Reports 2018/19 Season


Page Contents:

Click to Jump to Carr Cup reports
Click to Jump to AMFC Match reports
Click to Jump to Spring Bank Match report
Click to Jump to Snowbee Floating Line Match report
Click to Jump to Tuesday Evening Fishing reports
Click to Jump to Anglian Water Airflo International Midland Heat report
Click to Jump to Fur and Feather Bank Match report
Click to Jump to Locals v Army/RAF  Bank Match report

Army/RAF v ‘Locals bank match  •  Grafham Water 24th November 2018

Chris McLeod accepts the trophy on behalf of ‘The Locals’

This was the third year for a match inspired by the Army’s Jamie Thomas, and another opportunity for a different grouping of anglers to come together.

Grafham has been tricky at times this year because of factors beyond the fishery’s control. A long, cold spring was followed by an exceptionally hot and dry summer which switched the fish off in July. As things recovered the water level reduced dramatically to allow maintenance work on the pumps, and although some water is now being pumped back in, things won’t really change until the New Year. The banks are very muddy, especially on the South shore, and the silt in some areas give the water an unpleasant grey colour which is easily stirred up to cloud the water.

So finding clear areas is essential, and for this match that was the Willows and the North Dam.

Fishing was desperately slow with very little happening. The weather was heavily overcast and it seemed to depress the fish which were hardly in evidence at all, but the odd one was caught and Ray Storer quietly took 3 and lost another before 11.30am

We started at 9.30am and many couldn’t wait for the finish at 3pm – in fact, many didn’t and found better things to do having had no interest at all.

The weigh in was a very sparsely attended event with only 17 fish being caught to nine anglers. For the 24 that took part that was a rod average of 0.6 which is exceptionally poor for this time of year.

Ray was top rod with 4 fish for 7lb 9oz, Peter Hartley had 2 for 4lb 12oz and Keith Jones was the only other angler to catch 2, for 3lb 12oz. The best fish was Neil Potts’  2lb 7oz rainbow.

With 8 fish for 17lbs the Locals managed to take the Trophy for the first time, and the Army/RAF had 6 fish for 11lb 2oz.

However it was a very enjoyable event with a filling meal, and prize presentation, to follow in the Lodge. Thanks go to Angela at Anglian Water, Trish and the restaurant staff for the meal, and particularly to the RAF’s Keith Jones who very efficiently took over from Jamie to organise the whole event.

Let’s hope for better conditions next year.

Chris McLeod


Fur and Feather (The Arthur Sexton Trophy) –  Elinor 3rd November 2018

The second of our two annual trips to Elinor promised great things. This great little fishery always produces but the valley that it’s in can funnel the wind and make life difficult on the most productive banks. A check on the weather forecast suggested a southerly wind would increase so the far bank was the one to be on.

It had been fishing well and a recent stocking of 40 odd four pound plus fish meant that there were plenty of fish, and that proved to be the case as rods bent almost immediately. Some did venture to the lodge side and caught well initially until the sun came out and the wind got up, but it became increasingly difficult.

Dayood Sheik, one of the five to hit double figures

Floating lines with a booby/fab and nymph set up worked well, with maybe the red diawl bach doing best of all. It was one of those days when fish kept falling off! Paul Stevens, for example lost almost three times as many as he caught. This is maybe because the fish weren’t feeding on anything particularly and weren’t properly committing to the take. They seemed to be a bit spooky as well, in the gin clear water.

A brief stop for lunch and chat persuaded many on the prime spots to stay put, but others who ventured further still managed to catch a few – and better fish.

88 fish were recorded caught (probably as many were lost) at a rod average of 5.5. Top rod of the day was Chris McLeod with 14 followed closely by Gary How on 12, Keith Gilchrist and Dayood Sheik on 11, and John Brown on 10. Although a number of lumpy stockies, around the four to five pound mark were caught, the best fish of the day was Alan Briggs’ rainbow just shy of six pounds.

Thanks to Mark Searle, who was sunning himself in Spain, Gary How and Paul Stevens for organising things……and thanks to Janice Brown for baking the winner’s cake – delicious!

So that’s it for another season. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Chris McLeod


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Carr Cup


Carr Cup Points 2018 -Final


Round 7 (Final) Pitsford, Tuesday 2nd October 2018

2018 Carr Cup Winner – Keith Gilchrist

This outing should have been to Grafham, but the water there was
almost unfishable with a thick, green algal carpet virtually everywhere. So we
all went to an in-form Pitsford instead. The stakes were high with a number of members in with a chance of winning the Carr Cup and becoming club champion, but with the water fishing so well those at the top were unlikely to fail.

The day was warm, cloudy and breezy. Fish were well up so floaters, midge tips and slow sinkers were the order of the day. Most had a booby on the point and fished washing lines. Initially the fish were willing to chase but a fierce squall seemed to kill that and success came from flies fished that little bit deeper and slower.

Scores were slowly building and it was obvious that a lot was going to be caught, although it helped to be in the right area, which was around the top end of the Narrows and between Rigby Point and the Cliffs.

By mid afternoon Keith Gilchrist had his 8 fish and could not then be beaten to the championship, but he carried on, getting 14 fish on a variety of methods with a tequila FAB on the point playing a significant role. Joan Russell and Mark Searle finish as joint runners up this year only 10 points behind Keith. Mark Searle also took a beautiful brown of well over the five pound mark, which was safely returned (See Gallery page).

In total 113 fish were caught at a rod average of around 5.5 with no blanks.

This was the last Carr Cup boat trip of the year but there are a number of opportunities to fish with Invicta over the rest of the year. We have our annual Fur and Feather bank fishing day on 3rd November at Elinor, fishing for the Arthur Sexton Trophy. The Hinckley Shield team bank match is on 28th October. The ‘Locals v Army/RAF’ bank match on 24th November and the ‘Shrimpmasters’ series start on 11th December.


Round 6 Ravensthorpe, Sunday 9th September 2018

With the weather cooling, cloud cover and light winds, prospects were encouraging after a disappointing Summer – from strictly a fishing point of view.

Gary How plays a fish while Sue Potts releases yet another.

18 members took to the water starting with a variety of tactics, but it quickly became clear that washing lines on midge tips were working as well as anything. President Bob managed to squeak out a few on dries until the sun appeared which slowed the catch rate up for a while, and at lunch only Keith Gilchrist had a limit, with a number of sevens and sixes leading the field.

After the usual social break the fish continued to be caught as the cloud cover increased. Very few fish were showing but they weren’t deep and were willing to take a variety of flies, although unwilling to chase. Steady figure of eight with slow draws and a good hang worked best.

There were no blanks and even those members just getting into fly fishing managed a few. Joan Russell, Gary How and David Moore all managed 20 or more fish, with another 4 anglers into double figures. This gave a total of 177 fish caught at a rod average of just under 10. Altogether, another great day out.

Keith maintains top position with Joan only 5 points behind and Mark 5 points behind her, so all very close.

The final Carr Cup boat trip of the year will be on Tuesday 2nd October at Grafham when the Champion will be crowned.



Round 5  Draycote, Saturday 11th August 2018 –The Carl Hunter Bowl


David Moore – Carl Hunter bowl winner

This match was the 5th in our Carr Cup series and we had another excellent turnout of 22 members.

The heat wave had finally cracked the day before and expectations were high after reports from the staff of double figure catches and Joan Russell taking fish on dries the day before.

All the fleet headed off to the south-west corner and many of us started on dries but after 30 minutes in a flat calm with nothing showing there were some early tactical changes. Many switched to midge-tips and intermediates and a few boats moved out towards the ripple of open water and the boils. The sun shone all morning and the best boats had only taken three or four fish.

David Moore was on three fish by 1pm and getting a lot of soft pulls and follows twiddling and hanging a Di3 but this petered out until after 3pm when the wind increased and heavy cloud brought the fish up in the water and switching to a 10ft slow midge brought immediate action drifting downwind of the boils. Paul Stevens fishing size 14 green nymphs, Keith Gilchrist and Graham Bodsworth on midge tip and floater were all taking fish regularly on similar tactics until everything switched off again leaving everyone short of their limits.

We weighed our first 4 trout and it was a close result with David pipping Keith by 8ozs to win the trophy for a third time. Graham Bodsworth’s five fish out-weighed Paul Steven’s six to take third place.

Our President Bob Ayres had suffered a blank in the boat with David Moore but had the last laugh by winning the sweepstake on the total catch.

A big thank you to Mark Searle for organizing the day and timing the start and finish so that we didn’t conflict with the Anglers’ World Competition.

The updated Carr Cup points table shows Keith in the lead but very close behind are Joan Russell, Mark Searle and Graham Bodsworth. It’s Ravensthorpe and then Grafham to come and remember it is your best 6 results which decide the winner.

Rod Average: 2.5



Round 4  Grafham, Sunday 1st July 2018 –The President’s Cup

Winner Keith Gilchrist

Club members approached Grafham with some trepidation have suffered a couple of weeks of record high temperatures and cloudless skies. These conditions would normally be the kiss of death to reservoir trout fishing, but settled high pressure had encouraged the fish to keep active and cool nights had actually kept the water temperature down. The water quality was exceptional and conditions looked ok.

Most opted for nymphing tactics on short midge tips and floaters, fishing around the weed-beds on the north shore, and action was steady from the off. Huge shoals of fry and large numbers of damsel nymphs attracted the trout into areas of Pig Bay, the Willows end of the Dam and the Rectory side of G buoy. The trout appeared to be in pods that gradually progressed across these bays and it helped to be in the right area at the right time.

A break for lunch was a welcome chance to catch up and find out where the fish had been caught and how others were doing. No one had done exceptionally well and all were inspired to get stuck back in. Although the afternoon was inevitably slower a good number of fish were caught giving a rod average for the day of 3.5, which is pretty good in the middle of a heat wave. There were only two blanks and only two eights, with Keith Gilchrist pipping Mark Searle by a couple of pounds.

A good friendly turn out with all the usual banter which leaves Joan Russell at the head of the leader board with Keith and Mark just a fish behind; all still to play for.

Next day out is Draycote on 11th August. Usually a prolific venue so we hope for better fishing weather for that one.


Round 3  Eyebrook, Saturday 2nd June 2018

Top Rod Graham Bodsworth

To say it was tough would be an understatement. Reports during the week had been encouraging with good catches on dries being reported from Stoke Dry area and initially several boats headed for this end of the fishery. Few fish were rising an although the early part of the day had ideal overcast conditions with a good ripple the fish failed to oblige and at lunchtime only four fish had been caught.

The afternoon was not much better for most people as they searched various areas in an effort to locate fish and a method. Joan Russell tried pulling in the main basin with no success whilst others tried everything from dries to di7’s. Graham Bodsworth took a couple from the top on CDC’s but the dries never really came on. A switch to damsels saw him increase his catch to 5 fish which was enough to finish top rod and move him to the top of the leader board just 5 points clear of Joan Russell and Paul Heavens.

After drifting during the morning with no success, Paul Heavens and his boat partner Kieran Caulfield concentrated during the afternoon session on the Sam’s Dyke bank about 30 yards out. They found fish a few feet down near the drop off willing to take the occasional nymph fished on a floater washing line style; Red diawl bachs, crunchers, GRHE and FABs all taking fish. They finished with 4 each for joint second spot.

It was great to see Kieran Caufield back fishing again, his shoulder much improved and clearly he has not lost his touch.  Gary How was third with 3 fish on a day where half of the field blanked.

Total fish: 27; Rod average: 1.2

Our next outing is to Grafham on Sunday 1st July (President’s Cup).


Round 2  Rutland, Saturday 5th May 2018

A sunny day greeted 22 anglers to Rutland Water on Saturday 5th May for the second round of our Carr Cup series. Although these trips count towards the Carr Cup points, they are still primarily fun days with the emphasis very much on having fun and encouraging beginners.

After a hearty breakfast in the newly refurbished lodge the draw for partners saw boats spread across the reservoir to the Blue Pipes to Fantasy Island, Yellowstone Cardiac Hill and Barnsdale.

Sue’s first double figure bag.

Although better quality fish were at Barnsdale , word got round that David Moore, Keith Gilchrist and Graham Bodsworth were catching well at Yellowstones especially on the bung which out fished straight lining buzzers on the day.  At the end of the day 147 fish were caught for a rod average of 6.7

The best part of the day was to see Sue Potts catch her first 8 fish limit and finish on 10 – Great angling Sue!! Sue fished with Top Rod on the day Gary How who caught 21 fish, a great performance.

We all had a fantastic day especially with the sunshine. Thanks to Mark Searle for organising the trip and sorting out the lodge breakfast problems……. But that’s another story!!!

See you all at Eyebrook on Saturday 2nd June for our next outing.

Tight lines

Gary How


Round 1  Pitsford, Tuesday 3rd April 2018 (The Graham Williams Trophy)


Graham Williams with 37lb pike caught near the north tower on a small white booby while we were after the big perch!

The eagerly anticipated first boat trip of the season followed days of torrential rain which resulted in very high and deeply coloured water at the reservoir. But at least the temperature had risen and it wasn’t blowing a hooley!

This was the inaugural match competing for the Graham Williams Trophy. Graham has been a staunch supporter and very successful member of the club for over 30 years. As we all know he is unable to fish now but he is certainly with us in spirit. His old friends were certainly keen to win the trophy presented in his honour.

Early season favourite area, the Small Half, was the colour of oxtail soup and unfishable so all the boats squeezed through the tunnel and focussed their attentions on Stone Barns, The Gravels, across to the other side around Bog Bay and down to the Gorse.

Fish were deep and there was no evidence of them moving to fly at the start although as the weather warmed and a bit of sun – yes sun! – appeared, then a few buzzers started to hatch off, and this was the really successful fly. Sinking lines cast a fair distance, twiddled back then lifted and hung from the bottom took the majority of fish. It is amazing how easily fish can pick out small flies in all that murk! Most anchored which made life easier and some drifted, fish were taken in other ways, but most fish came to the anchored boats from the Gravels area just beyond the drop off. The method is a lot trickier on the drift.

