Sunday 9th May

River Usk at Buckland

May 9th

The road from Bristol to Manchester can be a wiggly one – especially when you can persuade yourself that it runs past the River Usk. I am quite able to convince myself of such matters. So it was that I found myself on the Buckland beat of the Usk on Sunday. The weather was delightful and the river looked lovely.

Time for a cliché. The Buckland beat is very much a game of two halves. The lower section is classic Usk; pools and fast runs with plenty of boulders. The river bed is as treacherous as anyone could ask; and places more so. Even with delightful clear water conditions, there were moments of great inelegance as I wobbled, pirouetted and staggered from one slippery boulder to another. But there were plenty of fly life and fish rising to keep me floundering. Usk fish have a reputation to live up to; and these fish knew it. Whilst fish did come to the hand, they were hard won. Many a rising fish simply stopped feeding after the first cast.

The upper section if anything is even trickier. But it is totally different in character. It is mostly a very large slow moving body of water, half giant pool, half small stillwater. There are trout here and a dry fly is the best method of interesting them. But stealthy wading and giant slippery cobbles do not go together comfortably. I was happy to have caught a few of the rising fish before continuing on the drive to Manchester.


River Usk Reports

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Buckland Lower beat

The Lower Beat

Buckland upper beat

The Upper Beat