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Institute of Fisheries Management – Sea Angling 2017 Survey

Nov 23, 2016   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments
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

Calling All Sea Anglers! – Sea Angling 2017 Survey 
Dear IFM  Member, supporters and friends, please find below the details for the Sea Angling 2017 Survey. We hope that those of you who are sea anglers will take the time to complete the survey (it only takes 10 minutes max). The information gathered helps to inform government bodies about what is being caught and the value of sea angling to the UK economy.
Dear Angler,

We are writing to ask you to take part in a short survey about sea angling and to invite you to take part in a sea angling diary study.

The survey will only take 5-10 minutes and will ask you:

  •   Some basic details about your sea angling/fishing participation – however often you go or don’t go, we need to know!
  •   Whether you are interested in taking part in a Sea Angling Catch and Spending Diary Study in 2017.

    If you choose to take part in the 2017 Catch Diary Study, it will provide you, free of charge, with unique access to an Online Catch Diary tool, a Fish ID booklet (provided in conjunction with www.britishseafishing.com), a catch recording kit, and a personalised online dashboard so you can see your fishing trips and catches as well as a report at the end of the year.

Sea Angling 2017
Take the Survey
WIN PRIZES! 

By doing this survey you can enter a free online prize draw for one of two x £50 of Fishing Megastore vouchers.
By taking part in the diary study next year you can enter a free prize draw every month of 2017 for Fishing Megastore vouchers.

The prizes are provided in conjunction with Fishing Megastore.

About the Research – please see: www.seaangling.org
The survey is commissioned by Cefas and undertaken by Substance.
Contact

If you require further information or have any problems completing the survey, please email:

seaangling2017@substance.net

Confidentiality

ALL information you provide will be treated in strictest confidence. No details will be passed onto a third party and the information you provide will only be used in aggregate. You may give us permission to contact you and to enter you in the prize draw – but that is entirely up to you.

Petition to save our Bass

Nov 20, 2016   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments

Can you please sign the petition below to save our Bass

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/172441/signatures/new

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/172441/signatures/new

Reason to sign the petition

Bass stocks in Britain and Europe are in trouble and urgent action is needed to conserve and rebuild the remaining spawning populations. The decline is the result of increased commercial overfishing since 1985 – not recreational sea angling (RSA).
  • 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………..

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/172441/signatures/new

 

Wild Trout Trust Appeal in conjunction with Aviva

Nov 16, 2016   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments
We would like to request you vote for the project being run in conjunction with the Wild Trout Trust who we support and who’s help was invaluable when we carried out restoration on the river Taf Fechan.
Please take time to register you have ten votes you can use them on any of the projects.

WTT Members, please vote for wild trout!

Please vote for wild trout!

The next Wild Trout Trust newsletter will be sent out by post or email, as appropriate, in about 2-3 weeks’ time. Meanwhile, please help us by voting for wild trout!

The Wild Trout Trust and the Mersey Basin Rivers Trust are hoping to win £22,000 of funding from the Aviva Community Fund to pay for creating a by-pass around a big weir on the River Goyt in Lancashire. This weir is currently a huge barrier to fish migration and by-passing it will make a big difference to trout, eels and salmon in the river. To win this money, we need as many people as possible to vote for us. You will need to register but it takes just a couple of minutes. Full details of the project and voting are HERE. Many thanks in advance if you are able to vote for us. 

Also, our annual raffle is up and running, with five brilliant prizes: a Sage rod; a day for 3 rods on the Lambourn (courtesy of Famous Fishing); an overnight stay with fishing on the Derbyshire Wye (courtesy of the Peacock at Rowsley); a six-bottle case of wine (courtesy of Paul Kenyon) and a tenkara line and leaders (courtesy of Phoenix Lines). Thank you to all our donors. The draw will be held at the Thomas Lord pub in West Meon on Tuesday 13 December at 7pm and tickets cost a mere £1 each. You will find an order form enclosed with your newsletter or you can buy in the shop on our website HERE.

Lastly, our 2017 Annual Get Together will be with the Haddon Estate in Derbyshire on the weekend of 13 & 14 May – please pop the dates in your diary. We’ll have a day of super-interesting talks and river walks on the Saturday, with a Sunday of fishing on the excellent local rivers. More details will follow in the events section on the WTT website and in the Spring Newsletter.

