Posts Tagged ‘chew valley’
It doesn’t seem like a minute ago when Paul Jenkins, Gareth Jones and Bob Mayers first started talking about setting up a League in South Wales to help develop anglers in the region to International level.
Well, seven years on and the league has just finished another very successful season, with 13 four man teams competing across four competitions on Chew Valley lake, sponsored by our fly fishing tackle supplier Fishtec, and PSM sportswear.
The fishing this year on Chew Valley has been phenomenal between 52 anglers over four competitions, a total number of 1542 fish caught and returned with a rod average of a staggering 7.43 per angler for the whole competition.
The numbers of anglers who have used the league as a springboard to the International scene has been specifically pleasing to see and long may it continue, with a lot of anglers gaining great experience and knowledge from some of the top anglers in the country, in what is a very friendly competition.
Some Match Stats from 2013
The league is fished catch and release, with results based on a points system, so consistency throughout the year is the key to success. When the fourth fish is recorded, the time is taken to the minute, in case of duplicate fish numbers.
Match 1 : 52 Anglers Caught 343 Fish – Rod Average 6.6
Match 1 : 52 Anglers Caught 273 Fish – Rod Average 5.25
Match 1 : 52 Anglers Caught 526 Fish – Rod Average 10.2
Match 1 : 52 Anglers Caught 400 Fish - Rod Average 7.7
Quickest 4 Fish – Nigel Evals - 20 Minutes
This years winners were team Airflo! Accumulating just 184 points between four anglers over four matches. Second, reigning champions, the Nymphomaniacs, who accumulated 303 and close on their tail, Cwmbran Drifters, with 321.
This year the Individual trophy went to the ever consistent Phil Cotton of Team Airflo with an impressive 27 points. The competition has been running for 7 years, Phil has won the individual trophy twice and finished second and two occasions. Second with 32 place points, another Team Airflo angler, Stuart Watkins, yet another former winner of the Fishtec League shield. Third saw Andrew Banner of the Cwmbran Drifters with 49 place points.
A huge thank you must go out to Bob Mayers for his organisational skills, without him none of this would happen! Full results here : http://www.llandegfedd-ffa.com/
I bet you have your special little place where you like to sneak off too now and again, just to regain some confidence in your angling ability? Chew Valley is the place to go where fishing tackle is indeed tested and more than often dreams become reality.
Chew valley lake is a special place, both for trout anglers and now for the pike chasers alike. A combination of factors has led to Chew becoming the best Pike fishery in the UK with numerous 30 pound plus fish being caught.
The fishing is allocated by a limited numbers draw system which could see you rubbing shoulders with some piking legends such as Neville Fickling, Dave Kelbrick, Martin Bowler and the like. With 50 anglers fishing it every day of the trials it can be a bit of a lottery and getting on the earlier days of the week also helps. I was lucky enough to have a cancellation day for middle of the first week , but this only produced a double and some jack pike whilst that very same day two 40’s and 7 30’s came out! I think this was down to us moving spots too many times; the big ones were coming out purely to static dead baits left to soak for a good few hours.
My fellow Fishtec staff member Garrett had put his name down for the draw and had been lucky enough to get a boat for Sunday, the last day of the first week. As a total pike virgin he needed an experienced guide and of course I leapt at the chance to have another crack at the chew pike. We set off at 6.30 am to get to the lodge for 8.00am, the idea being to wolf down a full English which is all part of the chew tradition. Garrett truly obliged and was the first to clear his plate, in fact it was picked clean of every scrap in a short space of time much to the amazement and amusement of our fellow diners.
The essential start to the day
We soon had our boat number and we headed out into a calm still and cold lake, which made a pleasant change from the recent wet and windy weather. I took us to a spot in open water on a drop off which had produced some great catches for me in pervious trials; it was here we sat it out for a good couple of hours and after fine tuning our position one of my floats finally bobbed under. I explained to Garrett the need to take in the slack line and then set the hooks with a firm sweep of the rod, but upon demonstrating this technique my trusted Greys prodigy boat rod fractured into four pieces with a loud bang! It was a bit of a hair raising fight bringing the fish to the side of the net on just a butt section with the danger of the jagged carbon cutting through my line at any moment, and to top it off I could see just one hook point of the two treble hook in the scissors of the pike. Thankfully my TF Gear redmist line took the strain Garrett was a dab hand with the net and we got the fish in the boat. She was as fat as a hog and turned the scales at 22lb 4 oz.
We sat it out for another few hours, with nothing but news of my pal Leighton Ryan and his boat partner landing a 25 and a 30!
As it was getting on in the day I decided to take us to a shallow bay where Garrett would have a almost guaranteed catch of a jack to avoid the dreaded blank. Sure enough he soon got a run and landed his first ever pike.
Not long after he had a dropped run and then connected with a confident pick up which bent the rod double, sadly it was not to be and the hooks pulled after a short fight. I had the feeling it was a real zoo animal maybe one of the 30’s! It was a hard call to make whether to stick it out in the same area, but I chanced It and took us back to our earlier spot for the last hour which is often the best time for a big one. Sure enough as the temperature and light fell Garretts float went under, and this time he stuck well and kept the pressure on. The fish wallowed on the top and was revealed as a decent fish, after a short tussle I did the honours with net and we weighed her in at 21lb 8 oz. Our time was up but I was well made up with a 20 each and helping Garrett capture a specimen pike of a size that has taken many experienced pikers years to achieve.