Kandahar, River Ruel
The Ruel is a classic west coast spate-river. From its confluence with the Garvie Burn it is fishable for about 12 miles as it flows through Glendaruel and into Loch Riddon. Fishing activity during the past few years has been very low, but now for the first time day-tickets are available to fish for salmon, sea-trout and brown trout. A re-stocking programme using broodstock caught in the river has been carried out, and during the past two years there have been encouraging signs that the number of salmon and sea-trout are increasing significantly and some very good fish have been released. Prospects are excellent when the river is in spate. Day-tickets for salmon and sea-trout cost from £20 Contact Tom Carter, Fishpal. Tel: 01573 470 612 Purchase tickets online at www.fishpal.com/scotland/ Argyll/kandahar
THROUGHOUT THE first half of June the river stayed low and few catches were reported with the main runs of migratory fish still to come. However, wet weather in the middle of the month raised water levels to 1.2 m on the Cwm Llanerch gauge and then subsequent downpours pushed the level up to a 2.5 m flood on the 19th. This encouraged a run of salmon, with some big fish among them, as well as bringing in reasonable numbers of seatrout. As I write (June 29), levels have been good for the fly for some days, but now further rain is pushing the water up again. Russell Mee hit the jackpot: fishing a worm on upper Gwydyr waters on June 20 when the water was still high but falling, he had four salmon and lost others. Russ had fish of 8 lb and 7 lb from the Blue pool – that beautiful pool at the bottom of the Lledr just before it joins Tyn y Cae – then salmon of 14 lb and 12 lb (both released) from the point by the fishing hut in Tyn y Cae itself. I hear that, among fish lost on that day, one was certainly over 20 lb. This top part of the upper Gwydyr beat has also been
productive for sea-trout flyfishers. Graham Lockett had a 5 lb sea-trout and two 2 lb fish from Tyn y Cae, and Stuart Davies a five-pounder from the tail of this pool on his second cast of the season. In higher water Ian Williams caught a 4 lb sea trout from the Blue pool on a spinner. On the Beaver Grove beat sea-trout have been seen jumping in the Firs pool and Frank Lysak caught a 3 lb fish on fly from the head of this bend in the river. With a small, but keen, membership this syndicate has been recently reinvigorated and I hope to report good catches from other pools along this right-bank beat this season. On the lower of the Gwydyr beats a few sea-trout have been caught in Hafod, but, a bit earlier in the season, Stuart Davies, fishing a fly around the Willow pool, released a huge brown trout estimated at 6 lb. The Willow pool is at the bottom of that large easterly bend of the river above the railway crossing, which itself is just above the famous Wall pool. Downstream, on the Llanrwst town beat, Sam Lees has had sea-trout to 3 lb and Jack Williams fish to 2 lb. Also on the fly at night Stuart Llewellyn has lost a record number of sea-trout in June and was surprised to find that the one fish which he managed to get to the net was a 7 lb salmon. Further down from here, below Gower’s Bridge, I hear of sea-trout to 3 lb caught on the fly at the top of the Plas Madoc beat. The top pool of this beat, Titler’s, bends round nicely into the Signal Box pool and, with the water lowish, an angler can wade round this bend, casting into what traditionally has been held to be one of the best sea-trout holding areas on the river. In the middle of this beat, salmon have been seen moving in the Stake and Pompryn pools, which are better known as salmon holding areas and the Stake, in particular, is ideal for the shrimp in lower water with fish that have come in on the tide. I remain at maxcoventry@ aol.com or please leave a message on 01352 720 152. – MAX COVENTRY.
THE RIVER was at summer level for much of June, which made salmon fishing challenging. A few fish were caught on the Federation waters in the Felton area. Salmon of 6 lb, 7 lb and 8 lb were reported. The bright days made a stealthy approach necessary. K. Mather landed a sea-liced 12 lb 8 oz salmon in the Black Bridge to the Swans area. Access for salmon at Pauperhaugh Bridge should now be easier in low water after the work that has been carried out. I also heard of a few fish slightly further upriver than Felton, so odd ones are moving upstream, even in the low water. A wet spell towards the end of June improved sport. The heaviest salmon to date was caught by James Tocker, who had a fish of 14 lb 12 oz from the Swan’s Neck. Several other fish were reported. Seatrout were running and several were caught on the Felton beat. Early autumn fishing can be very good given plenty of water. – DAVID CARRICK.
