2016 Archive


Farmoor Xmas match: Despite the lowered levels, Farmoor 2 saw some prolific catches in their traditional end of year event. As well as winning the sweep, Vince King got this 5-11-8 specimen, the best of the day, while John Ferguson came 3rd with 15 fish, behind bags of 17 and 16 fish for 1st and 2nd. The format of keep your first 4 fish, then return any more saw good numbers to Mike Heritage, Andrew Smith, Jim Dillon and Harry Fox. Vinnie had a great start, but then found he was too far away from the rest to get his fish witnessed, but that’s how it goes. More pictures >>

Fur & Feather: In mild overcast conditions fish were soon coming to the bank, with Jim Dillon recording a quick 4-fish limit on Boobies from his favourite swim on the West bank of No5. Fish were also caught along the Houses Bank with Billy Bridgeworth, Barry Shedden and Andrew Smith all doing well on Boobies and Black Snakes fished deep, although on the Causeway things were a little slower. But it was Frank Daley who was some distance ahead of rest of the field with a cracking four fish bag for 14lbs, all fry feeders caught on a small Minky on a #6 rod and floating line from No4 by the Hut. Results and more pics>>

Grayling Trip: At least we were spared the storm conditions that ravaged the River Test at Wherwell last year. Overcast conditions and clear water made fish spotting easier, but they were still spooky in the narrow carriers. Small flies fished on the Duo produced some nice grayling, along with a few out-of-season brown trout. Here’s a good fish that Vince King caught on a red shrimp after Hugh’s very welcome hot lunch. 

SEFFF Rivers Qualifier, Lower Itchen Hector Rodriguez ran away with the afternoon session in this grayling qualifier, recording 24 fish, 9 ahead of his nearest rival, to take the overall top spot. He says he’s spent a lot of time on his grayling fishing and it’s clearly paid off. Mike Heritage was 3rd and Tony Fox 6th in an event that saw good fishing on a low, clear river, even if the grayling gradually got more spooky with the pressure during practice. Full Results>>

Hector wins the Broadlands Grayling Classic On only his first trip to the River Test at Broadlands, Hector Rodriguez won their inaugural Grayling Classic in a field of 40, which included World and European team members. This pegged-down event required each contestant to make the most out of their 400-yard beat, not easy, especially in the afternoon when others have already fished it before you. Here’s Hector being presented with his £500 cheque from keeper Jon Hall and international Ben Bangham.

Big Fish: Two big fish came out on the same day as our last Autumn Series match (see below). Peter Gulliver had this estimated 6-7lbs fish on an Olive Tadpole fished on a floating line from No4 in the morning. While in the afternoon John O’Regan landed a near-5lb fish from the Causeway of No5 on a Charley Farley fished with the fast roly-poly on the DI5. Who knows what could turn up in our Fur & Feather, less than a week away?

Autumn series: Final match:

More cold weather appeared to have driven the fry deep. As usual, Boobies on the DI7 were productive in the morning, but as takes started to slow, Minkies and Tadpoles fished higher up brought a few fish in the afternoon. Jim Dillon weighed in another good brace, ahead of Frank Daley, to take the overall Autumn Series shield with John Ferguson 2nd  Results >>

Troutmasters Final, Grafham John O’Regan, our qualifier, did not let Walthamstow down, coming a respectable 23rd out of 97 in the bank-and-boat Troutmasters Final at Grafham. Avoiding a blank in either your boat or bank session is the key here, and John’s 4 fish in the morning and 1 in the afternoon saw him finish in the top quarter of the field. Don’t forget to send in your Troutmasters big fish entries for 2016. Walthamstow hasn’t had a single entry yet but there’s still a few months to go!

Autumn Home Loch-style international Harry Fox did well to finish the third best weight in the England team that fished the Autumn Home International at Llandegfedd in Wales. Although England finished 3rd with 30 fish behind Ireland on 37 and Scotland on 35 fish, Harry’s  3 fish was a respectable bag   on a day that saw 8 blanks   Full Results>>

Wateraid competition Two days of heavy rain and strong winds at least gave us some relief from the previous unseasonable hot spell. Although it will take some time for the reservoirs to cool down, we saw plenty of fish active, a lot of them feeding on the large shoals of fry. Most of us caught, with Tony Fox, winner two years on the trot, taking advantage of some late activity in the North East corner of No5 to catch on dries. Results & Pics>>

Parking restrictions The present main car park by the Entrance and Gate Office is currently being reworked to offer a better hard standing surface. It is estimated this will take about six months to complete. In the meantime, visitors are asked to be patient, and park where they can. In busy periods, like weekends, you may need to be flexible and make alternative arrangements.

