After a week of outstanding fly fishing at Rutland Water, The Seighford Sharks were the conquerors of the AWAI. The Anglin Water Airflo International is a two day event with 22 team competing from all over the UK along with 2 overseas teams. Two days fishing at Rutland water produced a great rod average of just over 5 fish per angler, with many bag ups being recorded.
Day one saw a fleet of 66 boats leave the harbour and just 6 of those headed to the North Arm. The rest headed South towards Gibbets and Manton, with not one boat venturing to the main basin. Most anglers wouldn’t remember a match on Rutland where not one boat went to the dam wall!
The first day on Rutland water saw the first boat heading back to the harbour at just 1.30pm! Both anglers, Airflo Consultant Iain Barr and boat partner Mike Dixon catching each of their limits in just over three hours! Other boats closely followed. Fish were high in the water and keeping your flies close to the surface proved effective. Slow glasses and fast intermediate fly lines seemed the way ahead, with a selection of boobies and blobs spaced around 12 feet apart.
Results Day 1
Seighford Sharks looked to be comfortably in the lead with a total of 45 fish for 129lb 6 3/8oz – nearly 20lb ahead of second placed Blagdon Fly Fishers Cortland with 42 fish for 110lb 6¼oz. History shows that very few teams have led from the front to take victory on the final day… Only a few pounds separated 3rd placed Hanningfield on 108lb 15¼oz, 4th Welsh Hawks 106lb 11½oz and 5th Menteith Ospreys on 104lb 15 3/8oz.
Highlights Day 1
Graeme Steel, member of the Grizzle Cats, managed to land the best rainbow on day one, weighing 5lb 11oz. Tim Joyce of Hanningfield fly fishers took top bag with a staggering 26lb 13 3/8oz, along with the best brown trout of 5lb 15 7/8oz.
Number of Anglers: 132
Fish Caught: 720
Rod Average: 5.45
Total Weight of Fish: 1847lb 85/8oz
Average Weight: 2lb 9oz
Average Bag Weight: 13lb 16oz
Results Day 2
Top rod of the entire match was Mike Dixon of Seighford Sharks with 16 fish for 48lb 13 ¾oz. Team Airflo had an excellent second day coming out top with 44 fish for 109lb 11 3/8oz with Seighford Sharks in second with 38 fish for 105lb 9 1/8oz and Blagdon Fly Fishers Cortland third with 35 fish for 99lb 12 1/8oz. Conditions were far from perfect at the start of the match and tested everyone’s fly fishing clothing!
Seighford Sharks performance was well and truly phenomenal, keeping their 1st place position with a great performance on both days. Team members Craig Barr, Gary Owen, Mark Harrison, Phil Longstaff and Phil and Mike Dixon received gold medals along with the prestigious silver Salver. Team Airflo’s second day performance was enough to bring them from 11th to 3rd position, with Blagdon fly fishers holding their place in second as well.
Highlights Day 2
Wullie Simpson fishing for Menteith Ospreys landed the best Brown of day two weighting 5lb 10 1/8oz. Unfortunately for Wullie, a one brown limit led to the return of an even bigger Brown estimated at around 9lb later on in the day. Nick Long fishing for Blagdon Fly Fishers Cortland slipped the netted under the best Rainbow at 6lb 7¼oz – Nick’s fish was the best fish of the match overall.
Mark Harrison of Seighford Sharks had the best bag on Day Two with 8 fish for 26lb 9 5/8oz. Mark put in an outstanding performance, managing to net his 8th fish at 10:38! It takes a good 10/15 minutes to motor to Manton where he was fishing, he must have only been fishing for 25 minutes! Good Angling Mark.
Day 2 Statistics
Number of Anglers: 132
Fish Caught: 693
Rod Average: 5.25
Total Weight of Fish: 1791lb 2oz
Average Weight: 2lb 91/2oz
Average Bag Weight: 13lb 9oz
1. Seighford Sharks – 83 fish – 234lb 151/2oz
2. Blagdon Fly Fishers Cortland – 77 fish – 210lb 23/8oz
3. Team Airflo – 77 fish – 192lb 141/2oz
4. Fish Hawks – 75 fish – 189lb 35/8oz
5. Welsh Hawks – 72 fish – 186lb 103/4oz
6. Menteith Ospreys – 71 fish – 185lb 91/8oz
7. Hanningfield – 66 fish – 177lb 137/8oz
8. Change Flyfishers ‘A’ – 67 fish – 174lb 137/8oz
9. G.Loomis Team Belgium – 63 fish – 170lb 131/4oz
10. Harvey Angling Margam – 66 fish – 164lb 137/8oz
11. Thalassa AC – 65 fish – 163lb 7oz
12. Nymph-A-Maniacs – 63 fish – 162lb 135/8oz
13. Rio Masters – 65 fish – 162lb 17/8oz
14. The Renegades – 66 fish – 160lb 27/8oz
15. The Corrib Hoppers – 66 fish – 159lb 31/4oz
16. OTFA Kirkwall – 60 fish – 149lb 23/8oz
17. Shetland Anglers – 59 fish – 144lb 121/4oz
18. Grizzle Cats – 57 fish – 142lb 93/8oz
19. Froggies Fly Fishers – 56 fish – 142lb 87/8oz
20. Saltire Flyfishers – 51 fish – 135lb 47/8oz
21. Stock Barracudas – 45 fish – 114lb 131/8oz
22. Bewl Chingly Chompers – 43 fish – 113lb 123/8oz
A full list of results from the Anglian Water Airflo International which was held at Rutland water, 2nd and 3rd October.
