EARLY SEASON WILD BROWN TROUT FISHING ON THE RESERVOIRS – CERI THOMAS
March 20th is a special date in the Welsh fly-fishing calendar – it heralds the opening of the brown trout season on stillwater. After many months of waiting and counting down the days, the wild brown trout fishing can finally begin on the reservoirs of the Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association.
March and April can be tough, cold and brutal months on our lakes, but the brownies are still there to be caught. Hit it right, and you can have a really good day.
Should you be lucky enough to be fishing on a calm, mild day you will often find a nice afternoon hatch of small black buzzer on Talybont and Cantref. This invariably brings the trout to the top, hungry as they are after a long cold winter. So make sure you have some imitative black buzzer patterns, small black CDC dries and some wets such as black pennel and blae and black in your box for such occurrences.
Most of the time though, early season is cold and very blowy. In these typical conditions it’s best to get your flies down a foot or two as the trout more reluctant to go near the surface. Best line is a fast intermediate with a sink rate of 1.5 inches per second. Airflo do some good intermediate lines, including the clear Velocity and Sixth Sense – both great lines for our reservoirs.
With an intermediate line I like to fish a long leader about 15 foot length, with two flies, typically a black mini lure on the point such as a woolly bugger, ace of spades, viva or black tadpole. With a traditional wet on the dropper such as coch y bonddu, bibio, zulu, or mallard and claret you have a very effective early season combination.
Covering water really is the key to early season wild brown trout. You will need to find the fish as they will not be active and cruising round the lake like they are in the warm times. A great method is to ‘step and cast’ – get a nice cast out of about 20 yards then step a yard or two down the bank. Give the flies 10 seconds or so to sink then start the retrieve. That step you made also imparts a nice curve into your retrieve that the trout often find very attractive. Step and cast your way down a whole length of bank until you find a few fish.
Finally don’t ignore the shallows – with even thick snow on the hills I have caught fish at the neck ends of Talybont and Canfref, reason being these are the first areas to warm up and they hold a lot of cased caddis and snails in the decayed weedbeds that provide easy food for early season trout. Also the larger Talybont brownies are known to eat spawning frogs and toads tight in the margins – so late March can be a great time to catch a bigger specimen there. But bear in mind the fish may be out of condition, so try to spare the priest as they are not the best eating at this time of year.
The following is from Ben Morris the organiser of the above event………………………..
We are organising a ultra race running and walking on 19th February 2017, which takes in some of the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal towpath. The Canal & Rivers Trust have asked us to let Fishing Clubs know that the event will be taking place.
Participants will be following the towpath between Brecon and Talybont-on-usk between 0730 and 0900 am. Participants will be clearly briefed that they should keep to the left, in single file and give way always to members of the Public. A lead marshal will be ahead of the first participants to ensure people know they are coming. A sweeper team will follow the route collecting any litter and signage.
We hope this will not inconvenience you in any way and we are keen to deliver this event providing a positive impact on the local communities. However, please get in touch with us if you have any concerns or any questions.
Brecon To Cardiff Race organiser, Run Walk Crawl
Last Saturday over 1000 Salmon, Sea Trout and Brown Trout were killed through a pollution of slurry, over 6 miles of this fantastic river were polluted.
More information follow this link http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-mid-wales-38382670
The Chairman, Officers and the Committee would like to take this opportunity to thank all members for their support during 2016 and to wish all members a very happy Christmas and Tight Lines for 2017.
You may or may not be aware that the Welsh Government is currently consulting on extending Nitrate Vulnerable Zones in Wales.
Details here: http://blog.fishtec.co.uk/help-save-welsh-rivers-from-farm-pollution
To help, all you need do is download a ready filled in word document from the Fishtec blog post, fill in the top with your details (individual or fishing club) and email it off to the Welsh government.
The more people/organisations do it, more chance of the law being changed so less slurry and farm waste etc gets into our rivers.
Father Christmas is coming to the model railway in Cyfarthfa Park on Saturday and Sunday the 17th and 18th December. Come along have a ride on the train and enjoy a visit to Santa’s Grotto
Dear WTT Member
Herewith a link to a PDF version of the latest WTT Newsletter which you can read or download and save to read later wttautumn2016newsletter –best viewed at 100% or less.
Any problems, please contact me and I will try to help and I can send you a paper version if all else fails.
Over the next few weeks we will be investigating the feasibility and cost of an alternative to downloading a PDF. But in the meantime we would be interested and grateful to know (good or bad) how you feel about your experience on this occasion and whether you are content or would prefer something different.
