Event on the Canal at Brecon

This is a message from the owner of Great Outdoors regarding an event which included canoeing, cycling and running along our stretch of the canal at brecon, please be aware.

This is just to let you know that we are holding a multi-discipline challenge event from Brecon on Saturday 2nd September 2017. Between 10:00-16:30 there is likely to be more runners / cyclists than normal using the towpath between Brecon and Talybont-on-Usk. And during the same period participants will be kayaking on the canal between the following two points…

  • Western / Northern extent of kayaking – Brynich Turn Bridge (Bridge #162) Nr Aqueduct & Brynich Lock Grid Ref SO 079 271
  • Eastern / Southern extent of kayaking – Court Farm Liftbridge (Bridge #155) Nr Pencelli Grid Ref SO 091 251


These details are provided so your members know in advance about our event, and can plan accordingly if they should wish to do so.


I have uploaded a petition, which our Chairman is strongly supporting, about Access.   The Countryside Alliance petition is in response to the Welsh Assembly Government once more opening the rivers and lakes to anyone and everyone to swim, canoe, etc in the Rivers, Lakes and Ponds for free.  We as fishermen are severely restricted in where we can fish and to fish anywhere we have to pay, through either a rod licence or day/season permits.   If we lose we will still be paying and everyone else will be using waters that we fish for free.   Please sign the petition it only takes a few moments and costs nothing but we need your signature


Fishing News

Cyfarthfa Park continues to fish well as shown on our facebook page where one young angler had 17 runs when fishing for carp and landed 15 carp.   Although the river is low, it has been fishing well especially during the evening.   However, this recent rain should mean a little extra water in the river and the fishing should improve even more so.


Inter Schools Winners

On Wednesday 5 Jul 7 Schools competed to become inter-schools champions 2017.   In a keenly fought contest the youngest team won.   Ysgol-y-Graig won with 3lbs 9oz, 2nd was Heolgerrig with 3lb 7oz and 3rd was Gellifaelog with 2lb 14oz.

Ysgol-y-Graig winning team were:

Alicia Minahan

Gracie Durkin

Riley Morgan

Sam Davies


Lots Happening / Ladies Comp / Rubbish Top Pond


The ladies fished the wooden horse part of the canal and all had a tremendous days fishing.

1st place Dawn Jones, with 14lb 1oz
2nd place Kath Brown with 7lb 4oz  (in her bag was a 3lb eel, it was huge)
3rd place Janice Farr with 7lb
Dawn’s winning net of fish



On Sunday Keith Jones did his usual litter picking around top and middle ponds and this is what he found, surely its not too much to ask for anglers to take there litter home with them its a dam sight lighter than when they carried it up to the pond. The fire remains are after some poachers who were moved on by Keith, Malcolm and Rhys thankfully at no cost to themselves. The two carp were found and removed from the neck of the pond

Aberfan Weir – Cyfarthfa Park

Aberfan Weir
Just to let you know that some work off the bank will be taking place on Wed 28th Jun at the weir.
They are looking for contaminants.


Paul Phillips and his grandson Jayden practised for the forthcoming junior match* last Sunday afternoon up the park, they practised using the method feeder.

I think the smiles speak for themselves.

*Junior match to be fished on Cyfarthfa Park Lake on Saturday 1 July draw 9am fish 9.30am to 12.30.  All Juniors are welcome

Senior Competition – Cyfarthfa Park

The competition held on Cyfarthfa Park Lake was won by Clive Jane with a winning weight of 34lbs 4oz fishing from peg 8

2nd was Clive Saunders with 13lbs 13oz fishing from peg 28

3rd Brian Hayes with 13lbs 2oz fishing from peg 32

4th Dai Couzens with 12lbs 3oz fishing from peg 14

The next competition will be on the canal below the lock at Brynach on Sunday 25th June

The ladies competition which was to be held today was cancelled.

Competitions – Ladies and Senior Coarse

Due to illness the ladies competition was cancelled.

Senior Coarse Competition fished on Mollys Lake Redhill Fishery on Sunday 28 May

1st John Coombs with a weight of 58lbs 13oz

2nd Dave Couzens who weighed in 53lbs

3rd Dia Davies who weighed in 51lb 3oz

4th Jason Woodford who weighed in 50lb 7oz

Fishery Reports

The story of the week is about 12 year old Ethan Jones who caught his very first salmon from the Ysybytty Beat, his salmon weighed 12lbs and he caught it on the fly, a huge accomplishment.  His picture is below.


With more people fishing the River Taff we are getting more reports on our Facebook page of their catches follow this link https://www.facebook.com/groups/146899642327738/  the river is fishing well from the Taf Fechan all the way down to Treharris.

Ladies Incident Packed Match and Senior Match Results

1st place Dawn Jones with 8Lbs 

one mirror carp one bream and some good size roach all caught on white maggot with pole, lost two large carp and a big bream on method feeder snapped at hook.

2nd place Kath Brown 6lb 8 oz one mirror and one bream caught on method feeder.
3rd place Janice Farr  1lb 9oz all caught with maggot on pole.
Tales from the pond
It was a cold one up on the top pond, all women chilled to the bone no more so than our Kath Brown who had a large carp on, Kath reckons it was a shark who swiped at her rod, kath then thought she was Tom Daley  but there was no grace in the dive she belly flopped with a large splash, she then had a go at over arm with her rod in hand back towards peg 17. unfortunately her padded suit weighed her down and she had to be pulled back in, her only concern was if the fish was still on. she walked away with  silver after the judges awarded her 5.5 each out of pity. The match finished half hour early so she could wring her self out.
Senior Match held at Pencelli on the Brecon Canal
1st Clive Jayne 1lb 12oz
2nd Brian Hayes 1lb 7oz
3rd Jason Woodford 14oz
Joint 4th: Dia Davies, Dia Cuzens and Bernie Farr with 4oz

Advance Notification of an Event on the Canal

Trek  fest are holding an event which will include the towpath of the Brecon Canal.   The event takes place on the 3rd June with up to 450 people taking part.   The event will be hosted from the Brecon Showground and will take place from 0900 on Saturday and finish at 0100 hours on Sunday with a large part of the event taking place along the canal.  Notifications will be erected in the next few days informing people of the route.

For more information click this link www.trekfest.org.uk


Lost Net and a Newsletter

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
You can follow me on Twitter here @gastroboar (http://twitter.com/gastroboar)
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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.
http://www.englishriviera.co.uk/whats-on/brixham-trawler-race-2017 (http://www.englishriviera.co.uk/whats-on/brixham-trawler-race-2017-p636893)

Dai Francis
Severn & Wye Smokery
GL14 1QW

Waterfowl on TopPond

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

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.