2013 Archive


Seven club members went down to the Farmoor Xmas match, which was won by Harry Fox with 8 fish for 15-7-0, with Tony second with 6 for 12-10-0. Mike Heritage got the biggest fish, a 3-13-0 rainbow. It sounds as though they had a harder day than our Fur & Feather, with 33 competitors catching 46 fish, for a rod average of 1.4.

Our Casting Clinic with instructor Mike Heritage did not see a huge turn-out, but this did mean that anyone who was keen enough to make the effort was guaranteed a couple of hours of top-class one-to-one instruction, which was sure to get them off to a great start. In the afternoon we turned theory into practice, getting a few fish on Booby from an increasingly more windy No4, while Phil Smithson had a couple of nice fish from the East Warwick.

Our grayling trip on the R.Test at Wherwell enjoyed great conditions, with light winds and an overcast sky, which made it easier to creep on fish in these narrow carriers. Small Olive Shrimps took fish to over 40cms in the morning, with Richard Mosek getting another couple of lunkers after our lunch, which consisted of a very welcome beef stew. With some of us looking to fish another rivers qualifier here in February next year, we could well be back at this venue before too long.

Our traditional Fur & Feather competition enjoyed excellent fishing, with no less than 22 out of our 31 entry catching, of which 18 caught their 4-fish limit, helped by the recent stocking as well as light winds and good water clarity. Dave Jarvis made the most of a couple of good fish early on from one of the first platforms down the West bank of No5 to take the shield and the hamper for the second time, ahead of John Ferguson and the ever consistent Ron Fry. Those who bagged up early moved positions, but still continued to get fish, with catches into the teens. Best fish was a 3-10-8 rainbow to Hector Rodriguez. Full Results & More pics >>

Kevin Blackwell won the Autumn Series shield thanks to three firsts and a second, which put him in an extremely strong position over the last couple of matches. The sixth and final match saw more good fishing, from No4 as well as No5, with Andrew Green getting a near four pounder on a Coral Booby fished static on the 40+ DI7 Results>>

Michael Heritage won the morning session of the Peninsula Federation rivers qualifier on the Lower Itchen with 15 fish, putting him in 1st place overall, and earning him a place in next year’s Rivers National. Harry Fox and Andrew Green were about half way up but with the river not colouring up as much as expected after a week of rain, the fishing was surprisingly good.

Tony Fox won the afternoon session of the South East FF Federation Rivers Qualifier on the Lower Itchen. Despite the river getting well hammered in the morning session, and colouring up slightly, Tony managed to extract ten grayling, well ahead of the rest of the field. Harry Fox, Michael Heritage, Hector Rodriguez, Jim Dillon, Andrew Smith and Andrew Green also fished this match, and while we didn’t catch as many as Tony, we all had an enjoyable weekend. 

Our Wateraid charity competition saw reasonable conditions with an overcast sky and light winds for most of the day. Thames had also put in  fresh stocking the day before, some of which could be seen moving up and down the Causeway in No4. Even so, some of us found it tricky in the morning, having to move around until we found fish. Billy Bridgeworth caught the largest fish of the match, a 4-8-0 rainbow, on a Minkie, which he cast to as he saw it moving along the West bank of No.5. Barry Shedden took a couple in the morning, then followed this with another brace in the afternoon and looked favourite for the top spot until late in the match when John Ferguson moved onto the Houses Bank. With about 40 minutes to go, he landed four fish to 4-2-0 on floater and small Diawl Bachs. Thanks to Thames Water’s help we probably raised getting close to £1,000. A big thank you to ranger Cliff and his wife who laid on an excellent barbeque which was much appreciated. Full Results & more pics here>>

Tony Fox finished top rod in the England team in the recent Autumn Loch-style Home International at the Lake of Menteith in Scotland, catching 13 fish. Unfortunately, England finished 4th with 96 fish, behind Wales (3rd with 106 fish), Ireland (2nd with 107) and Scotland, who took their third gold on the trop with 135 fish. Full Results here>>

Competition News: Andrew Green finished 15th out of 97 in the Troutmasters Final at Grafham, getting one off the Dam in the morning and four drifitng into Pylon Point in the afternoon. In the Loch-style National, however, he was two or three fish short of qualifying. Mike Heritage ended up 1st reserve so has an outside chance of being in the England team for either Lough Owel or Brenig next year. While Tony Fox was away with the team for the Autumn International at Menteith, Harry Fox, Frank Daley, Mike Heritage, Andrew Smith and Andrew Green all competed in the Grand Max at Bewl but found the reservoir in one of its tricky moods. Mike and Frank did well to take four and three fish respectively on dries. Top individual bag was John ‘Sooty’ Hancock with 7 fish, with the Belgian Flyfishing Forever the top team.

