I knew it!

The stretch of the Ebbw (nearer to Bassaleg than Rogerstone) and just above the footbridge,

looked fishy, and when I arrived at 130pm on the 17th the water was clear, but low…and on air, in 15c temperature, was a variety of fly life.

Not as good at identification of flies as I wish, I think I saw midges, small olives, the odd yellow sally, an LDO or two, and what looked like some mayflies.

The dry (an #14 Adams) on the duo I started with, attracted the attention of a riser, and on the second cast, so did the tiny #20 PTN, below it, of a small fish.

A ‘splosh’ under the far bank suggested that my last observation of what was hatching (early Mays?) might have been right, and so did a second, some feet ahead, and a third about ten yards further. All were in the slack water right under the bank, protected by new vegetation, falling toward the water off steep banks!

So it was off with the duo I planned to start with, and on with a small May imitation.

This had the lower of the fish up for an inspection, but after that, the leafy bank attracted my over aggressive casting in my eagerness to get under it. I think I tied at least three new tippets and failed in any case to get the nearer fish to take.

A fluffy elk hair caddis did the business, though, with the fish at the head of the run.

A silvery specimen, with a blue sheen across its back and dark spots, came to net.

1 1/2lbs was my bet, and a wild fish for sure. And then another…

Chuffed I was!

Welsh County # 6


ps.….I now know the right pronunciation of Ebbw, is ‘ebbou’, not ‘ebber’!

pps…thank you Islwyn & District AC. (your online booking system works)


Rains were forecast. April showers, I hoped, as I set off to find the Islwyn & District AC waters on the Ebbw near Rogerstone, for whose fishing I had bought a day ticket, online. SatNav helps and having located the Ebbw, I drove about looking for access to the stream, which at first sight, looked just fine, in spite of regular showers, which typifies what we expect of April.

Searching out fishable reaches is always fun, and without local knowledge to fall back on this takes a little longer. Stopping and strolling down likely looking paths toward the glorious sounds of flowing water is all part of what an itinerant trout angler does, and frankly in my case, enjoys.


“Caerphilly” was the guarded reply to an unexpected question!

“Where does the river pass into Newport?” I asked.

“Do you know where Morrison’s is?” was the reply.

“Of course I do….!!!”

But I did, for I had spotted their shed on my wanderings minutes earlier.

But it was too good an opportunity, not to cast into the Caerphilly’ Ebbw, just in case the rains came, you understand. Although, in truth, I have identified other Caerphilly streams and targeted those, for I would rather capture different rivers in each county, rather than track my way downstream ‘netting’ counties on the way. That way, I fish more different rivers, which is my love.

‘Klink and dink’ at the ready, I had a few casts…but Newport is where I had planned to try, so I left, fish-less, after an hour, and headed downstream.

And SatNav took me south of Rogerstone, and close to the M4.

And to a cul-de-sac, next to a DHL warehouse where I tried another stroll to check on whether access was possible…and it was. But it rained, as predicted. In fact it poured, so I abandoned this attempt.

But these were just showers, or so I persuaded myself, and after the skies cleared, I returned to my DHL street, and kitted up. “Better be quick” I told myself…”it might rain again!”

Accidents do happen.

And when they do, there is no preventing them, for, and in my case, whilst in one minute I was walking along the raised bank, in the next, I had fallen to ground, crashed my right knee onto stone, and was covered in soft wet mud. Powerless to stop my fall, I was not hurt, just surprised, and when falling, managed to avoid dropping onto my rod and snapping it…a small mercy! Frailty and mortality are words which come to mind.

And I fished. And observed two things.

Firstly, the river level was higher than when I took my first look at this reach on an hour earlier, and the water was markedly more coloured, suggesting that the cumulative effect of the showers, was greater than I realised.

Secondly, my right foot felt damp. Well wet, actually! And then I saw the jagged tear where my knee must have torn the ‘gore-tex’-ed right knee when I tumbled.

So no fish from the Newport’ Ebbw this time, but with a handy yellow and red logo-ed building as a landmark, I think I know where, in warmer times, I might claim a Newport trout.

I will be back.