Grafham Water & Elinor Trout Fishery, Huntingdon, England
Monday 12th to Friday 16th June 2023
Angling Trust Team England Fly Fishing is pleased to be hosting this year’s 5N Championship, which will be based at the Racecourse Hotel, Huntingdon. The fly fishing will be from drifting boats on Grafham Water, and from the bank at Elinor Trout Fishery. Teams will compete to FIPS-Mouche rules at four 3-hour sessions spread over 2 days.
Four Teams have registered, representing England, Scotland, Ireland and Norway.
England: Mark Withyman (Captain), Andy Taylor, Simon Clarke & Gilliaum Vermeulen
Scotland: Ian Runcie (Captain), Scott Freeman, Ian Wilson & Ron Chesney
Ireland: Declan O’Sullivan (Captain), Darren Curran, Eamon Keaney & Richard Willis
Monday 12th June 15:00 Check in at hotel 20:00 Dinner in hotel 21:00 Captains’ Meeting & Draw
Tuesday 13th June 06:30 Breakfast 09:00 Practice Sessions – Grafham & Elinor Sectors 20:00 Dinner in hotel 21:00 Captains’ Meeting
Wednesday 14th June 06:30 Breakfast 09:30-13:00 Session 1 – Grafham & Elinor Sectors 14:15-17:45 Session 2 – Grafham & Elinor Sectors 20:00 Dinner in hotel
Thursday 15th June 06:30 Breakfast 09:30-13:00 Session 3 – Grafham & Elinor Sectors 14:15-17:45 Session 4 – Grafham & Elinor Sectors 20:00 Dinner in hotel 21:00 Medal Ceremony
Friday 16th June 06:30 onwards Breakfast & Departure
The 2023 5NFFC is being sponsored by both Hunt’s Original and FlyFishNorth, who are kindly providing samples of their Fly Preparation and Fly Tying materials.
England Team Captain Mark Withyman said: “It’s always a real honour to represent your country in your chosen sport, so I and the team are all delighted to be fishing the 5N on home soil. We believe that these competitions are important to be supported as they represent the stepping stone to other Fips mouche events and as such are a valuable introduction to the pressures and intensity that those competitions hold. Our thanks go to the organisers, controllers and competitors for holding the event which I’m sure will be a good one”
Angling Trust Team England Fly Fishing 5NFFC Event Organiser Paul Page said: “June is a challenging month for trout fishing as both water temperatures and weed growth increase. However, there are plenty of fish to be caught and returned safely at both fisheries. Grafham Water and Elinor Trout Fishery are well established and renowned Midland stillwaters so we can expect a good competition.
The Angling Trust Loch Style Team Championships will take place on Saturday 24th & Sunday 25th June 2023 at Draycote Water. The six-person team event boasts a huge cash prize fund of up to £3,500 dependent on full participation.
There are no heats or regional eliminators, just a simple two-day competition with a fantastic prize fund up for grabs.
The competition is open to all clubs and match groups from the UK, Ireland and further afield but places are limited to a maximum 16 teams. These will be allocated on a first come first served when entries open in 2023. Angling Trust member clubs will benefit from a reduced entry fee.
The competition is fished to International Rules scored on a full catch, measure and release basis and the match will be regulated by boat stewards.
Entry fees for member and non-member clubs are all inclusive and will cover fishing permits, boat hire for two days and administrative costs. Individual membership is not a requirement to compete.
Anglers aged 16 and 17 on the day of the match are eligible to take part if parental consent is provided. Where teams contain an angler under the age of 18 the team captain must contact Daniel Williams via email email@example.com to provide the name of the angler(s) and a contact number/email of the angler’s parent/guardian.
HOW TO ENTER
Entries for this competition will open on Monday 16th January at 11.30am, and close on Sunday 11th June at 23.59pm. Entries are through the Angling Trust Booking system only at https://anglingtrust.net/competitions
For further information on this competition please email Competitions Development Manager Danny Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07854 240 368.
