Things get weird in Wales

Last October I managed to swing a weekend away with Stu to go do some pike fishing at our ‘never fail’ venue down in Wales. I shall not name it, but it’s a big man made reservoir with an interesting history and has a ‘glowing’ reputation. I’d only fished this place once before back in 2017 but caught my biggest ever pike so was very keen for another visit. Last time we stayed at a cracking little pub near Blaenau Ffestiniog which had some good beers on and no one was outwardly hostile to us so as far as I was concerned it got 5 stars from me. However, Stu decided to book us into a different hotel this year as he thought the last place was a bit ‘weird’.

On arrival the friendly owner checked us in and when we told him we were pike anglers off fishing on the ‘morrow he proceeded to give alternative options in case the weather was too bad. He was particularly keen to push the local otter sanctuary, or a park, or an otter park, whatever it was, it wouldn’t necessarily be on our top 10 list of places to visit but nevertheless nice of him to take an interest in our day. After dumping our bags off we had a couple of pints then retired to our room. As we got to the top of the stairs, Stu opened the wrong door, which turned out to be a kind of broom cupboard adjacent to our room, with a man sat in it, with the lights off, in silence.

After a troubled nights sleep, wondering what Dai the Masturbator was planning to do to us we got up at the crack of dawn and were in the local co-op by 07:30 to get some breakfast before driving out to the reservoir. A Co-op I might add that has the greatest Co-op backdrop I’ve ever seen!

We paid for our tickets and had a good chat with the warden who knew Stu from his myriad prior visits, before heading out in the boat to start catching some pike!

After setting up a nice drift I reached for my trusty Guideline LPX Saltwater #9 Fly rod which I’ve had about 15 – 20 years and had a chuck. My casting felt rusty, line not shooting at all well. Hmm, retrieve and inspect…hang on a minute the tip section as come apart, no wonder it felt odd. No, in fact the top 6 inches has in fact fucking snapped off. Gutted. A new found patience, or perhaps new found perspective since becoming a dad allowed me to suck this gut punch up and move on with minimal trauma but what a blow, my beautiful blue rod, fucked! :-(.

We did a number of drifts off the Western shore and its bays, me fishing with my spinning rod or Stu’s spare Airflo pike rod but had no action apart from one tap that might have been a trout. We saw a magnificent rainbow, and some horses that were so still they may have been lifesize models, or dead, but in all honesty we did not come to take pictures of rainbows and dead horses.

We upped anchor and motored over to the Eastern shore where there are some very specific features that relate to the history of this reservoir which I felt sure were going to hold pike. A good couple of hours was spent fishing here to no avail. I stayed optimistic however, had I not appeased the angling Gods by sacrificing my treasured old rod to them? A fish had to come soon and I was beginning to to not care who caught it, we just needed a bastard pike in the boat!

The final session of the day was right at the bottom end of the reservoir. We fished hard as we had done all day using fly, jerk, spoon, jig, spinner, plug, car door handles, dildos the works and at every depth from top to bottom. Nothing. To rub salt in our wounds a pair of anglers motored up, plotted up behind us and caught a pike! When we got back to the pontoon the warden and several fellow anglers agreed it had been a tough day with very few fish caught. Maybe we should have gone to the otter sanctuary after all.

Anyway, we delivered the bomb, to help me get over the loss of my rod, Santa got me an Airflo Bluetooth 9ft #10/11 pike rod for Xmas which I have yet to use and it is now August! Be interested to hear if anyone has used one of these, particularly the #10/11.

*Interestingly I’ve just realised I already did a blog post on this outing back in December. Fuck sake!*

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