Monthly Archives: July 2012

Well I didn’t expect that! Welsh Rivers Champion :)

Hopefully you’ll forgive me for the lack of blog posts, for the last few months or I’ve been practising for the Welsh trials on the Merthyr tydfil angling waters so much and not having the time to sit down and write about my trips out but there again I wouldn’t want to share the info on what has been successful for myself would I.. ūüėČ

My nights have been filled with fly tying and sorting all my fishing tackle out.. I’ve converted to an Airflo mesh vest over the last few weeks, I’d simply had enough of chest packs and needed something I felt more comfortable in to fish all day without any¬†hindrance. Fishtec offered this to me at a great price so I thought I’d bite the bullet and go for it. Also, fly after fly come from the vice with parcel after parcel from fly tying boutique hitting the floor. More beads and hooks than you can imagine!

I set the alarm for 6am but with things going through my mind I was up an hour before the alarm so I just laid there thinking about what tactics I would apply on the pegs that I was drawn. In the night it started raining quite bad and with this bizarre weather we been having lately I just hoped that the river would be in good condition for the trials to go ahead. I thought the river would have coloured up with the rain but for some strange reason it was as clear as glass and still on its bones as it has been for some time. A few of us met up in the Albion cafe for a quick breakfast in Cilfynydd.

8’o clock was the time that everything kicked off by Paul Jenkins reading out all the safety regs and rules to the anglers and controllers. Everyone knew their pegs from the draw the night before and as soon as Paul finished everything and handed out there cards and troughs, half a drain pipe with a measure, to the controllers it was a mad dash to the cars to the first peg of the day. Mine was A1 and kick off was 9.30, I knew the peg quite well and was quite¬†confident that I could put a few points on the board early on to settle my nerves. This was my second trial so the nerves were a little shot and the hands were shaking. As I was a little early on my peg it gave me time to give the water a good looking over and see if there was anything rising, and to check over the likely looking spots.

Before I knew it my controller Tom Pitchford said the words, go get them Ter and all the best. I had a 2 rod setup, one on the dry and the other on the french leader. For the conditions the french leader was set up for light nymphing Рa small weighted nymph on the dropper with a small 2mm on the point.  For the dry I was using a long tapered dry fly leaders bought from fishtec, 9ft with a 4lb tip and added on a few feet to get that little more better presentation with the small olive pattern that I was using. I decided to give the dry a whirl down river style to a few very spooky fish that were rising below me in dead slow water just a few inches deep. Soon as the leader touched the water a few feet above the one fish I was targeting, it spooked and that was that, the fish were switched on from all the hammering they took over the weeks coming up the main day. I decided I had no chance in that pool so I switched over the french leader working up into a more promising looking water. Second cast saw the leader slip away up river and a few dodgy seconds after, I had my first fish to the net, A nice brown over the 30 cm mark.

After that I didn’t look back just fishing the more oxygenated¬†waters with the light nymphs and changing the depth, I slowly built my catches up to six fish for the first session and before I knew it I was going into the second session, time just shot away from me! ¬†I didn’t do so well in the second session but I managed to take 2 but I was happy because I didn’t blank.

We all had to go back to the daggers pool to hand our cards in and have a spot of lunch to get the energy up ready to tackle the final session of the day. As we all know there was talk of who was doing well and how many fish were landed and lost, I tried to keep away from all that so I didn’t dwell on things, I just thought im giving it my best and I just kept to my plans that I made the night before and the morning. My second peg was B2 down river so I got there nice and early to just look around for rising fish. As I sat there on my peg I seen 3 fish rise in front of me and I only had 10 minutes to wait to get in there and try catch one, it seemed an age for ten minutes to pass but soon as it was said go I had the dry rod in hand and the fly was on its way over. First cast, just seconds into the third session I had my first fish to the net, my confidences was higher than ever and the fish was measured and marked down, card¬†signed and fish¬†released in no time, the dry fly was treated and off she went flying again. This time the other fish didn’t want to take it so I cast just above where it was rising and pulled the fly under and bang fish on but a second after it come off. Not letting that phase me I searched the water and¬†some how I spotted a fish on the bottom, I don’t do this often but it happened, I switched over to the french leader and because this fish was not interested in the dry,¬†I put a small nymph on and placed it just above the fish and a quick flash I was in, result! Fish was landed and another few points on the board.

I managed 6 fish in this small pool on the small nymphs so I sat back at this point still¬†searching out the water leaving a few good looking spots above me for the next session. As the second session kicked in I could see another angler above me so I moved the 30 metres as you should and then come back down river so I had 30 metres above and below me that was untouched. I had this water all to myself and had no pressure off anyone so I took my time and took 4 fish in the last session. I tried not to think about how well I done I just wanted to get back and hand the cards in and have a drink because I was so drained from all the adrenalin. I was knackered. I shook hands with Tom and he said you done good butty and that meant quite a lot for me… cheers Tom.

We finally got back and cards were handed in and it was that dreaded wait for the final result. Everyone was talking and comparing catch rates and so on but I just sat back thinking I don’t think ive done enough to get in the team.¬†I was hearing of sevens in sessions and so on so I thought never mind maybe next year.

The Merthyr angling committee¬†and Paul Jenkins got up and called out from 4th to 1st. I resigned¬†to the fact that I wasnt in but as the first place posistion¬†was said, the Welsh rivers champion is Terry Bromwell, I nearly s…t a brick. I didn’t know what to do or say. Me!¬†I bloody won it. I couldn’t believe it. Getting in the team I was planning on not winning the bloody thing. Shock set in and I looked over to Kieron and he just give me that cheeky smile that he does. I knew what he meant and it meant a lot to me, Cheers Kie for being a great friend and keeping onto me about getting the right gear and adjusting to the condition.¬†I cant forget Paul aka cake killer and non- sharer ūüėČ ¬†Thanks for all the help over the years guys. I wouldnt have done it without you Boys.