Top Rod Tony Smith

Tony Smith with 21 and Chris McLeod with 16 found the method early and once your confidence builds, fish just seem to keep coming. Some struggled as the normal early season buzzering tactics failed and a rod average – taking 8 fish as the maximum bag – of 3.9 was a little disappointing; although some of our newer less experienced anglers put in some excellent performances. Maybe the weather discouraged a few more, but a very sociable day, welcoming some new members, and a quick pint in the pub where we raised a glass to Graham, rounded off a good start to the season.

Roll on to Rutland on Saturday 5th May for the next outing, although before that we have our Annual Floating Line match on 14th April. So plenty of great fishing with Invicta ahead of us.

Chris McLeod



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AMFC  (Association of Major Flyfishing Clubs)


The AMFC (Association of Major Flyfishing Clubs) is a series of 6 club based matches. The first is the Spring Association match and is a 4 man team event involving all the participating clubs. This precedes the four 6 man team matches and Autumn Association match. Invicta like to encourage as many members to get involved as possible, and runs 2 teams. There are 3 groups and we have our A team in Group 1 and the B team in Group 3. 

 It is really helpful to get a good start and although this is a very friendly Association, we all want to do well. 

This year’s Spring Match was on Draycote on Saturday 22 April and Invicta achieved the perfect start by winning both their groups.



AMFC Autumn Match (Round 6) Rutland Water – 6th October 2018

Invicta A Team for this match: Dave Summers, Mick Facey, Joan Russell, Matt Willatt

This final match of the series involved teams of 4 from all three groups. Invicta A was Mick Facey (captain) Dave Summers, Joan Russell and Matt Willatt.

Our B team was Mark Mathieson (captain), Ray Storer, Jeff Price and new member Nick Lant who was fishing his first AMFC for the club.

Our ‘A team’ had already secured the Group 1 title with a big lead but Group 3 was tight sharing Bristol and Royal Navy on equal points such that the top team of the three would win the Group.

Rutland Water was more like the Arctic with a bitterly strong wind, driving rain and only 5deg C as the boats set out, mostly turning left into the mouth of the South Arm but some went right to the end of the North Arm. Dave Summers was into fish quickly with a long midge tip and small foam daddy on the point proving effective and caught his 8 before 2pm. Mick was catching on similar tactics but with FABs and also finished before the end.

Everyone else was suffering in the foul weather, Jeff Price had a complete wardrobe malfunction and had to come in soaked through, followed by Mark who had a difficult time with his boat partner and was also suffering from the cold. Several others gave up early for the sake of their health and there were a lot of shivering anglers at the end.

The 6 of our rods who lasted the match all caught fish in spite of the appalling conditions and deserve survival medals. After a welcome hot meal in the Lodge it was announced that our A team was 3rd and Dave Summers was top rod in the match with 18b-10oz and Mick was 3rd in Group 1.

The B team had a disappointing match but still finished 3rd in Group 3 narrowly beating Soldier Palmers on total weight over the series so every fish caught counted.

It was good to have several Invicta members coming along to support the teams and for the presentation, we had a great evening to round off the series.

A big thank you to all 24 members who have taken part this year.  In addition to winning Group 1 for the first time since 1991 our continued success in running two teams brings a lot of prestige and respect to our club.

Final positions

Group 1, 1st Invicta A, 2nd Soldier Palmers A, 3rd Fish Hawks, 4th Rutland WFF, 5th HFA

Group 3, 1st. Bristol FF, 2nd RNRMAA, 3rd Invicta B, 4th Soldier Palmers B, 5th GWFFA B



AMFC Group 1, Round 5 Match at the Eyebrook – 29th September 2018

Invicta A – Chris McLeod, Gary How, Keith Gilchrist, Mark Searle , Kieran Bonas and Mick Facey

This match had been planned for Farmoor and we were keen to go, but the summer’s heat had caused major issues with fish deaths and no stocking, so it was decided to relocate to Eyebrook. On our practice day this proved to be a good move as it was fishing well.

As is often the case, conditions on match day were subtly different with cool winds, unbroken sunshine and a 180º degree change of wind direction, all after a very chilly night. Not every tactic from the day before worked: what was needed were slow retrieves with washing lines on floaters, midge tips, slow glass and the like, and focusing on the top couple of feet. The areas were all around the dam and the tower to a maximum of about 200 yards out.

Those that had the perfect set up started catching immediately. Others took a while to work it out, but eventually plenty of rods were bending resulting in a rod average for the 8 fish limit of 7.9! Invicta all caught their fish as did a couple of other teams, and although our fish were reasonable with average weights, we knew time bonus would be critical; and we had plenty of that!

After a few hiccups with the scoring, double, and then treble checks gave us second place to Fish Hawks. This was a great result for us with two firsts and three seconds and now in an unassailable lead.

A great day, excellently organised by HFA and with a lot of support from Ifor Jones at the fishery. The fish and chips to follow the match were very good!

The A team for this match was Captain Chris McLeod, Kieran Bonas, Mick Facey, Gary How, Keith Gilchrist and Mark Searle.

The result has to be ratified but it looks certain that we have already won the Group, making us the AMFC champions for the first time in living memory!

The final Association day on Rutland should be a very relaxed affair for our team of four, but we’ll still be keen to finish on a high.



AMFC Group 3, Round 5 Match at Draycote – 22nd September 2018

8 fish for Captain David Moore and a further 8 for Ray Storer.

Invicta B were leading the Group as we went into this match which had been moved from Farmoor at short notice because is had not recovered from the hot summer which had caused its closure.

We fielded another strong team with a fair bit of Draycote experience and David Moore (captain) and Ray Storer had fished it in an EFFA match two days before, although in very different conditions, today was a cold breeze and steady rain. The rest of the team was Paul Heavens, John Brown, Mark Mathieson and Peter Brewer and at our briefing Ray and David advised fishing small boobies with pink in them along with hoppers on midge tips pulled through the surface layer. Dries might be worth a try but not many fish were rising so not for too long unless successful. Areas worth a try were the open water north of the middle and the mouth of Toft, also Ray had seen fish close to the harbor near J buoy but there was Dragon Boat racing planned here.

The draw put Peter as the only Invicta member on the engine so we didn’t have much early control and headed out for various directions. David started near X buoy on Middle Shoal and found fish responding to small boobies pulled hard but not sticking and catching 2 it died and moved to mouth of Toft where another boat was catching, after taking 2 more fish it died again although Peter Brewer was catching close to the stones here too before motoring across to Rainbow Corner for his last fish. After a 3-hour gap David moved back to X buoy and took 4 more fishing deeper and slower to finish at 5.30.

Meanwhile Ray Storer benefitted from his practice day and stayed around J Buoy where, undistracted by the Dragon Boats, he steadily built up his catch pulling his boobies, Ray’s boat was the second to finish with a double limit at 4.30.  Ray was our top rod and 6th individual in the match.  Ray is having a very consistent season and we were lucky he could stand in as a reserve for this match.

John, Paul and Mark had all been taken down the south end of the reservoir by their drivers and fishing was much harder here although Paul moved towards P for his late fish to weigh in 2 trout.

At the weigh-in all of our team had 2 or more fish with a total of 26, every fish was vital and one more than GWFFA with 50lb-15oz and just one fish and 4lbs behind the Soldiers.

Royal Navy-Marines were top team (30 fish and 63lbs) Bristol had a member disqualified for admitting to sorting fish and throwing a smaller one back dead. The fishery is taking this very seriously and it reflects badly on AMFC and the team results therefore await ratification by the AMFC committee.

A special thank you to four of our team who were out of pocket on hotel reservations for practicing at Farmoor which could not be refunded because of short notice.

The result leaves the table incredibly tight. Invicta, RNRM and Bristol all have 17pts with Soldier Palmers on 15 and GWFFA 8 so any of the top three will win the table by winning the last match or by taking 2nd place if Soldiers or GWFFA win it.

Good luck to our team for this at Rutland on the 6th October, Mark Mathieson (captain), Ray Storer, Jeff Price and Nick Lant.


AMFC Groups 1 and 3, Round 4 Match at Grafham – 4th July 2018

Invicta are in their strongest positions for years, in both Groups 1 and 3. Both these Groups came together to fish the fourth match in the series, on an in-form Grafham.

After weeks of hot weather, bright sun and no rain, most waters would be suffering. But nights had been chilly and a cool breeze had kept the water clear and the temperature down. In fact, the water quality was second to none; perfect for nymph fishing and that’s what most anglers elected to do.

Rods began bending almost immediately in favoured areas which were off the dam and G buoy to begin with, often in very shallow water and then the boats spread to other areas with Gaynes being particularly popular. The stiff breeze of the previous day had dropped and a gentle North Easterly gave just enough ripple.

Popular flies were Hare’s Ears, Diawl Bachs and Crunchers which were all working either straight lined or on a washing line, but as the day wore on, these had to be fished very slowly indeed, often producing savage takes. The fish were fighting fit and pulling hard so it is not surprising that many were lost. All sorts of takes, pulls, on and offs, head shakes and long distance releases were reported, which was a source of great frustration for many.

In the end Invicta A had four eights, a three and a blank which put them well behind the Soldier Palmers who had their full complement of six limits, but just in front of the RAF. Invicta B had just the one limit with Mark Matheison bagging by 2:45pm but it was well supported with two sevens and they also managed second place. So a hugely satisfactory day for the club and excellent all round team performances.

The result has to be ratified but that should put us eight points clear in the Group 1 and two points clear in Group 3.

The A team was Captain Graham Bodsworth, Mick Facey, Gary How, Mark Searle, Chris McLeod and Dave Summers.


Invicta B at Grafham



The B team was Captain Paul Heavens, Peter Brewer, Steve Harding, Mark Mathieson, Neil Potts and Ray Storer.


The next matches, number 5 in the series, are on Farmoor – Saturday 22nd September for Group 3 and Saturday 29th September for Group 1.

Both teams will be looking to capitalise on the success so far to make the final Association day simply a formality.


AMFC Group 3, Round 3 Match – Grafham  13th June 2018

Mark Mathieson, one of Invicta’s 3 eight fish limits

The ‘Invicta B Team’ for this match was made up of Jeff Hickson (Captain); David Moore; Mark Mathieson; Andy Newman; Allen Sefton and Jeff Price. Four of the team managed to practice the afternoon before and a number of other Invicta members fishing the evening league event gave the team very useful feedback.

The wind was expected to swing round from NE to SW for match day. From a fishing view point the North shore between the Willows and Pig bay seemed to be the areas to concentrate on, with the fish mostly in the top water layers.

The team came to this match lying in second place after the Chew match.
On match day the wind had picked up a little and swung round as expected.
Tactics from practice still worked, diawl bach, hares ear etc, at the end of the match a team average of six fish per angler and three limits with time bonus was enough for a team second place.

The team stars being Mark, David and Jeff Hickson (who also had largest trout in the match at 3lb 10oz) and Andy Newman had the heaviest 4 fish bag of the match; overall yet another good team performance, thanks to all.

The second place for this match was enough to give the Invicta B team a total of 11 points for the season and current first place in Group 3, one point ahead of RNRMAA.

For members that like the numbers please refer to the results sheet on the AMFC web site.



AMFC Group 1, Round 3 Match at Pitsford – 10th June 2018

After the first two matches ‘Invicta A’ were 3 points clear at the top of Group 1 – our best position for years – and looking to keep the momentum going. A place in the top three would do very nicely but the competition was fierce with some of the county’s top anglers involved; and Pitsford’s form had been a bit variable.

The team practiced the day before and found a couple of methods. There were huge numbers of damsels hatching and the trout were taking the nymphs which suggested imitative patterns and the green cruncher was an obvious choice. Gary How caught a cracking brownie on practice day, well over 6lbs, maybe up to 8lbs.

The team opted for floating, midge tip and slow sink lines fishing the washing line.
There were no areas of concentrated stockies so it was a case of long drifts over open water fishing very slow to static. Fish came in short bursts and all the team were making steady progress, although some started slowly and picked up later as they worked out the method. Whereas those who had it right to start with perhaps didn’t adapt as the conditions subtly changed.

It really was an excellent match where good, traditional fishing was rewarded, rather than a stockie bash with all the boats stuck in the same area, pulling lures.

We had four eight fish bags, a five and a four, which was more than any other team, with some heavy fish and good time bonus. Second placed Tunbridge Wells had one less fish so it was very tight.  A fantastic result and a great team working together. Congratulations to Kieran Bonas who was top bag fishing for the first time this year.

The team was Captain Gary How, Kieran Bonas, Graham Bodsworth, Mick Facey, Keith Gilchrist and Chris McLeod.

The result has to be ratified but that should put us 4 points clear in the top group. Onwards to Grafham 4th July.



AMFC Group 3, Round 2 Match – Chew Valley Lake 12th May 2018


Best Invicta performance – Jeff Hickson

The Invicta ‘B’ team for this match had a mix of Chew experience ranging from Jeff Hickson who had fished it regularly for 30 years to Steve Harding who had only fished it a few times for pike and Paul Heavens, Jeff Price and Neil Potts on their first visit to the 1200 acre reservoir. David Moore had fished competitions here for the last six years.

Five of us practiced the day before with mixed results on a cool, breezy day. Paul Heavens and Jeff Hickson took a few rainbows in Herons Bay high-up on the bung but the others struggled in various spots although David ‘enjoyed’ a couple of decent pike on buzzers.

On match day it was a flat calm and as a team we decided to start on the bung and stick with it for the morning unless our partners were making something else work and to fish in Herons if possible. On match day Jeff and David were drawn with Bristol team rods which was an advantage and both took an early fish.

