Competition Rules

General Rules

Tradition

Fishing in any AT TEFF competition will be carried out in the spirit of, and with respect for, the traditions of the sport.

Betting

Competitors are not permitted to engage in any form of betting, including sweepstakes, connected with their competitions.

Eligibility

Where required in England, all competitors must be in possession of a valid Environmental Agency rod licence and be a member of the Angling Trust. To participate in an AT TEFF national competition, an individual must have been born in England, or be a citizen thereof, or have resided therein for at least 3 years preceding the date of the competition. For this purpose, Monmouthshire is considered to be part of Wales. Anyone living within 5 miles of the border between England and Scotland is considered eligible to fish for either country. Entry is limited to those who will be at least 18 years old on May 1st of the following year. An individual is allowed to enter more than one qualifier during the competition season.

Disputes and Complaints

Any dispute or complaint must be reported to a match official within 30 minutes of the end of the match. A sub-committee is to be formed of the organiser and a minimum of two officials of the organisation responsible. They shall adjudicate within one hour. If the sub-committee considers that a competitor has not complied with the rules, it may disqualify. It may also refer the matter for further disciplinary action. In that case, a full report must be made to the appropriate authority within 7 days. A competitor may appeal against a decision to the AT TEFF, (or Organising Body as appropriate) in writing, within 7 days of being informed of any penalty. Any review must be concluded within 28 days.

LOCH-STYLE RULES – updated 9th February 2002

It is the responsibility of all competitors to fully understand the rules for the loch style events. These rules are amended regularly so please read them in their entirety. If you fall foul of the rules you will be disqualified and may be prevented from entering future events. Cheating in any form will not be tolerated and may result in a total ban from all future TEFF qualifiers in all disciplines. From 2022 competitors will be issued with a ‘match card’. You and your boat partner are required to complete this card as fish are caught. You will score your partner’s card and he will score yours. The card must be signed by both anglers and presented to the match officials at the weigh in. Cards will be checked throughout the event. Any cards not ‘up to date’ with catch details at the time of the check will mean the boat is disqualified.

Angling Trust Statement on the Role of Volunteers

Angling Trust volunteers play a vital and integral role in angling participation. Without their dedication and commitment, the vast majority of events simply could not happen. We believe volunteers’ contributions should be acknowledged and appreciated by all anglers. Unfortunately, there have been a number of recent instances where these unpaid Angling Trust officials have been subjected to abuse. The Angling Trust considers this abuse to be wholly unacceptable and as such will not be tolerated. Complaints of mistreatment from our volunteers will be taken very seriously.  Individuals who are considered to be out of order will be asked to explain their actions and may risk being excluded from future competitions.

Thank you.

a) Qualification Criteria

  1. Age. Entry is limited to those who will be 18 years old when they fish the first heat.
  1. Residency / eligibility. 

Where required in England, all competitors must be in possession of a valid Environmental Agency rod licence. To participate in an AT TEFF national competition, an individual must have been born in England, or be a citizen thereof, or have resided therein for at least 3 years preceding the date of the competition. Anyone living within 5 miles of the border between England and Scotland is considered eligible to fish for either country. Note this is under review and may be updated after the IFFA  AGM. 

  1. Angling Trust membership.     

a) Anglers representing England must be members in the year that they fish. 

b) They must also be an Angling Trust member to enter any heat and the final, as entry is made on-line and will only be accepted if the angler is a current AT member. This will also provide anglers with third party insurance cover.

Join AT here https://anglingtrust.net/membership/

4. By entering you undertake that:

a) You have read the rules and agree to abide by the national and local rules. 

b) You are at least 18 years old when you fish the first heat.

c) You have read this document including FAQ’s in full.

d) You understand by completing your entry you are bound by the terms and conditions. (downloadable from the Angling Trust Events website).

e) You have read the generic Risk Assessment for Loch Style events on the AT TEFF website.

f) You will not bring the name of Angling Trust and / or Team England Fly Fishing into disrepute.

g) You will respect the many volunteers and fishery staff that make the organising of these events run as smoothly as possible.

h) You will become a member of Angling Trust and retain that membership once / if you become a member of any AT TEFF team.

i) You will familiarise yourself with the match rules for the heat in question in advance of any practice sessions or the heat itself. (Note that match rules and fishery rules often vary). If you are unsure of any rules you are advised to make contact with the heat organiser prior to undertaking any practice sessions.

