Over the last 4 weeks I have had the absolute pleasure of instructing 2 Links Llanelli service users per week at http://www.garnffrwdflyfishing.co.uk/ . 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.