Reports 2017/18 season
Carr Cup 2017
Click to view results table: Carr Cup Points Round 6 (Ravensthorpe)
Round 6, Ravensthorpe, Sunday 10th September 2017
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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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Click to view: AMFC League table 2017
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?
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
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
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-
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.
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
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.
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 .
Tuesday Evening Club Social Fishing at Grafham
Click here to see leader table: Evening boat league 2017 Week 14 (Final)
Week 14 (The Final)
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Cancelled due to adverse weather conditions.
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
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.
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.“Back to Top of Page”
Elinor-Early Spring Trip- The Norman Shippey Memorial Trophy
March 19th 2017
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.
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.
“Back to Top of Page”
Reports 2016/17 season
Click to Jump to Fur and Feather report
Click to Jump to River Test Outing report
Click to Jump to Carr Cup reports
Click to Jump to Tuesday Evening League reports
Click to Jump to Spring Bank Match report
Click to Jump to Snowbee Floating Line Match report
Click to Jump to Pilgrimage report
Fur and Feather Bank Fishing Day.
Elinor Trout Fishery 5th November 2016
Following a long mild autumn, the forecast warned that the temperature would be dropping to near freezing overnight and a northerly wind would pick up during the day. Not exactly what we would have chosen but hey, it is November!
Most anglers headed for the North shore to take advantage of the back wind but a few of the more experienced lads made for the usual hotspots along Brookside Bank and the challenges of a face wind that needs skill to master. One Angler headed for St Ives to collect the rod he had forgotten, well done JC!
Mark Searle’s determination to fish into the wind soon paid off with a couple of quick fish and Gary How also found the odd fish but generally, finding fish during the early morning session was difficult.
By late morning fish were starting to show on the North bank between Boat Bay and Goodfellow Bay. John Brown took 4 fish by midday fishing from Pensioner’s Point and Paul Heavens who had tucked himself in Boat Bay also started catching. By early afternoon it was clear that the North shore was producing and Mark and Gary made the move to Goodfellow’s. David Moore (what a hardy soul) stuck with the head wind until mid afternoon when he also moved to Boat Bay.
Mark found the fish down in the water and used a weighted lure to great effect; he has been the man to catch this year having already secured the President’s Cup and the Carl Hunter Bowl - 14 fish secured yet another win. Three anglers John Brown, Paul Heavens and Gary How finished the day joint second with seven each including a nice deep 4lb plus fish for Paul.
The Fur and Feather is very much a social event with the competitive element taking second place. As usual, the day was rounded off with a visit to the Old Courthouse Inn at Thrapston for the prizes and of course a warming drink. A good fun day of fishing.
Our next club bank fishing day will be in March 2017.
More photographs on the Gallery page.
River Test 26th October 2016
The party: Bob Mallindine, Andy Newman, Glyn Evans, Neil Potts, Alan Briggs, Roger Featherstone and Paul Heavens (not fishing).
Seven members made the trip south to the river Test hoping to entice a few grayling to the net. For two of the party Andy and Neil, it was their first attempt at chalk-stream fishing and we all hoped that they would be successful. Four of us decided to travel down the day before and avoid the early morning start. We stayed at the White Hart in Whitchurch and arranged to meet in the bar (where else!) at 7pm. After a quick pint or two we headed for the local Indian restaurant and enjoyed a pleasant meal with good conversation, then back to the bar for a quick nightcap.
The following morning looked very promising with near perfect weather conditions and after breakfast we made the short journey to meet the rest of the party at the river. The river was a little lower than normal and mild weather meant that the weed had still not started to die back but it was still very fishable.
River fishing experience showed, with Bob, Roger and Alan taking fish fairly early on. Early catching paid off as the afternoon was to prove difficult with few fish being seen. Fish were rising during the morning and the occasional grayling and the odd brownie were taking both nymphs and dries. Roger Featherstone took a nice quality fish from deeper water just beyond a weir but the biggest smile of the day came from Andy Newman when he landed his first ever grayling. It may have been small, but as Andy told a couple of passing anglers “I’ve just had my biggest ever Grayling” – they look impressed until Andy showed them the photograph! By now, Neil had also been initiated with a nice grayling and was hunting out the next fish. By the end of the session, everyone had caught on what had been a quite difficult day.
