Fishing the River Ewenny

Fishing the Ewenny River on an Area 4 Grayling Day

On 25 September 2021

My first Grayling fishing day out since lockdown 18 months ago, so all kitted up ready to go. The last time I fished this PDAC water I did say it was too hard work climbing up and down the banks, and I would leave it to the younger generation, but while talking to a Grayling member at the last symposium I discovered the further down the river you went to the Moors beat it was easier to wade and the banks are not so steep, so I thought I would try it again.

The River Ewenny rises off the moor, north of Bridgend and then winds its way down through villages, woods, under a motorway, across moorland where it feeds into the River Ogmore and on to the estuary, there is now a good head of Grayling there. Fishing in the river Ogmore, the Grayling appear to come down the Ewenny and stay in the Ogmore, obviously a better source of food there.

The PDAC water is a challenging stretch of water, although low levels due to all the dry weather but ranging from very narrow in places – 6ft to 30ft, and winds its way through fields.  Along the way you have bridges, fords, a weir with a salmon run built in, steep banks with very overgrown vegetation and brambles, although there are plenty of wader protected stiles, steps cut in the bank, also some bank ropes to help you pull yourself up the banks. The river bed is a mixture of sand, stone, gravel, bed rock and mud. Along with a fast current in places with some very deep pools and narrow deep channels, a canopy of trees that make sure you use a short rod, and only roll cast or side flick casts can be used.  Salmon are also caught on this stretch of the river.

This time I fished the Moors beat about 1mile from the car park, by road and a different car park, then a short walk across the field to the concrete cattle ford, at this point you can go left or right, wading up or down the river, plenty of pools, rocks stony channels to catch waiting fish, or as in my case in early afternoon, stand against the bank as the sun rays shine from behind you on the opposite bank and half the river surface, you see the grayling swim by or come out from under the far bank stones, as the water is gin clear, stalking the fish is the term used, here I used my up winged olive and watched it taken by one inquisitive Grayling as it floated down stream.

I fished with a 5ft 6ins rod 3weight, 2lb x 4ft leader on a dry line with size 16 up winged olive, a black bead nymph and a daddy most of the day, I caught 3 x 7/8ins Grayling, beautiful young looking fish.  A PDAC rule is all removed barbed flies, but now you can fish a dropper, (one wet & one dry).

A great day although somewhat tiring, me being out of practice, and always watching the stones and being careful not to lose your flies in the overhanging vegetation.

Another Area 4 day organised by Geoff Beven, and as always PDAC were on hand when we arrived to supply, coffee, tea and biscuits and collect the fees. An extra nice touch by PDAC to finish the day was we were given a compliantly free day fishing as a group or by ourselves in the future.

The PDAC look after this water, banks, stiles, water approaches very well and it’s a credit to them.

PDAC = Pencoed & District Angling Club.

87 miles from Cheltenham to J.35 on the M4 and a 10min drive to the PDAC car park.

Andrew Ayres

WFD, Cheltenham Fly Dressers, Grayling Society Member

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