Skating on the Dee

Skating on the Dee

Tracy&James | Thursday, 29 August 2019

Fishing on the river Dee has been great this week. Lots of grayling and browns rising to take dry flies, some leaping out of the water and completely missing the fly, some not much bigger than the fly itself. I don’t know how many fish I missed or how many fish I caught, as after a dozen or so, I stopped counting. Initially I found that I was missing a lot of the takes and asked James for advice. He watched my technique and noticed that I was ‘over-reaching’ with my reach-mends, so that I had too much slack line that I wasn’t able to strip back quick enough. The line was then drifting under my rod tip as the water was running quite fast in places. I spent some time watching him and adjusted my technique; this was after I had missed three takes in five minutes and he had caught two fish in the same time, using the same fly and only being a few yards away from me.

Having corrected my approach, I started to hook up and had a series of beautiful grayling all on dries, my favourite way to fish. We were having so much fun that we were starving by the time we stopped for our late lunch. The weather was still hot as we sat on the bridge overlooking the river with a cold Pinot Grigio and our two-course picnic. After lunch, besides feeling like having a sleep, we decided to split up to wade the opposite banks of the river downstream of the bridge, though I didn’t see many rises. On catching up with James, I watched him fish across the river, took some photos whilst relaxing and enjoying the afternoon sun. I heard rustling behind me and spotted a stoat running past, sadly too quick for a photo. James had caught a few fish but had also not seen much rise, so we decided to go to another spot.

There we found lots of sedge hatching, so I changed fly and had takes immediately. Normally, you wouldn’t allow a dry to skate along the surface when river fishing however I started to get takes from both browns and grayling when I did. As the evening progressed, we both had many hook ups, occasionally getting a take the instance the fly touched the water, but more often when the sedge skated across the surface. We only stopped when it became too dark to see the fly or any rises.

James went fishing yesterday on his own and also found that a ‘skating’ sedge worked brilliantly. He fished on in to the evening again and caught mainly small browns. He remembered to take a camera with him this time, typical since I wasn’t with him, and got some fantastic underwater shots of one of the grayling he caught.

Quite a number of the fish we both caught were on a fly given to us by our friend Gilly after fishing with her on the Test recently. We can thank Gilly next Sunday when we support the Hampshire County Sport Show in Bereleigh Estate, near Petersfield. Gilly organises the fishing aspects of the Show and this will be the fourth year that we have supported her by running free-to-enter casting competitions for everyone to enter. We normally spend the day casting with the instructors who provide tuition, drinking beer and eating cake with Gilly and supporting her with whatever demo she will do in the main arena. So if you are in the area, come along and join us,

Whatever you are doing this weekend, hope you get some time to go fishing. I’m intending to fish the Dee again before Sunday, weather permitting,