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14 th River Dee European Grayling Festival 2013 LLangollen, Wales


I was looking for team members to participate the grayling festival or competition which is being held every year in Wales. I was almost desperate when Charles Jardine told me he was willing to be a Bulgarian for a day or two. I phoned my old sport Stoyan and we had the Bulgarian team ready to rock & roll. I bought tickets and landed in Luton a few days earlier. This year the Championship was about to happen on 7 -8 th of December. I was really looking forward to cast my flies in the Dee water. This river has a special place in my life and I was glad I`ll have a chance to fish it in 2013 as well as every other of the last 5-6 years.

Unfortunately Charles was really ill and caught some terrible flue when I arrived so we had to look for another member of our team. It was a really nice guy called Adrian who was recommended to us by the organizer of the event- Ken Bothers. Me and Stoyan took a train to Llangollen and arrived there on Thursday afternoon. It was Stoyan`s Birthday and we celebrated it on the river by catching a few grayling before the sun disappeared. Then the celebration continued in the pub of the Hands Hotel.

On the next morning we cast our lines with the first sun rays and it was a great day of practice. Water level was super low for this time of the year and fishing was really good. We caught about 50 grayling and about the same amount of trout that Friday and really had a good time on the water. A green tag nymph on size 14 and 12 was working for me.

Many top class anglers join the venue representing countries like England, Poland, Czech Republic, France, Italy and Bulgaria. There were 27 teams which makes a total of 81 competitors. Which I would say is like a small European Championship. The competition was generously sponsored by Hanak Competition products which are a top brand in our sport.

The competition was really interesting and total of 612 grayling were caught as well as many trout and a few salmon. I had a chance to hook a salmon myself and manage to land it with 0,12 mm fluorocarbon and 2 weight rod. Our team called the Bulgarian Otters finished 16 th out of 27 which could have been better but we`ll try do so next time. I am happy that I managed to catch 12 grayling and only 11 people have caught more fish than me. However it is a team competition and there aren`t individual results. The biggest fish was 49 cm caught by Peter Thurnall and the highest number of fish was 32 grayling which Daniel Svrcek from Czech Republic managed to catch in only two sessions. This was not enough to bring the Czech team called Czech Point the first place for second consecutive year and they finished after the mixed team called England Dunkelds which consisted of well known names such as Howard Croston, Dave Parker and Mr. Edgardo Dona. The third place was for the Polish team called Polish Nymphs.

The prizing ceremony was really great and we heard a couple of good speeches. The competition is about to expand next year and hopefully much bigger competition will be organized on the same waters in 2018. Many, many thanks to the always smiling and willing to help organizer Ken Bothers. Thank you Ken for making us all happy again! I`m looking forward to meet you all and some more great anglers next year! Hope you enjoy the pictures!


1 Comment

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