Photographs on Gallery page.
Carr Cup 2016
Round 7, Grafham, Tuesday 4th October 2016
The last Carr Cup outing of the year proved to be challenging for some but by no means impossible for others. The weather was bright and breezy but the reservoir had been fishing well and hopes were high with the middle of the lake producing the better fish, from about two hundred yards off the shore. That is where a number of anglers started although others migrated to the edges which held good numbers of shrimp feeders. So it was a case of taking your choice in areas and methods and, if you had that right, the fish would oblige.
Of the three 8 bag limits, Gary How went right across the middle fishing high in the water, Mark Searle found fish right in the cloudy water by weed beds in Pig Bay, and Mick Facey caught a few before migrating to his favourite Inlet.
We had a midday break which is always sociable and which usually helps those struggling, although no barbeque this time. A meeting for breakfast in the Lodge which is now, thanks to Angela Tarry, open for business again, then lunch, and finally a pint in the Wheatsheaf makes for a long day but, as usual with Invicta a very friendly atmosphere.
A number of members were in contention for the Carr Cup but we all knew that if Gary caught a few he should be safe, and so he was, winning by 1 fish above Mark and Mick in equal second place. Congratulations to Paul Heavens for fishing consistently all year for his fourth place, and well done to all in catching 551 fish for a healthy rod average of over 4. Another great season.
So the only ‘official’ event remaining is the Fur and Feather bank day at Elinor in November. Always good fun and a chance for the bank experts to show their skills!
Rod Average 4.6
Round 6, Grafham, Saturday 3th September 2016
This should have been our annual trip to Ravensthorpe with plenty of top of the water sport, on a small, well stocked reservoir. Sadly this water had turned a dense green and few fish were being caught. So, at the last minute, organiser Mark Searle managed to get the venue switched to Grafham which was in good nick and fishing well.
As luck would have it, the weather was perfect overcast fishing conditions which gave us ideal Grafham weather, with fish in the top few feet. It was also the beginning of the predator fishing season, which meant a lot of anglers with spinning gear and fish finders. These gadgets showed most of the trout were lying deeper than we expected which might explain why fast glass lines worked well, just getting that bit deeper. However, most opted for slow glass, midge tip and floating lines.
Boats initially aimed for a number of areas and fish were found almost everywhere. Fishing on his own, Mark caught on dries in Valley Creek. Savages produced a few as did all along the Dam. But the Inlet held a huge head of fish as Mick Facey discovered taking 17 in the morning, including 4 double hook ups, before retiring to his sitting room to avoid the afternoon rain. The Boils by the Dam were good, but all of that area fished well especially the slicks off the bubbles, and from A buoy almost through to the Bowl. So plenty of fish were caught, with 8 limits and a healthy rod average of nearly 4.5. Those who struggled are probably still trying to work out why on a day when the fish were very willing – That’s fishing!
It is good to see those members new to the sport doing well, and turning up to our club days. It’s a great way to learn and they will find they progress rapidly as Mark tries to pair up experienced rods with beginners.
With just one match to go Gary How leads the Carr Cup table and needs to fail badly to be overtaken. But others are not far behind, and with only the best 6 taken into account, it is still possible for a number of contenders to win.
The next and last day of the year should be at Grafham on 4 October, but if Ravensthorpe clears it could be moved there. Watch this space!
Total catch was 94 fish with a rod average of 4.48
Round 5, Draycote Water, Saturday 13th August 2016
Draycote had been fishing well and conditions looked perfect with a steady breeze over the dam and heavy cloud and most of us started with dries or washing line drifting out from close to the dam. Early sport was lively with a lot of swirls and bow-waves to both methods and a few rods bending but a lot were lost with some wishing they had used stronger leaders. At lunch Mark Searle was leading with 5 fish but quite a few only had one or blanks. In the afternoon the south end of the dam switched off and most boats moved towards the boils where fish were keener but smaller.