Sport slowed everywhere after the first two hours and boats were moving around. Jeff was taken to Denny’s island; David was driven across to Spring Bay while the others stayed around Herons and the south shore. There was a big buzzer hatch in the afternoon and plenty of fish were moving but proving tricky to tempt.  A switch to straight-lined buzzers or washing line on a floater took more fish in the afternoon.

At the scales Jeff Hickson was our top rod with 4 good fish for 10lb 7oz, David also took 4 of which 3 were in the last 2 hours, Steve 3, Paul 2 and Jeff price and Neil with one apiece made up our bag of 15 fish for 35lb-9oz. It was good that everyone caught fish on a day when there were several blanks and a rod average of only 3.2.

We finished in 4th place ahead of GWWFA B but RNRMAA had the top rod of the day which made up for their two blanks to beat us into 4th place.

We are now in 2nd place one point behind Soldier Palmers (8pts) with RNRMAA and Bristol on 5pts and GWFFA B on 4pts.

The next round is at Grafham water on the 13th June.


AMFC Group 1, Round 2 Match at Rutland – 9th May 2018


Heaviest Fish for Kieran.

Invicta ‘A’ fielded a formidable team for the second round in Group 1 at Rutland Water, most having fished several competitions and practice days in the previous weeks with some good results.

On practice day the weather started off sunny and very warm, but by the afternoon the temperature had dropped with a chilly westerly wind picking up. The team found fish all-round the lake but not in great numbers at any one place. We meet in the car park in the evening to compare notes and decide match day tactics.

On match day we all meet in the restaurant for breakfast and a final briefing before we set out, it was agreed the Buzzers were probably going to be the order of the day. The line that they were to be fished on varied from a floating line, midge tip to a Di5 (I tried them all) and watched my boat partner take three fish on a cat whisker, my head was starting to go, as I started working my way through my fly lines and flies. By 1pm I had not had a pull let alone a fish, so I gave myself a kick and started to use my brain, all the indications were that the fish are feeding deep, but the Di5 didn’t work and fishing Buzzers on a normal midge tip didn’t work so I opted for the long midge tip and fished it slow. Who said that length doesn’t matter!!!!!!!

As we ventured out the conditions were very different from the Invicta club day the previous weekend with a cool westerly breeze replacing the flat calm but most headed off for the same areas of Yellowstone, Normanton, Sykes lane and Barnsdale with teams of buzzers.

By 1pm Keith Gilchrist had taken his 8 and Dave Summers was on 7 but Mark Searle was waiting for his first action. However, something strange happened in the afternoon with Mark bagging up using a long midge v with three buzzers and a Fab on the point. Dave worked hard all afternoon but couldn’t get a pull and Kieran Bonus found fish outside the lodge on his Di7 but too late to bag up.

All the team had a decent catch with Gary How, Graham Bodsworth making up the total of 38 fish matching Rutland Water FF but sadly just 5oz lighter to take second place. It was a good team effort with an average of 6.3 compared with a match average of 5.2

Kieran had the heaviest fish at 3lb 14oz and the 2nd best weighed bag of 4 fish in the match at 14lbs

Invicta A tops the Group with 11 points and extends its lead over HFA to 3 points, Fish Hawks had a rare off-day and lie in 3rd.

The next round is at Pitsford on June 10th.



AMFC Spring Match – Draycote Reservoir, Saturday 21st April 2018

Group 1 Round 1

Invicta achieved the perfect start by winning both their groups.

The A team of Mark Searle, Graham Bodsworth, Keith Gilchrist and Chris McLeod practised with the B team and found fish – lots of them – in two areas. Plan A was to fish the Dam wall into Toft. This produced double figure catches for most of us, but we also found plenty in the unfancied Rainbow Corner.

On the match day the wind had changed, and although most boats targeted Toft, very few rods bent. So the field gradually dispersed. But the odd fish was caught and a lot were lost. As cloud cover and breeze increased the fish became more active obviously feeding on the massive buzzer hatch. A move to Rainbow saw topping fish everywhere. That’s where our two limits came from as no other boats were in that area and the fish weren’t put down. They were plopping about so much it was difficult to decide which to target!

So Invicta had 25 decent fish and good time bonus that helped us get ahead of Fishhawks 26 fish.

A great day for the club and we look forward to another win on ………..


Group 3 Round 1

Invicta B team of David Moore (Cptn), Peter Brewer, Alan Briggs and Jeff Hickson all joined our A team to practice the day before the match. We paired off with different zones to cover in the morning but only found fish along the south wall of Toft. A lot of muddy water was being pumped into the western end and the fishery staff told us this had put the fish off, however when we met up with the A Team Graham and Keith reported a lot of fish here in Rainbow corner. The afternoon was hot, sunny and calm but we all took plenty of fish to buzzers on washing line and the bung so we were optimistic.

On match day there was a breeze from the east but conditions were similar and nearly all the fleet headed for Toft but fishing was very slow with few fish showing and by 1pm boats had spread out. Our team only had 1 fish a piece but remembering the info from practice, Jeff, Peter and I managed to persuade our sceptical boat partners to head across to Rainbow corner where we found rising fish and put together decent bags in the last 2 hours using buzzers on the bung, washing line and straight- lining near the surface. All four of us held or won our boats against G1 partners, with Jeff overall top rod in the Group with 7, followed by Peter and me with 5 and Alan with 1, beating Soldier PalmersB by 2 fish and 33-15 to their 30-05. GWFFA B were 3rd with 9 fish and RNRMA 4th with 6 fish. Bristol FF failed to send a team which was disappointing. The rod average for the Group was 2.9 so we did well 4.5 which was the average for G1.

Round 2 is at Chew on the 12th May where our team is David Moore (Cptn), Steve Harding, Jeff Hickson, Paul Heavens, Neil Potts and Jeff Price.


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Tuesday Evening Club Social Fishing at Grafham


Evening boat – Final Week


Week 14 (Final)

2018 Evening League Champion, Ray Storer

What a final week we had and it turned out to be East v West that was the biggest influence on the evening. Those that headed for the eastern ‘dam end’ tower struggled to get a take whilst those that made their way the west tower were finding fish willing to chase.

Ray Storer entered the match with a solid lead of 6 fish with only two anglers that could catch him, Mick Facey and Jamie Thomas. Ray was amongst those that headed for the dam end and failed to find fish but fortunately for him Mick and Jamie were also struggling and Ray maintained his lead to finish 2018 champion. Some good performances in previous weeks ensured that Mick Facey finished the league in third spot.

Meanwhile Keith Gilchrist and Paul Heavens had found fish near the west tower willing to chase roly-poly pulled blobs and boobies and Keith netted 7 using a Di 5 sweep to finish top rod on the evening and move himself up into the league runner-up position. David Moore landed 5 fish for second spot on the evening and Paul Heavens netted 4 for third.

Several anglers made the move from east to west but by 8pm the fish had gone off, possibly due to boat pressure.

The most unfortunate incident of the evening was Trevor Barton falling backwards off his boat seat near the boils. It could have been much worse had it not been for his boat partner Peter Brewer getting him back into the boat and taking him back to the lodge. Sadly Trevor lost his rod and reel in the incident. Winning the free boat ticket will be small consolation.

We finished with the presentation plus sandwiches and chips in the Wheatsheaf.

Total fish: 28

Rod Average 1.25

Boat Ticket was won by Trevor Barton



Week 13

Keith Gilchrist captured in the sunset. Photo by courtesy of Alan Briggs.

Another stunning evening, but the very high water temperatures prevail and the fishing was once again tough.

7 anglers turned up, including junior Alastair Toms, who has recently done a course with Peter Hartley. The boils were favourite, but although the odd fish was showing, they showed very little interest. The only fish caught was by Keith Gilchrist, roly-polying with a di3. Steve Harding landed a small zander which was the other highlight of the evening, apart from the sandwiches and chips in the Wheatsheaf.

Please try to come along for the final evening next week; can Ray Storer be beaten to the trophy? He is catchable by both Mick Facey and Jamie Thomas. It is getting cooler so anything could happen.


Rod Average. 0.14.



Week 12

Ray Storer, still the man to catch.

Ray Storer, still the man to catch.

A slight improvement in the fishing since last week, but still far from good. 19 anglers turned up and reports that the best results had been coming from the dam area saw most boats heading In that direction. Fishing had been reasonable during the early morning with anglers reporting plenty of fish being caught but all agreed that it died after around 11am and as it became clear was not about to come on again.

Keith Gilchrist was top rod and managed to connect with 3 fish using deep tactics pulling. As if to prove that there was no single working method, David Moore took second spot with two fish using a midge tip and nymphs fished static. Several anglers tried the ‘boils’ but as was the case last week, the fish were not having it although David caught his two not far from that area.

The rest of the anglers struggled with the odd fish being taken on an evening with 12 blanks. Ray Storer remains at the top of the table despite not finding fish this week. However with two weeks still to go and 4 anglers within a dozen points of him there is still time to catch him especially if the fishing comes on.

We finished as usual with sandwiches and chips in the Wheatsheaf.

Total fish: 9

Rod Average 0.5

Boat Ticket was won by Paul Stevens



Week 11

Andy Trafankowski

Not catching fish wasn’t a disappointment at the latest Tuesday evening. With water at 24 deg C even on the boils fishing took second place to relaxation for seven members who were dedicated enough to go out. Amongst those fishing for the second week on the run was new member Andy Trafankowski, he really has not chosen the best period to start fishing with us on Tuesday evenings. A month ago we were getting plenty of fish, I hope he is not put off, it will get better Andy!

A few fish were rising in open water and last light near the tower but nothing taken. Highlight again was the Wheatsheaf and the special offer in the tackle shop. Two weeks to go, will the heat wave end in time?

Fish Caught: 0

Rod Average: 0




Week 10

Another beautiful evening captured by Jamie Thomas.

Another beautiful evening and the fishing was once again tough. However it is the same everywhere at the moment and in the Rutland evening league this week  they copied our last weeks 100% blanks!

12 optimistic souls signed on including new member Andy Trafankowski. Lovely fishing conditions with a few fish showing but very little action. The only 2 fish caught came to one boat, Jamie Thomas and Roger Swain with 1 each; they travelled the reservoir.

The evening finished as usual with shed loads of sandwiches and piles of chips in the Wheatsheaf.


Total fish: 2

Rod Average 1.16

Boat Ticket was won by Alan Prevost.


Week 9

The 9th evening will go down in the record books for the wrong reason. We believe that this is the first time that a competition at Grafham has returned a 100% ‘Blank’. Twenty-one anglers came in and not a single fish.

David Moore recorded the water temperature at 21deg, very warm to the touch. As one of the anglers commented, “Even the anchor was warm when we pulled it in”.

The Wheatsheaf sandwiches and chips was definitely the highlight of the evening.

Ray Storer won the free boat ticket..

Total fish: 0

Rod Average 0



Week 8


Mick moves up into second spot

The 8th evening started a little breezy but by 7pm had settled into another balmy summer’s evening especially on the sheltered north shore and we were allowed to fish until 10pm and enjoy a lively evening rise.

Numbers were down to 14 through competing football and practice for the following day’s AMFC.

Most of the fleet headed north or towards the Willows. Chris McLeod, Mick Facey and Graham Bodsworth had been out in the afternoon and found fish close in between G Buoy and Marlow Jetty where they returned and were quickly into fish again; Mick’s 7 fish moves him up the league into second spot behind Ray Storer who still leads despite not fishing this week. David Moore fishing with Graham opted for a 6ft tip and hares ears to take 8 quick fish mostly on the hang at first drifting and then at anchor before switching his phone with speaker to broadcast the football at 7pm.

Graham started taking fish with a 3ft tip nearer the surface and Chris was taking fish steadily in a boat near the Jetty. A lot of fish were lost, a common experience at Grafham lately and exasperated by double hook-ups.

Nearly everyone was using floating lines or midge tips with hares ears, red diawl bachs and small boobies but it was location and presentation that made the difference.

Chris finished with 14, David 10, Graham 8 and Mick Facey 7. Everyone headed off to the Wheatsheaf where Allan Murren won the raffled AW boat permit.

Total fish: 55

Rod Average 3.9


Week 7

Moonlight over the Sailing Club

On what was the hottest day of the year so far, expectations were not high. The rangers informed us that although fish had been caught during the morning little or nothing had been taken since around 1pm.

Several anglers started deep and two boats tried the ‘boils’ and although the ‘boils’ produced a couple of decent fish, they were not really on. Gaynes, which has been reasonably productive over the past few weeks was equally non productive and it was the North bank from Rectory Bay to the Willows which proved to be the zone.

During the evening the fish came up and as usual it was anglers that that found the correct depth that took the spoils. By late evening dries once again came into play with Peter Waterhouse battling (and loosing) a double hook-up. However it was Jamie Thomas once again who led the way, bagging up for the third time in four matches. His three week lay off from the evening league clearly has not affected his winning streak.

Paul Stevens, 7 for second spot.

Paul Stevens was not far behind Jamie taking 7 fish for a creditable second spot followed by Ray Storer and Peter Brewer both on 5. Ray’s 5 fish were enough to ensure that he remains the man to catch at the top of the table.

Successful tactics for the top anglers were similar with Intermediate lines, Hare’s Ears and Red Diawl Bachs taking the fish. For the second time this series there were no blanks.

Total fish: 55

Rod Average 3.2

The free boat ticket was won by Peter Waterhouse.



Week 6

Top Rod, Chris McLeod

An evening where the dry fly was significant. Initially boats headed for several different areas although the majority divided between Gaynes and Valley Creek. By mid evening most had deserted Valley Creek as it was not productive and word had got around that Gaynes was full of fish rising.

In Gaynes anglers were enjoying a feast of fish on dries. However the experience of Chris McLeod shone through as he took full advantage of fishing a floater – washing line style with hare’s ears to finish top rod with 13 fish. Chris said it was a matter of cast, pop, pop then static, then slow draws to bring the flies up with a long pause between draws.

