Day 2 - Llyngwyn
A rather noisy camp cockerel woke everyone a little before 5:30am, an early start is essential to those ready to climb hills in order to find wild carp. Some sprung out of bed like kangaroos, some took a tad more persuading, but eventually and by 6am all were getting ready for the day ahead. As the sun began to climb through the trees and peeked over the hilltops the atmosphere filled everyone with the enthusiasm needed to complete preparations and engines were soon started.
The venue for the day was Llyngwn, much different to Pant-Y-Llyn in as much as it is managed as a trout fishery that contains wild carp. Heavily wooden on most banks the lake is around 12 acres and has a small bay at the car park end with an island, this is where the carp fishermen angle, where white posts mark out the boundary and wooden platforms surround the shallow section. From this photo you can see the small island and the bay that surrounds it.
It was breezier than the day previous and somewhat more overcast, yet it was still delightful and although an extra layer was required, it still felt like summer. Everyone took their positions, some dotted around the bay on the platforms and some either side of the island. Dave and Gord opted for the left hand side of the island, and after some deliberation and a cast from a few different spots, I plonked myself just past Gord next to the white border post fishing to my left. Fennel was the only one who purchased a trout ticket and went off in search of rising fish.
First thing to do was to feed a few dog biscuits around halfway out; the wind pushed them left and into the bank around 15 yards along. I kept feeding until a few of the mixers started to get eaten, then I made the first cast. The wind blew a bow in the line making the hook-bait move faster than the free offerings, so with regular mending of the line I managed to eliminate any unnaturalness. After a few minutes I had my first bite, and almost had the rod ripped out of my hands.
In true wildie fashion the fish charged off tearing yards of line off the reel, turned like lightening and tore off in the opposite direction, it was exhilarating stuff. Even when the net hand was extended the fish still had bags of power, and with my arm and shoulder aching I finally managed to bundle the fish into the mesh. I was overjoyed; I peered into the net and admired the most fabulous wildie, dark and lean, just how I like them. Gord helped out with the photos and Dave congratulated me too.
Chuffed to bits I continued fishing with extra confidence and a strong desire to catch more. The wind increased for the next half hour making my angle difficult to floater fish. I thought about moving to a different location, but as I was pretty sure I was on the fish I decided to stay and change tactics slightly. I removed the blob of floating wax and replaced it for 3 swan shot. I cast out to where I was receiving the takes with a lump of bread-flake on the hook and sat with the rod perched on my camera bag.
As I sat there with the sun warming my neck I got frightfully comfortable and actually think I may have drifted off slightly. With one hand on the rod I left a lunge, opened my eyes and felt another stronger lunge. I picked up the rod and was practically dragged to my feet as another insanely powerful wild carp bid for freedom. One way, then another, I struggled to keep up with it, but smiled and giggled the whole way through, it was the ultimate form of enjoyment. Once more Gord assisted with the camera and Dave left his chair and came to observe and asked nicely if I’d save some for him.
Gord moved onto the platforms shortly after, the wind was becoming fairly chilly whereas the platforms in the bay were sheltered. I went on to catch a couple more carp on the bottom using bread, all as energetic as the first couple and all just as wonderful. It was a privilege to be up there doing it, I vowed and longed to get back ever since the same trip the year before, and I was being reminded why.
News came that Fennel had been extremely successful in his fly fishing, catching his 4 fish quota very quickly. He came back to the bay with 4 superb specimens, and even offered to cook them up for lunch. We broke from the fishing; I made the tea whilst Fennel prepared the fish and lit the smoker. Tea and biscuits were consumed and soon enough we were sniffing up the wonderful aroma coming from the smoker. Half an hour later there were 4 beautiful and perfectly cooked trout being broken up and scoffed down with gusto.