In it’s 31st years of running this competition has been held at many of the top fishing waters around the UK and has been sponsored by some of the largest fishing companies in the UK. Sponsored by fly fishing tackle supplier, Fishtec, the prizes are always top quality and offer all anglers a great incentive to fish the qualifiers to hopefully compete at this prestigious final time and time again.
With a strong westerly wind Rutland water changed it’s face from the previous few days practice. With a wind forecast to get up to 15mph and gust almost double that things weren’t looking great.
Team practise sessions all seemed to throw up the same areas, methods and flies as most other teams, with the most prolific area being the Dam wall. As the boats headed out of the jetty the total tally of boats heading to the main basin was 40, a further 17 to the North arm and just 4 to the South Arm. It seemed obvious where the most recent stocked fish had ended up!
As the armada of boats dashed to the closest point of the Dam wall the odd few broke off and started their drifts a long way from the bank in open water, what we found in practice day was that with the big wind we’ve had over the last week or so the majority of the food had been washed close to the wall, just out of bounds for boat users. So the closer you can start to the wall the more chance, we thought, you’d have of catching.
The first drift was manic, rods bent all over the place from Fantasy to the far side of the wall at Sykes Lane. As the boats grew closer the wall the fishing hotted up with some anglers taking 3/4 fish in the first drift. This is usually short lived even with less boat pressure and it wasn’t any different now. The initial hit of 40 boats, 80 anglers and with most people using a three fly cast, that’s over 200 flies going through an area at any one point, the fish soon feel the angling pressure and push off or go down.
This was the same all over the lake, speaking to some of the anglers who came off the water early with their bags they mentioned the fishing died after the first drift. Then it was a scratch to finish off the bag limits.
Kieron Jenkins of the Nymphomaniacs took his 8 fish limit in an impressive 2 hours 15 minutes, him and his partner signing his card at just 12:15. It wasn’t long after that the next bag ups were recorded. Rob Edmunds of Team ACA finished just after 13:00 and Steve Winstone 13:08 with a fish of over 5lb in his bag winning the day with over 20lb of fish.
Image courtesy of Cliff @ www.fishypics.co.uk
Day One Result:
1. Hanningfield 39 fish for 92lb 111/2oz
2. Team Airflo 32 fish for 81lb 61/8oz
3. Thallassa AC 31 fish for 76lb 9oz
4. OFTA (Kirkwall) 30 fish for 75lb 67/8oz
5. Rio Masters 32 fish for 73lb 101/2oz
6. Flextec Emerald Islanders 35 fish for 73lb 91/4oz
7. Nymph-A-Maniacs 32 fish for 73lb 15/8oz
8. Margam Fly Fishers 29 fish for 66lb 1/4oz
9. Elinor 28 fish for 65lb 111/2oz
10. Blagdon FF Bristol Water 29 fish for 62lb 15oz
11. Change Fly Fishers ‘B’ 28 fish for 62lb 57/8oz
12. Welsh Crunchers 23 fish for 61lb 91/4oz
13. Bristol Reservoirs FFA 28 fish for 60lb 115/8oz
14. Weardale FF 26 fish for 59lb 5oz
15. Change Fly Fishers ‘A’ 24 fish for 54lb 21/2oz
16. Peninsula Pirates 22 fish for 47lb 11/4oz
17. Greenwell Persuaders ‘A’ 19 fish for 42lb 141/8oz
18. Iain Barr FF 15 fish for 39lb 77/8oz
19. G.Loomis Team Belgium 17 fish for 36lb 41/4oz
20. Shetland AA 17 fish for 36lb 13/4oz
21. Leslie & Glenrothes AC 16 fish for 35lb 143/4oz
22. Froggies FF 14 fish for 34lb 9oz
23. Neilston FF 13 fish for 30lb 85/8oz
24. Stocks Falcons 13 fish for 25lb 111/8oz
Best Rainbow: Richard Cooper, Iain Barr FF 5lb 71/2oz
Best Brown: Tony Donnelly, Bristol Reservoirs FFA 3lb 43/4oz
Best Bag: Steve Winstone, Team Airflo 25lb 63/4oz
Day two started much the same as day one. The boat split was almost identical but with a few more boats heading to the south arm. The anglers, testing their leaders and knot strength headed towards the Dam in anticipation for another fish frenzy in almost the same conditions as the day before. The fishing, not so. Out of 40 boats which headed back to the main basin I don’t think 10 fish were netted within the first two hours which was strange after the performance of the day before.
