Saturday, 6 October 2012

The Beginning is the Most Important Part of the Work

So I decided to write a blog about my fishing experiences but where exactly do I start, what should I write about for my first post???  Having drawn inspiration from the Greek Philosopher Plato, I decided to tell my story from the beginning - where better to start and who better a person to draw inspiration from?

My first experience of fly fishing was with my Uncle Ray Chaplin, I was about 13 years old.  Back in them days I had silly hair and a pretty bad dress sense, some say things haven’t changed I’m only housing a few more greys.

Uncle Ray was a member of the Rhayader and Elan Valley Angling Association and had fished for Wales on many occasions.  He was one of the nicest, funniest people you could hope to meet.  He was a Navy Veteran and always had a story to tell, especially if you offered him a rum or a white wine and soda in later life.  Sadly, Uncle Ray passed away a few years back.

Having arranged a day to go fishing, a Saturday I recall, he picked me up and we headed to Llyngwyn - a lake that he fished regularly, often catching his limit and leaving a good size rainbow hanging on the front door for my Dad.  Llyngwyn is a 16 acre spring fed natural lake controlled by the Rhayader and Elan Valley Angling Association that is regularly stocked with Rainbows upwards of 2lb.  As you can imagine, I was very excited about the day ahead.

Llyngwyn Lake - Fly Fishing Venue
Llyngwyn Lake
When we arrived at the lake, the wind was up but the sky was clear – I remember it like it was yesterday!  Being a complete beginner, we fished the bank on the opposite side to the boat house, plenty of room for a casting lesson and very few places to get caught up behind although I think I found each and every place there was to be caught in and on.  However, before too long I was fishing and let loose on the unsuspecting Trout below – loved it.

The water that day was quiet; very few fishermen had caught anything that morning.  Uncle Ray had hooked up once but the fish, which he told me was a monster, came off!  The decision was made to take out one of the boats.  We made our way to a quiet bay, out of the wind, sheltered by the large trees situated along side the bank.  We cast out and fished some buzzers.

Things remained quiet, the BANG, my rod bent over and I was into my very first fish.  I got so excited I nearly dropped the rod.  A crash course in playing a fish soon followed and before too long the fish was in the net, a Rainbow of 1½lb.  I didn't stop talking about it for weeks.

Me with my first fish - a rainbow trout
Me with my first fish
I fished on occasions after that but as I didn't drive and my Dad didn't fish, my times were limited.  Soon the draw of football and rugby began to take over a sadly my fishing days came to an abrupt end…….

…..until now!

A chance conversation in the summer of 2011 (which I’ll tell you about in the next post) got me back on the water and this time there is an addiction that needs to be fed!  12 months of fishing and were doing good.  Now a member of the Groe Park and Irfon Angling Club (GPIAC), Webmaster for the GPIAC website and as part of a small syndicate holding a private tenancy of a 2½ acre lake near Builth Wells the fishing is frequent and on times breath taking.

I often wonder where I would be today (in fishing terms) had I carried on from where Uncle Ray had taught me so very well.  I also find myself thinking ‘would I be a better fisherman if he was here today?’ – Honestly, the answer is yes.

Me and Uncle Ray
Uncle Rays dinner by the looks of things
Until next time…


  1. Great looking Blog Craig. Looking forward to hearing about your grayling fishing on the Wye and Irfon ;)

    1. Thanks for the kind comments Dan.
      Hopefully the weather will settle down long enough for me to get out on the water.

      Tight Lines


Thank you for leaving a comment...