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Qualifiers: 1. Martin Burgess 2. Mark Miles 3. Dale Burgess 4. Gary Haskins 5. Lee Bartlett 6. John Bowen 7. Alan Clark 8. Tim Wellman 9. Andrew Stones 10. Jim Rigby 11. John Braithwaite 12. John Piper 13. Paul Golding 14. Dave Reynolds 15. Julian Weddle 16. Gary Morris
Sunday 30th April – Bewl Water
Qualifiers: 1. Phil Thompson 2. Sean Brooks 3. John Benford
Sunday 7th May – Draycote Water
Qualifiers: 1. Stephen Smalley 2. Michael Laycock 3. Pete Eville 4. Robert Middleton 5. Rob Allan 6. Graham Currie 7. Richard Hood 8. Martin Griffiths 9. Ben Watson 10.Paul Tweddle 11.Bruce Blackshaw 12.Nick Donald 13.John Hood 14.Sam Smith 15.Frank Sumnall
Sunday 28th May – Chew Valley Lake
Qualifiers: 1. Alex Johnstone 2. Andrew Weeks 3. Paul Sweatman 4. Martin Barrett 5. Andy Cottam 6. Richard Walker 7. Luke Smith 8. Dave Minall 9. Alan Williams
Sunday 28th May – Sweethope Lough
Qualifiers: 1. Stan Moore 2. Brian Blackett 3. Peter Crowe 4. Steven Fish 5. Andy Campbell 6. Ant Meadows 7. Simon Gaines
Sunday 3rd June – Grafham Water
Qualifiers: 1. Paul Runec 2. Ben Race 3. Philip Shaw-Browne 4. Sean Hanlon 5. Neil Squires 6. Richard Slater 7. Anthony Fox 8. Paul Calvert 9. John Pearn 10.Ryan Bull 11.Paul Cramp 12.Mark Tremain-Coker 13.Peter Hartley 14.Jake Wenman 15.Daniel Wilkinson 16.Mark MacLeod 17.Matt Nuttall 18.Christopher Guthrie 19.Peter Webb 20.Anthony McKenna 21.David Franklin
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Qualification for the 2022-23 National Final will be from four qualifying matches run nationally on the Rivers Itchen, Dee, Ure & Wear, starting in October 2022 and running into Spring 2023.
Thirty-two places will be available at the National Final, which will be fished on the 2nd-3rd Sept 2023, on the Upper Tees, Northumberland.
Ticket links will be available from the links below and updated as the season continues. For any queries regarding the AT TEFF Rivers National please contact the coordinator Peter Scholes – 07523 121 494.
Matches will be fished to full international rules and the AT TEFF River Qualifier scoring system, to a Measure, Catch and Release basis. Only in season fish, 20cms and above, will be eligible for measuring / scoring / awarding fish points.
Entrants will be split into 2 groups:
Morning Group fishing am & controlling pm. Afternoon group fishing pm & controlling am.
Entries open: See individual qualifiers
Entries close: See individual qualifiers
Entry Fee: £30 + fishing fee (please check individual Qualifiers to see if fee is payable on the day or in advance)
Sunday 16th October – South East FF Federation – Lower Itchen fishery (Official Practice: Saturday 15th October) – Limited to 26 competitors – Organiser: Tony Fox
Results: 1. Jim Dillon 2. Cameron Craigs 3. Mike Heritage 4. Baz Reece 5. Julian Erbsloeh 6. Harry Chance7. Trevor Hayman 8. Alex Adams
Sunday 20th November – River Dee, Llangollen – HQ: The Hand Hotel, Bridge Street, Llangollen, LL20 8PL
Results: 1. Phil Dixon 2. Gary Hedges 3. Pete Buckey 4. Simon Caddy 5. Simon Clarke 6. Carl Nixon 7. Mike Dixon 8. Kevin Moran
Sunday 16th April – River Ure, Wensley, Wensleydale, North Yorkshire – 9.00am-5.30pm – HQ: Three Horseshoes, Wensley, Leyburn, N Yorkshire DL8 4HJ. am fishing Wensley Beat; pm fishing Bolton Hall Beat
Results: 1. Chris Richardson 2. Peter Crowe 3. Gavin Walsh 4. Stan Moore 5. Keith McAdam 6. Bria Lillie 7. Mike Chris Micallef 8. Paul Fairhurst
Paul Page reports: Once again, the Qualifier was centred around Lords Bridge on the Bolton Hall Estate in Wensleydale, which gives magnificent views of Wensleydale, the River Ure, and both Bolton Castle and Bolton Hall. Despite the poor weather mid-week, which saw the river rise drastically, the weekend was fine and sunny with at last some decent warm spring weekend weather. Tuesday’s rainfall over the Howgills put a welcome metre of water on the river level on Wednesday, which by Sunday had fined down to a nice pace and level for the Qualifier. The 16 qualifier entrants met up at the Three Horseshoes inn at Wensley to pair up with their controllers. 8 fished the morning session and the other 8 fished the afternoon session.
