Last weekend saw myself taking part in the English National Final that was held at Rutland Water having qualified for the match earlier in the year. The competition would determine who would be the 2017 National Champion and also select next years England Team with the top 28 qualifying.
Practice days had been tricky with the weather conditions being different each day which also made the trout indifferent to feeding. A plan had been formed but would it come together.
Myself and my boat partner John Hancock agreed we should head over to R buoy as we had both caught there the day before. Upon arrival it was flat calm then we had eight hours of trying to figure out how to catch a few fish.
After a bit of trial and error I settled on a Di3 and twiddled back claret hoppers and a blob as an attractor, it worked, I took 6 fish but cursed the fish I lost. That put me in 31st spot and in with a chance.
Day two was totally different weather, overcast with a strong Easterly wind, surely the fish would pull today. So off we headed back to R buoy, first drift and two strong pulls on the hoppers again, but nothing. A few more drifts saw me hooking into six fish but failing to land any of them. Frustrating to say the least and realising it wasn’t to be my day,,,, I needed eight fish,,,, we headed over to the Normanton bank.
First drift I took a fish and landed it, first of the day and also a massive tangle, more frustration. New leader and swooped the lines a few times before settling on a floater and hoppers with a blob on the top dropper. More dropped fish and more frustration. By end time I had taken 5 fish, I knew it wasn’t enough and blamed myself for all the lost fish. Compounded by a few boats already in I knew it wasn’t enough.
Last but not least congratulations to local angler Tom Davies who won the match and is the 2017 English National Champion.