5th February 2023 – Toft Newton
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 Rules 2023 2022-international-bank-fly-fishing-championship-rules
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.’