Kind regards, Shaun Leonard
WTT Director

Cyfarthfa Park Railway

Oct 25, 2016   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments

The railway in Cyfarthfa Park will be running Christmas Specials on the Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th December, come along and have some fun

Annual General Meeting

Oct 20, 2016   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments

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 sec.mtaa@gmail.com we Start at 7pm

New Incident Number

Oct 19, 2016   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments

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……………..

new-number

End of Season on Talybont by Ceri Thomas

Oct 19, 2016   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments

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!

River Taff and Pontsticill Res

Oct 19, 2016   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments

Below are 2 pictures of a trout caught on the last days of the season by Daniel Pop, a truly magnificent fish

danile-16-2 danile-sept-16

2 more pictures this time of pike caught in September in Pontsticill reservoir, by Kyle McCarthy.

sept-2016-pike-2 sept-2016-pike-1 

Charity Race on Brecon Canal

Sep 28, 2016   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments

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.

Gary Evans
Event Director, Dell Management Challenge 2016
Hawk Associates
Hawk Adventures
01558 668878
07836 748752

Top Pond – Rubbish

Sep 5, 2016   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments

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.

 

Discarded tent, beer cans and other rubbish left behind at Roach Corner

Discarded tent, beer cans and other rubbish left behind at Roach Corner

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 .

Salmon Fry Reduction on River Usk

Sep 5, 2016   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments

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

Background

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.

Conclusion

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.

footnote:

Catch and Release guidelines can be found on the Wye and Usk Foundation web site. http://www.wyeuskfoundation.org/fishing/catchandrelease.php

http://www.wyeuskfoundation.org/files/C&R_2013.pdf

E- Petition – Fishing for Salmon

Aug 22, 2016   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments

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

  1. 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

https://www.assembly.wales/en/gethome/e-petitions/Pages/petitiondetail.aspx?PetitionID=955

June – July Newsletter

Aug 17, 2016   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments

June July 2016

Please follow links for the latest newsletter

National Fishing Month – Photos

Aug 10, 2016   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments

This Gallery is a small snapshot of our National Fishing Month Day today Wednesday 10 Aug

Another event held on Cyfarthfa Park Lake on Wednesday 17th August, a lovely day and all of the children and adults who attended caught fish and were advised on how to catch fish and the equipment they were using.

National Fishing Month – Press Release

Aug 9, 2016   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments

PRESS RELEASE:   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Go for your own ‘Olympic Gold’ during National Fishing Month

Angling is still searching for its position in the mainstream sports arenas. Although it is a participatory sport, hugely popular on a world-wide basis and practised in virtually every country, general acceptance by those that follow sports is largely absent. There are no Olympic angling medals at stake in Rio.

There are a variety of reasons why this is the case, most of them related to a lack of understanding about the sport and what makes anglers ‘tick’. In a competitive framework, there is not the direct or indirect contact between participants that occurs with bat or ball sports; competitive angling pits the competitors against the course – a river, lake, canal or the sea – although this is also true of other outdoor Olympic sports as diverse as golf, archery, rowing and marathon running.
For casual spectators, angling is difficult to understand or follow because the degree of success is rarely visible. In golf, one can see how close to the hole the ball lands, whereas in angling, fish are usually invisible until captured. This ‘all or nothing’ outcome can be dismissed as mere luck by the uninformed, yet – consistently – the same top match anglers win national, European and World competitions. Skill is a requisite of good anglers.
Within the sport there has been speculation that some of the niche competitive activities, such as distance casting, could form the basis for entertaining televisual coverage. Moreover, there are a growing number of angling-related programmes which focus on contrived competitions between small numbers of people or ‘man against monster fish’ contests, usually in dramatic or picturesque surroundings around the world.
Although some of these programmes have elicited a range of responses from anglers, there is no doubt that they have raised the sport’s profile and inspired non-anglers to try the sport for the first time or to consider doing so. There is no shortage of opportunities for would-be anglers to get started and to maintain their participation to competition levels if they wish – through school fishing projects and the Angling Trust’s Talent Pathway, for example.
Development costs money but, despite its popularity, angling has struggled historically to attract major sponsors or lucrative advertising support. More than 4 million people fish in the UK, an audience sufficiently large to attract serious interest by any business selling goods and services.The first step to making this a reality is for forward-thinking leaders within angling and from the corporate world to foster relationships that can develop into partnerships of huge mutual benefit. As a general rule, anglers are do-it-yourselfers, and DIY chains, insurance companies and car manufacturers have started to explore giving their support to fishing.
It is a major advantage that angling is so broadly-based, with few boundaries. There are no barriers raised by age, gender, race, social class or physical ability, and an angling session can last for as little as an hour or as long as several weeks. Anglers can fish competitively, seek specimen-sized fish or merely to catch whatever fish happen to come along. Many anglers are accompanied by family or friends, while others choose to fish alone.