After lunch we got back to the fishing, once we could move that was. But instead of resuming my spot I continued on past the marker, up the hill at the back of the lake and sat on top watching red kites and enjoying a stunning view of the whole of the lake. I spent a good hour up there, a tractor worked the field and the aerial display from the kites was memorable to say the least, it was akin to looking up at a firework display. I got a couple of photos; they aren’t the best quality, but the best my camera could manage.
After my visit to the hill I got back into position and began fishing again. The wind had died down somewhat and I was able to recommence surface fishing. In the meantime both Dave and Gord had relocated and a found fish apiece. The carp were still in front of me, they were soon munching on the small crusts I was flicking out, and it only took a few minutes for me to start catching again.
More fish came into the swim; the wind direction was perfect for bringing them in and for controlling the line. As the afternoon wore on some of the party left, some headed back to the campsite, and some headed for home. In the last hour or so before we too headed back I managed to catch a couple of really special ones. I remember the last time we were here I caught a wild carp as old as the hills that surround the lake, it was lean, dark, blunt headed, just the perfect example. I was so glad to catch a fish similar on this trip, and followed it up with another very similar fish. It was the perfect way to end a perfect day.
Back at the campsite the others had eaten, it was almost dark and time was getting on. I sorted myself out with a snack and before it got too dark and whilst most of us were still present we all posed for a self taken group shot. We chatted into darkness and as we were to be up and back to Pant-Y-Llyn to following day, I decided to turn in early in an effort to rise fresh and bushy tailed.
Day 3 – Pant-Y-Llyn
We were up at the crack of the cockerel once more, although on this morning everyone seemed very reluctant to rise from their pits, rain fell and it was a rather drab affair. Lee begun and sizzling bacon in the doorway of his superb Vango tent, which seemed to be doing the trick too as everyone started to emerge and follow their noses, climbing out of their sleeping bags and tucking into the free-flowing bacon baps.
It was Fennel, Nigel and I bidding farewell this time around to the others and heading to Pant-Y-Llyn. In convoy we left and as we approached I missed the turn, pulled round and fennel took the helm for the final leg of the journey. We approached the foot of the hill, the plan was to stop here and walk the rest of the way. I was in two minds, the ground was much damper than Friday due to the heavy rain we’d received just an hour previous, but the thought of wasting an extra half hour’s fishing by walking up caused me to abandon my senses and try once more to drive up. As I reached the top, pulled up and exited the vehicle Nigel called me a ‘nutter’, which I saw as a compliment.
The sky was filled with turbocharged clouds in a variety of shades of grey and black, and with them came scattered light showers and a cold wind. At first I made my way to the Eastern shore, the area I’d seen so much action on Friday, but after 10 minutes and a 1 chub I abandoned that idea as a bad one and sought the shelter of the cliffs on the south bank. Nigel was fishing just along from me and caught a wild carp first cast. I was made up for him and added to it shortly after with one of my own.
Another chub was landed but it was clear that the change in the weather had an adverse effect to the fishing. Fennel’s friend, Peter, arrived and after introductions began fishing himself. Whilst Fennel joined him for some chit chat and Nigel moved around to the North bank in search of shelter and action I decided I’d try to conquer the highest hill in sight, the one behind the Eastern shore, the one that reminded me of Kilimanjaro.
It was a long way up, my legs went dead half way and with every metre I climbed the wind’s strength intensified. It was well worth it though, the lake (said to be 8 acres but is more likely 6) looked tiny from way up. I could see the valleys below the lake, and valleys below them, I was on top of the world, possibly the highest human for miles, that was until I turned round and spotted two hill walkers off to the east much higher than me!
When I returned back to earth, it was apparent the fish weren’t in the mood to feed. Nigel caught his chub which pleased him no end; it completed the set as he’d earlier caught a minnow too. I fished on and after just a couple more chub, decided to join the others for a natter before heading off just before teatime for the long journey home. It had been an unbelievable weekend, spent with friends at one of the most breathtaking places I know. I am already looking forward to next summer’s trip, perhaps it’ll be a longer one next time.