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Time flies

Hi all I haven’t posted much of late I don’t know where the time goes the dry fly fishing on my local water Garnffrwd has been superb this year I have spent so much time chasing Jamie’s superb stock of brown trout with my 5# and tying orders for customers the whole summer has flown by and now we are in to October winter will soon be up on us.

My thoughts are of crisp cold winter mornings spent on the lake straight lining teams of buzzers and fishing large brash lures at speed for the fast hard fighting rainbows. At the vice time to refill the dry fly boxes and experiment with some river and sea trout patterns which is something I have had a go at this year and I’m hoping to spend more time on the river this year. I joined the Finatic outcasts a face book based club to further my interest in large water fishing and I am in the process of  looking in to helping out on of our local clubs the Afan Valley Angling club by taking on a comity role .

I was fortunate enough to be taken out one evening by club chairman Stuart Mears for an August evening on the river Afan after the sea trout and although they didn’t play ball it was a really enjoyable time. I still have the pleasure of being part of Harvey Anglings Pro angling team which has just expanded by taking in 3 superb tiers from Scotland Ali Graeme and Ed and two Scandinavian tiers Jim and Oli It is a great pleasure to be part of a team with such talent and to have Gareth Harvey  who constantly supports us .


This stunning Tiger trout was caught by Paul Wilkins from Scotland on one of my adult damsel fly patterns .

Below are a few Buzzer patterns I have been working on over the last few weeks

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This is a new branch of tying for me a few sea trout stoats tails I tied for the river Afan .

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And last but by no means least a couple examples of James Millers superb brown trout.

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Thanks for following my blog hope to see you all on the bank soon .


A Busy Summer.

It’s been a while since I have posted I have had a really good summer I took a month away from my beloved Trout to peruse my summer Carp, sixty carp this year over five trips and although I didn’t take any in the twenty’s there were plenty of fish .


I spent allot of time fishing the evening rises at Garnffrwd the dry fly fishing has been superb I don’t think I have caught so many Brown trout in any summer before . These are some of my successful patterns .

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And some of the stunning fish .

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Some of the other fisheries I fished Ravensnest Woolaston court and Manningford trout fishery all providing excellent sport .

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I have also spent a lot of time at the vice and also had my first trip for sea trout on the river Afan although I didn’t catch one it was a great experience .

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Scierra Pairs


Last Sunday saw myself and my boat partner and chauffeur Ian make the 2 hour journey to Llyn Clywedog for the Scierra Pairs run by england international Phil Dixon. A little bit of a back ground on the event the Scierra Pairs carries the highest prize fund in British competition fly-fishing,the format allows a pair of anglers entering to fish in the same boat.  Restrictive rules are kept to a minimum and the competition allows all flies permitted by the fishery. There are 21 heats all around the country with the grand final at Rutland Water – Sunday 6th September.  Placings are determined on the basis of the pairs total weight, including time bonus where applicable, and all fishing is done from a drifting boat.

Neither of us had fished hear before so it would be a learning curve all-round I had spent the last few weeks tying all manner of flies but with the weather conditions and this being a comp with time bonus we both felt that pulling flies would be the better option and the name of the game is to catch our 16 fish limit and get in as soon as we could.

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The fishing was hard I didn’t have a fish for the first 3 hrs and with Ian on 2 we had our work cut out for us, 2 blobs and a booby on the point and a di 3 line saw me find some fish and I took 5 in just over an hour we spent the last few hrs of the comp around the nets and down towards the sailing club but with only 2 more fish to the boat taking Ian to 6 and a total  11 to the boat we headed back to the dock , the event was won by Gareth Dixon  and his boat partner with a 34lb total including time bonuses they had their 16 fish by 12.30 . Our total weight was 11 fish fro 16lb 2 oz and a thoughrally enjoyable day .


