Latest Reports

Reports 2023 Season

Page Contents:

Click to Jump to Tuesday Evening Social fishing reports
Click to Jump to Norman Shippey  report
Click to Jump to Carr Cup report
Click to Jump to AMFC match reports
Click to Jump to Snowbee Floating Line report
Click to Jump to The Pilgrimage match report
Click to Jump to The Maitland Trophy Interclub match report
Click to Jump to The Bob Ayres Dry fly match report
Click to Jump to Hinckley Shield match report
Click to Jump to Arthur Sexton Trophy match report

Bank trip to Elinor. The Arthur Sexton Trophy 2023

This was the last Invicta trip of the year and should have happened three weeks earlier, but was postponed after a huge amount of rain had flooded and turned the lake to chocolate. We’d hoped for good conditions to round off an interesting season, but as is so often the case, the weather turned a couple of days before. The unseasonable mild November became a proper winter day with a frosty start and a bright, cold, cloudless sky all day. Fish don’t like that and they don’t like sudden changes of pressure, and this was reflected in the scores.

Sixteen hardy souls ignored the adverse conditions arriving to a warm welcome from Brad Gifford, and full of hope. The lake is stuffed with fish and Brad is doing a great job improving things gradually, but he can’t control the weather. More than anyone he would have been delighted for us to have a good day. But it just didn’t happen. If anything, things deteriorated even further when a breeze blew up and the temperature dropped again. So the hoped for activity ‘when things warm up a bit’ just didn’t happen.

Odd fish were caught, on a variety of methods, during the morning, but most were thinking of lunch and a chat to find out how others had fared. Not very well was the answer. Lots of blanks , a few ones and twos, but very patchy. The only place that fished at all was the dam end where almost all the fish were caught.

After the break, where at least we were entertained by Ray Storer’s trick of turning mulled wine into soup, by picking up Gary’s flask instead of his own, we returned to the futile job of attempting to extract something from the water.

Ray had actually had three fish and lost another, so he was doing ok, and Matt Collerson played six, of which he last three, on an egg fly below a bung. Well, needs must and when nothing else is working that was a fair enough tactic. Two other anglers caught two fish each, Peter Brewer and Gary How, and there were four with one fish and eight blanks.

A dismal result fish numbers wise, but Invicta, being the club they are, actually seemed to enjoy themselves. There have been many times this season when we’ve said ‘it’s not all about catching fish’ and this was certainly one of those occasions. After the torture ended, car boots opened and out came beer, mince pies, chocolates, a variety of treats, and we had a good old chat where it was decided that Ray was the winner as he’d caught his fish earlier than Matt. He won a fruit cake which put a huge smile on his face.

So sixteen anglers caught fourteen fish at a rod average of 0.875. No one seemed to mind very much, they were more concerned about their blue fingers, iced up noses, frostbitten feet and numb thumbs.

Matt Willatt brought his son Joe who was amazingly patient and well behaved, especially as his dad didn’t land a fish and he probably wondered what it was all about. But we all assured owner Brad that the weather was at fault, he was not to blame at all, and that we looked forward to being back there for our first get together next season.

And with that we all said thanks to Neil Potts for his organisational skills, and then departed to warm showers and cosy sofas.

Happy Christmas everyone.

Chris McCleod




      Hinckley Shield 2023

Eight teams of six is a lot of bank anglers, and we all anticipated a very crowded Grafham bank for this annual inter club competition. The usual areas on the north shore had been producing some great fish, but the south, in contrast, seemed a non starter. So with southerly winds it was assumed we’d all be crammed into a few hot spots. Amazingly that was not the case. Anglers, which included our three Invicta teams, spread out from the Stumps, all along the north shore points to the Willows, and there was plenty of room.

Armed with a variety of flies, primarily lures and shrimps, rods started bending soon after the nine o’clock start. G marker produced quick limits for Tony Smith and Chris McLeod, and others followed at Cove Point and Hill Farm. Jonny Bromilow only needed a couple of hours, as did Alan Briggs. Gary How and Mark Searle were quickly called over to G having been in less productive areas – Mark had only had a single pull from Lodge Bank and Gary hadn’t managed to avoid browns. Unfortunately conditions were deteriorating and fish became increasingly hard to catch. Gary, after a long wait, finished with the biggest fish of the day at 4lbs 9oz. The fish were in perfect condition, lost all their stocky fat and hardly any cormorant damage.

Back at the Lodge weigh-in by 4 o’clock, our teams had achieved variable results. The A team had done well though with four limits, a four and a three.  This was similar to other successful teams and no one had any idea of the outcome. Invicta’s two other teams struggled, with the only other full bag coming from Fraser Duffy senior. The general stamp of our fish was good though. Apart from Gary’s big one, Tony Smith had the second biggest bag (losing by only an ounce) and given the very tight finish these better trout made the difference, and gave Invicta A the victory. A brilliant result in the face of very tough opposition – lots of England Internationals for example – so a great day for Invicta.

Thanks to the Elinor team who organised the day, to all who supported the event and especially Neil Potts who organised us – with his usual efficiency.

Chris McLeod


2023 Hinckley Shield Results – Summary

2023 Hinckley Shield Results – Teams

2023 Hinckley Shield Results – Individuals

Carr Cup 2023

Reports by Chris McLeod will appear here following each match.

Carr Cup Points after round 7 (Final) 2023

Round  7 match (Final), Grafham – Tuesday 3rd October 2023

2023 Carr Cup Champion, Tony Smith

Thirty one members was a great turn out for our last match of the 2023 Carr Cup series, but sadly the weather, water and fish did not give us much to celebrate.

Two of the three leading contenders to win the Championship were on holiday, so with Tony Smith and Keith Gilchrist out of the way, it was Fraser junior’s to lose, but he needed to bag up with 8 fish to just pip Tony by five points.

We knew the fishing would be tough given the high water temperature and the forecast for fresh westerly winds with sun and only thin cloud cover, and that’s what we had. The best areas had been the north shore and particularly G to the Willows (now renamed the ‘swimming area’ or the ‘jubblies’ after the frozen drink packaging of the 70s), but this was precisely the area that took the brunt of the wind making fishing extremely bouncy and colouring up the water.

‘Get in early’ is the key. For the first hour or so the wind was barely ‘moderate’ and those who went to the killing zones did well, but as the wind strengthened, things became increasingly difficult. Matt Allen took advantage of the relative calm getting 5 during this period, and Gary How netted 3. Others had the odd one or two but many were blanking.

If you’ve ever been told as you nod off on the sofa that ‘you’ve only been sitting in a boat all day’, it is difficult to explain why that statement, while true, can be so annoying. Casting, especially on the engine, was a nightmare. The wind gusts are timed to blow exactly as you lift the rod to cast, and often combined with one of those one in seven big waves that rock the boat alarmingly. Retrieves are restricted to pulling because with anything slower and your flies are under the boat in no time. So fishing with any finesse is almost impossible. Then there is, after a drift that seems to last only seconds, the return to start a new drift. This takes a lot longer than the drift itself and however much you tell yourself that these boats never sink, as it pitches into another massive wave, doubts creep in. Then a shower of Grafham Water soaks you as if you’re in a Tommy Cooper sketch, the boat seat slides about, the flies tangle, your hat flies off and you can’t see through the spattered sunglasses. That’s only if you’ve managed to avoid running over the drogue or catching a rope in the engine, then while you’re wrestling with that, you run aground. All these things happened, (but at least we didn’t destroy twenty one drogues as they had in the National the previous weekend).

The only thing destroyed was our enthusiasm. After a couple of hours, most of the boats sought quieter areas, where the fishing was very comfortable. Problem was, no fish. Ten plus boats managed, at most, two fish and a pull from Gaynes and Plummers but Simon Peck and Fraser junior caught drifting well out of Gaynes towards Q buoy on floaters.

So some drifted back to the north shore but by that time the fish had well and truly gone off although Matt stayed on the North Shore with fast glass and caught a couple more, as did Mick Facey and Neil Potts who did well with blobs and snakelets. There were many reports of follows – not pulls – with trout just swimming behind the fly, but they just weren’t ‘eating it’ as Ray Jenkins would have said.

The last hour outside the Lodge was equally slow with members only too keen to get back to the jetty. Matt eventually managed 7 to be easily top rod but Neil Potts and Simon Peck did squeak out 4 each on a great variety of flies.

Remarkably, everyone was in good spirits as they came off the water which is a great testament to the club on a day when just five members caught fifty percent of the fish with ten blanks and twelve ones. Temperature is obviously a factor on Anglian Waters at the moment, but it was pointed out that other fisheries are still very productive, so maybe stocking levels are a factor? We will have to wait a week or three and hope that everything switches on and we can dismiss this thought – as is so often the case.
So, Fraser didn’t get his 8 fish and that left the Yorkshire hiking m’duck 4 fish ahead at the top of the table. Tony was remarkably consistent and fully deserved his win. Bad luck to runners up Fraser and Keith tying for second place. Some other excellent performances through the season with new organiser Neil doing a great job and coming fourth, and it is good to see some new, if slightly weathered, faces at the top of the table.
Let’s hope that the reservoirs start to cool down by next season! Before that we have the winter bank fishing to look forward to and two matches, the Hinckley Shield bank match on 28th October and a week later on 4th November our Autumn Bank Match (Arthur Sexton Trophy) at Elinor.

Chris McLeod

Round 6 match, Rutland – Saturday 9th September 2023

This match we have the benefit of two report writers with different styles. Many thanks to David and Chris for giving such a comprehensive view of a difficult day.

Report 1

League table toppers Keith and Tony enjoying the best part of the day.

When we plan the club calendar we expect the 6th round in mid-September to coincide with the best fishing as temperatures cool and the fish which have been hiding in the depths come out to play. However this year we experienced the hottest day of the year at 32’C after a week of record September temperatures and the water was 21’C at 6ft deep.

 Twenty-two Invicta members tackled the conditions and after a few explorations around the bowl and towards the sailing club reluctantly accepted the boils were the only productive areas.