Gary How and Mark Searle caught 8 each which promotes Gary to second spot in the league table; however Ray Storer continued his excellent form with 8 fish which keeps him firmly at the top with a 5 fish lead over Gary. Mick Facey fished with England Youth squad member William Crawford and both took 5 fish. Mick is now in third spot.

Richard Slater and his boat partner Paul Heavens had initially headed for the North shore but moved later in the evening to Valley Creek and found themselves on their own. A masterclass from Richard in fishing dries followed as he quickly took his 8 fish beating his partner 8-2. ……Note to myself, ‘must try harder’

Total fish: 90

Rod Average 4.0

The free boat ticket was won by Sue Potts (who to her embarrassment drew her own ticket).


Week 5

Top Rod Keith Gilchrist

Week 5 saw our biggest turnout so far this season with thirty anglers taking part. The numbers were boosted by several anglers who were taking the opportunity to practice for the Airflo International later this week.

Reports that the North Bank from Pig bay to G buoy were still producing catches saw nearly all boats heading across the reservoir.

Keith Gilchrist fished in rectory bay and was soon into some decent fish straight lining nymphs on a floater with hare’s ears and diawl bachs, he was top rod taking 15 fish on an evening where several anglers hit double figures. Just one fish behind Keith was Nigel Angus with 14 and Peter Waterhouse and Richard Slater with 13 each; what an evening, a total of 177 fish were caught!

Ray Storer continued his consistent form with 11 fish on the evening, this moves him to the top of the leaded board just 3 fish ahead of joint second placed Jamie Thomas and Keith Jones.

Two new anglers to fly fishing also made noteworthy starts, Jake Fell caught 2 and Allan Harvey caught 4, a brilliant performance.

Rod Average 5.9

The free boat ticket was won by Jake Fell.


Week 4

Ray Storer, Top Rod this week.

Grafham had had some heavy competition boat traffic during the day with every boat out when we arrived. Fortunately they came in at 5:30pm and the rangers turned them around quickly for us.

Reports were of fish being caught on the North Bank from Hill Farm to Deep water point, mostly taken by pulling.  Most boats headed for that area with Pig Bay and Hedge end being favourite spots.

Several boats anchored but Ray Storer drifted out from the Hedge end area and kept repeating the drift but moving along each time so that he never covered the same spot. The tactic paid off with Ray taking 9 fish on nymphs and a booby fished ‘washing line’. Second spot went to Malcolm Reece with 5 fish followed by 4 each for Gary How and Keith Gilchrist.

Although the rod average was well down on last weeks exceptional performance, it was notable that with 22 fishing and the fish widely spread, we only had one blank.

The free boat ticket was won by Paul Heavens.

Rod average 2.5


Week 3

Grafham was on fire with the top 4 anglers catching 50 fish between them. However the fish still had to be found and if you were not on them it was not that easy. Jamie Thomas continued his run of successes by taking 16 fish and finishing top rod for the third successive week, no fluke; Jamie puts the practice hours in and was on the water at 4am one morning!

Free Boat ticket winner Lee Marshall

Graham Bodsworth continues to keep the pressure on Jamie and took 13 fish to cement his position in second place in the league. Paul Heavens and Gary How were joint third with 10 each.

The North bank G buoy area from Cove bay to Marlow stones proved very productive with several boats anchoring up between 75 and 125 yards off shore. Jamie also found a large pod of fish in Church bay and took full advantage. Blobs, boobies and cormorants pulled through the top couple of feet resulted in lots of takes and a lot of pulls. A total of 125 fish were caught.

It was also very encouraging to see William Crawford and Ollie Brand fishing. William is already part of the England Youth squad and Ollie at only 13 years old is already showing great promise.

The free boat ticket was won by Lee Marshall.

Rod average 5.0

Please Note: It would be most helpful to the organiser if anglers could sign in as soon as they arrive at the lodge. It enables us to organise the draw so that there are few delays.



Week 2

Ollie Brand with his 4th fish

A windy day at Grafham, Northerly, gusting 30 knots, so no single boats allowed out. 13 fished  so Paul Stevens very selflessly fished off the bank.

Blobs and Lures seemed to do better than nymphs and fishing was all close to the north shore, best area about 100-150 yards out. Jamie Thomas and Ollie Brand fished together with league leader Jamie catching 8 and Ollie catching 4.  Ollie only had a beginner’s lesson with Peter Hartley a few weeks ago and fished very well.  He comfortably had 4 and lost several more in play.

Jamie caught all his fish on a di5 sweep with a booby on the point and a blob on top dropper.  Ollie fished a floater with a Cats Whisker on the point and a blob on the dropper, all of his fish came to the Cat. The area they caught most of their fish was drifting off Marlow Jetty out as far as 150m, they found a lot of fish in that area.  Takes were very tentative and Jamie easily had another 20 fish lost in play!!

Boats came in  at 9.15pm by which time most people were feeling chilly. Stellar sandwiches and chips and a nice lump of apple cake before we went out, kindly made by Stewart Stenning- White in the shop. Peter Brewer won the Boat Ticket.

Total caught 32, Rod average 2.46.


Week 1

Winner Jamie Thomas

Conditions were quite good although a little too sunny with a moderate wind which died down during the evening. Reports during the day had been of difficult fishing with very few being caught and expectations were low.

The turn out was very good with 26 anglers taking part including a young man ‘Ollie’ 13 years old who had been on Peter Hartley’s course.

Boats headed off in all directions from Gaynes to Savages in the hope of finding a few but it was Jamie Thomas who found the method initially by drifting in the middle in off G Buoy area and working blobs and boobies. He finished his evening near the lodge for a total of 7 fish – a great performance. Graham Bodsworth and Mick Facey took the buzzer approach and finished with Mick taking 6 and Graham 5. Mick was fishing the washing line in Gaynes and Graham on the bung near the lodge.

Unknown to most who had headed off to the usual hotspots, the area just to the left of the lodge started producing fish and those that had returned to that area early took full advantage. A total of 50 fish were caught with a rod average of 1.92.

The evening finished with sandwiches and chips and some very enjoyable banter. The draw for the free boat was won by Chris Hulbert.


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Snowbee® Interclub Floating Line Match

Click Link to view full scoresheet: Floating line results 2018 v3

Winners ‘The Reelmen’

The annual Snowbee® Interclub Floating Line Match was held at Grafham on 14th April. A record entry of 19 teams had to fish well to be in the prizes on an unseasonably sunny, almost flat calm day.

After some initial problems with the scores due to a computer malfunction, congratulations go to the winners ‘The Reelmen’ (Ashley Cooper, Terry Bayes, Pip Jeffs and Frazer Duffy). Runners up were Invicta Blue (Mark Searle, Mark Haycock, Dave Summers and Martin Rowson) who also won the trophy for the Top Local Team.  Third place went to Tunbridge Wells (Keith Nicholson, Vinve Brooks, Keith Lawrence and Simon Newman).

Graham Bodsworth caught the heaviest bag, and Alex Urquhart caught the heaviest fish.

Our thanks go to Simon Kidd & Snowbee, Angela Tarry and her Grafham team, plus all volunteers within Invicta Fly Fishing Club who contributed.

Bob Ayres


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Spring Bank trip (Norman Shippey Memorial) – Elinor 24th March 2018

Spring Bank Match Elinor result 2018

Top Rod, John Brown

After a very cold and snowy February and March, the weather took a turn for the better and produced excellent conditions for this start to the Invicta calendar. Sixteen hardy souls turned up for what turned out to be a very pleasant day, in complete contrast to conditions the week before, when a national competition had been held at the fishery. But even then, in Arctic conditions, there had been a rod average of over 5, so expectations were high. Ed Foster, the owner of Elinor, stocks regularly and those fish hadn’t moved very far from certain well-known areas. The water was still cold and the fish weren’t really feeding. They tended to be sulking deep and not keen on chasing anything and to the method was slow to static. Nymphs were working, even in the slightly coloured water, just letting them drift round in the breeze, or a very slow retrieve running the flies just over the weeds. Swans stirring up the bottom certainly held fish in certain areas as well.

A break for lunch proved that fortunes were variable. No blanks but some slow mornings, although there were also a couple of sixes and even one member with ten. As the winds were light fishing was possible right around the lake and, indeed, fish were caught from all banks.
At the end of the day John Brown won with a convincing 13 fish, all caught on nymphs – buzzer and diawl bach – and he just pipped Chris McLeod who had a dozen.

Notable was Alan Prevost’s performance doing a Tom Daley inspired, head first dive into the lake. He seems to like Elinor as he regularly takes a dip there.

A cracking start to the season with a number of newer members beginning to make their mark and catching a few. A rod average of 5.3 was a little disappointing but the quality of the fish was excellent. All were returned to the water, including the six pound plus rainbow that Graham Bodsworth took to win the big fish sweep.

We all now look forward to our first boat outing on Pitsford on 3 April. Hope to see you there.


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Anglian Water Airflo International: Midlands Heat at Grafham

PB in Competition Performance for David Moore

The reputation of Invicta FFC has been rising steadily in recent years and with both teams heading their groups in the AMFC league it was time for the club to start re-entering the Anglian Water International, currently sponsored by Airflo and the most prestigious loch-style team competition .I persuaded six members got together to enter a team into the heat at Grafham Water under the Invicta banner on the 16th June.

Invicta was the only un-sponsored team of the sixin this heat and the big majority of anglers had fished internationals for England or Scotland so it was a tough challenge. Most of us had been fishing Grafham for the past 4 days including the Tuesday club, AMFC and Pro-Am competitions so had a clear plan of fishing FABs, Hares Ears and Diawl Bachs slowly near the top in either Gaynes or North Shore.

The match was international loch-style rules but weigh 4 and release 8 with a time bonus. Most of us were pleased with our draw although Peter Hartley’s partner sadly insisted on taking the engine (in spite of knowing Peter was left handed) so they both suffered horribly in the blustery wind.

I got off to a flying start with 7 fish in the first two hours, all on a slow intermediate and nymphs and although losing a few reached my 12 limit by 2.45pm and leaving my much more talented boat partner somewhat perplexed on just two fish. I was mostly fishing my flies (black headed GRHE’s, red diawl bachs and a yellow/red FAB) a bit slower, deeper and closer to the boat and then taking fish on the hang.

Mark Searle also had a very good day on the nymphs, his 12th fish remained elusive but he took 8th individual place. Chris McLeod boated 8, Gary How 7, Peter Hartley 5 and Tony Smith (not fully recovered from illness) 4 so we bagged a creditable total of 47 fish for the six of us. Gary, Chris and I all held our boats against Internationals.

At the call we were only 16lbs or 8 fish short of Draycote Rio Masters and qualifying for the Regional Final and only slightly below the rod average of 8.4. Fifth out of six teams was a creditable attempt for one of the few club teams among the 70 in the competition and enhanced the Invicta brand.  I hope we can enter again next year.

Good luck to Invicta members Mark Mathieson and Dave Summers, both fishing for Musketeers and Mark Haycock, Draycote Rio Masters, who qualified for the Regional Final with 2nd and 3rd places.

On a personal note, I rate 4th rod in this field as my PB in competition performance so a big thank you to all you talented Invicta members who have helped me over the past ten years, proving there is hope for all.

David Moore



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Reports 2017/18 Season


Click to Jump to Locals v Army and RAF Fishing report
Click to Jump to Fur and Feather Fishing report
Click to Jump to Hinckley Shield report
Click to Jump to Carr Cup reports
Click to Jump to Spring Bank Match (Norman Shippey memorial) report
Click to Jump to AMFC Match reports
Click to Jump to Tuesday Evening Fishing reports


Locals v Army/RAF Bank Match, Grafham 25 November 2017


Top Rod – Tony Smith

This was the second match of what is becoming a highlight of the Autumn calendar.
Grafham’s ‘born again’ bank enthusiast, Jamie Thomas, suggested it last year and it has proved to be very popular with a good and unusual mix of anglers.

The weather looked horrible. The worst wind for Grafham is a sharp westerly, and that’s what we had. It was also cold and bright, so not idea, but Grafham being the fishery it is at the moment we were fairly confident that a few fish would be caught, and this proved to be the case. The six full bags came from all over the lake, from the Stumps right round to the Lodge car park! Snakes were popular although huge numbers of shrimp are evident in most places, and the wind-blown waves wash them out of the bank reinforcement bringing the fish well within range for the bank angler. Jamie himself finished very quickly at he Hill Farm/Stumps area and some were at range while others were tight to the bank. He generously rang a few others – from both sides – and that short stretch of bank produced almost 40 fish, if a non competition angler is included.

The eventual winner was a superb performance by Grafham bank virgin Tony Smith who punched a line from G point right into the teeth of the wind. His winning bag of 16lb plus involved chewing up a line and breaking a rod – conditions were wild at times!

It was possible if you found fish and had the right method to catch very quickly. Third paced John Gamon did just that at the far end of the winter limit from the Lodge car park. And the method seemed to be a small minkie or snake (the increasingly popular ‘snakelet’, in fact) with a couple of nymphs on the droppers to give shrimp feeders the option.

31 anglers fished it with the Locals team lending a couple to the Forces which cost the Locals a few fish, not that anyone seemed to be that bothered by the result. But the Forces team won it convincingly for the second year running, so the Locals need to pull their socks up next year. The rod average was an extremely respectable 3.2
Thanks to Jamie for all his hard work, not only for organising the match, his team, the food – which was excellent – and the prizes and raffle. And, of course, thanks to the wonderful Grafham fishery, Angela and all her staff, for the fishing, the facilities and the food; thoroughly appreciated by everyone.

A great day was had by all and next year’s match is booked in for Saturday 24th Nov 2018.
I will be reminding everyone nearer the time.

Chris McLeod

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Fur and Feather Bank Fishing Day (Arthur Sexton Memorial)

Elinor Trout Fishery 4th November 2017

Gary’s beautifully coloured 9lb 1oz rainbow

Fourteen sturdy members of Invicta ignore the weather forecast and made for Elinor Fishery for our annual Fur and Feather match. This is the fished for the Norman Shippey Memorial Trophy, which is awarded to the angler who catches most fish on the day regardless of weight.