This is where initiatives like National Fishing Month can help. Created over 20 years ago by the Angling Trades Association and now supported by partners such as the Angling Trust, the Environment Agency, the Canal and River Trust, Angling Cymru and the Professional Anglers Association, National Fishing Month provides an annual focus on fishing activities where anyone of any age can have a go at hundreds of NFM events across the UK.
If you don’t fish right now, there is still time to give it a chance by booking a place at an event near you through www.nationalfishingmonth.com. It could lead to a life-long passion that is as rewarding as any Olympic Gold medal.

 

National Fishing Month 2016 runs between 22nd July and 29th August.

Blue Winged Olive – on the River Taff

Aug 2, 2016   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments

Airflo and Fishtec online marketing manager Ceri Thomas looks at how to make the most of the blue winged olive spinner fall, an important summer time hatch on the river Taff.

Mid and late summer mark some of the best late evening fishing of the year, when after hatching blue winged olive’s return to the water and lay their eggs. Spent and dying after this reproductive process, the ‘spinner’ stage of this insect becomes trapped in the surface film making them easy prey for river trout.

The Merthyr Tydfil angling association stretch of the Taff has a prolific hatch of blue winged olives through the summer months, and this year it’s been terrific.

Imitating this hatch when the fish are ‘locked in’ requires a very specific type of fly, with the correct wing profile and silhouette. Your flies must sit flat in the surface film, or they will be ignored or refused. Get it right though, and the sport can be spectacular.

The best spinner fly imitations are very simple in design, and tend to have splayed wings at right angles to the body, therefore allowing the flies to sit ‘just right’ in surface film, perfectly imitating the spent insect. Poly yarn, deer hair and CDC can all be used to make buoyant spinner wings. Patterns such as the rusty spinner, sherry spinner and KJ red spinner will all work well on the Taff. You can see a video on how to make the KJ red spinner on the Fishtec blog here: http://blog.fishtec.co.uk/fly-of-the-week-kj-red-spinner

With the correct flies in your box, you now stand a far better chance of some great sport; however it’s not always a simple case of just turning up and fishing. For your late evening dry fly spinner fishing to be truly effective you need to think about tactics – so I have put together some tips and tactics for fishing the BWO spinner fall productively on the Taff.

Spinner fall fishing tips & tactics:

Pick a long flat pool – Not a turbulent boulder strewn stretch, or very fast riffle water. The ideal ‘spinner water’ is flat and fairly still, with a slow to moderate flow. Here spinners get trapped in the surface film, and it is much easier for trout to spot them and pick them off at their leisure. This sort of water can be rock hard in the day time, but will come to life in the evening. Wading will also tend to be easier in such locations.

Know your stretch – Make sure you know your way in, and crucially out of the stretch of river you intend to fish. This is extremely important, as stumbling over a rocky river bed in the dark can be dangerous. You can also plan how much time you should spend working your way upriver to the exit point.

Choose a pool where you know there is a good head of fish – The evening rise is short and frantic, so if you hit the wrong section of river you may end up struggling. You won’t have time to move spot. So do your research in advance.

Hit the river late – Do not make the mistake of entering the river too early. You could end up spooking your target fish, and putting them down before the rise begins. I tend to begin fishing an hour before sunset. In July/August that is around 8.00 pm.

Do not leave the river too early – Fish on as late as you can. Biggest mistake is to pack up as it is getting dark. The height of the rise is almost always as the light finally dies. It is at this point where fish can have a ‘stupid half hour’ and will lose caution – make sure you don’t miss it! You can carry on fishing into the night by making a mental note of where rising fish were in relation to your position, and by simply blind casting at whatever you can hear rising. I have had fish recently as late as 10.30 pm.