After the first two hours was up the boats slowly started to dwindle away and move to the top of the ever increasing wind, leaving just a few boats on the dam wall. Most anglers headed up the South arm and few across to Belgrano and Barns-dale steep bank.
The winning bag of the day come from Nymphomaniac, Allen Hughes who managed to bag his 8 fish in tough conditions by 13:00. Only a handful of anglers managed to bag up the second day with many fish being caught right at the death, increasing anglers catches and making the results of the competition tighter than ever.
As the weigh in commenced there was talk of who’s ‘up there’ in the results. The rumours were that ACA and Nymphomaniacs were fighting for first position with some of the top teams from day one dropping down the rankings with just a few fish to the team on day two.
Day Two Result:
1. Nymph-A-Maniacs 23 fish for 59lb 33/4oz
2. Iain Barr FF 25 fish for 58lb 33/4oz
3. Rio Masters 23 fish for 50lb 4oz
4. Elinor 20 fish for 46lb 73/8oz
5. G.Loomis Team Belgium 18 fish for 45lb 5oz
6. Team Airflo 17 fish for 39lb 31/2oz
7. Welsh Crunchers 17 fish for 35lb 101/8oz
8. Bristol Reservoirs FFA 15 fish for 35lb 33/8oz
9. Margam Fly Fishers 15 fish for 31lb 153/4oz
10. Change Fly Fishers ‘A’ 14 fish for 31lb 11oz
11. Shetland AA 13 fish for 30lb 83/8oz
12. Peninsula Pirates 12 fish for 30lb 7/8oz
13. Thallassa AC 13 fish for 28lb 153/4oz
14. Neilston FF 12 fish for 26lb 11/2oz
15. Leslie & Glenrothes AC 11 fish for 25lb 135/8oz
16. Froggies FF 12 fish for 25lb 75/8oz
17. Change Fly Fishers ‘B’ 11 fish for 23lb 21/8oz
18. Hanningfield 9 fish for 19lb 11oz
19. Greenwell Persuaders ‘A’ 8 fish for 19lb 73/4oz
20. Blagdon FF Bristol Water 8 fish for 18lb 43/4oz
21. OFTA (Kirkwall) 7 fish for 16lb 67/8oz
22. Stocks Falcons 7 fish for 15lb 65/8oz
23. Weardale FF 6 fish for 13lb 14oz
24. Flextec Emerald Islanders 4 fish for 9lb 11/8oz Best Rainbow: Tony Perin, G.Loomis Team Belgium 5lb 33/4oz
Best Brown: Brian McKenzie, Neilston FF 3lb 45/8oz
Best Bag: Allen Hughes, Nymph-A-Maniacs 22lb 143/4oz
As the results emerged after great food and hospitality by the Greetham Valley golf club it came to light that the Nymphomaniacs had beaten ACA by exactly 9lbs in weight. The bag up on day two by Allen Hughes brought the Nymph’s up the table also with some good luck better fish were landed on day two by the whole team, all of which make a huge difference when the final positions come close. Well done Nymphos!!
1. Nymph-A-Maniacs 55 fish for 132lb 53/8oz
2. Rio Masters 55 fish for 123lb 141/2oz
3. Team Airflo 49 fish for 120lb 95/8oz
4. Hanningfield 48 fish for 112lb 61/2oz
5. Elinor 48 fish for 112lb 27/8oz
6. Thallassa AC 44 fish for 105lb 83/4oz
7. Margam Fly Fishers 44 fish for 98lb 0oz
8. Iain Barr FF 40 fish for 97lb 115/8oz
9. Welsh Crunchers 40 fish for 97lb 33/8oz
10. Bristol Reservoirs FFA 43 fish for 93lb 15oz
11. OFTA (Kirkwall) 37 fish for 91lb 133/4oz
12. Change Fly Fishers ‘B’ 39 fish for 86lb 21/8oz
13. Change Fly Fishers ‘A’ 38 fish for 85lb 131/2oz
14. Flextec Emerald Islanders 39 fish for 82lb 103/8oz
15. G.Loomis Team Belgium 35 fish for 81lb 91/4oz
16. Blagdon FF Bristol Water 37 fish for 81lb 33/4oz
17. Peninsula Pirates 34 fish for 77lb 21/8oz
18. Weardale FF 32 fish for 73lb 3oz
19. Shetland AA 30 fish for 66lb 101/8oz
20. Greenwell Persuaders ‘A’ 27 fish for 62lb 57/8oz
21. Leslie & Glenrothes AC 27 fish for 61lb 23/8oz
22. Froggies FF 26 fish for 60lb 9oz
23. Neilston FF 25 fish for 56lb 101/8oz
24. Stocks Falcons 20 fish for 41lb 13/4oz
Top Bag: Allen Hughes, Nymph-A-Maniacs 14 fish for 36lb 151/4oz
Number of Anglers: 144
Number of Fish Caught: 912
Rod Average: 3.17
Total Weight of Fish: 2102lb 3/8oz
Average Weight of Fish: 2lb 5oz
Average Bag Weight: 7lb 5oz
The method over the two days seemed to be pulling blobs and boobies on heavy sinking lines. All of the top three teams took the majority of their fish using Airflo 40+ fly lines, in di5 and di7 sinking densities. The wind caused many problems with casting so a line such as the 40+, which easily loads the rod on the back cast, was the ideal tool for the job. Orange, Tequila and Black blobs and boobies seemed to pull most of the fish with very little seeming to come out on nymphs.
