The Dusty Miller Trophy

Written by: Ian Sterling

When several friends get together for a fishing trip there is always going to be a competitive side to who catches the biggest fish. So it was when five members of the local chalk stream club set off for a four day early April outing on the beautiful River Usk to stay at the lodge on the stunning Glanusk estate.

A trophy was hastily assembled from drift wood with a 100 year old classic Dusty Miller salmon fly as the centre piece and this would be the prize for the best fish.

The Glanusk estate fishing comprises three beats totalling around two miles. There are some classic salmon pools as well as very good trout water with lots of fast riffles feeding into deeper slower water. The choice of where to fish and what method was going to be dictated by the hatch. We were hoping for March Browns, Large Dark Olives and Grannom. All three showed for brief periods each day and although some good fish were caught on dry fly most of the better fish were taken on Nymph and Spider patterns. The Usk is a big river and the Orvis Helios2 9′ #5 Midflex was the perfect tool for the job whether fishing dries or a team of spiders.

For a group of southern chalk stream boys the wading can best be described as tricky and luckily the trip only ended with one dunking. Fortunately the sun shone every day and wet waders were soon dried out.

A fit 16″ brown trout taken on a deer hair emerger was one of the better fish but no trophy contender.

Still not the biggest but runner up to a magnificent trout nudging 3 lbs both caught by a very skilled angler who easily won the trophy and whose name just happens to be ……. Dusty Miller.

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