AT TEFF Chigborough Bank Qualifier

AT-TEFF Bank Qualifier 26th October 2019 Chigborough Fisheries, Essex.
Fifteen anglers fished the second bank qualifier of the 2019/20 season at Chigborough Fishery in Essex. Bright sunshine with a cold north easterly wind welcomed the anglers after 24 hours of heavy rain the previous day. Many anglers had practiced prior to the event and found the fish high in the water with floating lines and dries, or lures pulled subsurface, being the main line of attack.
The first fish was taken at 9:11 by Sean Brooks and during the course of the match 101 fish were caught for a healthy rod average of seven. Distance was the key on match day as the fish pushed out due to the angling pressure. Tactics varied from Apps Worms pulled on floating lines to the bung at distance.
Top rod on the day was local angler Tim Joyce with 25 fish for 33 points, runner-up was Charlie Abrahams with 15 fish for 21 points, third place was Dave Franklin with 11 fish for 17 points. Gary Morris was fourth with 11 fish for 17 points with Mark Haycock fifth catching 9 fish for 14 points and Ian Watts sixth taking 9 trout for 13 points. The top six now progress to the southern semi-final in March at Elinor Trout Fishery.
The AT-TEFF would like to thank Sam and Paul at Chigborough Fisheries for hosting this qualifier and Lee Cartmail for running the event.
The next bank qualifier is on 3rd November at Siblyback Lake. Entries for this qualifier are now closed.
West House Trout Lakes (17th Nov) and Barnsfold Trout Fishery (24th Nov) are the next two qualifiers in November. To book on to these or any of the other bank qualifiers then go to the Angling Trust Events website at

Tim Joyce 25 fish 33 points
Charlie Abrahams 15 fish 21 points
David Franklin 11 fish 17 points
Gary Morris 11 fish 17 points
Mark Haycock 9 fish 14 points
Ian Watts 9 fish 13 point

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2019 Bank Home International, Laios Angling Centre, Ireland

10th Bank Home International, Laios Angling Centre, Co Laios, Ireland, 23rd October

Gold for AT Team England FF !!

  1. England  112 placing pts  40 fish  58cms longest fish  41100 fish pts
  2. Wales  149 placing pts  34 fish  51.3cms longest fish  33900 fish pts
  3. Ireland  155 placing pts  33 fish  54.1cms longest fish  33760 fish pts
  4. Scotland  185 placing pts  22 fish 57.0cms longest fish  22280 fish pts

Individual Results

  1. Andy Taylor, England  12 fish  4 place pts
  2. David Neilson, England  9 fish  9 place pts
  3. Matthew Pate, Wales  7 fish  14 place pts 

Longest Fish: Andy Taylor & Philip Shaw-Browne – 58cms


The 2019 International Bank Fly Fishing Championship took place on Wednesday 23rd October at the Laois Angling Centre, County Laois, Ireland.

The four home nations fielded teams of six anglers, with a travelling reserve and manager to make up the squad of eight. Those representing England had come through the previous year’s qualifiers, semi-finals and final to make the team.
The AT-TEFF team, consisting of Gareth Tilley (Captain) Phil Shaw-Browne, David Neilson, Andy Taylor, Andrew Taylor, Graham Willis, Mark Harrison (Reserve) and manager Paul Page travelled out to Ireland on Saturday and managed to squeeze a few hours practice on the lakes prior to darkness. This short session proved to be a good starting point to the following three days of practice.

Tying and Guinness in the run-up to the event

Top Individual Andy Taylor takes a fish from the main lake in practice

Captain Gareth Tilley nets a fish in practice

David Neilson runner up on match day

The match was fished to full catch and release with barbless hooks to be used throughout. It was to be fished over two, three-hour sessions, AM/PM, with anglers fishing for forty minutes on a peg before moving five pegs, to ensure that they covered the two lakes to be used. Place points were to be used over each session with the overall winner decided by the team which had the lowest points score. The fish were measured by a controller and returned to the water with the length recorded on the angler’s scorecard.

During the practice sessions the teamed developed and refined their flies and techniques. It became clear that distance casting was going to be a major factor as the angling pressure moved the fish out into the middle of both lakes. This impacted on the choice of lines they used with 40+ floaters and slow glass lines being their preferred fly lines. The fish were keen to feed on the surface and just under and again this impacted on their fly choice and tactics. The team over the three days narrowed their tactics down to the slow glass lines and Zonkers, the bung with Shammies and Blobs fished at 3ft and dries with Shipman’s and small F-Flies catching those fish willing to feed late on in the day.