Now all the regional finals have been fished we have a full list of teams who have qualified for the Anglian Water Airflo International 2012. Teams from all around Europe have competed, all for the chance of being crowned AWAI Champions.
Blagdon FF Cortland
Hanningfield Rio Masters
Change Fly Fishers ‘A’
Iain Barr Fly Fishing
Change Fly Fishers ‘B’
Leslie & Glenrothes AC
Margam Fly Fishers
Flextec Emerald Islanders
Neilston Fly Fishers
Froggies Fly Fishers
Weardale Fly Fishers
G Loomis Team Belgium
Greenwell Persuaders ‘A’ Peninsula Pirates
As the one and only sponsors of this competition, Fishtec are offering great fishing tackle prizes such as rods, reels and fly lines. We’d like to wish all the teams competing good luck and hope to see you and the prestigious Anglian Water Airflo International Final at Rutland Water.
Over the last two years the top 10% of anglers from each Airflo Anglian water round have been invited to participate in the Anglian Water Airflo Individual Final held at Grafham Water. Saturday 19th May saw forty anglers take to the water in what could only be described as perfect fishing conditions, overcast with some light rain.
The boats headed off into the usual haunts such as Hedge end, deep water point and the odd one which split from the pack to the south west corner of the lake.
Many anglers took their 8 fish impressively quick, with the quickest going to Rob Edmunds who landed his 8 before 11am!
Results are as followed – (will upload the rest if interested asap)
1. Jos Peeters 8 fish for 25lb 7oz (inc bonus)
2. Martin Williams 8 fish 23lb 13oz
3. Rob Edmunds 8 fish for 22lb 10oz
4. Phil Longstaff 8 fish for 21lb 9oz
5. Graham Pearson 8 fish for 21lb 2oz
6. Tom Gott 8 fish for 21lb 2oz
7. Steve Cullen 8 fish for 21.0oz
8. Craig Smith 8 fish for 19lb 0oz
9. Craig Gimblett8 fish for 17lb 9oz
10. Peter Scholes 8 fish for 17lb 9oz
The top rod of the day went to Jos Peeters who took 8 fish for 25lb 7oz and the biggest fish went to Martin Williams – 5lb 2oz. Forty anglers took a very satisfying 211 fish to give a rod average of just over 5.5. Top angler, Jos, took his winning bag using an Airflo sweep di 5 fly line and a single tequila blob.
Average fish weight: 2lb 25/8oz
Average bag weight: 12lb 01/5oz
Rutland Water fished exceptionally well with 30 of 42 anglers catching their bag limit of 8. An impressive rod average of 7.10 per angler really shows how well Rutland is fishing at the moment.
The quickest bag of the day went to Ashley Davies, taking all of his 8 fish by 11:10 am! Only to be pipped by England youth angler, Matt Holroyd with bigger fish for first place. Fish are deep at Rutland with most fishing coming to boobies, nymphs or lures fished as deep as possible. Anglers who used the Airflo Sixth Sense Competitor lines, either in the di8/di7, or di7/di5 versions and achieved maximum depth seemed to outnumber their boat partners.
Best Fish went to David Crichlow of Iain Barr Fly Fishing which weighed an impressive 5lb 3 3/4oz.
It’s been 30 years since Benson & Hedges first held this prestigious International six-man team event and to celebrate this impressive milestone, for this year only there will be a separate ‘wildcard’ final held at Grafham water.
This year a two-day wildcard Final at Grafham Water held on the 18&19th September will see 17 teams who have not qualified for the regional finals will be drawn and invited to take part. A couple of day of chasing Meesy’s shrimpers, what could be better?
Sponsors of the past 4 years, Airflo, have kindly agreed to sponsor both events with some of their top quality fly fishing tackle.
Last weekend saw the first few regional heats take place, Friday 13th at Llandgfedd reservoir (Welsh Heat) and Saturday 14th at Chew Valley (Southern Heat).
Llandegfedd Heat 13th April
Llandgfedd reservoir in south Wales held the first Welsh regional heat. Most of the 36 anglers on the lake managed to reach the target of 4 fish and got onto catch and release. In total 36 anglers took 280 fish giving a rod average of 7.78.
Top angler on the day was Spence Williams of the Welsh Crunchers who caught 16 fish for a total weight of 18lb 1Ooz.
Best Fish went to Rob Honour of Margam Fly Fishers which weighed 2lb 4 3/8oz.
