27 October 2009

Diary Piece - From the Cotswolds

I thought that It may be a nice idea to include a short diary piece about my own angling and also articles from customer's and Friends of Tackle Discounts. Well with the weather up and down I could not decide what to do this weekend, like most people I had a list of jobs to do at home so my time is limited and I have to try and make the most of my angling time. The intention was to do an afternoon and evening session on a new stretch of the Bristol Avon that I have just joined on Sunday. However Saturday was mild and wet and so I decided the river could wait another week or two and I would try one last session for the tench and carp on the syndicate lake I run. This lake is extremely difficult at any time of year with only a small number of fish, masses of natural food and carp that seem to always hide away! (don't they always!). I managed to talk a good Friend and fellow member, Matt Woods into an afternoon session on Sunday and we arrived just after lunch time. The plan was to fish a deep bay where the wind was blowing and put a couple of rods out for the carp and fish the float in the deep margin for whatever came along!!

We set up and both put out our carp rods, Matt opted for a scattering of 15mm boilies to a gravel patch against some reeds in about 8 ft of water whilst I decided to try and tempt a fish with Flouro hook baits and small PVA bags of mixed pellets. Carp rods sorted and a bit of float fishing was in order. Two balls of ground bait just of the marginal shelf and then regular loose feeding of maggots soon got me my first bite from a 5oz perch. Throughout the afternoon I managed to pick off an occasional roach or perch but unfortunately the tench seemed to have switched off for the winter. I did get a call from Matt in the swim next door when he hooked something bigger which turned out to be a pike of around 8lb, that had taken his maggots on his float rod. Just as it was getting dark a few fish began to roll out in the open water and so we decided to hang on for another hour or so.

At 7.30 I heard Matt's alarm sound a few beeps and then the sound we all love of a screaming alarm. The fish was obviously a carp but Matt could not tell yet how big as it swam towards him relatively easily. As he drew it towards the net we could see it was fairly fat but it only looked short. All of a sudden the fish woke up and the next 5 minutes where spent trying to keep it out of the reeds either side of the swim. Eventually the fish slid over the net cord and I was surprised to see just how fat the fish was. Onto the scales it pulled the dial around to exactly 31lb 8oz. A new Personal Best Common for Matt and only his 3 rd carp of the year.
A big well done to him, as he is an excellent all round angler who this year has had specimen tench, roach and carp in just short sessions from some extremely difficult venues. As for my session, well just a hand full of roach and perch and then just before packing up a bream of around 7lb. Next week it's off to the river Avon for some barble action(hopefully).

12 October 2009

Emerald Islanders sponsored by Flextec, at the "Airflo Anglian Water Internationals"

I travelled for my last fishing trip of the 2009 season to the mighty Rutland Water in England. I was competing with my team "Flextec Emerald Islanders" in the Airflo Anglian Water International. Travelling with team mates Arden, Brian, Stevie, Aidan and Sammy we set off early on Saturday 3rd October to catch the 7.30am Belfast Stranraer Ferry. With 40 -50 mph winds the ferry was a bit rough to say the least and a few pints were spilled (lol).

After a 6hr drive we arrived at Rutland at 4.30 pm to see some of the boats head in with their catches, but we found that the staff at Rutland had refused to let boats out due to the high winds.

Would have been a great day for fishing back home, we thought!

Anyway, we went and found the cottages that we had hired for our 5 night stay, unloaded the luggage and various cases of beers, ciders and spirits, then headed off to Oakham to meet the "Kent & Sussex" Team and our good mates,"The Welsh Hawks" for a curry and a beer or two. ;)
A great night was had(I think) :lol: and it was up the next day at 8am to get out onto Rutland to get some practice in. It was the first time any of us would have been on Rutland this year so we didnt know what to expect but we knew that most of the other teams had been practicing on Rutland very frequently, or fished various matches throughout the year, so without local knowledge, we were at a high disadvantage.

We met familiar faces, including Team G Loomis Belgium, who kindly took a photo of our team.

I was paired with Stevie for the first days practice and we were sent off to have a look around the north arm. With fish both tight in to the weeds feeding mostly on Corixa, yet plenty of fish feeding in open water we decided that we would fish both the weeded shores and fresher undisturbed open waters. Our first port of call was Barnsdale, that we heard had been fishing well. We were actually suprised that no other boats were there. Anyway we had great success in the first 1 hour with Stevie picking up 4 fish to my 2, but I was lucky to get my second big brownie of the year. This time a Rutland brownie of around 6lbs on one of my own wee Cormorants fishing slow beside the weed beds. 8-) We put him safely back by the way.

Only half the size of the one earlier this year on Chew :lol: , but my biggest Rutland Brownie to date.

We picked up quite a few fish that day as a team. After we met Phil, a friend of mine who lives locally, we headed off back to our cottage for something to eat and a few beers. A few of the successful patterns were tied up for the next days practice, in betwween sips of beer. :lol:
Day two practice and I was paired with Arden. Again we had a great day afloat, picking up fish everywhere we went and on various methods as well. Arden also picked up a nice Rainbow of about 5lbs during practice.

Sammy and Brian were also into rod bending action as well, as were Aidan & Stevie.

And I got my Flextec rod tested on quite a few occassions.

We headed home, had another curry and a few more beers, then had a quick get together to tie more flies and discuss our tactics for day one of the International match. We had basically 3 or 4 patterns that were catching the majotrity of our fish in practice.