On match day the teams were piped in for a 10am start. As expected, the first two sessions were going to be critical and getting off to a good start was essential. Plenty of fish were taken in the first two moves with only a handful of fish caught in the final two. At the end of morning session England were slightly ahead of the other home nations by just seven place points. A superb lunch was provided by the staff at the Laois Angling Centre before the second session. The afternoon session also got off to a good start with rods bending across both lakes. However, the action soon slowed down, and it was the red hats of England who were now catching consistently as the match drew to its conclusion. The second session score cards were handed in and the results were announced.

In first place with 112 place points were England, Wales were runners-up with 149 place points with Ireland third with 155 place points. Scotland were fourth with 185 place points. England also had three anglers in the top five with Andy Taylor crowned International Bank Champion with 12 fish, with David Neilson runner-up with nine fish and Andrew Taylor fifth with eight fish. Andy Taylor and Phil Shaw-Browne shared the longest fish with both anglers catching a fish of 58cm.
In total 129 fish were caught for a rod average of just over five.

The AT-TEFF bank team would like to thank the Trout Federation of Ireland (TAFI) for organising and running this years international, John and Enda Phelan of the Laois Angling Centre for hosting the competition – the venue and hospitality were first class, the controllers who gave up their day to control the match, the staff and management of the Abbeyleix Hotel which was the base for all the teams, Lee Cartmail and those anglers who supported bonus ball raffles to raise funds for the team and Greys Fly Fishing for the shirts.

Paul Page, England Bank Manager said: “The team started well in practice and kept up the performance in all eight peg rotations, winning by a healthy 37 placing points. This was a tremendous performance and the first ever clean sweep of all trophies.”

Gareth Tilley, England Bank Captain said: “We had a great time representing England, we had a great set of lads in the team and we enjoyed our time as a team in Ireland. The fishing and hospitality at the Laois Angling Centre was first class. I would like to thank Ireland the hosts of the competition who made us feel very welcome. The week was complete when we won gold and took full honours with Andy Taylor as top rod and Andy and Phil Shaw-Browne with the longest fish.”

AT TEFF 2019 Bank International Team


Angling Trust Team England Fly Fishing today wishes success to its Team for the forthcoming 10th Bank International which will be held at the Laios Angling Centre, Coolrain, Co. Laios, Ireland next week.

Team Captain, Gareth Tilley has represented England at the Bank International for the last 2 years and having come 1st and 2nd individually, his track record makes him an excellent choice to captain the team.

The Championship match day will be held on the 23rd October when teams of 6 anglers from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland will compete for the Bank International’s Founders Trophy. This will be the third time that Ireland has hosted the Bank International and the first time at the Laios fishery.

The squad will be led by Manager Paul Page, along with Captain Gareth Tilley; Andy Taylor; Andrew Taylor; Graham Willis; Phil Shaw – Browne; David Neilson and Reserve Mark Harrison.

Manager Paul Page said “I’m looking forward to taking the Team to a new venue in Ireland in October and we have a good mix of skills and experience within the team to understand and develop the tactics and techniques that will be required”

The Bank International squad leave for Holyhead in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Press Release: 2019 Bank International Team press release

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AT TEFF Maran Lakes Bank Qualifier

Sunday 13th October at Maran Lakes trout fishery (Marston Wyse Trout Farm).

Fourteen anglers fished the first bank qualifier of the 2019/20 season at Maran Lakes Trout Fishery. Heavy rain greeted the anglers, and this stayed with them for the duration of the match. On practice days dries and nymphs featured, however the relentless rain soon ruled out any chances of catching fish off the surface.

The first fish was taken at 9:02 by Simon Lee and during the course of the match 100 fish were caught for a healthy rod average of just under 8. Tactics varied from pulling Cat’s Whiskers on intermediate lines, to the bung and twiddling small nymphs.

Top rod on the day was Rob Frame with 15 fish for 22 points, runner-up was Peter Davidson with 12 fish for 18 points, third place was Jim Burtle with 11 fish for 18 points. Colin Fitzjohn was fourth with 9 fish for 14 points with James Stephenson fifth catching 8 fish for 12 points and Brian Davis sixth taking 8 trout for 12 points. The top six now progress to the northern semi- final in March.

