Big Salmon - Attempt No 3 (River Wye, Rectory Beat)

River: Wye
Beat: Rectory
Air Temp: 33.4 Deg C
Level: 0 on Gauge B
Barometer: Steady at 1006 HPa

My best man and Tulchan fishing gang member has been suggesting that we try somewhere closer to home for salmon and the Wye looks the best bet to get some good fishing without breaking the bank.

Access is controlled by the Wye and Usk Foundation, which is a charitable organisation.  In theory, it's a piece of cake to book some fishing but after studying the catch returns and trying to book onto one of the most productive beats, it's clear that the relatively low cost (for salmon fishing...) means that people book all the best beats way in advance, even in high summer.

After trawling through the dates, I finally found a single rod (out of six) free on the Rectory beat, which is pretty famous and thought I'd just go down and scope it out, while picking up some work related business in mid Wales.

Unfortunately, as regards fishing, I picked one of the hottest days of the year and with the river down to it's bones, there was just no way that the salmon rod was going to make it out of the car.  Interestingly, the other five rods booked never showed all day which suggests to me that the low cost is encouraging some selfish practices........ie. book all the best weeks and if conditions are good fish the beat and if not, then so what, it's not big money.  Might I suggest to the foundation that either rods have to confirm 48 hours before (so the rods can be offered to other people if they are to be free) or a no show on the day cancels all other bookings that year?

Anyhow, enough Victor Meldew chat, the beat is beautiful and the low water and high temperature actually made it easy to find the fish.  Oxygenated necks were the order of the day and a bonanza ensued.  Fishing a team of spiders, sometimes with a small double on the point to drop the flies a few inches, somewhere over 50 fish came to the net over the day.  Although plenty were parr, there was also plenty of good grayling to 1.5lbs and brown trout to the same weight.

Building on my multi-fish experiences on the Teviot, I somehow managed to get two parr, a grayling and the best brownie of the day on a single cast which is one to tell my girls about when they are a bit older.  Around tea time, a switch to the chub rod produced a 4lb fish first cast to anchored crust in Ty Mawr Pool, where I saw my one and only salmon of the day roll in the seam of the main current.  As you can see, I use a highly technical rig and rod set-up for my river Chub fishing these days...

So, not even close to a salmon today but a truly great day's sport.  One final observation though, something particularly big did follow me through the woods at dusk at the bottom of the beat, which got my cold fish blood racing a bit(!).  I'm hoping it was a sheep but I'm not sure that they pant....

Mr Fish          

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