Broadlands Grayling Classic

Listopad 12, 2018 - 11:22 pm Komentáře nejsou povoleny

p1370582 We were walking trough the green forest last night of our September workshop, as every night before, and we were talking about our future plans, and Ben Bangham invited me and Martin to the competition which he organises with friends in the River Test, yes THE RIVER TEST, downstream of Romsey.

The conversation was approximately like this:

Ben: Hey Milan, it would be great pleasure to invite you and Martin to Broadlands Classic, you can stay in my home

Milan:  I would like to go, but I have to ask my boss whether I would like to go :-) I´m leaving for competition in Norway tmrw, so we can arrange it after I will return.

Martin: Yeaaah!!!  zeleny-les-3

Andy: If you come, so I’ll pay your flights.

Milan: Super, Andy, thank you very much

Martin: Yeaaaaaah!!!

Adam: Yeaaah!!!

Milan: Is it Farmoor fishable this time of the year? It has been always my dream to visit it.

Simon: If you come, I will take you to Farmoor, I´m best fisherman in this lake

Milan, Martin: Yeaaah!!!

Somchad: Guys, it is great that you are coming, I´m cooking breakfasts and lunches during the competition, next round of mint-shots is on me.

Milan, Martin, Ben, Adam, Andy, Tom: Yeaaaaah!!!

praha Martin remembered only that he is going to England, but no more details …. :-) But we arranged everything, Franta Hanák equipped us with the new brand Superb XP rods, and on Wednesday October 24th evening we drank the last Czech Pilsner beer in Prague airport and two hours later we met with Ben at Heathrow.

On Thursday, we were practising the river. It was very cold and northern wind did not increased perceived temperature. Martin had leaky waders, so I borrowed him one of my waders as I always take two for foreign trips. But I found, that I left all warm underpants at Ben´s house, so Martin borrowed me some. … We were drinking coffee and chatting with friends for about one hour, but finally we moved downstream to find a suitable place to fish.

p1370573 River was relatively busy as a lot of teams utilised the last day of practice. We found a suitable place at an island and I started to prepare leader, and I pulled out my competition leader from the nymphing line …. But I tied it up to the reserve reel with the floating line and it was possible to fish with it. Martin jumped to the water and caught a nice brown on the very fist cast. I stopped making of the leader and ran to make a picture of the first fish of the trip. Before I finished my leader, Martin was calling me back as he got a nice grayling … Finally I could go fishing, I found a nice hole between weed in the channel behind the island, first cast, take, I missed and all the leader tangled in the willow above me… It was to high, so I had to cat it, “kurva !!!”.

p1370597 I sat down to a bench, breathing slowly and observing swans and after five minutes I decided to make a new leader. Since then, it had been fine (I caught few nice graylings and small trout and salmon parr) before I went into a deeper water and found out that also my waders were leaking …. But it was not necessary to go to depths during the practice day and we really enjoyed the fishing. Later, we were fishing one nice pool for about one hour, and we caught many graylings, one sea trout and one nice brown, I could estimate about 25 fish from one pool. We decided to move a little downstream and another couple of fishermen replaced us in the hot spot, Martin told me with a slightly ironic tone ”I´m curious what they would catch after us” …. and one of them caught brown trout of about 60 cm on the very first cast just in the place when I was staying two minutes ago ….

p1370618 After the lunch we moved a little upstream to see another part of the river, and after about ten minutes of fishing I heard strange sounds, I turned back and saw Martin sunk in the water to the neck trying to climb to a bush at the bank :-) clay soil and weed are treacherous :-) so we had not any dry waders :-) Martin moved to the fishing hut to change his clothes and I was looking for next suitable places for fishing, which was extremely difficult in the river full of weed. But in the rifles, just above the sandy and gravel places, I caught some graylings. Finally, we found some flies which were working, and also typical places where to look for fish.

