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Lost Net and a Newsletter

May 8, 2017   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments

Joe Alexander fished Talybont Reservoir  near the small pull in lay by , last month , 7th April and left his net behind Joe said he may have even left it in the water. The net  is a snowbee extendable landing net , black handle , green mesh , with a silver carrying clip on it.  If you have found it can you contact a committee member to enable us to re-unite Joe with his net


This newsletter has come from Severn and Wye Smokery, the people who have supplied the South East Wales Rivers Trust elvers for the eels in the classroom project which started last week Tony Rees and I delivered and set up equipment and elvers supplied by the Severn and Wye Smokery.   I think it is an honest appraisal of where we are regarding the state of the rivers regarding salmon.

** More Welsh players picked for the Lions tour than sea trout caught on the Towy
It’s been several months since my last ‘Riverbank News’ so lots to tell.
On the subject of wild sea trout and wild salmon the news so far this season is not encouraging. The coracle sea trout fishermen in South Wales started their season early (1st March), although the season usually gets off to a slow start we do expect a regular and good supply of fish during April but it just hasn’t happened this year and the number of sea trout caught can be counted on one hand. Although the commercial wild salmon fisheries have not started their season yet indications already from rod and line fishermen suggest that salmon catch numbers will be down this year. The River Wye, which was hailed as a recovery river last year and recorded catch numbers not seen since the 1980s, has so far this season only caught half the number of salmon caught during the same period last year.
In Scotland the news is no better, having myself been on two failed fishing trips already this year. Some may argue that this is simply down to my skills as a fisherman but in my experience salmon have no respect for what is tied to the end of the rod or the person holding it, and talking to gillies and experienced local fishermen there is genuine concern for the state of wild stock levels. May and June are the River Wye’s best fishing months and once these have passed we will have a better idea of how things really are for us locally.

The local elver season is drawing to a close and we have probably only one more significant tide to fish before the season ends on the 25th May. Better news here though having had another relatively good season this year. As part of our commitment to sustainability and restocking we shall be siting numerous tanks of elvers as part of our ‘Eels in Schools’ project again this year in partnership with the South East Wales River Trust, and all being well culminating in another major release at Llangorse after the summer.

Those that have visited us will know that we have a small shop with a great wet fish counter and small café attached. Since opening it has increased in popularity and people now come from far and wide to visit us but in all honesty it isn’t the most comfortable of experiences for visitors – hard seats and cold fridge-like conditions haven’t, it seems, deterred the many that have come and supported us, but things are about to change. Alongside the shop we had a traditional long stone barn which was all but falling down and this seemed the perfect site to create a proper visitor centre. What started out as a repair and reroofing job soon turned into a total rebuild. The barn was knocked down, every single stone cleaned, recut and re-laid using lime mortar. The result is a magnificent refurbishment that will act as a tribute for many years to the local craftsmen that have rebuilt it. Work kitting out the interior is in full flow and we hope to open end June/beginning July. What
awaits visitors now will be a very different and, we hope, pleasing experience.

A lot of thought has gone into making this a green and sustainable build with as near as we can get to negative carbon footprint.

We have solar thermal panels on the roof of the newly built staff facilities which together with a ground source heat pumps system which will provide all the heating for the restaurant, shop and staff facilities. It will also generate 4 tonnes of hot water a day for us to use for wash down, hand wash etc.

On the roof of the barn we have a photovoltaic solar panel system which will generate additional power for the barn and smokery.

The same attention has gone into the design of the kitchen, and having seen the totally electric induction systems installed in several of our customers’ new kitchens we opted for a similar bespoke design. We are busy now putting together an enthusiastic skilled team that will be able to offer our brand of Gloucestershire hospitality.

It’s taken nearly eight years of repeated planning applications and appeals but our own water treatment facility is now fully operational. It’s the only single-cell lagoon system of its kind in the UK. It was designed to be future-proof and currently processes all our foul and waste water from the factory, shop, restaurant, staff facilities and nine surrounding household residences. Solar powered this runs at an estimated cost of 75p a day. It’s already drawn attention from Welsh Water and the Environment Agency who, after visiting, think it is the perfect water treatment solution and expressed an interest in using it as a showcase model.