The next bank qualifier is on Sunday 27th October at Chigboro Fisheries. To book on to this or any of other bank qualifiers then go to the Angling Trust Events website at

Many thanks to Maran Lakes for hosting this qualifier and to Lee Cartmail and the controllers for giving their time to run the day.

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2019 AT TEFF Loch-style National Final

Chew Valley Lake, Saturday 28th-Sunday 29th September 2019

(Official Practice Days: Thursday 26th-Friday 27th September)

Day 1 Results (provisional)

100 anglers returned a rod average of 8.3 in overcast & blustery conditions. Great angling!

The top 28 anglers will be selected to represent England in the 2020 Loch-style Home Internationals, with the Spring event being held on Lough Melvin, Ireland, and the Autumn event taking place at Llyn Trawsfynydd, Wales.

2 day Event – 100 rods – Entry by Qualification & Invitation Only
Registration from: 08:30 & Closes 09:00
Briefing Day 1 only: 09.15
Match: 10:00 – 18:00
Organiser: Peter Hartley

Peter Hartley & Bristol Water staff will hold the draw for both days in the lodge at Chew at 6.15pm on Friday. All competitors are welcome to attend.

Ticket price: £99.00, to include hog roast after Day 2.

It is the responsibility of the competitor to ensure they are familiar with the rules of the competition and fishery. Any questions should be raised at the briefing.

  • First 3 fish to be killed (to include one brown trout) and then catch & release with each fish released counting as 2lbs.
  • Any extra brown trout caught in the first 3 will be counted as catch & release fish to be recorded on the scorecard.
  • Barbless or debarbed flies to be used throughout the match. Boobies and FABs allowed.
  • Once on catch & release any bleeding fish to be dispatched, kept in a separate bag, and handed to fishery staff at the weigh-in.
  • Your boat partner will be responsible for monitoring your catch return, and they must sign your match card prior to the weigh-in.
  • You must weigh in with your boat partner – no exceptions.

Event Information:

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AT TEFF: Statement Surrounding Issues Raised Prior to the 2019 Loch-style Final

Role of volunteers / organisers

Angling Trust Team England Fly Fishing (AT-TEFF) is empowered by Angling Trust in association with volunteers drawn from the competitive game fishing community, to administer the Team England Loch Style Qualification process. All volunteer roles were advertised and the persons appointed following an interview process. Vacancies are advertised on the AT website – there are currently several available. If you feel you can make a contribution to helping run our events please get in touch with the ATTEFF Secretary.


Venues for the final have rotated around the major fisheries that have the boat capacity. This rotation has varied based on the International venue for the following year. In 2019 Chew was the chosen venue for the final in order to support Bristol Water after their recent issues. Other venues have been Rutland, Grafham and Bewl. ATTEFF, in an effort to keep angler cost to a minimum, have been proactive in negotiating the best rates for its competitors at these venues. With this in mind ATTEFF will be using Draycote Water for its final in 2020 (with the international being held there in 2021). This venue offers a ‘no kill’ possibility with some fish being measured and recorded prior to release. This alternative has been trialled over the last 2 years and has proven to be popular and a success. Bewl Water has, for now, been discounted, simply because of its move to methods, other than fly fishing. This is under constant review. 

Entry fees

ATTEFF uses all its entry fees to support all its teams. There is no sponsorship and for 2020 the Competition budget is based solely on the revenue accrued from those fees. From this budget AT-TEFF have calculated how much each individual angler can receive in support of him / her representing England. Entry fees for loch style have remained at £30 per heat for several years. From 2020 this will have to rise to £35. Entry to the repechage will increase to £20.

Traditionally there has never been an entry fee for the final. This cost has been calculated based on fishing and boat costs plus an element to cover a meal on day 2 and any other overheads including covering for the attendance by the officials and any extra help required from fishery staff. This has for many years been a fixed fee of £99. In an effort to increase revenue to help our teams, ATTEFF negotiates with fisheries to obtain the best deal possible. This may result in part of the final fee going to the general fund to help our teams. For 2020 a fixed entry fee for the final of £35 plus Fishing/Admin/Subsistence costs is being considered. However, this will, depending on the negotiations with the fisheries, result in a total fishing fee above £99. Every penny raised from entry fees goes to support all the teams.