Gary How got off to a good start took 3 early fishing the far-left boil. Tony Smith plugged away on the first right- hand boil for 2 fish before moving to another and Keith Gilchrist and Sue Potts found fish rising near the dam but gave up on them to move to the left boil and take 4 quickly.

Jon Allen and Jonny Bromilow were on the same boil and taking fish too so it was quite hectic but we are all friends and shared the water happily.

Many of us underate the skills involved in fishing the boils effectively and it showed today. You needed a reliable engine to manoeuvre and hold position plus a lot of hard work for the angler on the engine. Then you need to get the depth right and several of us today assumed the fish were all deep whereas the more successful rods changed to intermediate or sweep lines and unweighted flies with a quick retrieve rather than stroking  Di7 and weighted flies.

The heat got the better of some and we were all pleased to come in at 5pm and find shade and ice creams while Neil Potts sorted the results.

Keith Gilchrist and Tony Smith both had 5 fish with Jon Allen on 4

The Rod average was 1.5

Thanks to Mark Searle and Neil Potts for organising the day.

The Carr Cup will be decided by results on the last match as it is very close with your best 6 to count so several members still have a chance although Tony is still top with a 20 points (4 fish) lead over Keith Gilchrist but Grafham in October is very unpredictable.

Our next Carr Cup day is Tuesday 3rd October at Grafham Water, email Mark Searle and pay by BACS to enter.

David Moore


Report 2

There were lots of good things about the day, but two of them were not the weather or the fishing.

As most members know, I am a stickler for detail, and prepare for my fishing days down to the last detail. But when I opened my tackle box at 7 o’clock in the morning (having last looked inside at the end of the match two days earlier) the only thing I was concerned with was sun cream and drink. Both were required in bulk. The day was exactly as forecast – the hottest of the year at thirty three degrees plus (after a week of thirties), with bright sunshine and a Rutland that was heating to unprecedented levels for September. The water at six foot deep was twenty one degrees. Trout stop feeding at twenty one degrees.

So twenty two mad dogs and Englishmen motored out from the harbour after an excellent breakfast organised by Mr Organised himself, Neil Potts. Neil is doing a great job and with such enthusiasm. I almost believed for a minute or two that we weren’t completely bonkers attempting to catch trout on such a day.

However we all went out making for the Main Bowl. Many of us thought we’d sneak over to the boils, grab a quick couple of fish and then attempt to redeem our self esteem by fishing elsewhere. Not a chance – almost everyone went to the boils, and not just the area, but actually on top of the boils. No shame! The usual jostling for position and banter ensued, and, indeed, a few fish were caught.

Fish from the ‘Boils’ Jonny Bromilow

Another side of the normally placid and relaxed Jonny Bromilow appeared today as he became a genuine boils cowboy. His technique, as he enthusiastically demonstrated, is to drive the boat right into the foaming water and thrash it to even greater frothiness as the boat reverses away. Real positivity which is part of the reason he is lying forth in the Carr Cup table. One or two other boats tried the dam with no luck. There were fish there but they were in no mood to chase flies, and so all the gradually crept boilwards. Boil describes the day well. It was extremely uncomfortable – except for Sue Potts who unbelievably was wearing a cardie!

The most exciting event of the morning was watching the antics of Mark Searle and Pete Skelton. Their engine stopped working and while they waited to be rescued, having failed to get any other members to assist, Mark insisted that poor Pete row him around. It was cruel, and I’m not sure that we shouldn’t deduct Mark’s one fish on the grounds of slavery or human trafficking or something.

Keith Gilchrist and his heavily sweatered partner Sue arrived at the boil only for Keith to do what he does so well and turn a blank into a winning day. While he was knocking them out, poor Pete Webb ran over his brand new Di5 and really struggled to extract it from the prop. In doing so he covered himself in thick black grease and ruined the line. His immediate action on sorting that out was to say ‘f*** it’ and start packing up. Thanks goodness, a sensible decision at last. After this, most started thinking the same and the day finished a little early.

Keith did well as always with 5 to share top rod position with Tony Smith. Jon Allen had 4 and there were four 3s. But the rod average of 1.5 and all of them out of the boils says it all.

Thanks again to Neil for all his hard work, and apologies to Pete Webb who had to do all the engine work while I did the drogue. (Joke, it was a flat calm.)

Fingers crossed that things cool down for the last Carr Cup day on 3rd October on Grafham.

On arriving home early, with Ann not expecting me until a lot later, I stumbled on the worst possible scene. She was spread-eagled on the sofa in a darkened room and … yes, sadly true, what no man wants to discover. She was watching a RomCom!!!!
Chris McLeod

Round 5 match, Draycote – Saturday 5th August 2023 (Carl Hunter Bowl)

Storm Antoni didn’t deter 24 brave, (or crazy?), Invicta FFC members from setting out under the dark sky into driving rain and big waves for this 5th round which was also our Carl Hunter Bowl competition with the usual 8 fish limit but the first 3 to be weighed.

Cooler weather had dropped the water temperature to below 18’C and prospects of feeding fish were much better than recently but this felt very warm in the wintery 12’C air and having had to jump in knee-deep to free a line and get off the rocks I was very pleased to fill my wellies with the warm stuff !

Most of the fleet headed down wind towards Rainbow Corner and A buoy starting with long drifts to accommodate the wind. The first hour was lively for most rods with fish high in the water and taking static or pulled nymphs and daddies but this slowed probably by boat pressure and several boats moved further out around X, P and Y buoys where they found fish around the weed beds and most fish examined were full of tiny snails.

Fraser Duffy Jnr and Snr are both local to Draycote and unsurprisingly they had the top boats partnering Ron Wheeldon and Jonny Bromilow with a staggering 39 and 34 fish to their boats.

With 11 members catching 8 or more The Carl Hunter Bowl was won with the biggest 3 fish weighed and Tony Smith was the winner (6lb-3oz) also catching the joint biggest fish along with Sue Potts at 2lb-13oz. David Moore was 2nd and Ron Wheelan 3rd just a few ounces behind.

Tony started slowly, watching Mick Facey (now on the move with two legs again) catching steadily before he changed to the same tactic of floating line and 2 FABS suspending muskins and Gimps although the bigger fish took a black and silver lure. They started at Rainbow but moved away to drift from the Helmsley Wall into the open water and finished with 25 between them.

Tony Smith is the only member to have caught 8 in all 5 rounds but Fraser Jnr and Jonny Bromilow have achieved this in 4 rounds. It’s your best 6 results that count so it is also possible for several others to take the trophy.

The Rod average was 7.5 (187 total and mostly returned) and much better than we expected given the conditions.

Thanks to Mark Searle for organising and the fishery staff for looking after us and donating a boat voucher for the winner. Also to the various suppliers of our waterproofs !

Our next Carr Cup day is Saturday 9th September at Rutland Water, email Mark Searle and pay by BACS to enter.


We all have days when things don’t go well, sometime it is several minor hitches and very infrequently things can get worse……. sometimes much worse.  For Chris McLeod it was such a day, his account of his Draycote nightmare is a must read. Click below to open his reflections on the day, a real laugh, but perhaps not for Chris: 

Mr Bean goes fishing

 David Moore

Round 4 match, Grafham – Saturday 8th July 2023 (President’s Cup)

Top Rod David Moore

With torrential rain, thunder and lightning on the horizon, we were not sure how much of the day we would be on the water. As it turned out we had almost perfect conditions after a couple of small showers in the morning.

Most boats headed towards G and indeed this area was full of fish, and rods soon started bending. Other areas were explored briefly, such as the dam and Deep Water Point but there was nowhere near the head of fish in these areas. Twos and threes were recorded in the first hour with most anglers using nymph patterns, specifically shrimps and hares’s ears, on a variety of lines,  there was very little pulling of lures.  

Gradually the whole fleet descended on the around G given that the area between east of the G bank and willows was zoned off with big yellow boys for swimming activities. This is something we will have to deal with throughout the summer at weekends. Let’s hope it doesn’t have too much of an impact.

First to finish were Terry Bayes and Jeff Hickson who celebrated by going back to the lodge and drinking tea, followed by Keith Gilchrist and Paul Heavens who had both bagged up before 4pm.

Back on the water rods were bending and others were catching steadily, although not everyone – actually some were finding it tricky. Maybe they were trying too hard because the simplest tactics, a floating line fished static in the very light breeze was as successful a method as anything. The lightning didn’t appear so there was no reason to finish early and we all came off by 5:30pm ….apart from Roger Hurren and Johnny Bromilow whose engine failed and had to be towed in by the rescue boat.

The chat on the jetty was all about lots of action, but lost fish and missed opportunities, although with seven limits and some other good scores it wasn’t a complete disaster. 135 fish were caught at a rod average of just over 5, which is very good for a warm, bright July day.

The target was 3 fish weighed and another 5 at two pounds each. Excitement mounted in the car park as Mark Searle read out the results. Some of the full bags weren’t in with a chance because although they had caught 8, the first 3 were exceptionally small, for example 3 for four pounds three! In third place was the ever-consistent Tony Smith, runner up, and only ten ounces behind, was Gary How, but popular winner on the day was David ‘Big Fish’ Moore.

We had a weigh-in rather on top of our usual simple five points per fish for the Carr Cup, was because it was the President’s Cup and David was a worthy winner – the first time he’s won that particular trophy.

So an excellent day and one that shook up the league table somewhat. At the top is Tony Smith with magnificent 100% record of eight fish on all four trips followed, and only two fish behind, by Fraser junior. Then there are 4 anglers just one fish behind him. So it’s all still to play for given three matches remaining. 

Chris McLeod

Round 3 match, Eyebrook -11th June 2023

21 on dries for Fraser

A forecast as the hottest day of the year with thunderstorms didn’t deter 27 members from our annual Carr Cup round at Eyebrook which had been fishing very well in the shallows but would conditions put a stop to this?

