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Rio Masters Update

Rio Masters Update – July 9th saw the Midlands final held at Grafham, looking at the anglers and the teams I knew this was a really tough match; over half the anglers participating were internationals and fishing their local water. The Soldier Palmers (previous winners) had put in an incredible 5 days practice and would be difficult to beat, other excellent teams were the Seighford Sharks (Phill Dixon, Craig Barr and co,) and Elinor who had so convincingly won the preliminary round just weeks earlier.

Light winds and overcast conditions saw the boats spread out around the reservoir with all the boats opting for Gaynes Cove, Hedge End and the Dam. We the Rio Masters had caught well in practice on Midge Tip lines and intermediates with a mixture of Cat’s Whisker Boobies and crunchers fishing the washing line method.

We all decided to fish Gaynes Cove or the Dam area and along with most of the other anglers we were quickly into fish, that seemed to fall to the nymphs rather than the lures; like many matches fish were caught consistently for the first hour or so before boat pressure seemed to kill off area’s forcing anglers to move or adapt their methods in order to catch. I had two nice rainbows from the corner of Gaynes Cove by 11:30am but had not had another take for over an hour. My boat partner Peter Jones had also taken a nice fish (a touch over 4 lb) and had been unfortunately snapped but was also not getting any action. We decided to move and headed for the bowl of the dam. There were distinctly fewer boats in this area; and we felt the less disturbed water would give us a better chance of a fish or two.

I changed to 3 hare’s ears, a pattern that had worked so well in practice for us, especially on Grafham’s notorious shrimp feeders that seemed to be hugging the shoreline, almost instantly we were into fish I took 3 nice fish in quick succession while Peter lost two. We steadily worked the length of the dam and in one glorious 45 minute spell I took my final 3 fish (all of which were over 4 lb 8 oz) to finish my limit by 14:00pm

by 16:30pm quite a few anglers were sitting on their hands and had clearly “bagged up” weigh in would be tense and nervous and it was difficult if not impossible to predict who would go through, the size of the fish would play an important part in the final placing.

At the weigh in Elinor had again all bagged up, a remarkable achievement and again setting a very high standard for the other teams. Their tactics were a Coral Woofta Booby on a Type-3 sinking line with nymphs on the droppers, fished roly – poly in Gaynes Cove or the Dam area – consistent fishing at the highest level and rightly so from one of the pre-match favourites.

We Rio Masters had 44 fish just 4 short of Elinor but we had some quality fish, a quick count up and we thought at least 7 over 4 lb would this make a difference to the placing – we certainly hoped so

The results were as follows:- (top 4 qualify)

1st  – Rio Masters 44 fish  for 121 lb
2nd – Elinor 48 fish for 117 lb
3rd – Greenwell Persuaders 42 fish for 114 lb
4th – Hanningfield 40 fish for 104 lb

5th – Solider Palmers 42 fish for 102 lb
6th – Kent & Sussex Fly Fishers 36 fish for 90 lb
7th – Grafham Water Fly Fishers 35 fish for 85 lb
8th – Sieghford Sharks  34 fish for 80 lb
9th – RAF Fish Hawks 34 fish for 74 lb
10th  -FWTFA 28 fish for 65 lb

I was fortunate enough to take the overall top bag with 8 fish for 26 lb 4oz (including time bonus) a couple of pounds ahead of Paul Mitchell of the Greenwell’s Persuaders and my team mate Ron Gent who both weighed in just over 24 lb.

With the other two regional finals taking place over the next month it’ll be very interesting to see how things pan out and who makes the international final…..will it be new up and coming teams or the old establishment ?

Finally my angler of the month award goes to Ron Gent my Rio Masters team mate. This year his angling has been nothing short of sensational, he’s not only worked out methods and area’s in practice but also produced the goods in every match.

Fishing in the AMFFC match just a week earlier on Grafham Ron bagged up by 1:00pm  by fishing a DI-5 sweep with a Cat booby and diawls again in Gaynes Coves while all others struggled and took a convincing victory; this was followed up by a third individual place and a team victory in the Anglian Water Midlands final.

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