Last Saturday night I was lucky enough to represent the RAF Fish Hawks Northern League Team in the Scottish Clubs competition on the Lake of Menteith. the Team of Willie Edmond, Jock Woods and myself had warmed up on Carron during the day in a barely fishy sort of way, but arrived at the Lake in good time to register and tackle up. I was with a nice chap who was happy for me to take the engine and we headed for
Gateside, knowing that Willie was going to Malling and Jock to Int Bay - all the areas covered. I was fishing the floater with washing line, with crunchers and an olive booby. Saw a few fish being caught in Gateside Bay so stayed til 8, by which time I had 2 fish. By BP persisted with lures and was not making much headway.
Moved up to Malling shore and immediately saw more fish moving than in
Gateside Bay. I took another and BP lost 2. Stayed there too long before going to Shear point, where more fish were moving - saw Willie, who had just taken his 2nd fish. My 4th fish came to an olive cruncher at 9.45 and that was it - finish and weigh in at 10.30. It was obvious that with my 4, Willie's 3 and Jock's 2 that 9 fish was not going to be enough. In the end the 3 teams going through had 15 (max) 13 and 12 fish, with 13 anglers having 5 fish limits. Rod average was over 2.5, so we did better than that, so the evening was not wasted. A good fun competition, which I would recommend to anyone
as a way to start comp fishing.
Chew Valley Reservoir - 28 and 29 Jul 09 - Lexus Open English Finals
I was again lucky in representing the RAF Fish Hawks A team in the Lexus Open Competition at Chew Valley Reservoir. The Team had qualified for the English Final at Rutland Water in April. I had been a reserve on that occasion but had fished both the practice days with the team. For the final, I was one of the 6 man team, with 2 of my
colleagues practising but not fishing on the day. On the 28th, the practice day, I was out with Tony Slater, a seasoned and very experienced RAF angler, We were given an area in the middle of the reservoir, drifting on to Denny Island. (Map is here) The fish were
high in the water (apparently!) so we has midge tip and slow glass lines on. Tony had a pull early on, but that was it until near lunchtime when I put a Di3 on in desperation and tried pulling. A brown trout of over 3 lbs successfully attached itself to my line by
hooking itself near the dorsal fin on the lift, and that completed a morning of misery.
Only one other boat has much to report - Dave Newing and Si Morris had taken fish in Villace Bay. We headed over there en masse after lunch and I took a fish on a black DB almost immediately. After trying Herons Green Bay for a while, Tony took a
fish near the lodge and that was it for the day. The debrief didn't take long, and we agreed to concentrate on Villace, Herons Green and possibly Moreton and Spring Bay if necessary on the day.
The forecast for the comp day on 29 Jul was 40mm of rain, and it seemed we were not to be disappointed. It chucked it down all day and our skipper (Si Gaines) performed a full change of clothes in the car park after the event (yes, full!) We got some decent draws and most of us managed to give away the engine for this match. There were 2
reasons for this - motoring was going to be stressful (20 boats in Villace - work thru them, if you dare!) and gentle nymphing in the conditions was going to be easier from the bow. Most of us spent a fair bit of the day in Villace, where there was just about enough to keep us interested. I got a fish early, which settled my nerves, but there were very few being caught. My BP, Jim Longmore, a former National Champion, missed and lost a few, mainly on dries, including one right at the net. Around 1230 I lost a really good fish (3lb+?) as I couldn't hold it when it went round the back of the boat and got
snagged in the drogue. My spirits were lifted when I took another fairly quickly and was confident that I could now eke out the 3 fish the skipper wanted from us. However, the afternoon bit me hard and I only had one more swirl before 6pm. Lots of the team turned up in Villace, and it was obvious we were struggling. Saw Dave Newing take a fish which turned out to be his 2nd, Si Gaines and Si Morris had one each and Phil had picked up a couple, one on dries.
The weigh-in was tense with only 87 fish being weighed in for a rod average of 1.45. There were 19 blanks. The top team (Greys G-Tec Stocks) had 17 fish, Team Tightlines in 2nd had 10 - we had 8 and our spirits were raised. It was not to be though, as Ospreys (3rd) and Sleighford Sharks also had 10. The final qualifiers, Grand Max had 8 fish which weighed 14 oz more than our 8 fish. In between was Carbotec Kingfishers who actually had 9 fish, but at 13lb they were 10 oz short of qualifying. It was a tight old day and the 3 of us who lost fish on the day agreed that we had done it deliberately! After
all the prize was getting to do it all again, which at 6pm on that day was not an attractive proposition. Thanks to all the Fish Hawks - Si G, Phil, Dave N, Si M, Tony, Al and Mal for making the 2 days as enjoyable as they could be in the circumstances. Chew - I can barely spit the name out! Roll on the Inter Service and the AW/Airflo Final.