Bristol Water Evening Boat League 2019
Jay Curry was crowned Evening Boat League Champion 2019 in a presentation at the Stoke Inn after the 10th and final round of this year’s event. We were joined by John Harris of Bristol Water Fisheries to hand out the prizes.
It was a dominant and consistent performance from Jay, winning 3 rounds.
2018 champion Andrew Wiles was second overall and Ron Howard third.
Bristol Water Fisheries generously contributed a free single man boat ticket to the winner of each round (or the next best placed). So, in the order in which they were won, there was a boat ticket for
The entry fees that are paid at the beginning of the league are put in to a prize fund and there are cash prizes for the top 5 anglers
And so the final league positions ……….
5th place and £30 to Mark Stewart (97 points)
4th place and £30 to John Piper (100 points)
3rd place and £40 to Ron Howard (105 points)
2nd place and £50 to Andrew Wiles (107 points)
1st place and £70 plus the Evening League trophy to Jay Curry (117 points)
Looking back over the year a total of 22 different anglers have taken part and it has been good to see some new faces, not only come along but continue to be involved and join some of the BRFFA comps as well. Thank you.
Of those 22 anglers, there have been 156 appearances – with numbers per match ranging from 20 to 11, at an average of 15.6 per round. That is a definite improvement on recent years.
That also represents over £3000 of revenue for BWF.
Over the 10 rounds there have been 607 trout caught and released and that works out at a League rod average of 3.89.
We have generally had some cracking sport throughout, albeit with a couple of gruellers in Round 7 (9 fish) and Round 8 (3 fish).
The Boat League does not happen without the support and efforts of others so here a few Thank You’s.
Firstly, Thank You to everyone who made the time and effort to come along to Chew or Blagdon on alternate Wednesday evenings since April 10th. Without all of your support, both the more seasoned league competitors and the new friends who have joined us this year, the League simply wouldn’t exist.
Thank you to Bristol Water Fisheries for their continued support and some great fishing throughout. The league nearly packed up 3 years ago but we appreciate their support, not only financially for the ticket prices and boat prizes, but also to all the staff who have been on hand to help us at the beginning and end of the evening.
And thank you to our friends at the Stoke Inn for their hospitality and food at the end of every evening.
Funky Fly Tying Hidden Teams – Chew Lake 2019
Funky Fly Tying Hidden Teams competition 16th June 2019
Bristol Reservoirs Fly Fishers' Association had a decent entry level for this competition, which traditionally has been rather poorly supported. It helped that we have brought the match forward to June at a prime time for the fishing on the lake, as opposed to a time when, especially in the past three to four years, the lake has been suffering from really hot conditions. 48 anglers took to the boats and surprisingly, in view of how well the bank if fishing, only three entered this section.
Boats were still loading when a couple of the anglers headed out before “the off” seemingly signalling almost everyone else milling around to roar up their motors and start out eight minutes early. Of the boats that had false starts, eleven or twelve went to Herons, six to Villice and one went towards the dam. The two boats that were late getting out (actually they were on time) also went towards Villice. Once the teams were sorted out, and the chef at the sailing club was told how many meals were required I headed out with Geoff Lambert, and decided to look right in front of the sailing club. We didn't have our first cast until after eleven thirty but we were also hoping that we were not required in the competition. This was in fact not the case as it would have meant that one angler out fishing would have to be left out.
Paul Bond won the competition this year. He caught and returned his twelfth fish just before two o'clock, thus gaining four hours of time bonus, which added to his ten fish returned weight of 25 pounds and his actual weigh of the two fish killed (5-08) gave him a total weight of 38-08. I spoke with Bondy this afternoon about his tactics for the day. He had practiced on Friday and caught fish in both Villice and Herons, but decided that Herons was likely to be the more productive area for the competition. He fished with Matthew Allen, who is relatively new to our club matches but is turning into a regular. Bondy fished a floating line and straight nymphs. He didn't fish either a blob or a booby to hold the flies up, instead opting to retrieve faster than is usual. The tactic obviously worked as he was almost three pounds clear of second place angler – Dave “Monger” Reynolds.