We’re also getting close to the Annual Draw which takes place on Tuesday 13 December. If you haven’t already done so, please buy a ticket or two and encourage your friends to do likewise. You can buy tickets easily via our website shop – CLICK HERE – tickets cost just £1 each and there are a range of great prizes on offer.
Kind regards, Christina
The pdf document below gives a broad picture of what is happening on the river Usk.
If you see an incident on the River Usk, please keep this number handy and report it, although it would appear that nothing is happening, all incidents are logged and the more incidents which are logged the more likely the chance of bailiffs attending, plus if we (the anglers, riperian owners) keep reporting incidents maybe National Resources Wales will employ more bailiffs, please keep ringing in.
We were asked if we would put the Survey on our website, we agreed because we know that many of our members are also keen sea fishermen/women, please complete the survey if you possibly can
Can you please sign the petition below to save our Bass
Reason to sign the petition
- Estimates as to the impact of recreational angling on bass stocks vary from 10% to 25% of all landings. Recent evidence from CEFAS and the Eastern IFCA illustrates how ‘official’ commercial landings data is massively understated suggests that the figure is much closer to 10% and many anglers would argue that it is even lower.
- Organisations like the National Federation of Sea Anglers, now part of the Angling Trust, and the Bass Anglers Sportfishing Society (B.A.S.S.) have been campaigning for the introduction of bass conservation measures for more than 20 years. Things looked hopeful in 2004 when the Net Benefits report by the Cabinet Office recommended that fishery managers look at making bass a recreational-only species. This was followed up by the publication of a Bass Management Plan by B.A.S.S. in October 2004.
- Sadly, the reports stayed on the shelf, bass stocks continued to be over fished and the unsustainable minimum size limit of 36cm remained in place until last year’s long overdue rise to 42 cm – the absolute smallest size at which bass reach maturity and are able to reproduce.
- Scientific advice issued by the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) in June 2014 recommended an 80% cut in bass mortality across the EU area for 2015. This followed the 2013 advice for a 36% cut which was ignored. In 2014 bass landings by UK vessels rose by 30% (from 772 tonnes to 1,004 tonnes).
- Current stock biomass in North Atlantic fishery is now estimated to be 7,320 tonnes, well below the ‘B-lim’ of 8,075 tonnes, at which future regeneration becomes critically endangered.
- Sea bass are an iconic sporting species, a top target for anglers with a recreational value of £200m to the economy. Thirty years ago bass were considered primarily a recreational species and were subject to very little commercial harvesting. [MAFF 1987].
- Commercial Hook and Line fishing is more sustainable and allows undersized (and oversized) fish to be returned. It accounts for around 20% of all bass caught commercially in the UK. However, this figure is likely to have decreased following last year’s increase in the bass minimum landing size.
- Following the failure to reach agreement at the European Fisheries Council meeting in December 2014 the EU took the unusual step of introducing a series of welcome emergency measures which were confirmed at the Fisheries and Aquaculture Committee meeting on Friday January 23rd 2015. These included a new minimum landing size of 42cms and a ban on the trawling of spawning aggregations in order to help save declining bass stocks in the English Channel, Southern North Sea and Irish and Celtic Seas.
- The UK secured some success in leading on the introduction of the 2015 package of emergency measures to protect bass stocks. However, the situation has continued to deteriorate. ICES advice for 2016 recommended catches of no more than 541 tonnes – effectively a 90% reduction on 2014. The 2015 measures are estimated to have reduced catches by only 36% – the EC accept they simply didn’t go far enough – and it is now clear that the neither did those adopted for 2016 which included increase in vessel catch limits for inshore gill net and hook and line commercial boats.
PLEASE, SIGN THE PETITION………..
The railway in Cyfarthfa Park will be running Christmas Specials on the Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th December, come along and have some fun
This years AGM will take place on Wednesday 9th November 2016 in the Ex-Servicemens Club Lower High Street Merthyr Tydfil, all members are welcome, if you wish to attend please contact our Secretary Rhys Evans firstname.lastname@example.org we Start at 7pm
National Resources Wales has introduced a new telephone number for any one to report incidents of pollution or poaching, the old 0800 number will continue to work for some time yet. The number is……………..
Ceri Thomas of Fishtec fished Tal-y-bont reservoir on October 16th to end the Stillwater trout season. 5 brownies were landed in a late afternoon session of a few hours at the top end, all on floating line, 20 foot long leader and red-head tadpole fly. Best fish was a magnificent 17 ½ inch cock fish, with the rest being 12 -13 inches. All returned to grow bigger for next season!
Below are 2 pictures of a trout caught on the last days of the season by Daniel Pop, a truly magnificent fish
2 more pictures this time of pike caught in September in Pontsticill reservoir, by Kyle McCarthy.
