The Compleat Angler Store

Mugs and Stuff for Anglers and Fishing Tales For Everyone


Seven Quid. That’s Ridiculous.

(Update: Unbelievably Lionel’s Tackle Shop has closed down!)

So I drove up to Lionels Tackle Shop to squander some money on bait for an afternoon’s fishing. I didn’t really have any idea where I was going to fish so I asked the very nice Maggot Salesperson at Lionels for suggestions. He said, “Why not try Llay’s water?”lionelsOf course I said “I beg your pardon” because it sounded like he said “Why not try Lglayswhalterllanglogooglecwymclandundo?” Of course I was in Wales. Lionels Tackle Shop is also in Wales and being thoroughly English I was utterly stumped. Eventually all was revealed. There’s a little fishing club called Llays A.A. and they own two little lakes and one of them is “Llays Water.” It’s actually Llays Reservoir except it’s not really a reservoir at all. It’s a fishing pond. Great! So, how much to join Llays Angling Association so that I could fish? (Those of you who thought that the “A.A.” stood for “Alcoholics Anonymous”  are obviously well versed with the drinking habits of some anglers). Seven Quid. Yes, £7 to join for a year. Except that the year begins in January so if I was to join today I’d get about 6 weeks membership. No problem! £7 is about average to fish a day ticket water or commercial fishery. So if I fish the club waters twice before the end of the year I’ve technically made a profit.

I quickly paid my £7 and got a little red book in return. I was assured it was easy to find and that I would encounter no difficulties locating it. It didn’t work out that way. After turning left through the hamlet of Clymfrugglywddrfugdd and going through the village of Ggochhlywrydsgglydngsffry it became clear to me that I was lost in a sea of Welsh consonants and would have to buy two vowels in order to reach my destination. In my case the vowels were the same, two “U” turns, and eventually I was pulling into the car park next to Llays Reservoir.

Llay Reservoir, Near Wrexham. Factories everywhere.

[wpgmza id=”3″] The Bouncing Tench marks the spot. The Compleat Angler will be using this sort of map thingy for all fishing reports. That way you can avoid getting lost, unlike me.

Llay Reservoir, hard to believe it’s bordered on two sides by large industrial buildings.

I’d arrived at about 1:30pm which means that by the time I set my gear up I’d have about 1 hour fishing before it got dark. No! I must learn to set up faster and so I did…I was in the water and fishing by 1:45pm, a bit of a record for me. Even though the water is bordered on two sides by industrial buildings it’s actually quite picturesque. The rules for fishing here are normal…the usual No Keep Nets, barbless hooks only, size 10 hook maximum, no problem. You’re also not allowed to use cereal based ground bait. Loose feed only is the order of the day if fishing the float and the float is how I wanted to fish, as usual. I set up a stillwater antenna float on a 13ft match rod with 3lb main line, size 18 hook and 2.5lb hooklength.

A couple of Llay A.A. regulars were leaving the venue as I arrived and the weather up to that point had been pretty filthy. They hadn’t caught much but they were targeting carp and with water temperatures slowly dropping the slow fishing was understandable. But! Amazingly the weather settled right down…the wind dropped, conditions were absolutely perfect and stayed that way for the 150 minutes of fishing I had allowed myself. After a slow start some quality roach started feeding, but much more importantly they were feeding on my bait. roach1Of course nothing would have pleased me more than having the ability to plunk fish like this into my keep net for a couple of hours so that I could go through the weird Coarse Fishing Ritual of emptying it out at the end of the day but a quick photo or two showing that there are fish stupid enough to be deceived by Your Humble Correspondent would have to suffice. The bites were not frantic or regular but there was enough action to make for a great couple of hours fishing. A colourful rudd showed up. roach2

Note how beautifully he is hooked in the top lip. This would be the work of a Master Angler except in my case it was pure luck.

You’ll recall from a previous blog that The Compleat Angler was conducting The Great Bait Additive Test. I didn’t bring any of the additives to this venue but I think I’ll give them a try on my next visit. There is just enough action that different flavours might very well have different outcomes. On this day, however, I’d decided to bring my new Action Camera, the SJCAM SJ4000. [easyazon_image align=”center” cart=”n” cloak=”y” height=”500″ identifier=”B00N7CFXF0″ locale=”UK” nw=”y” src=”” tag=”thecomang-21″ width=”500″]It’s a Gopro Lookalike. For £65 I wasn’t expecting all that much but I have to say the video quality was phenomenal. I had it attached to my hat, the angle is a bit high, and YouTube compression means that the HD is a bit degraded but I think you’ll agree it’s a promising piece of equipment from the video below:

If you select the little gear symbol at the bottom right of the YouTube screen you can choose HD quality playback. As mentioned in an earlier post (which you have no doubt already forgotten about) I’ll be reviewing this camera in detail at a later date. First impressions show lots of promise, though.

Yes, a Crucian Carp! First fish on the video. cru1

There was also a very late season tench, a nice bonus considering it was the 19th of November. All of the fish I caught were in good condition and colours were rich and deep.tench

I really like this venue. The water colour is good, depth is 5ft or so, the pegs are nicely laid out. Just be careful when going up and down the sloping steps from the car park to the lake itself. I saw a senior citizen angler take a tumble today onto the hard concrete. Luckily he and his son were well bundled up with thick padded clothing so no damage done.

Remember, you can’t fish here unless you join the Llay A.A. club. Get your membership at Lionels. At £7 (at the time of writing) for a year it’s a ridiculously great fishing deal.