Any contravention of the above (a to i) may lead to disqualification.

b) Rules

1. AT TEFF Loch-Style Competition Rules.

Anglers must only enter one heat at a time up to a maximum of 3 entries. 

If you fail to gain a qualifying place at your first attempt, you may then enter a second heat. if you again fail you may then enter a third (final) time.

If,  having entered and fished 3 heats you can then only fish again if you have qualified for the repechage.

Entrants should familiarise themselves with the fishery rules as well as local rules. This includes for out of bounds areas, sailing areas and other restrictions such as distances from bank anglers etc. So there is no doubt, anglers are advised to keep well clear of restricted areas. Entrants should also determine the heat rules in advance of any practice by contacting the event organiser. 

You will, on the day of the match, be issued with a ‘match card’. This must be completed and signed. Failure to do so may result in disqualification. In catch and release type matches, the card must be completed with the time that each fish is netted and returned. Any angler found to have an incomplete card at the time of any random check will be disqualified along with his / her boat partner.

2. Risks.

Entrants must have read the risk assessment for the heat they are to fish as well as to make themselves familiar with the fisheries risk assessment.

3. Betting.

Competitors are not permitted to engage in any form of betting, including sweepstakes, connected with their competitions.

4. Disputes and Complaints.

Any dispute or complaint must be reported to an event official within 20 minutes of the competition ending after which time the weigh-in will commence. If a complaint is made, a sub-committee will be formed comprising the organiser and a minimum of two officials of the organisation responsible (This may include anglers that have fished the event). If the sub-committee considers that a competitor has not complied with the rules, he / she may be disqualified. It may also refer the matter for further disciplinary action. In that case, a full report must be made to the appropriate authority within 7 days. A competitor may appeal against a decision to the AT TEFF, (or Organising Body as appropriate) in writing, within 7 days of being informed of any penalty. Input from fishery staff will also be considered if appropriate. The sub-committee shall adjudicate within half an hour but, where further information is required, a decision may be delayed for several days. For this reason it is recommended that competitors remain behind after the event until the weigh-in is completed to ensure that no complaints have been made against them and so they can represent themselves at the sub – committee’s adjudication of the complaint.

5. Adjudication if rules are broken.

In this unfortunate circumstance you may be disqualified by the match officials from the event where the rule/s was broken whether or not you appear to have qualified or not. You may be banned from entering further heats in the current year and / or subsequent years, this decision being made by AT TEFF Executive. Appeals can be made in writing to the AT TEFF secretary and must be made within one week of the event. No refund of fishing or entry fees will be made.

6. Flies & Hooks.

Events shall be fished with artificial fly only. Flies may be dressed on single or double hooks; tandem flies are not permitted. In the case of a double hook, the angle between the bends shall not exceed 90 degrees and, when viewed from the side, the bends must lie one behind the other. No fly shall be artificially weighted. No more than 4 flies, only one of which may be dressed on a double hook (a total of 5 hook points), may be mounted on a cast and flies must be at least 20 inches apart. (This rule is subject to the rules of the fishery). Hooks may not measure more than five-eighths of an inch overall, including the eye. The overall length of the fly may not exceed fifteen-sixteenths of an inch. Suspected illegal flies should be put into an envelope and signed over the seal by the Match Official or boatman. The envelope should be presented to the organisers at the end of the competition. Attractor chemicals and light emitters may not be used on flies. Once an angler is fishing to catch and release flies will be debarbed or barbless. No double hook will then be allowed.

7. Lines & Leaders.

Lines, casts and leaders shall not be additionally weighted. No form of shooting line, metal core line or metal core braided leader is permitted.

