Well my 2012 fly fishing competitions got off to a flier in the Ellerdine Heat of Iain Barrs new World Masters match last weekend. My self and good friends Terry Phillips and Mark Harrison thought we would give this new comp a go at Ellerdine Lakes on Saturday 3rd of March. Work prevented me from getting to Ellerdine for a practice before the match, although I had been the month before with Steve Cullen to shoot the TFF feature on the Alder Nymph for the April edition of the mag. Would the Alder Nymph feature today?
Terry kindly picked me up and after a quick breakfast en-route we arrived at the fishery to see the car park full with anglers tackling up for the match. I set up three rods: on my first a Di7 and an olive snake on a 9ft leader, on the second a slow glass and two apps worms on a 20ft leader and the third a floater and three buzzers on a 15ft leader. The car park banter at these matches is great as everyone is looking at one another’s rods, flies and setups, trying to get any slight advantage!
The draw was made and I headed off to my first peg on Meadow Pool. A fished moved to my right just as I got there. A good sign. Were the trout Gods looking down on me?? The horn went and the 22 anglers set about trying to win the £100 first prize kindly donated by the fishery and a place in the World Masters Final.
I started with the slow glass and two Apps worms and cast to where I saw the fish move. A nice figure of eight back as soon as my flies hit the water... ....nothing. I re-cast again in the same area, counted to 12 and fished the flies back only this time I stopped the retrieve part way back for a few seconds. The line locked up and fish number one was on, and on only my second cast. A quick look up and I was first in. A brilliant start! It was a belter as well. After a short battle a chunky 5lb Rainbow slid into the net.
I had expected to see rods bending all over the place as I knew the pools were full of fish after the recent stockings. The Ellerdine fish weren’t playing ball. 15 minutes into the first session and another fish moved a good 25 yards out. I covered it straight away, counted to 12 and started my retrieve and then stopped, the line locked up again the fish number 2 was on his way in. The horn went and I had 2 fish. I was in first place!!
My next move was to Marsh Lake. A change of tactics on here was needed. On went the floater and buzzers and ten minutes into the session I had my third fish and nice 3lb Rainbow on a black buzzer on the point. Peg three produced another to the Apps. Same tactic, count to 12 figure of eight back, stop and hey presto!!
Peg four saw me back to Meadow and outside the lodge. Not a bad place to be with lunch next. I started here with the Apps on the slow glass and after five minutes I hooked another although this time it came off. Bugger!! I switched to the floater and put my Alder Nymph on the point with two buzzers. On a nice sloooowwww figure of eight retrieve the line went tight and fish number 5 was hooked, or was it the bottom? It was a lump, a good double figure fish which had taken the Alder Nymph. A rod bending scrap followed and finally my aching arms were given a rest as the Rainbow rolled into my net. She was safely released to fight another day.
What a great morning. 5 fish caught off 4 pegs gave me 6 points. The usual lunch time questions and banter followed. Ed Upton trying to keep a straight face whilst telling me he had caught 6!!! Who wa he trying to kid!!! It looked like I was in front.
After lunch it was a casting nightmare straight into the face of a strong westerly wind. So I stuck with the slow glass, kept my casts short to ensure the flies turned over and not back on themselves. I stuck with the Red Apps on the point and put my favourite black and blue lure on the dropper. I had three fish in quick succession, two on the black lure and one on the red apps. The same tactic scored, although the fish were a little deeper, with 22 being the counting depth. My next peg was in the corner at the top of Meadow. I never had a pull!! I couldn’t believe it!
My next move was to the point, my favourite peg. I was thinking this would be a five fish peg. I had one on and lost it on the Alder Nymph. Unbelievable.
The final peg was in the opposite bay and again I had one on and the bugger came off!! So at the final horn I had 8 off 5 pegs and a score of 13, was it going to be unlucky 13??
The results were soon complied and Iain started in first place, with 8 fish and 13 points Andy Taylor!!! Superb! A great start to 2012. A place in the World Masters Final at Elinor, £100 cash and a £50 voucher for Iain Barrs Flies. I was chuffed to bits!!
This competition is a new Stillwater bank match. It was really well organised by Iain at a great venue. Ed and Jayne did us all proud, quality fishing, quality fish and a great lunch. It was nice to see some new faces on the competition scene. So if you haven’t entered one of these qualifiers give it a go. I might see you at the final??!!!Andy Taylor