Saturday 4th June, 2022
George and I made the long two hour plus drive over to Llyn Bugeilyn in Mid Wales today to try and catch some wild browns. Llyn Bugeilyn is a very remote upland llyn, located 1700 feet above sea level, about 10 miles from Llyn Clywedog - effectively in the middle of nowhere.
Accessible only by 4x4, or via a long 2.2 mile hike, this lake is very much off the beaten track and we went the whole day with only red kites, pied wagtails, and (we think) skylarks for company. The weather, as you might imagine for this high up in Mid Wales during summer, was freezing cold and very windy, but we managed to find some fish.
Most of the trout came to large bushy dry flies plopped through the surface waves, with the odd one falling to a cormorant, or other small black nymphs. The fish were all very small at under 25cm, but that's typical for a remote upland llyn like Bugeilyn. The trout population here is apparently genetically unique and supposedly has black fins, though that wasn't evident in the fish we caught.
We'd seen stories about the track being tricky to navigate, the banks being dangerously boggy, and the wading being somewhat difficult, but thankfully, none of these was as bad as made out. The Defender had no issues with the track, we didn't sink any deeper than our ankles, and we found the shores fine for wading, once you were passed the boggy parts.
We ended the session with eight stunning little trout, including two at once for me. It was a great change from our usual venues and these upland llyns are definitely somewhere we hope to fish more in the coming years.
Sunday 19th June 2022
We had a Father's Day trip over to Snowdonia today to fish two more remote Welsh lakes - Llyn Gamallt Bach and Llyn Gammalt Fawr, which are located high in the mountains above Blaenau Ffestiniog. The hike to the lakes was trickier than we envisaged as there is seemingly no path (at least not one we could find), so you have to tramp your way through dense sphagnum moss and heather.
It's very boggy in places (dangerously so) and there are very deep crevasses several feet deep (some of which contain dead sheep that have fallen into them), so it's not the safest place to get to. Once you reach the lakes, it's worth it and the wading is safer than the surrounding banks. The views are absolutely incredible.
As you'd expect this high up, the weather changes quickly and it can get blustery. We struggled on the larger Llyn Gamallt Fawr due to the wind, so headed further up to the smaller, higher, Llyn Gamallt Bach. This is more sheltered by the mountain behind it and we found lots of rising fish here.
There's also a little bothy, which dates back to the 1800s. George was surprised to find a variety of odd items inside, include an axe, various bottles of fairly middle-class wine and whisky, and bizarrely, a framed picture of David Bowie from the Ziggy Stardust period.
I can imagine it's handy to have this to retreat to if the weather worsens. Indeed, one angler told us he'd spent the night up here on the bank when the fog came down making it too dangerous to find his way back to his car. Unless you're young, fit, and experienced, this is the sort of place you're better off fishing as a pair. There's also no phone reception obviously, and you're miles from anyone.
While at Bugeilyn they wanted bushy dries, here the fish were fussier and harder to catch. We found that three-pound tippet and very small size 18s were needed in order to get the fish to take confidently. They would take larger dries, but they'd go for smaller ones without thinking. Hooking them, however, was tricky, so we only caught a few.
While our catches were small and not high in quantity, I'm pretty certain there are few nicer places we've fished before. The views were stunning and it was eerily quiet. We even saw a Peregrine falcon. It was definitely a trip we'll remember forever.
Saturday 25th June, 2022
Another weekend, another trip to a Welsh Llyn - this time our first ever trip to Llyn Trawsfynydd in Snowdonia. George and his friend James were fishing in the Scierra Pairs.
Unfortunately, a late night the evening before and an early start today meant that we were underprepared and managed to forget not only the bass bag and priest, but also our waterproofs. Needless to say, it chucked it down and the waves were massive, so we got totally drenched.
The fishing proved very tough. George hooked and lost a rainbow early on, and then lost a big perch at the boat, but they were the only bites all day. By 1pm, the boys were so wet and cold, and the conditions so rough, that we decided to call it a day and head in early...