The morning session’s 09:00 start on the Wensley Beat downstream from Lords Bridge was greeted with a warm misty start, which once burned off by the sun, set the weather fair with regular hatches of grannom sedges. Peter Crowe won the morning session with 5 trout between 26cms and 36cms, Gavin Walsh coming a close second with 4 trout, Brian Lillie third with 3 trout, and Paul Fairhurst fourth with 2 trout, the largest of which was a magnificent 45cms, the largest fish of the day. The 8 anglers who fished the morning session caught a total of 19 trout between them. After swapping over from controlling to fishing, and changing partners, 8 anglers competed in the afternoon session upstream of Lords Bridge on the Bolton Hall Beat.
The afternoon session’s 14:00 start on the Bolton Hall Beat upstream from Lords Bridge was slightly breezier with the temperature dropping as the session progressed. The regular hatches of grannom in the morning disappeared. However, Chris Richardson, who ventured up to the top of the beat, found accommodating trout and won the afternoon session with 7 trout ranging between 20cms and 33cms. Stan Moore came second with 3 trout, the largest of 42.2cms being the biggest in the afternoon session. Keith McAdam came third with 3 trout and Chris Micallef fourth with 2 trout. The 8 anglers who fished the afternoon session caught a total of 17 trout between them. Paul Page, the event organiser, said that the early April Ure Qualifier was always a challenge as the grayling are out of season. Once the mist lifted in the morning there were abundant sedge hatches on the Wensley beat, however as the day progressed the cool breeze in the afternoon changed things. However, both Peter in the morning and Chris in the afternoon proved that if you had the right tactics and read the river well there were trout to be caught. Wensleydale and the Ure are a stunning place to fish and if you were lucky enough on Sunday you might have seen the first of the now resident ospreys to return to the estate. Our thanks go to the Bolton Castle Estate for giving us access to the estate’s fishery and to Tom Orde-Powlett for their continuing support.
Sunday 21st May – River Wear – HQ: Jubilee Bridge Car Park, DL15 0DJ – Fishing Times: Morning group 9.00 am – 1.00 pm/Afternoon group 2.30 pm – 6.30 pm – Briefing: 8.00 am
Results: 1. Andrew Sowerby 2. Karl Watson 3. Anthony McKenna 4=Pete Scholes 4=Tom Hunt 6. Daniel Williams7. Nick Craigs
The 27th FIPS-Mouche European Fly Fishing Championships was held in Covilha, Portugal, from the 22nd-28th May, 2023.
Belgium – Czech Republic – England – Finland – France – Ireland – Netherlands – Norway – Portugal – Slovakia – Spain
AT TEFF was represented by Bernie Maher (Captain/Manager), Joel Beeney, Del Spry, Mark Withyman & Andy Taylor.
In the first session Del Spry scored a 3rd place on the Upper Zêzere River, with Andy Taylor coming 5th on the Paul River. Mark Withyman saved a blank with one fish on the Lower Zêzere River to come 7th, ahead of Andy Croucher, fishing for Norway, who blanked. Joel Beeney blanked on the Alva River, while Bernie Maher also failed to catch on Rossim Lake. England were lying 10th out of 11 teams. France were in the top spot, with 15 placing points, ahead of Finland 2nd with 25pts, and Spain 3rd with 26pts.
In the second session Andy Taylor came 3rd on the Lower Zêzere River with 2 fish, while Joel Beeney came 4th on Paul River, and Bernie Maher 6th on the Upper Zêzere River. Del Spry came 11th on the Alva River, despite catching, while on Rossim Lake Mark Withyman was one of five competitors who failed to catch. England moved up one place into 9th (out of 11 teams). France remained in 1st place, with 34 placing points, but a good performance saw Spain move into 2nd with 44pts, with the Slovak Republic 3rd on 49pts. Nicolas Abadia (Spain) led the Individual rankings, with two 1st places, ahead of Lionel Fouvier (France) in 2nd with 3pts, and Erlend Vivelid Nilssen (Norway) 3rd with 4pts.
