Sometimes its just not meant to Dee – The river Dee

River Dee, fly fishing, fishing, the tree trout, angling, fishing

The river Dee – Glyndwr preserve

With my fishing getting off to a slow start this year I decided I’d try a new venue. The river Dee has been sat on my to do list for some time now, so seemed a good choice. With so many beats to choose from I took a gamble and booked the Glyndwr preserve just upstream of Llangollen. Eagerly anticipating the fishing trip I kept a keen eye on the weather and the closest river level reading. Typically the rain moved in the evening before I set off, not phased by the weather I eagerly loaded the car and set off the next morning. With the window wipers on full and the heater working over time to keep the steaming up windows at bay I didn’t feel deterred.

River dee, glyndwr preserve, wye and usk foundation, fly fishing, fishing, angling, the tree trout

Geared up and off to the lower limit

Slight hiccup.

Through out life we are often bluntly reminded how much times have changed and how much we rely on technology. With only a few miles left to travel and no postcode or grid reference, we were forced to use a map and written directions. My co-driver who is of the generation who has never seen a map in paper form was in control of this task. After some communication breakdown and vital directions lost in translation we eventually found the lay-by in which we parked. With that slight hiccup put to rest I geared up and set off to the lower limit of the river Dee.

River Dee, wye and usk foundation, glyndwr preserve, fly fishing, fishing, angling, the tree trout

Lower limit, trying to negotiate the water in some very trick wading conditions

A rude awakening.

On arrival to the lower limit I cast an eye over the water in-front of me whilst occasionally gazing back down into my fly box. With the river presenting a strong flow and excellent clarity I opted for a heavy nymph with natural colours. Tippet length set and flies on, I slowly entered the river. My initial thought was of that familiar Disney character ‘Bambi’, a rude awakening that this river requires studs. With this in mind I instantly knew I would struggle to fish prime locations.

River Dee, fly fishing, wye and usk foundation, glyndwr preserve, fishing, angling, the tree trout

doing my best to avoid a swim

Too many choices.

With 2 and 1/2 miles of double bank fishing available on the beat I found it difficult to not want to try to cover a large majority of it. Trying to be selective with the sections I fished, I worked my way up through the beat. Unfortunately some very likely spots were un fish-able due to my lack of confidence with wading across the treacherous rocks. One particular section ticked all the boxes but even with thorough searching through the seams and layers nothing showed up apart from the odd ‘Rock trout’. Moving on up and the day getting older I tried my luck in the tail of a very strong flow being forced between two large rocks. With very little to no rocks on the river bed due to the strong flow I got a false sense of security whilst wading, but was quickly brought back to reality. With lots of grip on the gravel I edged further and further into the flow until all of a sudden my feet slipped and I was in. Typical both legs and a foot soaked oo and a pair of soggy bollocks to top it off.

River Dee, wye and usk foundation, fly fishing, fishing , angling, the tree trout, glyndwr preserve


Nearing the last quarter of the beat, the Sun had dropped which made it very hard to see the indicator on my line. Almost admitting defeat I thought it best to return to one of the sections near the car park and see out the last of the fading light. Walking back down through the fields we were entertained by the local shoot in the distance finishing off their season, which also kept Elliott on his toes. Nearing the lower section we met up with the bailiff of the beat who informed me that the Grayling had been particularly hard to catch recently on the river Dee, with the possibility of the fish spawning, he then pointed me in the direction of a good place to give a go before leaving. Hoping I may save the day with this bit of local knowledge I upped the pace and marched my way down to tail out of one of the salmon pools. Trying to negotiate this already tricky water became even more tricky with fading light conditions. Unfortunately after another half hour I decided to call it a day, the local knowledge was of no avail.

River dee, wye and usk foundation, river, glyndwr preserve, fishing, fly fishing, angling, the tree trout

Fading light conditions made it tough on the eyes

Nothing to write about.

After packing my gear back into the car I sat for 5 minutes or so to have a drink and something to eat. It was then that it suddenly dawned on me that Id have nothing to write about from this trip. Having not caught anything I felt as though I’d failed to give myself something to write about, but then I realized you can’t always write about success. Everyone fails to catch from time to time due to dozens of varying reasons. And I’d most definitely learnt from a few mistakes one of which being not to leave home without studs especially when returning to the river Dee. So hopefully whats been difficult to write will be easy to relate to.

The tree trout, River Dee, Wye and usk foundation, fly fishing, fishing, angling,

Don’t always need to catch fish for it to be an enjoyable day, although it is very nice if you do!

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