Dave fished with his pal Mark Stevens and they opted to head to Villice. Dave caught well at first, using his usual set up of three nymphs and either a FAB or a booby. But, the pressure of boats in shallow water put the fish off and so the pair opted to go into Herons. Dave caught his next few fish here, until needing just one more, he returned to Villice. This was successful and he soon finished his limit (just before three) and Mark, who ended up in third place, completed his limit too, just before four o'clock.
Fourth and fifth placed anglers - Graham Currie and Tony George fished together and both had limits – Graham finished at ten past four, whilst Georgio finished just before five. The other limit caught was by Bill Pugh, who fished with Lee Williams (who had eight). Dave Gregory was just short of catching twelve – he had eleven and weighed in 28-02.
There was a steady decrease in numbers caught through the field and only young Max, fishing his first competition failed to bring a trout to the scales. Better luck next time – it is so encouraging to see some youngsters joining us (Max's brother James fished with Dominic de Souza and caught three trout).
There was a total of 260 fish caught meaning that the boat average was almost five and a half per person. The three bank anglers did fantastically well, with Alan Shearn taking best weight with seven trout for 19-09, Tony Torrington next with eight for 16-05 and Pete Bessell third with seven for 16-00. Good fishing by the three!
A fine meal was held at the Sailing Club and Toby presented the prizes to top three teams and individual winner. Full team results attached. Apologies to Rik Anderson's team – I mistakenly gave them an extra ten pounds. Originally I placed them sixth instead of their correct position of ninth.
Thanks to all of you who supported the club – especially new competition entrants – Frank Fitheridge, Martyn Elliott and Chris Fuller.
2019 Orvis Classic Floating Line Results
Sunday 26th May 2019 - Chew Valley Lake
With a week to go, there were only nineteen entries to this event which in years past has sold all of the boats out on Chew. But, with anglers hearing about the excellent fishing leading up to the event, entries came in thick and fast and the club ended up with 44 entrants.
Weather-wise it was a promising start and as Martin Cottis gave the briefing on the jetties, fish were seen on top. The anglers set off and split four ways. The largest number of boats headed to Herons, whilst Woodford, North Shore and False Island areas also had their share.
The weather hardly improved all day, in fact, the wind increased as it seems to have done a great deal lately, and it became quite cool for a late May day. After about an hour of fishing it seemed clear that the fishing was not all that good as boats started swapping areas....a sure sign that tough fishing was being had all round.
The bank event was also proving a little difficult and when Martin phoned Tony Torrington for numbers to give to chef Robert, Tony reported few fish having been caught. As is often the case on Chew the fish started responding much better after one o'clock, and many of the trout caught were taken later in the day.
Bank winner was Andy Cotterell, who repeated his success of last year with a fine “bag” of eight trout for 20lbs 12oz, whilst Alan Shearn took second with six fish for 15-12 and Andy Turton six for 12-12.
The boat competition was pretty close in the end. Four anglers managed to catch their twelve fish limit and Paul Roach had eleven, but that bag contained the best fish caught at 5lbs 9oz. Eventual winner was Mark Stevens who caught and returned his twelfth fish at just before 3.30, thus gaining a time bonus of five pound, which was to prove crucial. Mark started at Walley bank, where he had met with some success in practice. He failed to catch here, although his boat partner Colin Pike caught one, and so moved on to picnic area 2, and caught three trout there tight in to the reeds. Mark still felt that he could do better elsewhere and so drove to Woodford. Here he saw Nik Long and Paul Roach seemingly catching so he stopped somewhere near the old seat on the bank. Mark caught fish and lost many more over the afternoon until he completed his limit. His total weight was 34lbs 10oz.
Second place went to the next man to catch a limit – Mark Miles. Mark finished at four thirty so only had three pounds to add to his total which ended up as 32-12. He told me that he had tried a few places round the lake before settling on Woodford at around one thirty with no fish in the boat! But, three hours later he had twelve....
Third place went to veteran John Braithwaite (32-01) who winkled out his twelve fish in Herons by five twenty, whilst Paul Roach (31-09) sneaked into fourth place courtesy of the largest fish weighed in. Mark Thomas took the other limit on the day to earn fourth place – just eight ounces behind Paul.
Paul Golding with nine fish, Tony Coxhead with eight and Mark Stewart with nine made up the remaining prize-winning places.
