With Devon feeling increasingly like Blackpool, this weekend was time to find a little space and hopefully some interesting fishing. I had been eyeing up Pant y Llyn, a stunning wild carp lake near Builth Wells, for a while. It started with a long trip in Rob Darby's "classic" feel van, an experience in itself! The windows don't work, the stereo is long dead and the heating has stuck on max- it's the closest I've come to a sauna since Finland!
The lake itself looked about a million miles away from the average carp pond; remote, high up and weedy, a beautiful, weedy mire of a place that looked full of promise:
The lake required a fair walk around, and a fair bit of work with a weed rake and a bucket of bait to get things moving- in the afternoon sun all was motionless, except the occassional bulge in the thick of about seven acres of weed! After moving swims however, we were excited to see clouded up water and a fin emerge. Rob struck first- a simple float set up with hair rigged corn tempting a lovely wildie of around four pounds.
These are amazing creatures- hardly fished for, despite having been in the lake for centuries. They differ from stockies- the profile is leaner, the colour darker, with an elongated dorsal fin that nearly reaches the tail. I managed to catch the next, a smaller sample, before we exchanged puzzled looks over a trio of unexpected chub.
After a stay at the Lion Inn in Builth it was then time to hit the River Wye near Winforton with chub and barbel in mind. It was a dour day, but what a river. We saw salmon jump, gangs of swallows dipping and several good looking areas to try. A bed of hemp and pellets got some interest from chub but we never did find the barbel- a three pound chub was the best catch, a lovely fit fish if not a monster. Above all though, Wales delivers in seclusion and adventure- no littered banks, chavs or local know it alls to kill the mystery. We will be back!