SIX young anglers from across Ceredigion represented Wales at a Youth International Fly-Fishing match at Llyn Brenig under the watchful eye of team coach Hywel Morgan and manager Cheryl Bulman.
Llanilar Angling Club has become a hotbed of competition angling over the past three decades and four of its young members were among the team of 14.
Richy Ricketts was named vice-captain for Wales and he was joined by clubmates Steffan Rattray, Ifor Christie and Hedd Dafydd as well as Tregaron Angling Club’s Tanya Morgan and Llandysul’s Jac Davies.
Although the match against Ireland, Scotland and England took place on Wednesday, the event officially started on the previous Sunday with a welcome dinner at Beaufort Park in Mold before two days of practice in which the teams used the valuable time to try and work out how and where to catch the fish.
When it came to match day, the weather was unfortunately against the young anglers with gale force winds expected from the south. As a result, some restrictions were put on where the boats were allowed to venture, but this didn’t spoil the teams’ enthusiasm.
Families and supporters gathered to watch As all four nations marched down to the lake behind the piper; the faces of the competitors a picture of enthusiasm mixed with nerves.
All of the boats were allowed to fish the top end of the lake only which made for fantastic viewing for the coaches and supporters, and there was a constant flow of people all along the dam watching the action unfold.
Thankfully, the big storm forecast earlier in the day never materialised and the match was fished to its full length of seven hours.
As the boats returned to the jetty, some anglers had big smiles on their faces while others looked quite glum. The initial reports were that England had some very good bags, but so did Scotland and Wales.
The results were finally announced at the weigh-in where Scotland were named winners with a haul of 73 fish, with England second (60), Wales third (51) and Ireland fourth (41).
Although Wales didn’t take the overall title, Richy and Steffan both picked up individual trophies.
At the gala dinner that evening, Steffan was presented with the International Biggest Fish Cup and Welsh Biggest Fish, while Top Welsh Rod went to Richy who reeled in nine fish.
The other members of the Welsh team were: Ben Evans, Rhayader; Morgan Jones, Chwilog; Lewis Miller, Carmarthen; Gwyddon Griffiths, Bryn Saith Marchog; Medi Treharne, Llanelli; Jack Morgan, Pontlliw; Callum Russell, Rhymney; Rooney Moore, Glan Conwy (reserve); and the captain, Jake Richards of Pontypridd.
For any young angler with hopes of representing Wales, a trial will be held on Llyn Clywedog on 2 September. Contact your fishing club secretary who will have entry forms.