Llyn Brenig Friday 10th Sept. 2004.

WALES: 121 fish 222 lbs 7.500 0zs
ENGLAND 125 fish 217 lbs 3.00 Ozs
SCOTLAND: 117 fish 209 lbs 14.02 Ozs.
IRELAND : 87 fish 159 lbs 11.00ozs

The above are the hard factual figures of the recent International Fly Fishing Championship on Llyn Brenig. Behind every fish there is a story and behind every competitor tears of joy, happiness and sorrow – and it was hard to distinguish the difference at times.

In the International match fished on Llyn Brenig near Cerrigydrudion every single member of the four teams caught fish. Not a single competitor failed to catch fish which is very unusual in recent International matches. Naturally some were disappointed with their catches but as is the case in all matches it was all important that you found yourself in ‘the right spot’.

Llyn Brenig is now regarded by most anglers who take part in championship matches as the best venue for international events. Of all the International fisheries in the U.K who would have thought that Llyn Brenig would be considered more favourable that the once famous Loch Leven, Loch Conn in Ireland and major reservoir fisheries in England such as Rutland.

The four National teams were really up for this match. England had a plethora of angling stars including John Horsey and Ian Barr. Scotland with its recent consistent performances, its team of dedicated fishers and with a victory on Llyn Brenig already under its belt. The Irish team was also on song having notched a victory at Lough Erne in the Spring International. Wales had managed three silvers in the last three matches and were hungry for gold which had escaped them in the last twenty matches.
This victory was long due for Welsh anglers and with their new team selection system had high expectations and succeeded. The anglers had worked hard at their practice sessions. Most of them had been doing well with the booby. It is doubtful if the dry fly purist of the chalk streams would call the Booby a fly.

Whatever the purist would call the booby it is a highly effective device to catch fish. There is considerable art in the manner it is fished and no doubt all teams had more or less discovered the best way to present it.

There was a lot of discussion as to the best colour to use and coral seemed something of a favourite. There is no doubt either that the all important factor was the action and the fly lines of various density used to bring it down to the eye to eye level with the fish.
The Welsh team brilliantly led by its captain Paul Jenkins, Abercynon and coach Gwynfor Jones, Bow Street were worthy winners. They certainly called the right shots and then it was just a matter of the anglers getting to the right spot on the reservoir.
The top catch in the Welsh Team with over twenty pounds of fish was Hywel Morgan, Pontrhydfendigaid who won the Gillie Farr cup for the top catch in the Welsh team and was third overall in the whole match.

The captain Paul Jenkins – fishing a truly great captains role and Simon Barton, Islwyn, -making a brilliant debut in the team – together with Phil Thomas RAF, Bob Jones, Merthyr and Dean Kibble, Oakedale each had over twenty pounds of fish in their bags. The remainder of the team backed the high scorers well. It was without doubt a great team effort. Phil Thomas won the Emyr Lewis Trophy for the heaviest fish caught in the competition

The English who came second in a very tight competition did manage to take more fish than Wales but were beaten on weight. Naturally they had hoped that their team with the seven newcomers would have taken gold after their dismal wooden spoon performance in the Spring International match on Lough Erne. Jeremy Lucas was the top rod of the whole match with 18 fish weighing nearly thirty pounds – a great catch indeed.
Iain Barr, Graham Watson, Mike Watson, and Paul Bobb also took over twenty pounds of fish each to give the English team a great total catch..

John Kettles was the only angler in the Scottish team to take over twenty pounds of fish. Despite this the team took 117 fish, which was a great team performance, and came within four fish of the Welsh team.

The Irish team although some thirty fish behind the Scottish team really enjoyed the match and spoke highly of the fishery. They are not conversant with the Booby and still in the main used their normal flies especially the dabbler. They also tend to fish the upper layers of the water even if the fish are lower in the water. This Irish team is on a fast learning curve and will no doubt continue to give the other teams a stiff competition when the fish are near the surface.

The grand total of 450 fish many of which were returned weighed in total over eight hundred pounds speak highly of the fishery and proves that Llyn Brenig is well and truly one of the top stillwater fisheries in Europe.
There is no doubt that this match will be long remembered for its keen competitive edge, the quality and quantity of the fish, and that every single angler caught fish Wales succeeded in providing a great welcome to all the visiting team anglers who are all looking forward to coming to Llyn Brenig again.