Anglian Water Airflo International Welsh heat at Llyn BrenigWayne Jones
Anglian Water Airflo International Welsh heat at Llyn Brenig
This is the big one for me since being a young child and watching the weigh in at Brenig when it was the Benson and Hedges. I had always hoped to fish it and qualify for the final at Rutland something I have been very lucky to have achieved and experienced over the years. We have had a good run over the years but as current champions we were all very nervous as the Last time the The Welsh Hawks won, they did not make it back.
The weather forecast was not looking good with high winds and rain forecast. We decided to put 2 days practice in. For the practice on Friday I was to fish with Gazza Dixon we always have a good laugh with lots of banter. Russ and Guss would fish together and the final pair being Aled and Dave. Me and Gazza where assigned the woods to the nature reserve Aled and Dave the dam cages, Russ and Guss sailing club water sports down to barrow island.
I started on a 12 foot slow tip with a Fab on the point and 2 hopers in the middle with a orange daddy on the top and Gazza pulling on a sweep 5. After a good 5 casts Gazza decided they where not on the pull and switched to dries. We both caught steady down the woods and hit a little hot spot on the coves. The weather was much nicer than forecast with a steady wind and even some sunshine. We worked all the natglyn bank down to the ring of stones for nothing the whole area felt very devoid of fish. As we came around the back of the island Gazza picked one up on dries but it seemed very dead. We meet up with Russ and Guss who said sailing club and water sports had coloured up due to the amount of water coming in from the streams. The weather was now turning with the rain that had been promised with the bad weather firmly in we decided to move and try the corner of the dam. Gazza had now switched to a floater and Diawl Bachs with a fab on the point and I had changed to dries. We picked fish up steady all round the dam and across to tower bay this seemed to be the biggest concentration of fish we had found. At the end of the first practice day we had found most fish at the dam right across to tower bay and in the quarry.
Saturday Practice me and Dave nearly always fish together the day before the comp. The weather was not good most other teams decided not to practice. The wind at times made it un fishable we stayed tucked up to the dam wall. We did catch plenty of fish either a di3 sweep or the floater with Diawl bachs and a fab proving best. We did venture into the sailing club for a look and noticed it had cleared up and even saw a few rising fish. We came of the water early to give our self’s time to dry and sort kit for the big day.
Match day no matter how many comps I have done over the years I still struggle to sleep the night before and I have a real mixture of nerves and excitement. I arrived early well ahead of the team and had a little walk conditions where perfect a light wind and over cast sky’s with rising fish. Russ had signed us all in and gave us our cards with our boat draws. I had drawn Jason Probert from Cwm Fly fishers in boat 13 more about our luck later. Once we are all set up, we always find a quite area to have a team chat. Conditions looked perfect and where screaming dries to us. We had all set up with floaters and Diawl Bachs fab and an orange daddy, the plan being that we could switch very fast to dries. A lot of people had set up Di3 and fast glass with pulling methods so we would need to keep and eye. Our Plan was to target anywhere tight to the dam wall and if conditions stayed switch to dries.
Its great feeling when the hooter goes and all the boats head out. Me and Jason decided to start tight in at the dam on the mound. First cast I had fish all over the daddy but they would not take it. Jason then hooked into a large fish which unfortunately broke him then the same happened to me very next cast not the best start for either of us. I hooked another fish on the fab for it to come of at the net. We could see a few fish being caught on green bank and just as we where about to move I hooked into a fish on the Diawl after a tough fight I had my first fish in the net. As I was sorting my self out Jason hooked and landed a fish. We then fished green bank seeing Mike Williams taking a 3 fish fast but we could not touch them. I bumped into Aled at the quarry he was also struggling with just one fish. So we headed over to the corner of the dam by the visitor centre. I switched to dries here as it really did look spot on. Jason hooked into another big fish on the orange daddy again breaking him. As we where working our way up the wall he got snapped and lost another fish. We where not having a great day. I saw team mate Guss who was on 9 he told me Russ was on double figures all on dries. For whatever reason I could not move anything while Russ and Guss where moving fish all the time. I manged 1 and lost 1 playing it Jason also had one. It really was not happening for me here so we decided to move to the sailing club for a change of scenery and luck hopefully. Gazza had also left for the coves on 2 fish struggling at the dam. Conditions looked perfect with a warm westerly pushing out from the sailing club. Just as we approached the hot spot where the road jets out into the lake a lovely fish headed and tailed over my shuttle cock almost in slow motion. Great I thought till my leader got snagged on some under water obstacle only for me to lose my hole leader and fish. Setting back up we re drifted and now got the drogue stuck and I mean stuck solid, our day was turning into a night mare a good job I had a great partner and we laughed rather than cried. We decided to work this area with no drogue and I started to pick a few fish up on dry’s and manged to get to 5. Things where looking a little better but it was now gone 3 and time was running out. Jason was having a very frustrating time and not getting any chances. I hooked a cracking fish on a small hopper only for my reel to snag my coat and snap off. Well this was my worst day for problems I think ever.
It was now 4 and only 2 hours left I was on 5 and Jason on 2 I was still getting the odd chance so we carried on I picked up 2 more before things went really quiet and a few more boats where going over the fish now. We moved to duck island I gave Jason the shuttle cock and hopper I was catching on and almost straight away he had one on the shuttle cock. I manged one more there before we decided to head to the dam. I was now on 8. I changed back to the nymphs on the way and Jason back to the fast glass. With only 10 minutes left Jason hooked and landed one in the last minutes and that was our day over. Even tho nearly everything that can go wrong in a day did I still had a very enjoyable day with Jason and we did have a lot of laughs rather than bad tempers which is the best way.
On the jetty there was a lot of mixed talk of how peoples had got on Russ had bagged Early Gazza had finished down Barrow island, Guss had 16 me 8 Dave 6 And Aled 4. When the results where being totalled it’s a great social with team mates and some of the team’s family members where with us at the weigh in.
Top rod for the day was Christian Jones who is captain of our second team amazing result fishing against a very strong field.
We had avoided the curse and topped the day with great individual performances by Russ Gazza and Guss. The ever consistent Nymphomanics in second and our second team in third.
This is a great competition and well run By Anglian water and we are lucky to have it sponsored by Airflo.
Best methods for us and our second team was dries shuttle cock on the point a bits in the middle with a daddy on top.