The weather had promised to be very wet and indeed it started off raining heavily, luckily that soon stopped and with a light breeze conditions were perfect. Although most preferred the wind on their backs, fish were caught from a number of places and one or two big ones started to appear. A variety of methods seem to be working, in fact it didn’t matter too much what fly you had on just a long as you were covering fish. It was noticeable, however, that the lures only worked for a few casts then, as the fish wised up, the nymphs would get more takes. Fish were both in the shallows and the deep water with many cruising just under the surface while others were chasing fry and feeding well.

Another 6lb plus for Chris

A short break for lunch was taken around 12.30 and the usual banter ensued with all the usual tales, but Gary How was easily leading the way with 9 fish already landed including a big one. Although no fish were killed, it was all catch and release; the big ones were weighed before being carefully returned.
The afternoon was a bit slower but plenty of fish were caught with Gary adding another 4 fish to easily win the day followed by Mark Searle on 9. The upwind banks were most popular and the most successful areas were Gravel Bar and Shallow Bay. The fish were top quality, Gary’s big one went 9lbs 1 oz, Alan Briggs had one of 6lbs 7oz and Chris McLeod had two over 6 pounds and another over 5lbs.

So a very successful Fur and Feather where we caught 69 fish at a rod average of nearly 5 concluded with collection of prizes donated by everyone.

So that is it for the season – A very successful one for Invicta. Apart from some great days on the water, lots of new members, and good attendance all round, we have won a couple of prestigious competitions and had an excellent AMFC season. Success always attracts interest and new members, so roll on next year.

Tight lines.

Chris McLeod

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The Hinckley Shield


This Autumn bank fishing competition started around 40 years ago and Invicta have taken part on and off for many times. But never won it!

It tended to be Midlands clubs with teams from Leicester, Draycote, East Midlands etc, but many of these have fallen away in recent years. It also used to be fished at Draycote until bank restrictions and some dodgy tactics saw it move away to our Anglian Waters.

Each year’s winner is given the task of organising the next year, and this fell to GWFFA this year and with Grafham being the venue, entering a team was irresistible. Sadly there was little advance warning of the date and many of the Invicta stars were otherwise occupied, which gave an opportunity to some who hadn’t fished it in the past. The team was David Moore, Keith Gilchrist, Matt Willatt, Jamie Thomas, Graham Bodsworth and Chris McLeod.
Grafham has really been on form lately, but the wind had swung round to a strong northerly and the forecast was for bright, if not sunny weather. The team elected to fish various points on the north shore where there had been a lot of fish feeding on the huge

Graham and Keith

numbers of shrimp right from Hedge End to the Willows. Both Graham and Keith made steady progress to the 6 fish limit, David was having plenty of action but others struggled in pursuit of better fish. Often it is wise to not catch too early because the bigger ones can sometimes appear a bit later in the day, and that proved to be the case; with, four limits and two 5s, our 34 fish gave us 80 odd pounds. The rod average was just over the 4 fish mark which is exceptional and we knew GWFFA had all six anglers catching their limits, although other teams struggled a bit.

The final result saw us in first place, a good three pounds ahead of second placed Grafham. A great Invicta win – at last – and our team also had the biggest bag from Graham Bodsworth and the biggest fish from Keith Gilchrist.  A great all round performance from Invicta who have really made their mark this year.

We have to organise the event next year of course, and it will be in the calendar well in advance. It would be nice to have two teams??

Thanks to Chris Bobby for organising the whole event which was followed by a substantial meal at the Lodge, and to David Moore for organising us.

Chris McLeod 

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Carr Cup 2017

Reports by Chris McLeod

Click to view results tableCarr Cup 2017 FINAL


Round 7 (Final), Grafham, Tuesday 3rd October 2017

Mark Searle, 2017 Club Champion

Our last club boat trip of the year, which used to be on Hanningfield, is now firmly established on home territory at Grafham. We knew it had been fishing well on occasions and the trick was to be there on the right day. Well, it was right if you could get near the dam and fish shrimps. This was impossible drifting, so many chose to anchor. Not a problem if you had a decent length of anchor rope.

Paul Heavens, 2017 Runner up

Some bright spark, now no longer with AW, thought it would be a good idea to shorten these ropes to stop people anchoring over the boils area, getting stuck, cutting the rope and losing the anchor. Well that is ok but it means many boats have a rope that is far too short for windy conditions, and some of the anchors are too light anyway.

However, many did manage to fish the dam area with considerable success. Gary How and Paul Heavens had 20 to the boat with floaters and midge tips, fishing straight shrimps or a washing line. Incredibly, many of the fish were taken inches from the concrete, many when the point fly was cast on to it, gently pulled back into the water where the trout were taking shrimp washed out of the cracks.

Jeff ‘bags up’

Jeff Price had a red letter day with his first ever Carr Cup limit, and rising stars Neil and Sue Potts had a limit between them. Mark Searle easily did enough to finish top of the table and becomes Carr Cup Champion having bagged up on 5 of the days, a great performance. Runner up Paul Heavens who caught 12  on the day wasn’t far off being only 1 fish behind for the series. Third spot in this year’s championship went to Chris McLeod.

So the only official day left this year is the Fur and Feather at Elinor on 4th November. A relaxed and fun day we hope, fishing for the Arthur Sexton Trophy, with the obligatory trip to the local afterwards.

Don’t forget that Grafham are running a series of 5 bank matches – the Shrimp Masters – starting on 12 November. In addition, on 25 November, us ‘locals’ are fishing a match against the combined forces led by Jamie Thomas, and all are welcome. Just let Chris McLeod know so catering can be organised – Full details on the ‘ Other Competitions and Social Fishing’ webpage.



Round 6, Ravensthorpe, Sunday 10th September 2017

Alan Briggs with Graham Bodsworth (and the fiery brown)

So he said he was going to fish dries all day, and that’s exactly what Graham Bodsworth did to be the top rod on the day. His fiery brown dry with true seal’s fur did the business taking 13 fish.

Sixteen members braved what had been forecast to be a wet and blustery day. This didn’t encourage members to turn up for our annual visit, but those that did were well rewarded when the weather proved to be a lot better than predicted. 70 fish were taken at an average of 4.38 per rod, and all in the top couple of feet of water. The fish continue to be high everywhere and boobies twiddled on floaters caught a good deal of the fish. Apart from dries, washing lines and generally casts with a floating fly somewhere kept the flies well up and although there were very few showing, trout were eager to take. Travelling often in small pods there were a number of ‘double shooters’ and even three on at once for Mark Searle. It was notable that ‘bow waving’ fish were in short supply. Many takes came to slow retrieves and even static – while using the bailer, rummaging in a tackle box or watching a pair of osprey, for example.

New league leader, Mark Searle

As usual there was a lunchtime break, and the associated banter, in the welcoming fishery lodge. And thanks to Stewart for his assistance – helpful as always. Although it is a fair old journey for many, Ravensthorpe is a delightful small reservoir, and the fish are always willing. Location is not such an issue and it was good to see the Potts family taking advantage of that and making progress, with Neil catching above the rod average.

Talking of averages, it is interesting to note that the club’s rod average for the year is almost 4.5 fish which is very good over six days in all conditions.

The next outing is to Grafham, and our last Carr Cup boat day, on Tuesday 3rd October. The league table shows that there is still an opportunity to overtake the leaders. If the best five of six matches is taken with one to go, Mark Searle is on 250 points, Keith Gilchrist on 225, Paul Heavens on 220 and Chris McLeod on 210. But, regardless of that, it is always, as with every Invicta trip, a great day out – hope to see you there.



Round 5, Draycote, Saturday 12th August 2017

Tony Day, 2017 Carl Hunter Bowl winner

The hotly contested Carl Hunter Bowl was up for grabs and conditions on the well stocked Draycote Reservoir were perfect. We maintained our record of a good turnout with 23 anglers hoping to score on a water that has a reputation for top-of-the-water fishing. It certainly does provide that, but whether that’s because it is the favoured approach or whether it is genuinely different from our own Anglian Waters is a moot point. Anyway, the top is where most of us fished, either with popped boobies or dries, on floating and midge tip lines. The fish were quick to respond with a lot of action in the first half of the morning. This seemed to suddenly stop an hour or so before lunch with the wind getting up a fraction or increased brightness, who knows? But that gave us plenty to chat about over an informal break where 3 or 4 fish meant you were doing ok.

The afternoon was a strange mixture of frantic action for the pullers, steady rises for the dry fliers but you had to give them exactly what they wanted, and be in the right places. Some notable club stars struggled by not catching anything but others did well with three or four members getting into double figures.

Weighing in 4 fish and releasing another 4 at 2lbs each was the target for the outing and Tony Day managed to bag up and win the Carl Hunter Bowl just edging out David Moore, Dave Summers and Mark Searle.  Well done Tony – all on dries, of course.

Paul Heavens took 7 fish to remain at the top of the league table but is being chased by Mark Searle in second spot. However as it’s the best 6 scores out of 7 that count (you have to drop one of your results), it’s still very much an open competition and several anglers are still in with a shout.

The next outing is Sunday 10 September on Ravensthorpe. We sometimes struggle to get good numbers here but it has been fishing very well and, again, with similar, gentlemanly tactics. Let’s hope we have a good turnout.


Round 4, Grafham, Sunday 9th July 2017

Invicta top rod Bob Ayres

This was not only our President’s Cup day, but also the annual get together, hardly a match, between Invicta, East Midlands and the Grafham Club.

A very good turn out was greeted with near ideal conditions. A bit too sunny perhaps but the fish had been responding on previous days regardless, so the prospects were good.

Recent visits and reports all indicated fish well still out in the deeper water as they had been for weeks. Drifts across the middle, M buoy to the Tower or 400 yards off the North shore were popular areas, but the ‘method’ of pop, pop, twiddle, twiddle was not proving as productive as hoped.

At lunch a few had been successful though, with the well known double act of Bob Ayres and Steve Middleton taking half a dozen off the weed beds around the West bank. So after a very sociable get together and excellent lunch, most boats headed to these areas.

L buoy was good to Ray Storer, who continued with the ‘method’ and others caught on a variety of flies, particularly claret hoppers and small FAB’s, however boat pressure reduced the catch rate and the final weigh in proved that some had continued to struggle. The rod average was a poor 1.6 which included six blanks. The match was just won by Invicta who were two or three pounds ahead of East Midlands (not that anyone noticed, or cared), and Bob was our top rod with 5 fish for 11 pounds plus, followed by Ray with exactly 10 pounds. Paul Heavens was third with 9.5lbs which was enough to move him to the top of the leaderboard, just 10 points ahead of second place Mark Searle and with Keith Gilchrist right on their tails it is very close at the top.

What a brilliantly organised event. Many thanks to all the club organisers but especially to the wives and girlfriends, who organised the delicious lunch. This really made the event special and­­­ went a long way to distract from the difficulty in catching fish – we are very grateful. Invicta has a brilliant committee and plenty of other willing members, which is the reason for its continued success.

The next outing is to Draycote on Saturday August 12th. This is the Carl Hunter Bowl match. Always plenty of fish – we hope!


Round 3, Eyebrook, Saturday 3rd June 2017

Clear water on a bright day with very little cloud cover was always likely to send the fish down, but I don’t think we realised quite how deep we would need to go to find the fish. In addition to the Invicta boats, the ‘Team England’ squad were out practicing so boat pressure was also significant.

One method seemed to rule the day with the top three rods following almost identical methods; heavy buzzers fished on midge tip lines with long leaders, drifting across the deep water of the basin. The fish were so deep that buzzers needed to get down at least 25’ to 30’ to be in the zone, so it was a long cast, giving the buzzers time to get down before the boat caught up with the leader. However fish were not taking the buzzer until the ‘lift and hang’ and nearly every fish was taken on the hang.

Keith Gilchrist was into fish very quickly and by early afternoon he had bagged up with 8 fish; he went on to catch 15!  Paul Heavens had 5 by the time we came off at lunchtime and Mark Searle was on 4, however Mark bagged up late afternoon to join Keith on eight. Paul was unable to get his last fish and finished the day with 7 fish. The next best places were filled by Andy Newman and Neil Potts both with 4 each.

Our next Carr Cup outing is to our home water Grafham on Sunday 9th July, this match incorporates the Presidents Cup so there will be a weigh-in. Please book in with Mark ASAP.


Round 2, Rutland Water, Saturday 6th May 2017

As everyone came off the water at 6pm the fist topic of conversation was the temperature. “B****y cold” was the general opinion, and most were glad to finish and get into the Lodge for a warming hot drink.

But as the talk turned to fish caught, it was obvious that most had had a great day. There were 11 limits and many of those getting their 50 points actually caught a lot more. Mark Searle had 23, David Moore 16 with Alan Briggs and Dave Summers both scoring 14. Although the rod average with an 8 fish limit was 6.25, with those extra fish it was actually 8.5, which is excellent on a cold, low pressure sort of day.

Most were caught on relaxed nymphy tactics, with the bung working particularly well. Despite being regarded as an easy option, this is a method that needs a good degree of skill and Mark proved that he really has his eye in, although Chris McLeod needs a lot more practise and is grateful to Dave Summers for the lesson.

Peter Brewer, 7lb Brown

The weather was overcast all day but there were good hatches of buzzer, and action was had in lots of places. Fantasy, Yellowstones, Green Bank and Ernie’s Point were particular hotspots. Fish were great quality with most in the 2-3 pound class, but rising star Peter Brewer caught easily the best fish of the day with a 7lb Brownie which was returned unharmed after a quick weighing in the boat. Congratulations Peter, a magnificent fish.