Catch and release and catch limits

ATTEFF is aware that images of large numbers of dead fish following some matches are no longer acceptable. There is a strong move away from totally kill in all matches to some sort of catch and release or total release. Fisheries are more inclined to offer better price ‘deals’ if less fish are killed. For the 2019 final at Chew negotiation on the catch rules was undertaken commencing around April. The fishery were in agreement that this could be an eight fish kill or C&R of some type. The price agreed for these two options was stated. This was discussed between the Qualifier and National Co-ordinator and the match organiser. He was of the opinion that an 8 fish kill would be better, in that it would be more difficult, though not impossible, for two like-minded anglers to collude and falsify their catch return cards (one of them having possibly caught 8 fish).


The final decision on catch limits was taken back to Angling Trust and they suggested angler involvement and issued a short survey. It was also felt that this would give a good indication, through the numbers making a reply, how many wished to make their input known. As it turned out around 77% replied which was a good result. AT undertook analysis of the results and declared that, by a majority, the favoured catch / kill was to be 3 fish killed then C&R all day. This opened up discussions, on social media only, around the possibility of some anglers colluding to falsify their catch cards.


In reality it is thought the likelihood of any anglers cheating in this manner is very low, however, it is accepted that it is a possibility. The fact that the final is held over 2 days means that any anglers contemplating cheating will more than likely only be able to do this on one of the days anyway. Many options to make cheating impossible have been discussed but it is felt that the only method open to ATTEFF is to have boatmen in every boat. (Though other options will be investigated including the use of technology in future). The use of boatmen in future would add additional costs to the entry fees unless volunteers could be found from amongst unsuccessful anglers from earlier heats. Currently Boatmen in the Internationals are offered £25 per day so entry fees would probably have to rise significantly to cover this.

At this year’s final all efforts will / were made to make constant checks on anglers and their bags throughout the two days.


With a move to C&R it is even more important to use de barbed or barbless flies. Anglers were concerned that they would not have enough time to buy or tie a selection of flies on barbless hooks. It is accepted that this is not an option so the organiser will accept flies that have been de barbed or had their barbs flattened. In future it may be worth building up a stock of flies that are tied on barbless hooks. However, we are surprised by the response on this as there are other Competitions that are fished to C&R rules and require barbless or de-barred hooks!

Social Media

ATTEFF are aware that some anglers engage with social media on a regular basis, however these anglers are in the minority but do hold huge influence in the community. ATTEFF as an organisation does not normally reply to social media posts. This does not mean it is not aware of these posts and does take on board what is being said. If anglers have specific concerns, ATTEFF would like to hear from you through normal channels ie email direct to the ATTEFF secretary. Through this channel you will receive a formal reply.

Ideas for 2020

Many suggestions as to how ATTEFF can run heats / nationals in future have been put forward through social media. These range from anglers taking images of fish caught using their mobile phones to the use of boatmen. There are difficulties with both these ideas. The use of boatmen would have to be funded unless 50 volunteers can be found for the final. It would also mean a one day final as it would be totally out of the question to expect boatmen to be around for 2 days. If ATTEFF pay the boatmen then that charge would have to be added to the entry costs and shared by all entrants. Another option would be to make it a condition of entry that those not getting to the final have to become boatmen (a draw being undertaken with a threat that if they do not turn up then they would be prevented from entering the following year). Not something that ATTEFF would wish to do. The use of technology is one option that may be worth pursuing. However, looking at the practicalities – for example it is a wet windy day and the angler has to get his phone out, take a picture of a fish with time stamp using wet slimy hands and then put fish back and phone away. ATTEFF does not see this being a favoured option and not everyone will have a phone with a camera. The images then have to be seen by the officials and analysed  at the weigh-in before the results are made know. This will take more time and delay the results being announced.

If you feel you wish to contribute to any discussions around the points above please email or write to the ATTEFF Secretary – details on the TEFF website.

Sept 2019    

Document: Statement – National final issues

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2019 AT TEFF Loch-style National – Final Results

Full Results: TEFF National Loch Style 2019 – checked and corrected (1)

(NB: These results have now been checked and ratified, and some minor place changes have occurred, but these do not affect the the top 28 places.) 

Pablo Mullings, 2019 National Loch-style Champion

Congratulations to Pablo Mullings the 2019 National Loch-style Champion.

The two day national final was held this weekend at Chew Valley Lake. 100 anglers competed for their place in either the spring or autumn international teams in 2020.
Despite the weather Chew fished well with a rod average of over 8 fish per angler on the Saturday and 3.7 fish per angler on the Sunday.

