Hard to believe that another fly fishing season is now complete - but what an awesome season it was!
Huge pike, enormous trout, monster perch and great competitions.
Vail, Colorado USA for 2016 World Championships
My best bit of news recently is being selected to represent Team England in next year's World Championships in Vail, Colorado. The Youth Championships were held there this season and by all accounts the venues and organisation are perfect for a match of this magnitude.
My other England Team Mates are Howard Croston, Simon Robinson, Phil Dixon and Andrew Scott, with Paul Page as Manager.
Both Chew and Blagdon Lakes were on fire for the majority of the season. Once again, massive buzzer hatches brought the fish onto the feed as early as March and the dry fly fishing on Chew was exceptional. Although the rainbows are always in tip-top condition, it was the size and quantity of the browns that was staggering.
One of my clients, Chris Jarrett, landed a brown of over 14lbs while pike fishing with me in November - the giant brownie took a whole mackerel.
All through the season people were reporting catches of 5lb to 8lb browns - most of which were voluntarily returned to the water. Which is great news.
Perch on Chew
For the 3rd year running, the perch showed up in large numbers on Chew Valley Lake. Specimens of up to almost 5lbs were taken - mainly around the jetties and most on the fly.
Late afternoon in the back end of August through until November was the key time to contact a PB Perch. I fly fished one day with Ian Gregg and we struggled for perch all day - plenty of pike and the odd trout, but the perch were hard to locate.
Then just as the light started to fade and the wind dropped, Ian had a PB 3:03 perch then with the last cast of the day followed it with a 3:10.
The highlight of the season has to be my Italian client Enrico Pini's massive 40lb 8oz caught during March on Chew using a fly. Vern Novy then had a 31:08 a week later and plenty of other pike came to my boat during the course of the fly fishing season. Pike ranging from 2lb, through to double figures and also several 20's up to 28lbs 8ozs.
But during the Pike Trials, Dave Sproston had a 33:10 on a lure, while I had a 33:00 on a deadbait. We also had 70 others on both fly, lure and deads from 1st October to mid November.
I fished for Team England in Italy for the FIPS Mouche European Championships and had mixed results. The rain and floods made a couple of my river pegs almost impossible to fish, but I did manage another 1st Place in my Lake Session. As a team we finished in 8th place overall.
National Loch Style Final
After being the 2014 National Loch Style Champion, I qualified once again for the Final, but this year on Bewl Water. It was a very tricky and testing venue, with 100 top anglers vying for the 28 places in next season's 2 Loch Style International matches.
Thankfully I finished in 5th place overall and have now qualified to fish the Spring International on Ireland's Lough Lein in May.
Christmas Vouchers for Guided Days
Don't forget that I can provide Vouchers for Guided Fishing Days that make excellent Christmas Presents. Just drop me an email and I can arrange it for you.