8. Bungs / Indicators.

Any bung or indicator must be a fly capable of catching and hooking a fish, not having its gape obstructed and can only be attached on a dropper or the point. It must not be free to move up and down the line. Threaded indicators are not permitted. If in doubt, show your indicator to the match official prior to the event. Bungs / indicators must conform to the recognised International fly sizes for loch-style competitions.

9. Rods.

A competitor may use one rod not exceeding 12 feet in length and may have a spare rod of the same maximum length. But only one rod may be mounted. A rod is considered mounted if any two sections are joined or if a reel or line is attached. A competitor’s rod, when working flies or retrieving casts must be hand held and must be above water level. Roly-poly retrieval is not allowed.

10. Drifting.

Boats must be allowed to drift freely during fishing and must not be held on oars, drogues or engine in such a manner as to interfere with, or gain advantage over, any other competitor. Flies must be out of the water whilst the engine is running or the boat is in forward or reverse motion. Trolling lines or flies behind the boat is never permitted. During a match no boat may encroach within 50 yards radius of any other boat engaged in fishing. The water between boats may be shared. The match organiser may extend the 50 yard separation as befits the venue.

FishingZone

11. Fishing Zone (see diagram above).

Competitors shall fish within the bounds shown in this diagram and may not fish in their partners’ zones. NOTE. On days of high winds care should be taken when fishing sinking lines that they are not allowed to sink under and behind the boat.

In flat calm conditions both anglers must fish in the same direction which is out of the front of the boat. Anglers should decide which side of the boat is deemed to be the front and remain fishing in that direction.

12. Out of Bounds Areas.

Whilst a competitor may cast into an ‘Out of Bounds’ area, the boat may not enter these areas whether fishing or not.

13. Sitting & Standing.

Boat seats, thwart boards and the use of tackle boxes as seats are allowed, provided the height of the seat is not more than 150mm 6 inches above the gunwales. (ie 150mm from the underside of the seat) Note – ‘Backrests’ are also allowed on boat seats. Competitors must not stand in the boat when casting or retrieving line. However, standing in the boat is allowed whilst fishing but only when playing or landing a fish.

14. Command of the Boat.

Command of the boat will change every two hours or as mutually agreed. Competitors may physically change ends every two hours but must return to the boat dock to do so.

15. Drogues.

A single un-weighted drogue is permitted, of no more than 60 x 60 inches or 25 square feet. It may be fitted with functional metal fittings such as small link rings and swivels. The only control device allowed is one or two ‘G’ clamps. The drogue may be fixed on either side of the boat such that the drift is square to the wind. The drogue must trail no more than 15 feet behind the boat and may be attached at 1 or 2 points subject to local fishery rules. Drogues may be ‘towed’ when moving between drifts or taken out of the water – again subject to local fishery rules. NOTE. Drogues must not be used to ‘anchor’ the boat by allowing it to snag on any underwater obstacles such as tree stumps, rocks, weedbeds, buoys, stone walls and embankments etc. Upon returning up a drift no fishing will take place until the engine has been cut and the drogue (if used) set and the boat has stopped its forward momentum. No trailing of flies behind the boat.

16. Respect for Other Anglers.

In congested areas, boats must not deny reasonable access to other boats by undertaking repeated short drifts. Special care must be taken in such circumstances, especially when manoeuvring the boat. Boats are to keep at least 50 yards from bank anglers.

NOTE. In flat calms / back eddies caused by winds passing over a dam or other steep bank, anglers must ensure that the boat does not ‘back drift’ and remain static in one area thereby preventing other anglers access to that area. Boats should not under any circumstances be allowed to rest upon any dam wall or bank – they must always be free drifting.

17. Electronic Devices.

Competitors may not use electronic devices, such as echo-sounders, fish finders or radios during official practice days or event days. MOBILE TELEPHONES may only be used in an emergency and with the prior approval of the organiser / boat partner.