In total, 191 trout were caught giving an average of 4.5 per man catch rate. 74 fish were killed and 117 returned. I have yet to work out the average size of the fish.
All agreed at the fantastic post-match meal, that the day had been a tough one but Chew had provided a fair and enjoyable competition. John Harris was thanked along with Rob in the kitchen and Jim who ran the bar for us. Martin finally thanked new members – Colin Pike, Kailin Coombes, Daniel Coombs, Matthew Allen, Garry Wharton, and father and son, Dean and James Mockridge.
As ever the biggest thanks and applause went to Richard Banbury of Orvis for another year of fantastic support for BRFFA.
Martin Cottis (29th May 2019)
2019 Veals Spring Cup Results
2019 AMFC Group 2 Round 1 Results
Snowbee Hidden Pairs Results 2018
Blagdon, Sunday September 23rd
Well supported by our good friends at Snowbee UK, this is always a friendly match with a format that sees the anglers go out for a morning session, returning to the lodge for lunch and then out for an afternoon session.
Popular local rod Paul Bond with partner Tim Kamei ran out eventual winners with a combined weight of 43lb 15oz (including time bonus). This was about 4lbs ahead of second placed pairing of Lee Williams and Graham Potter, with Simon Page and Tony Torrington taking third with 34lb 5oz.
Paul Bond also topped the individual scores with one of only two 12 fish limits - a great bag that weighed in at 31b 4oz with time bonus. Simon Page was the other angler who managed his limit to weigh in 29lb 13oz.
Bright and breezy conditions greeted the field in the morning with most of the field heading for the recent hotspots of Wood Bay and Holt Bay. But sport was slower than expected and it was Simon Page who lead comfortably at the lunch break. He had headed to Cheddar Water and came in with 10 fish taken on an intermediate line with cormorants and blobs.
At the halfway mark a splendid buffet lunch was provided in the lodge by our treasurers wife, Jane Wiles.
In the afternoon there was a more even split of the boats turning left or right out of Home Bay. Cheddar Water did produce fish throughout the afternoon but became harder due to increased boat pressure. Those who headed back to Wood bay found the fish more obliging. That included eventual winner Paul Bond who took the bulk of his fish on a slow tip line with a small booby and diawl bachs fished slow in the shallow water and then more quickly over the deeper water .
A total of 182 fish were caught by the field for a rod average of 4.79. Best fish was 3-08 caught by Lee Williams, but he already had a prize (second placed pair) so we went to Paul Sweatman who had one of 3-07.
Thanks again to our very generous sponsors, Snowbee. There were prizes for all the pairs down to 6th place – a magnificent total of £600 worth of Snowbee vouchers.
Thanks also to the staff of Bristol Water Fisheries who were extremely helpful in getting all the boats in and out of the pontoons.
The BRFFA/BW Evening Boat League 2018
The 2018 Evening Boat League again provided an exciting climax in the final round, with 3 or 4 anglers potentially in the hunt for the title.
In the event Blagdon was on great form with fish showing consistently across the lake. Andrew Wiles won the match with 12 fish with John Gumbleton second with 6 fish.
This was just enough for Andrew to win the title for the second year in a row, finishing just 2 points ahead of John Gumbleton.
Things were even tighter for third and fourth with Andy Stones just hanging on to the third slot only one point ahead of Tony Coxhead.
The full results are below.
We are again very grateful to Bristol Water for their support of the League, with a free midweek boat awarded to the winner of each round (only one boat per angler, so the second placed angler gets it if the winner has already got one.). There were also cash prizes for the first 3 places.
The Evening Boat League is a very popular and friendly competition that has been running for a number of years now. It is held over 9 rounds at fortnightly intervals, the venue alternating between Chew and Blagdon. And after the fishing everyone heads back to the Stoke Inn at Chew Stoke for a bite to eat and to swap stories from the evening.
We were pleased to welcome one or two new faces to the league this year. Over the years it has been a great introduction to competition fishing for many club members with the relaxed and friendly atmosphere over 4 hours with some experienced local rods proving to be a popular learning ground.
The fishing throughout the League this year has been mostly excellent with some great evenings in recent weeks.
It is expected that the competition will return in 2019 and we hope that we can encourage a few more new people to join us.
