Flyfishing has become so global now and the exchange of information so fluid as a result of the internet that it can be easy to become disheartened about the fishing that we have in the UK. Anyone who reads blogs, magazines and browses the internet will likely see images and videos of monstrous trout from different places around the world on an almost daily basis. These can, if one isn’t careful, make our UK trout seem trifling in comparison.
The reality, however, is that we have some fantastic fishing in the UK. Down in Devon we are spoilt with numerous streams full of small, wild brownies. The only downside is that the operative word is ‘small’ – while they may be beautiful, a very good westcountry brown trout is one as long as an old school ruler. It is for this reason that I and many others travel to rivers elsewhere in the UK where the trout are of a larger average stamp.
The Usk is one such river and the trout in the river are typically on average the size of one of their ‘very good’ Devon cousins. A day on the river yesterday yielded plenty of trout in the 12 – 15″ class, topped by a cracking fish (not caught by me incidentally) of around 2.5lb. A strong, cold downstream wind meant that the hatches were very sparse and the fish weren’t rising with any regularity, so we had to switch between nymphs and dries. In the case of the latter, CDC and deer hair emergers did the damage, with a couple of fish really smashing the fly as it drifted over-head. Fantastic fun!