All the fleet headed up to the Stoke Dry end where we found fish rising everywhere and surprisingly close to the bank over the extensive weed-beds and spectacular clouds of hatching damsels.

Among our several dry-fly experts Fraser Duffey Jnr and Jeff Hickson were in their element catching steadily but when we came in for lunch in the shade it wasn’t just dries and Neil Potts and Gary How fishing a Fab and small Diawl Bachs already had 8 limits by keeping their flies out of the weed most of the time.

After lunch most returned to the top end but found the fish were more wary and not so many rods kept catching however Matt Allen and David Moore stopped short after spotting fish on the un-disturbed weed bed on the Island Point and quickly took 4 each in very shallow water here before other boats joined them.

We all watched numerous fish swim under their boats and ignoring our flies in the clear water throughout the day and even the osprey, always seen here, was find it hard to catch.

Damsel patterns and CDC Yellow owls took most of fish for most but the blue-foam daddy and diawl bachs fished just below them worked too as fish continued to feed at or just under the surface in spite of the scorching sun. A few of us spent a lot of time playing pike in the weed to add to the general fun of the day.

Thunderstorms rolled around us later in the afternoon but didn’t arrive although a few stopped fishing early as they seemed to put the fish down but most had caught a good number by then with ten rods catching their 8 fish or more. Top by a long way was Fraser Duffey Jnr with a staggering 21 all taken on dries, 14 in the morning and 7 in afternoon. All to Owl CDC on point and middle with gold hares ear CDC on top dropper; an amazing performance on a sunny day. Tony Smith also fished dries for 13 equalled by Neil Potts who fished nymphs very slow or static taking most in the morning session.

It was good to see our President catching today and hope to see him again at our next round, the President’s Cup at Grafham Water Saturday 8th July

Rod average was 6.1

Thanks to Mark Searle for organising the day and fishery staff for looking after us all.

All the leading four members in the Carr Cup Table caught their 8 fish so the top is unchanged.

David Moore

Round 2 match, Draycote – 21st May 2023

Neil Potts,top rod.

Draycote had just hosted the Home International the previous few days with fifty six anglers battling it out to give the water a proper hammering, and with bright sunshine combined with a sharp breeze, things looked less than ideal. But twenty eight Invicta members ignored all that and approached Draycote with the usual enthusiasm for the water knowing that there were still plenty of fish in there, and they could be caught on a variety of methods.

The morning was actually glorious – if you like golf, or sunbathing or cycling or any other pointless activity involving sunshine – and the number of people walking around in their summer outfits was testament to this. But it’s not what we want when we go fishing. So after meeting, chatting and, for the ‘Meducks’ the now traditional cooked breakfast from chef Simon Peck and others, the boats left the jetty around nine thirty.

Initially things were promising; boats that went out into the middle found fish (and lost them) deep, but that was ruined by sailing matches in precisely the same areas. Toft proved popular for a bit of buzzering, and Biggin was explored with limited success. The regular hot spots of Rainbow and the far dam were not popular – probably because of the slightly coloured water, this is unusual at the moment where the chilly spring has kept the water gin clear on all the reservoirs.

As the day wore on, some were building their scores with anchoring and ‘snakes’ playing a significant role. The Potts family were going well, as was Tony Smith and Jonny Bromilow. All fish were returned, as there was no trophy, and just counted five points towards the Carr Cup. But Jonny did catch and weigh a cracking five pound twelve fish which was easily the biggest of the day.

Some of the Invicta superstars were proving they were human by struggling a little and the final scores were a bit mixed. The total catch was 127 fish at a rod average of 4.54, which is not bad considering the conditions. For Carr Cup points we only count up to eight, of course, but Neil (12) and Tony (10) were the only members to catch more.

Thanks as always to Mark Searle for organising things, and to Draycote for providing excellent fishing. We now move on to Eyebrook on 11th June for the third of our Carr Cup days.

Round 1 match, Pitsford – 5th April 2023

Trophy winner Andy Newman

An overcast, miserable looking day with Pitsford shrouded in gloom – just what we like. Variable amounts of rain were forecast but, apart from being a tad chilly, prospects were good.

We had heard that fish were very deep, and indeed they were. But upon arrival at Stone Barns and the Gravels area, which were largely shielded from the wind, there was a massive hatch going on which encouraged the straight lined buzzers and the bung. Very few fish were showing but they were obviously taking buzzers deep – as subsequent spooning (by that inveterate spooner David Moore – he loves rummaging through fish guts) proved and the floating line tactics worked for many early on.

Also working for the Frasers was the Di7, count down thirty plus and pull or twiddle. Then as the day wore on the fish started to respond a lot more and fishing became easier, especially in the last couple of hours. Many caught most of their fish in the afternoon.

Other areas provided good fishing. Dave Currie and Alan Briggs found them at the Holly Bush. Andy Trafankowski and Neil Potts had 40 plus to the boat by the Causeway, and plenty of fish were caught between there and the top of the Narrows especially out into the middle. So generally a good day with 34 anglers catching nearly 200 fish. For the Carr Cup we only record up to 8 fish, but even that rod average of over 6 was very good.

We killed the first 3 and released 5 more, so catching bigger fish earlier was important and those lucky enough to do so were Keith Gilchrist in third position, Chris McLeod second and Andy Newman to win the coveted Graham Williams Trophy.

Thanks again to Mark Searle’s excellent organisation, and to Anglian Water for providing such great fishing.

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Bob Ayres Trophy – Dry Fly Match

Ravensthorpe, 23rd September 2023

Top Rod, Alan Briggs.

I used to like Carol Kirkwood for all sorts of reasons, but when she forecast a beautiful cloudless sky for our day on restricted to dry fly only, I went off her a bit. But that’s what we had. Hardly a cloud all day, with very little breeze, on a water that hadn’t been stocked for a while, with the added difficulty of grumpy carp anglers.

Regardless of all this, twenty nine members ventured out with their foam daddies, big reds, Shipman’s, cul de canards, Midasses  and anything else that floated, to fish for the Bob Ayres Trophy. The man himself was in attendance accompanied and supported by the ever-patient and regular old-member carer, Steve Middleton. He’s very good and not really the grumpy old t**t that he pretends to be.

The day was organised by Neil Potts, having taken over from Mark Searle who we thank for his many excellent years in the job. Neil has already proved to be a superb organiser, so Mark was able to relax and enjoy the sun, sand and sea in Turkey. Neil was very precise about the rules – static, with the odd tweak maybe, but no pulling. A tactic that given the conditions was always going to prove tough, (although there might just have been the tiniest hint of an exasperated twiddle here and there later on?)

The day didn’t start well. We had an odd number which was no problem, but three or four engines refused to start, and no amount of bulb squeezing, choking, pulling and throttling would work, so Pitsford warden George was summoned and he set to work. Gradually everyone was accommodated but it was a good hour before all the boats were on the water.

Indeed, as Carol had predicted, it was a beautiful morning and the lake looked a picture. Most boats headed for the far side and started long drifts across the lake. Very few fish or insects were in evidence and there was little to encourage or guide the anglers as they all waved their rods about to keep their flies dry. The odd fish was caught including a lovely brown for the increasingly successful Sue Potts. A lot of the fish, though, were small, but each was greeted with relief, kissed and released back into the water. It’s excellent to see so many members fishing barbless and a trend that hopefully will continue. While catch and release is still a contentious issue and may have made the fishing trickier on occasions, it certainly reduces damage to both trout and ears.

Lunchtime was a very social affair as we all sat outside in the warm sunshine and ate our sandwiches. Those that were still blank, and there were many, had to listen to the tales of those few that had caught, with Alan Briggs leading the way on 3. Not much else had happened. David Moore did try to throw his rod away – twice, but without success, and one or two were asked to move when they drifted over a carp angler’s bucket load of boilie ground bait, but otherwise the morning was quiet. It is true that blanking and struggling for fishing inspiration is always easier in nice weather. We weren’t grateful for much that day but at least it wasn’t blowing a hooley or chucking it down.

After a very convivial break – and Invicta are good at those – we set off again. The afternoon continued as the morning with a little more action for some. Alan doubled his tally to land a spectacular, in the circumstances, six fish. He is the man in form at the moment with the ability to move seamlessly from dry to shrimp to three inch olive snake and back again. A great performance short casting his daddies which earned him the Trophy. There were five threes, three two and a dozen ones, but sadly eight blanks for a rod average of 1.34.

As we packed up, Tony Smith (who was already part of the m’ducks breakfast group) pulled out a cool box full of drink and goodies, so we had a bit of a party. This surprise event was an excellent end to the day and may be something the club should continue in future? A quid more on the entry cost is nothing but the additional social gathering certainly would be enjoyed. Thanks Tony, much appreciated, it rounded off a tough day very nicely.

Chris McLeod

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Maitland Trophy 27th August 2023

Invicta’s Top Rod, Tony Smith

We knew that the fishing at Grafham for the Maitland this year was going to be tough and it was! The recent stocking of 2000 fish did not help us, at all. Apparently they went at the Sailing Club and then disappeared! Three boats went out to “practice” on Saturday. We went around the lake clockwise and anti-clockwise looking for fish and methods that worked. Fish were found at Hill Farm, Willows and N buoy. They were either on the bank in a 1ft or water, in the weeds or open water. with Floating Line, Sink Tip and Slow/fast Glass catching a few fish. And this was reflected on Match Day.

 Many thanks for those who took part, especially as it was a Bank Holiday. The forecast for Sunday was gentle winds from the W/NW, overcast with possible showers in the afternoon. The was accurate apart from the word “gentle”. We did get a couple of very insignificant showers but the wind varied FORCE 3 -4. And being a Westerly gave 3ft+ swells on the water. The fishing drifts were a little “uncomfortable” but tolerable (compared to some of the conditions we have had to experience). The journey back up wind to restart the drift was very challenging. The boat had to be manoeuvred to avoid the swells but if that was not possible we had to slow down before the swell and then crash into the trough with a humongous “Thud”.

