2009-2010 Highlights

Fishing People Are Very Special

By: David Thomas

It was a Friday evening and I had had a hard week.  It was just a normal evening to go fishing, it wasn’t going to be anything out of the ordinary. 

I had spent too much time talking and this chap was going to overtake me on the way to the place where I wanted to fish.  There were about 4 places where you could get into the pool and I hoped he wouldn’t go to the one I wanted.  As luck would have it, I got to go to my favourite spot. 

Within 10 min. of throwing a lob worm up and drawing it back, I could feel there was something ‘talking to me’ and all of a sudden everything went haywire, this monster of a fish turned but there was a sheer drop of 10-12 feet from where I was to where the fish was. 

And as every fisherman knows, to catch fish is one thing, to bring them out of the water is quite another!  However, this chap fishing next to me and saw I had a fish on, he offered to help me land the fish.  Well, he went down onto a small ledge half way down this sheer drop with the water about 12 feet deep below  him.  He went down to this ledge and stood on a tiny piece of bank, half way down and used his own landing net but the fish was too big to go into it.  So I passed him my landing net which is a ‘guy net’ and we landed a 9 ½ lb, salmon. 

Even though I’d never seen the chap before, I have to say fishermen are very special people because they help each other, sometimes they even put their lives in danger doing it.

Golden Day

I had only the morning to fish as I had to go get my girls so I went to one of my favourite spots but the water was much too high.  Now I had to think - where would the fishing be good?  I went up river about 6-7 miles and stopped again.  The water here was much clearer and the salmon would be running up river. 

After about the 3rd cast, a fish was on!  The flow of the water was quite strong so I struggled a bit to get the salmon over to my landing net which slipped out of my hand and the water took it down river.  Thankfully I found it again the next day in the bushes. 

I lead the salmon out onto the bank and it was 9½  lbs.  I said to myself “where there is one, there must be more”, so a few casts later I had the second one on. However here I was without my landing net but I saw an old friend of mine who was fishing a few yards above me and I asked if he’d give me a hand.  He came downriver and landed the fish like a true pro.  So now I had two lovely 9 ½ pounders on the bank.

A little bit later on I caught a small sea trout and further on again the water had gone a bit shallower so I changed tactics and put on a yellow “flying C”.  On about the 3rd cast another fish was on, this time an 8 1/2  lb. salmon.  A few yards further up river the water was deeper so I changed tactics again and  put a fire tiger rapala on.  I thought I had a 4th salmon on but I had a 6½ lb. sea trout.  I went home a very happy man!

David Thomas Fishing Big Fish

So you can have one of those golden days – be in the right place, at the right time!


1.  Fishing on the lower Teifi, the water was good, and I connected to a 10 lb. salmon.  I played him for about 5-10 min.  All of a sudden, the line goes slack, to my amazement my flying C had come apart, so the salmon had the flying hook and I had the rest.  In such a situation, there must be an opportunity for a case to be brought against the manufacturer?!

2.  End of season fishing, I’d caught a 9lb salmon in the morning, so I was quite happy.  However in the afternoon I was fishing with some friends in this lovely run and a young lad catches a really nice salmon. I said I’ll land it for you.  After tiring the salmon out, I put my net underneath it, the salmon slipped into the net like a torpedo, the rapala came out of his mouth and unknown to me, there was hole in my net so the fish went straight through and right back into the river!

Motto – don’t try to net other people’s fish unless you are asked to and you check the state of your net first.


Make Sure Your Tackle is Strong Enough

It was a Sunday afternoon and the salmon were running. I walked upriver and saw this gentleman there. He was distraught and absolutely inconsolable.  His salmon had broken him!  He had a salmon on that had broken his line.  While I was trying to console him, I was fishing and to my amazement I had a really good fish on.  But because I’d come down to a 12 lb. line, one minute the fish was on and the next he was off with my rapala.  So now there were two inconsolable fishermen!