In the third session Andy Taylor saved a blank at Rossim Lake to come 7th, while Bernie Maher also scored a 7th place on the Alva River, and Del Spry came 8th on the Paul River. Mark Withyman caught on the Upper Zêzere River but still came 11th, while Joel Beeney failed to catch on the Lower Zêzere River. England stayed at 9th, while Ireland, who had been in 5th place, dropped back to 7th. France remain in 1st place, with 55 placing points, with Spain still at 2nd with 66pts, and the Slovak Republic 3rd on 72pts. Individually, a 2nd place in the session saw Nicolas Abadia (Spain) remain 1st with 4 placing points, with Lionel Fouvier (France) still in 2nd with 5pts, and Daniel Martin (Spain) moving up into 3rd place with 6pts.
The fourth session saw the fishing pressure apparently start to affect the results. Mark Withyman scored a 5th place on the Alva River, while Bernie Maher also came 5th on the Paul River. On the Lower Zêzere River Del Spry was one of six competitors who failed to catch, while Andy Taylor was one of the seven who blanked on the Upper Zêzere River. On Rossim Lake all 11 competitors in the session failed to catch, which included Joel Beeney. England dropped one place to 10th, while the French held on to their lead with 86 placing points, with Spain remaining in 2nd place with 96pts, and Finland moving into 3rd with 106pts. A blank on the lake saw Nicolas Abadia (Spain) fall out of the top three, which was now led by Lionel Fouvier (France) with 8 placing points, with Vincent Mathieu (Belgium) 2nd with 11pts, and Daniel Martin (Spain) remaining 3rd with 12pts. Unlike Vincent and Daniel though, Lionel was yet to fish his lake session, so the final session could see these positions altered once again.
In the last session Andy Taylor came 4th on the Alva River, Mark Withyman came 4th on the Paul River, and Joel Beeney came 5th on the Upper Zêzere River. Bernie Maher failed to catch on the Lower Zêzere River, and Del Spry was one of the six competitors who blanked on Rossim Lake, where only seven fish were caught in the session. One of these was caught by Lionel Fouvier (France), which gave him the 4pts he needed to become European Individual Champion, 1pt ahead of Vincent Mathieu (Belgium) in 2nd with 13pts, and Daniel Martin (Spain) 3rd with 15pts. England finished the competition in 9th place with 194 placing points, behind Ireland in 8th with 185pts, whose team member Robbie Phelan won the final session on the lake with 2 fish. France ended up European Champions with 111pts, getting four of their five team members in the top 15, with Spain in silver with 130pts, and Finland bronze with 139pts.
Sector 1 – Upper Zêzere River The upper sector of the Zêzere is a typical mountain river. The sector has an approximate extension of 8 km. Composed of wells and currents, a fish community mostly of wild trout, as well as repopulated for this event. The river passes over an essentially granite soil, embedded in a pronounced valley.
Sector 2 – Alva River The river Alva also has its source in Serra da Estrela. The typology at the championship site is a river regulated by a dam. It presents a great diversity of water types and requires fishermen to know different techniques.
Sector 3 – Paul River Ribeira do Paul is a tributary of the river Zêzere. From its source, also in Serra da Estrela, it presents a great diversity in terms of water type. It has an approximate length of 7km. In most of your catches, although they are small/medium sized trout, don’t be surprised if you get the trophy of a lifetime!
Sector 4 – Lower Zêzere The Baixo Zêzere sector is a larger version of the Alto Zêzere, but with increased difficulty for competition. Clear waters, with different types of structures and current speeds. Very scary trout, with some trophies there! It will also take population reinforcement with farmed trout exclusively for the test.
Sector 5 – Rossim Lake The Lagoa do Vale do Rossim sector is the lakes sector of this competition. Located at an altitude of more than 1000 meters, it offers stunning landscapes in the heart of Serra da Estrela.
You can find more information at the Championship website here>> and also on their Facebook page here>> and on their Instagram page here>>
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AT TEFF was represented by: Leigh Pond (capt), Rob Allan, Tony Baldwin, Bart Farmer, Ryan Feber, Kevin Glenn, John Hood, John Horsey, Rob Middleton, Mark Miles, Lloyd Pallet, Dave Reynolds, Mark Rose, Jake Wenman & Paul Angell (manager).
Top 4 Individuals: 1st Richard Hooper – Wales, 15 fish, 948 points 2nd Kevin Glenn – England, 14 fish, 887 points 3rd Jake Wenman – England, 14 fish, 866 points 4th Mark Rose – England, 13 fish, 830 points
Congratulations to this year’s team on such a solid performance and splendid result. As promised, we have published more about the match and how our successful anglers went about tackling the venue on the day, their choice of flies and methods of presentation.
