Elite Performance Programme (EPP) 2021 – Event 2, River Ebbw (River)

For this event the anglers were split into two groups, with each angler fishing the same eight pegs as everyone else over two days. All fish over 20cm in length counted. The match was fully catch & release, with each fish safely measured and returned to the water.
The river had been high in the weeks leading up to the event, but cleared and dropped just in time to allow the competition to go ahead safely.

Only Del, Howard and Mark managed fish in the first session

After Session One it was clear that the fishing was going to be difficult in the cold-water temperatures. Only three out of the eight anglers fishing Session One managed to register fish on the scorecard, with Del Spry having three, current World Champion Howard Croston landing two, and Mark Withyman one. The fish quickly became aware of the anglers, and headed for the safety of deeper water and underneath structures on the riverbed. Therefore, it was inevitable that nymphs and streamers were the main methods deployed by the anglers. Each session became increasingly more difficult, as is often the case with wild trout competitions, and by the end of Day One Howard Croston was the only angler to catch in all of his sessions, and built up a commanding lead.

Howard Croston was the only one to catch in every session in Day 1
Harry Fox led the way in the morning of Day 2

The overnight rest brought the fish back out from their hiding spots, with the morning session on Day Two producing twelve fish across all the match beats. Harry Fox led the way, catching seven of them, including the biggest fish of the match at 39.5cm, to put himself into contention. In the afternoon session only three anglers managed to add to their overnight tally (Mark Withyman, Howard Croston, and Andy Taylor) meaning that Howard Croston took a well-deserved victory. 

Mark Withyman, Howard Croston, and Andy Taylor added to their tally in the afternoon of Day 2,
with Howard taking a well-deserved victory
Islwyn and District Anglers offers some incredible value fly fishing

Over the two days the local anglers from Islwyn and District Anglers popped along to welcome the EPP anglers and ensure there were no issues. It was great to see these guys, who have a very well-run fishing club on their doorstep, offering some incredible value fly fishing. Thanks to everyone who helped.

The results from Event 2 are below:

Current league standings (after two events):

Report: Terry Phillips

Images: Simon Clarke & Danny Williams, Angling Trust

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