This morning I woke up and realised it wasn’t 5 am and Wullie & Scotty weren’t churning out flies at their vices. There was no laughing or practical jokes and Kevin’s coffee machine wasn’t churning out Latte’s. Our annual trip to Llyn Clywedog was well and truly over .
We all arrived last Tuesday night, buzzing with excitement. All reports and info had been gathered and we couldn’t wait to hit the lake first thing Wednesday morning. The lake itself is in a remote and very stunning part of the Welsh mountains, surrounded by Buzzards and Red Kites. It’s an absolutely stunning lake with a lot of arms, some narrow, two dams, two large main basin areas, a water sports centre and of course, the cages area cordoned off with buoys.
Clywedog is the only place I’ve ever been where I reckon you could catch a trout no matter where you stop on the lake. There are fish right through the depths! Having a fish finder out there is scary, I spent more time watching the screen!!
We arrived on Wednesday to broken skies with a breeze that changed direction non-stop all day. We all have our favourite areas so we decided to go search around and see what we could find.
There were fish everywhere, mostly old feeding fish on the surface around the edges, munching on anything getting blown onto the surface. Large numbers of recently stocked fish in open water crashing the waves were easily spotted. There are many successful methods of catching on Clwydog including dries, tip lines, and of course dropping right down with the deep stuff. The best methods for us were small size 14 shuttlecocks in various colors, fabs and drawls on tip lines, small sparklers also playing a part in our practice days.
Over the days the fishing certainly slowed due to the heavy pressure of the fishing with the main areas being:
1. The dam
2. poplar bank
3. The Bigga
Of course, the cages area always holds fish, but they have seen everything so can also be a very tricky area.
With the lake being over 610 acres with a maximum depth of 216ft and spaced over a six-mile length, there’s plenty of water to try and cover. Fish are always looking up there, so with favourable weather surface feeding is stunning with a fall of ants, the Coch Beatles or any terrestrial insects. Each day brought more successful patterns to our comp day boxes.
On match days we decided to see the boat draw before deciding where each angler would go. On the first day, I was drawn with Stuart Pickard from Team-Foxons who fished dries all day, finishing with 10 fish. I caught 13 on Boobies and nymphs in-between mainly around the cages area.
Day 2 I was drawn with Paul Kitchen from The Renegades, Paul was happy with the engine so off we popped. We drifted on longer drifts than the previous day, visiting the Dam, sailing club, lodge frontage, and the Clwyd bay. Both catching on Boobys and then on Dries later in the day.
Two excellent days in good company!
Dries on the second day seemed to be the best method with Paul finishing on two and me on eleven. We tried lots of new areas on this holiday and still found fish, a real compliment to the fishery staff!
Boats spotlessly cleaned, a purpose-built jetty to load and unload, always a smile and banter with all the staff who simply couldn’t do enough for you.
The Welsh Hawks dominate the fishing on Clwydog and this comp was no different.
We were sitting second after day one and increased the points total on day two to keep our runners-up spot.
Brilliant performance from the Emerald Islanders on the second day with a very young Stan McCart showing the youngsters in his team he’s still got it, moving them up into the third position mostly on dries.
The Fly Shop Invitational Comp is now firmly fixed in our calendar as a great match and catch up with old friends and making new ones. The relaxed atmosphere and banter between the teams is class! Clocks ticking for next year already.