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Services Fly Fishing Championship

Graham Water 4th June 2019 

Report by Lee Patten -

The eight CSSC personnel arrived for two days hard practice at Grafham reservoir from all parts of the country determined to give their best for each other and the team.

Practice would consist of three boats each day covering all parts of the reservoir and meet up at dinner time back at the lodge for debrief and further areas and tactics to be tried by different anglers at different times.

By lunch time on day one it was becoming clear that the north shore was the best area and with two boats trying to find the best parts of the north shore and the other boat going over any other promising areas discovered.

End of day one and at dinner in the pub various areas and methods were went over with each boat giving details of drifts and flies and line types used to good effect, and a plan was put in place for day two's practice. All in bed by 1030 completely knackered after windy day on the water

Day two saw all boats going to north shore and trying various drifts and flies again to narrow down the correct line and flies, and back at the lodge at dinner tactics ranged from di3-di5 colour top and bottom with one or two nymphs in between. So back out for afternoon and finalise exact areas and flies on the north shore between G bouy and the top tower in Sanctuary bay. Back in by 17:30 and return to digs for final wash up and team selection. At evening meal we settled on Di5's and either 5sweep or straight 5 depending on personal preference and results with fab/blob tequlla or biscuit top two black nymphs and small booby on point the same colours as top fly. Team selection was the hardest selection of my fishing career to date with only myself as the only non International in the team it was settled on Patten, Elliott, Jones and Evans as team one and Thomas, Farmer, Franklin and Minal team two.

Match day dawned with a Easterly wind not Southerly as forecast and on the boat deck most teams had tackled up with di 3,s - di 5,s being the main lines on show with a lot of colour on top and point flies. At the off most boats headed to north shore from tower at top end of reservoir to G bouy and from 600m out into the shore.

My day started badly having chosen top end by tower and my boat partner taking a fish third cast after a fruitless further thirty minutes a move was called for and we moved to Sanctuary bay about 400m out from points with half the fleet where some people were on upwards of six fish each including two of our team (Elliott & Evans).

We settled down to long drifts and covering fish as we saw them where my boat partner Dave Newing RAF B going five up on me with me practicing catch and release without the catch bit. Time for me to do better, passed some of our team and they were doing well and I was doing the right thing just needed to concentrate.

After an hour I landed my first fish, we were on dispatch three the catch & release a further nine, I  had three more quick fish but still three down on boat partner we continued to catch reasonably well until horrendous rain storm put paid to the fishing a hour before end with me twelve-thirteen down on boat partner who took a late fish to bag up for the day.

At the weigh in we had two bags of fourteen and my twelve and another of eleven, an excellent team performance, which matched the eventual winners RAF A who had same number of fish but beaten on weight. With the second team also having put in a good performance.

We had found the correct tactics and flies and we all fished to the best of our abilities to record a excellent result from both teams against sides who have had unlimited time on the water before and information from numerous team members practicing over previous weeks.

My thanks to all the efforts put in by the team and help from Jim North and the Angling council for the support given to us.

1   RAF Fish Hawks A       122lbs    5ozs
2   CSSC A                         116lbs    7ozs
3   RAF Fish Hawks B        101lbs 15ozs
4   Police Red                    101lbs 13ozs 
5   Police White                   74lbs   5ozs
6   Police Blue                     65lbs 14ozs
7   CSSC B                            65lbs 11ozs
8   Soldier Palmers A            53lbs 15ozs
9   Royal Navy                       53lbs 5ozs
10 RAF Fish Hawks C        49lbs 4 ozs

Top individual bag was Dave Eames of RAF Fish Hawks A with 38lbs 5ozs.

CSSC placings were :-

4    Nigel Evans 34lbs 11ozs
5    Peter Elliott 34lbs 7ozs
13  Lee Patten 24lbs  1oz
14  Bob Jones 23lbs 4ozs
15  Dave Franklin 22lbs 10ozs
18  Kieron Thomas 20lbs 5ozs
26  Bart Farmer 16lbs 1oz
35  Dave Minal 6lbs 11ozs

Next year's event will be at Grafham Water on Tuesday 9th June 2020.

Previous years results 2009 2010 2012 2015 2016 2017 2018

Should you wish to be considered for a place in this team then send your angling CV to Fraser McConnell. Past experience at national or international level is considered almost a prerequisite and please bear in mind that you would be committing yourself to four days fishing, three practise days plus the actual competition. Also this would be at your own expense with very minimal funding from CSSC.