Friday, 28 October 2011
A long leap from recent drain hopping days, Llangorse Lake in south Wales is a beast of a water. A test of not only tackle and tactics, but resolve and wet weather gear. When the bites arrive here, you sense that anything might happen; during other long, fruitless hours spent bobbing around in the drizzle it can suck the very marrow out of you. Like the lakes of Ireland, the only consistent feature here seems to be rain.
Still weed choked around the edges, myself and Seb Nowosiad made our way around the drop offs, daydreaming about monsters. After a little jack that took a spoon on perhaps only my fifth cast of the day, things were decidedly slow. In the course of two days we seemingly tried every trick in the book to earn takes: lures and flies, static and trolled baits, herrings and roach. In the green tinged water I even tried some brightly dyed baits to eke out a response.
Even the purist would be well advised to take a fish finder on a Llangorse adventure. The place feels like an endless chasm of nothing-much-in-particular when the action is slow, but gradually we found that the pockets of fish seemed to favour those banks quickly dropping away to three or four metres. Predictably enough, one of Seb's Kopyto shads was eventually mauled by a gold dashed seven pounder.
The sky had been threatening a bit of a punch up for a while, and once we'd set up camp for the night the rain came- and the drizzle never stopped from then until we left. Planning our counter attack we kept our hopes up with cups of brandy spiked "pirate tea" and dodgy jokes. In the morning light you could hardly make out the hills, and by lunch we were sodden, grudgingly accepting that damp feeling like you're sitting on a pile of used tea bags.
Eventually we also found something of a hot spot, with several takes to float fished roach and something big which shook its head and parted company with my lure. Still, when you've been wiping rain off your face all day any fish feels like a gift and we added another four pike, all in the five to six pound bracket.
The other great spectacle was a swarm of several thousand starlings wheeling overhead. This was absolutely fantastic, until they flew right over the boat and discharged an almighty volley of bird shit all over the water. By pure fluke, neither of us was hit. Great sight all the same, to cap off a testing trip. Sadly my top notch camera was kept out of the drizzle in the safety of the car for this spectacle, but I did get a nice shot of one of the lake's rocket powered pike giving Seb the runaround: