Wednesday, 30 October 2013

The Peninsula Federation Team England Qualfiers. Lower Itchen Fishery

On Saturday I was lucky enough to be invited to fish the Peninsula Federation Team England Qualifiers on the Lower Itchen fishery. It is a grayling only competition, fished over 7 hours, you draw partners and setting off numbers. Between the pairing, you can choose then to either fish 3 and a half hours in the morning or afternoon, measuring your partners fish in the session you are not fishing.
I travelled down on the Friday to fish a practise session in the afternoon, arriving to find the river a little coloured, but with plenty of flow. I set up with a heavy nymph on the point, a pink shrimp and a small size 18 pheasant tail, I fished the middle beat, catching 2 small grayling and 3 brown trout which gave a good scrap on my 10’ 3# rod. I had also set up a New Zealand style rod with a dry fly and a small dropper underneath but found the heavy nymphs were out fishing this method.

Saturday morning turned out to be a windy day overcast with heavy showers not ideal but shelter from the wind could be found on certain sections of the river. I had drawn to fish in the afternoon, so upon meeting my partner for the day Michael, who had driven down from Huddersfield for the event, we set off. He had opted to fish the top beat, fishing a very similar method to the one I had opted for, he caught 5 fish ranging from 15cm (the minimum size limit) up to 24cm in his allotted time. Now it was my turn, by the afternoon the wind had increased filling the river with leaves, this was not going to be easy. I opted to try the bottom of the fishery and ended the session with 3 fish to 26cm all caught on a pink bead head fly that we had tied after coming back from the pub the night before. I did have the misfortune of dropping a fish of around 40+ cm with 15 minutes to go at the net, very disappointing!!! On a more positive note two of my companions, Jay Curry and Dave Drake came 4th & 2nd and look good to qualify, so in all I was pleased with my 3 fish in very difficult conditions, there's always next year........

Michael fishing the morning session

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