Pack a head torch – Essential for changing flies, and exiting the river in one piece. Make sure you don’t forget this piece of fishing gear, its vital! The head torch I am using at the moment is the TF Gear night spark from Fishtec, it’s a cracking bit of kit, very bright and fully waterproof.

Use a long leader – The flat nature of ‘spinner water’ means a long leader is essential. I like to use as long a leader as I can, usually this is two rod lengths (18-20 foot) I make these by adding an armspan length of tippet (normally 4 -5 foot) to a 15 foot long Airflo tapered mono leader. This means turnover is perfect, with very little chance of spooking the fish with the end of my fly line. The extra leader length also adds more range to your casts.

Make accurate casts – Might be an obvious thing to say, but it really matters! Unlike some other hatches, spinner feeding trout will very rarely move far to intercept a fly. They tend to hover just sub surface, with a very small window of often just a few inches across. This means your fly need to land within this window, right on the nose. Sometimes you may think a refusal is down to a fussy fish, but it could be it simply hasn’t seen your fly… So practice your accuracy.

Creep up on your fish – As it gets dark you can get much closer to a consistently rising fish. It is better to have that precious ‘one shot’ at close to medium range, rather than a long distance effort where you have a worse chance of a decent hookset, and risk spooking the fish with an imperfect cast. Make every effort to be quiet in the water – a gentle approach with frequent pauses in your movement can really pay off, and allow you to get close enough for a perfect cast.

Take care with your tippet diameter – Don’t go too fine! The wing design of spinner fly patterns means they can twist your leader up easily, especially if your tippet is overly thin. This can ruin presentation and cause tangles. Bear in mind that a thicker diameter won’t bother the trout in low light conditions, especially if you de-grease the leader every few casts. For spinner sizes 14 – 18 I tend to use 5X co-polymer (Typically about 4.0lb BS) this helps combat tippet twist, with added confidence for bullying big fish to the net.

1st Junior Morning – Cyfarthfa Park Lake

Jul 29, 2016   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments

Junior members are invited to come along to a mornings tution in the new building by the railway.  MTAA Coaches will be there from 10am to 12pm on Saturday 6th Aug to help juniors with the basics of fishing, or the more advanced techniques required for specialist fishing.

The coaches will help with casting tuition, making rigs, tying knots, making hair rigs, loading a reel properly and setting up your equipment, we will also answer any questions you have

Top Pond/Cyfarthfa Park Lake

Jul 28, 2016   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments

Both lakes are fishing well for Roach, Perch and Rudd on the waggler with maggot hookbait.  Top Pond is also fishing well using the cage feeder, catching carp and barbel.

Green Flag Award for Top Pond

Jul 27, 2016   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments
Since Top Pond was drained in 2010 we have worked to make it a good fishery and to improve the experience for those who use it for leisure activities such as walking and along the Cycle path.
To this end we have installed litter bins, planted trees, and in conjunction with Merthyr Council we have planted the pond itself with water plants to improve the habitat for both fish and wild life.
Ducks, Moorhens and a pair of Grebe have been using the pond and this together with the work carried out by Keith Jones one of our dedicated committee men led to us being advised to enter it as an open space for the Green Flag Award
We are pleased to say we were awarded the Green Flag Status and Keith Jones and our treasurer (Tony Rees), went to pick up the award at a ceremony held at Cheltenham last week.
The club is proud of this achievement.
We are also glad to hear that the pond has been fishing well, maybe the fish are grateful toogreen flag award

An International benchmark for parks and green spaces

The Green Flag Award® scheme is the benchmark national standard for parks and green spaces in the UK.

It was first launched in 1996 to recognise and reward the best green spaces in the country.

The first awards were given in 1997 and, many years later, it continues to provide the high level of quality against which our parks and green spaces are measured. It is also seen as a way of encouraging others to achieve high environmental standards, setting a benchmark of excellence in recreational green areas.

XXII Freshwater Fishing European Championships2016

Jul 25, 2016   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments

WALES have won the 22nd Freshwater Fishing European Championships 2016 that took place over the weekend in Holland.

Euro Champs 1 Euro Champs 2 Scoreboard

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