18. Local Rules.

The event organiser will advise competitors of any local rules which augment or otherwise affect the competition rules.

19. Hours of Fishing.

The organiser shall fix the hours of fishing which are normally 10am to 6pm. No weigh-in will commence until 20 minutes after the end of the match, this is to allow time for the event organiser, if he too is competing, sufficient time to organise himself prior to the weigh-in. In the event of dangerous weather, the organiser may change the match hours, or the date, as necessary. Competitors shall not fish before the start time and must begin from the start zone. They must return to the finishing zone, in the boat in which they set out, no later than the event finish time. Boats must have returned to the designated finish area at the designated time. No allowance will be made for any boat that breaks down or any angler landing a fish. If  the heat is called off before the start or stopped before a result can be determined then the heat may be rearranged or’ lots’ drawn to decide who progresses.

20. Species and Size of Fish.

Trout are the only permitted species. The organiser will specify any limitations, e.g. restrictions on brown trout, or the minimum / maximum size that may be weighed in. To prevent competition results being distorted by an individual fish, the organiser may fix a maximum weight or length, usually 4 lbs or 50cm. In this event, the trout would weigh 4 lbs for the bag-weight or 50cm for length but be credited with its full weight / length for any heaviest fish award. 

Note – some fisheries stock a large number of big fish so a maximum may be advised on the day.

Brown trout – some fisheries ban the killing of brown trout. Information on this will be given by the event organiser at the briefing prior to the heat commencing. If in doubt ask the organiser at the briefing.

21. Weighing-in.

If both boat partners reach their individual bag limits early, they may leave the water and hand in their bags to an official or member of the fishery staff. The fish should be collected from this official and presented at the weigh-in. All competitors must report directly to the weigh-in, in their boat pairs, within 20 minutes of the event finish time. Nil returns are required. Anyone not reporting within 30 minutes of the end of the event will be deemed to have a nil return. Local rules will be notified by the organiser on the day of the event and may include for catch and release, time bonus for early finishes or a combination of each.

22. Placings / Scoring.

Important – Match Cards.

Match cards will be issued to each angler. Your card will be completed by your boat partner and you will complete his. You must both sign the card at the end of the match. Cards may be checked by a match official during the event. Any cards that are not ‘up to date’ with time and catch information will disqualify BOTH anglers in the boat. Anglers must ‘weigh-in’ in their boat pairs and present their partner’s signed match card to the match official/s.

Catch Formats.

Entrants may be fishing to any one of the competition catch formats listed below. Please read the instructions carefully so that you are fully aware of the catch rules for the event you have entered. Ignorance of the rules is no excuse.

At Rutland, Grafham and Bewl in 2022 only.

a) This will be a Total Kill competition: Maximum 8 fish kill then time bonus. A score will be issued and completed by your boat partner.

Competition results will be decided by the bag-weight of the fish, the higher weight taking precedence. If weights are equal, the heaviest individual fish will take precedence. When a competitor reaches the 8 fish limit, the time is to be recorded on the match card by agreement with the boatman and/or boat partner. A time-bonus weight of 8ozs will be added to the angler’s catch for every full quarter of an hour remaining in the competition. Score cards must be completed and signed by both anglers in the boat. The card must be presented to the match official at the weigh-in. No card – no weigh-in.

At Blithfield in 2022.

b) This will be a Partial Kill competition: Maximum of 3 fish to be killed then catch and release 27 then time bonus. The first 3 fish caught are to be killed. A score card will be issued and completed by your boat partner.

Competition results will be decided by the bag-weight of the 3 fish killed plus a 2lb bonus for each trout returned then a bonus of 8ozs for each full 15 mins of the match remaining. If weights are equal, the heaviest individual fish will take precedence. If  a competitor reaches the limit, the time is to be recorded on the match card by agreement with the boatman and/or boat partner. Score cards must be completed and signed by both anglers in the boat. The card must be presented to the match official at the weigh-in. No card – no weigh-in.

