FANTASTIC…….. Rutland at last it was time for the Spring meeting and more importantly the Kit Kat Cup, but more on that later. The start of the annual pilgrimage up to Rutland was not a good one, both my kids were up with D & V for the previous two nights. I set of with my next-door neighbour Jim a former three times Army Champion and a long standing angling partner as well as a good friend. He had not been fishing in three years and was keen as mustard to get up to Rutland which was reportedly on top form. The same could not be said of me, I had a rumble in my tummy that was not to be ignored and I only just made it to the toilet at Rutland! I won’t go into detail but if it wasn’t for Dave Joyce nipping home and getting weeks supply of Imodium I doubt I would have ventured out.
Jim and I worked up the Normanton bank taking fish on nearly every drift. The stamp of fish was impressive and neither of us took a fish under two pounds many were near to the three-pound mark. We moved around the water taking fish in most areas we tried, many of the other boys seemed to be getting some as well. Although the fishing was fantastic two trips back to the lodge facilities for me and a desperate need to go to bed brought the day to a premature end. While friends old and new were getting reacquainted in the local pub I was in my be for 1820hrs. After a night fever, I woke the next morning a cured man. With the Kit Kat Cup on the line, I was fairly relieved.
I drew Martin Clark for the first day and he was content to let me take him to the fish. I was not sure what I was going to do but after watching the boat split I decided to head up to Barnsdale road end. I thought on balance that the better fish had been caught there, Jim followed me up. The water was flat calm and the fish a little spooky, I managed the first fish in the boat which was a lot smaller than what I had been catching the day before. The next one fell to the charms of the candy and again it was a little light. Martin opened his account with a cracking fish of about three pounds. So it went on, not all my fish were small but I was a little disappointed that they were not of the same stamp as the day before. Martin was building a fairly substantial bag and finished his limit at 1127hrs. I was a little behind him and finished at 1133hrs. We got out of the way to allow Jim and his partner the best opportunity to catch their fish. The transformer was deserted so we headed over. We were only there 30 minutes before Jock and his Partner Toby turned up with a tall tale of not being finished, boom boom. Of course, they were both well finished and we all decided to head in for a hot brew.
Brewed up and Martin keen to get some more fishing in we went back out. We bumbled round avoiding the guys that were still trying to nail their fish. It was OK but to be honest, it was difficult to stay out the way so we decided to go in, many had finished early and a lot of anglers were already in an orderly queue by the time the weigh-in began. I had a much more pleasant evening and a chippy tea in Oakham was much appreciated. I had a dram with Jim and chewed the fat with Ronnie before retiring for the evening.
The next day saw a light ripple to start as the previous day, again I was in two minds on where to go. Yesterday’s success had not gone unnoticed and the area I had fished the day before had attracted another three boats. The fish still came but a little slower, my partner for the day was Alex Caldwell and he was matching me fish for fish. Alex was killing his last fish when I hooked into mine. It was not yet my time though and fish and hook parted company. I did not have long to wait, I was in again the fish held on tenaciously but I managed to force it on its way back into the depths of Rutland. Folks who know me well would not be surprised to see a certain amount of rage bubble to the surface, this usually results in me losing the rag and not fishing well. I was pleased I kept my head and sure enough a nice three pound fish took the booby and after a brief fight slipped into the net. What a great way to finish off, again my boat partner was keen to fish on so we moved around for a bit. The day was changing however and the wind was cold and getting up. We decided to call it a day and headed into the lodge where many were already waiting. While waiting on the weigh in to begin it presented an opportunity for a bit of banter with the lads. Stories of the day were exchanged and a good laugh was had by all. The weigh in went quickly as most anglers had weighed in already. The results were calculated and the new Spring match Champion was Kitch and the continuing Associate Champion remained Jock Kettles. I think all who attended would agree that this was a well-run match and Rutland provided sizzling sport.
Of course the most important match of the season was lost once again. I would like to say Jock is just a lucky bas***d......but I can't there is no doubt he is one of the finest loch style fishermen in the country. Well done Jock and I look forward to the Kit Kat cup next season.