River Vyrnwy 22nd November 2014

Decided, after last weeks barbel on the Dane, that a new venue was required for this weekend so I looked around my club card and decided on my first visit to the river Vyrnwy.

Vyrnwy Map

Quoted from Wikipedia – The river used to be sourced from the many rivers and streams running off the mountains surrounding the Vyrnwy valley.

The dam under construction, c. 1885

The dam under construction, c. 1885

However, since the Lake Vyrnwy dam was built in the 1880s, the river has flowed directly from the base of the dam. The river runs for 39.7 miles (63.9 km), and the last 8 miles (12.9 km) form part of the Welsh/English border between Powys and Shropshire. It eventually joins the River Severn near the village of Melverley.

My clubs stretch is less than a mile in length on the downstream limit where it joins the river Severn which in actual fact is just downstream of our Llandrinio stretch. I’ve fished Llandrinio on many occasion but hadn’t realised just how close the Vyrnwy ran nearby, in fact travel down the track a further 100 yards and you’re there so it offers an alternative should you fancy a change or find the Severn unfishable.

Having studied Google Earth and the club map book I had an idea on how to cross the fields and get to the river, mistake no.1 was listening to those ideas because in reality the fields had thickets between me and said Vyrnwy so I scrambled through a gap, carefully negotiating the barbed wire and took a first look at the river (I later learned the easier gated route). What I saw was a murky swollen river at the top of the banks however as this was due to heavy rain the day before and the upstream monitoring station said the level was falling I decided to set up and continue with the session, in any case I’d travelled 70 miles to get there and you don’t turn back unless the river is in the car park (I’ve done that before today)!!

Vyrnwy Levels 22-11-14.jpg

The problem was gauging where the banks ended and the river started and only the tops of tress gave some indication plus the main flow was carrying huge rafts of rubbish and I watched as they drifted silently by.

Vyrnwy 22-11-14 (2) Vyrnwy 22-11-14 (3)

For the first hour I cast short of the mark and after losing a couple of feeders and leads I discovered that by casting straight ahead and half way across into the main flow it brought the 2oz grippa lead swiftly back in towards the near bank downstream hitting the bottom with a ‘dunk’ as the carpers like to call it, a slight pull back to check I wasn’t snagged and I was in business and fishing.

An hour later and itching to see the rest of the swims I moved upstream, the river appeared to be rising although the monitoring station upstream said it was dropping but having set up on dry land within an hour I had wet feet and so a further move was necessary.

Vyrnwy 22-11-14 (9)

The upper limit was looking much more fishable and the flow a little more sedate. Phil joined me around 3pm and we started to fish in earnest, I’d dug up a few nice lob worms and Phil was trying a lump of meat. A 2oz grippa was all that was needed to hold bottom here and I’d dropped some hemp in both swims adding a few balls of mashed bread sprayed with the Laguna Blue Cheese SE SAC juice, it was certainly a smelly ground-bait which can often draw fish into the swim.

Vyrnwy 22-11-14 (10)

The sunset was spectacular and made the trees on the far bank glow an autumn orange.

Vyrnwy 22-11-14 (4) Vyrnwy 22-11-14 (6) Vyrnwy 22-11-14 (7)

It was soon dark and a chilly damp evening reminded me to change to my thermal lined pants for next week, we’ve been blessed with a relatively mild autumn but now that winter is well and truly here the evenings and early mornings can be particularly cold.

The last cast was made a 7:45pm, all guns blazing in a last ditched attempt but it wasn’t meant to be and at 8pm we headed back (via the correct path this time) to the car having a much need brew and a butty before hitting the road, for Phil a fifteen minute journey but for me an hour more.

What a difference a new venue can make to your fishing, I feel happy with my choice this week despite the high levels, I needed to leave the Dane on a high note and that I did but the Vyrnwy will need a significant amount of time to master it’s inhabitants and it’s time I haven’t really got this winter, my card for the river Dove will be with me mid-week and I’ll be making the 160 mile round trip for the first time next weekend, I’m feeling excited already!!

Grazy.

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