I was concerned that the traffic noise from the A40 would disturb this otherwise tranquil spot. I needn’t have worried. The field near the top of the beat seemed to be hosting a music festival, which drowned out all other sound. This beat had, well, a beat. I didn’t mind my day’s fishing having a soundtrack.
Via the Wye & Usk Foundation / Fishing Passport website, I’d booked the Dinas beat of the famous River Usk. This stretch lies just outside the town of Brecon. In dry conditions, this beat conveniently allows you to drive right up to the water’s edge. I parked up on the bank and surveyed the river.
At first I thought the river was alive with rising fish. As I looked more closely I realised it was just the countless sand martins dipping into the water’s surface to pick off insects. The birds were feeding but the fish didn’t seem to be taking insects at the surface yet. There was no shortage of upwing flies to eat. I’ll have to review my copy of ‘Matching the Hatch’ to identify them all. Yellow mayflies were quite conspicuous, but the majority were a duller brown.
Arriving at midday, I had dodged most of the rain, but on-and-off showers persisted all day. The river needed the rain as it was looking quite low. Nevertheless, wading on the algae-covered pebbles was quite tricky. Note to self: Screw in the studs you’ve bought for your waders.
Starting at the lower end of the beat, I ran a GRHE and Pink Shrimp through the prosaically named ‘Sewerage Pool’. No fish showing, I moved upstream of the A40 bridge to some of the flat glides with the wooded opposite bank. Around 3pm the fish started rising. Time for dry fly. I selected the generic imitation of a Parachute Adams #18, and cast to the rising fish.
I watched as my small fly drifted just over where a small fish was continually rising. I saw the take and tightened. Hooked! I swiftly pulled the seven-incher to the net. It was a very silvery colour. I wondered for a moment if it might have been a salmon smolt.
I lost another larger fish in the same manner. When the fish stopped rising, I took a break to check in at my guesthouse.
I returned in the evening sunshine, and walked the riverbank once more. Some bigger fish appeared to be rising in the upper reaches of the beat, but the trees make casting trickier up that end. I moved downstream, and cast to some more rising fish. A ten-inch fish took the Adams.
The largest fish of the day was just shy of twelve inches. The fish ‘helpfully’ unhooked itself and jumped out of the net before I had a chance to photograph it.
A nice little beat for a day’s fishing. There are some bigger fish to catch here no doubt. I’ll return.
- 3 Brown Trout (Parachute Adams)