Brecon & Monmouth Canal Users
The Dell Management Challenge Charity Adventure Race will take place again this year on 1st October and as for the previous 8 years, the route will include the use of the Canal Towpath between Brecon Canal Basin and Talybont.
We have permission from Canal & Rivers Trust to run the Event again this year and they have asked us to let Canal boat Operators and Fishing Clubs know that the Event will be taking place.
Participants will be Canoeing between Brecon and Storehouse Bridge between 9.00am and 10.00am and running from Brecon to Talybont from 9.00am to 11.00am. No cycling by participants is being permitted on the towpath this year. Teams will leave at 3 minute intervals to minimise the impact on other users and all participants will be clearly briefed that they should keep to single file and give way at all times to members of the Public.
We will also be providing an Outrider ahead of the first team to ensure people know they are on the way and we will be sending a Litter and Sign Collection Team back through after the last team has finished on the towpath.
We do hope this will not inconvenience you in any way, we are keen to deliver this Charity Event with the minimum impact on other Canal Users. However, please do get in touch with us if you have any concerns or any questions.
Event Director, Dell Management Challenge 2016
Merthyr Anglers are wondering if anyone spotted the crew who left a beach tent and two bags of rubbish on the roadside bank near roach corner on Top Pond over the weekend. There were also lots of Fosters cans thrown down the bank. These people are nothing short of the worse type of individual we have in the borough. We have bins that our volunteers one in particular empty regularly and we get the micky taken out of us. Penywern Top Pond was recently awarded Green Flag Status and it takes a lot of work to keep up the standard. One thing is certain Merthyr will win hands down for Gold olympic medals for litter and fly tipping.
If you know who they were you can contact us via the Contact us page on this website, or facebook your anonymity will be respected .
The follow report has just been issued by National Resourses Wales regarding salmon fry on the River Usk this is a very worrying report and salmon anglers are requested to observe catch and release.
Briefing Note Issued to Local Fisheries Groups, 2.9.16
Annual fisheries monitoring programme reveals unprecedented reduction in salmon fry abundance across Wales
Each year NRW carries out a programme of fisheries monitoring to record the distribution and abundance of fish – notably juvenile salmon and trout – in many of our rivers. The data are used to assess stock performance and status and, over the period since monitoring commenced in 1986, long-term trends in fish densities. This monitoring therefore has an important role to play in the sustainable management of our natural resources as it helps us to understand, protect and manage our fish stocks.
The fish population surveys predominately use electric fishing procedures in which fish are temporarily stunned and caught – a process which is harmless to the fish. We record the numbers of fish caught, the species and their individual lengths. This data is essential in classifying rivers and water bodies under the Water Framework Directive (WFD).
This years’ results
This year our initial fisheries surveys on the rivers, Clwyd, Usk and Tywi have demonstrated a very concerning and unprecedented decline in the abundance of salmon fry in sites where they have always been present:
In the Tywi catchment our survey has shown salmon fry to be absent from 27 of the 31 sites monitored (they were present in 28 of these sites during the last survey).
On the Usk, our survey showed salmon fry to be absent in 8 of the 13 sites where they are usually present and typically in good numbers. There were no fry at all at another 9 sites surveyed for eel.
On the Clwyd 5 sites were fished and although these have always had good numbers of fry, none were found this year.
Surveys on other rivers, including the Wye, Tawe and Glaslyn have found normal numbers of fry. www.naturalresourceswales.gov.uk
Our experienced fish survey staff report that these findings are unprecedented over the period of 30 years since fisheries monitoring commenced.
What is the current position?
At this stage it is important that we complete the survey programme to build a picture of the status of fish populations across Wales. Whist this is underway we are consulting with the Environment Agency on the position in England and with Welsh Government, and we are also discussing the results and their potential cause and implications, with Cefas (fisheries advisors to the UK Government). We are examining river flow and temperature data and considering other factors that might be implicated.
We also assess salmon stocks each year by comparing estimated egg deposition with catchment targets. We note that, although adult salmon stocks in 21 of our 23 principal salmon rivers are currently assessed as ‘At Risk’ (including the Clwyd and Tywi) or ‘Probably at Risk’ (including the Usk) of failing to meet their spawning targets, estimated egg depositions in 2015 were broadly unexceptional.
There is also some evidence, notably for the Clwyd, that trout fry populations are also much lower than in recent years.
What are the possible reasons?
