Last weekend, Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th July our hopeful competitors congregated at Llyn Brenig for this years 3rd leg of the Welsh Senior International Team Trials.   Those helpful weather people were predicting ‘Doom and Gloom’ with continual heavy rain, strong gusty winds and a cold drop in the air temperature. For once, unfortunately, it looked as if their forecasts were going to be correct.  I was in a reasonably happy mood whilst driving up to Brenig with Wynnora on that first morning, glad in the knowledge that I wasn’t one of those having to fish in such atrocious conditions. I then had a panic call from ‘ the one that must be obeyed’ to the effect that, in her words, ‘ Water was gushing through the kitchen ceiling at home’. Rather than elaborating any further it’s sufficient to say that it was a roof leak with water ‘dripping’ into the kitchen, which was temporarily repaired by a neighbour. Not a very good start to the day and although unbeknown to me, the writing was already on the wall, and things weren’t about to get any better.

Photo-0064We were all welcomed at Brenig with heavy cold wet rain driven by strong and gusting wind blowing off the dam wall and as today’s expected twenty eight anglers struggled to tackle-up without getting wet, Wynnora and myself prepared the top lodge for competitors registration and boat draw.   It was at this point that I received the second setback of the day. One competitor was now withdrawing from todays trials without giving prior notice. This meant that unexpectedly, ‘yours truly’ was now foregoing his breakfast and brave the miserable elements to partner one unlucky angler for the duration on the match, and Bob Mayers of Llandegfedd drew the short straw. The weather remained the same all day with continuous rain and gusty winds that made fishing rather uncomfortable and challenging.   Now and again we could see anglers rods bending and established that some were slowly and gradually building up a substantial bag of fish. Also demonstrating angling skills, Bob himself was slowly adding fish to his score and we estimated that he wasn’t far behind and possibly catching up with those top bags, whilst I suffered in silence with one tidy fish for my supper.   With that cold rain having finally found it’s way through my waterproof clothing I, like several others, were glad to step ashore at 6pm.   At the weigh-in it was found that all except for one unlucky angler had caught fish and that Jason Heath of Mountain Ash was todays top rod with an outstanding bag of 13 fish for a total weight of 30lb 1oz. In second place was Tim Llewellyn of Llandegfedd with a bag of 11 fish for 26lb 14oz. and Darren Williams of the Ospreys Club with his bag of 10 fish for 25lb 7oz in third position whilst my boat partner, Bob Mayers with his bag of 8 fish gained a creditable 8th place.



Photo-0070Sunday Morning at Brenig and the weather was roughly the same except that the heavy rain experienced yesterday had ceased and although there were some short periods of drizzly rain, the conditions appeared slightly better. Once again this morning we had another twenty-eight anglers scheduled to attend and as the registration and boat draw progressed with some late arrivals, my heart began to sink with the thought that I might have to face another wet day performing the duties of a ghost angler. My fears were realised when one angler failed to turn up to register by 9.30am without any notification or apologies and once again, with only 30min to prepare, I had to forgo my bacon and eggs and accompany today’s unlucky angler, Marco Orsi of the Ospreys Club. (Although Bob Mayers did well in my company yesterday).  Being bettered organised today in having packed my thermal waterproofs, I felt happier and was fully prepared for the worse of weathers. Today’s conditions were very similar with gusty winds blowing off the dam wall and although we did experience a couple of minor showers, compared to yesterday, it was dry.   As soon as we started fishing, Marco moved a fish to his flies and it wasn’t long before the first one found it’s way into his bag. Surprisingly I also started moving fish and between lengthy periods of inactivity we both managed to land a couple. We found that some anglers were doing reasonably well whilst others were struggling to catch and since we hadn’t moved anything for quite a while we moved location and Marco changed to fishing dry flies. He immediately had a reaction from a couple of fish and gradually began to add more fish to his bag with the last fish being landed within seconds from the end.   Today’s weigh-in showed that two unlucky anglers had failed to catch and that Neil Anthony of the Ospreys Club was the winner with an excellent bag of 10 fish for 25lb.12oz. In second place was John Cowan of Llanilar with 9 fish for 22lb 15oz. Following in a very close third position with 10 fish for 22lb 12oz. was Paul Sharman of Llandegfedd whilst my boat partner, Marco Orsi managed a creditable 6th place with his bag of 8 fish.

This weekends trials have also proved to be a success in spite of the atrocious weather with some excellent bags of fish being produced at the weigh-in. The quality of the fish presented were exceptional and never have I seen so many fish on the scales in excess of or close to the cut off weight of 4lbs which necessitated subtracting excess ounces from the bag weight.  All anglers remarked on the fighting quality of the fish and some would question whether or not they were raised on steroid infused pellets. Grateful thanks to Brenig for hosting our trials on their water which produced a rod average of 6.59%  on Saturday and 5.2% on Sunday and also to all the staff who assisted us at the weigh-in on both day’s.  Whilst I was feeling miserable fishing in such conditions I did thoroughly enjoy both days in the company of  Bob Mayers and Marco Orsi but, having now personally observed their fishing powers close to hand, I hope that I will never have to actually compete against them in a boat.

The next and final round will be at Llandegfedd Reservoir on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th September and with some very close results leaving several positions in the balance it could be a very interesting and hard fought match.


Saturday final result 3rd trial Brenig

Sunday final result 3rd trial Brenig