At Blagdon, Chew, Carsington and Draycote (heat and repechage) in 2022.

c) This will be a Partial Kill competition: Maximum of 3 fish to be killed then catch and release all day. The first 3 fish caught are to be killed. A score card will be issued and completed by your boat partner.

Competition results will be decided by the bag-weight of the 3 fish killed plus a 2lb bonus for each trout returned. If weights are equal, the heaviest individual fish will take precedence. Score cards must be completed and signed by both anglers in the boat. The card must be presented to the match official at the weigh-in. No card – no weigh-in.

At the National Final at Draycote – over 2 days.

Special Rules for the final.

  1. Once fishing to catch and release flies are to be debarded or barbless. Boobies, FABS and Doubles can still be used.
  2. No boats within 50m of a bank angler.
  3. Boats are advised to stay 30m from all banks. 50m when travelling.
  4. No fishing in the buoyed area next to the aerators unless they are switched off.

This will be a Partial Kill competition: Maximum of 3 fish to be killed then catch and release all day. A score card will be issued and completed by your boat partner.

In 2022 the final will be fished to a 3 fish kill then catch and release all day. Bonuses that will apply – 2lb for each trout returned.

Place Points will be used: Each day will be scored as above and each competitor will be placed separately according to the position they finish in. Competitors’ placings for each day will be summed and their totals will determine their final position in the competition. The lowest total placings will be 1st  and will attract 1 point and so on. In the event of a tie for total placings, the higher position will be awarded to the competitor with the best total bag by weight (6 fish max) over the 2 days.

If an angler is blank on either day he will attract maximum points (ie in a 100 rod final he will score 100 points).

Example 1 – day 1 you finish 5th and on day 2 you blank – total score will be 5 plus 100 = 105 points.

Example 2 – day 1 you finish 49th and day 2 you finish 12th – total is 49 plus 12 = 61 points.

Number qualifying for the repechage and final.

Examples

  1. 40 anglers fish a heat: 10 anglers (1st–10th) go to final and 10 anglers (11th–20th) areinvited to the repechage.
  2. 37-39 anglers fish a heat: 9 anglers (1st–9th) go to the final, 9 anglers (10th–18th) invited to the repechage, 1 extra place for the final goes to repechage.
  3. 33-35 anglers fish a heat: 8 anglers (1st–8th) go to final, 8 anglers (9th–16th) invited to the repechage, 2 extra places for the final go to the repechage.

23. Boatmen & Boat Pairings.

Boatmen and boat pairings will be allocated by ballot by the organiser or by a computerised draw system which may be used if agreed by AT TEFF or Event Organisers.

24. Emergencies.

If assistance is required, an oar should be raised to alert officials or a phone call made to the organisers / fishery. During competition hours, a boat may be beached only in an emergency such as medical, boat, or severe weather problems. In these circumstances, the competitors may if necessary return by other means but must report immediately to an official who will treat the incident as though it were a complaint made under AT TEFF Competition Rule 4 – See AT TEFF General Competition Rules.

25. Safety.

Competitors MUST wear buoyancy aids and are recommended to wear eye protectors when either travelling in, or fishing from boats.

26. Local rule variations.

These will be advised at the competition briefing. 

Anglers must be aware that AT TEFF does not have control over local rules imposed by a fishery. These rules may need to be made prior to the event and will be based on advice from the fishery. Examples would be out of bounds areas created by the water authority, areas that cannot be fished due to expected adverse weather conditions etc. Entrants should appreciate, before they plan their practice strategy, that AT TEFF is subject to the Health and Safety requirements imposed upon it by the fisheries. AT TEFF does all it can to ensure a heat creates a level playing field for all. For example AT TEFF has no control over when, where and how many fish are stocked into a venue, whether a specific area will be out of bounds due to construction work or pumping of water / air etc.

A note on Sailing.

On waters where sailing takes place be aware that powered craft (fishing boats when under power) must make way to sailing craft including windsurfers. It is advisable to also avoid fishing in an area where sailing turning buoys are located especially on sailing competition days. AT TEFF has no control over where a sailing course is set out.

