I had the very great pleasure of being invited along to the English Fly Fishing Associations’ Spring meeting at Pitsford. This will be my second year as a guest of John Gamon, I fish many competitions and I have to say my two favourite matches is this one and the one where the Army competes against the Bewl Bridge Fly Fishers. This is mostly down to the people who although competitive are always willing to chat and share patterns and stories. EFFA is probably one of the oldest clubs in the country and can trace its history back to 1928. There were quite a few members of the Army Angling Federation and if was good to see some familiar faces. Also, amongst the throng of anglers was Bob Church looking really well for his age. I was not to fish with John this year but with another familiar face, Ray from Grafham Water.
The weather was more like November than May with a cold wind ripping through the fishery. I knew I had not brought enough layers to be comfortable but it was too late now. I was concerned that a few of the older members could suffer really badly. As we got out on the water Ray was keen to start a little further back from the throng of boats that set of through the causeway and began drifting into the first bay on the left. First cast in the middle of nowhere I managed to hook and land a nice fish of about three pounds. It was very obviously a stocked fish and its tail was in poor repair none the less it gave a good account of itself. We carried on our drift into the bay for not so much as a follow. I suggested to Ray that perhaps the fish where further back towards the causeway. So, the next drift we started at the chute where they stock the fish into the water. Ray hooked a fish that buckled his rod in two, we did not see it for several minutes but when we got some colour we could see what looked like a very healthy blue trout. After a very spirited fight Ray had his prize in the boat, it was a cracker eventually tipping the scales at 3lb 12oz. We carried on with the drift and Ray had another as did I. Time for one more drift before the highly anticipated hot lunch and we both got another each.
When we went in it was safe to say that we were doing rather well with six fish in the boat. The hot lunch and drink were most welcome and we managed to get some heat back in my bones. Stories were exchanged and advice was given and timings were revised due to the cold. We all set out again at 1400hrs for the next session. Ray and I decided to stick to what had brought us the success in the morning fishing deep on DI7 lines with boobies and blobs. The fish had certainly woken up a bit and we went on to have action on every drift. There were takes and follows and several lost fish, at the end of the day several of the old guard had been evacuated from the water due to cold.
I had managed six good fish to the boat and Ray five, we were very pleased with our efforts and both could have bagged up if the fish had stuck. When we got in we had not disgraced ourselves and had done very well as a boat. There was only one limit across the entire field. The prizes were announced and goodbyes were said and we all departed for home. A great day in great company.