Including a summary from Team Manager Paul Angell on their brilliant performance to find out how they went about honing their approach on the main day of competition.
England take Gold in the Spring Loch- Style International
Draycote Water near Rugby hosted the IFFA Spring Loch-Style International between England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales between Tuesday 16th and Friday 19th May. The Irish team arrived at the Team Hotel, the Draycote Hotel and Golf Club late on the previous Sunday , with the Welsh, Scots and English arriving on Monday and Tuesday. Monday saw the Irish, Welsh and most of the English team out practicing in cool, breezy conditions. Fish were taken from a range of areas, but Toft, Biggin, the Tower and the Inlet all held concentrations of fish. Tuesday had all 4 teams out on the water with a variety of methods and flies being tried. On Wednesday the winds lightened and the temperature rose and by Thursday the wind had dropped to almost nothing, with bright sunlight. Over these practice days the English team had refined their options to 3 key methods, all of which had resulted in good catches of fish.
1. Buzzers and egg flies fished static, either by freelining or under the bung, with the bung taking the bulk of the fish at depths from 6 to 12 feet. 2. Tip lines with a FAB on the point, 2 heavy buzzers on the middle droppers and a Nemo on the top dropper. This was again fished static, allowing the flies to drift down through the depths, just keeping up with the line as the boat drifted downwind. 3. Dries cast to moving fish, or fished “blind”
Match day dawned with light breezes and a mixture of cloud and sunny spells. From the start, the fleet split with a number of boats heading for the far end of Toft, some to Biggin, the Tower and others to Rainbow Corner and the Inlet. After a couple of hours, boats could be seen moving from area to area with a lot ending up in Biggin Bay. Fish were caught steadily, but it was noticeable that a high percentage of bent rods were in the hands of the red-capped English team. As well as fishing the shoreline, boats could be seen venturing out across the middle of the reservoir where many of the better fish had been taken in practice.
As the match drew to its close I knew from conversations out on the water that we had some of the England team with good bags of fish but it’s always a nervous time. As the boats pulled up onto the jetty, I collated the fish numbers each English angler had taken and it became obvious that we had done well with half the team recording scores in double figures and none with less than 6. The match had been fished to total Catch and Release with each fish counting 20 points plus 1 point for each cm length. The scorecards from each team member were collected and the results entered into a spreadsheet.
Results: 1st England – 139 fish for 8,796 points 2nd Scotland – 94 fish for 5,966 points 3rd Ireland – 63 fish for 3,990 points 4th Wales – 54 fish for 3,446 points
The Brown Bowl for best bag was taken by Richard Hooper of Wales with 15 fish, all caught on dries from around A and B buoys, England took 6 of the top 10 placings and special mention must go to both Kevin Glenn and Jake Wenman who came 2nd and 3rd respectively, both catching 14 fish in their first International. Full results can be seen on the IFFA website- iffa.net.
From a manager’s perspective, this was an outstanding performance with every member of the team contributing in both the development of the final match strategy through practice, and in their performance in the match itself. Led by Leigh Pond, the group had a mixture of experience and youth, and had quickly developed into a very efficient and effective team, sharing information and supporting each other during practice and developing communication strategies that proved invaluable on match day. The difference in scores between the winning team and the rest of the field is a testament to the commitment and skill shown by this team to which I am very proud to be associated.
The team would like to thank Layher Scaffolding, Nemac Construction and Garrick Eckard for their financial contribution to team funds, and also Fulling Mill, Guide Fly Fishing, Snowbee UK and Craghoppers for their continued support.
Paul Angell, Loch-Style Manager
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AT TEFF are pleased to announce that Withern Mill Trout Farm and Fishery are new TEFF sponsors. Owners Matthew and Sara (below) have kindly agreed to support not just TEFF, but also England Ladies.
Withern Mill Trout Farm & Fishery, Withern, Lincs, is beautifully located on the edge of the Lincolnshire Wolds, and surrounded by stunning countyside. It offers five intellligently designed lakes, regularly stocked with rainbow and blue trout from 2lbs to 10lbs, and offering a varied day’s fishing for everyone, from novice to expert. Along with half a mile of the Great Eau River, holding beautiful grayling and wild brown trout.