 We started at 9.30, prompt, after a very satisfying breakfast in the lodge. As usual boats went everywhere. I went to the North Dam (around N buoy), along with Tony Smith. He started catching on the Dam Bank with a Floating Line and Daddies, static. I was behind him in open water and catching on a slow glass with nymphs and roly poly. This I think was the strategy for the day – find some fish and a tactic to catch them – it was not easy!  I am sure we found the stockies around N buoy but they did not behave like new stockies, they were very finicky. No chasing with bow waves.

 We all returned for 17.45 and a fine lasagne in the Lodge. We waited in anticipation for the results. We knew we had not won but sadly we did not expect to finish 4th. GWAFFA won, Rutland 2nd and Mid North Hants 3rd. We only came 4th by one fish, 27 to our 26. We did pick up one prize and should have had a 2nd. There were spot prizes for 10th, 20th, 30th and 40th. This was very welcome by the participants. I picked up the prize for 10th. The other prize should have gone to Tony Smith for 3rd best rod. However his boat partner recorded the wrong time for his first fish. As there was a tie for 3rd place the angler who caught earliest fish took the prize. (Moto here is to make sure results are accurately recorded and get them corrected at the earliest opportunity).

 The event was sponsored by Wading Waters ( ) and AW. Wading Waters are a new retailer to the UK market. They were established in South Africa and have now started operation in the UK.

Andy Trafankowski – Team Captain

Maitland 2024 Scores

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Tuesday Evening Social Fishing at Grafham

Evening boat league Week 14 (Final)

Week 14 (Final)

Keith Gilchrist, 2023 Champion

The final week of this season’s Grafham Evening League was fished in near perfect conditions with overcast sky and a gentle breeze from the south west. A good turnout of 20 anglers headed for the north shore which has been prolific for several weeks and fish were found mainly between Cove point and Marlow stones.

League leader Keith Gilchrist was in the enviable position of being uncatchable for the league title but runner up and third spot were being contested by four anglers although David Moore only needed to catch a fish to ensure second spot.

Ever competitive Keith didn’t rest on his laurels and again finished the evening ‘Top Rod’ with 5 fish, taking his ‘10 best weeks’ total to 51 fish.  Initially fish were chasing his pulled nymphs but the majority of his fish took colour with a small orange booby on the point.  

Only one fish behind Keith on the evening was Andy Trafankowski who pulled with a booby on the point and hare’s ears on the droppers. This was enough to move Andy up into third spot in the final league table. Three anglers tied for third spot on the evening, Chris McLeod, Andrew Lebish and Alan Briggs with three each.

David Moore, unusually, failed to be in the top placings, but his nearest rival Dayood Sheik also had a poor evening so David’s runner up spot was secured.

The Grafham evening league continues to be incredibly successful and this year over 40 anglers took part with a weekly average of 20. It has provided fantastic fishing with some good rod averages.

2023 Champion: Keith Gilchrist
Runner up: David Moore
Third: Andy Trafankowski

Paul Heavens

Week 13

Joint top rod Roger Swain.

With only two matches left and the league already won by Keith Gilchrist the chase is on for the runners up spot amongst a few of the anglers tonight.

17 anglers turned up to fish in what was definitely a night of two halves. Things started well with a nice breeze allowing boats to drift along the points of the north shore. The breeze also helped the fish to feed as most were caught during this time.

Then with just over an hour to go the wind dropped, the lake went flat and the fish switched off.

Alan Briggs and Edze Dijksterhuis managed 3 fish each by drifting onto pylon point. Dayood Sheik, a runner up contender, caught 4 at G buoy and David Moore, another in line for the runners up spot, caught 2 at Dwp and 2 at G buoy. David’s boat partner, Andrew Lebish, caught the best fish of the evening a 4lber on his very last cast!

Joint top rods and top boat went to Andy Trafankowski and Roger Swain. They each had 5 fish fishing around Marlows jetty with floating lines, foam daddies and nymphs, keeping the flies above the weed beds.

Boat voucher was won by Chris McLeod.

Total caught: 36
Rod Average: 2.1

Peter Brewer

Week 12

With continuing good form, Chris Barrett is moving up the table.

With Grafham fishing well at the moment and in particular the north shore it was no surprise that all 16 anglers headed there at the start of the match. 

With a spread of boats from Hedge end to G bouy it wasn’t long before rods started to bend. Conditions were quite choppy and the continuing cool conditions have ensured some better than usual fishing for July.

Chris Barrett continued his good form and took 5 fish drifting onto pylon point.

League leader Keith Gilchrist, took 6 fish in church bay by fishing a fab, blob and nymph tactics; he was the evening’s joint top rod along with Jonny Bromilow. Jonny decided to try something different and it worked! Fishing around the G Bouy area he used a floating line along with 3 hoppers which he fished as wets by pulling them through the waves.

Graham Mills won the boat voucher.

Fish caught: 41
Rod Ave: 2.5

                                                                   Peter Brewer

Week 11

Andy Trafankowski second week as top rod.

A fine turnout of 19 made the best of benign conditions after days of rough water. Despite this members had reported great fishing whilst being coy about exact areas, so expectations were high.

In the event the fishing didn’t disappoint with a total of 59 fish giving a rod average of just over 3. Almost all came from the North shore, very close to the bank especially at G buoy (despite a hammering in the day), Pylon Point & Deep Water Point, mainly on shrimp & hares ear patterns.

In third place with 6 was the ever consistent Keith Gilchrist, equal second with 7 each were Jeff Hickson and Jeff Price, but top rod by a country mile and for the second week running was Andy Trafankowski with 13. Andy further enhanced his popularity (with the evening’s organiser anyway) by drawing Roger Swain for the free boat ticket.

Thanks again go to The Wheatsheaf for a generous helping of sandwiches & chips.

Rod average: 3.1

Roger Swain

Week 10

A nice 3lb 12oz rainbow Tim Thompson

An excellent turnout of 25 rods fished on a breezy overcast evening and the fish turned up too.

The fleet spread out evenly with the sheltered Valley Creek favourite but others towards the Sailing Club and a few headed into the waves of the North Shore and main bowl.

Most found it a slow start with little surface activity but that’s typical on evenings and some boats moved to fresh areas for more action. However, Keith Gilchrist stayed over the weedbeds to take 7 fish by keeping his hare’s ears high with FABs and boobies while Jeff Hickson and David Moore headed towards the Dam and took 11 good silver fish to their boat on hares ears and blobs twiddled through the big waves.

Its great that we have some relatively new fly fishers with us again and Tim Thompson made the most of an evening withour licensed coach Allan Sefton to catch his PB a rainbow of 3lb-12 while Allan also caught a similar quality fish.

Top rod was Andy Trafankowski who managed to keep his anchor in the rough water on the North Shore to take 9 fish. Keith maintains his lead ahead of Dayood Sheik and David Moore with 4 rounds to go.

Boats came in just before sunset at 21.15 so we had over 3 hours on the water before 20 of us adjourned to the Wheatsheaf. Many thanks to Paul Stevens for organising the evening.

Lucky draw winner for the AW Boat Voucher was David Moore.

Total bag was 68 fish.

Rod Average: 2.7

Reminder: Everyone is encouraged to draw for partners but if you don’t want to that is OK but your points don’t count towards the trophy. Exceptions can be made by the organiser to enable novice anglers to fish with more experienced rods.

David Moore

Week 9

Top Rod- Jeff Hickson

With the cooler temperatures and light rain forecast for the evening you would have been forgiven for staying at home in the dry. However, the 13 of us that fished last night all caught fish and a few caught in good numbers. 

5 boats headed for G Bouy but Keith Gilchrist, David Moore and Peter Brewer went to DWP and found fish straight away. A few fish were caught about 30 – 40 yards out on the edge of the weed beds but Keith and David found plenty of fish close in by casting into a foot of water just inches from the bank!

Over at G Bouy Chris Barrett managed 8 fish on a floating line with a washing line setup and Jeff Hickson, the evening’s top rod, took 12. Jeff started on a 4′ tip line and caught 6 on a muskins, hares ear and a hopper. He then changed to a floater and caught 6 more. A total of 60 fish caught.

10 of us went back to the pub and there was plenty of tales about the one that got away!

Alan Murren won Boat voucher.

Rod average: 4.6

Peter Brewer

Week 8

3 fish for Allan Sefton for joint 2nd place.

Warm water continues to be a major factor and most anglers who had fished during the day had found fish hard to attract. The evening had reasonable cloud cover and a brisk southerly breeze so hopes were for better results than the day had produced.

19 anglers turned up for the league two of whom decided to fish together rather than enter the match draw. This is fine; some people come for the social side and a quiet evening of fishing and are not too concerned about league points. It was not easy, but 25 fish were caught despite 8 blanks.

Initially most boats headed for the north bank with DWP to Marlow jetty being the main areas and evening organiser Paul Heavens was very quickly into a fish a nice fish of around 4lbs off Cove point.  Several anglers were taking the odd fish but it was those that moved close to the dam and south of the boils that were the most successful. Keith Gilchrist and his boat partner Jeff Hickson found fish on drifts starting around 50 yards north of the boils drifting away in the direction of the willows. A di3 sweep with a blob and booby and a twiddle and pull retrieve seeing him finishing the evening as top rod with 5 and Jeff taking 2. Keith is strengthening his lead at the top of the league and Dayood remains 2nd despite missing this week as he is on holiday;  2 fish for David Moore moves him up to third.

Allan Sefton went out with new angler Nick Marchi and stuck to the north bank hoping that his partner would catch, unfortunately on the occasion Nick was not successful but Allan took 3 to secure second spot along with Neil Walsh and David Spall who also had three each on shrimp patterns close to the dam.

15 anglers went to the Wheatsheaf for the usual chips, sandwiches and banter where the draw for the free boat ticket took place. Alan Sefton drew out his own number but very generously put in back in for a redraw as he won the previous week, Keith Gilchrist’s number came out this time, it certainly was his evening!