Day one of competion and I was drawn with Mike Smith of Greenwells persuaders. We had a great day afloat in windy conditions. After heading back and meeting the rest of the lads I found that we had 26 fish as a team. We were not sure how we compared to other teams as although it was less than we had caught in practice, it was a difficult day with less than ideal conditions for rainbows and a lot of boat pressure in the popular areas.

Anyway we got the final results of day one and were more than delighted with our position. We were in 6th place out of 25 teams and only 17lbs behind the leading team "Neilston Flyfishers" from Scotland. More importantly we were ahead of some of European top teams, including 2009 Lexus Team Champions "Ospreys" which included TV personality Hywell Morgan.

Here are the day one results:

No Fish Total Weight
Lbs Ozs
1st Neilston FlyFishers 33 79 2 1/2
2nd Change Flyfishers 32 77 1 1/8
3rd WelshHawks 32 73 4 3/8
4th Iain Barr Fly Fishing 30 66 6 1/4
5th G. Loomis Team Belgium 26 65 15 1/8
[b]6th Flextec Emerald Islanders 26 62 15 3/4[/b]
7th Gargunnock Ac 26 62 9 7/8
8th Kent & Sussex 26 61 2
9th Loop UK 24 59 6
10th Team Tightlines 23 53 2 3/4
11th Wye Knots 22 51 12 1/4
12th Margam Flyfishers 21 48 7 1/2
13th Ospreys 19 42 2 1/8
14th Port Glasgow FF 19 42 5
15th Orkney FFC 18 41 6 3/4
16th Llandegfedd FFA 17 40 4 1/8
17th Woodford Greys Ireland 19 40 12 5/6
18th Seighford Sharks 18 39 11 7/8
19th Froggies (France) 17 38 9 3/8
20th Leven Fly Casters 16 36 2 5/8
21th Fish Hawks 15 36 10 3/8
22nd Stocks Harriers 16 35 11 1/2
23rd Shetland Islanders 15 32 10
24th Greenwell Persuaders 13 30 3 1/8
25th Thalassa AC 13 28 10 1/4

Day two and I was drawn with of one the top guys from Ian Barrs team, Andrew Scott . Andrew's team were lying in 4th place and Andrew had bagged up with 8 fish the day before so I agreed to go to his spots initially. When the shotgun went we headed off along with Ian Barr to their successful area. But to no avail. Andrew only got 1 fish in the first hour and things looked very different to the day before. It looked like it might be a struggle for us. We eventually headed to where I had caught fish the day before at buoy 10 and things improved almost instantly. I hooked and landed a fish which put my cast in an absolute mess. :x While I was unravelling my cast Andrew hooked and landed 3 fish in about 5 casts :o . We had a few fish to ourselves and no boats near us. We ended the day with 9 fish. 6 for Andrew and 3 for me and we both lost a few fish each, so we had a good day afloat with plenty of craic. Andrew was Iann Barr's top rod and a winner of this competion when his team won it in 2008. So to keep 6-3 was ok for me I guess.

Anyway, when we arrived in I realised that our team had a bad day afloat with only 13 fish. It was clear that we were going to drop down the table. We ended up in 14th place out of 25 top teams so we were very proud indeed.

One of the highest places for an Irish Team in this competion and the highest placed Irish Team in any major competition final this year.

Final overall placings were:

1. Change Flyfishers 'A' Team 66 fish for 159lb 14 7/8oz
2. Welsh Hawks 60 fish for 149lb 4 3/8oz
3. Neilston Fly Fishers 52 fish for 126lb 2 1/2oz
4. Kent & Sussex Fly Fishers 51 fish for 121lb 13 1/8oz
5. Team Tightlines 49 fish for 120lb 4 3/4oz
6. Margam Fly Fishers 53 fish for 119lb 14 1/2oz
7. Team Loop UK 48 fish for 118lb 6 5/8oz
8. Iain Barr Fly Fishing Team 51 fish for 114lb 4 1/2oz
9. G Loomis Team Belguim 50 fish for 113lb 8oz
10. Ospreys FFC 50 fish for 109lb 10 7/8oz
11. Gargunnock AC 44 fish for 107lb 7 1/2oz
12. Seighford Sharks 45 fish for 103lb 15 3/8oz
13. Orkney Trout Fishing Association 42 fish for 96lb 10 3/4oz
14. Flextec Emerald Islanders 39 fish for 95lb 0 1/2oz
15. Team Woodford Greys Ireland 40 fish for 92lb 14 3/4oz
16. Port of Glasgow Fly Fishers 40 fish for 92lb 7 1/8oz
17. Fish Hawks A 38 fish for 90lb 2 1/8oz
18. Froggies Fly Fishers (3F) 39 fish for 87lb 14 3/4oz
19. Llandegfedd FFA 35 fish for 82lb 12 1/8oz
20. Wye Knots 34 fish for 80lb 6 1/2oz
21. Thalassa AC 32 fish for 72lb 0 5/8oz
22. Leven Fly Casters 33 fish for 71lb 6oz
23. Shetland Islanders 33 fish for 69lb 6oz
24. Stocks Harriers 30 fish for 69lb 4oz
25. Greenwell Persuaders 'B' 23 fish for 53lb

Well done to “Change” on their fantastic victory. Jim , Jimmy Jock & Wullie and the boys.

A big well done to our pals the "Welsh Hawks" in second place. Russ, Gazza & Gus & the lads - some top angling.

Great angling by Russell Owen (Welsh Hawks) who caught the heaviest bag on the final day and to Wullie Leach (Change) who had the best bag over the 2 days.

Also a mention to my pal Simon Newman (Kent & Sussex) who caught the second higest amout of fish over the two days with 15 fish.

Well done lads