Well what a year, early on we were faced with drought and hose pipe bans with most reservoirs down to bare bones and jetty's being moved on a daily basis just to keep the boats in the water as the level dropped. Boy that seams such a distant memory. Then came the floods that have devastated communities and people that were flooded earlier on in the year have still not got back in their homes.!!!! Seems wrong to complain about the fishing when you think of it in the wider picture but I'm a fisherman and that's what I do, I go fishing. So please stop raining we've had enough.
All river anglers have suffered, finding the river has been the biggest problem at some times let alone wetting a line. Next year all of us will be faced with the challenge of re-learning the rivers we fish with different runs and pools that will have been created by the floods.
The reservoirs have been a bit better but the high levels have upset the fish and fishing has been challenging. The high levels over the winter boads well for a great opening day in 2013. We have also seen a major change with Bewl water following Hanningfeild and turning into multi-method. This has been the case on many lakes in Wales for years and has worked well. The change in Bewl was met by huge opposition but if this means that the venue stays open to fishing then I think this will be a road that many more reservoirs will have to follow. I fished Esthwaite a few years ago while filming the Pike DVD with Ant Glasgow and it was fantastic to see families fishing together some children were worming while their Dads were fly fishing, No snobbery, No stigma just everybody enjoying being on the water and catching fish.
Fishing wise I did a lot of guiding on small still waters and reservoirs but not as much as I would like on rivers as most of the time the problem was finding a river which was fish-able. Rutland proved very challenging for me and location was key- just proves that the more you fish it the better you get to know its moods. Draycot proved the best venue through the year with fish feeding well on buzzers and nymphs.
One of the highlights was taking Callum Smalley out on Pitsford the day before his England eliminator and the way he fished in practice I knew he would win the event even though I did not tell his old man as he was nervous enough as it was. To cut a long story short not only did he win he walked away with it and was the only one to bag up with 8 fish by approx 2pm. Well done mate, showed your old man how to do it. Then Steve went and qualified for England on Bewl in September so Son and Farther won their caps but junior was National Champion!!!
Callum with one of the fish he caught during practice all on a midge-tip Well done and good luck in the International next year.
One of the competitions I fished this year was the Home International Bank Championship which was held at Garnffrwd in Wales. I was the Welsh team manager which meant I had to organize the event as well. I am so grateful to everybody who helped and made my job easy, but a special thanks must go to Jamie the owner of the fishery, nothing was too much trouble and everybody enjoyed their visit to Wales and loved the fishery and the results, well Wales were 3rd!!!
The second was the Grayling Festival on the river Dee in November and once again we were beaten on countback. We had the same place points as the winning team but they just pipped us by fish points but they were from CZ and they have some of the best river anglers in the world.
This has been a year of contrasts with a lot of shows trying to go ahead then cancelling at the 11th hour or after a day due to the weather. The major set back to all country folk was the cancelling of the CLA Game Fair but after seing the pictures it was the correct decision much to everybody's disappointment, roll on Ragley next July. One show I have to mention was the Welsh Game Fair who firstly changed the venue and if they had not then there would not have been a show at all. Secondly for all the hard work that was carried out on Thursday and Friday to make sure the show went ahead a mammoth task but well done!!
Just to prove we did have some good weather this year here are the girls practicing the day before the Royal Welsh show in July!!
The season started early for us with the first show in Dublin and we will be back there in less than 6 weeks and look forward to seeing all our Irish friends. This year the whole Morgan clan went and Yasmin and Tanya stole the show with their demonstration on the indoor pool.
Then it was Glasgow Angling Centre and as usual Paul and his team put on a great show. I spent the weekend interviewing all the personalities all of which is on my you tube channel http://www.youtube.com/user/HMFlyFishing
I went to Norway twice and the shows were fantastic and its nice to meet different anglers from other countries and share experiences.
Fenland Fair added another day to the show due to the cancellation of the CLA and it proved to be a great success. This is one of the oldest Country fairs in the UK and still has the feel of a proper country show. On a very sad not Joan Hall one of the organizers passed away and will be greatly missed by all who knew here and all my thoughts are with Malcolm and his family at this difficult time.
The Midland Game Fair proved a great crowd pleaser once again and this year saw fisherman's row well supported by the public with every stand holder going away with a smile on their faces.
This year my great friend Stevie Munn decided to pick up the batton and organize the Irish Fly Fair after Mara Media had decided to withdraw from the event. This was a great gamble for him and I am pleased to report that the show was a great success with everybody having a great weekend and the best thing Stevie is not bankrupt !!!!!!
This year Bearleft and I have been busy first with the you tube clips we filmed at GAC Open weekend. Then we produced two DVD's on fly tying, one on Stillwater patterns and the other on River Patterns which are now available from my website shop. We have also been filming a year on reservoir boat fishing. This is always challenging as Aaron ( director!!! so he says !!!) hates boats and they never drift properly and he cant get the correct angle and shot.
Another year gone another year older can I take this opportunity in wishing you all the very best for 2013 and hope all your dreams come true.