Salmon prices
The record prices reached before and after Christmas have seriously damaged the market. The swiftness and timing of the increases meant the market was forced to swallow a bitter pill. The reaction post-Christmas is that salmon is off the menu and prices have eased back slightly. Salmon now has competition! As of today MSC cod and haddock are 30% cheaper than fresh salmon fillet prices. The market is now very finely balanced. Prices are fluctuating up and down by as much as 10%. As prices ease in the UK, international buyers from the US, the Far East and Europe are entering the market and taking up that excess forcing prices back up again. Once these international buyers have replenished their reserves we may then see a more honest supply and demand price offering.

More news soon.

Dai Francis
Ambassador without Portfolio
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** Dates for the Diary

Giffords Circus
12th to 15th May Fennells Farm, Stroud
18th to 22nd May Sudeley Castle, Winchcombe
25th May to 5th June Daylesford Organic Farm, Kingham
8th to 12th June Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire
15th to 26th June Oxford University Parks, Oxford
29th June to 10th July Chiswick House & Gardens, London
The Giffords 2017 tour runs from 12th May until 24th September. Great fun for all.

RHS Chelsea Flower Show
23rd to 27th May
The best in garden design.

Royal Bath and West Show
31st May to 3rd June
First of the big county shows, well worth a visit to gaze at wonder at what country folk do.

London Wine Week
5th to 11th June

World Gin Day
10th June
A global celebration of all things gin with events and parties including The Ginchester Fête in Winchester.

Brixham Trawler Racing
17th June
The fishing industry’s answer to Royal Ascot, raising money for charity and The Fishermen’s Mission. (

Dai Francis
Severn & Wye Smokery
GL14 1QW

Waterfowl on TopPond

May 6, 2017   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments

Members of the public have contacted the Association to remove dead Waterfowl from the banks of Top Pond.   So far a Canadian Goose and a Mallard have been found dead and a Grebe has been wounded.   We have informed the Biodiversity Officer of Merthyr Tydfil Borough Council, who will have informed the Wild Life Crime Officer and are requesting members of the public or Association Members to report to the police via the 101 number if you see anyone shooting air rifles in the vicinity of the Pond.  If yu do see waterfowl in distress please contact a committee member so that action can be taken.  Please do report, it has taken a long time for the wildlife to establish itself on the pond and is a joy to see.

Ladies/Senior Competition Results

May 1, 2017   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments

The Ladies held a competition on Cyfarthfa Park Lake on Sunday 30th April.  Dawn Sayes-Jones won fishing from peg 30 with a nice catch of crucians perch roach and gudgeon, all fish were caught using a 6 metre whip using white maggot on the hook and feeding maggots and corn for a total weight of 8lb 5oz Picture below

2nd place peg 28
Janice Farr 3lb 1 oz all roach caught on pole with white maggots

3rd place peg 29
Kath Brown 3oz roach caught on method feeder rod using corn and maggots

Senior Competition held at Redhill Fishery Monmouth on Sunday 30th April

1st Doug Hawkins with 71lb of carp, he had to return quite a lot of silver fish to use the net to put his carp in because he did not want to exceed the 70lb limit per net.

2nd from the next peg was Dave Couzens who landed 55lb 1oz of carp who just beat into 3rd place Ian Cathrew who landed 54lb of carp.

4th was Clive Jayne with 45lbs 12oz.


NRW – Record – BBC News

Apr 28, 2017   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments

National Resources Wales have been criticised by River Groups branding it no longer fit for purpose, to read the full article and watch the video please follow the link below……………..

Invasive Non-Native Species – Information and Recording

Apr 27, 2017   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments

The links below will take you to 2 pdf pages which will explain what to do if you suspect that the place you have fished has non-native fish, insects or plants.  The first link is to an NRW leaflet, the second link is to a leaflet that explains how to record Non-native species via a smartphone apps.