Chew Valley 14th April
Chew Valley reservoir also fished exceptionally well with a high percentage of anglers ‘bagging up’, reaching their 8 fish limit. In total 42 anglers took 323 fish giving a rod average of 7.69.
Top angler on the day was Andy Cotton of Team Snowbee who caught 18 fish for a total weight of 25lb 9oz.
Best Fish went to Ali Munn of BRFFA Emergers which weighed 4lb 14oz.
Congratulations to all teams which managed to successfully qualify this weekend to the next round, and good luck to those who are yet to fish. Keep an eye here for more results over the coming weeks.
The Airflo Anglian Water International Final was held at Rutland Water on the 4th and 5th of October 2011. Rutland water saw one hundred and thirty eight anglers representing twenty three teams form all over Europe. The unusual Indian Summer had taken its toll on the Rutland during the practice days turning the normally pristine water of this world famous fishery brown. Causing Brown algae to rise off the bottom, the reminiscent of the previous green algae bloom. Although, the breeze had picked up on the first competition day, the ever climbing air temperature had dropped to a more comfortable 19 degrees and the water clarity returned to a more acceptable colour.
The weather changing had made the hearts of the other teams flutter, as practice proved not to be easy for anyone! Everyone seemed a lot happier, as in this years Final two teams from the Orkneys and one from Shetland Isles had travelled down expecting some good fishing. Its a long and expensive way to travel to blank 5 days on a trot!
Practice Day 1
We travelled up on the Saturday morning, giving us 3 full days before the competition to practice and try and get back in tune with the water. Our usual trips to the Midland reservoirs is normally for opening day off the bank or for the Lexus and Airflo Finals. Only if we lived closer eh!
Our first day of practice, we split the lake up into 3 areas, Area A, B and C – Basin, North and South arm, rotating the boats and partners each day. Taking 8 team members up always helps cover a lake such as Rutland, as fishing the whole of the lake to any standard on your own is nearly impossible. We had a good idea on what to expect of the fishing, knowing the lake was brown in some places and being up just 2 weeks prior to the Airflo for the Lexus Final.
Me and Dean where in the south arm for the first day. The whole of the arm was brown, finding some clear water around the edges of Browns Island which was masked with weed. As we travelled down the lake we kept an eye on the clarity of the water, finding it to actually get worse the further down the lake we sailed. Heading towards the green bank the top few layers started to get matted with weed, the affect of the wind blowing in the same direction for a few days.
Deciding to stop 30 yards off the green bank, the lake was still with bright sunshine, but we could see 1 or 2 fish moving in the distance. Could it be worse?
View of the Dam on the way out
We both set up our fishing tackle as we travelled down the lake, conferring what methods each would be using and where. I set up with an Airflo Midge tip fly line, and 4 flies – 2 Diawl bachs on the middle droppers and small boobies to take up the top and tail positions. Dean on the other hand, when to the other side of the scale threading an Airflo Di 5 Sweep through the eyes of his Airflo Airlite fly rod. After some discussion of flies, we went by the rule – Dark water, Dark flies.. Right? Deans 4 fly cast consisted of 2 cormorants, and two black viva boobies, a combination that could not be passed up by any trout, anywhere!
Within the first few casts, Deans rod looped over as he was lifting off from fishing the hang. But within seconds, the leader parted at the top dropped, the fish, and 4 flies had gone! Retying the leader, Dean set up with the same cast making sure the leader was of fine condition and we carried on… 3 hours of nothing, Not a sniff. Moving areas around the bottom of the arm, watching other boats, nothing seemed to be happening anywhere.
We worked our way along the inside shore, Manton, Gibbets, G buoy, Berrybutts… Nothing! Until we hit Newzeland point. I rose a fish close in to the weed bed fishing dries. Within a few casts from there, Dean locked up, again on the Di 5 sweep. A fighting fit rainbow of about 3 1/2 lbs.
Elusive Rutland trout!
Basically, for us, that was day 1. We conducted a few drifts around the weed beds and into deeper water off the sailing club with the odd pull, and one follow. But seeing a fellow angler for Belgium taking a fish infront of us kept our spirits high.
Practice Day Two
Sharing a boat with Allen Hughes, we headed to the north arm. Our fellow team members who fished the re the day before hadn’t pass on many great fishing tales from the day before, with just one fish coming to their boat too! Again, tacking up on the way, I set up dries and Allen nymphs on both our fishing rods.
Drifting around the North arm in 25+ degrees and a flat calm wasn’t what we was expecting from this trip. It’s October!
A few hours passed without a take, without seeing a fish get caught between 10-12 other boats, prospects weren’t looking good. We rang the other boys in search for hope, a pull, a fish, weed, anything! Speaking to the 3 other boats, nothing was caught.
The wind started to pick up, and the colour in the water seemed to be pushing down wind, towards the dam. In the search for clear water, we headed to the top of the north arm motoring around the edges. We found a few patches of clear water just 15 -20 yards from the bank on the windswept shoreline. Deciding to fish these clear patches, we set about having a few short drifts into the clear areas. Before long we saw a fish jump in front of the boat and next cast, Allen was in! A black and green booby sticking out of the side of its mouth, a welcomed addition to the day!