Fish caught: 25

Rod average: 1.3

Week 7

After a great performance, Dayood, now within 5 points of the leader.

17 turned up on a very pleasant evening. Optimism was not in abundance as fishing had been very tough during the day, Dayood Sheik had fished all day for one pull.

However, his fortunes changed during the evening and he was top rod with 7 and with the help of his boat partner Malcolm Reece managed 12 to the boat anchored 50m of bank near GBuoy.  

Jeff Price and Keith Gilchrist drifted near DWP for 7 and these accounted for most of the evenings catch. Neil Squires with David Spall caught 5 near the dam so these 3 boats caught 24 of the total. G Buoy and the Dam were definitely the most productive areas with hares ears, hoppers and daddies, both floating and sinking successful. Keith Remains at the top of the table with Dayood chasing him for top spot.

9 went to the Wheatsheaf for the usual pile of sandwiches and chips. Our Chairman Allan Sefton made the draw for the boat ticket which happened to be his.

It was good to see some new faces on what proved to be a very difficult evening.

Fish caught: 26
Rod average 1.52

Paul Stevens

Week 6

Anglers coming off the pontoon as we set out had experienced a tough day and it was still 29’C. With a blustery NE wind most of the 12 headed for the sheltered north shore, Hill Farm, Church Bay, G Buoy and willows.

Top of the table Keith Gilchrist drifted out from G Buoy straight lining hares ears on a floating line, catching well out at first but shallower when the sun dropped and caught his 6. Chris Barrett and Jonny Bromilow crossed to The Seat and anchored where Chris took 6 on buzzer with a heavy one on the point.

Richard Wood (snakes) and David Moore (Daddies & Hares ears) both netted 3 trout and everyone caught at least one fish including a first boat trout for newcomer Tim Thompson.

The 9.30 sunset was spectacular as we headed for the Wheatsheaf where Alan Murren won the AW boat voucher.

We are hoping for another late finish next week as it’s nearly the longest day.

David Moore

Week 5

A small but select group of nine took part, including two newish members returning for more punishment. Numbers were down due to many of the Tuesday pm regulars being away fishing on Lake Monteith in Scotland. Both the weather and fishing were an improvement on recent weeks, with a total of 17 fish caught giving a rod average of just under 2.

Some braved the very choppy water in Valley Creek which had been popular, but taken a hammering, in the day from an inter-services competition. Others headed for the calm and shelter of the North Bank. In second place was Johan Dreyer with 3 fish, joint first were David Currie and Roger Swain with 4 fish each. This moves Dayood up into second place and David Currie into third spot, Keith Gilchrist hangs on to the lead despite being in Scotland.  Both Roger and David fished the Deep Water Point/Pylon Point area on shrimp/nymph type patterns. The fish turned up late and more might have been caught with a later finish time which should be possible as we approach the longest day of the year.  A very cosy group enjoyed the sandwiches and chips at the Wheatsheaf, no complaints about the size of the portions last night!

The finishing time continues to be an issue…….the young (new?) ranger on duty told me it was 9pm so we stuck to that and I didn’t challenge him. It was only later that I realised this was 15mins earlier than the previous week & the same time as for the general public (not 1/2 hour later). I think we all agree this shouldn’t be left to the individual(s) on duty, AW management needs to inform ALL their staff, including the shop. I’m grateful none of the 9 participants grumbled at me & all complied with the deadline.

Edze Dijksterhuis won the free boat ticket (for the second time), generously donated by the Lodge despite numbers falling just below the 10 angler limit.

Rod Average: 1.8

Roger Swain

Week 4

Stewart Moore with his first trout for over 10 years.

18 fishermen turned up on a miserable late May evening and temperatures around 12 deg  and a brisk north east wind; conditions were choppy.

Most headed for a bit of shelter on the north shore following reports that some fish had been caught during the day very close in. Fish were difficult to locate and a floating line with small hare’s ears was the most successful method although many failed to get a pull.

Dayood Sheik managed a creditable 4 to be top rod followed by David Moore with 3. David was celebrating his birthday and bought his son Stewart along for the evening, he did better than many by catching his first trout in 10 years. David also bought very kindly started the evening by bringing a cake which we consumed at the draw.

Boats came in at 9.15pm and 15 went to the Wheatsheaf.

Malcolm Reece won the boat ticket.

Total fish: 20
Rod Average: 1.1

Paul Stevens

Week 3

Keith Gilchrist, Top rod.

An enthusiastic 23 rods set out from the harbour on a warm, flat, Grafham with an encouraging number of rising fish despite  the clear sky and sun. Most boats spread along the north shore from Stumps to Pylon, some close to the shore while others stayed well out in open water in search of a ripple.

A few fish were taken early near the surface but they were very wary and even the usual tactics of small flies, dries and high washing lines were unsuccessful for most.

However Keith Gilchrist often thrives in difficult conditions and straight-lined Muskins and Hares Ears outside Church Bay to take 6 fish and a third of the evenings total catch.

In contrast, Richard Wood travelled a long way for his first Tuesday evening with us and was rewarded with 3 trout taken on a blue flash damsel pulled through the weed beds on a fast sinker. Nine other rods took a single fish giving a total of 18 and so less than one average for an evening which promised much better.

Most of us went to the Wheatsheaf where Dave and Jill Currie celebrated their wedding anniversary and Jill’s birthday, what a thoughtful idea Dave!

Alan Briggs won the draw for the Boat voucher donated by Anglian Water.

It was good to welcome several new anglers with us and hope to see them again next week.

Total fish: 18
Rod Average: 0.78

David Moore

Week 2

Edze’s 7lb brown

After last week’s abandoned evening it was a pleasure to actually get on the water. When we arrive a brisk northerly wind was blowing and the harbour side and Mander park bank were beginning to colour up. Most boats headed for the recently prolific and sheltered north shore between Sanctuary and deep water point. Sadly on this evening, the fish were hard to come by and later the wind dropped and the lack of ripple in some areas did not help.

19 anglers turned up including a new angler Ryan Suchocki who had completed Peter Hartley’s course and took advantage of the free evening offered by AW to attendees of that course. As is our practice with inexperienced anglers, Ryan was paired with one of our experienced members David Moore, pleasingly Ryan caught his very first trout on what turned out to be quite a difficult evening with a low rod average of 1.9.

Two anglers Alan Briggs and Keith Gilchrist did well to finish the evening with 4 fish each, followed by Peter Waterhouse, David Currie and David Moore with 3 fish. The fish of the evening was a splendid brown caught by Edze Dijksterhuis of exactly 7lbs, a good contender for best brown of the season at this early stage.

Fishing was followed by a very pleasant sociable chat plus sandwiches and chips at the Wheatsheaf where we had the draw for a free boat ticket. It was clearly a good evening for Edze who in addition to his big brownie also won the boat ticket.

Total fish: 36

Rod average: 1.89

Week 1

Abandoned due to thunder storm.

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AMFC (Association of Major Flyfishing Clubs) 2023

The AMFC (Association of Major Flyfishing Clubs) is a series of club based matches.  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 2 and the B team in Group 3.

Round 6 Autumn Association Match – Draycote 7th October 2023

Our A and B Teams following a great result

This is the last round and all 3 Groups in teams of 4 rods fish together in a mixed draw.

A TEAM (Group 2):  Mark Searle cptn, Gary How, Fraser Duffy Snr. Neil Potts (standing in for F-D Jnr.)

B TEAM: (Group 3):  David Moore cptn, Jonny Bromilow, Sue Potts, Andy Trafankowski

After some gruelling days on Grafham our two teams were looking forward to some good sport on an in-form Draycote and we practiced on the day before the match in a very gusty SW wind.

We all found fish in most areas in the west half of the reservoir with brightly coloured FABs on slow sinking tips the most consistent method with very few taking nymphs on droppers, this suits our style and we were optimistic for the match.

It was good that 3 of the B team and 2 of the A team were drawn with Group 1 rods rather than competing with teams from the same group. Most of the fleet headed for Rainbow corner the ‘hotspot’ in practice but Andy Trafankowski and Gary How motored directly from the harbour across to D Buoy which had been unfishable for 3 days in the strong wind and Gary was quickly into fish and the first in the match to get 12 fish limit while, nearby ,Andy caught 10. Mark Searle concentrated on M Buoy to the Sailing Club and caught fish steadily until it got harder in the afternoon but caught 11.

Back in Rainbow Corner, the rest of us all caught early fish and Sue was 7-1 up on her Group 1 partner within 2 hours and went on to catch 11 by plugging away along the yellow buoy line towards M Buoy, a great personal performance.

Top B team Rod Sue Potts collects the largest fish trophy on behalf of joint winners Allan Sefton and Andrew Bate . Top Rod in all three Groups, Gary How.

At the scales weighing 4 fish and 2lb for released fish, all 8 of us had caught fish and both teams had done well with A Team 33 fish and B Team 34 fish so an 8 fish average but there were a lot of other big bags. We had mostly found the planned methods had worked again with most taking FABs although a lot more fish had taken nymphs than yesterday with crunchers, hoppers and hares ears all taking fish high in the water.

After a meal in the always excellent New Leaf restaurant at the fishery the results were announced and a big cheer for Gary How as top rod. Both teams were declared 2nd in their Group matches and the A Team were runners-up to Rutland WFF in the Group 2 Championship.

Invicta B were announced as 3rd Group 3 but there is an error in the results which has not yet been resolved which could affect our placing.

GWFFA A were overall champions in Group 1, Rutland promoted to Group 1 and Bristol promoted to Group 2 for next year while we remain in Groups 2 and 3.

The Lew Cass Trophy for the biggest fish in G2 & G3 over the series was shared by our Invicta members Chair Allan Sefton and Andrew Bate both with 3lb-10oz fish from Chew and Pitsford respectively keeping out trophy cabinet at Grafham Lodge topped up.