INNS Info For Anglers English (2)

Recording Flyer-INNS Week english

March/April Newsletter

Apr 23, 2017   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments

Please follow the links for the latest newsletter, good catches and great flies

March April 2017

Apr 19, 2017   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments

Follow the link below for another great fly from Gavin Jehu

Pontsticill and Dolygaer reservoirs are fishing very well at the moment for pike see link below

Senior Competition – Middle Pond

Apr 19, 2017   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments

8 anglers fished Middle Pond on 16th april, the conditions were very blustery and cold and in the late morning through to the end of the competition it rained.

1st John Coombs from peg 1 with 23lb
2nd David Couzens with 2lb
3rd Jason Woodford with 1lb 8oz
4th Doug Hawkins 1oz

I was lucky with the draw and hooked 3 carp landed 2 one 14lb one 9

Fishery Reports

Apr 11, 2017   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments

Cyfarthfa Park Lake

Firstly, 6 anglers fished Redhill Fishery near Monmouth on Friday for small roach, rudd and gudgeon and 50lb of small fish was stocked into Cyfarthfa Park Lake on Friday evening.

Malcolm Williams has fished the park lake twice in the last 2 weeks and on both occasions has had a great bag of roach, rudd, gudgeon and crucian carp.

River Taff

The river has been fishing extremely well from the top to the bottom, anglers are reporting good catches of trout of various sizes.   For more information and pictures please visit our Facebook page where anglers have put reports/pictures of their catches.   Most are coming to French leader styled of fishing but the Klink and dink is also doing well

1st Trout Competition

The date has changed, it was supposed to take place this coming Sunday (Easter Sunday), but has been postponed until the 23th April, the competition is at Trecastle Usk reservoir.


Apr 3, 2017   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments

On Sunday 2nd April, after a very frosty and cold night 10 anglers turned up to fish top pond. All but 5 anglers caught fish with the majority of fish coming from the higher peg numbers where the water is deeper. Although, Dai Odd Socks caught a 4lb bream from peg 1. Right up to the last 2 minutes of the competition Clive Saunders was winning with 2 bream and a small carp, but then Clive Jane, who had only one bite, from a bream which he had landed, had a rod bending bite. He landed a large carp which won him the competition with a winning weight of 9lbs 4oz.
The results were 1st Clive “Butch” Jane 9lb 4oz, 2nd Clive Saunders 7lb 14, 3rd Dai Davies 4lb, 4th Dave Couzens 2lb 5oz, 5th Jason Woodford 11oz. The other 5 (myself included) drank tea!!!!

Ceri Thomas -River Taff Report – March 2017

Mar 27, 2017   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments

River Taff is fishing quite well, Ceri Thomas of Fishtec fished on Saturday afternoon near Troedyrhiw. Despite very bright conditions a good number of fish to 17 inches came to hand. A French leader and jig nymphs fished in the faster runs did the damage. All fish were in prime condition for time of year and were safely returned to the river.

For further Facebook reports by members please follow the links

Model Boat Club

Mar 24, 2017   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments

The model boat club have applied to use Cyfarthfa Park Lake to run their boats, permission has been granted for the club to use the lake for a trial period of 6 weeks starting this coming Sunday.  They are only allowed to used the lake on a Sunday and Tuesday of each week.  They are restricted to the first round floating Island from the landing stage.  If there are anglers on the main road bank then they are restricted to the side of the island by the Railway.


Rod Licence 2017 – Delay

Mar 24, 2017   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments

Th Environment Agency is advising that there will be a delay in sending out the 2017 rod licence.  They are hoping to start sending the rod licences out next Thursday.  If you have applied on line print off and keep the email sent out when you paid, this has the reference number on it that corresponds with your rod licence.  EA are hoping that this is just a small glitch.

River Ely Litter Pick

Mar 15, 2017   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments

In 2016 Cardiff’s Environmental Scrutiny Committee set up the Restore Our Rivers inquiry to look into the problems facing local rivers and to identify how these could be resolved.  To deliver this work they drew in the support of Dwr Cymru / Welsh Water, Natural Resources Wales, Keep Wales Tidy, South East Wales Rivers Trust, Glamorgan Anglers, Cardiff Rivers Group and Groundwork Wales.