Funky Fly TyingHidden Teams – Chew Lake 2018
2018 Orvis Results
Paul Bond Triumphs in BRFFA Veals Spring Cup
Paul Bond (Left) collects the 2018 Veal’s Spring Cup from Dave England (Veals)
Bristol Reservoir Fly Fishers Association (BRFFA) in conjunction with Veal’s Fishing Tackle hosted their
2018 Spring Cup match on Bristol Water’s Chew Valley Lake 6th May.
Competitors arriving at Chew were greeted with wall to wall sunshine, not a breath of wind or a cloud in the sky. Conditions rarely welcomed by competition fly fishermen and women
As the boats left the jetties at 10am, the majority of the field headed straight for the known hot spots behind Denny Island where recently stocked fish have been gorging on corixa and buzzers. Competitors seeking slightly older fish with the chance of an overwintered specimen scouted throughout Herons, Moreton and Stratford. Despite the conditions the fish were still holding relatively high in the water column. Typically a floating line or midge tip with imitative patterns fished slowly were the tactics required to encourage Chew’s fish to cooperate.
Paul Bond set a steady pace early on quickly securing his 4th fish with short drifts off Woodford bank before joining the bulk of the field drifting in to the reeds between North Shore and Hollow Brook. In the latter stages of the match when the fishing slowed, Paul successfully deployed the use of a bung to maintain his impressive catch rate.
The closing stages of the match became fairly tense as 2017 Club Champion and veteran Dave Reynolds hunted down the youthful Bond. The two anglers closed out the match with 11 fish a piece so it was down to the scales to separate the two. With Dave’s total bag weight totalling 25lb 12oz and Paul’s weighing in 27lb 10oz, it quickly became apparent that Paul had clinched the coveted BRFFA Spring Shield for 2018.
Match Results – Top 5 Places.
The biggest fish of the match was a fin perfect specimen Rainbow of 8lb caught by Ron Howard. Match rod average was 4.45 with an average weight 2lb 7oz
The BRFFA’s next competition is The Orvis Floating Line Classic which will be held at Chew Valley Lake - 10th June 2018. For an entry form, and further details please visit www.brffa.com For further
information about Veals or Fly Fishing at Bristol Water fisheries, please visit. http://www.vealsfishingtackle.com/ and http://www.bristolwater.co.uk/fishing/respectively.
Reynolds and Edwards victorious in BRFFA Snowbee Hidden Pairs - Blagdon Lake 2018
Bristol Reservoir Fly Fishers Association (BRFFA) in conjunction with long standing sponsors Snowbee hosted their annual Hidden Pairs competition at Bristol Waters idyllic Blagdon Lake - 17th September.
The sell-out field of 44 anglers set off from the boat dock at 10am in near perfect conditions with high expectations. Broken cloud cover and a gentle breeze ensured Blagdon’s hard fighting Brown and Rainbow trout were actively feeding at intervals throughout the day and rarely ventured from the very top of the water.
Blagdon was on notable form with anglers finding good numbers of fish holding in Wood Bay, Green Lawn and the Dam Basin. Competitors managed to catch steadily during the match with successful tactics ranged from teams of imitative Nymphs fished on long leaders, dries, or a combination of blobs, boobies and hoppers pulled through the surface layers on floating or slow intermediate lines.
The unique format of the BRFFA Hidden Pairs means the field of competitors only find out who their fishing partner for the day has been as the final results are revealed. As the competitor placing’s were announced and pairings were disclosed, the air of anticipation built at Blagdon’s lodge as it quickly became clear that Dave Reynolds and Tim Edwards had triumphed. Their combined weight of 39lb 4oz had dominated the rest of the field, soundly beating Ali Munn and Keith Brown into 2nd place.
Left to Right – Tim Edwards, Simon Kidd (Snowbee UK) and Dave Reynolds – 2017 BRFFA Hidden Pairs Champions
The BRFFA is a long established and friendly Fly Fishing club with an ethos centred on developing angling skills. We have many members that have represented England at National and International level who are keen to share their knowledge, skills and experience to improve others angling success. For more information about joining the BRFFA and forthcoming events, please visit our website
Funky Fly Tying Hidden Teams – Chew Lake 2018
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Left to Right – Andy Stones, Tony Torrington, Ted Smart, Alan Williams (Capt.) Toby Merrigan - Funky Fly Tying
Bristol Reservoir Fly Fishers Association (BRFFA) in conjunction with match sponsors Funky Fly Tying hosted their annual Hidden Teams competition at Bristol Water Fisheries Chew Valley Lake 23rd July.
