THE INTER-REGION CHAMPIONSHIP 2007

The Wales Inter-region Flyfishing Championship organised by the Welsh Salmon and Trout Angling Association celebrated its 21st birthday this year. It was staged on Llyn Brenig in north Wales. It is a friendly competition with a team of fourteen anglers from the regions of Wales participating. It is always a happy occasion with homespun rivalry and personal challenges often coming to the fore. Looking back on past results one is able to appreciate the achievements of the different regions at different times and realise that enthusiasm – or on occasion apathy – have often influenced the outcomes. Unfortunately this year, it was only five of the regions that took part – Gower having failed to raise a team. This was a pity as Gower has a good record in the competition. On the day of the match, the warm tropical weather conditions we had to endure for well over a month deserted us and there was a cold, blustery wind – but the bonus for the participants was that the fishing conditions improved. The results were true to form as the Clwyd team, fishing at home, came out on top with 67 fish weighing 154lbs 11ozs. Once again Clwyd demonstrated what a great home team it is as it has gained first position 4 times when the competition has been held on their home reservoir. The captain, Paul Davies, had gathered together a great team with seven of its members coming in with a limit bag of six fish. The surprise of the competition was the team from Gwynedd. Gwynedd’s record is a poor one having only won the trophy once in the last 21 years. This year they took 52 fish weighing 125lbs 8.5ozs. Their inimitable captain, Mitch Atherton, undoubtedly raised their game and expectations as eight from their midst managed to bag up. It was good to see that Mitch had selected a number of his colleagues from the Welsh National Disabled Team to be in his team. In third position was the team from Gwent – last year’s winners. The captain, Mike Egan, did not have a full compliment of players, which could explain their shortfall this year. The team had to be content with 47 fish weighing 105lbs 11ozs. However they did have the man of the match in their midst namely Nigel Clark, Hirwaun with his six fish and bonus coming to 22lbs 10.5ozs. The team from Mid Wales has slipped from being favourite – as they once were. Their record of having six victories in twenty one years is to be applauded but this year they had to make do with fourth place with 31 fish weighing 70lbs 9.5 ozs. Despite some gallant efforts by their captain, Euros Jones, Carmarthen, the team from Dyfed was the tail-ender this time with 29 fish weighing 58lbs 10ozs. However, it was good to see a number of Wales’ Youth Team amongst its ranks – and what a wonderful opportunity for the youngsters to be paired with older anglers from whom they can glean so much knowledge and information. WSTAA is indebted to so many senior anglers who are prepared to give the youth valuable coaching and support. The day ended with a buffet and a social gathering. The friendship and camaraderie of the occasion is indeed something to be valued.