One of the most influential people in my life is my Grandad, not only has he been an incredible person who I look up to a lot he was the person who taught me how to fly fish. This was from holding a rod, casting in a field and having a few rods and lines broken by a 8 year old boy, who was testing the patience of his gramps. Without him I would never have fallen in love with such an incredible sport, it was an absolute honour to be able to have a days fishing with my amazing grandad.
One of the first fisheries I ever cast a line at was Graiglywid Springs Fishery in North Wales. It is a fantastic fishery run by a fantastic owner, this fishery would be the challenge for today. The owner Huw is the most friendly and helpful fishery manager I have met. His stocking policy is second to none and he really wants you to have a great time and catch fish. We left the house at 6:30am, we we stepped out the house and the conditions seemed perfect, it was quite cold but dry and felt like a perfect morning to go fishing. We set off on the scenic 40 minute journey towards Bangor.
Graiglywid Springs is a small stillwater. The two and a half acre lake is located on the edge of the Snowdonia National Park in scenic and picturesque surroundings and is definitely an extreme place to fish, especially if the elements are not on your side. As soon as we stepped out the car we new this would not be a straight forward day. The wind was blowing ferociously, straight in off the sea into the mountain, and right into the fishery. The wind was icy and made it feel twice as cold as it was. We were met with the sun rising and a stunning view out to sea.
I kitted up with thermals and extra jackets and was hoping that would be enough to battle the sub zero temperatures. I was excited for today’s session as I was able to trial out a couple new Airflo lines. The Airflo Sixth Sense floating line and the Airflo Sixth Sense fast inter. I had heard alot of great things about these lines.
I had one set up today which was a 9’6 Sage XP 7# this was equipped with a Lamson Litespeed Reel loaded with the Airflo sixth sense floating line. After a quick chat with Huw I made my way up to the lake and tried to seek some shelter from the wind. Before we began Huw stocked the lake with 30 or so hard fighting rainbow and browns, some beautiful double figure fish went in as well. No excuses now, there was definitely fish in there.
I attached an 18foot leader of 6lb Airflo Sightfree G3 Fluorocarbon, with a three fly cast. On the top dropper was a black crisp packet buzzer, on the middle dropper was a white and green okey dokey buzzer and on the point was a cats whisker. A lethal set up of flies and a favourite of mine when targeting stillwater fisheries.
There were only 2 other anglers braving the arctic conditions, I could tell by there approach they were fishing fast sinking lines, stripping lures. After a quick chat they were really struggling and had no fish between them. I still stook with the floating line approach, I often like fishing different to other anglers, it usually adds an extra fish on the bank.
My first few casts were along the margins, quite a few good fish were rising quite close to the bank. Graiglywidd is a very deep lake and shelves off very quickly. I have found fishing the hang is so affective here, sometimes fish are cruising as close in as the end of your rod tip. After my sixth cast everything locked up and I was in to my first fish. After an acrobatic fight I had a 3lb beautiful rainbow in the net. It had taken the black crisp packet buzzer on the top dropper. With the first fish taking the top dropper it made me realise the fish weren’t as deep as everyone thought, even in the extreme weather conditions. I then changed the cats whisker for a suspender buzzer, fishing a washing line set up. This change was an instant success and had another two fish on the black crisp packet buzzer.
A few hours passed and the rises began to slow down, the weather was really doing everything it could to deter all anglers. I felt like a change was needed, I swapped from the floating line to the Airflo Sixth Sense Fast Inter, I attached a chain eyed cats whisker and let the fly count down to 40 seconds, a slow jerky figure of eight and the rod nearly shot out my hand, but I missed it. I re cast to the same area sped the retrieve up and the line shot off again, this time I lifted the rod tip and was into a cracking Graigllywid rainbow trout of around 5lb. After my fourth fish the weather really closed in and due to my rod rings freezing up we had to call it a day.
I was so impressed with the Airflo Sixth Sense lines, I felt every single touch and nip and felt so confident in my fishing. Once I had a hooked a fish the non stretch fly line made playing the fish an incredible sensation, I felt every kick, roll and head shake. I highly recommend these lines and will always have them in my armoury.
After a fantastic days fishing I finished with four beautiful rainbows, taken on black buzzers and cats whisker, my gramps finished with the biggest fish if the day at 8lb fishing a red buzzer (he is still giving me lessons 12 years on) If we could change one thing it would of been the sub zero weather, but hey that’s fishing. We had a brilliant day at a fantastic fishery, with some great hard fighting rainbows, browns and blue trout. Huw is genuinely one of the nicest people you will meet in the sport and will go out of his way to ensure you have a great days fishing.
I highly recommend Graiglywid Springs Fishery for the beautiful views, the great sport and a very warm welcome.