24 anglers turned out and the atmosphere was as friendly and jovial as ever, so we look forward to the next day out which is on the Eyebrook on 3rd June. The management of this reservoir has recently been taken over by Ifor Jones of Draycote fame, and is full of quality fish. So a great day is in prospect.



Round 1, Pitsford Water, Tuesday 4th April 2017 

After a long winter but nothing too severe temperature-wise, Pitsford had begun the season in cracking form. Plenty of fish coming out to bank and boat with North Farm Bay, Stone Barn, The Gorse and the Cliffs all producing good quantities of fish. After 1st April, the Small half restrictions were lifted and Browns were in season, so no excuses as the whole reservoir opened up.

Series winner, Keith Gilchrist

Keith Gilchrist – 20 by lunchtime!

This time last year 29 of us caught 138 fish at a rod average of 4.76. This year there were only 20 anglers but the rod average was 6.25 with 125 being caught in total. But this is only half the story as these statistics don’t count any fish caught after an angler’s bag of eight, and many members caught considerably more than 8! The method was buzzers, buzzers, buzzers, with the occasional nymph, on floating lines and midge tips, and fished very slowly.

The weather had turned which seemed to bunch the shoals up so pods were quite tight and sometimes difficult to locate. The bay east of the Gorse fished exceptionally and Stone Barn did well. There were also a few around Duffers, and other odd places, but it was very easy to be just off them, though with 14 limits and no blanks it wasn’t too difficult and a great start to the season.

Next outing is to Rutland on 6th May. Let’s hope the buzzers are still coming off.



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AMFC  Autumn match at Grafham

Invicta ‘A team’

This was the final match of the 2017 series of six, where all the clubs come together with four man teams and fish across the groups. Invicta had two good teams for both our Group 1 and 3 matches, and although we couldn’t finish top of either league, we could certainly consolidate our positions; and we did.

The conditions were near perfect on Grafham which had been fishing well, and you took your choice. Either fish close in for the shrimp feeders, but they were really close which made short drifts in a stiff breeze very tricky, or further out on the lures. That’s what ‘A team’ member Kieran Bonus did, using roly poly on a Di3 with booby/fab set up he finished by 1.30pm. Others followed suit and the A team managed three 8 fish limits and a 5. That gave us a solid third place and put us in the middle of the Group which, on our first year back in the top division was an excellent result.

The ‘B team’ produced a terrific all round performance without any limits! They won the Group by two fish which included a seven from Mark Mathieson who had to depart early for a family crisis, and another seven from Peter Brewer who is really developing his match angling skills.

Invicta ‘B team’ minus Mark Mathieson

So over the series, the A team finished third in Group 1, and the B team finished runners up in G3. This must be the best ever AMFC season for the club. So congratulations to the 25 members who fished for Invicta in either group throughout the year. A truly all round performance.

The ‘A team’ for this match : Kieran Bonas, Kieth Gilchrist, Chris McLeod andMick Facey.
The ‘B team’ : Andy Newman, Peter Brewer Ray Storer and Mark Mathieson.

The club must be particularly grateful to David Moore for his dedication and persistence in organising our teams. This is a massive job which is often taken for granted and one that David does with quiet determination, resulting in full teams for every match. Much appreciated.


AMFC Group 1, Round 5 Match at Pitsford –

Wednesday 16th September 2017

Invicta top rod, Gary How

‘Invicta A’ fielded a strong team consisting of Kieran Bonus, Mick Facey, Mark Haycock, Gary How, Chris McLeod and Mark Searle.

We needed to do well to secure their place in the group for next year.  Conditions were good and practice had gone well, so we were reasonably confident at the start of the match. All the boats went through the causeway tunnel and most continued to the far end of the Narrows and into the Main Bowl. There were fish in these areas especially alongside the Cliffs. Other boats stopped well before this around the Gravels, Stone Barn areas. Gary How was one of these and when he switched to static nymph tactics found the takes coming quickly. He had his eight (four killed + four released before 4pm. Chris McLeod arrived in that area later but, having been briefed by a couple of people, soon caught his limit.

Mark Haycock stayed pulling a bit too long but eventually switched and took 6. His fifth fish was a superb brown of 5lbs plus which sadly had to go back and only counted two pounds. Kieran Bonus, on a break from golf, ground out 4. Mick Facey and Mark Searle had an off day for once but the team total of 29 gave us a solid third place and the guarantee of staying up. A great performance in the first year of our return to the top division.

We still have the final Association match to go and a strong showing there could see us improving on our third placing in the table and even taking the runners up spot.

Well done all concerned. A great team effort.


AMFC Group 3, Round 5 Match at Pitsford –
Wednesday 6th September 2017

The Invicta B Team for this match was made up of John Brown (Capt), Alan Sefton, Simon Sells, Jeff Price, Mark Mathieson and Jeff Hickson.  Some of the team managed to practice the day before and caught plenty of trout and identified areas and methods. The team came to this match still in second place on points.

On match day the wind had swung round more to the West and cooled somewhat
Tactics from practice day worked in part, the team stars were Mark Matheison  who was overall match top rod with an eight fish limit by about 1.30pm and Jeff Hickson who had biggest trout on the day at 3lb 15oz

At the end of the match the results showed that some of the Invicta B team had a very difficult day and the team just slipped into last place on the day with only 9lbs 2oz separating the second and last spots in the table. Over the season Invicta B have 14 points along with Soldier Palmers but taking weight into account Invicta B sit in third place. Greylags are clear leader of Group 3 with 21 points.

For members that like the numbers please refer to the results sheet on the AMFC website.


AMFC Group 1 and Group 3 – Round 4 Match at Grafham Water

Wednesday 12th June 2017 

Invicta had a strong team for both the Group 1 and Group 3 matches that were fished at the same time on a tricky Grafham. Both teams were well placed in the league, each lying second in their respective groups.

However, changeable weather and a virtually abandoned practice day, leading up to match day, had not given the teams a lot of information. We knew that the west end of the lake was the best area with clearer water and plenty of fish, both in open water and around the weed beds, and that is where all the boats headed. The 24 hours before had seen torrential rain and the wind turning through 180 degrees. Never helpful – Keith Gilchrist had spent practice day searching the lake for just 3 fish (although he had 11 in the evening!), and the fresh wind on the day was significant, taking most boats by surprise as they headed out of the harbour. A few did try Valley Creek with some success early on but it was very lumpy, and all the fleet ended up spread out in the better conditions right across from Savages to Church Bay.

Getting to a good area before other boats arrived was the key with a couple of early bags proving the point. Most preferred popping a booby on slower lines, but the fish were not always keen to oblige and at least a couple of our team, Keith and Mark Searle, found themselves on the wrong side of an 8/1 situation, even though their tactics appeared to be exactly the same as their boat partner’s. These things happen – is it just luck or is there some tiny, subtle difference that makes all the difference?

5 fish for B team man Mark Mathieson

Meanwhile Mark Haycock, as usual, was making steady progress to his almost guaranteed limit, and Paul Heavens and Mark Mathieson for the B team were catching – and losing  a few but ended up with 5 each to be the best B team rods. Others were scratching their heads and scratching out the odd fish here and there.

Mark Searle did redeem himself later in the day changing to nymphs and could easily have finished if a couple more of his played fish had stuck. A lesson there …. Copying your partner or using a method that does not suit you, rarely leads to success. Better to do what you know works, focus on that and ignore what’s going on around you. Fish can nearly always be caught on a variety of methods.

The final result was disappointing for the A team who came fifth, but still lie second in the table, but the B team managed a fairly solid third and they, too, are in second place.
So not the best day for Invicta but we still maintain our healthy league positions, which is great for the club, and we look forward to the remaining two matches



AMFC Group 1, Round 3 Match at Rutland-
10th  June 2017

Mark Haycock, Captain

This was the third match in the six match series and Invicta went into it well placed with a fourth and a second position in the first two matches.
Rutland has been fishing amazingly well since the start of the season, with lots of fish and great quality with the nymph and buzzer tactics leading the way. The Main Bowl and the bottom of the arms were the places to be, so the match was anticipated with relish by the team of Mark Haycock (Captain), Dave Summers, Keith Gilchrist, Mick Facey, Graham Bodsworth and Chris McLeod. But, as so often happens, the weather had turned and fishing during the previous days was either impossible or very tricky in high winds and variable cloud.

The practice day provided some optimism as the Main Bowl on pulled blobs and boobies produced good fish in reasonable quantities. The fish though did seem to switch on in spells, so it was important to be in the right place when this happened. The morning was far more productive than the afternoon, as Mark proved by catching his 8 fish by 11.36am! Barely an hour as he had to travel to the north side of the Dam before he could start. Di3 40 + with a blob and a booby – no problem, leaving his boat partner, the very experienced Ron Gent, standing on just 1 fish. A few other fish were being caught and all in the same area with no boats venturing any further.

Rutland was proving to be tough, but Keith was making steady progress on the same method and did brilliantly to finish by 3pm. Dave produced an excellent 5, but Mick, Graham and Chris lost too many to collect more than 7 between them. Nevertheless, that gave us 28 fish with some excellent time bonus. Amazingly Mark was just pipped for top spot (by Phil Thomas of the RAF who had finished half an hour later) but yet another top performance.

We awaited the results anxiously knowing that we hadn’t done too badly given that other teams had struggled, and organiser Paul Wild’s announcement of a second place put a smile on our faces. He also gave the League positions which put us one point behind the joint leaders, and four points ahead of the next club; a position that we would all have been happy with at the start of the season and our Group 1 campaign.
On to Grafham next with another strong team. So let’s hope we can build on the success.


AMFC Group 3, Round 3 Match at Draycote –
10th June 2017

The Invicta ‘B’ Team for this match was made up of Jeff Hickson (Capt), John Brown, Tony Day, Joan Russell, Steve Harding and Jeff Price. The team came to this match still in second place after the Farmoor match.

Five of the team plus ‘A’ team member David Moore managed to practice the day before and while the weather was windy with some sun, in the afternoon the wind slackened a bit. From a fishing view point David and Joan sorted a method and some patterns (thanks) that would put some fish in the boat on match day. Jeff Hickson being the model captain that he is tied some pink/yellow blobs and FABS overnight for the team.

On match day the wind had picked up again and swung round more to the South. It would be fair to say the blustery wind made the day challenging. Tactics from practice day still worked with the team stars being Joan (aka Queen of Scones – see photo) and Tony who both had eight fish and time bonus, a fantastic result in his first ever AMFC match. Overall another good team performance especially as we had another ‘first timer’ Steve Harding and Jeff Price who is also relatively new, thanks to all.

At the end of the match, the days overall second place and total fish caught were enough to give the Invicta B team a total of 10 points for the season (one of three joint top teams on 10 points) but then weight comes in, our season total being 134lb 15oz, but now leading Group 3 are Soldier Palmers “B with 172lb 15oz



AMFC Group 3, Round 2 Match at Farmoor –
19th May 2017

Setting up at Farmoor

The Invicta B Team for this match was made up of Jeff Hickson (Capt), Paul Heavens, Allen Sefton, John Brown, Peter Brewer and John Caldwell (our last minute stand in for Jeff Price who injured himself – let’s hope he is fully recovered for the next match). Four of the team managed to practice the day before and while the weather was generally sunny, heavy showers skirted the reservoir. From a fishing view point various minor tactics had been found that would put some fish in the boat on match day. A stop over and nice evening meal with some drinks at the Talbot Inn close to the reservoir rounded off the Practice day and Match day started with the “Full English” breakfast.

The team came to this match lying in second place in Group 3 after the opening match at Bewl Bridge. It would be fair to say that some found the day challenging or split into two halves with the morning being sunny and difficult, the afternoon brought more cloud and some very heavy showers but the fishing improved. Tactics included blobs, FAB’s and nymphs on floaters, slow intermediates and DI3 sweep lines. At the end of the match it became clear the team had suffered mixed fortunes but the days overall fourth place and total fish caught were enough to keep the Invicta team in joint second place with 6 points and 77lb 13oz. Leading Group 3 currently are Greylags with 8 points and 99lb 4.5oz.  For members that like the numbers please refer to the results sheet: Group 3 round 2 results

The good news is also that half the team members were individually in the top ten for this match. What we need now is for more spreading of knowledge between the two Invicta teams to get more members in the top ten for these matches.

Current  ‘B’ Team situation after 2 matches:
Greylags 8 points        RNRMAA and Invicta B 6 points       GWFFA and Soldiers B 5 points


AMFC Group 1, Round 2 Match at Draycote-
10thMay 2017

Invicta Top Rod, Dave Summers

The Invicta A team produced a great result in the second round match at Draycote taking 2nd place behind Fish Hawks on a flat calm sunny reservoir.

Graham Bodsworth, Dave Summers, Alan Briggs and Keith Gilchrist had practised in very different conditions the day before while Gary How, Mark Searle and David Moore were fishing a Police match on Chew and had to set off at dawn to get to Draycote on match day.

Graham was first to finish with 8 fish before 3pm at the south end of the dam using black and green buzzers under the bung. David Moore was next taking his 8 in open water between X and P buoys on a midge tip line with buzzers and a FAB on the point. Dave Summers made his mark on his first time representing Invicta A by catching 8 bigger fish with two hours to spare and was top rod for the team, most fish were in the top 2 or 3 feet of water.

Keith Gilchrist into a fish

Dave was 6th individual, Graham 7th and David 9th but all the team had a good day with Keith taking 6 and Gary and Alan both with 4 to give us a total of 38 fish which with time bonus weighed 92lb-15oz, enough to pip Rutland Water FF by one fish. A good demonstration of how every fish a team member catches is vital whether it’s your only fish or your 8th!

