THE opening day for the new fishing season at Llyn Brenig reminded me somewhat of the Glorious 12th, writes seasonal ranger JIM JENKINS.

Both events are eagerly anticipated, and both are taking place on the moorlands of the Celtic nations.

For some who had fished over the winter, the start of a new season doesn’t perhaps hold the same excitement as it does for those who have been in hibernation over the winter months and have put their fishing rods under the stairs and hung up their waders in the garage.

The Saturday was the day when the winter's inactivity ended, and fishermen made their way to the Brenig in large numbers.

Once the fishermen had worked out where the new fishing shop was, and they had exchanged a few fist bumps and elbow bumps as the traditional handshake was definitely off the table, they were ready for a day of optimism and expectation.

The queue for tickets seemed to stretch all the way to the dam, but perhaps that was an optical illusion.

By nine o’clock, though, most of the fishermen where on the lake and casting their lines across the water.

The weather seemed to be set fair with blue skies interspersed with a few clouds and a light wind.

However, as seems to be the case this year, the inevitable rain came and by 2 o’clock the temperature had dropped, the wind had picked up and the light rain turned into heavy rain.

By 3 o’clock most fishermen on the boats had decided that they had had enough and beat a hasty retreat to the warmth and comfort of the café where a cup of tea and a cake seemed far more preferable than another drift across the lake.

The fishing had been quite tough for some and it wasn’t easy to find the fish.

With the water temperature at 3C, it would seem that the fish would be lying in deep water, but this theory appeared to be flawed as many of the bank fishermen enjoyed a very successful day as the fish did seem to be close into the shore.

Andrew Finney, from St Helens, fishing off the visitors' centre shore on a floating line caught six fish for a total bag weight of 13lbs.

This was the biggest recorded bag of the day.

The biggest fish of the day, a lovely 5lbs rainbow, was also caught from the shore by Dave Williams.

Sunday was a better day in terms of the weather, but the inevitable rain did arrive in the afternoon with a few hail showers thrown in for good measure.

There were fewer boats out on the Sunday due to most of our regular fisherman opting to fish on the Saturday and also put off by an adverse weather forecast.

Overall, it was a good weekend of fishing with the rod average at 3.8 fish per angler and the average weight of the fish close on two and a half pounds.

The winter months have been unseasonably mild with very few days of frost and hardly any snow.

Although a worry for the environment, these conditions have been ideal for the growth and development of the fish and we can expect some fantastic fish to be stocked in the lake over the coming months.

The winter fishing has also been a great success as the mild weather has encouraged many fishermen to continue to fish throughout these months.

The only drawback has been the very wet weather that we have been experiencing.

But every cloud has a silver lining and the high rainfall has meant that the low water level from last year has risen quite quickly and the water level is now quite high.

The pike fishing over the winter has certainly been very successful with some wonderful pike being caught.

The reputation of the Brenig as a pike water has grown and large numbers of pike fishermen have visited the lake this winter.

The 33lbs 8ozs pike caught by Jack Finney certainly did much to encourage other pike fishermen hoping to record a similar catch.

It was definitely a knee trembling moment for Jack and one that he won’t forget in a hurry.

The main gates will be closing at 5.45pm this week and all boats need to be back on the jetty by 5.15pm.

These will be the set times for the rest of the season.

Tight lines.