Hi! My name is Sam Edmonds. Those of you who know me are aware that I am just 'ever so slightly' keen on my fishing and the love of the outdoors.
Fishing has been a part of my life since the day I was born. I suppose it comes as no surprise when you have a Dad that's fishing crazy. We fish together literally all of the time and have had some fantastic times spent trying to catch all kinds of fish here in the UK and on holidays abroad. Along the way I have met some great fishermen and some of these have become really good friends.
The more I fish the more my fascination and appreciation for the sport grows and catching fish is just the start - there is so much more to angling: travelling, nature, wildlife and watching some spectacular sunrises are just a few.
So I'd like to share in my blog some of my fishing experiences, captures and other related interests such as photography and writing. I hope you will enjoy reading it and find something that interests you too...

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Reservoir Competition Fishing for Trout

The reservoir trout fishing season is now well underway. Many matches have already taken place and I’ve taken part in some of these too. Although I love targeting big fish on flies and lures, in particular predators, I’ve become quite addicted to another side of the sport, and that’s match fishing. Being part of the EYFA has allowed me, over the past couple of weeks, to be lucky enough to have been partnered in the boat with some great anglers such as Leigh Pond, Carl Nixon and Phil Longstaff. Fishing alongside these top anglers has really helped increase my confidence and knowledge of flyfishing large trout competitions, and I’d recommend anybody who’s interested in taking up flyfishing under the age of 18 to join the EYFA.

My first match this season was an EYFA team event where we fished against the Prison Service Team on Grafham. I’d had a couple of trips on there since it opened and done well fishing blobs and boobies deep down - and had a nice fish of 4lb 9oz, shown below . The fishing had remained this way but the sport had slowed up a lot since then, as the fish had seen so many different flies, they’d begun to wise up to certain patterns. We had a practice match the day before the real thing, and I’d drawn Leigh Pond as my boat partner. We fished hard but the fishing was quite tough - the fish were finicky so we had to to keep changing. I had one Brownie outside the harbour in the morning but it wasn’t until the last 10 minutes of the practice match that we hooked up again. We hit a shoal of fish around G Buoy - Leigh had one and I had three in 3 consecutive casts! Unfortunately, as soon as we’d arrived it was literally a case of packing up! Still, I had a good idea of where fish were to be found.

The next day saw a change in weather conditions - it was warmer and a bright, near cloudless day looked in store. My boat partner was Carl Nixon, the England u18 team coach and an England International. We set sail with floating lines/midge tips on the ready, armed with a team of buzzers. Carl really is a brilliant nymph fisherman! However the fishing was even tougher than the day before - Carl caught 2 fish and I blanked altogether. The good thing was my team had done well and made up for my poor performance - well done EYFA 1 Team!

A few days later I fished in the Alan West Memorial Match held on Rutland. It was my first time out on Rutland and I was really hoping I’d have a boat partner who’d know the water well. When I went to sign in, to my surprise, I’d been partnered with England u18 team manager Phil Longstaff, who is an expert at fishing Rutland, so I knew I was in good hands!

He soon had us on the fish and it didn’t take long before I’d caught 7, including a cracker of 3lb 11oz. After leaving the flies on the hang for a few seconds I had a huge whack and this turned out to be 2 fish! So I chose to keep the bigger one on the top dropper! By 11.30am I’d bagged up - five of which were caught on the hang. Not long after, Phil bagged up, we then moved up the north arm where we had another 8 or so each on the bung, fishing buzzers. We returned to the harbour for the weigh in, and my bag of fish totalled 19lbs, which gave me 5th spot out of around 70 - my prize was an Orvis fly box. It had been a brilliant and enjoyable days fishing - thanks Phil!

On Sunday 10th April it was the Bob Church Open at Grafham. My boat partner was a member of Rib Valley Flyfishers, like me. I got off to a bad start as, when the match begun, all the boats raced out of the harbour. I tried to dodge a boat but ended up banging in to the pontoon instead - not good! After getting out we headed to Valley Creek where it had recently been stocked. I started off with blobs and boobies but saw people catching on floating lines, so after a couple of hours I decided to change, and teamed up with buzzers and diawl bachs. I caught my 8 fish but didn’t really come anywhere as I caught my 8th at 5.15pm, giving me only a 1 and a half pound time bonus. Many people finished earlier, and that is how the match was won. Afterwards there was a dinner in the restaurant and prizes were given out. I didn’t realise there was prize for the top youth so I was surprised when my name was called! I won Bob Church’s autobiography, ‘This Fishing Life’, handed to me by the man himself. Thanks Bob! He also signed it for me.

Whilst out practising for the matches we’ve also caught some good Perch on Trout flies. Over 2 trips we caught 8 Perch, 7 over 3lb, the biggest being 3lb 12oz. My Dad also caught a nice Bream of 10lb 1oz which gave up a good fight!

I’ve really enjoyed fishing over the past couple of weeks. I’ve met some great fishermen and I’ve learnt a great deal too. I have many more matches coming up soon and I’m really looking forward to fishing these.