p1370641 On Friday, the river was closed to give fish a rest before the competition, so we managed the trip to Farmoor. Simon picked us up at Bens house at 7:30, he booked two boats in the Farmoor II, I was in one boat with Simon and Martin was fishing with Ben James Fox. We had a great English breakfast in the sailing club and after some difficulties with the engine :-) we headed to the upwind part of the lake together with sailing boats and windsurfers, I estimated gusts of the northern wind up to 15 m/s. . … Simon prepared nice snake flies, we decided to fish close to the surface, finally, we enjoyed sunny ten times , ten times windy and ten times heavy showers, and we had 9 fish in the boat, and if I had heard Simons recommendation and used stronger tipped, we would have three more, what a nice day :-)

After fishing we moved to the hotel close to the river, We had a nice room with a queen bed and one big duvet, pure Martin :-) but Ben asked somebody in the reception of the hotel and Martin could sleep at sofa with his own duvet :-) In the evening we attended the draw of competition and opening banquet and we met a lot of old friends from all over the Europe.

I thing, that it is necessary to explain system of the competition. They were competing 40 teams created by two competitors, three sessions fishing and three sessions controlling. Both competitors fish the same peg. After end of the session, the team which was fishing in the first session is controlling the same peg in the next session and the same team which was controlling them. So you can see another team fishing before you or after you. Which can be sometimes very useful, and sometime very painful :-)

John Emerson brought new waders for Martin, I created special underpants from plastic bag, so we were looking for a nice dry day full of fishing :-) Day D started with scraping of ice from the cars windows and by the great breakfast prepared by Somchad. The northern wind was strengthening and definitively not worming up :-) We were controlling during first session the peg No 20 (the most upstream peg, as pegs were marked bottom up), so we had enough time to warm up and to prepare rods. Spanish guys caught only three graylings and one sea trout, and they shoved us two productive places. In the peg 19, Max was controlling Tom who could not catch one big grayling which we could observe from the bank in the deep pool at the border between our pegs. Max shoved me his leader, and as I offer “life time warranty” for clients of our workshop, I rebuilt his leader for the pool and chose flies from his fly box. Five minutes after the start of our session Max got the queen of the pool :-)

p1370585 In our peg 20, we caught 11 graylings, two nice browns and one sea trout, and the 11 countable fish was enough to win the session. Ben said “very good” :-) . After great lunch, we were controlling peg 9 just under the fishing hut. Rising olives provoked fish to feeding activity and the team Manningford Monkies caught 16 fish and lost maybe another 10, so they hooked majority of the active fish in the pool. Adam, who was helping with the organisation, commented their approach by “I thing that you guys are making Czechs sad :-) ” . Mainly the double hook up 1 minute before the end of the session was the most painful thing for us:-) After them, we caught only 8 fish which was not good and we finished in the 8 place of the session.

Lynchy offered us to give a lift to the hotel, but he did not know the way, so he decided to follow Tom, but he also did not know the way …. but after 45 minutes of sightseeing tour we reached our hotel, and when I took my mobile from the bag, I found 5 miscalls from Ben and Martin found keys from Ben´s car in his pocket :-) But finally, the river was only 5 minutes from Hotel, so somebody took Ben to the Hotel for keys …. and we finally successfully met in the pub for dinner. In the morning we had to pack all things as we had to leave the hotel, and when we arrived at 7:10 to the parking place in front of the hotel, nobody was there :-) But Ben returned for us and we still had enough time to enjoy the great breakfast :-)

On Sunday morning, we were fishing first session in the peg 2, which was not bad. But we again caught only 8 fish, and gained 8th place in the last session and also in the final ranking. Finally I won a nice soft shell jacket in the raffle. Andy was so kind and took as to the airport after the competition and we even found possible cooperation in our businesses  :-)

heathrow To summarise our fishing, we had not enough time to practice in the dirty water full of drifting weed when all competitors jumped to the water and we did not have some effective flies for this conditions. We won only first session, in the clear water in the peg 20. Our draw was not bad, at least for the third place, but we were not fishing for 100%. It was great privilege to attend such friendly and well organised event in the famous River Test, in which you can catch grayling up to 45 cm, brown trout up 60 cm, sea trout, monster chub or even salmon.

To summarise our trip, after all the difficulties, we were very happy to sit in the pub in the airport. Thanks to the great care from our friends and mainly from Ben, Andy and Simon, we enjoyed the trip very much despite of the all difficulties and I hope, we had not done the shame, next year we will have more experience with this very special style of fishing.

Some pictures you can also find at this blog:


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