The Vestry House Museum   in Walthamstow showed ‘Water and Life: The Story of Walthamstow Wetlands’ until Sunday 2nd October. “A long and varied history where prehistoric mammoths once roamed, early industries made their name” with “a crucial role in the incredible growth of Victorian London”. Open Wed-Sun 10am-5pm Address: Vestry Road, Walthamstow E17 9NH

Bewl Bridge FFC’s Grand Max competition is traditionally a floating-line only event, but fell during the recent heatwave, so the fishing was always going to be tough. Not surprisingly, this event saw a third of the 78 entry fail to catch. Fishing for Meridian with captain Jim Letham were Kevin Blackwell, Jim Dillon, Mike Heritage, Tony & Harry Fox, who all did exceptionally well to be one of only two teams not to carry a blank, finishing 3rd out 13 with 9 fish.

The recent Loch-style National at Chew saw two days of hard fishing, with brighter weather on the Sunday following Saturday’s more overcast conditions. With over 100 of England’s top anglers only returning a daily rod average of 1.85 and 1.32, avoiding a blank was key to making one of the two England loch-style sides for next year. In such tough fishing, Tony Fox did exceptionally well, with 3 the first day and 2 the second, to finish 18th overall, comfortably in the list of qualifiers. Harry Fox, Mike Heritage and Charlie Abrahams found the going harder. Full results here>>

This year’s Rivers National was once again held on the Llangollen/Maelor AA stretches of the R.Dee in Wales. This two-day event saw Harry Fox make a good start, after being in 3rd place after the first day. Windy conditions on day two, however, made it harder for everyone on some of the more exposed sections. His eventual 9th place overall was just a few places out of the England Rivers team and his best ever performance. Mike Heritage recovered well after a bad start to finish 19th, with Andrew Green 24th and Tony Fox 26th out of a field of 32 experienced river anglers. Rivers Champion for the second year running was Andrew Scott with Phil Dixon 2nd.

Our final Wednesday Evening Series match saw a definite improvement in the water clarity, along with fish moving well to fry, and buzzers in the late evening. With only a couple of two-fish bags weighed in this evening, Billy Bridgeworth secured the overall win with another 10 points, thanks to a nice 3-4-0 fish plus a two pounder taken on a Fry Booby and Corixa washing-line set-up in the South West Bay of No5 Results and Report>>

Our Haven House charity match made the most of perfect overcast conditions and a light ripple blowing off the Causeway. With the excellent water clarity, all methods were effective, with the largest two fish of Barry Shedden’s match-winning 13lb bag coming to buzzers on the washing-line. Nearby on the Causeway, Vince King’s 12lb bag came second, with Billy Bridgeworth just pipping Jim Dillon’s roly-poly tactics by two ounces for 11-8-0. Thanks to a good turnout and donations made earlier in the club was able to donate £1,800 to the charity, our best effort yet. Full Results and More Pics>>

Mike Heritage finished second overall in the South East Fed’s loch-style qualifiers on Bewl, after coming fifth in the second of these two-day qualifiers, and will now go through to the National on Chew Valley lake in September. Mike found fish in the Main Basin, while Tony Fox and Andrew Green, drifting off Bramble Bay, found the action slower, although Tony could well have got through with a late run of fish on the Booby, even if some were on the small side.

Tony Fox and Mike Heritage did an impressive ‘1-2’ in the first of the South East Fed’s loch-style qualifiers on Bewl, both completing their 8-fish limits in the last hour on dries. With changeable winds and the fish preoccupied on pin-fry, fishing had been tricky, but overcast conditions and a decent ripple saw fish moving well in the afternoon. Having won the Bewl Bridge FFC’s boat competition the previous weekend, Andrew Green was hoping the same washing-line tactics would pay off again, but finished a few fish short.

The Farmoor Club Trip enjoyed spectacular fishing on the catch & release Farmoor 1 with catches well into double figures and grown-on rainbows to over 6lbs. Water clarity was the best we’ve ever seen it, making it possible to stalk fish which were regularly patrolling the bank just yards out. With good cloud cover for most of the day, fish were moving from the start and took Hoppers enthusiastically.

Spring Home Loch-style international: Charlie Abrahams celebrated his first England cap with a team Gold on Lough Lein, Ireland. On a tough day when measurable fish were hard to come by, his brace helped England to first place with 18 fish, 5 ahead of Wales and Scotland Full Results>>

The AT TEFF Bank National Finals on Farmoor 1 coincided with the first heatwave of the year, but despite problems with green algae, the fishing was still prolific. In the Individual Final, Charlie Abrahams followed his first Loch-style cap last year with a reserve place in this year’s Bank team, coming 7th with 10 fish (See right. Image courtesy of Thames Water/Angling Trust). Andrew Green, Harry Fox, Vince King and Tony Fox also did respectably. Out of 23 pairs in the Pairs Final, Andrew Green & Andrew Smith finished 11th, with Frank Daley & Vinnie King 12th and Harry & Tony Fox 13th. You can find the full results here>>

Harry Fox did well to qualify in the recent one-day Loch-style Qualifier at Grafham. On a day which saw gale-force winds colour up the previously fancied bays along the North shore, Harry found 6 fish along the more sheltered South side, to finish 7th in a high quality field.

