New salmon & trout season off to a strong start

Tuesday 5th March, 2019

The start of Sunday's opening day on the Wye could hardly have gone much better for local angler and ghillie Nathan Jubb. Shortly after 7am and on his third cast with a single hooked Flying C, he hooked and landed a fantastic 31lb springer from the Coedithel beat on tidal section of the Wye (his 14th Wye salmon over 30lbs). Not only was this a very large fish, it also earned Nathan the bottle of Pol Roger champagne for the first Wye salmon of the season!

A further seven fish were caught on Sunday, mostly from around the Ross-on-Wye area. Three came from Ross Anglers' water - 13lbs to Matt Cooper (fly), 13lb for Andrew Llewellyn (spinner) and an 8 pounder for Jon Daniels (also spinner).

Upstream of Ross-on-Wye, two springers came from the Aramstone beat (12lbs for Stan Turner and 18lbs for Lawrence Birkin, both spinner) and one from the Dean & Chapter (7lb to Laurence French on fly). Meanwhile, further downstream, Ross James caught a 15 pounder from the Courtfield beat in the afternoon on spinner.

Eight fish is the best opening day for some considerable time and it could have been even better had Storm Freya not arrived later in the afternoon. Some anglers were struggling even to land a heavy spinner in the river once the wind had picked up. Encouragingly, quite a few kelts were reported too.

The salmon, as always at this time of year, are impressive fish that are willing takers. The secret is being fortunate enough to intercept one and having your fly or spinner close enough for it not to be ignored.

We heard of one more fish yesterday (another from Courtfield, this one to Don Macer-Wright) but with water levels dropping back after the storm, conditions today might be just about right in the upper and middle sections of both rivers, unless more rain intervenes. If anyone needed more encouragement to try for one of these any stunning early spring salmon, the bottle of Pol Roger is still up for grabs on the Usk!

There have been some large dark olive hatches on the Usk and a few trout caught on the upper river around Brecon in the opening couple of days. However, the unsettled weather forecast of the next week or so might not favour trout fishers and they may need to wait a little longer before their season is in full swing.

You can view the salmon catches as they come in here.

All the best from WUF.

Matt Cooper with his fly-caught 13lb opening day spring salmon from the Benhall Beat on Ross Anglers' water.

The Midland Fly Fishers toasted the start of the new season with a tot of Welsh whisky on the upper Wye.

The bottle of Pol Roger may have been claimed for the Wye but there is still one up for grabs on the Usk!


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