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.. 😉
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 – a 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 😉 Thanks for all the help over the years guys. I wouldnt have done it without you Boys.