Cwm Hedd Lakes, Gwent
The coaching event on Saturday was a great success, raising over £400 for the WSTAA Ladies International team. International anglers were in great demand from 10am, clocking up over 25 hours of coaching between them over the day. Ken Bowring and Bob Mayers were kept very busy in the lodge, which was a hive of activity for fly-tying and fishing talk. There was more than 70 years between the youngest and oldest on Saturday, with the shared interest a pleasure to see. Rhys Whitney, Ieuan Williams, Rebekah Davies, Callum Russell, Jamie Block and Owen Thomas are all under 18 and demonstrated an impressive commitment to improving their skills.
There were plenty of fish caught too, either by those being coached, such as 12-year-old Callum Russell, who took one and returned seven on a black lure and intermediate line, or by those who called in just to fish, such as regular Saturday angler Alan Powell, who had a great morning on the main island, taking one and returning 10 on a Black Buzzer and a midge tip line. Roy Western also had a productive morning. Fishing from the island point with a floating line he took two and returning five on an Olive Damsel, Bloodworm and a Green and Black Fritz. Callum's dad, Matthew used a Damsel to take one blue rainbow, and return another two rainbows plus a brownie. While grandson Rhys benefited from a coaching session, Phil Whitney took two on a Damsel and intermediate line. Steve Mogg brushed up his casting during an hour's coaching and took one.
Eight anglers braved the rain on Sunday and seven took fish, with Steve Howells and John Worgan returning four and six on indicator tactics. Steve was on a Buzzer and a Black Daddy and John on Squirmy Worm. Also using indicator tactics, Jason Thorn and Ryan Gibson each took one, with Ryan releasing another. Mike McKeown took one on an Evil Weevil while earlier in the week he had taken one and returned five, including a brownie, three on a Sunburst Blob and three on an Orange Blob.
Roger Martyn took one and released six on a ghost-tip line with a Daddy and a Hopper. Ken Bowring, steadily easing himself back after his accident, brought a brown to the net and released a rainbow. Ken Pascoe used a Rubber-legged Daddy and a Buzzer on a sink-tip to take two and release three over two visits.
Over the week plenty of fish have been moving, although fishing has been difficult at times. A number of anglers have lost fish or just not been able to find the successful tactics and flies. Trial and error has fortunately brought success to a number of anglers: Phillip Theobald took one and released four on Damsels; John Evans took one and released two on a Buzzer; Pat Cawley took one and released one on a Green Damsel; Dave Bond took one on a Bloodworm under an indicator; while Alun Davies brought one fish to the net using a Damsel. John Davies' green goldhead nymph brought two rainbows to the bank, with friend Roger Michael taking one on a Bloodworm. Mike Dummer's Cruncher tempted one fish.
It was intermediate lines for Anthony Smith and Rob Collier, who each took one and released one, Anthony on a Buzzer, Rob on a Mini Cat. Steve Mosely also selected an intermediate to take one on a Cat’s Whisker, while Colin Cox's Egg Fly and intermediate line did the trick to tempt one to the bank. Steve Lewis took one rainbow on a Black Daddy and a sinking line, while grandson Ieuan released another rainbow. Ladies international Alice Davies called in to support the coaching event and had an enjoyable hour's fishing, taking one fish on an Apps’ Bloodworm and a floating line.
The Iain Barr Bank Masters heat takes place on March 22, visit www.iainbarrflyfishing.co.uk for details.