Rod average for the match 5.7

1st Fish Hawks; 2nd Invicta A;  3rd Rutland WFF; 4th Tunbridge Wells; 5th Soldier Palmers A;   6th Bewl  A

Points awarded after Round 2 show a highly competitive league battle:

1  Fish Hawks 10pts,
2 = Tunbridge Wells 8pts;  Invicta ‘A’ 8pts; Soldier Palmers 8pts
5 Rutland Water FF 6pts
6 Bewl A 2pts


AMFC  Spring match at Bewl

Top rod Mark Searle

Friday morning 28th April seven Invicta members set off for Bewl for the start of 2017 AMFC matches. We arrived at Bewl at 8.45 for a hearty breakfast at the visitor centre. We paired up and set off to practice for the match on Saturday, Gary How and Graham Bodsworth worked the main basin, David Moore and Paul Heavens worked the bottom of Bewl straight and the lodge, Jeff Hickson in a boat on his own fished Hook straight, while John Brown and I fished Rosemary lane. The water in Rosemary lane was as green as grass.

We met up to compare notes and have lunch. Jeff was the star of the day and had 5 fish, so we all headed up Hook straight to sample some of the action. Jeff went on to get his eight fish with the rest of us struggling. We finished at 5.30 pm and headed for the golf club where we stayed the night, we had a very sociable evening having a few drinks and a nice meal in the restaurant then off to bed to get ready to face the grueling day ahead.

We started the match day with a good breakfast and a lot of theories of how we might catch some fish then set off for the reservoir. On arrival at the reservoir we found out who our boat partners were and set about getting ready, I was drawn with Martin Brocklebank from GWFF.  As we struggled on practice day and Bewl was still tough with a lot of algae in the water, we decided two fish would be enough to put the reflective vest on the back of your seat, if you were lucky enough to catch two fish, the rest of the team could see you were catching and make their way to where you are fishing so you can tell them where and how they might catch fish.  When we left the boat jetty we headed up hook straight only to find the water Gin clear.

Martin and I were fishing in Browns bay on the left hand side at the bottom of hook straight, I was fishing a small two tone blob on the top dropper and a sunburst FAB size 12 on the point on a long leader, casting with in two foot of the bank, I let the line sink a little then give a couple of sharp pulls and then retrieve with a fast figure of eight and then hang it. My second fish was a double hook up and I lost the blob and landed the one on the FAB, I carried on fishing with just the FAB and got five more fish, then it slowed up so I retied the top dropper and put on a cruncher, my second cast was a double hook up which took the cruncher but managed to land the fish on the point, finishing at 12.55. Martin was fishing with a blob on the top dropper with a nymph middle dropper and a small black and green lure on the point, with Martin being on the motor I had the advantage of being able to cast to the bank easier. Martin had five fish out of the bay, picking up two more one in hook straight and one more in seven pound creak, finishing with seven fish. I won top bag for the match with the only full bag, my best fish was 4lb 11oz, my total weight with time bonus was 26lb 7oz.  David Moore had four fish for 11lb 10oz. but Gary How and Graham Bodsworth were amongst the many that failed to find the fish. The A team came forth in group one with 38lb 1oz.

Invicta ‘B’ team

The Invicta ‘B’ team came second in group three only missing out on top spot by 1lb 8oz. Jeff Hickson concentrated mainly on Hook straight and found the fish very close to the bank in very tight shoals. In his bag of three he also had the biggest fish of the group at 4lb 2oz. Simon Sells found things harder and was another of many blanks. Paul Heavens caught two for 5lb 6oz and John Brown added a further two to take their team weight to 21lb 8oz. The flies and methods of practice day seemed to work and shows the advantage of these days
We had a great day and thanks for organising the day John .

Mark Searle

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Grafham sunset



Tuesday Evening Club Social Fishing at Grafham

Click here to see leader table:  Evening boat league 2017 Week 14 (Final)


Week 14 (The Final)

2017 Evening League Winner – Keith Gilchrist

The final evening of the league for another year and the fish proved difficult under bright conditions with little cloud.

Ray Storer bucked the trend with a fine performance coaxing out four fish with a combination of a blob and two daddies. Peter Brewer took three and Gary How, Jamie Thomas and Matt Willatt had two each but others found the going tough. Even the experienced rods of Keith Gilchrist, Chris McLeod and Mark Searle fail to find a fish on an evening where 60% blanked.

However, Keith’s significant lead throughout the series secured him the Evening League title with Ray Storer taking the runner up position and Graham Bodsworth  in third spot.  Top ‘non Invicta member’ rod of the series goes to Jamie Thomas with Dayood Sheik close behind. 33 anglers took part this year with a weekly average of 18 taking part and 355 fish being caught.

A very sociable evening in the Wheatsheaf rounded off the evening and gave us the opportunity to congratulate the winners and thank Paul Stevens for organising this enjoyable event. Thanks also to the Rangers at Grafham and Angela Tarry (Anglian Water) for her support and the weekly boat ticket prize.

Rod average: 0.8

The free boat ticket was won by Jamie Thomas.


Week 13

Peter Brewer found fish off the west shore.

The doom and gloom predicted by the weather forecasters proved to be wrong and apart from a brief spell of rain before we started, the evening was quite reasonable. The forecast of heavy rain and possible thunder clearly put a few off with only ten turning up.

Thankfully the fishing had much improved on the previous week with some decent fish showing. Paul Heavens and Keith Gilchrist led the way with five each although they both had many more follows and both lost fish. It was very much a case of a long cast and then stripping it back at speed. Fish were then bow-waving and chasing the blobs and boobies and some of them connected.

David Moore took 4 fish and Dayood Sheik maintained his consistent form by added 3 to his tally to keep him in fourth league position – the highest scoring non Invicta member.

Keith is now uncatchable and takes his lead into next weeks final evening, but the runner up position is still keenly contested.

Rod average: 2.1

The free boat ticket was won by Allan Murren.



Week 12

Peter Waterhouse

Another difficult evening in what had been a good period of fishing at Grafham. Because of this, expectations were fairly high but the fish refused to oblige. Thirteen anglers fished, the numbers were down this week due to a clash with an English Fly Fishers event at Chew.

Most boats headed for the weedbeds off the west bank and drifted out, but with little success with only the odd fish being caught.  GWFFA angler Peter Waterhouse found a few fish quite early on in sanctuary bay and was the only person in the first couple of hours to break the single fish barrier. After getting little action at the West end, league leader Keith Gilchrist and a couple of other boats headed East and started to see some movement in the area around the ‘boils’, but it was still not easy. In his usual expert style, using a 6’ midge tip with biscuit blobs, Keith finished the evening with four; other than Peter, the only one to take more than a single fish on an evening where half the field blanked.

Rod average: 0.9

The free boat ticket was won by Paul Heavens


Week 11

A  rainbow around 4lbs on a difficult evening for Tony Day

18 anglers fished week 11 and although the weather was pleasant and there were plenty of sandwiches and chips, not much else is worth mentioning.

Keith Gilchrist caught 3 fish on hoppers and hare’s ears on a 6’ slow tip with a figure of eight retrieve and was top rod again.  Joint second was his boat partner Ray Storer who took his two fish on a sunken daddy, Graham Bodsworth also took two.

Tony Day caught a very nice fish, circa 4lbs on a Di 3 and a blob but was one of only three other anglers to catch a fish, a real tough evening with 11 blanks. No one area or method significant.  There appeared to be a bit more activity in the last 1/2 hour but we finished at 9pm and could have done with another 15 minutes.

Rod Average, 0.61

Ray Storer won the free boat ticket.




Week 10

William Crawford

Jamie Thomas, master of the boils.

A hot day combined with a 180 degree swing to the east in the wind direction made for difficult fishing, however some got it right and caught a few including England Youth squad member William Crawford who took three decent fish on dries (Midas) at the south end of the dam.  It was William’s first evening with us because of his heavy commitments including the England Squad. His boat partner David Moore who took two fish was very impressed with William’s performance on a night where the rod average was only 1.2.

It was the dam end of Grafham that proved the most consistent overall, and Keith Gilchrist maintained his spot at the top by also taking three fish, but the star of the evening was Jamie Thomas who gave a classic lesson on how to fish ‘the boils’ by catching thirteen fish on a fast glass with a couple of blobs. Yes, there can be lots of fish for the taking on ‘the boils’, but you still need to get the method right as was proved by Jamie by beating his boat partner 13-1.

With only four weeks left in this series Keith is still looking like firm favorite for the title but with the boils now turning on, who knows what might happen.

Rod average 1.2

The free boat ticket was won by Alan Murren.



Week 9

Keith Gilchrist

Eight anglers fished during an evening ranging from quite damp to very wet. The reduced turnout, no doubt partly due to the weather and also the AMFC match the next day which involved twelve of our club members.

Apart from the Valley Creek area fish were hard to find. Keith Gilchrist and his boat partner Kerry Richardson fished there all evening and had 17 to the boat. This gives Keith a further 8 fish to his tally which should secure him the lead for the rest of the series ….but who knows, big leads have been overtaken in the past!

Graham Bodsworth and Paul Stevens, having had nothing at Hill Farm and Hedge End moved to Valley Creek half way through the evening and found some action, Graham finishing with a lovely Brown estimated around 5 lbs. Fish were chasing nymphs just under the surface but not totally up for it and more fish were dropped than landed.

Next Tuesday should see a return to a good turnout with better weather forecast and less pressure from other matches.

Rod Average 3

The free boat ticket was won by Kerry Richardson.


Week 8

An evening of mixed fortunes with some anglers finding fish whilst others really struggled. Most boats headed for the North side of the reservoir and drifted in from deeper water in towards the bank.  Best result on the night was a grand performance by Jeff Price who was partnering league leader Keith Gilchrist. Fishing the drift between the tower and Hill Farm Jeff took six fish on a floating line with a blob on the point and nymphs on the droppers. His boat partner Keith added a further four to his tally to retain top position in the league.

Only one fish behind on five were Ray Storer and Dayood Sheik, this moves Ray up the table to third spot with Graham Bodsworth staying in second spot with two on the evening.

Rod average 2.6

The free boat ticket was won by Paul Stevens.




Week 7

2nd placed Graham Bodsworth

In contrast to the previous week, Grafham was switched on and there were no blanks with 50 fish being caught. Current leader Keith Gilchrist fished with David Moore. They went to deep water point first and David had a double hook up 2nd cast on a midge tip. After that they struggled until they eventually moved to drifting into the open water from hedge end. David started getting lots of fish now waving after his flies and soon had another fish. Keith then managed a couple of fish on a 3 sweep pulling back fast with the fish taking a blob. David was getting much more interest than Keith and was soon 4 – 2 up.

Keith decided the 3 sweep was too deep and switched to a Snowbee hover line pulling straight back with the flies an inch or so down. This worked really well and he had 7 fish in the last hour or so, 2 more on the blob and 5 on nymphs. David stuck to his midge tip and although having just as much interest only got 1 more fish to stick. Second placed Graham Bodsworth had 7 so is still close behind Keith, but still plenty of Tuesdays left before the series finishes in August.

Rod Average: 3.8

The free boat ticket was won by Mick Facey.


Week 6

What can one say about an evening like this? During a period of record breaking temperatures with blue sky and water temperature far too warm for trout to be feeding vigorously, it always looked like being a challenge; and it was. Several of the regulars were missing this week due to The English Fly Fishers Association trip to ‘Stocks’ in Lancashire, even so, a dozen angler’s turned up to give it a go. As Paul Stevens put it, “at least the sandwiches and chips were good”.

Only two fish were caught, Jamie Thomas and Keith Gilchrist taking one each. Keith admits to his fish being very much a stroke of luck …. “A fish took my soldier palmer while I was starting the engine”, Jamie’s was of course down to shear angling skill! Keith remains at the top of the leaderboard but several angler’s are still just on his tail.

Rod average: 0.16

The free boat ticket was one by Alan Briggs.


Week 5

Mark vs Insects!

In stark contrast to the previous Tuesday which was cancelled due to high wind, this week was almost without a breeze which left us with barely a ripple – you can’t win! Insects also proved to be a real pest with a massive caenis hatch covering some anglers. Mark Searle was well prepared and his insect net was envied by many!

The going was quite tough but as is usually the case a few anglers got the method correct and were rewarded. The top rods all fished similar techniques, midge tip, diawl bachs and a FAB on the point. The hot spot appeared to be deeper water 200 to 300 yards off the sailing club with Gary How taking 7 fish followed by Jamie Thomas and Dayood Sheik with 5 each.

Keith Gilchrist’s lead at the top is maintained by 1 fish, but it had now become much tighter with five anglers within three fish of top spot.

The free boat ticket was one by Mark Searle.

Rod Average: 2




Week 4 

Cancelled due to adverse weather conditions.


Week 3

3 fish for new member Allan Murren

A rod average of just over 1 probably says it all. Fish proved very difficult to find on what was a reasonable evening for fishing, albeit spoilt by the lack of cloud cover. Twenty-two anglers turned up and following the draw most initially headed for the dam, Gaynes or Church bay. Very few rods were bending and by the end of the evening boats could be seen in a number of spots from Hill Farm to the dam in an effort to find a fish. Keith Gilchrist stuck with the Gaynes area and after switching methods a few times even took a fish on a dry (Midas). He was rewarded with 3 fish; he has the Midas touch and stays in top spot.

Also taking three fish was new member Allan Murren, a fantastic performance on a difficult night. Allan moved several times and took his fish in three different locations on a floating line with buzzers and a beaded cat’s whisker on the point. Mick Facey took 2 fish put him into second spot in the table and Ray Storer and Graham Bodsworth share third spot.

The free boat ticket was one by Paul Heavens (again!) …he won’t be given a draw ticket for the next three or four weeks.

Rod average: 1.1



Week 2

Ray Storer, Top Rod this week.

Almost ideal weather conditions saw us get our best turn out for a couple of years with 23 anglers turning up. A light south-westerly wind saw most boats heading for the North bank with a heavy presence around Church bay and the points either side. Many chose to anchor up and Ray Storer made the most of his spot to take 8 fish ‘on the bung’. Graham Bodsworth found 7 fish by straight lining, again in the Church bay area and Paul Heavens and his boat partner Jeff Price decided to drift on the drogue 50 yards out on buzzers and a FAB. Running parallel to the bank into the bay shallows Paul picked up 6 fish.

