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GAME ANGLING

2008 - EYEBROOK RESERVOIR 21st August

A light westerly breeze greeted us on the morning of the match, much better conditions than earlier in the week but mention of an predicted thunderstorm soon wiped the smile off our faces.

Earlier practice had shown that the fish were all up in the surface in the Main Basin and that buzzers, nymphs and dry flies were the order of the day. So at 09:30am we left the dock to the sound of a klaxon and immediately everyone set up for drifts across the Main Basin. Our first drift produced two rises to my CDC's and a fish to my boat partner so we went back to the start again but didn't move a fish on the next several drifts. In order to keep things fair for everybody we decided to ban anchoring in the Basin but unfortunately couldn't impose this on the paying public so some drifts were shorter than others and some weaved in and out of the anchored boats.

By mid-day it seemed that the fish had spread out a bit more than earlier in the week and boats started moving their drifts further up the reservoir. But even though some boats went up as far as Black Cabin by the late afternoon most boats were back drifting across the dam or up to Robbo's Cabin. 

Frustratingly a lot of the fish raised refused to stay on the hook and amongst others Lee Patten (Midlands) lost his first nine fish! After raising two fish on my first drift it took me seven hours to eventually boat a fish only for my boat partner to inadvertently try and return it later whilst sorting out the drogue, only a quick bit of netting saved my day, thanks Jamie! 

Bob Jones (Wales) fished hard and was the only person to achieve a bag limit of eight fish, his partner Kieron Thomas backed him up with six fish. They were five fish ahead of runners up Martin Blanchard and Leslie Cooke (South West) and third place John Heppell and Brian Lowson (Northern) who both had a total of nine fish.

Contrary to my announcement at the presentation that John Harman and Leslie Cooke caught the biggest rainbow and brown, they were in fact both caught by Henry Thompson (Northern Ireland). My apologies to John, Leslie, Henry and the Northern Ireland team as it seems that I have got their results wrong over the last two years. Amongst his five fish bag Henry had a great brace of fish, a rainbow of 4lbs 11ozs and a brown of 2lbs 11ozs. 

In all eighty-three fish were caught giving a 3.6 fish rod average, which is I think our best result for some years. Our thanks go to fishery manager Andy Miller who sponsored our final with tackle vouchers to the value of 200 plus a a free day ticket and boat hire for two anglers. This fishery is well worth a visit for superb top of the water action see www.eyebrook.com for further details.   

Unfortunately the South East regional team dropped out this year and one of the North West team also cancelled at the last minute due to work commitments. These finals are advertised a year or more in advance so please ensure that if you qualify and cannot make the final let your organiser know so that he can get a reserve. 

I competed for my region a few years ago because someone dropped out at the last minute and I cannot tell you what a buzz it was to be involved in the final. I had to wait several years before I could qualify in my own right to once again represent my region and the thrill of competing was still just as strong. Even though the winners this year are Welsh internationals that is not reason not to try and qualify to represent your region, the fish don't know who you are. Every competitor is friendly and approachable, willing to give advice and that killing fly! So next year make sure you check early for the date of your qualifier and make a note in your diary. Hopefully we will meet at the final next year, I guarantee you will enjoy yourself whatever your level of experience.   

Next year's final will be Thursday 27th August, the week before the August bank holiday Monday.   

Finally should you be fortunate to qualify next year please remember to report to the weigh in station, even if you have not caught anything. 

Please note that accommodation for these finals is booked at least a year in advance and numbers are based on the regional teams that we know will be taking part. If you want to bring your partner or make the event a family holiday you must contact the angling council first, do not approach the hotel.

One place at Rutland Reservoir not to be missed is the museum in the Normanton Church which has many interesting displays and a thirty minute video showing construction of the reservoir. Another is the Grainstore Brewery, next to Oakham railway station, which brews and sells real ale on site. Guided tours and tastings are available. The Rutland Radio Beer Festival starts the on the Thursday before the bank holiday!

  REGION FISH LBS  OZS
1 WALES 14 34 0
2 SOUTH WEST 9 25 7
3 NORTHERN 9 24 10
4 NORTHERN IRELAND 10 23 11
5 MIDLANDS 9 21 0
6 SCOTLAND A 9 20 5
7 YORKSHIRE 9 19 5
8 SCOTLAND B 7 15 8
9 SOUTHERN 3 8 6
10 LONDON 2 5 5
11 EASTERN 2 4 8
12 NORTH WEST 0 0 0

Individual placings

  NAME REGION FISH LBS OZS
1 BOB JONES WALES 8 18 3
2 KIERON THOMAS WALES 6 15 13
3 LESLIE COOKE SOUTH WEST 6 15 10
4 FRANK JACKSON  SCOTLAND A 6 13 14
5 HENRY THOMPSON NORTHERN IRELAND 5 13 2
6 JOHN HARMAN MIDLANDS 5 13 1
7 BRIAN LOWSON NORTHERN 4 12 9
8 JOHN HEPPELL NORTHERN 5 12 1
9 JAMIE WALKER SCOTLAND B 5 11 7
10 JOHN FELL YORKSHIRE 5 11 6
11 JIM VENNING NORTHERN IRELAND 5 10 9
12 MARTIN BLANCHARD SOUTH WEST 3 9 13
13 LEE PATTEN MIDLANDS 4 7 15
GEOFF TAYLOR YORKSHIRE 4 7 15
15 DAVY CARR SCOTLAND A 3 6 7
16 JERRY BOLUS LONDON 2 5 5
17 A. LYFORD SOUTHERN 2 4 14
18 FRASER McCONNELL SCOTLAND B 2 4 1
19 W. B. SHUTTLEWORTH SOUTHERN 1 3 8
20 IAIN RICKERBY EASTERN 1 2 15
21 JIM NORTH EASTERN 1 1 9
22 KEITH WILLIAMS LONDON 0 0 0
PETE JOHNSON NORTH WEST 0 0 0

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