Fishing in any AT TEFF competition will be carried out in the spirit of, and with respect for, the traditions of the sport.
Competitors are not permitted to engage in any form of betting, including sweepstakes, connected with their competitions.
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 for 2023. v1.2)
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 AT TEFF qualifiers in all disciplines. From 2023 each competitor will be issued with a ‘match card’. You and your boat partner are required to complete this card each time you or your boat partner catches a fish. 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
a) Qualification Criteria.
1. Age. Entry is limited to those who will be 18 years old when they fish the first heat.
2. Residency / 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.
3. Angling Trust (AT) membership.
Anglers must be an individual member of Angling Trust in order to enter any heat or the final, as entry is made on-line and will only be accepted if the angler is a current AT member. Membership provides anglers with third party insurance cover.
Join AT here https://anglingtrust.net/membership/
Anglers representing England must also be members in the year that they fish.
4. By entering you undertake that:
a) You have read the rules and agree to abide by the national and local rules.
b) You meet the eligibility rules.
c) You have read this document including FAQs 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 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 h) may lead to disqualification.
b) Rules from 2023.
1. AT TEFF Loch-Style Competition Rules.
From 2023 the venues have been split into 2 blocks, A and B.
Anglers can enter either 1 venue from block A OR just enter the block B event.
If an angler fails to qualify at a block A event he may then enter the block B event.
This means entrants can enter a maximum of 2 heats only.
See website for details of venues, blocks, dates and costs.
Note that approx 40% to 50% will progress from a block A event but a very small number will progress from the block B event.
The final will comprise around 100 anglers but this is subject to entry numbers and could be varied at the discretion of the AT TEFF Executive.
Block A entries open at 8pm on 1st March and close on 31st March. Block B entries open at 8pm on 12th June.
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 read the heat rules in advance of any practice by contacting the event organiser.
Entrants must have read the risk assessment for the heat they are to fish as well as to make themselves familiar with the fishery’s risk assessment.
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 30 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 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.
In a 2 day national final, any angler disqualified on day 1 will not be permitted to weigh-in on day 2 but he is expected to fish. Any angler disqualified on day 2 will forfeit his day 1 score and be deemed blank on both days.
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. Once an angler is fishing to catch and release, flies must be debarbed or barbless. No double hooks will then be allowed. Debarbed flies must not pull threads when pulled from material. No fly shall be artificially weighted. Attractor chemicals and light emitters may not be used on flies. 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 (subject to the rules of the fishery) and flies must be at least 20 inches apart. 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. NOTE – the overall length of any fly includes any dressing that lies forward of the hook eye – beware when measuring Booby type flies and popper hoppers! Ensure that legs on hoppers and daddies fit the gauge too.
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.
Debarbed or barbless flies are to be used throughout the match
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. Droppers 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 / lines.
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.
The anchoring of boats whilst fishing is prohibited. Boats must be allowed to drift freely during fishing and must not be held on oars, drogues or engines in such a manner as to interfere with, or gain advantage over, any other competitor. When motoring between drifts the fly line must not be in the water – it is however permissible for the flies to be in the water. Trolling flies behind the boat is never permitted and fishing should not commence until a boat is ‘set’ and static on the next drift and there is no forward or reverse momentum of the boat.
During an event no boat may encroach within 50 yards radius of any other boat engaged in fishing. The water between boats may be shared. The event organiser may extend the 50 yard separation as befits the venue.
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 125mm (5 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 lines. 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.
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.
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 and other ‘Smart’ devices may only be used in an emergency and with the prior approval of the organiser / boat partner. They must not be used in a ’location recording’ mode (GPS) to log where fish are caught on practice or match days.
18. Local Rules.
The event organiser will advise competitors of any local rules which augment or otherwise affect the competition rules. These will be applied as if they are part of these written 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 (except in the event of damage to a boat, failure of a motor or being overcome by a storm), no later than the event finish time. No allowance will be made for any boat that breaks down or any angler landing a fish (unless that fish is hooked and being played in the designated finishing zone). 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 maximum size that may be weighed in. All eligible species will be killed in a ‘kill’ competition. There will be no minimum size. Some fisheries stock a number of large fish and, in these circumstances, 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 (if any).
