What a beautiful day. I couldn’t resist going to the river with the two black dogs to see if there was any movement. One of the things about the Usk at this time of year is the importance of arriving on time for the hatch, and its early this early in the season. Needless to say I think I was too late, but it didn’t matter. You must be there by 10.30 am.
When the sun is out and its warmth is having an effect on your back you really feel that at last winter is losing its grip. On my knees looking under stones with a shallow flow I found exactly what I expected – trillions of fresh water shrimp and a good spattering of nymphs mainly olives, but I am not expert in distinguishing which are which in the nymph department. This year on the Usk we are doing a survey on March Brown numbers so if you do come and see any bring home a sample and identify where you saw it.
As I walked up the beat most of the wildlife one expects to see was there, mallard now all paired, the odd dipper but not many about as they are sitting, and I didn’t see a kingfisher though plenty of noisy wrens! Joys to come will be the various wagtails, sandpipers and later sand martins, house martins, swallows and swifts.
It is a stunning river and a delight to see the whole thing springing back to life. No reports of any salmon yet. Last years official catch was 488, well down as were all other rivers in the UK except for the Dee in Scotland which was 7% up probably because of 100 % Catch & Release law.
River Usk March Brown Survey