I ‘won’ a season’s membership of the Merthyr Tydfil AA in the 2014 Autumn Auction held by the Salmon & Trout Association. I bid for it after fishing their water on the TAFF at Quakers Yard, which fascinated me, and I determined to fish it again, so what better means to try to?

I sent Tony Rees a write up from my first visit which he published in their Spring Newsletter.

” In the Salmon & Trout Association Auction last Autumn, I bid for a season’s membership of the MTAA…why, you might reasonably ask!

I fish all over the place and want to fish more places than possible. I just love ‘collecting’ rivers. I have notes and calendars over years which remind me where I have been, by state, county, area, region, in Italy, France, the USA, Iceland, Europe and Slovenia, NZ, and more.

In 2014, and impatient for the start of the season, I took a day via the WyeUsk Passport scheme mid April, and fished the Quakers Yard beat, but to no avail. But my appetite was whetted, for the Taff is a remarkable story of restoration! But fishing new waters excites me, and if I fail to take a beautiful brownie, big or small…I must try harder

My bid was modest, but it won. Ha!! Lucky me.

Tony Rees graciously informed me of the possible.

My members’ detail duly arrived, and a passport sized selfie was installed in my adhesive sleeve, almost before the envelop supplying it, was opened.

Impatient? Me!

Enough of this nonsense.

It’s early March. I called Gareth Lewis, who advised the same Quakers Yard beat would be his recommendation. The morning should probably be a nymphing session, but be prepared for a hatch and rising fish around noon.

If, by chance you have seen my Blog ( you will know I am a Halfordian, so after arriving on said water at ten-ish, but on a rare and beautifully sunny morning (March 10) and the water clear, I tied a nymph set up, and even though (stupid bugger) I had packed the wrong rod, an eight weight (I told you I was impatient to get on water again…I stop on September 30, and torment myself, for months but am not a member of the Thymallus thymallus winter fan club) I set off, disgusted that my 5-wt Greys Missionary was at home, 140 miles east, in London.

A bead head pheasant tail on the point with an orange spider type dropper produced not a touch in riffles, glides, tights, or gulleys.

It was getting warmer, though, and a style in a sunny spot attracted. A little rest, a little watch, perhaps.

Izaak was right…I saw my first Kingfisher of the year. I watched yellow wagtails courting…but no they were feeding. On pale wateries, I think, but I am not expert in fly ID-ing. Then at the top of the pool, no more than a coupe of hundred metres upstream from the remarkable Pont-y-Gwaith Bridge, I saw a rise.

Excited I moved towards where I though he was.

He rose again.

I cast twice to where I thought he lay.

He rose again…but this time, to my Robert Hakansson tied parachute pale watery.


A stocked fish, and over-wintered and 17”, so maybe just a pound and a half or so, but my first of 2015, my first from the Taff, and I intend that he will not be my last…love it. I stopped after catching him. I didn’t need another fish.

I fished some weeks later with Gareth who introduced me to the TAF FECHAN.


And what a stream that is,

and I was fortunate to be there on a good day when several small wild fish came to my Gareth tied parachute Adams