The match was fished to a retained 4 fish with C&R to the limit of 8. Mark Searle and Alan Briggs both reached the limit with Alan putting his dry fly fishing skills to good use but Mark had the bigger fish to take the Carl Hunter trophy. There were several 3lb fish and Sue Potts had two with the best at 3lb-4oz taken in her bag of 3 fish, “what a good season she is having and rocketing up the table”.
Result based on 2lb per C&R fish
- Mark Searle 17-3
- Alan Briggs 15-12
- Mick Thorpe 14-8 (7 fish)
- Gary How 12-7 (6 fish)
- John Brown 11-00 (5 fish)
- David Moore 10-4 (4 fish)
With Carr Cup leader Mike Smith and contender Chris McLeod absent the points table has closed up at the top but Gary How is narrowly in the lead from Mick Facey and Mark Searle but its only the best 6 results which count so the next round at Grafham is going to be crunch-time.
Total catch was 63 fish with a rod average of 4.5
Round 4, Grafham Water, Sunday 10th July 2016
A lot of work goes into preparing for this day. Not by the anglers but by the team of wives and girlfriends who put together a great lunchtime BBQ. So, thanks to all of them, particularly Jacky, Karen, Jane and supporters. (Although Gary How did say that he peeled the onions).
This is the day that we not only compete for our President’s Trophy, but also against the two other local clubs. So along with 18 of us we had a similar number from East Midlands and half a dozen from Grafham. Pairs were decided by a draw for the Invicta match and they set off for all parts of the lake. Conditions were good and a stiffening breeze still allowed access to all parts. Good numbers of fish were caught – and lost. Keith Gilchrist lost twice as many as the 5 he landed, and everybody reported pulls, fish on and off and all the usual excuses.
Lunch was a very sociable affair, with a raffle organised by East Midlands and a few glasses of red to slow some of the fishmongers up.
The afternoon was restricted to the South shore as the wind was starting to blow. Lots of boats anchored or did short drifts in Gaynes Cove and Plummer’s areas, and they caught well on nymphs although it began to get rather crowded. Kieran Caulfield did a great mentoring job with Sue Potts who hooked a good number and managed to land 4 fish. She is not keen on handling them so it was some achievement to be photographed with a lovely rainbow.
Putting half the lake out of bounds caused problems for those that had caught in the central areas but Keith Gilchrist managed the change well and was one of four Invicta members to finish on 8 fish; the others being Kieran Caulfield, Paul Heavens, and Mark Searle. Mark , who’d had a good morning, continued to build a winning heaviest bag which gave him the Trophy, and also helped Invicta easily beat GWFFA, although these same rods were beaten by East Midlands – but it has to be said that their team included a couple of ‘pointdownwinders’. An excellent day.
Saturday 13th August at Draycote Water is our next trip. At the moment this is probably the best stocked of all the reservoirs we fish, and they are a very good average size. So expect to get your string pulled.
Round 3, Eyebrook Saturday 4th June 2016
Now, if you are Mike Smith you would say that Eyebrook was fishing really well and you’d have no problem catching into double figures. If you were any one of the rest of the Invicta members who went there for the third day trip of the season, you would be inclined to disagree.
Perfect looking conditions are often not born out by the actual fishing, and so was the case when 20 members descended on this pretty and well run reservoir. The reception we get and the help from Andy, Stewart and all the staff is friendly, helpful and full of encouragement. Prospects were good. We knew that a recent stocking had meant there were fish all along the left hand bank outside the harbour and down to the island. Not everyone went there, and, in fact, little happened early on anywhere while the day warmed after the recent chilly week with northerly winds. Mike Smith though did find fish on the far side of the lake with an intermediate slime line and his ‘size 16 black gnat’. But it was hard going generally with a number of blanks at lunchtime.
Lunch in the lodge is always very sociable but talk of the stockies meant that most boats headed for them in the afternoon, including Mick Facey who decided to anchor close to the west bank and try and get his boat partner Sue Potts a fish….and he did! 2 in fact with 8 for himself!
Mike came over to the same area and managed another 6 for a total of 10. Both he and Mick found gentle stroking back with lures the most effective, but some persevered with nymphs until things died off towards the end of the day. A disappointing Eyebrook that can be so good with top of the water action. But the weather was the culprit and the water was still cold with very little fly life. A rod average of below 2.5 was poor, and it would have been a lot less without those stockies!
