WGFC Newsletter – February 2021

Chairman’s Remarks

It’s a year now since we’ve had a face to face club meeting. The various lockdowns have caused issues for us as a club and our members. As I write this I’m unable to drive to fish (living in Wales) but given the height of the rivers over the last few weeks, I don’t feel I’m missing much but am desperate to try that new rod and reel I’ve bought. I’m sure many members are frustrated over their inability to wet a line at various times because they don’t live in Wales and I’m grateful for their patience and their continued support for Wirral Game Fishing Club. Behind the scenes the club officers have continued to work diligently. We are starting the new season with full membership thanks to efforts on Austin (our Membership Secretary). Hopefully with the vaccine roll out will soon see a lifting of restrictions that we can fish and greet fellow members on the water edge (socially distancing of course)

The winter floods have inevitably caused issues and much to repair. This follows on from the lack of maintenance from last season due to travel restrictions. It means that work parties will be a matter of urgency when they will be permitted. For new members it’s a way of learning the waters and meeting fellow members. Hopefully by later in the year we will be able you have a club day out on Llyn Brenig as well as having a social event at Glan y Wern.

Access to our Chirk and Howards beats

The B5605 is currently closed (between the entry to the landfill site and the Bridge over the river) and likely to be so for some time. This affects our fishing at Howard’s and our Chirk Beat. My understanding is that the Chirk beat is accessible from the A5 via the B5605 and Howard’s is accessible from the Cefn Mawr end. This is academic due to the lockdown at the moment. My understanding is that the road foundations have been washed away and that the water has come from the Landfill site. I will post any updates when they become available.

Vale of Clwyd Waters

On the VCAC water near Trefnant the road bridge at Llanerch has been washed away and will probably take at least 18 months to replace. To approach the VCAC fishing on the right bank the route from the Chester side is unchanged but there is no access from the Trefnant side. From St. Asaph access is from J28 of the A55, from Denbigh or Mold access is via Pont y Cambwll and Tremeirchion. VCAC hope to arrange parking in a field adjacent to the river – to be confirmed.

Fly fishing for salmon workshops.

A number of members I’ve met on the riverbank have been asking for advice on fishing the fly for salmon – the idea then is to have a couple of workshops on the riverbank (probably Chirk) where members can seek advice on equipment, tactics and casting. It would be restricted to a small number (5) on each occasion to make it less formal. Dependent upon COVID restrictions it would be later in the season and possibly in the evenings. If you are interested they will be announced nearer the time and would be on a first come first served basis.

Dee Life Project

The Project is getting into full swing. Information on their progress is on their Website and Facebook as well as videos on You Tube. They are likely to do the partial removal of Erbistock Weir next year (2022) which will have a temporary impact on our Bryn y Pys fishing.

Welsh Dee Trust

The Trust does a great deal of habitat work on the Dee and its tributaries, formerly done by NRW with monies now going directly to the Trust. Examples are fencing off streams to prevent cattle/sheep poaching, planting of trees, checking water quality as well as trying to get the flow on the Dee to be more friendly towards fish migration. While it is a conservation charity rather than a fishing organisation, anglers do get a benefit from its activities. The Trust is constantly searching for other sources of income. It does have four full time members of staff !!! One of its fund raising ideas for the coming year is to produce a fishing map of the Welsh Dee. There will be an announcement of its availability and price later in the year.

Welsh Government introducing Regulations on Agricultural Pollution on April 1st

Finally, after much discussion and debate the Welsh Government has realised that the voluntary approach has not worked and will be introducing Regulations to control Agricultural Pollution. Whether the upcoming Senedd elections will prompt another delay is not clear but the new regulations will not have an immediate impact and it will take a number of years for them for them to become effective.

New Water

We are pleased to announce that we have acquired all three Tuesday rods on the Wynnstay fishery near Chirk. This beat starts on the left bank at the Donkey Pump Pool opposite our Chirk beat and runs for over two miles with 22 named pools, it has three huts and vehicular access to the main “lunch” hut. The beat finishes close to the top of the CADAC beat. The high bridge on the A483 near the Chirk McDonald’s crosses the beat about halfway down it.