Allen on the Midge Tip Fly Line
By now, it was 4.30pm and decided to travel to the Tower, as the other boats reported some fish topping there on their way in the night before.
I was on dries, and Allen on the Airflo Midge tip. Locking into another fish around 100 yards from the tower the fish took that booby again, maybe this was out point fly? For the second day on a trot, I blanked, not even a take on day two. Quite frustrating but it was the same for everyone, although I seemed to be getting worse I felt confident .
Practice Day Three
Me and Tony headed to the Basin on day three, which was a welcomed change from the coloured arms. The clarity of the water seemed to be getting worse at the dam, with the water pushing down the arms from the ever growing wind.
First drift, I moved a fish on the dries as I was pulling off to recast, just feeling a slight pull. It felt great for the line to be tight for once!
Cloud cover moved in the wind increased and the temperature dropped, deciding to change from the dries, I started to reel in the 10 yards of line I had out and a bow wave formed, a fish following the carrot fly I missed one on earlier in the day. I slowed down, and dropped the flies back. The fish took the fly and I hooked my first fish in over 20 hours fishing! At Last!
The next few drifts which followed were very productive. I took 3 fish, 2 on the Airflo Sixth Sence slow intermediate and Tony taking 3 on the Airflo Midge tip and Nymphs. It seemed that the Airflo midge tip was going to be the line!
The night that followed, we spent the hours at the vice talking and creating a team plan for the next day.
Competition Day One
The first day of the competition was here already, 3 hard days of practice behind us and a little bit of a clue to where and what to fish.
We met our boat partners, and carried out fishing tackle to the boats. I drew a great boat partner, Brian, From Ireland. We headed to the dam, and stayed there all day! The dam seemed to be the area for a lot of teams, and it was our honing for the day.
I took 1, and my partner Brian, 1. I fished the Airflo midge tip for most of the day, as I was getting the odd take and Tony was on 5-6 fish by about 2pm! The wind picked up even further, and my takes dried up. I swapped to the Airflo Sixth Sense slow glass and it was like flicking a switch. Takes and pulls and within the hour another fish in the boat. I thought to stay on this fly line and take as many fish as I can. At the end of the day, I ended with 3 fish. A pretty respectable score! Here are a few pictures and the results after the first day.
1. Seighford Sharks – 31 fish for 72lb 115/8oz
2. England Youth North – 25 fish for 64lb 37/8oz
3. Welsh Hawks – 20 fish for 62lb 65/8oz
4. Nymph-a-Maniacs – 22 fish for 52lb 61/8oz
5. Leven Fly Casters – 22 fish for 48lb 15oz
6. Team Airflo – 21 fish for 47lb 155/8oz
7. Team G. Loomis – 21 fish for 46lb 111/8oz
8. Saltire Flyfishers – 18 fish for 44lb 33/8oz
9. Soldier Palmers – 17 fish for 41lb 111/8oz
10. Flextec Emerald Islanders – 15 fish for 38lb 11/2oz
11. Airflo Team Cormorants – 14 fish for 34lb 4oz
12. OTFA (Stromness) – 12 fish for 30lb 35/8oz
13. Team Vision – 12 fish for 27lb 47/8oz
14. Blagdon FF Bristol Water – 12 fish for 26lb 53/8oz
15. Team Sunburst – 11 fish for 22lb 143/4oz
16. G. Loomis Team Belgium – 9 fish for 21lb 121/8oz
17. Prince Albert AS – 9 fish for 20lb 145/8oz
18. Greenwell Persuaders A – 8 fish for 19lb 121/2oz
19. Llanilar AA – 8 fish for 18lb 121/4oz
20. Neilston Flyfishers – 10 fish for 18lb 87/8oz
21. Shetland Anglers Assoc. – 7 fish for 18lb 73/4oz
22. Froggies Fly Fishers – 7 fish for 16lb 43/8oz
23. OTFA (Kirkwall) – 4 fish 11lb 97/8oz
Top Rod Overall: Gareth Dixon, Welsh Hawks 8 fish for 26lb 15/8oz
Best Rainbow: Mark Duncan, Flextec Emerald Islanders 5lb 85/8oz
Best Brown:Mick McLintic, Seighford Sharks 7lb 83/4oz
Tony Cartwright - Nymph-a-maniacs
Best Brown:Mick McLintic, Seighford Sharks 7lb 83/4oz
After Day one a greater picture is normally produced of the fishing, methods, areas etc, so an in depth meeting is normally the best to learn from each team members days and their partners potentially useful information.
Competition Day Two
Our teams spirits were high, being in 4th position heading into the second day, but not nearly as high as the wind. The wind had increased by a few MPH which made the fishing difficult. I headed back down towards the dam where I fished the day before. Not so many people seemed to venture as far as due to the wind but there were some hardy guys who joined us.
