Saturday, 16 April 2011
An American Brook Trout in Wales
My quest took me to Chirk in the county of Wrexham in North Wales. It was Chirk Trout Farm that first imported the brook trout from America, and they are still reared here and stocked into Chirk fishery.
I was lucky enough to have the fishery to myself until lunchtime and trout of all varieties could be seen in the clear water. After an unsuccessful hour fishing buzzers and bloodworm imitations I changed over to an intermediate line and my favourite fly, the nomad.
During the remainder of the day I caught twenty-four trout, all bar two were returned. Most of the fish were around a pound with a handful of larger fish including a beautifully proportioned rainbow of around four pounds.
I could easily have caught thirty, or even forty trout, as I missed loads of takes including a couple of brookies and a particularly strikingly marked tiger. By moving regularly and ringing the changes with both the retrieve and the colour of nomad the takes kept on coming. Only once did I get a follow from a golden trout which unfortunately veered off at the last moment.
I thoroughly enjoyed my day at Chirk and the fishery has a laid back club like feel to it. Although the majority of the fish are small, they are pristine slim fish with huge tails and so fight like demons. The fly life is good and there was a hatch of grannom, however my fly box was replete of dry sedges and I couldn't persuade them to take my alternative selections. Fish were also grubbing on the bottom in the margins, possibly for shrimp.
I had a long conversation with the fishery owner who advised that brook trout were particularly suitable for stocking in acid waters. Although they have grown them to around six pounds in the past, the larger fish become very dark in colour and prone to fungal infections so they only stock brook trout to around a pound and a half.