Recent Events

The last Months has been a very busy time for me what with Easter and Morgan’s birthday, we have had several trips out and the fishing has been very good with lots of fish being taken on dries and the weather being very warm the fly hatches have been exceptional for the time of year with huge Sedges and Buzzers hatching at Eglwys Nunydd  and the same very large Sedges and some large March Browns showing at Bigwell. I had my first go at boat fishing last month and to be fair I really enjoyed it I have made several trips out over at Eglwys and Morgan has had his first taste and Is very excited about his next . For his birthday he asked us to take him to Lechlade so we booked  a Premier in and thought we would make the most of the two days and call in at Bigwell on the way .

We had an early start with a home cooked breakfast before loading the car and making the 70 mile trip to Bigwell, Morgan decided he wasn’t going to fish as he was saving himself for the following day so I had the opportunity to take my time and enjoy the afternoon. It was very busy so I didn’t have the chance to get on gin pool which is my favourite I spent my time switching between middle and lodge pool, I prefer to use my 9ft 5# set up with a Rio grand floating line as I find I can cover all the pools and the varied depths, not to mention the great sport a 5# offers rather than my usual 7#’s . The day was very enjoyable and I had my 10 fish limit over four hours on a verity of flies pink eggs being the most productive and the international hopper.

The following day we were at Lechlade  somewhere I had wanted to visit for a few years I had heard lots of reports good and bad, I never pay to much attention to the reports preferring to make my own mind up and form my own opinions as we are not all the same one man’s meat is another man’s poison so to speak . Lechlade is a stunning venue Tim small certainly has done a superb job, Morgan set up his 9ft 7# with a floating line long leader and a selection of damsel patterns on a long flurocarbon leader. The fishing was not easy but very fruitful Morgan took both his personal best rainbow of 7lb 4 and brown of 8 lb .

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I have been persevering with my boat fishing and putting in lots of practise for the Scierra Pair’s no Lyn Clewedog ,


On our latest visit to Bigwell I took my personal best rainbow of 10lb 3 oz from the gin pool a beautiful fish that was safely released and has been caught several times since.


On a final note Morgan qualified for junior trout masters from both Lechlade and Bigwell for the month of April.


A Day Afloat


A few days ago I had the opportunity to go on the boat at Eglwys with my boat partner and comity member Ian (noddy ) Thomas you will see why from the photo late on, we arrived at the lake at around 830 am I made the coffee’s in the lodge while Ian set up the engine we tackled up and motored out from the jetty around 915.

As I have no boat experience I relied on Ian’s experience and soaked up all the advise I could get  we motored up to the bay and set up for our first drift in to the bay. My initial set up was an intermediate and two blobs while Ian tried a di3 with the same set up, we saw lots of fish moving and a few starting to rise but after a couple of drifts we were still fish less. We spoke to the guys on one of the other boats who had taken four fish on the di5 deep , we made the switch and set up for another drift from the inlet both of us having a few tentative plucks but no solid takes Ian switched to a floating line with some nymphs while I changed to a sink tip staying with the blob set up. No takes on the drift we set up again from the inlet I gad a few more plucks but it was Ian who was in to the first fish on a di5 under the boat on the hang taking an orange blob.


After two more drifts we came in to have lunch and a brew after which we headed over to the Boc wall and with no fish showing I changed to a di5 with a three fly cast a black and green booby on the point middle dropper an orange blob top dropper a hot coral blob, drifting back over at the inlet I had my first take which broke me of , after a quick re tackle I was in to my first fish on the black and green booby the fish put up a huge fight before being netted.

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back at the start of the drift Ian took his second fish.


and a couple of casts I was in to my third fish which again gave a superb account of its self .




Lots of fish were rising so we both switched to dries I couldn’t get a take but Ian took his third fish on a suspender buzzer similar to the one below but tied on a straight hook.


After several more takes with no hook ups and concious of time we decided to have a couple more drifts in front of thre Boc wall as the wing changed quite dramatically. I changed to a couple of buzzers and had a solid hook up but the fish decided it was happier flying rather than swimming and threw the hook at the boat . we then headed in as time got the better of us I had a really good day and would like to thank Ian for a very steep but tremendous learning curve and for making me fall of my seat while pulling of.