Invicta is unique in having so many members taking part, 29 this year whereas the others rely on a smaller squad, our ethos is to give everyone a taste of inter-club competition fishing and hope this continues next year. Thank you all these members who took part this year.

David Moore

Round 5 Group 3 (B Team) Eyebrook Reservoir – Sunday 1st October 2023

Invicta B Team captained by Sue Potts, Andy Trafankowski, Jonny Bromilow, Andrew Bate, Matt Allen, David Moore all practiced for one or two days before the match organised by Sue in bright and breezy conditions. We found fish spread around the bowl and down to the willows, feeding high up although there was no fly on the water so few fish actually showing except for pods of fresh stockies which were hard to hook. We all caught fish, mostly on either washing line with 2 FABS or daddies fished dry but it wasn’t easy.

On match day conditions changed, it was overcast, a light breeze and very mild so it was looking much better. Top of the table Bristol RFF were the favourites in these conditions and had been here for two days but we were all drawn with other teams in this round.

Most boats started downwind towards the island in the hope of bigger fish than near the dam as we were weighing our first 4 fish but it was slow and gradually most worked their way up wind towards the dam and found a few smaller fish on the surface. We fished a high washing line on slow tips or foam daddies for most of the day but sometimes trying without any bright colours and our hoppers and slim cormorants took a few fish for us in the afternoon. The most successful rods were all Bristol team twiddling their daddies and at the weigh in they were well ahead of the pack taking 30% of the total catch and winning with 46 fish 84lbs and 5 of the top 8 places to runners-up FFLR Red 25 fish for 44lbs.

Invicta B had a disappointing result after a lot of effort coming last with 17 fish , 2 behind 4th place EPFFA (Police) however we all enjoyed the day and 4 of us make up the smaller team for the last round, the Autumn Association Match at Draycote next Saturday when we are determined to do better.

Positions 1st BRFFA 21;   2nd FFLR Red 17;  3rd GWWFA B  13;   4th Invicta B 12;    5th EPFFA  11

David Moore

Round 4 Group 2 (A Team) Rutland Water – Saturday 19th August 2023

Team: Gary How (Capt), Mark Mathieson, Ray Storer, Pete Webb, Terry Bayes, Pete Skelton.

After escaping the worst of Storm Betty on Friday night early Saturday morning arriving at Rutland Water on the Saturday morning with the forecast of a sunny day with patchy clouds and the possibility of the odd rain shower looked for a pleasurable day’s fishing. The only thing that put a doubt in anglers minds was that the wind direction that for the previous few days had been blowing steadily from an easterly direction had now increased in strength and was blowing gusting from a SW, SSW direction. Great! This meant that the weed beds and areas along the southern shore that had been identified during the practice as containing what few actively feeding fish they were and with an easterly wind had be easily drifted along picking off the odd fish, would now have to be covered in short drifts out from the shore into open water. A tough day for those on the motor….

Practice days on Wednesday and Friday had seen all six of the A team out on the water and with mixed results from the 2 days only 1 fish caught on the Wednesday, but with a few more on the Friday including Mark Searles 13 lbs 4 oz Brownie led to a couple of areas been identified as the main areas to target by the team, New Zealand Point down to the Sailing Club West Bay and the Blue Pipes/Normanton shore. Along with lines and ‘successful’ flies that may provoke interest from the trout.

Thank you to Mark Searle and Dave Summers for helping out with the practice session on Friday.

With only 4 teams from the group were able to fish this round of the AMFC, due to operational commitments the Soldier Palmers B were unable to field a team, all was still to play for.

After a good team talk and the identification of successful flies including disclosure of Ray Storer’s secret ‘Barbie blob’ expectations amongst the team rose slightly to the prospect of the day ahead. (Author; this fly certainly gets the fish’s interest and resulted in several follows during the day, but alas no hook ups, which is put down to the gusty conditions rather than the anglers ability and fly)

At the start there was a clear split in the boats with half heading east towards the blue pipes and half heading west towards New Zealand point.

The change in the weather, wind direction and barometric pressure definitely impacted on the day and all anglers were finding it difficult although some fish were being caught amongst the flotilla (After a very quiet morning in our boat excitement rose briefly when my boat partner Chris  Anderson hooked and lost a large pike just off  Berry Butts, it was that sort of day).

At the ‘weigh in’ which was a very short affair, Gary How and Mark Mathieson, had caught 3 fish apiece, Ray Storer, and Pete Skelton caught 1, put the team total as a whole on 8 fish which put us 2nd on fish numbers but 3rd on weight being pipped by ounces on 2nd place by the RNRMAA.

Unsurprisingly Rutland Water FF won the day with 12 fish, helped greatly by Graham Pearsons best bag of 5 fish..

Overall 32 fish were caught by 24 anglers with a rod average of 1.33, which leads to an exciting last couple of matches with Invicta A still lying in second place in the group, 4 points behind RWFF; everything is still to play for.  

Thanks must go to Terry Bayes and Pete Webb who along with the match supported each practice session without a single piece of action at all. That takes some doing.

It was a tough day’s fishing, and I cannot remember the last time I spent so much time during a match freeing the drogue and drogue ropes of floating weed at the end of each drift; it must have been rough on Rutland water through Friday night. When I got home Shirley put my shirt and hoodie straight in the wash as she said the smell was terrible, no wonder I had a gap around me in the petrol station when I called on my way home.

Pete Skelton

Round 3 Group 2 (A Team) Pitsford Water- Saturday 17th June 2023

A team: Mark Mathieson, Dave Currie, Chris McLeod, Pete Webb, Terry Bayes, Keith Gilchrist.

‘Forecast hot and sunny all week’. Great! Just what we did not want to hear when fishing Pitsford, the first of the AW waters to ‘go off’. It was already tough although Terry Bayes and Pete Webb had managed a reasonable bag on the Wednesday before, but every day the temperature was increasing as the sun beat down.

Practice day on the Friday saw all six of the A team out on the water struggling to find methods and areas as usual. The B team were full of information having fished a match the same week, but they’d found it hard. Our team was not exactly short of talent with a couple of Internationals, and every member very experienced, but a practice total of 7 fish which included two blanks did not bode well. But other teams out practicing had not prospered so we weren’t too despondent. A couple of fish each was all that was needed – as it proved to be.

3 fish including the days biggest for Mark

Bizarrely, the match day was overcast, with a few drops of rain. Would that help? The temperature wasn’t more than just warm, so maybe. Anglers have to be optimists otherwise we’d never bother to get out of bed. We know there are days when the fishing is not so good and we take that as part of the game. But there is hard, rock hard, and diamond (the hardest material known to man, with a Vickers hardness in the range of 70–150 GPa – whatever that means). Well, match day proved to be off the scale, Vickers or otherwise, although some fish were actually unlucky enough to be caught! One angler managed to catch 4 and our Mark Mathieson caught 3 including the biggest fish of the day – an outstanding achievement. But the team as a whole had only 7 fish for third place – 2 for Pete Webb, 1 each for Terry Bayes and Keith Gilchrist. As predicted, 12 fish for Rutland won it and the Navy did surprisingly well with 9, including best bag.

So it was a disappointing result, especially with our team having four Pitsford regulars, on a day with a rod average of 1.1 which leaves ‘Invicta A’ two points behind the leaders Rutland, in Group 2.

The post match meal was held at the George in Brixworth – attendance was excellent and included many who had very long journeys ahead of them. It really is an important part of the event, in the spirit of the Association and it’s great to see clubs staying after the match.

Our very own David Moore organised this and the match, having done the same for Group 3 two days earlier. Conversations later agreed that he has done a great job, not only for Invicta but also for other clubs where organisers are struggling. It’s all too easy to just not bother with a post match meal, so thanks David for encouraging all the teams to make the effort.

It might have been noticed that this report doesn’t mention the blankers, so I won’t say anything about Dave Currie who put in a sterling effort having practised all day, then rushed off to Northampton and suffered the ignominy of his team losing a 20/20 match to his wife’s team at Northampton, and he then sweated all day in the match. But I can mention the remaining team member who spent two days on the lake without a single piece of action at all. That takes some doing.

Chris McLeod

Round 4 Group 3 (B Team) Pitsford Water – 15th June 2023

B Team: Simon Peck, Steve Harding, Sue Potts, Alan Briggs, Peter Brewer, Andrew Bate.

B Team relax after a very tough day.

After a very productive 12 weeks of season a period of very high temperatures had subdued catches but with our A and B teams both practicing for their respective group matches on Pitsford there were some ideas for success.

The plan was to fish close to the causeway and high in the water with a booby on the point and damsels, hares ears and possibly buzzers if fish were deeper. There was a huge hatch of damsels and early spooned fish showed they were feeding heavily on the nymphs.

Nearly all the 13 boats stayed in the favoured area and a few early fish were taken but the clear sky and blazing sun didn’t help and only a few rods were bending. In the afternoon a few clouds drifted over and several boats moved down towards the left side of the main bowl where Jay Roach of BRRFA was catching steadily towards the dam fishing a 12ft fast tip and long leader to get buzzers deep.

Back at the causeway, Bruce Blackshaw (FFLR Red) was catching with a floater and straight lining hares ears partnered by Invicta’s Andrew Bate who caught the biggest fish of the match (his first amfc) at 3lb-10 oz and placed 4th individual.  

Invicta captain, Alan Briggs also caught 3 to finish 5th but the rest of our team, Sue Potts, Peter Brewer, Simon Peck and Steve Harding all had clean hands in spite of all their efforts but at least they enjoyed Simon’s bankside breakfast.

Top rod was Jay Roach (10 fish) with Bruce Bradshaw 9 fish close behind and which is how their teams finished with just 6ozs between them, Jay and Bruce having caught a staggering 19 of the total 49 trout in the match. GWFFA’s Christopher Faulkner was 3rd with 4 fish.

The skill level among Group 3 teams is very high this year with increasing interest from England capped rods in several teams, some of whom have said it’s much more relaxed and fun in Group3 than in Group 1 and so they are an even better opportunity to learn and improve our technique.