The Angling Trust reports: “Following last week’s splendid Bank National Final, at Chatton Fishery, Northumberland, AT TEFF’s executives are pleased to announce this year’s Bank National Co-ordinator and England International angler, Lee Cartmail, as the Team Manager. Lee has a long and fruitful relationship with competitive game angling, AT TEFF Team England, and the open match circuit. Lee will be organising the team’s attendance and accompanying them during the event at Newhaylie Trout Fishery, on the Firth of Clyde in North Ayrshire, Scotland overlooking the Isle of Bute & Arran. This isn’t Lee’s first time, as he took on the impressive role of Manager & Captain at last year’s 5-Nations Championships at Macroom, Ireland. Paul Page, ATTEFF, said ‘I was fortunate to attend the Bank Final on the 7th of May. It was a very well attended and organised event. Lee Cartmail did a sterling job, keeping tight control over rules and compliance etc. It’s my pleasure to hand the reins over to Lee for the bank team manager’s job. Lee was unable to take up the role last year, as he was already committed to managing and fishing the 5NFFC. It seems so fitting he take the bank team manager’s role in 2023. He’s organised and run all the Qualifiers and National Final this year, and it will now maintain continuity for Lee to be appointed as the Bank Team Manager. I’m very pleased to see Lee appointed as the 2023 Bank Team Manager and to see him take the new team to Scotland in October.’ Congratulations to Lee and the team representing England at this year’s Bank International, good luck guys.”
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The Angling Trust reported: “Lee Cartmail commented: ‘This fished hard on the day’ adding ‘It was our first qualifier and early in the year, meaning the weather could have a massive impact on how it fished. The venue is well stocked with no shortage of trout, however it simply fished hard as any venue can. It transpired the winner, Garry Morris, used a DI5 to win the qualifier, and a few fish were taken higher in the water column, by anglers fishing Glass lines. However, the majority of fish fell to the DI7, fished super-slow, flies generally chosen by each angler’s specific preference.”
19th February 2023 – Ellerdine Lakes
The Angling Trust reported: “The weather was sunny with no breeze in the morning, and sunny & breezy in the afternoon. Anglers are fishing for a top 8 placing and qualification into April’s final. The whistle blew 09:00 on the dot, followed by near-instant rods bending into Meadow Lake fish, not on Saturday’s hotspots, however, the fish had moved around the lake. After the first three of the morning’s pegs fished, we had 11 of the competitors on the scoreboard with one angler taking a commanding lead and another two hard on his heels. The afternoon session certainly slowed down for most anglers, but three were still catching steadily enough. Sadly two anglers never got in the scoreboard, but that’s fishing, we have all been there, even practised match anglers have their off days”. Results: 1. Brian Blackett 13 fish 20 pts, phenomenal angling! 2. Gareth Tilley 9 fish 14 pts 3. Phil Shaw-Browne 6 fish 10 pts 4. Alan Clark 5 fish 8 pts 5. Andrew Whilaby 5 fish 8 pts 6. Tony Baldwin 4 fish 8 pts 7. Danny Williams 4 fish 7 pts 8. Stephen Pattinson 3 fish 5 pts In no specific order: Jim Rigsby 2 fish 4 pts Matt Collinson 2 fish 4 pts Ronald Howard 2 fish 4 pts Colin Fitzpatrick 2 fish 4 pts Andy Stones 1 fish 2 pts A huge thank you to Edward & Jane Upton for their generous hospitality this weekend, massively appreciated by all our competitors. Catching up with Ellerdine’s top performer Brian Blackett, it became obvious, Brian had done his homework and had drilled into what the fish needed on the day. “I practiced Saturday landing six fish on a DI3 counting five to twenty seconds down, using Apps Bloodworm almost solely. I also landed fish on the Bung set a seven foot, supporting a Shammy. This wasn’t effective today, however. The lake had really settled down after Saturday’s wind and fish spread, I narrowed my attack down to focusing on the DI3 fishing a single Apps, landing thirteen fish off seven pegs.”
26th February 2023– Thrunton Long Crag
The Angling Trust reported: “James Stephenson (last year’s Final winner) trundled Red Apps Worms, as well as pulling olive lures on a Fast Glass, to become top of the list at this qualifier and will be a rod to watch [in the National at Chatton]. He’s one of the country’s most in-form bank anglers and knows the venue well.”
