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Christmas on the Wye - December 2008

Having arrived on the 22nd December at about midnight, we didn't get to fish until the Monday. We try to spend the day together as a family and fish a bit in the evening. At about 6 o'clock Lee and I decided that we had to have a quick fish as we had yet to wet a line. We had one cast each a couple of swims apart. After 10 minutes, I landed a fat 5lb 6oz chub, a nice fish but not exceptional for the stretch. Just as I was returning it, I heard Lee shouting for the net, he also was into a 5lb'er and the fish looked the same size as mine too. As I hadn't bought the scales I told him it must be at least 1oz smaller so wasn't worth weighing. At that point we packed up. Lee said to have more fish that evening would be rude as the river had greeted us so well.

The next day we drifted off a little earlier (about 3pm) I had 2 small chub, one about 3 and the other 4lb+ whilst Lee was determined to catch a pike. Sure enough, just as the light fell his float suspending the deadbait dipped and then powered off downstream. However, the line was snagged around the front of the spool of his Mitchell 300 and the fish disappeared without being hooked.

The next day Sandy and Jenny went shopping, something to avoid at all costs, so Lee and I travelled up to Builth Wells after grayling. We both love our grayling fishing, especially when you catch them long trotting. They are an underrated fish which fight hard and are beautiful - what else would you expect of the lady of the stream. We long trotted with maggots and I was soon into a brownie of just over a pound, whilst Lee has a beautiful grayling which weighed 1lb 6oz. The sport was a little slow as the temperature barely rose above freezing all day, however, with regular light loose feeding I managed to catch a steady stream of grayling with one really good fish which Lee (who had the scales this time) said wasn't worth weighing because it was smaller than his. I guess this was payback time for the chub although looking at the photos I think mine may have had the edge. To end the day, Lee swung out our normal 1.5" cube of spam on a size 2 hook and caught a couple of chub, both over 3lb where we had been loose-feeding. We shared a couple of dozen fish between us on a most inclement day, but this shows why the stretch at Builth is one of our favourite destinations, and why the Wye is our favourite river. I cannot understand why anybody would rather fish small stillwater "puddles" than fish a river that is full of specimen fish which flows through some of the most beautiful scenery in the country.