Results were announced at the post-match dinner at The George Inn, Brixworth which was excellent and well attended and it was good to see a travelling Bristol team travelling and all staying to celebrate.

Match result:  1st BRFFA, 2nd FFLR Red,  3rd GWFFA, 4th INVICTA B,  5th EPFFA

Table update:

1st BRFFA 16pts, 2nd FFLR Red 13pts, 3rd Invicta 11pts, 4th GWFFA 10pts, 5th EPFFA 9pts

David Moore

Round 2 Group 2 (A Team) Blagdon Lake – 27th of May 2023

Invicta A took a full team of 6 members, of which 5 members had never fished Blagdon before.

Neil Potts (Captain), Fraser Duffy Jnr, Fraser Duffy Snr, Jeff Hickson, Peter Webb, and Keith Gilchrist.

Practice day greeted us with a sunny NE wind and the gorgeous Blagdon scenery of the rolling Mendip hills and picture postcard views, everywhere you looked.

The basic plan was to cover as many of the spots discovered in pre-match research as possible and we all picked up fish and moved on. Fraser Jnr bagged 9 fish on his travels, the rest of the team were picking up 2’s, 3’s and 4’s and just moving on.

Key locations where Long Bay, Holt Bay, Rugmoor Bay, Pegs point and Butcombe Bay. The method was forming nicely, and the practice day debrief over beer and food found slow top 2 feet of water fishing and a selection of 3, 6 and 12 foot tip lines with washing line method using FAB’s and small diawl bach nymphs, was the way to go.

We did see Butcombe Bay being filled with the Army and Navy guys, but we stuck to our plan of search and find.

On match day Neil, Keith and Fraser Jnr promptly went straight to Long Bay on the corner of Green Lawn and started hitting the 1,000-stock fish that had been put in during the week. Unfortunately, other boats had the same idea, and it was not long before the fish were so pressured, we tried other locations. Fraser Snr went straight up to Pegs Point and bagged up by 3:15pm. Peter and Jeff also fished around Long Bay, and Holt bay and Fraser Jnr checked out Butcombe Bay.

Five teams and 29 anglers entered the match and the Invicta Team caught 31 fish and including Fraser Snr’s time bonus, we bagged a weight of 67lb getting us second place.

First place was awarded to a strong Rutland Water FFC team with 42 fish and 88lb 4oz.

Total fish caught was 155 and a rod average of 5.2 and top rod went to Scott Graham.

A big thanks to the team for doing the long-distance travel, turning up to practice day and staying over and a special thanks to Jeff Hickson for stepping in for Mick Facey who had to cancel due to his Achilles heel injury.

We kept the mood light and enjoyable and did a great job of communicating with each other and not letting the occasion of Blagdon being a first time for most of us get in way of a good event.

Neil Potts

Round 3 Group 3 (B Team) Grafham – 27th May 2023

B Team:  Jon Allan, Andy Trafankowski (Capt), Jonny Bromilow,  Paul Heavens,  Graham Bodsworth, David Moore.

Following a good start in the first rounds at Rutland and Chew we were optimistic about our chances on home territory at Grafham and with a few recent days fishing here we had a plan to fish deep and slow with hares’ ears, buzzers and other small nymphs in the two most productive areas, Gaynes and Valley Creek.

There were few secrets and all teams had the same plan and the fleet split 6 to the right and 9 to the left. Paul, David and Graham were taken into Valley Creek while Jon, Andy and Jonny headed right.

Paul and David got off to a good start both matching their top Bristol partners for the first 2 or 3 fish before the cloud disappeared and left us in bright sun and only a very light breeze, Graham also caught 2 in the morning session but then the Bristol rods kept bending while we watched. We think fishing deep static nymphs is one of better techniques but there was clearly a bit more to it today.

Meanwhile our team mates in Gaynes to the dam were also struggling with the odd fish and not able to get into the productive corner where anchored boats, not in the match, made it almost impossible to manoeuvre.  Jon motored back to Valley Creek in the afternoon and picked up 3 on the bung at 12ft to total a creditable 5 fish and David changed to skinny #14 diawl bachs further out to L buoy to pick up 3 more for a bag of 6.  Paul scratched another for 3 and Graham and Jonny weighed in 2 each while our normally consistent captain Andy had a very unusual blank. We all lost fish and missed pulls and our team total of 18 was well out of the picture on a day when we had such high hopes.

Bristol had some England rods in the team and class showed with a total of 53 fish and three in double figures to win by a margin from GWFFA, EPFFA, FFLR Red with Invicta B in the tail.

Competition Rod average was 5.5

The table after 3 rounds is very close: Bristol 11pts, Invicta B, EPFFA and FFLR Red all on 9pts and Gwffa 7pts.

The next round is at Pitsford on Thursday 15th June when we are the host club.

David Moore

Round 2 Group 3 (B Team) Chew Valley Lake – 6th May 2023

Invicta B took a full team of 6 members including 3 of the team which had recently won the first round on Rutland so full of confidence even on a water we rarely fish, David Moore (cptn) Allan Sefton, Jeff Price, Jon Allen, Steve Harding and Alan Briggs.

Practice on Friday showed it was not easy in a cold blustery wind and although tested the three areas featured in reports only Alan had a fish in the morning. Later we all concentrated on the favoured Picnic frontage (PA2) and sheltered area behind Dennys Island and ended with 4 between us including a 4-5lb overwintered rainbow to David’s cormorant.

Match day brought steady rain all morning and the fleet headed towards our favoured area but nearer the dam, now fishable in the lighter wind. Our basic tactic was black flies on sink tips fished slowly towards the shore and most others had similar lines although a few more with blobs and FABs. David’s boat got off to an early flier with him netting a 3-4lb brown although release and only counted as 2lb, and both had 2 fish quickly near the trees but then it went quiet. Alan fishing nearby also caught 2 early and things were looking good.

After all boats had gone through the shoreline this drift inevitably died and boats explored the open water where Jon fished well taking 3 fish on a 3ft tip with Muskins & FAB while Allan headed across to the far side where he took 4 good fish. Steve explored much further up- wind to find a fish while Jeff and his partner were both struggling to get a pull.

Later on, a few boats were seen pulling so David’s boat went upwind into deep water where he immediately caught a 3lb-4oz silver bow on a Di5 sweep and then a few follows and partner lost one in a drift before time was up, having left it far too late in the day.

At the scales Bristol (BRFFA) won as expected but we were disappointed to be pipped by FFLR Red on numbers especially when we realised 5 of us had either won or held our boats and only lost one by a single fish and we won 3 boats against the Bristol team and Allan (10-2) and David (9-4) had the two heaviest 4 fish bag weights in the match.

However with equal weights (33lbs) it goes to the team with most fish and we were beaten for 2nd place by 16 to 14, its quantity over quality!

The top two boats were BRFFA and FFLR pairs who caught 24 of the 52 total for the match with Bristol’s Dave Reynolds the Top Rod with 8 fish.

A big thanks to all the team for putting in the time, expense and effort, everyone did their bit and great to field a full team on distant water.

Result BRFFA 45lb-7oz (21fish), FFLR Red 33lb (16 fish) Invicta 33lb (14 fish) EPFFA 1lb-12oz (1 fish), GWFFA nil.

Invicta B still tops the table with 8pts, FFLR Red 7pts, EPFFA and BRFFA 6pts, GWFFA B 3pts.

The next round is at Grafham on the 27th May.

David Moore

Round 1 Spring Association Match –Rutland 22nd April 2023

12 fish for Mark Matheison. bagged up by 12:17

A brilliant day for our two Invicta teams. Rutland had had a thorough hammering from the Army championships all week, but with plenty of fish in the lake and almost perfect conditions, expectations were high. Both teams had been out practising and communicating well over the previous month which gave us a good idea where the action might be. A very positive session the day before had produced good numbers so we were confident that we could repeat that on match day. One problem was the wind which had turned one hundred and eighty degrees and this was an issue as so many of the fish were very tight to the bank. So manoeuvring the boat was tricky and very hard work in some areas.

Although there were fish in lots of places, the large shoals seemed to have concentrated in two places – the bottom of both arms, and location of these was the key.

The target was 4 fish kill and another 8 released and we had four 12 fish limits – two in each group – with excellent time bonus. Mark Mathieson (who had the best bag overall – brilliant performance, Mark) and Tony Smith had a very relaxed afternoon having driven all the way to Dickinson’s and then finished before lunch, while for the B team Jeff Price and Peter Brewer both finished well before time. Peter actually caught most of his fish in Hideaway which was a surprise as it hadn’t been on out radar recently. A little bit of luck finding the fish always helps, but you still have to catch them, and they did brilliantly on very gentlemanly tactics.

Keith Gilchrist and Chris McLeod in the A team had 9 each, and Steve Harding and Jon Allen had 7 each for the B team (with Jon catching the biggest fish in the group) so all managed to scratch out more than half their limit, which was a great support. Every fish counted so it truly was an all round effort.

Fishing aside it was a very sociable event with Rutland on form, plenty of friendly faces, good weather and all followed by a substantial meal in the Lodge.

Sadly, Dave Currie couldn’t fish this match through injury, and reserve Terry Bayes has an eye problem. Best wishes for a quick recovery to them and thank you Keith for stepping in at the last minute.

The Association looked healthy and everyone enjoyed themselves, so let hope that out momentum is maintained and we can keep going for the next match which is on Chew 6 May for the B team and Blagdon 27 May for the A team.

 Upcoming matches:

 6th May B Team at Chew: David Moore (Captain), Jon Allen, Alan Briggs, Steve Harding, Allan Sefton, Jeff Price, (no reserve).

 27th May A Team at Blagdon: Neil Potts (Captain), Mick Facey, Fraser Duffy jnr, Fraser Duffy snr, Keith Gilchrist, Pete Webb, Mark Searle (reserve)

Chris McLeod


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The Norman Shippey Bank Match 

Saturday 18th March 2023 Elinor Trout Fishery

Matt Collerson

The Invicta season now traditionally kicks off with a social day on the banks of Elinor, the 50 acre water just south of Oundle.

