On Saturday, June 4th, a total of 30 anglers gathered at Llyn Clywedog, Llanidloes to fish the first day of this year’s second leg of the Welsh Senior International Fly Fishing Trials. This was the first time ever that these trials had been held on this lake and the boat moorings car park was buzzing with excitement and anticipation as anglers observed the ‘alder fly’ and the trout rising freely to any that fell on the water. The infamous ‘coch-y-bonddu’ was also out in the lower area of the lake and the ‘hatch’ was, as usual, gradually spreading up the lake and likely to send the fish into a feeding frenzy like the ‘Mayfly’ does on certain fortunate waters. Having practiced on the preceding couple of days and judging by previous fishing reports, most competitors were aware of what the fishery can produce. Such was their excitement, eagerness and enthusiasm that over half hour before the start, everybody, for the first time ever, were all patiently sitting in their boats, fully ‘tackled up’ and ready to fish. I on the other hand could only look forward to a packed lunch of stodgy sandwiches and crisps and not the usual, on site cooked breakfast, cakes and other treats served by glamorous waitresses. But that was about to change.
It was slightly overcast first thing but by the time we were ready to start, which was signalled by a shotgun fired by Gareth “gazza’ Dixon and scared the proverbial out of the unprepared, the sun broke through and it was another ‘Topless Sunbathing’ type of day, although I didn’t see any. The day started with only a very slight ripple with patches of mirror flat calm water. By mid-day however, the breeze changed direction, increased slightly and produced a near perfect surface ripple and a few brief occasions when the blazing sunshine was subdued by very light wisps of some high passing clouds. All the boats had made their way to the lower side of the lake and some were seen to be catching fish on their first couple of casts and one angler in particular was landing his first fish before his boat partner had even started to ‘wet his flies’. Regular reports were received whenever the ‘Safety Boat’ returned to the moorings and it would appear that everybody was catching fish with some very large bags in some boats. All competitors returned to the moorings by 6pm. and the smiles, joyful banter and facial expressions was a picture to behold and indicated a happy day’s fishing by everyone. The result of the ‘Weigh-in’ showed that all 30 anglers had caught fish with a grand total of 336 trout, which gave a rod average of 11.2. In first position with an impressive bag of 19 fish for a total weight of 37lb. 11oz. was Peter Greasley. Second with a bag of 17 fish for 32lb. 11oz. was Keith Cadogan and third place went to Martyn Bratton with 16 fish for 32lb. 3oz..
Sunday morning, June 5th was similar to yesterday with 28 anglers gathering for the second day’s trial. Once again the atmosphere was buzzing with excitement and anticipation being further fuelled by yesterdays results and again by seeing the trout rising to the ‘alder flies’ falling on the water. The weather was roughly the same but with a slightly stronger intermittent breeze and early bright sunshine. Everybody was once again uncharacteristically sat patiently in the boats for over half an hour, all ready and eagerly waiting for the start. This morning Gazza Dixon had pre warned everybody of a shotgun start to the competition but when the gun was finally fired it did make a few people jump, including myself. Whether this was due to the sudden shot or the reputation of the shooter, I don’t know. Expectantly, nearly every boat once again headed towards the lower side of the lake except for one solitary boat that went the other way, at full throttle, only to turn around and start a drift upwards from the breakwater. Within a few moments one of the anglers caught and landed a fish and they continued to drift and fish towards the top half of the lake. After a short period, they returned and also motored down towards the lower end. The sun was a lot stronger and brighter than yesterday and although the intermittent breeze was stronger it was significantly warmer. Under normal circumstances the second day’s fishing is usually harder on most lakes with the fish educated, easily spooked and wary of anglers offerings due to the pressure of heavy fishing on the previous days and, coupled with the continuous hot bright sunshine the amount of fish caught today were expected to be far lower than yesterday. Surprisingly therefore, when the ‘safety boat’ returned with its regular reports it appeared that todays anglers were faring better than yesterdays. All boats returned to the moorings at 6pm. and all today’s anglers were also in a joyful mood and grinning like ‘Cheshire Cats’, which indicated another successful and enjoyable fishing day by one and all. Todays ‘weigh-in’ showed that all 28 anglers had caught a grand total of 379 trout with a bigger rod average of 13.53. Those competitors with bags of 14 fish that would, normally, have secured them top positions found that this was not the case today. Today’s first position went to Bob Mayers, still highly motivated from gaining team silver at Lough Lein, with an impressive bag of 27 fish for a grand total of 53lb. 9oz. Second position went to Phil Thomas, with an impressive bag of 25 fish for 50lb. 10oz. and in third position was Marco Orsi with another impressive bag of 25 fish for 49lb. 15oz. Both also highly motivated by their team performance on Lough Lein.
During both afternoons we saw the arrival of some glamorous girls in the form of Hanna and Lisa Dixon together with their Mother Ffion. Hanna and Lisa quickly found their way into my heart as they kept me supplied with pieces of their mothers home made cakes to accompany my coffee. They were also present at the ‘Weigh-in’ and distributed to everybody, some pieces of those delicious cakes and cans of ‘amber nectar’, which was highly welcomed and on behalf of everybody I extend our grateful thanks.
Thanks are also extended to Llanidloes Angling Club, Russel Owen, Gareth ‘gazza’ Dixon and all the staff at Clywedog for looking after us and providing such excellent fishing on days when, considering the conditions and, not in anyway diminishing the angling expertise demonstrated by our competitors, other venues would have struggled. It’s nice to finally have such an excellent competition venue in Mid Wales that can withstand heavy fishing pressure and I’m sure that everybody enjoyed their days.
Further thanks to Russel and Gazza for their assistance at the Weigh-in and to ’Gazza’ whose gruff sense of humour kept everybody entertained and in a happy joyful mood all day.
The next leg of this year’s Senior Trials will be held at Brenig Reservoir on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th July and hopefully the Heather Fly will be in abundance.
FOR FULL DAILY RESULTS SHEET, PLEASE CLICK APPROPRIATE LINK BELOW.