Fishing is this country’s biggest participation sport and this weekend Gliffaes swelled the sports ranks by another 9 new recruits. Over the last three days we have hosted our tenth, ‘Fly Fishing for Beginners’ course.
Gliffaes is the perfect venue to learn to fish, although not an easy one, we don’t stock the river so new recruits have to get used to stalking wild brown trout, which are wild in every sense of the word. This is very much akin to learning to swim in the deep end of the pool. The course is run by Bill Price from Builth Wells who is a qualified Advanced Professional Game Angling Instructor (APGAI for short) and Bill brings a lifetime of experience of fishing and guiding on the Usk and Wye to the course. He is very well assisted by his son Tristan.
Starting on Friday morning with an introduction to the sport; the trout and its habitat and equipment needed to get started. The students then moved out onto the lawns to begin learning the techniques of fly casting, something that looks easy but certainly requires careful instruction and plenty of practice. Saturday morning and the students moved from the lawn down to the river and spent the morning getting used to casting and wading in a fast flowing river. By lunch time skills and confidence were higher and students set off in pursuit of the quarry which could be seen rising tantalisingly up and down the river.
It was not until Sunday morning that someone finally hooked a real live trout as opposed to a tree behind them or a stone in the river, young Ben Scott just 12 from Crickhowell, caught his first wild brownie and I think he still has the huge grin on his face today. Buoyed up by this early success everyone carried on valiantly for most of the day but sadly nobody else was able to catch a fish. Almost everyone left Gliffaes with a huge determination to continue proved by the fact that Bill was able to sell six of his rods at the end of the weekend. Although not everyone left with a fresh Usk trout they did leave with a huge appreciation for how absorbing and relaxing being on the river is with the river, birds, fly life and fish all around them. Not forgetting the huge amount they had learnt over the three days.
(I hope to be running another course next May but need to find another instructor as Bill can’t help next year. If you would like to be kept informed of any future fishing courses please get in touch with me or drop me an email.)