Usually the conditions are testing – cold, biting wind, Nene floodwater colouring everything up, and hopeless reports from the days before. This trip was the exact opposite. Reports had been very good with plenty of fish in the lake, and the weather set fair. With light winds fishing was possible from every bank and by 9.30 club members were all round with one or two rods starting to bend.

It wasn’t easy for all though. Some found it very tough as the fish were still shoaled up and the concentrations were in certain areas. The point just beyond the boat dock on the Lodge side always produces, especially the small bay just south of it. This is where winning bags have come from consistently and Mark Searle was making the most of it with his skilfully fished washing line, and later Matt Collerson nearby was racking up his score. Meanwhile new member Richard Purcell managed to tempt a real lump of a rainbow which weighed in at 8lb 2oz, this has certainly set the bar high at an early stage for the best rainbow of the season trophy.

But it wasn’t all down to location, as you had to focus on the margins rather than cast out towards the middle. A successful approach was to fish almost parallel with the bank, a few yards out and into shallow water.

Everyone stopped for a very sociable lunch and then continued on into the afternoon, although most left in good time to watch England lose in the 6 Nations. Simon Peck developed an interesting approach pulling an Apps type bloodworm for a good bag but others relied on the bung which proved deadly drifting it into the margins.

The weather remained overcast and the fishing improved for many but, although some did carry on, by the 3pm official finish time Mark hadn’t done quite enough to catch Matt who won the day.

A good rod average with only a few low scores on a water that is being very ably managed by Brad and Jo Gifford. Evidence of their enthusiasm is very noticeable, and Brad is always very welcoming.

Chris McLeod

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Invicta Snowbee Floating Line Match 2023

Saturday 29 April 2023 – Grafham Water

Team Placings 2023

Individual Placings  2023

All Teams results  2023

Winners ‘Snowbee Guests’ with Simon Kidd

This match is now in its eleventh year and thriving. Judged by most as their favourite of the season, it is probably the largest invitation team match in the country.

Eighty eight anglers in twenty two, four man teams arrived to find Grafham looking almost perfect, certainly for a buzzer fest with floating lines. The warmest day of the year with light cloud and a gentle breeze – no excuses for not catching, although some looked at their miserable bass bags at the end of the day and wondered what they’d done wrong.

However with a rod average of over 6 the fishing was great for most. Not without its frustrations though. As always, being in the right areas at the right time was critical and that proved to be left of the harbour and into Valley Creek. Many here caught their 8 by lunchtime. Sanctuary, the mouth of Savages and Hill Farm were other hot spots, but in between it was a bit of a struggle. Most fish came to buzzers either straight lined or under the bung and pattern or colour was not critical – for the buzzers that is, not the bung. That could be any colour.

A welcome ploughman’s lunch at one o’clock gathered everyone into the Lodge for all the usual tales, good and bad, and some excellent banter, then back out for the afternoon session when almost the whole field turned left out the harbour and stopped. A few rods bent but gradually the boats dispersed and fish were found in other places. Ray Storer and his partner, having caught 16, went off to the nature reserve and caught another shed load. Keith Gilchrist found a pile of fish at the Sailing Club. So, as often is the case, it wasn’t necessary to sit in the middle of the flotilla to catch.

6pm saw all the boats back in the harbour, although many had returned to ice cream and beer some hours earlier which meant the weigh-in was an excellently organised affair with only a short queue. A relief to those of us who’d struggled and weren’t relishing being the butt of the usual ribaldry.

All this was followed by the meal and presentations. Simon Kidd and Snowbee do a great job of supporting this event and their own invitation team won the day. Although Invicta teams did not do so well (ahem!) individual club members took a number of the prizes. Ray Storer was in the Top Boat, and Mark Mathieson was Best Individual in a Local Team.

But the real stars were all the people behind the organisation. This starts with Jane and Gary How sending out invitations early in the year and the responses all have to be processed and sorted. Meals, prizes and so on are all organised and the Invicta Committee and team get prepared to make the day run impressively smoothly. Congratulations to everyone involved. The demand for places in the competition is credit to its success. If only the restaurant and boat fleet was twice the size.  

Chris McLeod

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The Pilgrimage 2023

This event becomes more poignant to me as the years roll by because I have so many memories going back over forty years of fishing with the members from Llanilar and Leslie and for the people who are no longer with us.

My memories start with the late Norman Shippey persuading me to go down to Chew and my first experience of serious fly fishing against serious fish. Being fairly new to fly fishing on reservoirs I had not anticipated the levels of concentration and application that were necessary to catch fish at Chew Valley. Our first day was more than memorable, I had never seen so many fish running toward the boat in the top of the water or felt so helpless in our efforts to catch them. It soon became apparent that every item of your tackle had to be in tip top condition, leaders had to be checked, all knots doubly checked and hooks had to be the best quality. Any weakness was instantly exploited by the fish, hooks snapped and leader broken off.

Dry fly fishing in the evening was the highlight of the day and eagerly anticipated; lifting your rod at the slightest movement near your fly produced startling results with big fish going totally crazy to shake off the fly. The fishing was so exhilarating, and instant, that it is hard to explain. The first sensation of lifting into a fish was the grove that had been burned into your finger by the first ten feet of line being stripped through your hand followed by a brief  ‘Chew Valley Dance’  to make sure that you weren’t standing on any line left in the boat.

The next sensation was that screaming noise above your head, holding the rod as high has possible to reduce the drag on the fish, the noise was coming from your reel which had never spun so fast in all the time that you had owned it. Trying to halt the progress of the fish was futile and even standing on the boat seat did not improve your chances of actually landing the fish. At this point the amount of backing on your reel becomes important but the fish soon lets you know that it has come to an end.

Great times and great memories of the fishing but more importantly of the International Fishermen we were fishing against. I have had the privilege of knowing and fishing with the late Tony Bevan, not only a brilliant angler but also a remarkable man. My fishing Super Hero is still the mighty Bill Patrick, I actually stopped fishing for ten minutes late one night to watch him in action. He caught three lovely fish on dries between 9.50 and 9.52 at Chew, incredible and unforgettable.

Getting to this year’s event we had eight participants from Leslie (Scotland) and five from Llanilar (Wales) and fourteen from Invicta. Of those teams there were some of the remaining members from the early days with Dewi Rees, John Cowan and Mark Hamlin from Llanilar and Bill Patrick, Henry Russell, Andy Gourlay and Paul Cushnie from Leslie. Myself and Andy Linwood were probably the only members of the original Invicta groups. Two notable absentees this year were John Roberts from Llanilar and our own Bob Ayres, this year was the first year that either of them had missed this event. We did however have our own notable participant, lovely Sue Potts fished both days.

We fished the Thursday and Friday in bright sunshine following an unusually cold start to the day. The fishing was hard for most of us but we did try all areas of the water to find fish. Competition day was just as challenging again but many boats anchored up to the left of the lodge and manage to catch fish pulling blobs and fabs etc.

We fish for two trophies, the Rose Bowl for the original match between Invicta and Llanilar and for the Diawa Shield for the overall winning team and we created three teams of eight by drawing names to make up the Llanilar team.

The individual prizes were won by Dewi Rees for the best fish, a lovely silver rainbow of 4lb 5ozs, the best boat was won by Mark Searle and Paul Cushnie and Paul Cushnie was presented with the George James Decanter for the best bag. The rose bowl was presented to Invicta for beating Llanilar and the Diawa Shield went to Leslie for their commanding victory over the other teams.

The team weights were as follows, we fished to a four fish kill, then catch and release to eight fish with time bonuses thereafter.

Llanilar : 46lbs 10ozs;          Invicta: 85lbs 7ozs        Leslie: 117lbs 2ozs

The Mark Searle and Paul Cushnie winning boat weight was 36lb 9oz with Chris McLeod and Douglas Dargie coming second with 34lbs 13oz and Gary How and Henry Russell coming third with 33lbs 8ozs. I would like to thank Andy Trafankowski for adapting his computer programme to make the weigh in so easy to complete, at least the results were dependable this year.

Another enjoyable event, good food and even better company and we look forward to 2024.

Steve Middleton

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Reports 2022 Season

Page Contents:

Click to Jump to The Arthur Sexton Bank Match report

Arthur Sexton Trophy (Bank Match) Elinor Fishery

Saturday 5th November 2022

Top Rod, Pete Skelton

Our last trip of the year is the traditional visit to Elinor, off the bank.Just the right size to keep in touch and with plenty of fish in the lake – although they became increasingly tricky as the weather deteriorated.

A good turnout of sixteen saw us warmly welcomed by Brad Gifford who is really making a go of the fishing having only recently taken over from Ed Foster. Most were on the water just after nine and a few rods did start bending early. There seemed to be fish in a number of places and not too far out in the cloudy weather. But the lures didn’t work as hoped immediately. Fish were tending to come to the nymphs in the morning. Lots of follows and swirls, but they weren’t really having it.

Lunch as usual at 12.30 and most had had fish although no one had really cracked it, 4 being the top so far – indeed some of our more consistent anglers were struggling. As the afternoon wore on, a few areas switched on. Pensioner’s Point and the Dam held a load of fish, and this is where winner Pete Skelton and runner up Jonny Bromilow scored. Pete taking 2 on hoppers, 3 on pink booby and 4 on pink fab. His hopper was a ‘Carsington’ hopper – whatever that is!! Jonny used an olive snake.

There was only one blank and 51 fish were caught for an average of over 3. Not bad for late autumn.

Good to see one new face – Chris Barrett brought along by Matt Willatt; and he caught. Hope he’ll come again.

Thanks all round for an enjoyable day, especially to Mark for organising things and Brad for providing the fishing – and a bit of tuition to both young and more experienced members!

That’s it for the year. We look forward to 2023 and the continuing success of Invicta.

Chris McLeod]