Victory for Withyman in tough conditions

The 10th and final contest of the Chew Valley Evening League took place with a new format.

The 10th and final contest of the Chew Valley Evening League took place with a new format.

The match took place from 3-9pm, giving an extra couple of hours fishing. Although 22 anglers took part, only two, Martin Burgess and Mark Withyman, had a chance of becoming the overall winner but another five had the chance of getting into the prizes for a top four finish.

Fishing was not easy although there were plenty of fish around for the first half of the match. However, they stopped feeding well before the finish time and there was no evening rise.

Fish came mainly from Villice Bay and dries and nymphs seemed to be the best patterns. Few fish fell to pulled lures. For this match the limit had been set at eight fish but no-one managed to take their full basket. Seven was the best catch and a total of 50 fish were taken.


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Results for the match were: Mark Withyman 7 fish 13.04; Tony George 7-11.06; Dave Drake 6-10.03; Jay Curry 5-9.00; Andy Beattie 3-5.13; Paul Crook 3-5.06; Mark Stevens 3-5.05; Chris Homeyard 3-5.01; Martin Burgess 2-4.09; John Gumbleton 3-4.08.

In the end the exciting finish hoped for faded as Mark Withyman won easily, with Martin only taking two fish. But the fight for the minor places was a little more interesting. Ben Keedwell, John Bowen and Mark Stevens failed to improve their placings and third spot was taken by Andy Beattie, with Tony George coming fourth in his first-ever entry to the league.

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At the presentation supper the prizes of the Champions Trophy, money prizes for the top four and free boats to contest winners were given out by Bob Handford.

Mark Withyman has now been champion six out of the seven occasions that the league has been fished, an amazingly consistent feat of angling.

Best fish of the week was a 5lb 8oz brown taken from the Herriotts End area of the lake. It was captured by J Skelhorn fishing from a boat.

* It has been another difficult week at Chew. At times it has fished well with plenty of surface movement but these rising fish can appear or disappear quickly and the movement does not always coincide with fly hatches.

Often the rising fish are after corixae, especially if near weedbeds or in shallower water. There have been some large buzzers hatching in the daytime but little in the way of evening hatches. Woodford and Walley Banks have been worth a visit but often the fish move well offshore soon after the sun rises. Boats have fared well in Villce Bay, Woodford Bank and Herons Green.

Blagdon, though, continues to improve. The water level has risen substantially over the past two weeks or so, and with the weed beginning to die back and active use of the weed cutting boat by staff, most bank areas are now easily fishable. This has allowed fishing from Green Lawn and Ranbow Point, as well as the North Shore banks and anglers have found plenty of sport from all these areas.

Boat fishing is also well worth a try and now fish are beginning to be found feeding in many more areas. In the Blagdon Fly Fishers

Competition anglers averaged five fish per man. The winning angler, Tony Baldwin, took most of his fish from the dam and bywash, but other competitors found plenty of feeding trout off the Lodge and the Top End area.

Catches were slightly down at Barrows this week but a stocking into all the tanks should help improve the rod returns again.

Litton was stocked last week and this has made the fishing better. Most fish are falling to nymphs and small bright attractors.

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