Venue: River Ure North Yorkshire – 27th June
With 2 gold medals from the last 2 Rivers Internationals, the Welsh Team was really hoping their winning run would continue there on the wild upland River Ure. In reality though this was never going to be an easy job! The English Team were on a real high after a Bronze World position, and a Silver in the Commonwealth. “Facebook” talk was all about England claiming the one colour missing! Making the task even more difficult was the fact that most of the English Team were local to the River Ure, with one Team member being a past Season ticket holder on the actual Competition beats! Did I have any doubts? Yes I did, I’ll be honest! This would be no walk in the park, this was going to be tough – Super tough.
We knew we would have to prepare like never before for this contest, and preparations began around Christmas Time, with Terry Bromwell (the Captain) calling the lads together for a number of training days on the Rivers Taff & later the Ebbw. The ultimate preparation we felt we needed was a visit to the actual Match venue. And so it was that over the late May Bank Holiday weekend all 6 of us travelled North, to check out the River Ure. Dean Kibble, and I had both fished the River 12 years previously as our very first Rivers International, so we had some idea of what to expect. The commitment shown by all Team members, including the Reserve (Robert Bending) was magnificent to behold. This was the BIG one, the one we REALLY wanted to win, and even though I could see that the financial costs were soaring, no-one complained – we wanted it that bad!
Actual Match week started for us on Saturday June 21st, when we left Wales in the early hours, arriving around breakfast time ready for a full days practice. What we found when we arrived was that the River had shrunk ! it was now a fraction of the size it had been back in late May. Being low and clear, the fishing was now much more difficult, but throughout the next few days, we managed to find a few methods that would catch fish fairly consistently. We covered the entire Competition beats (more than once) and we often bumped into old friends from the other 3 Nations during our days on the River.
Eventually, Match day (Fri 27th) arrived. - We had fished, thought, fished some more, drunk a few beers, tied flies, and mulled things over among ourselves. But now this was the real thing, now was the time to finally put all our plans together. I could sense the optimism amongst the guys, they (and I) really believed we could pull this off!
And so it was that at 09:45 the first session started. The sweaty palms disappeared as soon as the first casts were made, and the guys settled into doing what they do best.
I knew I had had a fairly good morning, with a 1st and a 2nd but how had the others done?
We met back at the 3 Horseshoes pub for lunch, and it became clear that we were right “up there”with the English. Scotland and Ireland had a few poor results and we felt must have been some way behind. We started the afternoon final 2 sessions with renewed energy, knowing that this was there for the taking! The Match ended at 17:45, and arriving back at the car, I was informed that after the morning sessions, Wales were 2 points ahead of England. This was great news indeed, but had we kept it going?
Normally, asking around, you would get a feel for how the Teams were doing before the results were calculated. This was different; this really appeared to be too close to call!
On arrival back at the teams Hotel, I was invited (with the other Managers) into the room where the final results were being computed. The Team (totally fished out) were at the bar biting their nails! The 3 rd session results were announced! Wales had slipped from being 2 points in front, to being 2 points behind! The doubts were back, had we blown it? We were so close! Then the last session results were announced ! After a good last session, we had come back and we had actually tied on points with England. This meant that now, to separate the 2 Teams, the total fish points would have to be added up. This took a little time, adding to the agony but finally we were announced the winners having beaten the “old enemy” by the smallest of margins (8 fish points) or 8 cms in other words!
In fairness the other 3 Nations warmly congratulated the Welsh Team on a fantastic performance, and we celebrated well into the early hours.
I would like to thank the Captain, Terry Bromwell, for the sterling work he did from late last year all the way through to the after dinner speech! Dean Kibble, Simon Barton, Kieron Jenkins and Robert Bending – Thanks Guys you were magnificent!
I would also like to thank the members and Committee of Islwyn & District A.C. for allowing the Welsh Team use of the River Ebbw for practice sessions – This has proved to be invaluable!
Written by Paul Jenkins – Welsh Team Manager.
Written by Kieron Jenkins
The Bung is a very controversial method of fly fishing, but, who am I to judge what anglers use to catch fish? In my eyes it’s a method used to catch fish. It’s also a method I use on small-waters and occasionally the river when conditions dictate.
This method is basically a float which suspends a fly beneath, giving the angler immediate indication when a fish has then their fly. It’s a superb method on small-waters where fish are heavily pressured. Suspending a fly top, mid or bottom of the water column to intercept fish is an ingenious idea – especially when it’s fished properly – and accounts for many of the larger fish which are captured on small-waters.
A typical bung would be an indicator made out of foam, polystyrene or yarn, just like these fulling mill fish pimps. All these materials have great floating properties to suspend un-weighted or weighted flies. Another alternative would be Airflo Float-Do, a floating ‘dough’ like material which can be easily moved along the leader section to alter the depths.
As you can see from the illustration above, there is a fairly steep angle between your fly line and fly, if a fish takes that fly, there is a lot of slack between the fly line, so a decent strike is needed to set the hook firmly. When using the bung you will see some anglers strike and not register a pull or feel the fish at all. This is due to the depth of the fly and the angle between the fly line.
One little tip I can give is use one of the new Airflo Super-Dri fly lines. The advantages of using one of these new floating lines from Airflo is the ability to lift so much more line off the water, this is due to the revolutionary Super-Dri coating. It repels water and sits extremely high on the surface, allowing less tension when lifting the line off the water than all other fly lines. This, in turn, allows for better hook up rates when compared to standard floating lines, from any manufacturer.