It is presently too early to be clear what has caused the severe lack of fry in the three rivers highlighted here. We have considered a possible failure of fish to disperse to spawning tributaries, possibly due to flow, and the potential for disease or pollution to be the causative factor, however it is far too early be certain. However we also note that December 2015 was the hottest December on record and consequently we are assessing water temperature records. www.naturalresourceswales.gov.uk
What can fishermen do?
Whilst we complete our monitoring programme and further investigate the reasons for the collapse in fry numbers, it is important that all those involved with fisheries do what they can to help maximise the number of fish spawn this autumn/winter.
Now, and in subsequent years, it is more important than ever that anglers return all their fish to maximise the numbers that can spawn, and that the fishing methods used ensure that released fish have the best chance of survival by considering:
De-barbing the hooks so that fish can be released more easily and quickly
Not removing the fish from the water whilst unhooking. This is one of the key ways to improve survival. Keeping a fish in the air for 30-60 seconds literally halves their chance of survival.
Not using treble hooks – especially flying C type lures
Not using bait.
These results are unprecedented and appear to be evident in some, but not all, rivers across Wales.
We will complete our monitoring programme, whilst we continue to investigate the causes and seek a remedy.
In the meantime it is crucial as many salmon as possible spawn this year. We are appealing to anglers to put all the salmon they catch back, and to try to influence others to do the same. There simply aren’t enough fish spawning to sustain stocks.
Catch and Release guidelines can be found on the Wye and Usk Foundation web site. http://www.wyeuskfoundation.org/fishing/catchandrelease.php
We have been in discussions with NRW on the new proposals to limit the taking of Salmon but still be able to fish for them. We agree with restrictions on baits, hooks, and possible curtailing the time you can fish for them. However, we do not feel that the proposal to have total catch and release while not tackling other issues such as bird predation is being fair. The following petition has come to light and we wish to give our members a say on this matter.
e-Petition: Proposal to Postpone the Restrictions on Fishing in Welsh Rivers.
open quote / dyfyniad agored
We call on the National Assembly for Wales to urge the Welsh Government to ensure an immediate postponement of the 10-year catch & release proposal for all salmon on Welsh rivers, whilst a full and proper impact assessment is carried out into the effects on local business and tourist economy, at a time when the Welsh economy is already suffering due to the decline in steel production. We believe this matter requires urgent attention.
I am chairman of Abergwili Angling Club, based in Carmarthen and I’m concerned by recent proposals by NRW to impose a ten- year catch and release only policy for salmon on all Welsh rivers, with no scientific evidence that pleasure anglers are responsible for the decline in migratory salmon stock.
A high percentage of our Club members travel into Wales bringing much needed revenue into the local economy. Below you will find extracts from the NRW’s own technical report that highlights the losses that may well be incurred, following the expected loss of anglers coming to Wales, should NRW go ahead with a 10-year Salmon catch & release programme.
Below are extracts from a recent ‘consultation’ with anglers, in West Wales :-
NRW B B 40.15 Annex 2 TECHNICAL REPORT: MANAGEMENT OPTIONS TO ADDRESS THE DECLINE IN STOCKS OF SALMON AND SOME SEA TROUT IN WALES
- Salmon and sea trout are iconic and important species in our rivers. They support recreational fisheries that bring economic benefit (in excess of £74 million annual expenditure in Wales, supporting around 1,500 Welsh jobs and £32 million in household income, Mawle and Peirson, 2009), often to rural communities, and are widely recognised as indicators of good environmental quality. Salmon support the designation of six rivers designated as Special Areas of Conservation. These are the SAC rivers, as designated under the Habitats Directive (Council Directive 92/43/EEC) in Wales. The salmon is also a feature of the Severn Estuary European Marine site (a SAC, and a site also designated as a Special Protection Area under the Birds Directive and a Ramsar site). 8. Welsh Government has set objectives for NRW to contribute to objectives for freshwater fisheries management, broadly by promotion of the conservation and maintenance of the diversity of migratory and freshwater fish, and by enhancing the contribution that migratory and freshwater fisheries make to the economy, particularly in remote rural areas and in areas with low levels of income. NRW also has statutory duties for fisheries under the Environment Act (1995), and obligations as set out in the UK Governments responsibilities to NASCO (the North Atlantic Conservation Organisation) to which the EC is a signatory.
Furthermore, the answer to a recent Freedom of Information request –ref: ATI – 09971a – is set out below:-
As part of any case for proposed new fishing control measures Natural Resources Wales is obliged to consider socio-economic factors. I can confirm that this has yet to take place, therefore regulation 12.4(a) of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 applies.
Information not held. We do not have an expected date of when this will be completed however we do hope to complete it later this year.
close quote / dyfyniad agos
To Sign the petition please follow this link it will take you straight to the signing page
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