Saturday 10th July on Grafham is the next trip. It’ll probably be snowing by then! But we will be sharing the water with the East Midlands and Grafham clubs on the day, so lots of fun and banter will be on offer (and maybe even a BBQ??).
Round 2, Rutland Water Saturday 14th May 2016
The weather had suddenly turned colder, from balmy spring days of twenty plus degrees to the prospect of half that and with brisk northerlies. However 25 members made the trip, which is excellent for this event, which is often a difficult one to get members to fish, but Rutland, as all waters, had been fishing really well and hopes were high.
Significant in our ranks this time were a number of new members and some really old ones! Well, old in the sense that they had been members for a very long time. Among these were John Gale and Ian Baldock, and it was very good to see them. We hope to encourage them on a few more trips this year.
Kieran Caulfield burst back into action with the highest score of the day and Graham Bodsworth recovered from a bout of ill health to show us how to quietly fish nymphs.
There were no real hot spots and anglers departed to all quarters of the lake. In each boat there was a good mixture of more experienced angler with beginner and these tended to look for the quieter water. Absolute rookie Trevor Barton managed to take a beauty out of the Bunds in the South Arm, while Graham Bodsworth had a 7lb 5oz rainbow from nearby – the biggest fish of the year so far.
Meanwhile Kieran Caulfield was bagging up in record time, and eventually going on to catch 18 from East Creek just outside the Lodge. Successful method was slow glass with washing line. Fish were surprisingly high in the water as they have been for a long time now. They just don’t seem to be plunging to the depths which is maybe a result of not having any extremes of temperature for a long time.
Other boats tried all the usual hot spots but the only other notable one was just inside Sailing Club Bay, where Graham B and Mick Facey found fish buzzer feeding. They observed that all the takes came, especially to a reddish cruncher, during frequent hatches of red buzzer. They ended up each getting into double figures although they only had 3 to the boat by 2pm.
Pulling only had limited success. There is plenty of food in the lakes at present and with the winds dropping off, buzzers and nymphs on slow sink lines and midge tips worked best on the day. When the sun appeared later in the afternoon, action for most did tail off, but at nearly four and a half rod average, few can complain.
The day that started with a hearty (but probably not good for the heart?) breakfast at the Stibbington Café and finished with a drink in the Lodge restaurant. All very convivial, and the Carr Cup table indicates that although David Moore is in the lead, with plenty more fishing ahead of us, the Club Championship is wide open.
So, on to the Eyebrook on Saturday 4th June, where we hope for some top of the water action.
Round 1, Pitsford Reservoir Wednesday 6th April 2016
Although the weather had played its usual trick and decided to change from the balmy, buzzer fishing conditions of the previous couple of weeks, this first boat trip of the year saw a magnificent turnout of 29 members. Many members had met up for the now traditional breakfast, perhaps forgetting that they were getting a free lunch later? But this is now very much part of the day, and a chance to catch up after a long winter.
The weather was cold and blustery with squally showers interspersed with very bright sunshine which are precisely what we do not like to see on Pitsford. But early season is usually a fish bonanza regardless, and, for many, this proved to be the case. Not only was it windy but it was in the west, blowing straight up the Narrows. Strong westerlies on all our local reservoirs are bad news, but there was just enough north in it to allow comfortable fishing in the corner from the Causeway to Stilton Point, and luckily, there were a lot of fish there.
This was our 40th anniversary almost to the day, so organiser Mark Searle split the day into two with a lunch supplied by the celebrated Gordon Walker of the Ravensthorpe Chequers. This is always welcome on a chilly day and the question is always asked as to why other venues can’t provide similar meals. No fuss, on time, efficient and delicious. Thanks Gordon.