The top 28 anglers over the two days who now form the teams for next year are:

Pablo Mullings, John Horsey, John Hardy, Paddy Mounter, Tony Baldwin, Graham Currie, Martin Burgess, Paul Calvert, John Pearn, Neil Hodgson, Ben Race, Andy Cottam, Mark Miles, Si Gaines, Peter Crowe, Mark Rose, Tim Wellman, Craig Barr, Sam Bailey, Kim Green, John Hood, Ashley Davis, David Currie, Alex Johnstone, Bart Farmer, Ryan Feber, Paul Sweatman and Terry Phillips.

2nd: John Horsey


Many thanks to the staff at Chew Valley, Peter Hartley and Chris Bobby for running the two days and undertaking the results and all those anglers who competed.

The Angling Trust reports: The weekend of the 28th/29th September saw 100 anglers take part in the two-day AT TEFF National Loch-Style final at Chew Valley Lake. The anglers were fishing to be part of the two England teams for 2020 having qualified from regional heats and the repêchage earlier in the season. The match was fished over two days on a three fish kill and unlimited catch and release with anglers marking returned fish on their score cards. The final results were based on place points from both days to find the most consistent anglers to form the teams for the Spring and Autumn Internationals in 2020. Therefore, the angler with the lowest place points over the two days would be the National Champion. Those in the top 28 would form the two teams of fourteen anglers for 2020 Internationals.

3rd: John Hardy

Chew had been in exceptional form in the week leading up to the national with both the recent stock fish and the fin-perfect residents Chew is famous for willing to feed. The trout were high in the water and fast and slow glass intermediates, floaters and tips being the preferred choice of lines during practice. Denny Island, the North Shore and the mouth of Herons Green were the hot spots.

On day one of the final the boats split at the start with half the fleet heading to Denny Island the other half to Moreton Bank and Herons Green. It soon became clear that Denny Island and the North Shore were the place to be with anglers catching good numbers of fish in these areas. Fast and slow glass lines along with the Di3 and pulling tactics with Blobs and Cormorants were the most successful tactics. In total 811 fish were caught for a superb rod average of just over eight with the biggest fish to the scales a superb 5lb 3oz fish. Pablo Mullings took first spot with 23 trout followed by local anglers Mark Miles and Tim Wellman with 22 and 19 fish respectively. It was all to fish for on day two.

There were some exceptional fish caught on practice and during the match day

With winds of 40mph forecast for the afternoon of day two anglers were briefed before setting out that restrictions may be put in place for health and safety reasons. At the 10am start the majority of the boats headed to Denny Island and the North Shore which had been so productive on day one. It soon became clear that these fish had switched off and anglers started to search the water for fresh fish. The wind picked up and a restriction was put in place keeping the boats on the south side of the lake. The overnight rain had also affected the fishing and many anglers struggled to catch. However, there were anglers who managed to find catchable fish with some taking eight or nine fish. The rod average on day two was 3.7 showing how tricky the fishing had been in comparison to day one.

The windy conditions forced closure of some parts of the lake on Day two

The 2019 National Champion was Pablo Mullings who caught 32 fish over the two days finishing first on day one and second on day two giving him three place points. Runner-up was local angler John Horsey who again displayed why he is one of the best loch-style anglers in England. John had 23 fish for 16 place points. Third place was taken by John Hardy who caught 21 fish for 19 place points.

The top twenty eight anglers who will now represent England in the Spring or Autumn Home Internationals are: Pablo Mullings, John Horsey, John Hardy, Paddy Mounter, Tony Baldwin, Graham Currie, Martin Burgess, Paul Calvert, John Pearn, Neil Hodgson, Ben Race, Andy Cottam, Mark Miles, Si Gaines, Peter Crowe, Mark Rose, Tim Wellman, Craig Barr, Sam Bailey, Kim Green, John Hood, Ashley Davis, David Currie, Alex Johnstone, Bart Farmer, Ryan Feber, Paul Sweatman and Terry Phillips.

Pablo Mullings, 2019 National Loch Style Champion said: “I am surprised, and also delighted, to have won this year’s national, especially due to the last-minute rule change which nearly impacted on my participation in the competition. Nevertheless, it is a great honour to be fishing for England in next year’s international. This result was made possible by the hard and unconditional work of my team mates, John Hardy, Mark Rose and honorary team member Sean Hanlon. A kind word to Bristol Water for producing a great few days fishing. Tight lines to all, see you next year!”