With intermittent showers and variable winds forecast for the duration of the match, conditions for the time of year were reasonable. However, with Bristol Water Fisheries reporting a ‘challenging week’ in their recent catch report and a rod average of just 1.15, expectations of a fish filled day throughout the field were tempered.
As the competition commenced, the field split with a number of boats heading for the deeper water in front of the dam. With the recent hot spell and water temperatures up around 20 degrees, some of the experienced field expected to catch on fast sinking lines in the cooler aerated water around the dam basin. However, this considered approach that had proven so successful in previous years did not produce fish!
The balance of the field opting to hold station between Woodford Bank and the stocking pens for the duration of the match quickly validated their decision. Having established the recent stock fish were holding in the top few feet and were willing to accept lures and imitative patterns fished on full floaters or slow intermediate lines, rods started to bend at regular intervals. Cooler conditions combined with a recent stocking enabled the field to catch 117 fish and return a respectable rod average for the match of 2.92 more than doubling the prior week’s fishery report.
As in previous years, the Hidden Team element allows anglers with a range of experience to fish in equally balanced teams of four. With teams only revealed as the final results are announced, this popular format supported by more than 40 club members generated a great sense of anticipation during the post-match meal and awards presentation held at Chew Valley Sailing Club.
As the results were announced, it was the team captained by experienced international Alan Williams that came out as the eventual winners of this year’s Funky Fly Tying Hidden Teams event. The impressive winning weight of 55lb included superlative individual performances by Capt. Alan and ‘Super Ted’ Smart who managed 7 fish each contributing more than 35lb towards their team’s total weight.
Funky Fly Tying Hidden Team Results
1st Alan Williams 7 19-00
Ted Smart 7 16-05
Tony Torrington 2 5-03
Andy Stone 6 14-08
2nd Mark Miles 4 10-07
Steve Preston 8 21-00
Mark Lynch 2 3-14
Jim Purvis 2 5-03
3rd Tony George 5 15-12
Sean Glover 4 10-05
John Wingrove 2 4-08
Paul Crook 2 7-07
The next match in the BRFFA competition calendar will be The Bristol Water Hidden Pairs held on Blagdon Lake
17th September. To enter our next event please contact Martin Cottis on 07747 843548 or visit www.brffa.com and complete and return the competition entry form.
BRFFA Drifters Win Sportfish Team Heat at Chew 18/6/2017
The BRFFA Drifters six man team Captained by Tony Baldwin claimed the coveted first place in a tightly contested Sportfish Team Heat on Chew this weekend – 18th June. Despite one less fish the Drifters managed to come in ahead of a very strong Team Airflo by almost 5lb validating the decision to target older fish.
Following a successful days practice the team identified four areas holding reasonably receptive fish and narrowed down the method, lines and patterns to tempt them. Conditions in practice were barely reasonable with wind, bright sunshine and short spells of intermittent cloud often the kiss of death on Chew. Despite the far from ideal conditions, the team caught steadily throughout the day and built confidence for match day.
Match day saw a notable change in conditions for the worse with just 0-2mph winds, higher temperatures and minimal cloud. The expectation was that the fishing would be more challenging than the prior days practice and Chew did not disappoint!
As the match commenced 4 of the 6 team boats headed to Herriots with Tony Baldwin heading off to Villace and Mark Withyman making the trip across the lake to East Shore. The Herriots boats quickly found feeding fish tight into Cormorant Island and each team member managed to open their account early and settle into the match. Tim Wellman set a steady pace in his Rookie outing with the team picking up 4 fish by midday before being taken off the fish by confident Welsh Youth rod Callum Russell. The remaining team boats in Herriots continued to catch throughout the day building quality bags of resident fish.