To celebrate the work of the Restore Our Rivers Group and to raise the profile of the planned events for the River Ely Clean the group is running an organised litter pick at Grangemoor Park in Cardiff on Tuesday 21st March 2017.  The event will start at 10am and finish at 12pm.  A link showing the location to Grangemoor Park is provided below:,+Cardiff/@51.4569235,-3.1949402,16z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x486e0358b8211287:0x2f1de5be865ee095!8m2!3d51.4565841!4d-3.1907169

If you interested in taking part please contact Richard Bowen on 02920 873606 or email him at  Equipment for the litter pick will be made available on the day and the event will be supported by Keep Wales Tidy.  Those taking part should meet in the car park for Grangemoor Park between 9:45am and 10am – the car park is next to the roundabout on Dunleavy Drive.

Cyfarthfa Park Lake

Mar 15, 2017   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments

Malcolm Williams fished from peg 7, using the top 3 sections of his pole, today 15 mar and from the start at 2-o-clock until he finished at 5pm he was catching roach and rudd every time he cast in.   Malcolm was using single maggot and feeding liquidised bread and maggots.   Malcolm said it was his best days fishing for silver fish for a long time.   It looks as if all the fish we have recently stocked are hungry, and it bodes well for the children’s matches when they start in the near future.

Junior Rod Licences

Mar 15, 2017   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments

Tony Rees our Treasurer has been asked about how to obtain Junior Rod Licences and has found out the following…..

After being approached by a members recently I have made enquiries and the following, contrary to what was originally mentioned will now need to be done to obtain a free Junior permit.

Natural Resources Wales do not issue the permits for Wales, all this is done through the Environment Agency Rod Licence Centre in England and any queries regarding Rod Licences should be sent to the email below or call the numbers below.

Environment Agency


Telephone: 03708 506 506

Textphone: 03702 422 549

Monday to Friday:  8am to 6pm.


Junior licence are now only available on-line I’m afraid (you will have to register, and either print off the licence or write down and keep a record of the licence number).

March Newsletter

Mar 11, 2017   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments

Please follow the link twice Feb 2017

Talybont Reservoir – New Rules

Mar 9, 2017   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments

Welsh Water have changed the rules on taking brown trout on Talybont Reservoir.   From the start of the season on 20th March 2017 all brown trout caught must be returned to the water, anglers are no longer allowed to take any fish for the table.

Rubbish Clean Up

Mar 4, 2017   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments
On Saturday 4th March, dedicated members of Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association, in conjunction with Keep Wales Tidy, participated in a mass clean up of the area surrounding Top Pond Penywern. Two separate areas were targeted, the first being the area just outside the gate to the ponds, just at the back of Asda. The lads managed to clear a small mountain of rubbish and as you can see from the photograph, the rubbish ranged from household and garden waste, to televisions and builder’s rubble. The second area targeted was just below the ponds at the old valve house, where they managed to clear up 36 bags of rubbish, which nearly solely consisted of empty beer bottles and cans. As you can see from the before and after photographs, they really did a grand job! On behalf of Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association we would like to make a special mention to Vice-Chairman Keith Jones who works tirelessly, week in, week out, to keep the pond area litter free. Keith’s hard work and dedication paid off last summer as the site was granted a prestigious Green Flag Award in recognition of the area’s natural beauty.

The Season Begins

Mar 3, 2017   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments

At last March 3rd is here and the Rivers Taff, Usk and Tarrell are open.   Unfortunately the weather is against fishing with rising rivers.  Limits are 4 fish per day, but we would encourage you to return fish caught with the occasional one for the pot.  Day ticket holders are limited to 2 fish per day and again we would encourage you to return fish.

Also opening today is Cantref Reservoir, please return the browns.   There is a mix of rainbows and blues in the Reservoir.

If you have a nice photo of your catch we would love to have it on our gallery page.

Tight Lines to you all.