Cliff Waters gets in on the action before the England Youth National on Pitsford Reservoir.
On Monday I covered the England Youth National 2012 this year held on Pitsford Water. With entry numbers up on last year, it looks like the amazing efforts made by Bobbie Worker and the organising committee for the EYFA have started to pay dividends. And, for once the weather played ball. Sunday’s practice was a washout, although those who did brave the constant rain were rewarded with some good bags of fish, albeit mostly recently stocked fish. However, match day dawned and the quality of the fish took off with several bags of big fish weighed in.
It was great to see EVERY young angler who took part staying on for the presentation even though fourteen of them didn’t actually make it into the 2013 team. It showed a healthy respect for those who did qualify, a trait sadly missing in some of the senior competitions. The parents deserve a mention too. Taking an offspring to a seven-hour fly fishing match must be, let’s be honest about it…boring! And, it’s not as though they can actually watch the action. But most seemed perfectly happy to loiter around the boat dock, binoculars at the ready, in the hope that their son might motor into view. Dedication indeed!
EYFA chairman Chris McLeod was my boatman for the event and he did a splendid job manoeuvring our boat into the right position for me to get the shot. He also demonstrated another skill. Unbeknown to me Chris is a pretty talented penny whistle player. And it took me by completely surprise I can tell you, when he whipped it out and gave me a tune in the middle of the lake.
We took advantage of the pleasant conditions to have a bit of a fish ourselves. Finding an area of water in the ‘small half’ of the reservoir just in front of the boat pontoon, we had nine fish to the boat, including a splendid blue trout weighing in at 3lb 5oz and a rainbow of 4lb. Apparently blue’s are a bit of a rarity at Pitsford. This blue took a black ‘pulling’ Buzzer on a floating line. Generally the fish were pretty deep and it was a case of putting on a Midge Tip with an anchor fly and three more to get them down. But when we got cloud cover the trout quickly came up into the top couple of feet confidently taking emergers. The ‘pulling ’ Buzzers worked a treat. I used two flies, a black one on the point and green on the dropper then I ginked up the throat hackles to keep them up in the water.
The blue took the black Buzzer on the point and tore off taking me right through the backing. “It was like a grilse, pure silver and perfect fins,” Chris said. It was, perhaps, one of the most pleasant ‘working’ days of the season so far. Made all the better for the friendly comradeship on display from the youngsters taking part and their parents.