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Joy of reminiscing on past pleasures with old friends; angling.

OVER the May Bank Holiday R the May Bank Holiday I had the supreme pleasure of attending the James Pantyfedwen Eisteddfodau, which are held annually at Pontrhydfendigaid.

Pontrhydfendigiaid (the bridge of the blessed ford) was one of the nurseries of my piscatorial and cultural interest.

One cannot but be impressed by the hard work done voluntarily by so many people to promote cultural functions of this nature, which are a vital part of our heritage.

e Bont Eisteddfodau were the brainchild of the late Sir David James - businessman and philanthropist - whose family home was in Bont.

In his late teens he left the area for London where he established himself as a shrewd businessman. He amassed a great fortune but through his generous nature gave handsomely to ensure that many causes in Wales would benet. would benet. W Sir David was a man brimming with original ideas. One which never came to fruition was to create a lake comparable to Loch Leven in Scotland on Cors Caron - Loch Leven being the nest still-water shery in Britain in those days.

Sir David reckoned it would provide employment for up to 50 men.

Moc Morgan I am not convinced that Caron Bog would have made a good shery but for whatever reason the plans failed to get the support of the shery ocers of the day and the idea was dropped.

Sir David was typical of many people from that era - leaving home to earn a better living while yearning for the haunts of their youth.

He had a habit of phoning me at the unearthly hour of 6am to ask about my recent shing and shooting exploits.

He knew that no day would pass without my visiting one shery or another - and that habit has remained with me.

He knew every pool in the Tei from its source down to Cors Caron. In fact my grandfather had often shed it with him.

Back in the thirties and forties every stream and every river was full of sh and in the fties angling poets Cynan and Dewi Emrys would come to Pontrhydfendigaid on shing holidays.

e drill in that period was either to use a running worm or a dry y while keeping well out of the trout's line of vision.

Anglers kneeling on the river-bank were not seeking divine intervention - they just didn't want the sh to see them!

e big catches in those pre-freezer days had to be distributed quickly to the sick, the needy or to neighbours.

"My" was an obsolete word back then with "ours" being the operative one.

While at Bont W I took the liberty of looking over the village bridge. e trout count was unfortunately in single gures - not the double gures of my teen years. Yet a truly wild trout is Y worth half a dozen stocked ones.

Returning to one's roots can bring disappointments, especially when present-day reality doesn't live up to remembered expectations.

But being back among valued friends was a tonic and what is better than reminiscing on past pleasures - be they shooting partridges, tickling trout - or a lass or two, and shing for genuine wild trout.

Fishing for one of the most beautiful creatures created by the Good Lord is a joy - if he created a better pastime then I think he must have kept it to himself.

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A truly wild trout is worth half a dozen stocked ones, says Moc
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:May 13, 2014
Words:573
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