We have also taken over all the rods on Howard’s and welcome three former syndicate members as new members of Wirral Game.

New Website

Members will have noticed a different look to the “front end” of the Club website. Thanks principally to hard work by Chris White the information that was previously found under “Beat Information” is now available on drop down menus from the new Home Page but, because this page is open to the public, you may need to use the password/lock code to open the information. Pages can be printed using the Ctrl/P or Cmd/P option on your PC or Mac.

As all the information that is normally contained in the Handbook is now (or shortly going to be) on the website, and to avoid any potential conflict between the website and the Handbook, it’s no longer practical to have a link to the Handbook on the website.

Members News on the Website

When we launched the new website, we included a link via ‘Members News’ to information relevant to members, we can quickly update the information on Members News to keep members up to date on club activities.  We can also include videos etc. which may be of interest.  To protect sensitive information, you will see that some of the posts are password protected to ensure only members can see the information.  The password to access these posts is the current lock code which you will find on your membership card. 

By including the provision of a comments box on posts, we can seek members opinions on some issues, this is only included now on the post referring to Sea Fishing Trips 2021 (this can be found on the second page).  We will raise a post asking for your comments on what we should include under Members News shortly once more members are using at Members News on the website (we can check traffic via the analytics included within our website admin suite).

AGM and Club Meetings

The 2020 AGM was held via Zoom and 40 members “attended” enabling a quorate meeting to take place. Until such time as physical meetings are legal and safe we will hold a number of Club meetings via Zoom commencing in March.

Chirk

Please note that the key is now hidden under a stone on the gate post of the new fence.

Booking System

It’s worth reminding Members on the use of the booking system as there were one or two incidents of improper use last season.

Members can have one future river and one future still water booking at any one time and these can be at any point in the future. In addition, any free rod “on the day” can be booked and the “day” starts at 9pm the previous evening so, for example, a Member with their permitted two future bookings can go online at 9pm on a Monday evening to book any free rod on Tuesday.

Members are allowed to switch beats during a day. This is achieved by cancelling the first booking and then re-booking any other free rod. If the first cancellation can be made before 09:00hrs the cancelled rod will become available for another member.

Members must not book or allow their login details to be used to “reserve” a day for another Member. We have seen incidents of Member “A” having a booking on a popular beat but cancelling it very late on the evening before and literally 2 minutes later Member “B”, who had a future booking on the same beat, snaps it up. This is highly suspicious and the booking system is being monitored for repeats. Another version of “unfair play” is Member “A” booking a rod but Member “B” turning up to fish either the whole day or take over from Member “A” later in the day. Be in no doubt, both practices are cheating and against the ethos of the Club and any Member found guilty of cheating risks sanctions that could include expulsion.

Guests

We have a number of beats on which guests are permitted at a cost of £15 per day and this is clearly indicated in the beat information. To book a guest the “guest” box must be clicked as the first part of the booking process, this will take 2 rods out of the beat allocation and, unless this is shown in the booking confirmation detail, the guest booking has not been successful. Payment should be made by direct transfer (email Treasurer) or by cheque posted to the Treasurer but, if there is any doubt over the booking, e.g. river height or guest availability, payment can be delayed until the day has been taken. Junior members sharing their sponsor’s rod do not have to be booked as guests.

There is no limit to the number of guests that members can take but no individual guest can be entertained more than twice per annum. Also, guests should be discouraged from publishing details or photos of WGFC beats in blogs or other social media.

Demand for migratory fish beats increases in September until the season ends so fishing guests are not permitted on the river beats during that period but can still be taken to Glan y Wern until the lake closes (usually 30th September).

A non-fishing guest or companion is permitted on a greater number of beats and do not have to be booked but should stay with the member during the day.

Membership and Password Change for 2021

We’re pleased to report that we start the season with full membership with most new member inductions conducted by Zoom with great success. Many thanks to Austin for his efforts.

All 2021 membership cards have now been posted out and members should note the lock code printed on it that will become the new password on 1st March.

17th February 2021