The weather before lunch was kinder and boats did manage to venture out into the waves as far as the Gorse bank where some managed to do well. There were plenty of fish all along that North bank but it was tough going in the waves and most boats gradually congregated in the calmer waters where some had bagged up already. The idea was to kill 6 for the Anniversary Trophy weigh in, then release another 2 to give the standard Carr Cup maximum of 8 fish and 50 points. As is often the case, catching quickly and bagging up early does not result in the biggest bag. Those who caught after lunch did take slightly better fish which meant something like a two pound difference for 6, with one or two good ones amongst the stockies. All fish, though, were in very good condition and fought hard with an average weight of around 2 pounds each which is very good. Thanks again Anglian Water for maintaining the high standards we have come to expect, but do not take for granted!
There were nine bags of 8 fish and thirteen anglers managed to catch 6, so a very good result given the conditions. Appropriately the top rod and trophy winner on the day was our esteemed chairman Andy Newman. His smile said it all, but he had a good bag of 15lb plus for 6 fish, including a lovely grown on rainbow of 4lb 4oz. Peter Hartley, proving he can catch on buzzers, was second and Steve Ottridge was third.
It was great to see some new faces and beginners, and doing well, particularly Sue Potts who took 5 fish and thanks to Gary How for helping her take them off the hook! But special mention goes to our founder member Dave Jones. He rarely fishes these days although he is active in club affairs and writes up all the winter meeting reports. But, suitably dressed for the harsh conditions, it was excellent to see him knocking out 5 fish. Let’s hope that encourages him to come along more often.
The next trip is our usual outing to Rutland on 14 May, when we hope the wind may have dropped off a little.
Tuesday Evening Club Social Fishing at Grafham
Click link to see results: Evening boat league final Result
Week 15 – The final Week
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
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
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
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
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!
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
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
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
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
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
Abandoned after 30 minutes due to lightning.
Cancelled due to high wind and heavy rain.
Cancelled due to high wind…….the only option, retire to the pub for a good chat.
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
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.
The 2016 Pilgrimage, Grafham.
The annual Pilgrimage took place at Grafham on Thursday and Friday the 26th and 27th of May. This friendly rivalry between Invicta and teams from Wales and Scotland has been an annual fixture since 1985.
A full report appears in the June 2016 Newsletter.
Click to go to Invicta Newsletters Page
Invicta Snowbee® Floating Line 2016
A Special Edition Newsletter with photographs and a full report has been produced for this event. Please click on the link below to open this Special Edition.
Spring Bank Match – Grafham 16th March 2016
In memory of our late President and long serving member, Norman Shippey, this new event has been established. An early season bank match, which was intended to be fished at Elinor Trout Fishery but as the lake was flooded a few days before the event and the water was still muddy it was switched to Grafham.
Although very early in the year, the reservoir had been producing plenty of fish on odd days for those anglers prepared to brave the cold March weather; but when the sun shines, the wind is sharp and northerly and the water is crystal clear, things can get tough. And so it proved.
16 members did turn out and many were full of expectation at breakfast in the Sailing Club. No areas of the lake were put out of bounds because it was not thought necessary with the natural banks fishing well. Sadly the bulk of the fish had moved away from the shore and were barely reachable even with the longest of casts. Anglers waving their arms and rods about while sharing loud banter, tend to push the fish away. So areas that were popular in the previous days seemed to be devoid of fish.
The Marlow stones, providing extra reach from the extreme point gave Mike Smith five fish early on and then when he left Peter Oldham moved into that spot and picked up a further four fish. Jeff Price, also on Marlow stones took a couple of beautiful, but out of season, brownies.
Alan Briggs managed a full bag of 6, while others on the nearby G bank struggled. However Paul Stevens, David Moore and Malcolm Reece did manage to scrape out a few but many were blanking. Eventually one or two ventured down to Hill Farm and especially the stone jetty there. Mick Thorpe took three and these proved to be the heaviest bag weighed in winning him the Norman Shippey Memorial Trophy.
Late in the day Paul Stevens found some bigger, over-wintered fish around Hedge End and managed to lose two good ones but did hang on to what was the biggest fish of the day at 3lb 6oz, and won him the pool money for the biggest fish.
So the inaugural day for this event proved to be tricky but great fun and we look forward to this as a regular feature of our calendar.
Our first boat match, the traditional Pitsford day, is on April 6th. Last year this provided a rod average of nearly 14, so we hope for a repeat of that form and look forward to seeing many members there.
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