What a great day to end the 11th Woodford Greys Winter League on with the fishing improving greatly of the past couple of weeks the competitors were looking forward to fishing nymphs and buzzers on floating lines. Fishing got off to a slow start with the wind blowing from a northerly direction only 2 fish were measured in the 1st half hour 2 good rainbows of 43cm and 48cm with the first one falling to Mark Carlisle's flies the 2nd fish went to John Kellegher fishing beside Mark. The League Leaders Darren Haggan and Gareth Morris found fish on their 2nd peg fishing into the wind and using sinking line and lures Gareth was just 2-1 up at the move Darren's fish was one of Woodford's Blue Trout. Into the 3rd move and Brian Kerr got off the mark taking a 48cm fish followed by a 50cm both of which falling for small cdc emergers. By lunchtime Gareth had just a slim lead over the chasing field with 3 fish.
After lunch the wind dropped off and the sun began to warm the air bringing on good hatches of large buzzers and in turn the fish switched onto the abundance of flies trying to hatch out of the water surface. Darren Haggan was 1st to make good use of this change and caught 4 fish on the trot to give us the 1st five fish bag of the day fishing a Rio Midge Tip fly line and black buzzers to complete his limit with all his fish over 40cm. Irish Ladies Captain Julie Gerry was next to reach the 5 fish limit including 2 good fish of 49cm and 46cm again fishing buzzers to temp the hungry trout. Brian stuck to his cdc's and bagged up with more trout starting to show on the surface he also had a left and right with 2 fish rising for 2 of his dry flies at the same time. Ciaran Mellon netted a nice 50cm trout on the buzzers to complete his 5 fish limit closely followed by Mark Carlisle who finished with a 49cm fish the 1st time that both lads had completed a limit in this years Winter League. Hubert Smith got off the mark with a 50cm trout followed by a 43cm and 42cm fish to give him his best bag this year. Gareth Morris picked up the 2 fish he needed to complete his bag one of which measured 49cm. Declan Smith finished the day with a 48cm trout giving him 4 for the day and gaining him 3 places in the league table. Last fish of the day went to Owen Murray a nice 46cm fish just rolled over his dry fly as the final whistle was about to be blown.
The best round of this years Winter League by far with 6 bag-ups all over 205cm and only 3 blanks on the day top spot went to the quiet man from Swatragh Ciaran Mellon with 5 fish for a good 223cm 2nd went to league leader Darren Haggan with 5 fish for 217cm and 3rd was Brian Kerr with 5 for 215cm.
The scores from the sixth Round where added to the league table and the final positions could be compiled with prizes for the top 13 places and a £50 Woodford tackle voucher for the longest fish outside the top 13 everyone had something to compete for there was also a Greys Platinum fly line or Airflo 6th Sense fly line for every finishing competitor.
This years Winter League was definitely one of the hardest fished competitions at Woodford with some of the worst fishing conditions in recent years most of the competitors struggled to fish and we lost a quite few over the Winter which was sad to see because they missed out on the last day and what was the best day this year.
FINAL LEAGUE POSITIONS:
1st Darren Haggan 23 fish 984pts 2nd Gareth Morris 21 fish 858pts 3rd Brian Kerr 18 fish 779pts 4th Ciaran Mellon 17 fish 716pts 5th Lenny Magee 16 fish 664pts 6th Julie Gerry 14 fish 579pts 7th Jonny Hoad 14 fish 571pts 8th John Kellegher 13 fish 549pts 9th Hubert Smith 12pts 517pts 10th Mark Carlisle 11 fish 472pts 11th Huw Morris 11 fish 456pts 12th Joe Hughes 10 fish 437pts 13th Declan Smith 9 fish 374pts Best Fish Linda Straghan.
A near perfect performance from Darren Haggan having only fished 5 rounds and completed his 5 fish limit on 4 of them a worthy Champion for the 2nd time Darren received the Winter League Shield a Greys XF2 Comp Special Fly Rod and Greys Cap Gareth received a Greys GR50 Fly Rod and Greys Cap Brian received a Greys GR30 Fly Rod and Greys Cap Ciaran received a Greys GRXi+ Fly Rod and Lenny received a Greys GS2 Fly Rod. The prizes from 6th to 13th where made up of tackle bags tackle boxes and fly fishing clothing all kindly donated by Phil at Veniard's Fly Tying Colin at BVG Airflo Chris at Guide Fly Fishing Tom and David of Hardy Greys( Pure Fishing ) whose help in continually supporting this event is very much appreciated.
A big Thank You to everyone that supported this years Winter League and helped with the controlling my Mum for her endless supply of home made soup and stew and not forgetting Carols freshly made sandwiches.