Islanders Trip to WalesWayne Jones
We headed down to Clywedog Reservoir after checking in into our accommodation late Tuesday afternoon for the customary walk around we all do prior any big event! This was the beginning of the Fly Shop Invitational Competition which Wayne had kindly asked Emerald Islanders to attend. This didn’t require a second thought with ferry and accommodation booked in the blink of an eye! We met up briefly with Russ and Gaz who have be doing a sterling job at this fishery and who kindly showed us the lay of the land. As the Change Team had arrived a little earlier and were on the water already, we took advantage of a couple of high viewing points around the fishery to admire the scenery and more importantly to see what’s happening.
Wednesday morning was to be our first trip out on this exciting fishery, and after hearing the reports of the recent stockings, we were all itching to get at them, especially after the recent lockdown spells and lack of competition fishing. Our six-man team split into three boats decided to hunt in packs and stick together as we explored this new water. With half the team twiddling on tip lines and the other half pulling sinking lines, we were on the hunt for some stockies!! Bang, bang, bang as quick as that, all boats in amongst the fish down at the dam were there was a mere 1500 fish released! Both methods were working, but the pulling was outnumbering the twiddling. The Go Faster UV Cat Booby, Yellow eyed coral mirage booby and black-eyed abortion sparkler booby catching most of the fish about 3ft below the surface on a steady roly poly retrieve. The JC red holographic black straggle cormorant and mirage cormorant almost picked a few fish during the hand, which was good to know at this stage as it was most likely going to get harder as the competition days approached.
Thursday morning it was time to shuffle the pairings between the team and go looking for some less fresh fish using more imitative patterns such as nymphs and dries. We knew there were plenty of fish around the cages and dam so we headed towards the other end of the reservoir to where there are plenty of bays and coves to keep everyone content, you could even venture up the river if you got bored! I had received a new Loop 7X 10ft 6# for this trip to Wales and want a work horse it is. I could easily fish a DI5 sweep or straight DI7 one day and then move up to a floater and dries the next. It has such a great action and very versatile which is key for me because I don’t believe in changing rods for different methods, especially during competitions. I really enjoy fishing dries and Clywedog did not let me down. Fishing were looking up in most bays and coming blind to my team of dries. Majority of the fish came to Pearly butt claret bits, claret flat back hopper, flat back fiery brown hopper and gazza special. Wayne was kind enough to ‘donate’ some extra dries and lures which proved very beneficial during match day.
Friday morning was to be our last day practice and time to refine are methods and consider areas that would most likely be in contention over the next couple of days. With so many various methods working and flies, experience was telling us that we pull during the morning and opt towards twiddling or dries in the afternoon when fishing was expected to slow down. Again, we remained to hunt in a pack so we could see what each other was doing. With all the hype that came with this fishery we can confidently say it did not disappoint. We each caught well into double figures each day fishing all methods from roly polying boobys, to twiddling cormorants to dries which is a true compliment to the management and staff at Clywedog Fishery.
The next two days were the official competition days were the results have already been published. Our methods and plan of attack did not change and we were fortunate to have a good result on Sunday to pull us up the leader board a couple of places. The Emerald Islanders would like to thank Clywedog Fishery and Wayne Jones for organising such a friendly competition. We would also like to thank Loop for their generous prizes. We are already looking at preparations for next year as this is one competition that will be marked on our calendar for many years to come!