John Harris, Recreations & Fisheries Manager Bristol Water said: “It was a privilege to be able to host the English National at Chew Valley Lake recently, highlighting the national importance of this water to the competition loch-style fishing scene. Despite challenging conditions, the fishing was superb with some rather special fish being caught over the two days. We are incredibly proud of the quality of the fish we produce and strongly believe they are the best fish in the country. Famous for top of the water sport, seeing fish caught on dries and a number of other methods was fantastic! Reports of fish being caught in a variety of areas also goes to demonstrate just how well spread the fish have been this season. We wish the qualifiers the best of luck when representing England in 2020 and look forward to welcoming anglers back in coming seasons.”

Andy Taylor, Competitions Support Officer said: “Chew Valley was on fine form over the two day National with some superb fishing for quality resident and recently stocked fish. The rod average of over eight fish on day one shows how well the lake fished. The AT TEFF would like to thank John Harris and staff at Chew Valley for hosting the event, Peter Hartley for running the final on behalf of AT TEFF, Chris and Lianne Bobby for collating the results and all the volunteers and fisheries who have helped run the qualifiers over the last 12 months. Well done to all those who took part and good luck to the top 28 who will represent England in the Home International next year.”

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2019 Autumn Loch-style Home International, Lake of Menteith


Venue: Lake of Menteith

Dates: 17th to 21st September (incl.)

Match date: Friday 20th September

Accommodation: Buchanan Arms Hotel, Drymen

photo credit:


  1. Ireland    109 fish    251 lbs 2.8 ozs
  2. Wales    104 fish    242 lbs 14.1 ozs
  3. Scotland    94 fish    229 lbs 1.1 ozs
  4. England    92 fish    221 lbs 9.5 ozs 

Best Basket: Arden Pollock (Ireland)    15 fish    32 lbs 7.0 ozs

Heaviest Trout: Neill Barrett (Scotland) 4lbs 9.4 ozs

Full Results: iffa2019autumn

Congratulations to Ireland on their victory.

AT Team England FF was represented by: Mark Miles (captain), Tony Baldwin, John Bowen, Martin Burgess, Phil Burgess, Lee Cartmail, David Eames, Martin Griffiths, Mike Laycock, Mike Lightfoot, Paddy Mounter, Paul Roach, Michael Walker, Jonathan Wood & Paul Angell (manager).

The Angling Trust reports: The 2019 Autumn Loch-Style Home International took place at the Lake of Menteith between the 17th and 21st September. The England team spent four days prior to the match on the 20thSeptember practicing to find the most productive spots and to fine-tune their tactics. The fish were widely spread around the lake, with large concentrations evident in certain areas. The quality and size of the fish the team caught were first class and a credit to the fishery.

Preparing for practice

England captain Mark Miles with fellow England team mates

Steady winds from the south west coupled with dappled cloud cover meant that fishing dries and washing line tactics in the top foot of the water were most successful tactics during practice however, all options were trialled to make sure that the team built up as complete a picture of what to expect on the match day.

The march to the boat dock

Match day dawned to a different weather pattern with dense mist covering the lake which soon burnt off to bright sun and little or no wind. After the traditional march down to the lake by the teams accompanied by a piper, the anglers from the four teams set off at 10am. The boats split with some heading towards International Bay and Lochend, some to Otter Bay, others to Hotel Bay and the rest towards Gateside Bay.  It quickly became obvious that some areas that had previously produced good bags of fish were not going to perform as well in these difficult conditions. Dries were not an option for most and static washing line tactics on lines from Midge Tip’s down to Di3 were producing most fish, especially from the deeper water of Gateside Bay.

As the match progressed, a light breeze developed from the north east, allowing some movement of the drifting boats which improved the chances of anglers covering fish. Later on, during the last couple of hours, some anglers were even catching on dries, but this was never the dominant tactic it had been earlier in the week.

As the match finished, and the anglers returned to the lodge for the weigh in, it was obvious that despite the tough conditions, some anglers had recorded excellent bags. Unfortunately, from an England point of view, they were around a fish a man light off where they had hoped to be.

Paul Angell, England Autumn Loch-Style Manager said, “Despite our fourth place in the match I cannot fault the commitment and efforts of the team in practice or on match day. They worked together, shared ideas, and supported one-another well, ably led by their captain Mark Miles.”