THE WEATHER has generally been fine and warm on the South West Lakes trout fisheries with some very humid days and the occasional heavy downpour – ideal conditions for hatches and terrestrials, with dry-flies performing well on calmer days. Water temperatures are around 17-18 deg C and rising, and levels are still full or fairly high. Catches at Siblyback dropped slightly over June, but still showed a respectable average of 2.8 fish per angler, which included a number of brown and blue trout. While fish are still looking upwards to feed (with Hoppers, Bibios, Beetles, and dry Sedges catching fish), most fish have been caught on nymphs (especially Diawl Bachs, Buzzers, Damsels and Pheasant Tails) fished just under the surface using sink-tip or intermediate lines. Pulled Tadpoles, Fritz patterns, Cormorants and Cat’s Whiskers did well on sinking lines when the fish were in deeper water. With bank anglers enjoying more success than the boats, the most productive areas included Stocky Bay, the North
Good water on Fowey produces seatrout to 4 lb
Shore, and Two Meadows. The best fish of the month was a 5 lb 2 oz rainbow, caught by Mr N. Fox. Stithians continues to fish well, anglers averaging 2.9 fish per rod, including a number of hard-fighting blue trout and fish well spread out. With plenty of flies and beetles about, the fish are feeding keenly and coming up to a variety of dry patterns such as Hawthorns, black Hoppers, Foam Beetles, Black and Peacock Spiders, and Sedge patterns. Nymphs (Damsels, Diawl Bachs, Buzzers, and Montanas) fished on sink-tip lines have also produced good catches. Pipe Bay, Mossops, Pub Bay, and Yellowort have fished well, as has the deeper water by the dam. The best fish of the month was a 4 lb 3 oz rainbow, caught by Mr G. Antcliff from Camborne. Rods at Drift have averaged 2.5 fish per angler, with floattubers enjoying considerable success when fishing midwater at the dam end. Bank anglers found most fish from the north bank and around the dam area. Apart from a few fish coming up to black gnats, most have been feeding sub-surface and caught on Black and Peacock Spider variants, Buzzers, green Diawl Bachs, and Crunchers; deeper fish have fallen to pulled dark or black lure patterns. With the weather warming up and the arrival of longawaited rain in mid June the Fowey was in an ideal state for fresh sea-trout and salmon to run throughout the catchment. As a result, sea-trout to 4 lb were regularly taken on fly at night and on spinners during the day; fresh grilse (of 4 lb-6 lb) were also reported, falling mainly to spinners in falling water. The river still looks in fine condition and it is hoped that the summer peal run will appear shortly, July usually showing a marked increase in sea-trout numbers – albeit smaller fish. Many of the bigger fish have now run up the river and are safely in the sanctuary areas managed by the Fowey River Association. The Glynn Valley syndicate beat has not seen much activity, but member Alan Hawken lost an energetic small fish and then had one of 1 lb 8 oz. There is little to report on the Lynher. A small coloured spate in early June did not trigger any sizeable run of sea-trout. The number of sea-trout in the river remains disappointing for this time of year, and low, clear water makes fishing difficult. One or two salmon have been reported, although it is too early to assess the likely run for this year. There has been little activity on the Inny. However, spates during June, although taking a long time to fine down, did at last clean the stones and re-oxygenate the tired and low Tamar! Ian Elford fished the Netherbridge beat on the Tamar before the heavy rain, and although struggling to find any decent trout, was rewarded with a specimen grayling at Carey Foot that measured 20 inches. Colin Hookway connected with a 4 lb grilse and a week later landed a really fresh 7 lb salmon on the Tamar. Andy Blackie also reported that he had banked three fresh salmon on the Tamar. The Tresarrett Fishery (Tresarrett Manor) beat on the Camel produced a nice 9 lb 8 oz salmon and a 3 lb 8 oz sea-trout at the end of June; both were caught by Gary