Trout fishing matches

  • Thread starter Ron Troversial Clay
  • Start date

Ron Troversial Clay

I have never fished one of the trout matches that are common these days on our big reservoirs such as Grafham, Pitsford and Rutland Water.

Although I have seen a few take place.

A whole mob a fly anglers book out all the boats and then sit waiting for the off. With the signal, up to 50 outboards scream like demented hornets as the peace and quiet of the reservoir is smashed as many bow waves plough up the water in the frantic search for trout. Even the yachters keep out of the way.

Then what happens is that to a man, they chuck their drogues overboard. The lauguage if you get in front of someone's drift can be colourful indeed.

And then the frantic casting and retrieveing. A lot of them look like they are milking bloody cows!!

Then someone gets a fish, and then another. They have found the stockies!!

All the boats get as close as they can to the main stocky bashers. Faces get redder, cow milking machines get even more frantic as 1 pound trout are chucked into the boat, often without the use of the priest, because that takes up too much time you see.

And don't let them see you catch a fish when that mob is on the water. I was bank fishing on Draycote water one day and hooked a nice trout. It was one of those that decided to jump.

In no time at all a mob fishing in a Benson & Hedges match were trawling my bit of bank, tit pumping like mad and cursing amongst each other.

The looks on their faces could kill. There was nothing in this that was pleasurable to any of them or that's the way it seemed. I've seen the same sort of look of agony on the faces of long distance runners in the final hundred yards.

No, match fly fishing aint for me.

If it was more genteel, I might just have a bash.

Ross Turner

Never interested me,I prefer to fish for pleasure & fishing in comps would put me off.

Ron Troversial Clay

Come on explain what you mean Richard. I am only realating what I saw.

Ron Troversial Clay

Another reason I don't think trout matches are a good idea is that they certainly seem to target stocky trout. Hence the popularity of what they term "pulling flies" and the roly poly retrieve.

Trout matches probably account for more stocky trout than cormorants. Vast numbers of good trout stock never get the chance to over-winter and become those lovely bars of silver that are the hallmark of a great reservoir rainbow.

I have always viewed fly fishing for trout as being a gentle persuit for people of a contemplative mind. Not an over competitive rat race od people chasing a useless piece of EPNS

Trout matches are perhaps not a good idea. Any angler should be able to satisfy his competitive urges by competing against the fish themselves.

Richard Huggett 1

Right, I'll try again...don't really know what I did, but I typed 'crap' and the computer crashed !! {Methinks the Monk has been having a few words with the powers that be.... :)}

Trout comps are turning the whole fly fishing scene into a money grabbing job of work. As Ron says, it's all about stockie bashing. The water owners/management tip in truckloads of stockies and then allow hordes of anglers to haul the poor old fish out, and all in the name of sport. It only wants one of those do-gooders with a pair of binoculars and a camera and the following day's press would have a field day.

Anglers hauling in stockies by the dozen with no thought for the fish at all..hook em, and get 'em in the boat as quickly as possible, knock 'em off the hook and get the flies back out there and do it all again. That, to my mind, is not fishing at all. Perhaps a lot of modern methods and tricks wouldn't have happened if it weren't for the matchmen, I agree, but it's not all about bagging up in the shortest possible time. I like to go trout fishing..if I catch a trout then that's the icing on my cake.

I know that we are all doing the same on any commercial water...the owners tip 'em in and we haul 'em out, but I like to think that I am doing it with much more thought for my quarry than the matchmen.

Catch and release isn't an option on 99% of the waters I fish, so I have to dispatch my fish, but I do it with a thought for the fish. As soon as the fish is in the net and on the bank, I kill it....instantly. Quick and clean.
I like to think that I cause the fish as little suffering as I possibly can. I have seen 'anglers' drag a fish up the bank without netting it, and then leave it to flap about whilst they hunt for their priest. I've seen 'anglers' simply drop a fish into a bag and let it gasp it's last few minutes away. 'Anglers' way.

There must be a way to fish competively without using the 'drag 'em in' methods ? Organisers must alter things radically and quickly...anglers and angling are under close scrutiny already, and this sort of thing isn't doing our beloved sport any favours at all.

Phew...soapbox time again!!

Ron Troversial Clay

It's a great post Richard, thanks very much. I myself have been having problems with posts getting through. I hope FM doesn't have a darned virus. (Over to you Graham)

Personally I would love to see trout matches banned!! Period!!

Trout matches are totally against what the great sport of fly fishing for trout is all about.

Noisy b.....ds with their flags, revving engines, adverts and silly trophies. They even have international fly fishing tournements!!!

Why can't they stick to darts, or snooker, or soccer?

I know I am laying a bait at the moment, but maybe I might be able to get someone like Bob Church, or Chris Ogbourne et al to reply.

Why do they have to have these bloody silly competitions?

Money and glory if you ask me. These values are surely the antitheisis of all that fly fishing stands for.

Colin Brett 3

While I am not a match fisher and never have been, they are the most innovative bunch of people, Loads of new? patterns come from these events and there is a great deal of skill needed. Not all matches are as you describe them Ron. A lot of these guys fish dries in matches and just drift up to the fly without moving it.
I have been out as a boatman a few times just to help out and have been privileged to have gone out with Brian Leadbetter [former World Champion]. Really skilful angler fishing wets, but also very adaptable to any method you care to name. There is an awful lot of bitchiness in matches and I usually steer well clear of them.
I have been known to put a few F**ks into them when they try to fish my little piece of bank space, B@st@rds!!!