and some catching their first ever fish, though many beats remain tenantless for much of the time.

Trout and Grayling catches have been good between downpours and so has the coarse fishing. (Please see Anglers Feedback & Reports on the website).

Prospects: After today’s deluge, which arrives just as the previous spate was settling, there will again be great opportunities especially for salmon. Following what is now the usual form: Fishing will start well up river and pick up downstream as the water settles. We are predicting a very good September.

Fly Only: May we suggest a few additional techniques for those who like an “extra string to their bow” ….What can I use when the water is high and I would normally spin? I keep an extra rod made up with a modern sinker: an easy to cast sinking head (Messers Sportfish and Fishtec will advise) and a heavy tube fly: Willie Gunn being my favourite pattern. The same gear can be used to cast a Red Frances tube into fast or deeper streams where this shrimp imitation is often taken. Another tip from Iceland or Norway is the Sunray Shadow. This is a long haired lightweight tube (up to 4”) which is cast across on a floating line and stripped back rapidly. Takes can be spectacular with the salmon jumping out of the water to take it. Trout show a healthy interest too. All these have worked on the upper Wye this year.

All the best from WUF.


Wye and Usk Foundation Update

Friday 24 August, 2012

It’s Bank Holiday weekend so I can safely start with what I wrote last week: “Another bout of heavy rain is expected today which should give both rivers another thorough wash through!” There is possibly a second front arriving on Monday. The last flood was really quite dirty and peaty on the Wye, but less so on the Usk.

Last week we mentioned that we had a new fishery on board; Craig Llyn just downstream of Llanwrthwl Bridge, near Rhayader. After visiting the office with details for the website etc., the owner cast a tube fly into the Abercymryn Pool and took the beat’s first fish of the year, at 12lbs.

The upper Wye has taken quite few fish during the week, topped by a 33lbs from Chapel Catch, Llangoed. There have been quite a number of larger fish showing up - 23lbs and 19lbs from Llanstephan and 15lbs from Glanwye, Nyth and Spreadeagle. Catches from Builth to Glasbury have already exceeded the last wet year; 2008. At the bottom end, it’s been a matter of waiting patiently for the river to drop, which has been slowly, only to find more rain on the way just as it promises to come right. The middle Wye has been seeing quite a lot of fish. Joe Cobley has taken three in the last few days at Foy. We could do with some more anglers in this section when the water does come to a good height! Goodrich Court, one of the better middle/lower salmon fisheries, has received a good trimming following a few reports of access difficulties.

Grayling are increasingly appearing Wye and Lugg catches and we are pleased to report that Mortimer’s Cross beat on the Lugg will be open again this winter for day tickets. The fishery was extremely popular when available a couple of years ago with plenty of 2lb+ grayling caught. From October 1st to March 2nd there will be 3 rods available daily, £15 per rod.

Trout are proving rather difficult to tempt – hatches have been sparse except last thing, which is not ideal for everyone. However, barbel and chub fishers are enjoying excellent sport. The beat at Whitehouse has recently been trimmed to make access easier.

Himalayan balsam: This monster is now flowering and already starting to produce seeds. If you have intermittent patches where you are fishing (as opposed to solid stands) pulling or cutting will help to reduce its spread locally.

Prospects: Assuming the deluge promised for today arrives (a bit less certain than last week), the focus of salmon fishers will once again be upstream on both river systems. Salmon have already pushed on and another rise will encourage further travelling. Trout and grayling (latter Wye only) fishing should improve in the daytime and once the flood has passed, the coarse fishers should have a great time on the Wye. As always, the Booking Office will be on hand to advise.

Found: Rod and reel at Abernant: Please contact the office.

All the best from WUF.

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