On my recent trip to Garnffrwd Trout Fishery it became apparent to me how good the Distance Pro from the Super-Dri family actually was. It’s a line I’ve been playing around with for a while, but it hasn’t really set itself apart from any other Super-Dri line I have used. Not until this trip anyway. For those of you who have been to Garnffrwd you may know of the ‘weed patch’ out on the far right of the lake – A submerged patch of weed, which sits just 3ft below the surface – just out of reach of most decent casters. This line has a 45ft head, and an extremely supple running line, which lets the line be cast an impressively long way.
Casting big distances with a bung is not only tough because of it’s mass, but it hinders hook up rates at distance because of the amount of line needed to lift from the surface to actually hook the fish. The Super-Dri coating eliminated this problem and hooking into fish at range becomes child’s play. The ability to throw such long distances and fish basically ‘un-fished’ water can change your day drastically, fishing over the top of this island I was lucky enough to hook and land a double figure rainbow trout on a bloodworm pattern! Check out the video footage below:
There’s plenty of article on ‘how to catch more fish’ and ‘top 5 fishing tips’ out there on the internet, but what about the simple tips to look after your fly line? These three great tips will give you an extra advantage when out on the bank.
What weight is my fly line?
First of all, let’s look at how we can determine what weight fly line you have on your fly fishing reel. We’ve all been there, wondering “Is it a 6 weight? It looks like a 7…”, this quick and simple tip allows you to easily identify what weight lines are on your reels. All you need is a waterproof pen.
Welded loops on fly lines
If you’re anything like us you hate the plastic sleeve which comes in a packet of braided loops. It’s big, clunky and get’s stuck in the rod guides. What you’ll find with this sleeve is your fly line can crack due to hinging which in time, forces you to replace the whole loop. The below method of welding loops, or lines which have factory manufactured loops pro-long the life of your fly line.
Whipping on a braided loop
If you don’t have the facilities to weld your own loops, try whipping an Airflo braided loop to your line. By using thread you can create an almost seamless joint to your fly line. The smooth joint lets your fly line be retrieved with no bumping or clunking through the guides and stops hinging and cracking near the tip of the line. As Hywel says, it’s the best way for fitting a loop to sinking lines, and it’s is also a great way of marking fly lines at specific lengths to fish the ‘hang’ more effectively!
A freakishly looking fish which is said to live over 900 meters below the oceans surface has been snagged by the Nunavut fishing boat is only the second of it’s kind ever recorded near the Hudson Strait, Canada.
This extremely rare and weird looking fish caused some confusion when it was actually caught but researches have identified it as a super rare long-nosed Chimaera. With so little research undertaken on this species of the Chimaera not a lot is known about their feeding habits or living quarters. It’s assumed these fish live well out of range of human contact in depths between 900 and 2000 meters. The Chimarea is not something you’re likely to hook with your sea fishing tackle!
Nigel Hussey from the University of Windsor, identified the fish as indeed the Chimaera. It was first thought that it was a Goblin shark, a fish which is equally as odd and also as rare. The Chimaera is one of the world’s oldest species of fish which goes by various names including ‘ratfish, rabbitfish, and the coincidental – ghost shark’. But they aren’t sharks. The group branched off from sharks, its closest relative, around 400 million years ago and have remained a distinct, and distinctly odd, lineage ever since and have been basically unchanged since they shared the Earth with dinosaurs.
Like sharks and rays, Chimaeras have a skeleton made of cartilage.
With a long nose, menacing mouth, a venomous spine and a gelatinous grey body the fish is one only to be talked of in spooky sea tails along side those of the giant squid, but maybe not so scary. The Chimaera is largely restricted to deep ocean waters, putting it out of reach of most fishermen and scientists. For these reasons the creature is poorly studied and understood.
An 18ft long Oarfish has been found dead off the shore of southern California by Marine Biologist Jasmine Santana. The rarely seen Oarfish is said to be the likely culprit of many Sea Serpent legends from sailors and deep sea fishermen.
Oarfish have been reported to grow up to 15 meters in length, but the longest recorded and verified is 9 meters long. Rare fish such as these are almost impossible to catch using any sort of fishing tackle as they can dive up to more than 3,000 feet (914 meters) in depth. Because of this sightings are rare and these magnificent fish are largely unstudied.
Jasmine was snorkeling with colleagues when she spotted an unusual shimmer from the ocean floor. As she approached what looked to be a half-dollar sized eye starting at her from the sandy bottom, the uncertainty that the fish was dead dawned upon her, but slowly and cautiously making her way towards the prehistoric looking creature it was distinctly lifeless.
After taking a closer look Jasmine discovered it was indeed the carcass of an Oarfish, the first she has ever seen and a discovery of a lifetime for the Catalina Island Marine Institute (CIMI) employee.
She dragged the eel-like beast from the sea for more than 20 meters until fifteen other adults waded into the sea to help her bring it ashore.
Oarfish are a deep-water pelagic fish and the longest bony fish in the world, according to CIMI. This one measuring a staggering 5 meters in length. Mark Waddington, senior captain of the Tole Mour, CIMI’s sail training ship, said “We’ve never seen a fish this big! The last Oarfish we saw at CIMI was just three feet long”.
The fate of the carcass is still being decided, but Waddington would prefer the fish to be burred in sand until it decomposes and the skeleton cleaned naturally before being reconstructed for display. The fish apparently died of natural causes.