The England team would like to thank Craghoppers for providing team clothing, and Fulling Mill, Guide Fly Fishing, Seapower and Snowbee for their continued support for the team.

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Carl Nixon Appointed as England Fly Fishing Rivers National Co-ordinator

Experienced England International angler Carl Nixon has joined Team England Fly Fishing Committee and will take the lead role in co-ordinating the English Rivers National Championship.

Carl will take up the role with immediate effect and his first task will be to plan and co-ordinate the Qualifiers and Final for the 2019/20 Rivers National Championship.

Carl Nixon said “I’m passionate about competitive river angling and I am delighted to have the opportunity to lead on such a prestigious competition. The National is close to my heart and as a regular competitor over a number of years and more recently organiser of qualifying events, I believe the experience and knowledge I have gained will allow me to make a positive contribution, I can’t wait to get started.”

Ben Thompson, Angling Trust said “We are delighted to have Carl on board, as a current competitor he has his finger on the pulse and his knowledge of the circuit, experience as an organiser and angler at national and international level is invaluable. We are confident Carl will bring fresh ideas and solutions that will enable to us to achieve our goal of improving the experience for participants and increasing participation in the Rivers National.”

Planning for the 2019/20 competition is underway and full details are expected to be published around 20th September on the Angling Trust online booking system at  The process for entering the Rivers National qualifiers will change for 2019/20, entry will be through the online booking system. A change that means the same process is used for entry to all AT TEFF events.

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Paul Page Stands Down from Team England Fly Fishing Managerial Hot Seat

After 15 years of leading Team England Fly Fishing into FIPS Mouche competitions, AT TEFF has announced that Paul Page will stand down from his role as Team Manager with immediate effect.

Paul’s role as Manager began in 2004 at the 24th FIPS Mouche World Fly Fishing Championships in Slovenia and he has overseen Team England’s participation in FIPS Mouche competitions in the years that have followed. His most notable successes came in 2007 at the European Championship in Norway and in 2017 at the World Championship in Czech Republic where he led England to a Silver and Bronze medal respectively.

Paul Page said “I have been an England Fly Fishing Team Manager for the past 26 years, with the last 15 years as European and World Team Manager. It took a number of years to develop and build a stable England squad, exposing them to the differences and pressures of competing at European and World competition level, whilst also developing and improving their abilities so that we could expect to be challenging the top European and World Teams in an ever evolving environment where all teams were seriously upping their game.”

“I have enjoyed my time as European and World Team Manager but feel the time is now right for me to stand down and for others to take the teams forward. I wish my successors and future England European and World Team members the best of luck.”

“For myself, I’m now looking forward to continuing my Team Manager role by taking over the Management of the England Bank International Team, who are already preparing to compete in Ireland in October this year.”

Ben Thompson, Senior Competitions and Performance Manager at Angling Trust said “Paul’s contribution to competitive fly fishing and Team England Fly Fishing in particular, is nothing short of remarkable. His commitment, dedication and passion for the role has afforded many anglers with the opportunity to compete at the highest level.”

“We are delighted that Paul will remain on the AT TEFF committee and that his vast knowledge and experience will be used to benefit competitive fly fishing at the elite level. On behalf of Angling Trust, AT TEFF and everyone who has benefitted from his endeavours, I would like to thank him for his immense contribution, and I look forward to working with him in the years to come.”

AT TEFF will begin the search for a new European Team Manager immediately, anyone interested in getting involved or finding out further information should contact Andy Taylor, Angling Trust’s Competitions Support Officer at


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2019 AT TEFF National Rivers Final

Day One – Carl Nixon briefs the 32 competitors

Sean Brooks tackles the River Dee

Beat C – ‘Dollies’

Chris Micallef nets a grayling at the top of Beat A, Llangollen

The weekend of the 20th & 21st July saw the top 32 anglers from the regional river qualifiers head to the River Dee at Llangollen to fish for a place in the rivers international team for 2020.

With no practice after the 7th July, the anglers who practiced up to the cut-off date found the fishing to be tricky; the resident brownies were willing to feed whilst the grayling were not as cooperative. Heavy rain the day before the match weekend also saw the river rise and colour slightly, forcing many of the competitors to have a late rethink on their tactics.