Walthamstow’s Troutmasters Fish-off saw the wind switch from a West/South West to an Easterly overnight, along with low air temperatures. This didn’t appear to affect the fishing too much, with trout being caught, from the start, off the Causeway and West Bank of No5. John O’Regan, however, headed for the relative shelter of the Houses Bank where he made a good start with six fish in the first two hours. After a brief move to the Causeway, he settled on the point of the SW Bay and continued to catch, finishing well clear of the rest of the field with 15 fish for 30-5-0, ahead of Vince King with 10 for 21-7-0 and Frank Daley with 9 for 17-9-4. John will fish the bank-and-boat Final at Grafham on the 19th September.

Controllers needed for Bank National at Farmoor Sat-Sun 7th-8th May If you’d like to see how the country’s top bank anglers tackle a venue like Farmoor 1, including what flies they catch on, you’ll have a great opportunity, as well as a free lunch, as a controller at the National Bank Individual and Pairs Finals over the weekend of the 7th-8th May. Several club members will be fishing this event, and will appreciate your support. Contact Andrew Green on 07860 565390 for details.

Jim Dillon and Andrew Green both qualified in the recent Iain Barr World Bank Masters heat on Farmoor 1, and will be fishing the National Final at Elinor next month, along with Billy Bridgeworth, who got through at Thornwood (see below). On a tough day, just four fish was enough for Jim to take the top spot on Boobies on the DI5. Andrew also won the recent heat at Elinor with seven fish, mostly on nymphs, ahead of two bags of five fish.

Final Update: Out of a field of 86, Charlie Abrahams did well to come 8th with 9 fish from 7 pegs, while Jim Dillon and Andrew Green, fishing identical pegs both had 5 fish, finishing 33rd and 34th. Billy Bridgeworth had 3 fish in the morning, but found it hard to get takes in the afternoon 

Farmoor 2 is also hosting the Thames Water Shield event on 16th April 2016. This pairs event, fished from bank and boat, will raise money for Wateraid and England Youth Fly Fishing. You will find details and an entry form on the Angling Trust website here>>

The recent AGM/Auction opened with Chairman Dave Jarvis giving a quick summary of developments to date, especially with regards to the Walthamstow Wetlands project. It was hoped that parking charges for fishermen would be included in their fishing ticket and not imposed as an additional extra. The Auction saw good bidding for over 160 lots, with those items donated to the Haven House charity raising £262, on top of our £100 donation in lieu of room hire.

Chairman Dave Jarvis, along with John Ferguson and Andrew Green, recently met Will Barnard and Myland Monery of Thames Water to discuss fishery matters, prior to the AGM. Dave will cover all details then, but while we appreciated the recent stocking, Will Barnard did point out that fishing the same area where a stocking has just taken place is not behaviour that Thames Water, or the club, can condone. We doubt that club members are that desperate, but if you do kill recently introduced stockfish for the table, they’re not going to taste nice. After all, these fish have fed on nothing but trout pellets. Grown-on fish, as well as presenting more of a challenge, taste a lot better because they’ve had a chance to change to a natural diet.

The Final Fling made the most of a stocking just two days previously to enjoy good sport, especially in the North West corner of No5. The trick was to find that one big fish among all the stockies. Billy Bridgeworth got his name on the shield with a four pounder caught on buzzers, ahead of three pounders weighed in by Kevin Blackwell and Andrew Green Results and Report>>

Stop Press: Billy is obviously on a roll, because he recently qualified to the final of the Iain Barr Airflo Bank Masters by coming 2nd in the heat at Thornwood. For anyone who’s interested, there are heats at Farmoor (19 Mar), Elinor (13 Mar, 2 April), and maybe Bewl, ahead of the Final at Elinor (17 April) Enter here>>

Vince King caught this good brown while boat fishing on Farmoor 1. Taken from the channel on a DI7 and minkie on his second last drift of the day, Vinnie said the fishing wasn’t that easy. Vinnie took one other fish, Marco got three, but this specimen made their day.

The Fly-tying Evening braved an icy evening to meet up in the excellent Angling Academy building and get the vices out. Among patterns demonstrated were a realistic sandy-cased Caddis by Kevin Blackwell, Bill’s Big Red (good for copying those big red buzzers you get at Chew and Grafham) and the best way to tie a Blob with a neat head. Thanks to Myland Monery and Will Barnard of Thames Water for allowing us to use this facility.

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