Meanwhile in Villace, nymph supremo and inform Tony Baldwin had amassed 4 fish by 2pm before joining the fleet stationed at Herriots. Tony closed out the match with 3 further fish in Herriots to claim 3rd place overall and top rod for the team with a notable total weight of 16lb 15oz. Lloyd Pallet put in a solid performance picking up 5 fish from midday in Villace to imitative nymphs. The ever reliable Mark Miles put 5 fish on the scales including a specimen Rainbow of 4lb 9oz which took the biggest fish of the match. Mark picked up a £50 Sportfish Tackle Voucher and a large range pack of FNF Fritz for his troubles. Gary Haskins took three good fish in Herriots averaging 3lb 5oz and Mark Withyman added to team total picking up his fish over on East Shore.
Team Results for BRFFA at the Sportsfish 18/6/2017
BRFFA Drifters 26 Fish caught for 76lb 10oz
Team Airflo 27 Fish caught for 71lb 11oz
Bewl Chompers 18 Fish caught for 54lb
Weald of Kent 17 Fish caught for 47lb 10oz
Team Snowbee 14 Fish caught 42lb 13oz
Blagdon Fly Fishers 12 Fish caught 38lb 5oz
BRFFA Emergers 13 Fish caught for 33lb 15oz
Cwm Fly Fishers 11 Fish caught for 28lb 15oz
Welsh Wizards 8 Fish caught for 19lb 6oz
Individual Results for BRFFA at the Sportsfish 18/6/2017
3rd Tony Baldwin 7 caught for 16lb 15oz
6th Tim Wellman 5 caught for 16lb 12oz
8th Mark Miles 5 caught for 16lb 6oz
11th Lloyd Pallet 5 caught for 13lb 12oz
19th Gary Haskins 3 caught for 10lb 1 oz
36th Mark Withyman 1 caught for 2lb 8oz
BRFFA Drifters will now go on to represent the club at the 2017 Sportfish Team Championship Grand Final held over two days at Chew Valley and Blagdon Lakes on 19th and 20th August 2017. On behalf of our members, we would like to wish the team every success.
2017 Orvis Classic – Reynolds Resplendent.
Bristol Reservoir Fly Fishers Association (BRFFA) in conjunction with long-standing sponsors Orvis UK, hosted their annual floating line classic match at Bristol Waters Chew Valley Lake, 11th June.
As boat competitors departed from the jetties it was clear conditions preferred for the finesse of a floating line only match were absent. Changeable wind directions gusting to 20mph, scant cloud cover and periods of bright sunshine would keep the expectant field on their toes if they were to tame the fickle waters of Chew.
With local anglers reporting fish holding tight to the bank in and around East Shore, the entire field of 17 boats headed straight across the lake. Within the first ten minutes, rods started to bend as Chew’s recently stocked fish succumbed to the array of blobs, FAB’s and imitative patterns on offer. However, the combination of sustained boat pressure in relatively shallow water meant regular action quickly abated. With takes drying up, the field started to disburse to all corners of the lake seeking fresh drifts and takes from unpressured older fish.
Welsh International Mark Thomas (2nd) broke from the East Shore pack early venturing upwind to the softer water around Herriots Bridge. The softer conditions enabled Mark to present his flies and control his line properly and he quickly went on to complete the first 12 fish limit of the match. Nymph specialist, Andrew Wiles (3rd) proved he is equally proficient armed with a just floating line as his favoured Airflo 6ft Tip amassing his 12 fish limit by 5:30pm.
Effervescent local angler Paul Golding deployed his 30 years’ experience to great effect claiming 4th while Welsh International Marco Orsi making his BRFFA club debut secured a solid 5th place. Both Marco and Paul found a large head of fish in the shallows around North Shore securing their limits in the closing moments of the match.
However, it was Trowbridge Tornedo Dave Reynolds who managed an unassailable weight of 35lb 4oz beating Mark Thomas by a mere 2oz to claim the 2017 Orvis Classic title. Inform Reynolds with unprecedented back to back wins following his success in the Veals Spring Cup is making all the right moves to secure the coveted title of BRFFA Club Champion for 2017.
• 1st Dave Reynolds 12 35-04
• 2nd Mark Thomas (Wales)12 35-02
• 3rd Andrew Wiles 12 32-07
• 4th Paul Golding 12 31-11
• 5th Marco Orsi 12 29-10
The next BRFFA’s club competition will be the universally popular Hidden Teams held at Chew Valley Lake on 23rd July 2017.