Although Tuesday evenings are primarily social events, it does have a competitive element with a trophy for the highest total number of fish by the end of the summer. Keith Gilchrist took 4 fish which was enough to move him to the number one spot which he now shares with last week’s winner Mick Facey, both on 9 fish. However, only one fish behind is Ray Storer on 8 and chasing them closely are Paul Heavens and Graham Bodsworth, both on 7 fish.
Total fish: 66, Rod Average 2.9

Post fishing, twenty-one of us headed for the ‘Wheatsheaf’ for sandwiches and chips accompanied by the usual banter. Paul Heavens won this week’s draw for a free boat ticket.


Week 1

The afternoon started off very windy and we had fears that the first week might be abandoned but by late afternoon the wind had dropped and conditions were really quite good. However, fish were a little reluctant to oblige on the first of our Tuesday evening fishing sessions but I think everyone had a good time and we only had three blanks.

Mick Facey led the way with 6 fish, followed by Keith Gilchrist with 5 and Gary How with 3. It was difficult to pin down a method that was consistent  with  fish being taken on buzzers, blobs and boobies. Church bay proved to be the most successful area and with the top two positions both coming from this spot.  Keith had by far the best fish of the evening with a fine 4lb 9oz rainbow which was in perfect condition with a fine tail. It made a good run taking many yards of line before he got it to the net. Rod average 1.6, not bad for 3 hours.

The Sandwiches and Chips at the Wheatsheaf went down very well. Great value for a fiver! Alan Prevost won this week’s draw for a free boat ticket.

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Elinor-Early Spring Trip- The Norman Shippey Memorial Trophy    

March 19th 2017

Winner - Alan Briggs

Winner – Alan Briggs

After last year’s cancelled visit to Elinor because of murky water conditions, today the water was clear and after a mild winter not too cold. Recent reports were promising, but strong winds can often change the response from the fish. And so it proved.  The wind blew strongly from the south-west without much respite all day. Temperature hovered about 13 degrees with only short breaks in the cloud.

The day proved challenging  for a good turnout of eleven Invicta members, plus a welcome visit from Paul Stevens, there to encourage the troops.  We look forward to seeing him back with a rod in his hands in the not too distant  future.

Reports that the fish were well spread out meant that anglers started along both north and south shores. The strong cross wind was causing more serious problems to those trying to row their boat back to base.  Three of these ended up  being hauled up on the downwind bank. It was not clear to us why their crews had decided it was necessary to set the anchors thirty yards inland over the fence. Were they expecting Noah’s flood?

Fish proved hard to find along the north bank, but across the other side Chris McLeod, Andy Newman and Alan Briggs found  some fish.  Andy had a lovely fish near 5 lbs and   a few more of these larger fish turned up amongst the healthy fighting stockies. The larger fish seemed less interested in chasing a faster retrieved fly than engulfing a nymph.

Gary Howe persevered in the windiest corner, determined that this ever reliable fish holding spot would give up its fish eventually. It didn’t. After moving around he eventually found fish to finish with 7.

David Moore worked his way round the lake anticlockwise to the western end of this bank and there also found fish.  He also finished with 7 to join Gary as joint runner up. Again lures found little response. Better were  buzzers or nymphs cast well out and fished slowly  off a floating or nymph tip line. Alan led the field by lunchtime. By this time Chris, having caught a brisk 4 fish  had retired hurt with his knee , not yet fully recovered from its abuse in the tropics.

A relieved Graham eventually finds a fish.

Graham eventually finds a fish.

After a companionable lunch in the shelterless car park, we set out again, buoyed by the story that afternoons have proved more productive in recent days. But the fish remained hard to find. What success we had was again more along the southern shore. Steve Harding’s practice sessions in his local park bore fruit with an impressive display of casting in such breezy conditions, rewarded by a number of offers and several fish landed.  Sue Potts made her way to the Pylon Point at the top of the wind where she hooked a fish and, with no one in range, successfully landed , unhooked and released it.  Well done!

Graham Bodsworth finally admitted defeat on the north bank, after insisting he would not move. The relief when he finally broke his blank was audible, and we did hear him planning an early return to the banks of Pitsford.

Only a few fish were added to the totals in the afternoon and Alan Briggs remained ahead of David and Gary to claim the Memorial Trophy with 11 rainbows. A well deserved win in such testing conditions.

Happily there were no blanks and a total of 56 fish were landed on this enjoyable, if distinctly difficult day.  Let’s hope for more temperate conditions for the next outing to Pitsford on 4th April. Dont forget to let Mark Searle know if you are coming along.


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Tuesday Evening Club Social Fishing at Grafham

Grafham sunset


Click link to see results: Evening boat league final Result


Week 15 – The final Week

Series winner, Keith Gilchrist

Series winner, Keith Gilchrist

The final week of our Tuesday evening fishing and what a difference a week makes! Last Tuesday anglers were struggling to get so much as a pull and the lowest rod average of the summer was recorded at just 0.3. This week the fish were abundant and in a feeding mood and only one person failed to catch. The rod average would have been much higher had all fish that took been landed.

Keith Gilchrist had already secured top spot for the series and cemented his position with a further 6 fish taken on nymphs and a booby. Congratulations to Keith on a consistent week by week performance. The runner up position was still up for grabs and Mike Thorpe needed to beat Paul Heavens by 5 fish to secure the runner up spot, however Paul maintained his lead and added a further 4 to his tally.

David Moore who fished fewer evenings compared to most above him took 5 fish to secure the fourth spot.

Rod average: 3.25


Week 14

Sometimes it is impossible to write a report that is upbeat. This weeks fishing was to say the least a challenge! Chris McLeod did manage to prove by catching two fish what many doubted, – there are trout in Grafham. Chris took his fish near the outlet tower on a floating line and minkie booby. David Moore also persuaded one fish to give its self up, a fine condition 3lb silver fish with a perfect tail which David said was full of snails. He took the fish on a size 12 diawl bach. Other than those three fish everyone else blanked.

Next week is the final evening of our summer evening fishing for this year, try to come along, it can only get better.  The social aspect of the evening made the lack of fish secondary, we all enjoyed the après pêche in the Wheatsheaf.

Rod average: 0.3


Week 13

Tony Day

Tony Day

An overcast and warm humid evening with a south-easterly breeze made for a pleasant evening. Tony Day clearly hit on the method and took five fish close to the weed-bed at the sludge bank end of Gaines by fishing small dries (Bob’s bits).

Mick Thorpe moved into second place with four fish and Keith Gilchrist maintained his overall lead with three fish; no one blanked.

It was very noticeable that the light was very poor by 9pm and sadly next week we will be down to 8:45pm, however with only 2 weeks left, rather than starting at 6pm anglers can go out from 5:30pm as soon as they have a partner.

Rod Average: 1.75


Week 12

We were told by angler’s coming off the water that the fishing had been difficult with few fish being caught. However most of us did manage to catch one or two and fish were rising in several places. Ten angler’s took part and four of them caught 2 fish each and three caught 1 fish; several fish also slipped the hook. Keith Gilchrist maintains his place at the top.

Towards the end of the evening a couple of the boats moved onto the ‘boils’ and found fish in the mood to take, but this was not until around 8:45pm and with boats due in at 9:15pm and a 15 minute trip back to the harbour it gave little time to take advantage of this.

Sandwiches, chips and drinks at the ‘Wheatsheaf’ ended off a very pleasant evening.

Rod average: 1.1


Week 11

Trevor Barton

Trevor Barton

As I pulled into the car park at Grafham the temperature gauge read 32.5 deg and the sun was shining brightly. The wind had also swung around and was now very close to being an easterly. Not too surprisingly only four anglers turned up but were greeted warmly by Mark Haycock with words of encouragement….”You lot must be mad!”

Every method from Di5s to floating lines and from size 14 nymphs to back-drifting 3” tubes was tried in an effort to get a take. There were one or two half hearted pulls but not many takes however relatively new member Trevor Barton who has been improving week on week was best man on the night with two fish taken with a black lure near the sailing club. His boat partner Graham Bodsworth also had one fish but that was it. Current leader Keith Gilchrist and second placed Paul Heavens both remained fishless.

That pint of cold lager went down well at the pub!


Week 10

Paul Heavens 11 fish

Paul Heavens top rod on the night.

The weather forecast warned of heavy rain and possibly thunder but most of the rain missed Grafham and apart from a brief period of rain the evening was reasonable.

Rising fish and recent stocking saw a couple of boats staying in an area not far from the lodge but Paul Heavens and Jeff Price headed for Gaines where Paul had caught fish in the Carr Cup match on the previous Sunday. However, Sundays tactics of daddies and nymphs moved slowly produced no results. A change to pulling a T15 gel tequila blob special with two nymphs and a long drift started to produce pulls but the fish were tightly grouped in an area no more than 30 yards across. Repeated drifts across this small area 150 – 200 yards out resulted in takes within a few rapid strips of the line and he bagged up his 8 fish in under 3 hours to close the gap on the leader. Most fish were taken on the blob, with three taking the red diawl bach. Jeff however struggled to attract takes and took his only fish with his final cast (after Paul had given him his blob).

Mick Thorpe fishing near the lodge took 6 fish on a stick fly (who says the old flies don’t work), and David Moore added a further 4  fish to his tally. Meanwhile, league leader Keith Gilchrist struggled for once and had only 1 fish but still sits as firm favorite to take the title.

Rod average: 3.5


Week 9

Keith Gilchrist 2

‘In Form’ Keith Gilchrist

Most of the day had seen reasonable cloud cover which would have been ideal, but by 6pm the skies were clearing and the sun broke through sending the fish deeper. The wind also increased making for quite choppy conditions. Di5 lines drifting across deeper water resulted in fish being taken mostly on a fast retrieve. ‘Coral’ or ‘Woofter’ boobies and tequila blobs seemed to work with several fish taking on the lift.

Keith Gilchrist remains the ‘in form’ man and has opened up a substantial lead by taking 6 fish; bookmakers would have closed the books and stopped taking bets on Keith by this stage. Paul Heavens and David Moore had 3 each and it was good to see relative newcomer Trevor Barton landing a good rainbow.

Rod average 2.6


Week 8

Mark Haycock summed it up with his usual gift for understatement when he said “You lads haven’t had too much luck with the weather on Tuesday evenings”. The weather forecast had predicted heavy rainstorms with the peak of the worst at around 7pm. I’m fairly sure this had a significant impact on the number of anglers turning up. In reality the rain was not too bad with a brief shower, but by mid evening it was fine with just a gentle breeze.

Once again Keith Gilchrist led the way with 5 fish followed by Paul Heavens with 3. The fish were fairly low in the water at the start of the evening calling for fast sinking lines but as the conditions improved the fish moved up in the water and a switch to slow glass resulted in more pulls. Washing line with a top dropper blob green nymphs and a booby on the point resulted in decent fish to around 3.5 lbs.

Rod average: 2.7


Week 7

With several anglers missing because of the England Flyfishers trip to Stocks fishery, Keith Gilchrist took the opportunity to open up a big lead as he feasted on boiled trout. That is to say that while most of the field struggle to find any fish, Keith who was on his own due to an odd number of anglers headed for the ‘boils’ and found fish eager to chase. Using a Di 5 with a booby and single blob he took 9 fish in while most others blanked. The only other angler to take more than a single fish was Graham Bodsworth using his well practiced midge tip and nymph combination.

With plenty of weeks left there is ample opportunity to come along and join us. It’s a nice social evening and although this week was hard work for most of us, the sandwiches, chips and banter make it all worthwhile.

Rod Average: 1.3


Week 6

Keith Gilchrist

Keith Gilchrist

Following three weeks of cancelled fishing due to atrocious weather on Tuesday evenings we at last had a brighter outlook although we did start the evening with rain. The early rain put a few people off turning up but 12 anglers were prepared to risk it. The rain eased off and the fish obliged by feeding with most of the action in the top of the water.

Keith Gilchrist was into fish almost immediately as was Mick Facey. Long drifts across the middle of the reservoir at the Eastern end drifting towards the willows produced fish on an evening where nymphs, blobs, boobies and just about anything attracted takes. Both Keith and Mick bagged up followed by Chris McLeod with seven. Keith now goes into the lead with a total of 11 fish with Mick Facey and Chris McLeod both on 10.

Total trout caught 43 plus one zander caught by Richard Peak.

Rod average : 3.6


Week 5

Abandoned after 30 minutes due to lightning.

Week 4

Cancelled due to high wind and heavy rain.

Week 3

Cancelled due to high wind…….the only option, retire to the pub for a good chat.


Week 2

The number of anglers fishing was most encouraging however Grafham was not exactly on top form and it was the sort of evening that does not fill beginners with confidence. The wind got up and as the temperature dropped the fishing became difficult. Don’t be put off; it’s not always like that!

Most boats headed for the North shore which was a bit bumpy at times. No particular method dominated with the few that were taken being caught on lures, nymphs and blobs. Chris McLeod and Tony Day manage three each followed by Mick Facey and Gary How two each. Five other anglers caught a single fish but sadly we had twelve blanks. Mick Thorpe was unable to add to his first week tally of four fish, but still leads the field.

Seventeen anglers finished off the evening by going to the Wheatsheaf for a drink, sandwiches and chips.

Rod Average: 0.7


Week 1

After a week of fine weather it was somewhat typical that our first Tuesday evening of social fishing would see the weather change into a showery rather windy evening. Seven anglers however were not put off and braved the conditions which did improve as the evening went on. It was good to see new member Trevor Barton turn up and hopefully he enjoyed what was quite a challenging session.

The boats headed for the North shore which had been producing the best catches during the week and Mick Thorpe landed 4 fish from pylon point on a shrimp pattern for the best catch of the evening. Close behind with 3 fish was Keith Gilchrist.

Rod average 1.85



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