9th April 2023– Elinor
The Angling Trust reported: “Nineteen anglers fished this final round, approximately fourteen of whom practised on the Saturday, sensibly getting their eye in and tweaking pre-perceived thoughts about venue conditions and subsequent tactics. Most opted for a floating line approach; damsel lure on its own, or with a couple of nymphs, alternately Top Hats or CDC-style dry fly, or the usual junk under a Bung. Elinor is a well-managed water and stuffed with fish, however the majority had decided to take the Bank Holiday off, always an issue early season, or with a bit of a change in the weather or general conditions. Anglers had to dig deep on the day, total concentration being paramount, as every chance would count. The day ended with 34 fish caught, giving a rod average of just under 2. This rod average doesn’t do Elinor justice, but as ever that’s fishing! May we thank Bradley for the use of his outstanding fishery, we will see you next spring for a return heat without question. Results Qualifiers, with top eight proceeding to the final: 1. Dave Franklin 5 fish 9 pts 2. Tony Fox 4 fish 8 pts 3. Ron Howard 4 fish 7 pts 4. Billy Thompson 3 fish 6 pts 5. Craig Crompton 3 fish 5 pts 6. Colin Fitzjohn 2 fish 4 pts 7. Nick Tomkins 2 fish 4 pts 8. Mark Miles 2 fish 4 pts 9. Graham Willis 2 fish 3 pts 10. Andrew Stones 2 fish 3 pts, with the following rods in no particular order landing one fish for 2 pts; Iain Scott, Simon Lee, Steve Fish, Conor Metcalfe, Brian Lillie, Bernie Maher, Josh Shuttleworth. The winner of this event, David Franklin, did it in style with no practice on the run-up to the date, relaying on knowledge of the venue, and fishing the venue as it seemed to require on the day. Fishing quite delicately with small black nymphs on the floating line. Congratulations to all our qualifiers. A big thank you also goes out to Lee Cartmail our organiser, who without doubt runs a cracking match and tirelessly supports his competitors throughout the day.”
30th April 2023 – Chatton Trout Lakes
The Angling Trust reported: “Chatton fished tougher than during practice, just as expected but for the anglers who put the time in there would obviously be fish to catch. The weather was changeable as were the various insect hatches. When the flies did hatch the water would boil in front of anglers.
This doesn’t mean it fished easy during the hatches. In fact, it was quite the opposite, as several anglers described how they watched trout rise, only to refuse the real thing and turn away from a chironomid that was about to alight from the surface. The fish had become quite wary of most of the usual go-to offerings, so it was a case of knowing the venue, its moods, and the subtle tweaks that turn a take or offer into a hook-up and landed fish. Dries, and small ones at that, were the order of the day. With Ali Tait leading the charge for a very well-earned win, and the kudos that comes with lifting the AT TEFF National Bank Angling Champion for 2023.The team for this year’s Bank International is also chosen from today’s positions with the following anglers having the opportunity the represent the nation in Scotland this Autumn. This year’s team crossing the border will be Ali Tait, Paul Runec, David Neilson, Gareth Tilly, Brian Blackett, Josh Piper, and James Stevenson (Reserve). This is a fully North East-based team, showing the form of the anglers locally, and it’s great to have a full international team so close together with the obvious chance to meet, talk and practice. Congratulations to Ali, this year’s International Team, and all our qualifying anglers who travelled from every corner of the country to fish today. Thanks to Lee Cartmail, all our amazing volunteers, and the guys at Chatton who made this day so special.”