27. Reserves.

For 2022 no reserves will be taken for any heats or the final.

26. As with any TEFF competition, fishing will be carried out in the spirit of and with respect for the traditions of the sport.

RIVER RULES – Local rule variations may apply

Matches shall be fished with artificial flies on barbless or de-barbed single hooks. Not more than three flies shall be mounted on a cast. Flies may be artificially weighted.
Fly irons will measure not more than five-eighths of an inch overall, including the eye. The overall length of the fly shall not exceed fifteen-sixteenths of an inch. Flies may be of any pattern and material and may be fished floating or sunk. Attractor chemicals and the use of light emitters are debarred.
A competitor may use only one rod at a time (maximum length 12 feet) but may have a second ready mounted as a spare. Any manufactured line may be used. Braided leaders, weighted or un-weighted, are allowed. Coloured sleeving may be used at the end of the fly line to improve visibility but no other bite indicators are permitted. A ‘sacrificial’ floating fly is not deemed to be a bite indicator provided it is one of the three permitted flies.
Competitors must provide for themselves landing nets made of knotless mesh.
Competitors may fish anywhere within their beats provided that they do not approach within 30 metres of another competitor who is fishing. They may fish the same spot for up to 30 minutes. After that, if requested by another competitor, they must move at least 30 metres and may not return to the spot for at least 30 minutes. At the end of each session every competitor must move at least 30 metres from the spot they are fishing, irrespective of how long they have fished there. Any angler whilst measuring a fish shall be deemed still fishing in the same place where they hooked the fish.
No competitor may walk or cast outside the beat. Should a fish move outside the beat, it must be played from and landed within the beat. If a fish is hooked at the end of a session, five minutes of the next session is allowed in which to net it.

Local Rules

The match organiser, hereinafter referred to as the ‘organiser’, will advise competitors of any local rules which augment or otherwise affect the following rules.

Hours of fishing

The organiser will fix the hours of fishing.

Species & Size of Fish

Trout and grayling are the only permitted species. The minimum size limit that may be set in England is 15cms from nose to the tips of the tail. The organiser will specify any further limitations for a particular event.

Beat Arrangements

The organiser will fix the beat arrangements.

Controllers

Each competitor will have a controller. Whenever possible the fisherman/controller pairing should be different for each of the fishing sessions. Controllers will be responsible for ensuring that those on their beats comply with the rules. To be fair to all, they are not to give advice, net fish or in any other way give advantage to their competitors.

Catching & Recording

Catch and release will apply. All fish must be netted and presented to the controllers whilst still in the landing net. At the time of netting, the hook must be in the fish’s mouth; if the fly drops out in the net, the fish will still count. The controller and competitor will agree the overall length of the fish and the controller will record it on the score card. The competitor will carefully return the fish to the river, making sure that it can swim away before releasing it.

National Final

The National Final takes place over two days. On both days there are two sessions, morning and afternoon, where a competitor is either fishing or controlling.

Both of these two sessions are split into two scoring sessions.

Scoring and Placings

Each qualifying fish will score 20 points plus 1 point for each centimetre or part thereof. For example, a fish of 30.3 centimetres will score 20 plus 31, ie 51 fish points. The scores for the scoring sessions will be recorded separately. At the end of each scoring session, both the controller and the competitor will initial the scorecard. Competitors from each of the four beats will be ‘placed’ separately, according to the points they have scored in each of the scoring sessions, i.e. in each scoring session, the top competitor on each beat will earn a ‘1 placing’, the second a ‘2 placing’ and so on. A blank will earn an ‘8 placing’. Individuals’ placings in the four sessions will be summed and their totals will decide their positions in the competition. The top individual will have the lowest total of ‘placings’ and so on. A tie will be decided on highest fish points.

Assistance to the Competition Organisers

If anyone sees anything which appears to contravene the competition rules, they are asked to notify the individual concerned if possible, and to report to the organiser under the procedure set out in the AT TEFF General Fishing Rules.

July 2022