Farmoor Club Trip: Despite tricky conditions which did not lend themselves to prolific buzzer fishing, there was still good bags taken, with Gerry Hanley making the Thames Water weekly reports with 10 fish on a Brown Minky from Farmoor 1.

Our final Wednesday Evening Series match saw fish moving at the top of the wind in the hot conditions. Although fish were returned, nothing was weighed in, so the overall title went to Frank Daley who finished two points ahead of Kevin Blackwell Final results>>

Frank Daley, John Ferguson and Kevin Blackwelll took the time to help out at Rutland Water Fly Fishers’ Youth Fly Fishing Day. Despite more heatwave conditions they all helped their 10-17 year old pupils catch fish by various methods, including sinker and Boobies to floater and buzzers or corixae. All of them thought that this was one of the best organised youth events they’d seen anywhere, with the youngsters first being introduced to fly casting and fly tying in the morning, before being given an afternoon’s tuition by experienced boat anglers. Rutland Water FF spend a whole year organising this event, and it pays off. 

Tony Fox competed in the recent Rivers National on the River Dart, something of an arduous exercise given the hot conditions. Even so, a lot more fish were caught then had been expected. Tony was unlucky to get a few fish too small to count, finishing 22nd out of 32. Terry Phillips from the Northern federation was the new National Rivers Champion, coming 1st in all of his four sessions.

Mike Heritage and Andrew Green qualified to this year’s Loch-style National at Grafham after the second of the South East Federation’s qualifiers at Bewl. On a tough day, when the top bag was just seven fish, they both came in with four to improve their overall position from the first qualifier. You will find the overall results here>>

The East Warwick season has been extended by an extra month, in view of the unusually cold spring. Our thanks go to ranger Myland Monery for helping to facilitate this as a one-off arrangement.

The latest club trip to Farmoor recently took place, and this time we were able to use a minibus supplied through a friend of Vince King’s. By all accounts they had a good time.

Harry Fox, Tony Fox, Michael Heritage and Andrew Green took part on the first of the South East Federation’s loch-style qualifiers at Bewl. The promised cloud never really materlalised, which made for tricky conditions, although the rod average was over five per head. None of us did well enough to be sure of getting through, so we’ll have get our act together in the second qualifier in June. You’ll find the full results on the TEFF website here>>

Andy Hathaway, Dave Jarvis and Gary Inwards were once again hard at work with the second Start Fly-Fishing session this year, which was another well attended event with 11 students. Billy Bridgeworth really got the hang of it, catching three trout. Although young and new to fly-fishing, Billy was already an experienced pike and perch fisherman, and he put his lure fishing skills to good effect to get the best out his Cat’s Whisker. Vladamir Pelicic also managed to catch a fish on a buzzer, after losing a nice one early one. Mick Bibbsy was unlucky to lose one on buzzer as well. As usual, the intense fly-casting course in the morning gave way to fishing, followed by further casting and fishing instruction in the afternoon. All the coaches agreed that the casting skills of some students really improved during the day.

Harry Fox did very well to finish one of the top rods in the England team in the recent Spring Home International at Bewl. On a day which many found difficult, he put together a good bag of six fish on the floater and nymphs in one of the less pressured areas. Scotland finished clear winners more than 20 fish ahead of England with Wales third and Ireland fourth.

A substantial number of dead fish appeared on No5 for a week or so, possibly down to deoxygenation from an algal bloom. At the moment No4 appears to be unaffected. The club is pressing for a meeting with Thames Water as soon as possible to discuss why this happened. Meanwhile, Myland has given us this update on possible reasons and how this might be avoided in future.

Marco Volino recently landed this cracking 8lb rainbow on an Orange Booby. He was fishing the Inlet on No4. Nice fish!

Frank Daley and Vinnie King fished the Iain Barr Airflo World Masters Bank Championships National at Elinor. Although they did not make the prize list, they got a chance to meet their hero, Bob Church, and an invite to the Bob Church Classic at Rutland.

The Greys Bank heats were fished in very pleasant warm conditions with light winds which saw good hatches of buzzers, making the choice of tactics not a simple matter. Reasonable clarity in both reservoirs also helped, with Mark Thomas taking the top Individual spot with 10 fish (including a 6-fish bag of 14lbs), ahead of Jim Dillon on 9 and Lee Bartlett on 8, just ahead of John O’Regan, also on 8. In the team heat, the London Irish managed another convincing win over the Walthamstow Wanderers, with 20 fish to 10. Full Results>>

By the way, there’s another Greys heat at Bushyleaze on May 4th if you didn’t get through and fancy another crack at it.