Bank National Coordinator: Lee Cartmail – 07783 833803
The Angling Trust reports: ‘Following the appointment of Lee Cartmail as this year’s Team England Bank Manager last week, Danny Williams caught up with some of our talented Bank National qualifying anglers… First up is Brian Blackett who qualified at Ellerdine Lakes, near Telford, Shropshire. We asked Brian about how he tackled Ellerdine. “I had got a little practice in on the Saturday, landing six fish on a DI3 counting five to twenty seconds down, using Apps Olive Bloodworm almost solely. I also landed fish on the Bung set at seven foot, supporting a Shammy. This was effective, but not enough to rely on, and just for picking up the odd fish from pegs where the worm wasn’t working. “To the match itself, the lake really settled down after Saturday’s wind and it looked like the fish were well spread, I narrowed my attack down to focusing on the DI3, fishing a single Apps, landing thirteen fish off seven pegs.” DW: How about your approach to Chatton, then? BB: “I did some careful practice on the Friday and Saturday, with Friday fishing very well. I tried several methods, even pulling as it works there sometimes, and you must give it a go. I also tried a few bung set-ups and rigged up a dry fly too. “On the Saturday it was much harder, undoubtedly reacting to the angling pressure in the run-up to Sunday’s match. On the day I set up a natural Shammy under a bung at around ten foot, the App’s worm on another rod, and the dry as the fish were becoming shy but still up in the water. The Black & Pearl Tophat was my most effective pattern.” Garth Tilley also qualified on Ellerdine and had a similar approach to this qualifier. GT: “I fished the Olive Apps on a DI3 Sweep with a steady roly-poly. The practice session I had there was quite hard, but this approach seemed to find the fish, including the Spartics, that showed down the inside. I even had a rainbow that would have gone ten pounds on its own, with my last two fish falling for a size 14 Black Buzzer. “I know Chatton quite well, so have an idea what generally works and what doesn’t, I did practice on the Saturday and found it was fishing hard, and two Blobs attached to a DI5 fished to a countdown and keep contact worked steadily. “On the day, my start was a bit of a disaster as I snapped a rod straight and was down to carrying just two set-ups or keep swapping line to mix up the methods more. I had a bung on to begin with, but this wasn’t doing the job so I switched to a Greys Deep-seeker with either the Worm or Blobs. “Most of my fish fell to these, with two coming to the dry fly towards the end of the match.” Paul Runec qualified on Thrunton Long Crag. PR: “I practiced with James Stevenson and James Pickersgill the day before the match and we felt the three go-to methods we should settle on were pulling with various flies, the bung at distance, and Midges fished at any point they showed. “Once we got a feel for what was and wasn’t working, we tried everything else, just to see what wouldn’t work as much as what would. “As for Chatton, I got up there several times for a look, and practice, then on the day I found that I soon left the pulling out and predominantly fished a Slow Glass line with an Olive Apps attached. This brought me nine fish off three pegs in the morning and three off two pegs in the afternoon to qualify.” Josh Piper booked his place by qualifying at his local Thrunton. JP: “I know it well and feel quite confident on there. It was bright sunlight that day and I opted to fish Damsels on a Slow Glass or Dries if the fish began rising to them. “I began with the Damsels on the Slow Glass or dries when appropriate, then later in the day swapped to a DI3 pulling slow, the key was to count down to ten, then retrieve with a slow figure of eight. “For Chatton, I practiced on the Saturday and it was tough with few fish being hooked or landed though I did find fish falling to the indicator close in. “On the morning I set up two Blobs under an indicator fished ten feet down which brought me two early fish and worked again at my second peg landing two more fish. “I carried on with this until the third peg after dinner, when I found I needed to swap to the dries, staying on this for the last peg too.” DW: So Josh, how he felt making it into the team for the second year running? JP: “I loved everything about this, qualifying and working with the rest of the boys in practice and the match at Garnffrwd. “We didn’t manage the placing we wanted here, but then we didn’t get as much practise as I would have liked. As for this October at New Haylie Trout Fishery in Scotland, all the boys in the team live a short distance from each other and we should get a couple of looks at the venue before we fish it proper. “We’ve a buzz going already and it’s exciting to be doing this again, fingers crossed we can do better than in 2022.” This year’s National Champion, Ali Tait, gave us the lowdown on how he landed the prestigious trophy. AT: “I qualified on Thrumpton as several of the other current team members, I know this place well and have fished it since it opened. “I had decided that the pressure of practicing anglers would stop the popular pulling approach during the qualifier, so I opted for either nymphs or dries for this, like Chatton too, really. I had a good steady match here with nine fish off seven pegs in all. “As for Chatton, it’s my local water, I’ve fished it for over fifteen years or so, I watched how it became harder to tempt fish on the Saturday, but knew we would have better conditions on the day. “I decided to stick with nymphs or dries and found fish from the off, but only three in the morning. I really felt adrift from the leaders and decided to set a target for ten more during the afternoon. “Retuning after lunch I had two fish from the off on the dries and stuck with this, ending with twelve fish off six pegs, but had to go light in the end using size 18’s and 20’s dries.” We couldn’t speak with all our qualifiers and still have the news of how James Stevenson and David Neilson managed to bag their places, so we’re leaving you with knowledge that this is still to come. We may find out more about the approach to various venues and techniques that the elite match anglers use to land such sought-after Team England places too.’
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