After the first day briefing the morning sessions were fished on Beat A, top of Llangollen, and Beat C “Dollies”. As predicted the fishing was challenging. Harry Fox won his section at Llangollen and Cameron Craigs his at “Dollies”. The afternoon session saw anglers fish Beat B, the Golf Course, and Beat D, the Country Park. With the river dropping and starting to clear, those fishing the afternoon found the fish willing to feed with James Atkinson taking top spot in the Country Park section, and current rivers champion Mark Lynch winning the Golf Course section. At the end of day one things were very close with at least half the field still in contention for a top six spot.

Day two saw the river drop further and clear. Hopes were high that dries might come into play as the river clarity improved. The first session saw anglers head to the Country Park and Golf Course. James Atkinson found fish again catching seven and one in his two 1.5hr sessions at the Golf Course, whilst at the Country Park there was a mixed bag of results with some anglers faring well whilst others struggled. The final sessions took place at Llangollen and Dollies. Dries were now starting to work as the grayling looked up for food. Chris Micallef took his final three fish on dries as he covered rising fish in the Fridge and Top Pools. As the anglers returned to the Hand Hotel in Llangollen with their score cards it looked like the match was going to be a close-run affair.

After a superb buffet at the hotel the results were announced. It was close with just four place points separating the top ten anglers. In first position was James Atkinson who caught 17 fish for 10 place points and was crowned the England National Rivers Champion for 2019. Second was Chris Micallef with 10 fish for 11 place points and third was Cameron Craigs with 12 fish for 12 place points. Harry Fox was fourth and Carl Nixon fifth with Mike Dixon finishing sixth taking the reserve spot. These six anglers will now form the England team for the Rivers International in June 2020.

2019 National Rivers Champion James Atkinson receiving his trophy
(Photo: From left to right; Carl Nixon, Andy Taylor & James Atkinson)

Runner up – Chris Micallef
(Photo: From left to right; Andy Taylor & Chris Micallef)

Third place – Cameron Craigs
(Photo: From left to right; Andy Taylor & Cameron Craigs)

2019 National Rivers Champion James Atkinson

Top six anglers along with AT Competition Support Officer Andy Taylor

 James Atkinson said, “This year’s national final was always going to be tough. The river was not giving up large numbers of fish in the weeks leading up to the competition and coupled with a field of strong anglers, it was going to be a tight finish. I had been practicing leading up to the final, fishing the river on several occasions locating the best pools and flies. It became clear that a lot of fish were held up in the fast water at the heads of the pools with a long French leader and two tungsten nymphs either black or hare’s ear working well for me.

I drew the Country Park in the first session and had preference three. From practice I knew there were a lot of fish below the Aqueduct and started there. Armed with my French leader I managed six fish quite quickly, knowing this would be enough fish to do well in the session I opted to stop fishing for 15 minutes to save the water for my second session. This paid off by allowing me to get another five out of the same water.

Session 2 on the Golf Course was going to be tough with only a few fish been caught the previous afternoon. With a low start number, I let the rest of angler’s head to their sections. With no angler’s going to the very top pool, so I opted to start there. Fishing the same way as the previous day with a long leader and two heavy but small nymphets (size 14 with 4mm and 3.5mm beads) I fished the head of the top pool for five fish. I then decided to leave the rest for later and head to the riffle above the sewage works. I quickly got another two and decided to leave what I thought was the best pool for the second session, so I again stopped fishing. Unfortunately, there seemed to be no more fish in this pool, much to my surprise, so I headed back to my starting position and managed one more fish. Thankfully this was enough for me!

I would like to thank Carl Nixon for organising the event and the Angling Trust for their continued work to allow these competitions to happen. Also, a massive well done to the other qualifiers and anglers. Bring on the River Don!”

Andy Taylor Competitions Support Officer, Angling Trust said, “This was a great two-day final on a superb piece of river. We would like to thank Llangollen and Maelor Angling Association for allowing us to use their waters. Congratulations to James Atkinson, the new National Rivers Champion, and to the other anglers who finished in the top six.  This was a great performance from James over the two days. We wish the team well in their search for gold in the 2020 International in Scotland.

The AT TEFF would also like to thank Carl Nixon for organising this year’s final and two qualifiers, Mike Dixon for compiling the results, the volunteers who organised and ran the river qualifiers, and Kirsty Marshall for her work behind the scenes at the Angling Trust. The Hand Hotel was the perfect base for the event. Finally, a big thank you to all those anglers who entered the rivers qualifiers this year and to the 32 who competed in the final. The camaraderie and banter make this event a must for any river angler. It really is a great competition where you can learn so much.”

Overall Results:

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