The Scierra Pairs final Grafham Water 2019

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The Scierra Pairs final Grafham Water 2019

The Scierra Pairs final Grafham Water 2019

This Is one competition I always really look forward to. Phil Dixon runs this competition extremely well it’s a bit different and a lot of fun also a great social. This year I had paired up with fellow Welsh Hawks team mate Gareth Jones its odd really as we always travel together but rarely get to fish with each other. We also had team members Russ Own and Gazza Dixon. One of my old Army team mates had qualified but his partner could not fish due to work commitments so Dave Hoppe filled in (great sub). 

I had not fished Grafham since the start of the season but I was really looking forward to it as all the reports where very positive and it sounded like it would be good top of the water fishing. Me and Gaz arrived early Friday morning for practice with Russ and Gazza all ready doing a practice day on Thursday. We decided to hit G buoy first as we had herd there was a good head of fish there. I started on an orange daddy on the top dropper two amber hoppers in the middle and a brown foam daddy on the point paired with an Airflo 12-foot slow tip. Gaz went down the pulling route with a Di 3 40+ and pink snake. To start fishing was slow but the fish we where catching where top quality silver fully fined rainbows which Grafham is famous for. Gaz Changed to a black Humongous Snake a claret dabbler and Sparkler booby still on the di 3 40+ fishing improved with Gaz taking good numbers on all 3 flies but the black humongous snake proving best. We covered all the points and bays on the north shore. Fishing was extremely good and both methods where working very well. It was a big wind with some big waves but still the tip line performed well with some amazing takes to the daddy’s and quality silvered up fish. As the afternoon approached, we worked the open water around H and M buoy the fish size here was bigger and the fish where on the feed. We finished up in valley creek catching some old feeding residents that where full of corixa. Once back at the hotel we chat and Gazza and Russ had very much the same day but we all agreed pulling had the edge. With our kit sorted showered and changed it was of to the pub to meet up with a few of the other guys fishing. The banter and spirit this comp it taken in is truly brilliant. We met up with Phil and James and there must have been a good 30 guys in the bar that where fishing. Lots of story’s and banter on how the day went. It was great speaking with people that have really supported The Fly Shop and listening how well the flies have been working. We had a fairly early night compared to some (I am not great at fishing with a hang over any more unlike the machine Gazza Dixon some people did not get out the next day till 12). 

Day 2 practice conditions looked perfect with a gently wind and over cast skies, today I would pull and Gaz would twiddle on the tip. For some reason I really could not get into it taking a few fish on a white humongous and Gaz a couple on the daddy’s at the tower. We bounced from the tower down the points and onto to G buoy. Dave Hoppe and Paul Kitchen had much better luck than us Paul was pulling 2 black cormorant boobies and corms in the middle. Gazza had some good sport on a black humongous. We went in for some lunch which was fun trying to get through the massive numbers of wind surfers. We decided after lunch Gaz would pull and I would twiddle. We found a good head of fish at the seat and around E buoy these seemed like fresh stock fish and Gaz was now in the zone on the pull. As the day was wearing on, we decided to try areas we thought we might start the match on. We had had written off the open water areas due to the number of windsurfers racing and more where suppose to be racing on the Sunday. We headed to G buoy this area, had huge amount of boat pressure for a the last 3 days but I still thought it would fish. We had a few bumps and rattles but no fish in the boat and there where a few fish being caught but it appeared to have died. With the wind pushing into the south corner of the dam and now a few boats working from A buoy into the corner of the dam the brain cells where in over drive thinking. We wanted to be off at 5 30 and with only 40 mins to go not sure what to do. A phone call from Gazza to suggest we should have a look. We decided to go for a look on A buoy drifting into the south corner. Gaz was on a black Humungous on the point a claret dabblers and Tequila blob. I had switched to 2 fabs and 2 nymphs fishing static. We saw a fair few fish being caught I had one and Gaz had 2 with a few follows and bumps there seemed to be a few fish there. As we headed in, we wished we had spent more time at the dam.

We had a great evening in the hotel complex good food and good batter not so much beer. On chatting with the other guys, it seemed more fish had been caught in the dam area than we had thought, some big decisions to made in the morning. We had breakfast in the lodge which had been great for the 3 days. Checked in with Phil and got ready for the day. Our plan was to pull we set up rods to twiddle just in case. I setup a DI 3 40 + with a black Humungous on the point and a white humongous on the dropper. Gaz also set up a Di3 40+ with a black Humungous on the point Claret dabbler in the middle with a tequila booby on the top dropper. Russ and Gazza had decided they where going to target R buoy first then bounce to down the points to G buoy the idea being to have some more space and less boats in the area they started. We where split either G buoy or A buoy. We would decide on the boat split with the split being more to G buoy we headed to A. We decided to do the first drift with no drogue as we were both pulling, we thought we would cover the water faster. On the first Drift Gaz manged 2 and I dropped 2 so the game was on. Second drift we put the drogue out so we could focus on a certain area from A buoy to the south corner. We where having some great sport catching on all flies and some quality Grafham water Rainbow trout. Rob Edmunds and Matthew Griffiths where also catching well alongside us. Phil and James turned up to take some pictures from the dam wall at this point the wind turned slightly and pushed us towards the dam wall. We had a real golden period putting 5 fish in the boat very quickly. We were now on 13 fish at 12 30 and things where looking good or so we thought. We bounced the wall for nothing but a few lost fish all of sudden we had lost a full hour for nothing to show. We decided to head out to open water drifting onto A buoy we saw Russ and Gazza the north shore had not produced at all with them only having 2 fish by 1 pm but these 2 guys are top class and where now putting a bag together taking 8 fish in one drift. We now had 14 fish but things where slowing Rob and Matthew headed past us finished top fishing by them. We where getting the takes but just could not convert them. I decided to put just the black Humongous on single fly next 3 casts produced 2 fish job done. Gaz had a quick count to make sure we had 16 and it was time to head in just after 2 pm. We manged to get back to the jetty at 2; 20 and to our surprise there was all ready 2 boats in before Rob and Matthew. Fellow team mate Dave Hoppe and Paul Kitchen had done extremely well to finish at 1 15 at the seat after wasting an hour at deep water point for nothing. As we weighed in, we knew we had good fish Rob Edmunds watched and said it was going to be extremely tight between us. It’s a nice feeling being in early but as more boats finish you start to worry about big fish and big bags coming in. Russ and Gazza did extremely well to get in for 3 45 after such a bad start. 

Grafham had really produced the goods with top quality fish with 34 pairs getting in double figures. Phil had put on some great food and a good raffle with lots of great prizes. Its always a tense affair when results are read out even when you know you have done well you are never quite sure. When 4th place was announced we knew where in the top 3 it was between Dave Hoppe and Paul Kitchen Rob and Matthew and us. Dave and Paul took third great result for them but always a little frustrating when you bag first to be beaten by bigger fish. Our name was called next we had manged second which we both really pleased with. Rob and Matthew where crowned champions and worthy ones with a great performance. Not a bad showing for Wales 4 welsh rods in the top 3 and Rob keeps telling us he is half Welsh. A big thank you to Phil Dixon for running such a great competition and his partner in crime James Perks. Some serous price money and prizes in this even but fished in a great friendly way. Thank you to Grafham Water and the team for giving us such a great venue and top-quality fish.

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