The Welsh team selection for each year is determined by averages over a four match period on three different lakes in Wales, Llandegfedd, Trawsfynyd and Brenig. Anglers top three out of four scores are recorded and used as their points to determine their position. For example, a 3rd placing in three matches would give a person 9 points.
The last match is always the decider with many anglers who are borderline with their scores can fall on their face. It’s usually a tough competition wherever it is being so late in the season and being held over 4 separate days the ‘top’ anglers usually come out on top. Performing consistently over the four competitions is key.
It was even tougher for the individuals who were close to winning the trophy, with two anglers on 10 points. I think I was the only person who could come below 10 points, only fishing two matches until the last comp and taking just 5 points. I would have to come top 4 or above. A tough call with a good side of anglers!
The Saturday had fished tough, 14 fish took top rod, so I was expecting double figures on the Sunday to put anyone in good steed for top position. I drew top angler David Hoppe and when we stepped into the boat it was 3 below 0! Watching other anglers tackling up most were rigged up with green lines, an indication their fishing high in the water. Hoppe and I both opted for di5, Airflo Sweep fly lines, just to drop the flies through and hold and a deeper level. It’s always good to do something different if you’re unsure anyway, just keeping an eye out on anglers around you can show how deep the fish are lying.
Within the first drift I caught a fish and bumped another on a strangle cat, with no other fish seen landed. We went back around for the second drift, and I picked up a further two fish, putting me on three. My cast was a tequila blob and a strangle cat strung together with 8.8lb frog hair, I thought with it being so cold, the fish wont want to chase so early in the morning, and info from the day before indicated that most fish were caught post 11am. With three fish in my bag by 11am, I was confident that when conditions came right I could pick up a few more.
There was a long stint of nothing, just over an hour without a pull, or a rise or even a fish netted. As the wind calmed off so did the action. But looking behind the cloud seemed to be building up hopefully bringing some wind. By 12:30 a small breeze started to pick up just enough to push the boat along. It was almost instantaneously and I missed a fish high up in the water. Swapping to a Sixth Sense fast glass I added a middle dropper, the same dabbler in this post, and first cast, I’d hooked into and landed my fourth fish.
A re-cast and same retrieve, extremely fast figure of 8, A fish took me at high speed moving in the opposite direction to mine… It ripped the line out of my hands and run the full length of the fly line and leaped clear of the water, a 5lb plus fish with a massive spade-like tail… a proper one! As it hit the water the fly came out, after the fourth fish hooks needed to be de-barbed so it was inevitable really. But, it would have only counted as 1lb 4oz as it would have had to go back.
There seemed to be a bit of a pattern forming so I stuck with this method throughout the day and managed to pick up a further 7 fish, ended with 11 fish for just over 16lb. Brian Couch, a ex welsh international managed 10 fish only to beat me on weight. I ended up in second position on that particular day giving me a total of 7 points over the three competitions, 2nd, 3rd and a 2nd. I managed to overtake two top welsh anglers to win the Welsh championship for the second time! Previously won it back in 2009 as the youngest ever person. Happy days 😀
Further congratulations must go to fellow anglers, Paul Collict, Bob Mayers and Dion Davies on acheiving their first international cap. It’s always good to get new blood coming into the international teams, and these three guys deserve all the prise they can get, well done guys!