Links at Garnffrwd trout fishery.

Over the last 4 weeks I have had the absolute pleasure of instructing 2 Links Llanelli service users per week at  . With the help of Jamie at the fishery and Susie the Links co-ordinator we have run short days introducing both inexperienced and experienced anglers to fly fishing for trout in beautiful surroundings.


Knots and flys.

Knots and flys.

These days have completely changed my outlook on the abilities of people who access metal health charities. It has been a hugely rewarding experience for me and I hope the clients. At Garnffrwd anglers are able to clearly see the large trout feeding with the use of polaroid’s. This really gets the excitement levels up for guys who are just starting out fly fishing.


Back to camera Paul!

Back to camera Paul!

On the first day we took Eugine, Huw and volunteer Paul through the process of setting up the rods, fly selection and importantly the casting. Both did really well and I was able to get them fishing in no time. Unfortunately Eugine and Paul didn’t catch, but Huw caught a nice bow on a ginger Bristol hopper dry fly, I don’t know who was more shocked, Huw or the fish.


Huws fish.

Huws fish.

Day 2 was a similar day with the difference that Mark had bought his own tackle, so he was obviously thinking long term. Andrew came alone too, he had lots of experience with fishing for bass, he gave me a few good tips. Unfortunately he didn’t get hold of a fish but Mark stole the show with 2 fish on a #12 sooty olive a fly he chose himself. I cant wait to see Mark fishing on his own and tying flies.

The geordie barbarian.

The geordie barbarian.


The third day saw Neil and Charles pitch up. Neil had fly fished here before, he was just a little rusty around the edges. He had also caught sewin at night and tied his own flies so once he had the rust knocked off and he was in his stride he was really happy. Well done Neil. Charles had fly fished before from a boat, he also fished for carp. Once the casting and retrieve was learned a twitched ‘big’ daddy long legs across the ripple saw plenty of interest for Charles. The fish that eventually took the fly snapped the 6lb tippet on the first run. Maybe it was one of the big fish stocked last week. Unlucky Charles, luckily you’ll be trying again soon.

Second vist, success again for the barbarian.

Second vist, success again for the barbarian.

The last day I was to take the group out was a great day fishing wise, though difficult in others. Mark returned for another session, full of enthusiasm from catching 2 fish 2 weeks ago. He was joined by Pete who is a beautiful caster and obviously new what he was doing. Karen came along to supervise and see what all the fuss was about.


There were plenty of fish to be seen cursing just under the surface, though not easy to catch. Its nice to be able to see the reaction of a fish to a particular presentation. Everyone started off with a daddy longlegs except for Pete who was using his own flies. Some other anglers where catching fish at a particular spot on small black buzzers. Pete tied a small shuttlecock on a dropper with a buzzer on the point. Mark was given the catching fly from one of the successful anglers. Both Pete and Mark caught fish on these flies. I think both anglers lost fish with the same flies also, both a bit to quick on the strike.


Ive had a fantastic month of guiding at Garnffrwd with the links guys. Jamie made everyone very welcome and was always happy to offer tips on how to get the best from the llyn. Susie and the service users and volunteers at links really opened my eyes to the ways that people with mental health problems can enjoy themselves and interact. All the guys were a credit to themselves and links. I hope to work with them again sometime in the future.


Parkinsons UK 7/9/13

Thank you for your donation


Dear LeeThank you so much for your gift of £100.00. Your donation will help us find a cure and improve life for everyone affected by Parkinson’s.Every hour, someone in the UK is told they have Parkinson’s. Because we’re here, no one has to face Parkinson’s alone.

We bring people with Parkinson’s, their carers and families together via our network of local groups, our website and free confidential helpline. Specialist nurses, our supporters and staff provide information and training on every aspect of Parkinson’s.

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Windy Volcano.

I was really looking forward to this session. Robert came up to see me form Cardiff. He had booked onto an Icelandic salmon fishing holiday through fellow AAPGAI members company Jim Curry and Bob Sherwood had recommended Rob have a few lessons before the holiday so he would get the most from his fishing and not get a red Francis cone head in the ear!


Iceland bound.

Iceland bound.

Rob turned up with some really nice kit, a #6 hardy sintrix which he was going to be using on the salmon. He also wanted to get some advise on line choice and having fished Iceland 4 times, I new that high winds and small flies where the main features.

 The main fault that I found with Rob was a tendency to creep before the stop and overpowering the stroke. Once we had this fixed and the loops became cleaner and tighter without those tailing loops, we moved on to getting an effective double haul which would get the advised rio iLine through that arctic wind.

 Job done. Rob posted a pick of one of the salmon he landed on facebook. By all accounts his casting was top notch!

Delayed Gratification.

I was pleased to give instruction to Malcolm on what for him would be his local beat on the usk. Malcolm had contacted me with a yearning to start fishing for grayling and trout on his local patch. He already had experience fishing the waters of Tasmania for its brown trout and kahawai  but wanted to learn how to get stuck into his home waters.




I decided that it would be good for Malcolm to get on the river as soon as possible so he could fish what was left of the trout season and have a full winter on the grayling. Conditions couldn’t have been worse, high sun, windy and a very low river. But we both new this and instruction was the order of the day. The Trallong Abercamlias beat is manly bedrock with gravel. Difficult casting because of foliage (Malcolm soon found this out). First step was to allow Malcolm to feel comfortable wading on the bedrock which can be a challenge. We set up with an upstream nymph under an indicator. I took Malcolm a while to come to terms with the casting and line control.


We fished the whole beat which given Malcolms health was good going on a day when the fishing was hard, very hard. Im hoping the day on the river has given Malcolm the confidence to fish the rivers of the Wye & Usk with a bit more confidence (especially with a wading stick).

The Greenman


First client of what was a busy August was Yorkshires finest Pierre Mahon. Pierre was in South Wales for the green man festival at Glanusk and wanted to brush up on some new techniques. He has been fishing since a child but had recently picked up a fly rod in the last few years, fishing the Wharfe.

Bright light!

Bright light!



We fished Penpont which I have to say was disappointing. The bottom of the beat has a large campsite which seemed to have a lot of tents and vans with fishing rods set up outside them. Whether the beat has been fished hard by campers legally or illegally, or if it’s a case of a lot of water disturbance by dogs etc, what every the reason the fishing was extremely poor, even for a warm day in August.

Christmas jumper

Christmas jumper

Pierre did nothing wrong, we fished the entire beat but to no avail. After lunch Pierre described a situation on the wharfe where he has seen big fish crashing into fry on the surface of a deep pool. He was unsure how to tackle them. I explained that he would need to fish a streamer so we set up a 6wt skagit line with a heavy sinking streamer and spent most of the afternoon session mending the fly through the bedrock runs at the top of the beat….this is instruction at its best, you cant get this from a book or youtube.

Luckily Pierre winkled a trout out of the river when he came back on his own during the evening. Well done Pierre, good work.