‘Fortune favours the Brave’…(also the Stupid)
The WUF offers anglers the chance of fishing the Loughor, a classic salmon and sea trout river, on the Pontarddulais AA beat between said town, and Ammanford, some seven miles upstream. And where there are sea trout, one imagines there are brown trout, too. So perhaps this was to be my best means to ‘net’ a wild Swansea brown trout!
The beat map accompanying the documentation from WUF revealed the name of the Secretary and who better to ask, where I might fish, given I knew nothing of the river nor its five miles on offer. “The easiest access and fishing I’d say is on our Ynys Llety stretch” suggested Lyn (Davies)
He also said, encouragingly, that “The water is down, so the usual parachute dry, spider or gold head should pull you out a pretty little brownie”, and setting off from my overnighter, I was confident that the morning rain which greeted would pass, because Metcheck told me confidently, that it would, by Noon, when the sun would shine, too. And Metcheck is never wrong, and is certainly more accurate than the MetOffice.
The drive to Pontarddulais was wet, but SatNav found me Garnswllt Road, on which stood Ynys Llety. This ‘road’ is the prettiest drive and seemed endless because it is so narrow, and luckily I met no other vehicles. It was raining when I arrived at about 10am, but it would stop in just two hours. The river was out of sight at this point, so I decided to drive upstream and toward Ammanford to find a stretch where I could appreciate where I was about to fish.
Salmon and sea trout rivers have a ‘grandeur’ of their own. They may be narrower than say, the Wharfe or Usk, but they have depths and pools and darkness which might intimidate the trout man, and the stepped river at Ammanford was thus. But in spite of the rains, the river ran clear, so I was relieved.
What now, at about 11am? I know, I reasoned, I will buy a picnic lunch, and at about 1pm when the rains have passed, I will fish.
So with victuals purchased, it was back to the small car park, for a read of Salmon & Trout magazine to get me in the mood, a bottle of delicious SanFran Steam Ale (but never before Noon), and shrimpy, porky, fruity nibbles!
It was still raining, but it didn’t matter, because it would cease, shortly.
The Hungarian Grand Prix featured on BBC Five Live and at the start at 1pm, Lewis beat the spoilt German to the first corner, and at lunch, England were doing rather well at Old Trafford, so all was well, even though it was raining.
I had read T&S from cover to cover by 2pm, and began to wonder about Metcheck.
The cloud cover was omnipresent. Visibility was a couple of hundred yards at best. I swiped the wiper blades for a better view of where the river might be. The cows in the reedy, boggy pastures were down, and as pissed by the weather as I was. They no longer trust Metcheck, and who can blame them?
But I had driven a long way to be here, and if I cover up and tackle up, perhaps by the time I find the river, it will have stopped. So I did.
A walk through pastures, a clamber over gates, a railway line, and more gates, and to the river a few hundred yards away, revealed a flow, some fifteen feet below where I stood. A red muddy bank above a succession of depths, turns, shallows, a little flowing weed, some fallen trees, and I wondered where my quarry might be lying.
Did I say that it was still raining? Well it was, and the descent waterside was slippery, the wet mud filling the indentations of my wading boot soles in an instant.
But heh! I was on a mission!!
It was pouring now, and Lyn’s ‘usual parachute dry’ was not a goer, and it was on with a weighted PTN on the point, and a #22 PTN on the dropper, but my imagination was fired in case a sewin decided to take a liking to this offering so the leader was 5lb. An Optimist, or what?
Second cast…a pull, a wriggle, and ‘dammit’ one of Lyn’s pretty little brownies came to my net.
So did two more, short!y afterwards. I guess their Mummy and Daddy were probably lurking in the deeps around the outside bends of this stretch with some of their seaside friends, but I had caught what I sought, so after just an hour I retreated to Tonka Too.
It was still raining!
But…mission accomplished. And Welsh County #9.
And Lewis (a fine Welsh name) won….!!!
ps…these sewin fishers must be noisy lot!