Grayling Masters 2017
A friend had been stewarding a rally in the hills the previous night and reported that they had rain, hail, sleet and snow to contend with so it was not totally surprising that the river rose and coloured during the day. The icy water not only lifted the leaves off the bottom but the strong wind later in the day blew more off the trees and banks and sent them skidding across the surface to catch the line. I was there quite literally to make up the numbers as we fish in pairs. Dan had given me the nod the previous day but when someone turned up unexpectedly I was only too pleased to surrender my place.
Into this rosy picture our 26 heroes pulled on their breathables and remarkably caught 84 grayling.
Winner Daniel Hall 8 fish. Travelled from the Isle of Man the previous day and suffering with severely bruised heels he was prepared for
adversity. He won a trophy, a baseball cap sponsored by Fulling Mill, £50 of Funky Fly Tying vouchers and a fantastic, framed print of a
grayling donated by Funky Fly Tying. He also gets his name on the coveted Grayling Masters shield.
Runner up Toby Merigan 8 fish. (Result decided by most fish on one beat tie-break rule.) Won a runner-up trophy, a baseball cap sponsored by Fulling
Mill and £30 of Funky Fly Tying vouchers (ahh sweet irony - he is the boss of Funky Fly Tying !!).
Third Lee Hoard 7 fish. Won a third place trophy and £20 of Funky Fly Tying vouchers
Fourth Hugh Weir 6 fish. Won a baseball cap, a flybox and some indicators sponsored by Fulling Mill
Fifth Hywel Morgan 6 fish. Won a fly box and some indicators also sponsored by Fulling Mill.
Sixth James Rice 6 fish. Won a fly-box and some indicators sponsored by Fulling Mill
Biggest fish James Rice 39 cm. Won £50 of flies sponsored by Barbless-Flies.co.uk. This is a new award in the competition and a great addition as
it maintains interest up to the last cast in the competition. Even if you have had bad luck with the draw and fish coming off, that last cast
might hook a monster grayling.
Terry Evans 6 .
Peter Byers 5 and a 38 cm, Keiron Jenkins 5 .
Phil Price 4 and a 36cm, Dan Graham and Nigel Welburn 4 each.
Simon Barton 3 and a 35cm, Malf Thomas, Scott Wilson and Rhys Wadley 3 each.
Nigel James 2 and a 34cmm and Simon Clark 2.
Neil Matson, Gavin Jehu, Darren Williams and Dale Parsons 1 each.
Jamie Harris, Laurence Kelly, Neil Ashman and Sam Western didn't have any luck.
Our thanks to the very generous sponsors Fulling Mill, Funky Fly Tying and Barbless-Flies.co.uk; to the Groe Park and Irfon Angling Club for reserving the water for us; to Dan Graham for organising such a smooth running event and having the unenviable task of tie-breaking (4 anglers had 6 fish)
and to all the competitors.
Links to our sponsors :-
Competitors woke up to the coldest morning of the Autumn with a sharp frost which had frozen Dan's waders into a suit of armour. They had been wet when he stowed them in the car the day before but they weren't wet now! It gave the secretary an excuse to retire to his car and sit there with the heating full on until he was warm and the waders had defrosted.
The river was low and clear if a bit peaty but the sun encouraged flies to hatch sporadically for most of the day. We had a couple of showers in the day but not enough to trouble the fish. Some fish were caught on dry flies but the majority on weighted nymphs. A total of 180 sizeable (>20 cms) grayling were caught along with numbers of trout, salmon parr and little grayling, which allowed the mathematicians to easily calculate that the 18 competitors averaged 10 sizable grayling each. The secretary gallantly restricted his catch to 3 so that this total could be achieved.
WINNER of the Grayling Masters Shield 2016 plus a cash prize and a cup with 23 grayling was KRISTIAN DAVIES.
SECOND PLACE with 21 grayling was the organiser DANIEL GRAHAM.
THIRD PLACE with 20 grayling was TERRY BROMWELL.
That was close. The rest of us :-
4. Gavin Jehu 16
= 5. Hugh Weir 12
= 5. Rob Bending 12
= 7. Simon Barton 10
= 7. Lee Tatton 10
= 7. Neil Ashman 10
10. Nigel James 9
= 11. Peter Byers 8
= 11. James Rice 8
13. Lawrence Kelly 7
= 14 Malf Thomas 4
= 14 Luke Thomas. 4
16. Lance Burton 3
17. Darren Williams 2
18. Neill Matson 1
Lance Burton thanked Dan for organising such a successful event -- thanks which were warmly applauded by all the competitors.
Dan and all the competitors warmly thank the Committee and the all the members of the GPIAC for permitting the use of the GPIAC water for this competition and regret any inconvenience to other fellow anglers. A big thank you to all the helpers, Duncan McDonald, David Holland, Gareth Jones, Vic Hill, Paul Metcalf and Brian Metcalf, who turned up so early on a cold autumn morning - very many thanks.
Results of the Grayling Masters 2015
The threat of fog reduced the field to eighteen anglers but 73 grayling were caught with everyone catching at least one grayling. The trout were present in large numbers with most anglers catching far more trout than grayling. The salmon were much in evidence but I didn’t hear of anyone hooking one.
A worthy winner was Simon Barton, current captain of the Welsh River team, with 13 fish. He wins a £50 Fishtec Voucher, a Flytidy portable fly tying station kindly donated by sponsor Lee James of www.theflytidy.com, a winners trophy and the Grayling Masters Shield.
Second was Hugh Weir with 11 fish who was also runner-up last year. He wins a £30 Fishtec voucher and a runner-up trophy.
Third was Neil Ashman with 8 fish winning him a £20 Fishtec voucher and the third place trophy.
The first three anglers will also receive sets of flies donated by our sponsor Matthew Pate of BR Flies who unfortunately had to cancel at the last minute so was not able to present them at the event.
The rest of the field comprised Dan Graham and Kristian Davies with 7 fish, Peter Byers with 6, Rob Evans with 4, Lance Burton with 3, Hywel Morgan, Lee Tatton, John Sharp and Phil Price with 2 each, and Malf Thomas, Gavin Jehu, James Rice, Dave Hornsby, Lee Crumb and Neill Matson with one apiece.
Naturally there is always some luck in these events with the individual beats varying in the number of fish they produce on the day but this is reduced by spreading the fishing out so that each angler fishes 4 different beats. The skill comes into maximising the opportunity on each beat. The seven Goosanders which flew away from the beat Gavin and I started on was a handicap which I could have done without and when I find out who organised that I will ensure that they suffer. The dark peat stain which increased throughout the day on the Wye I feel sure reduced the catches considerably.
The weather was great once the mist lifted and everyone had a very enjoyable day with plenty of mishaps to recount afterwards and I only saw one person fall in. That is one of those misfortunes which, like a cricket ball striking a batsman in the box, reduces all the onlookers to fits of hilarity not shared by the recipient.
On behalf of the GPIAC may I thank Dan for organising the event and the members for putting up with being deprived of their fishing. Also may I thank the competitors for driving miles through the mist and fishing in such friendly rivalry. A special thank you to the volunteers Geoff Lawrence, David Stephens, John Lloyd, Duncan MacDonald, Brian Metcalf, Mikie Williams, Berry Jones and Jonathen Morris who turned out on a Sunday morning ready to pilot anglers to their beats if they didn’t know the area. Thank you all very much indeed.
A very enjoyable day and my personal thanks to all who attended in various capacities and thank you Grayling for being such good sports.