Tips & Advice

Tips & Advice


Depending on the month of the season you fish the river will determine the tackle you need. Generally a 13-15 foot fly rod can be used throughout the season. However smaller rods can be used for grilse and sea-trout during the summer. As with rods the time of year will determine fly lines but a floating line, intermediate or sink tip and a medium sinker should cover all conditions. Safety is important. A good wading staff, eye protection and studded felt soled waders are essential. An automatic life jacket should also be considered. All the usual fly patterns can be tried but for early season a large black and yellow fly fished deep is probably best. The ally’s shrimp family are popular in all their variations. In summer a stoat’s tail or red twist will also do well. In his book ‘Fishing Fantasy’ written in 1949 Jack Hughes –Parry recommended a large yellow fly with a silver body in spring. A Haslam or Invicta for temperatures above 45F. These are still worth a try. Size of fly will vary depending on height of water and temperature. As a rough guide the following table may assist:

Water temperature
Water TemperatureFly Size
45-50°f (7-10°c) 2-6
50-55°f (10-12.5°c) 6-8
55-60°f (12.5-15.5°c) 8-10
60-65°f (15.5-18.5°c) 10-12
65°f + (18.5°c +) 12-16



A general spinning rod of 9½ to 11 feet will suffice. It can also be used for worm fishing. The Devon Minnow in various colours is effective along with Tobys and flying C’s. If using Rapalas please bend back the points of front and centre treble hooks to avoid foul hooking or damaging fish which may need to be released.

Sea – trout

A rod in the 9’6” – 10’6” range for a 7 weight line will suffice. As with salmon a floating line with sink tip or intermediate will cover most situations. The essential fly patterns are medicine, teal blue and silver, silver stoat’s tail and try a dark mackerel a popular dovey and teifi fly.

Trout and Grayling

Brown trout and grayling thrive in the Dee’s pure waters. Some stocking takes place in the lower and middle beats but the top stretch can offer wild brownies. The average weight is three quarters to one pound. The occasional larger fish to three pounds can be taken. Fly rods from 7’6” – 9’6” are best with line weights 5 – 7 depending on conditions. A floater with sink tip or intermediate will cover most conditions. Flies are infinite but nymphs particularly gold ribbed hares ear, pheasant tail and march brown do well. Greenwell’s glory, tups indispensable, grey duster, coch y bonddu, damsel nymph and silver sedge in various guises do well. For grayling the weighted nymphs particularly fished Czech nymph style are effective. For a hackled fly try a February red, or grey duster. A red tag or zulu fished wet will also take grayling which can get to a good 2 pounds.