So the trials have been and gone, with 15 participants fishing for just three places in the team, and a reserve spot. It looked as if it was going to be a tough day at the office before anglers even don their chest waders.
There were a few hiccup such as one or two controllers not turning up with officials having to stand in but each angler had a controller and safely made it to their starting point before 9am. The first session started at 9:30am, so the half an hour gap gives anglers plenty of time to set up their fishing tackle, traipse the banks looking for likely spots and settle the nerves, in my case if im fishing a competition, drink the first can of red bull.
As my previous blog post states the River Taff was on its bones, usually a good thing as it makes the competition harder and more challenging.. I’d prefer it to be either in flood, or on it’s bones.
My angler for the day was James Rice, a regular on the lake competition scene and also a growing concern to all river inhabitants. We started on Beat A Peg 7, known as the daggers pool, a pool which runs along side the Daggers pub, Aberfan. It holds some good fish and is usually a section of water which produces good bags, but for any of you who knows Merthyr, its also a dreaded draw as 99% of the public usually stop and pester the angler in the river. “Caught anything butt!?”, “Had a big one from there last week!” and so on..
We made it to the river and were greeted with rising fish, an ideal start… As the competition time struck, out of nowhere a mink appeared on the far bank and gently slipped into the pool… Not such a great start… James entered the water and fished the back end of the daggers pool, after half an hour and only one more fish to rise, the mink appeared on the far bank with a rat, a rat which was almost the same length of the mink!
James fished the whole bottom section, and worked his way quietly through the shallower runs further upstream. The river had gone from two extremities – Flooded, high and brown to on its bones with 20+ degrees temp, in a matter of weeks. The fish seemed to have plenty of oxygenated water then none.. The back ends of the pools and the shallow runs between which usually hold fish, didn’t and it was only until you came across a pool, over 2feet deep that you’d take fish. James steppe from the shallows into the back end of a large run and hooked nine fish in 10 minutes! Unfortunately loosing five..
Anyway, his first session he ended up with one fish, and the second, seven.. A great performance gaining a 1st in the second session.. After dinner we made our way to the bottom, quakers yards, to fish section B7. A section which holds plenty of small fish but the bigger, 25cm+ fish always seem to drop back from the upper Taff, into the middle Taff, just below Abercynon. But, there’s always a few fish there and the smaller ones keep anglers happy.
James fished around a mile of the bottom section to take two fish in each session, a great end to the day with no blanks. That’s usually the key, avoid the blank and your score is usually strong.
As the results came flooding in it was obvious four or five anglers have done extremely well, catching a good amount of fish to give each good positions. After a lengthy calculation by the boys from the Merthyr Tydfil angling committee, the results emerged and the new Welsh Rivers Champion was capped… My good ole friend Fishstalker.. Terry Bromwell! Well done Terry, all that time i’ve spent annoying you and getting you to spend money on the right tackle held no end eh! haha…
The team for the Rivers international 2013 on the river Taff is a follows..
Reserve: Neil Ashamn
*Once the full results have been finalised I’ll re-post*