For an entry form and further details please visit or visit our Facebook page
For further information regarding Orvis UK and Fishing at Bristol Water, please visit and respectively.
Dave Reynold Triumphs in BRFFA Veals Spring Cup
Dave Reynolds (Left) collects the 2017 Veal’s Spring Cup from Dave England (Veals)
Bristol Reservoir Fly Fishers Association (BRFFA) in conjunction with Veal’s Fishing Tackle hosted their 2017 Spring Cup match on Bristol Water’s Chew Valley Lake 7th May.
As the match commenced, conditions at Chew looked to be picture perfect with a light breeze and generous cloud cover. The prominent Buzzer hatches synonymous with Chew and sister water Blagdon were in abundance from the off and continued periodically throughout the day. Fish could be seen taking the adult pupae as they ascended in the water column and signs of the classic head and tail rises as the emerging adults became the trout’s quarry were apparent in the softer water across the lake.
As the boats set off at 10am, it was a welcome sight to see competitors heading to all corners of the lake. The new stocking policy introduced by Bristol Water for 2017, and warmly welcomed by anglers has really paid dividends with fish now holding in a multitude of different areas.
With the fish feeding high in the water a floating line and imitative nymphs and buzzers were all that was really needed. Dave Reynolds set off at a blistering pace early on with repeated drifts close in to the reeds off of Stratford bank. Dave amassed an very impressive 9 fish by midday and was rarely seen without a bent rod and a broad grin as he comfortably decimated his fellow anglers.
As the clouds parted and the wind increased sport slowed down notably. A number of boats started to congregate in Herons Green Bay seeking softer water and feeding fish. This is where the imperious Reynolds closed out his day completing his 12 fish limit by 2.55pm for a very credible match winning weight of 36lb 5oz. 2016 defending Champion Graham Currie battled all the way to the finish line picking up three very hard won fish on Wick Green in last 15 minutes. Graham’s resolve and steely determination secured a very solid 2nd place beating the effervescent Anderson by 1-10oz into 3rd place.
1st Dave Reynolds
2nd Graham Currie 3rd Rik Anderson 4th Alan Williams 5th Matt Russell
24lbs 10oz 23lbs 0oz 18lbs 8oz 16lbs 14oz
The biggest fish of the match was a fin perfect specimen Rainbow of 3lbs 15oz caught by John Wingrove. Match Rod Average was 3.4 with an average weight 2lb 7oz
The BRFFA’s next competition is The Orvis Floating Line Classic which will be held at Chew Valley Lake - 11th June 2016. For an entry form, and further details please visit For further information about Veals or Fly Fishing at Bristol Water fisheries, please visit. http:// and
Reynolds and Bessell triumph in BRFFA Snowbee hidden pairs…
Bristol Reservoir Fly Fishers Association (BRFFA) in conjunction with long standing sponsors Snowbee hosted their annual Hidden Pairs competition at Bristol Waters idyllic Blagdon Lake – 12th October.
The sell-out field of 46 anglers set off from the boat dock at 10am in near perfect conditions with high expectations. Broken cloud cover and a gentle breeze ensured Blagdon’s hard fighting Brown and Rainbow trout were actively feeding at intervals throughout the day and rarely ventured from the very top of the water.
Blagdon was on notable formwith anglers finding good numbers of fish holding in the front of the infamous Blagdon lodge, Butcombe Bay and the Dam Basin. Competitors managed to catch steadily during the match with successful tactics ranging from teams of imitative Nymphs fished on long leaders, or a combination of blobs, boobies and cormorants pulled through the surface layers on intermediate lines.
The unique format of the BRFFA Hidden Pairs means the field of competitors only find out who their fishing partner for the day has been as the final results are revealed. As the competitor placing’s were announced and pairings were disclosed, the air of anticipation built at Blagdon’s lodge as it quickly became clear that Dave Reynolds and Pete Bessell with their combined weight and tally of released fish had vanquished the field, soundly beating Mark Miles and Sean Glover into 2nd place.
Left to Right – Dave Reynolds, Martin Cottis (BRFFA) and Pete Bessell – 2019 BRFFA Hidden Pairs Champions