Latest Return of the March Brown

Return of the March Brown

Wednesday 27th March, 2019

Storms Freya and Gareth are well behind us and both rivers have now settled back into relatively normal flows for the time of year.

Combined with these flows, the warmer temperatures have encouraged the Usk’s trout fishing to move into full swing this week with some strong hatches of March browns and large dark olives reported. Ten years ago the March brown was believed by many to be extinct on our rivers. For the last three or four years, however, their numbers have been recovering well. It is heartening to see an insect that plays an important part in the fishing calendar making such a strong comeback.

Some impressive trout catches are now being made on the main stem of the Usk and it usually early season when the larger fish are caught – hunger and forgetfulness of what an artificial looks like perhaps getting the better them! This won’t last for long so with high pressure forecasted until next week, trout anglers are encouraged to make the most of the favourable conditions.

Grannom are now starting to appear too which means that on sunnier days, productive fishing will extend beyond the 11am to 2pm window that normally dominates in March. The upper Wye’s trout have also begun to rise in the middle of the day. The tributaries of both rivers are usually a little behind the main stems but fishing here should improve markedly in April providing we don’t get a cold snap.

For more details on the invertebrate life of both rivers, please see Dave Collins’s eColette Mooney, WUFs Head of Education, teaching primary school children about salmon and their struggle to survive in our rivers and streams.xcellent guide in this year’s Fishing Passport magazine.

The concentration of Wye salmon around Ross on the opening day has spread out with fish caught as far upstream as Whitney Court in the past week. Water levels are dropping slowly so fishing in the middle and lower beats should become more productive as the week continues. The first Usk fish is still to be caught so a bottle of Pol Roger champagne is still up for grabs!

Stream Survivors at Shobdon!

On the subject of salmon, children from Shobdon Primary School in Herefordshire had fun with Colette Mooney (the Foundation’s Head of Education) earlier in March finding out about their struggle for survival in our rivers and streams. The children took part in the Stream Survivor Game as part of the Go Wild in the Curl Education Project, which is supported by the Kingspan Community Trust.

The results of the recent Usk fish eating bird survey are now available in the News section.They discovered the importance of clean water, gravel and a good food supply for salmon fry and marvelled at the height a salmon can leap – up to 4m! They also found out about the many challenges that young salmon face, both natural and man-made.

For more information on the exciting learning opportunities which the Foundation’s Education Department can deliver click here.

Usk FEB Survey

The results from the piscivorous bird survey carried out on the 10th March are now available on the Foundation’s website. This, along with another count this autumn, will help us determine the extent to which these birds are causing the decline in juvenile Usk salmon numbers.

We would like to thank all the anglers, owners and clubs who turned out at 9.30am on Sunday morning to cover nearly half the length of the river.

All the best from WUF.

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