On the 26th January I attended my first Grayling Day of 2020, arranged by Geoff Bevan, the area 4 secretary, on the river Severn at Caersws, the CAA waters. We were met at the Maesmawr Hall Hotel by Sue and Ian with coffee and biscuits, where they explained their beats and a beat map was given out to all 6 of us.
They have several starting points along this section of river, all with parking spaces and only a short walk to the waters edge. The water was fishable but high and in places very fast water, too fast for me to stand in even with my wading stick.
One of their members during last week had taken a 3lb Grayling out at the coal yard beat and then the river was fishing well. The river access is good and wading is safe in normal conditions as it is mostly a shale bed although there are some deep holes along the way. The CAA have 2 plus miles of river bank.
Anybody wanting a weekend break this small country hotel which dates back to 1535 ia a very good base as you can literally walk down to the river and you then have 1.5 miles of river bank in front of you in both directions.
The weather was for me very bleak, for my first time out in 2020. Maybe I should have stayed at home, heavy rain and strong winds did not help.
I fished my 10ft 6/7 weight Hardy, 6lb line with a 10ft tippet, one dropper and lost two flies in the trees on the far bank!! It was not my long cast , but the wind that took my line as I cast. I have to say I was very rusty as it was my first time out and the 105 miles each way in heavy rain did not help. I went arse over tit twice, the last time coming to a stop 2ft from the waters edge, not a pretty site, fortunately only the sheep watching my spectacular performance.
On the wild life not much , three swans and a lot of sheep and a v formation of geese high in the sky.
I caught two Grayling both on a size 14 jig hook, purple and red perils with small tungsten beads. I found the jig hooks cast very well on the point on these welsh stony river beds and they attract any bottom feeding fish, ideal for Grayling.
After 3.5 hours I felt like a wet and muddy drowned rat, so I decided I would pack up, change into some dry clothes and return home before I did any more damage to myself. On the good side the worst is over the season can only get better I think.
On a serious point , in the summer months for a weekend break with all the fishing you want, no need to start the car till you go home, great food so they tell me it is a great location. What more do you need?
Maesmawr Hall Hotel for special weekend breaks 01686 688255
I have all the beat maps if anybody wants them.
Andrew Ayres, WFD, C&G FD and Grayling Society Member