The Troutmasters Fish-off saw nine of last year’s badge-winners draw for a walk-off start by the Hut. Whatever plans we’d hatched the previous day were somewhat disrupted by the wind swinging round from the NE to the SE and a large sheet of ice on No5 halfway along the Causeway. The first hour saw a slow start with fish reluctant to take properly, but the action got going as noon approached. Most of the effort seemed focused on No4, with Dave Jarvis getting a superb brace of near-six pounders along the Causeway, to finish with 7 ahead of Vince King on 11 who dropped in next to Andrew Green on the East bank who finished with 21 fish. Results >>

Tony Fox continued the Walthamstow FFC trend of cleaning up on other venues this season by winning the Bewl Bridge FF Bank competition with 6 fish for 12-10-0 from Goose Creek, ahead of son Harry with 5 for 10-8-0 from the same section. Frank Daley also won the Dunsters to Monty’s Seat section with 5 fish for 12-7-0. This is the second time Tony has won this event in the last three years. Not bad going!

The first Start Fly-Fishing session of the season attracted 11 keen beginners, despite the recent chilly conditions. Instructor Andy Hathaway thought that the casting standards of the group improved remarkably over the day. Due to the unseasonal cold weather some sinking lines and Boobies were used in the afternoon giving students a chance to try different tactics. Peter Gulliver was one of four students to catch, aided by club chairman Dave Jarvis which, considering the cold weather, was good going. More pictures >>

The Walk-round Consultation took place on a weekday, having been rescheduled from the previous weekend. We took this chance to put our views across, which were duly noted. On the right you can see us discussing the possibility of an improved shelter, plus our chairman demonstrating the dangers from backcasting.

The Fly-tying Evening was back in its traditional home in the Ferry Boat, but even so, we had a good turnout. Practical flies for this time of year, like Boobies and Buzzers, were tied, but we were amused to hear that one of the few fish that had been caught on that day had come out to an F-Fly when fish started moving. Although the reservoirs had been restocked that day, this was one of the grown-on fish apparently.

Vinnie King headed a Walthamstow clean sweep in the recent Iain Barr Airflo World Masters Bank Championships heat at Farmoor 1, and qualified for the Final at Elinor, along with John Ferguson who came second, ahead of Jim Dillon in third place. Here is Vinnie being congratulated by former World Champion Iain Barr. Good stuff!

More pictures here >>

Notable fish caught recently included this ‘salmon-like’ 6-4-0 rainbow to Dave Jarvis from the day ticket reservoirs, and an estimated double figure fish caught (and returned) by Harry Fox from the East Warwick.

The AGM/Auction recently attracted a good turnout of a couple of dozen to the King William IV. Chairman Dave Jarvis gave a summary of the previous year’s activities, which included two well attended coach trips to Farmoor, and also informed members about a new charity match, for a local childrens’ hospice, as well as the Wateraid, the Troutmasters heat, TEFF Greys bank heat, and Wednesday Evening Series. The Auction saw 84 lots sold, fetching £548.40p, in addition to the £300 raised for Tom Sinclair’s goods.

Frank Daley recently came second in a bank match at Farmoor reservoir for season ticket holders, which was also open to Walthamstow season ticket holders. Frank caught his eight fish in the first, winning a silver medal and a boat ticket for two days. Well done!

The Final Fling took place in ideal conditions with a bright sky and light winds. Fish were on the move early, with four pounders landed by Ron Fry and Barry Shedden in the NW corner of No4 from 9.00am onwards. While DI7 and Boobies took a lot of fish, Tony Fox caught on floater and buzzers, Harry did well on the Minky, while Ray Taylor had fish on a bloodworm under a bung. In the end it was a very close result, with Andrew Green taking it with a 5lb rainbow, ahead of Barry Shedden’s 4-12-0 fish, Kevin Blackwell’s 4-7-0 and Harry Fox’s 4-4-0.

The latest Fly Tying Evening was held in the recently constructed Angling Academy, at the far end of the car park next to the Signing-In Room. About a dozen of us saw Ray Taylor tie a Coral Booby and a Buzzer, Roger Eglinton put together some river dries, and Kevin Blackwell take us through constructing an extremely realistic bonefish crab pattern.

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