The fishing wasn’t easy, and sometimes impossible to cast back into the wind. There where a few fish being caught, the water had cleared up somewhat from the previous days due to the cooler weather, which was a bonus.
At around 2pm the wind seemed to be at it’s worse. Making casting impossible and who dared to cast, seemed to end up in knots! A lot of nylon was used over the second day I can assure you! Having the correct fishing tackle can make fishing in these such conditions a lot easier. Using a fishing rod that has enough backbone to throw a 7# fly line back into the wind with minimal of effort,
I had only managed to net one fish until 2pm, loosing and missing a few. After a drift which consisted of a tangle nearly every cast and one of my new wychwood drogue clamps pulling free from the boat, I retied the drogue and reverted back to the old faithful Airflo Sightfree G3 8lb. Within one drift, I took 3 further fish and dropped one. The fishing seemed to be shaping up, even though the wind was blowing its hardest.
I looked back up wind to search for the next available gap for my next drift and I could see the Safety boat heading down wind. As I made my way back up to my next desired drift, I could see a boat having some difficulty starting it’s engine neat the dam wall. Assuming this is where the Safety boat was heading, we kept an eye out and the boat eventually washed up along the dam wall, filling up with water and the anglers evacuating their kit. Scary stuff if you think about it, imagine you was in that position? At least the rangers were on hand!
After the boat was rescued, we were all instructed to leave the main basin and head up the north or south arm, where the wind was calmer. A good move for the safety of the anglers, but fishing wise, it didn’t do any of the teams any favours. After a long, wet and windswept hard day it was finally 5pm.
Some of the teams looked to be distressed and some overwhelmed with their performance. The teams who were in top positions looked quite concerned, not knowing if their second day result was good enough to keep them there.
1. Nymph-a-Maniacs 21 fish for 481lb 15/8oz
2. Welsh Hawks 18 fish for 44lb 11/4oz
3. Saltire Flyfishers 17 fish for 41lb 141/2oz
4. Greenwell Persuaders ‘A’ 16 fish for 37lb 23/8oz
5. Team Airflo 14 fish for 36lb 13/4oz
6. OFTA (Kirkwall) 14 fish for 34lb 111/2oz
7. Airflo Team Cormorants 14 fish for 34lb 63/8oz
8. Prince Albert AS 13 fish for 32lb 41/8oz
9. Soldier Palmers 13 fish for 32lb 0oz
10. Team G. Loomis 12 fish for 31lb 153/4oz
11. Seighford Sharks 10 fish for 28lb 81/2oz
12. Team Vision 13 fish for 25lb 105/8oz
13. OFTA (Stromness) 10 fish for 24lb 9oz
14. Blagdon FF Bristol Water 9 fish for 21lb 151/8oz
15. Llanilar AA 12 fish for 21lb 17/8oz
16. Flextec Emerald Islanders 9 fish for 20lb 141/4oz
17. England Youth North 10 fish for 20lb 11/2oz
18. G. Loomis Team Belgium 6 fish for 15lb 115/8oz
19. Neilston Flyfishers 6 fish for 14lb 51/4oz
20. Leven Fly Casters 5 fish for 12lb 147/8oz
21. Sheltand Anglers Association 5 fish for 10lb 115/8oz
22. Froggies Fly Fishers 4 fish for 10lb 31/4oz
23. Team Sunburst 2 fish for 4lb 41/4oz
Top Rod Overall: Aled Dixon, Welsh Hawks 8 fish for 18lb 123/4oz
Best Rainbow: Phil Dixon, Seighford Sharks 5lb 63/8oz
Best Brown: Alec Vanrijkel, G. Loomis Team Belgium 4lb 73/4oz
Number of Anglers: 138
Number of fish caught: 253
Total weight of fish caught: 604lb 7oz
Average Fish Weight: 2lb 6oz
Average Bag Weight: 4lb 6oz
Rod Average: 1.83
Hold on to your hat!