Saturday Morning at Papermill


Stuck for time today I decided to spend the morning in the company of Debbie and Mark Vickery at Papermill, I really must make more time to fish this gem of a small stillwater Its rite on my doorstep and in fact it’s hear I really learned to fly fish. For those of you that haven’t visited the fishery before the lake is and ideal small stillwater with excellent depths down to 16ft with superb fly life and little weed problem in the warmer months. The lake also allows worming on a select part of the lake, with very affordable ticket prices and now with the addition of a new purpose built on site Cafe there is something hear for everyone.

Arriving at the lake at eight fifteen there were plenty of anglers already fishing a sure sign the fishing has been good, Tackling up with a 7# with an intermediate and damzel and a 5# indicator and  a black and orange buzzer I found a suitable spot to slot in among the already catching anglers.


The first few hours were hard going after trying several flies depths retrieves and moving from my original spot and only one lost fish to show for it I decided the buzzer deep was the way to go, re setting up my 7# for the buzzer as the prevailing wind was proving hard going for my 5#I set up a 5ft floating poly leader to aid turnover a small indicator set six feet from my black orange bead buzzer on five lb Hanak fluro carbon tippet. On thesecond cast the bung slid under and a feisty rainbow around the four lb mark gave the fight of his life before being safely returned.


Shortly after with a change to a size 12 black holo orange cheek buzzer I was in to another fish again gave a very good account of itself before being returned to fight another day.


Approximately half an hour went  by before I netted my third rainbow and a little lull in the action  the indicator again slid away but this time I was in to a large fish which was taking line the fight lasted around ten minuets and a superb quality brown trout estimated at around eight pounds by Mark was netted , the picture doesn’t capture the fish’s full grandeur as we were trying to keep the fish in the water as per fishery rules.


A superb end to an extremely satisfying mornings fishing at this very well run and stocked small still water.

Please visit the fishery website for more information or call in and have a chat with Mark or Debbie they will give you all the info on what’s working and what’s not .

Eglwys Nunydd


It has been over thirty years since I last fished Eglwys and on the way to the venue I was wondering has it changed much, truth be known I cant remember all that much about my first trip in the early 1980’s all I really can remember is that I caught my first trout hear. the fly I had used at the time was a bloody butcher tied by the late Griff Thomas and that we drove there in a beige mini Cooper. At that time being heavily in to sea fishing it was a trip really to see what all the fuss was about and what was the attraction of throwing a but of feather and fluff in a lake. Needless to say although I had a great day and taken my first trout the bug didn’t really bite for another twenty five years.

A few months ago when starting my fly tying classes in Morriston I met and became friends with some of the current Tata Game angling members who are all very friendly and offered the use f their lodge to hold my classes I have followed the stocking and catch reports and this saturday needing a much needed break from the vice I decided to give it ago . I’m not really clued up on all the names of the various banks and areas of the lake so my descriptions may be a bit vague.


This was my first spot of the day i set up a 10ft 7# with a midgetip two fly cast a mckay on the point and ghre on the top dropper but after half an hour of fishing and putting a big cut in my line down to the core on the monster brambles around the edge It was time for a move.Meeting up with one of the season ticket holders Andy who put a few ideas in my head and with his catch report from last week I moved around  the wall to a spot that I felt looked good and with the wind being a problem I didnt have it full in my face .Changing my set up to a di5 a booby on the point blob on my top dropper ,  I fished an hour with Stephen Morris switching between blob and booby to double booby and varying my retrieves from very slow to fast and inly one pluck I felt it was time for a move as we were both fish less .


Taking a relatively long walk around the wall there is some sort of cage in the water opting to fish short of this mark I altered my set up to a fast glass single fly a black taddy after  a few searching casts I handed the rod to Morgan who was in to a fish strait away with a hard fighting beautiful silver rainbow, the fish put up one hell of a fight and ran rings around him before it was netted.




