For this event the anglers were split into two groups, with each angler fishing the same eight pegs as every other angler in their group. Each session lasted 60 mins, with anglers moving along two pegs at the end of each session. The match was fully catch & release, with each angler controlling for the angler on the peg next to them. Some adjustments were made to accommodate Covid safety.
The 2021 EPP got off to a flying start, with fish moving on the surface fish right across the lake. Anglers targeted the rising fish with dry flies, lures, and nymphs in the early sessions with some good results. New EPP anglers James Atkinson and Andy Taylor got off to a flying start with five fish each on their 1st peg of the day, James on dries and Andy mixing tactics up regularly (a method he used to good effect throughout the day).
In session 2 the anglers started to settle into their stride, many using the first session to try out methods that had been productive during practise. Tony Baldwin followed up a solid four fish in session 1 with a further three in session 2, taking an early lead in the match. New to the EPP Sam Bailey covered the water well, switching between tactics and was also rewarded with three fish which followed his three from session 1.
Current England World team members Scott Nellins and Harry Fox dominated in session 3 as the fish started to become hook shy with four & three fish respectively. Unfortunately, Tony Baldwin’s luck took a turn for the worse on peg 3, breaking not just one but two of the rods he had set up to use, most anglers having between three to six different rods set-ups, ready to quickly switch between tactics. Quietly working away in the background, picking up fish on every peg was Phil Shaw-Browne. The key to these events is to catch fish in every session, and avoid receiving the maximum points awarded for a blank session.
Fishing became gradually tougher during the day because of angling pressure, but the anglers were still being rewarded with chances on each peg. By the time session 7 was reached, four anglers had managed to catch in every session (Joel Beeney, Phil Shaw-Browne, Scott Nellins and Terry Phillips), and the last two sessions would decide who would come out on top. Only Phil and Joel managed to complete the set, catching in every session, and surely one of them had done enough to take the event victory.
A late night tallying up the scores, checking and double-checking, and the results were announced on Facebook (in true Covid fashion). Phil Shaw-Browne taking the victory with a very impressive 19 session points. Four out of the top 5 spots were taken by anglers new to the EPP, fishing in their first match to FIPS-Mouche rules. Defending champion Harry Fox put in a strong start to his defence, finishing in 4th place overall.
All of the anglers were brilliantly looked after on match day and during practise sessions by Jamie and the rest of the team at Garnffrwd fishery, fish were caught on every peg around the lake. I heard so many positive comments about this venue from the anglers over the last couple of months, it’s a venue well worth a visit! Thanks from us all.
The results from Event 1 are below:
Report: Terry Phillips
Images: Danny Williams, Angling Trust