Taff Diaries on Fishtec!

Over the last few months i’ve been using almost¬†exclusively Airflo fly fishing tackle and there are a few reasons for this…

I’ve always used ‘cheap fishing tackle’ and ended up buying more than once, something which is said time and time again between anglers and is true buying of products these days. The kit i’ve been shown by Kieron is great stuff, great build quality and preforms to the max. Most of the fly fishing tackle I’ve had is ideal for what I want and is just as good as anything I’ve seen by other, more expensive fishing tackle dealers.

I’ve now become part of their bloggers scheme where I received an email this morning describing that I’ve been lucky enough to have my blog featured under Fishtecs most favourite! Happy days ūüėÄ

Check the list out here for more exciting, informative and passionate fly fishing blogs –¬†

Over the moon ūüėÄ FishStalker.

Wales takes gold on the river Tay.

Well what a hard week that was on the river Tay in Scotland, never have I ever fished a river so fast and wide and dangerous. The flow of water going through there was just beyond belief! Well where do I start really.

Dunkeld Bridge below 

I was lucky enough to be reserve for the Welsh rivers team for the international held on the river tay in Scotland and god what an eye opener it was. We headed out on the 23rd of June in advance of the comp so we would get a whole week of practice in for the international that was going to be held on the 29th. Conditions were not great with rain most days and an up and down stream wind. At points in the day, there were waves going down river and it was just bonkers to say the least. Kieron Jenkins, Captain of the team assigned everyone a different method to fish that day and would swap everyone the next day. Great tactics to covering all the water and seeing where the fish were and what depth they would be feeding at certain times in the day, Dries would go first then wets then the bugs would come in on the French leader and stimmy behind. Many fish come to all methods through the week but it was far from easy.

¬†The fly life wasn’t the best throughout the week but the odd day the fly life would be fantastic but you wouldn’t see a fish rise. This was so confusing and I just couldn’t believe that nothing was picking off these wee beasties, frustrated wasn’t the word for it. Most nights after a hard day searching out the water we would all be called in for a meeting by Kieron and Paul to discuss the day’s fishing as a team and lay the flies on the table for all to see. Then as a team we would decide on the best method to cover the water that we tackled that day. After the meetings we would all have a few hours tying and then to the bar for a little banter with the other teams. All in good fun. I met some cracking chaps and I do hope I get the chance to be there again some time.

Competition day…..

It was a nice and early start, double checking the gear over and then a quick breakfast and off we set to meet the controllers for the day’s fishing ahead. Around this time reports started coming in that the river had risen around 3ft over night and this was quite concerning for the fishing ahead. ¬†The plan was that i would run for Kieron in the morning and then in the second session I would run for Mark Willows, this was a great opportunity for me to see other anglers on the water in focus mode and to see their styles in action. Kieron, me and his controller got to our peg and what we knew about the water just went straight out of the window. River was up,coloured and the wind was making a quite a nuisance of itself. The time come for kieron to step in for his first session and he started off in a lovely run screaming fish but it wasnt to be. Everything was working against him and he left the first session with a blank but made up in the second session. fishing was out and out hard going.

After the morning session¬†were over we all had to go back and meet up and have a bite to eat before leaving for the last sessions of the day. This was a tense time waiting on the boys to come in and say how they done in the sessions. I think the all round smiles said it all when we all finally met up that we were doing well. ¬†Food was done and handshakes all round and it was back out for the second round, eager and confident. This time I was out with Mark willows for the final sessions of the day, we got to the peg nice and early checking that water out and just hoping that we didn’t have to run out looking for something that was fishable. Mark set the one rod up on wets and the other on the heavy bugs. Before we knew it, it was time for Mark to get in and fish his heart out. As I said before nothing looked familiar and we were all back to a blank canvas. ¬†As Mark fished the wets and covered a fair bit of water, I spotted a few fish on the other side rising, this was our opportunity to give them hell, the information was passed over to Mark and he instantly changed methods and made his way straight to the spot with plenty of time to spare in the first session. I had my fingers crossed that we wouldn’t blank in the first, with only minutes to spare Mark had a measure in the net. Big smiles all round. Mark moved out of the spot where the fish were rising and left them alone till the next session started, he changed over at this time doing a little bit of heavy bugging but with no success.¬†The second session kicked in so he moved back into the spot where the fish were, after a few casts, Mark was into a fine trout and no blanks, that’s all we wanted to do. The last session ended with 2 fish and god what a relief it was. ¬†Mark done so well and I was proud to be there with him. ¬†After a big handshake we moved out to go back to the hotel to find out the final scores. We all waited in the car park after putting in the score cards. ¬†You could feel the tension in the air. As we all moved on down the car park I could see paul with his hand in the air and with the biggest smile i’ve ever seen. You could see how proud he was with the team. We went into the club and straight away the handshakes kicked off with everyone ¬†saying well done boys ūüôā ¬† We did it! Wales takes the gold, what a feeling and I was so proud of all the boys for pulling out all the stops and bringing home the gold for Wales. I don’t really remember much after that but here are the photos of the team and the captain Kieron Jenkins and Alun Hughes for taking top rod.

I’m a proud Welshman and im so proud of the boys for doing so well in the condition. Well done to all.

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