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.
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 for safe keeping. They must also hand in their completed, signed match cards. The fish and cards 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 and completing them.
Match cards will be issued to each angler. You will be responsible for completing the card of your boat partner. You should record the time of each fish caught by your boat partner after every fish landed. You should also record the time whenever you catch a fish. Therefore both anglers will simultaneously record each fish caught by them and their partner. After the match you should blank out using an X any spaces allocated for fish not caught and then both anglers should sign the card.
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. Any incomplete or defaced cards will mean that the anglers catch may not be weighed-in or may cause a delay in announcing the results.
From 2023 all heats will be fished to one format as below.
Kill the first 3 fish, catch and release a further 13 fish then time bonus. A score card will be issued and completed simultaneously by you and your boat partner. Returned fish count as 2lb and the time bonus will be 2lb per hour (i.e. 4 oz for each complete 15 min remaining in the match)
The number qualifying for the final will be approx 30% to 50% from each heat – rounded down. Actual number will depend upon entries.
Examples at 40%
40 anglers fish a block A event: 16 anglers will go to the final.
36 anglers fish a block A event: 14.4 (14) anglers will go to the final.
52 anglers fish a block A event: 20.8 (20) will go to the final.
At the block B event the number progressing will be sufficient to ensure a 100 rod final – again this will depend on the initial entry numbers and may be less than 100.
Heat results will be decided by the bag-weight of the 3 fish killed plus a 2lb bonus for each trout returned / each hour of the match remaining.
Debarbed or barbless flies are to be used throughout the match
Scorecards must be completed simultaneously 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 2 day National Final – catch rules as above.
In a 2 day national final, any angler disqualified on day 1 will not be permitted to weigh-in on day 2 but is expected to fish. Any angler disqualified (or otherwise unable to fish) on day 2 will forfeit his day 1 score and be deemed blank on both days.
Place Points will be used:
Day 1 and 2.
Each day will be scored as above (see catch formats) and each competitor will be placed separately according to the position they finish in. The lowest total placing will be 1st and will attract 1 place point and so on. In the event of a tie on weight place points will be shared eg . Two anglers weigh-in 10 lb 5 ozs and finish in 10th place – both anglers will be awarded 10 place points.
For the overall result on day 2.
Competitors’ place points for day 1 and 2 will be summed and their totals will determine their final position in the competition. The lowest total place points will be 1st.
Tie. In the event of a tie for total place points, the higher position will be awarded to the competitor with the best total bag by weight of fish killed (i.e. 6 fish max – 3 each day) over the 2 days.
An angler who is blank (or disqualified) on either day will attract maximum points (i.e. in a 100 rod final a score of 100 place points).
Example 1 (100 rod final) – day 1 you finish 5th and on day 2 you blank – total score will be 5 plus 100 = 105 place points.
Example 2 (100 rod final) – day 1 you finish 49th and day 2 you finish 12th – total is 49 plus 12 = 61 place points.
Debarbed or barbless flies are to be used throughout the match
23. Boatmen and Boat Pairings / boat draw.
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. The boat draw will be made in advance of the match by AT TEFF or the local organiser/s and will not be published until the morning of the competition.
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.
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 fishery, 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 give 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. Sailing craft have the same rights to be using the water as fishermen do.
For 2023 no reserves will be taken for any heats.
Reserves for the final will be drawn from the first non qualifying place from each heat in block A and their names placed in a hat and 2 drawn and invited to attend the final as official reserves.
28. Litter and nylon.
You must remove, after your day afloat, all litter and nylon / fluorocarbon (which does not biodegrade) from the boat whether or not it was present when you embarked. Take all such litter home with you please.
28. As with any AT 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.
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.
The organiser will fix the beat arrangements.
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.
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.