Bristol Reservoir Fly Fishers Association (BRFFA), in conjunction with long-standing sponsors Orvis UK, hosted their annual floating line classic at Bristol Water’s Chew Valley Lake, 12th June.
As anglers tackled up in the car park there was a palpable air of anticipation as to who would eventually clinch the Orvis Classic title for 2016. With some heavyweight internationals and a good number of experienced and in-form match anglers taking to the water, competition this year would again be fierce.
As the match commenced, former Orvis Winner Mark Miles showed his class early on and stormed into a seemingly unassailable lead as he capitalised on his prior day’s practice. Opting to concentrate on the stream of aerator bubbles around the dam, Mark swiftly tempted four fish to his nymphs and buzzers.
As in recent weeks, the dam basin continued to produce and rods started to bend as competitors found the feeding depth of Chew’s hard-fighting rainbow trout. Reigning BRFFA Club Champion John Wingrove showed just why he such a revered dry-fly angler as two 3lb-plus rainbows succumbed to his skilfully presented Claret Bobs Bits within the first hour.
Nymph specialist John Braithwaite also opened his account strongly early on, with his team of imitative nymphs fished with a moderate figure of eight retrieve. Jeff Loud, Jay Currie, Glynn Holmes and Tony George also made equally impressive runs for the 2016 Orvis title in the first half as they all steadily built good bags of fish.
Throughout the day, conditions changed notably with broken cloud giving way to bright sunshine. The change in conditions, coupled with persistent boat pressure, pushed the fish deeper and the catch rate eased considerably during the afternoon.
As the match drew to a close it was clear the scales would have to separate 2014 Orvis Champion Mark Miles and Chew veteran John Braithwaite, who were both tied on nine fish each.
As the fish were weighed in, it became clear a delighted John Braithwaite had pipped Mark Miles into second place by just 10oz.
1st John Braithwaite 9 25.15
2nd Mark Miles 9 25.05
3rd Glynn Holmes 7 19.07
4th Tony George 7 18.08
5th Geoff Loud 5 18.04
The next BRFFA’s club competition will be the universally popular Hidden Teams held at Chew Valley Lake on July 24th, 2016. For an entry form and further details please visit www.brffa.com or visit our Facebook page.
For further information regarding Orvis UK and fishing at Bristol Water’s lakes, please visit www.orvis.co.uk and www.bristolwater.co.uk/environment/fishing/ respectively.