It was hard work but I was so pleased he had caught I’m always worried he will lose interest but he never let me down and always perseveres even when the fish are not forth coming  I guess  I’m very proud considering he’s still only eight. carrying on with the same tactic and swapping between both of us fishing no further fish took time to change tactics .Andy was walking back  just as I was contemplating a move having taken two at the dog leg showing me his set up I thought it was worth ago. changing to my floating line with a bung setting my point fly at 10ft with two nymphs equally spaced casting around 20 yards and following down the bank to keep in touch with the line as the wind was forming a bow. After a few casts the bung slid away and I was in to a fish again a very hard fighting rainbow taken on the point fly which seemed to fight for ever before being netted and safely returned.




Time called an end to the session but we all enjoyed and will be back no doubt for the hard fisghting rainbows.

Sadly time called the end of play a great day we will determinately



Last Tuesday my son Morgan and I visited Paper mill fishery in Swansea , this is a great small fishery very close to the city centre the place I learned to fly fish . Although its been about twelve months since i last fished hear I always look forward to coming hear the fish stocks are always good any there is always the chance of double figure fish my biggest at the fishery was a 15lb 2oz brown trout .

Using my past knowledge of the venue I tackled up with a 7# and a Rio Aqualux and a 5# with a Rio Gold , Fly choice a blank zonker and a black buzzer to start, the fishery was very busy when we arrived with it being half term and the first two hours proved fruitless and a few moves later and changing tipet from my usual 6lb fluro carbon to 5lb stroft brought instant success in a red tag black buzzer for the both of us .

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Once the action started it was a busy two hours with lots of takes and lots of lost fish, we both took our limit’s   the biggest fish being 4 and a half pounds a great finish to a short winter session on this prolific local stillwater run by the Vickery family , since my last visit they now have a fully functioning cafe on sight providing good food and hot drinks .

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The first trip of 2015 Glyncorrwg ponds near Port Talbot after a healthy big breakfast at belly busters cafe in Neath I arrived at the fishery mid morning, making the short walk down to the lake there were only a hand full of people fishing. Hardly surprising given the weather conditions the lake had been frozen over for a few days A brief chat with Martin fishery manager revealed that the lake had fully thawed out the day before and some good fish had been stocked the previous week with some good fish averaging 3lb, also some good brown’s had been caught recently the flies had been working were the usual suspects the cats whisked and blue flash damzel.

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I set up two 7# setups one with a fast glass and the other a rio grand floating line, the reason for using the grand as apposed to the gold was because it is a half a weight heavier it allows you to load the rod quickly and shoot a lot of line without having loads of line outside the tip on the back cast. This is a distinct advantage when you have close obstacles to you ie trees, bushed, fences those of you who have been there before will be aware casting can be restricted and as i tie my flies for the fish rather than to catch tree’s I felt this was my best option .

There was still a little bit of weed in the water which made the deep lure fishing harder so I switched to my floating set up and a bung with pink worm as most of the other anglers were fishing with lures i thought I would give the fish something they may have not seen before. After half a dozen casts the bung slid under and a fish was on and within a blink of an eye it was of again, two casts later again the bung slid under and fish on a good fight ensued I reached for the net and he was of that’s two nil to the fish. After three quarters of an hour with no more interest I decided on a move to the island on my way to my current spot I had seen a few fish moving to the right of the island including a large brown.

A change of fly and some fresh water still thinking along the lines of offering something different to the cats and blue damzel I had observed the others fishing and only 2 fish had been taken to their lures, staying with the bung as i could accurately control the depth I wanted to fish the fly I opted for a green egg fly. I had quite a bit of interest before I took my first fish a hard fighting rainbow of about 2 and a half pounds in weight.


Taking two more rainbows takes dried up and the whole lake went very quiet, I changed to the fast glass set up and a lime green head humungus with rabbit tail and instantly got a response with another rainbow being netted before all going quiet again. I decided to take one last walk around the lake before I left and found some fish holding in the far corner off with the egg and on with a pink worm first cast and fish on a nice way to end the day five hard fighting rainbows before a coffee and a warm up in the cafe.




