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Fly Fishing On The River Usk: A Detailed Report

Of course we are asked how the river is fishing the whole time and when I was sent this very well detailed and interesting fishing report by a fisherman, Richard Davies, who stayed last week at Gliffaes, I thought I should share it. Before I do I should say that the Usk has not looked better for a long time. To see a healthy flow of water in the river at the end of the summer makes a real change to the last few years.
Just an email to thank you for the really enjoyable stay I had at Gliffaes last week and to update your fishing book.

Day 1:

Middle Beat, although we moved upstream later in the day. Jimmy Devoy gave me excellent help and guidance. I fished mainly wet flies; a team of three with a tungsten beaded GRHE as the point fly. I caught maybe 6 or 7 fish mostly beautiful Wild Brown Trout at least one par. The fish took the point fly mostly but I had one fabulous take on a spider fly that was on the first dropper. This was the infamous fish that got away – it was about 3lb (ask Jimmy – he saw it) and whilst I played it for a good while it slipped off the hook and lived to fight another day. This was in Nick’s larder by the way. Not much surface action in terms of rises but lots of flies; olives, sedges and some yellow duns, in fact by the time I left at about 6pm I had only seen one rise although there were hatches throughout the day.

Day 2:

I fished the River Crai during the day on the Wye and Usk Roving voucher scheme and had a hard days fishing albeit enjoyable; 2 WBT on the aforementioned GRHE. Later at about 7pm I returned to the hotel and fished the top beat and caught a few on the wet flies but saw a good rise – fish sipping regularly, probably at emergers or more likely spinners, so just before it got dark, I managed a nice fish on an Adams Klinkhammer, the first on a dry fly is always special.

Day 3:

Middle Beat again. I fished the morning pretty successfully with the same set up as before catching about 4 fish. I had a leisurely lunch and rest returning later in the afternoon. A good session 2 or 3 on the nymph and culminating in 2 on the dry fly; one on a sherry spinner and the other on my own version of a parachute Tups Indispensable. Both were caught in the pool above Nick’s larder.

Day 4:

Llandetty. When I eventually found it – I think the parking instructions could be updated, its easy to loose your confidence and think you are in the wrong spot – I went down to the upper part of the beat and tried a dry fly in the pool by the bend. No luck although I did see one fish rise to inspect my Tups, only to see him reject it. I did catch in this pool on a wet fly though – an Usk Nailer.
Moving downstream the water was much more productive, particularly in the riffles just below the pool. Again I used the same 3 fly set up as before and I caught 5 or 6 fish including 2 which looked to me like sea trout – not more than ½ to ¾ lb but with definite sea trout markings. Every one of thee fish bar 1 took the point fly; the same tungsten beaded GRHE (tied by myself so it’s a bit scruffy!) The rain was getting more persistent by this time – about 5pm and I walked back to the car to drive back to London.
All in all it was a fabulous few days. The hotel was splendid, the food was excellent and the whole atmosphere very relaxed but the service was attentive and friendly.
Thank you. I hope to be back in September for another tilt at the Usk before the end of the season.
Kind Regards