Another sad story of a fisherman with tackle that was too light.  At the beginning of the 2010 season, a client of mine and I went to Tregaron, not too far from Cardigan, to do some dry fly casting but because we hadn’t had much rain, the water was way too low. 

Tregaron is an area that normally has some of the best brown trout fishing in the country but because of the state of the river, we went home instead. The guy’s girlfriend had come along and thank goodness, neither was particularly bothered about not fishing as they were absolutely enchanted with the sunshine and the scenery instead.

Anyway, this guy had come all the way from Liverpool for a couple of days fishing with me, he even wanted to do some night fishing.  So the next day we went out again but to a different place. This time, after casting his line,  he connected with an 8-10 pound fish.  Unfortunately all you heard as they connected, was the singing of the reel – his tackle was too light.  The fish was on the line for only about 2-3 minutes before the line broke and the fish was gone.  Despite it all, he was happy to have connected with such a big fish and we left it that he’d come back and try again.


2009 End of Season

I connected to the biggest fish I’ve ever had on with my 11 foot spinning rod. It came into my mind - how am I going to handle this monster?  I didn’t need to worry because it was a very brief encounter.  When he left me, it was difficult to hold back the tears!


The Bank Holiday

My partner and I were going to have a day out, my daughter and son-in-law were coming with us.  My partner doesn’t like fishing very much, so I said to her, “What if we had a picnic by the Teifi, would you fancy that?”  She went for that. 

We went to Maesycrugiau. The first pool we went to we met a really nice Englishman who said to me he had only about an hour before he had to go.  I offered to help him by showing him a technique for how to use his worms to best effect and because he was so pleased with my help, he gave me the rest of his lob worms as he left.

It was a very sunny day, the water was clear and we thought we were just going through the motions.  So my daughter and my partner went to lie down in the sun and my son-in-law and I moved up to the next pool. 

Well, my son-in-law who is a little impetuous, marched right into this pool and threw his lure into the far side of the pool and all of the sudden everything went ballistic and he had a 5-6 lbs sea trout on  The fish spent more out of the water than in, so there I was going like a demented, headless chicken trying to put a landing net under this fish. I told my son-in-law to hold pressure on the rod but eventually the fish got away.

I was really annoyed because the girls had missed out on all the action so I marched over and got them to come over to where we were so they could see what was happening.  I decided to use the lob worms the nice Englishman had given me and literally within five minutes of throwing in the lob worms, I told them there was a salmon “talking to me”!  

They just went back to sleep because they didn’t believe me.  But within a few minutes the fish was on, it went round the pool a few times.  My son-in-law tried to put the net under him and I told him just to chill, there’s no rush. We had the fish of about 5 ½ pounds on the bank a short time later.  We were incredulous because we had caught such a lovely fish even though  the conditions were so poor.

From there on we didn’t allow the girls to sunbathe too long.  We wanted to move on to another pool that was about 300 yards away but it was one of the most difficult places to get to.  We had to go through lots of undergrowth, it was like a jungle!  We all managed to get through and arrived at the next pool.  All four of us and the salmon!  It wasn’t easy for us to get through as well as hauling the salmon!

We arrived at the next pool, so the girls went back to soaking up the cosmic radiation and I threw a bunch of lobs worms into this pool and more or less instantly, we had a salmon on. I thought it was big one because it kept on boring down to the bottom of the pool.  He was a very smart salmon because he kept going under the bank and wasn’t easy to land and to our utter dismay, the hook came out of his mouth.

The girls didn’t want to go back through ‘the jungle’ so to get back to the car we had to do a 2-3 mile detour by road which didn’t go down too well. 

It just goes to show regardless of the conditions you can still catch a lovely fish!


Fishing Wisdom - some days the only things running are the fishermen because there were more of them than there are salmon!



David Thomas - Fisherman Tales - Friends And Sunshine - Golden Fishing Days


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