I haven’t fished Eglwys for many years it was hear back in 1980 I caught my first trout a rainbow of around a pound and a half in weight taken on a bloody butcher. A friend of my grandfather Griff Thomas had taken me over there a life long member of the club, this was my first introduction to fly fishing and at that time it didn’t really take hold with me hardly surprising as I was four yrs of age at the time I still have the fly that tempted that feisty rainbow in an old tobacco tin with a collection of Griff’s flies that he had been using back in the 70s and 80s.

It’s got fantastic natural fly life because even though it has the M4 and theTata steel works surrounding it, it also has Margam country park and vast marsh land all contributing to the fly life making a spectacular evening rise! The invasive shrimp are still there but are not causing any problem to natural life, a few spooned fish are found to be feeding on them. One problem is such a large surface area of water for a shallow lake can cause the lake to warm up quickly, that’s why we suspend catch and release if the water temp exceeds 18 degrees for the welfare of the fish.The lake has just been stocked with over four thousand  Rainbow and Brown trout from a pound and a half to fish in excess of four pounds, the are also running a tagged fish competition , another stocking planned next week and a further stocking in March.
Bank and boat fishing is available you will need to be a member to take about out on your own but non members can still use the boat facilities as long as they are accompanied by a member.


Below are all the details of the ticket prices that area available .


Available £200 plusTATA Sports & Social membership
As a full member you are entitled to-
1. All year around fly fishing
2. Catch and release up to 20 fish a day, with the option of taking 2 fish a day.  Fishing must cease once the second fish of the day has been dispatched.
3. Allowed to bring along children /grandchildren who can fish on your membership you are responsible for their safety and rod license.
5. Boat fishing at £5.00 a session am or pm.
6. Access to a private locked fishery.
7. You are allowed to bring along a friend to try fly fishing on your membership but only one rod to be used. No more than three visits per friend.

The committee has the right to suspend catch and release fishing once the water exceeds a temperature which causes distress to the fish.

Junior Membership

Junior memberships is available at £50 a year pluse TATA Sports and Social memberships. Age restrictions apply to junior members fishing unsupervised, please contact the committee for further infomation.

Juniors need to under 18 at the start of the season (March)

Obtaining a season Ticket

Season tickets are available with Sue at TATA Sports & Social club, Abbots Close, Port Talbot SA13 2NF.

Sue is available Monday – Thursday 10:30 – 14:00.  Please contact her to arrange an appointment beforehand on 01639 872283.

Plesea bring along a passport size photograph

Day ticket details


Full Day Ticket – £20 ticket allows an angler to catch and release up to 20 fish, with a option of retaining 4 fish.  Fishing must cease once the fourth fish has been dispatched.

Sports Ticket – £10 allows an angler to fish for up to 5 hours,on catch and release, with a maximum of 10 fish. Barbless hooks only.

Telephone or e-mail on of  the numbers below ,you will be required to give your name and car registration
Also the date you wish to fish along with your rod licence number.
You will be given the access code to the lock on the main gate.
On entering the fishery you must then go to the fishing lodge signing in room .
There you will be required to enter your name Car reg Date time etc on the Day Ticket signing in form.
You will then put your Fishing fee in the envelope with one side of the ticket.
Please keep the other half of the ticket to hand, to show bailiff when he comes around checking.
Catch and release must be done with care .
Please read the rules of the fishery and the Invasive Shrimp rules.
Arrangements can be made to provide access to Fishing Clubs wishing to hold competitions on the Lake, please contact:
Stephen Gale Honorary Secretary on 07791429672 or

Mark Davies on 07816413168

Matthew Owen on 07503195348

Ian Thomas on 07830485397

I for one am planning to fish hear this year as it offers the larger water experience without the travelling to the larger reservoir’s and with the current and planned stocking policy the fishing looks to be spot on with some good bags of fish already being taken.