1. Welsh Hawks 38 fish for 106lb 77/8oz
2. Seighford Sharks 41 fish for 101lb 41/8oz
3. Nymph-a-Maniacs 43 fish for 101lb 33/4oz
4. Saltire Flyfishers 35 fish for 86lb 17/8oz
5. England Youth North 35 fish for 84lb 53/8oz
6. Team Airflo 35 fish for 84lb 13/8oz
7. Team G. Loomis 35 fish for 78lb 107/8oz
8. Soldier Palmers 30 fish for 73lb 111/8oz
9. Airflo Team Cormorants 30 fish for 68lb 103/8oz
10. Leven Fly Casters 27 fish for 61lb 137/8oz
11. Flextec Emerald Islanders 24 fish for 58lb 153/4oz
12. Greenwell Persuaders ‘A’ 24 fish for 56lb 147/8oz
13. OFTA (Stromness) 22 fish for 54lb 125/8oz
14. Prince Albert AS 22 fish for 53lb 23/4oz
15. Team Vision 25 fish for 52lb 151/2oz
16. Blagdon FF Bristol Water 21 fish for 48lb 41/2oz
17. OFTA (Kirkwall) 18 fish for 46lb 53/8oz
18. Llanilar AA 20 fish for 39lb 141/8oz
19. G. Loomis Team Belgium 15 fish for 37lb 73/4oz
20. Neilston Flyfishers 16 fish for 32lb 141/8oz
21. Sheltand Anglers Association 12 fish for 29lb 33/8oz
22. Team Sunburst 13 fish for 27lb 3oz
23. Froggies Fly Fishers 11 fish for 26lb 75/8oz
Overseas Trophy: Flextec Emerald Islanders 24 fish for 58lb 153/4oz
Top Rod Overall: Phil Dixon, Seighford Sharks 10 fish for 30lb 31/4oz
First Place - Welsh Hawks
Second Place - Seighford Sharks
Third Place - Nymph-a-Maniacs
Best Bag - Day 1 - Gareth Dixon
Best Bag - Day 2 - Aled DixonOverall Best bag - Phil Dixon
The presentation consisted of all the teams positions being read out in reverse order and the prize giving ceremony to winners. Congratulations to all the teams who took part, and especially to the Welsh Hawks, on their superb performance Individually and Team.
Overall the fishing on the competition days picked up from dramatically and lead for a tough but fair competition. Below are the overall statistics of the comp.
Number of Anglers: 138
Number of fish caught: 588
Total weight of fish caught: 1411lb Ooz
Average Fish Weight: 2lb 6 1/2oz
Rod Average: 2.13
Forty six anglers representing top 6 winners from the 2010 AWAI first rounds, semi- finals and finals contested in the Anglian Water Airflo Individual Final held at Grafham Water Saturday 21 May 2011.
Conditions were bright with a fresh southerly breeze. Practice appears to have gone well, although details were understandably a little sketchy, it would be fair to say Savages is where most of the bigger fish would be likely to come from. And, it was generally thought that if you were after stocked fish Sailing Club Bay was the hotspot.
Gareth Jones, had taken four fish by just 11.00am, Fishing all day at Savages with an Airflo Midge Tip, four flies, all Buzzers – Claret and Black.
As the conditions started to deteriorate, the fishing shortly followed. In the freshening breeze, Gareth showed his 30 years of experience deciding, to tie on a size 8 anchor Buzzer to the top dropper and three lighter ‘glues’ beneath. This effectively meant he was czech nymphing his Buzzers, allowing the heavier one on the top dropper to fall quickly, anchoring the fly line and leader whilst the three buzzers below fell at a steady pace.
This clever move gave him some much needed control over his cast and finishing at 15:15 with his eighth fish tipping the scales at 21lb 133/8oz including time bonus.
photos courtesy of Cliff Waters at www.fishypics.co.uk
Gareth fishing partner for the day, Chris Guthrie with a cracking grown on fish caught within the first half hour.
photos courtesy of Cliff Waters at www.fishypics.co.uk
photos courtesy of Cliff Waters at www.fishypics.co.uk
1. Gareth Jones 8 fish for 21lb 133/8oz (inc. time bonus)
2. Brian MacKenzie 8 fish for 21lb 63/4oz
3. Gary Pearson 8 fish for 21lb 25/8oz
4. Tony Perrin 8 fish for 20lb 115/8oz
5. Rob Edmunds 8 fish for 20lb 71/4oz
6. Graham Watson 8 fish for 20lb 11/2oz
7. Paul Haskey 8 fish for 19lb 133/8oz
8. Anthony Cartwright 8 fish for 19lb 81/4oz
9. Peter Elliot 8 fish for 19lb 71/2oz
10. Iain Barr 8 fish 19lb 61/2
11. Paul Garner 8 fish 19lb 1/4oz
12. Gordon Bramwell 8 fish 18lb 93/4oz
13. Andy Boyland 8 fish 18lb 85/8oz
14. David Bonnington 8 fish 18lb 6oz
15. Steve Welsh 8 fish 18lb 55/8oz
Biggest Fish: Peter Kempton Rainbow 4lb 155/8oz
photos courtesy of Cliff Waters at www.fishypics.co.uk
Number of fish caught: 271
Rod Average: 4.52
Total weight of fish caught: 578lb 153/4oz
Average Fish Weight: 2lb 21/5oz
Average Bag Weight: 9lb 102/5oz
Gareth joined Airflo in June 1991 as a technical assistant, providing technical and fly fishing advice to our retail customers. He left the company for a short time and returned to head up Airflo Direct, a mail order operation that was the forerunner to Fishtec. In 1996 Gareth was promoted to Airflo Sales Director with responsibility for over 400 domestic and export accounts. His role involves extensive traveling around the world supporting our export customers as they develop our overseas markets. Gareth is a passionate fly-fisher and has fished all over the world. He has been a regular member of the Welsh International team for the last 15 years, achieving Bronze individual and team Silver medals at World Championship level. Gareth is currently in the Interntional team heading to the Orkney Island to fish Loch Harry 10th June 2011. We wish him and the Welsh team all success.