Lexus Fly Fishing Championships

2015 Lexus Championship dates

The 2015 Lexus European Flyfishing Championships dates and venues are now available on the Lexus Championship WebSite.

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Fishing catch-up

Apologies for the delay in updating my blog.  I seem to spend more time nowadays updating Facebook posts to keep things bang up to date with whats going on in the fishing world.

Great Chew trout fishing

Following weeks of hot weather and water temperatures of over 79 degrees F, I can finally report that Chew is right back on form thanks to the cooler weather and heavy storms.  In the Lexus Heats held over the weekend, rod averages were over 8 on both days, with average weights being 2lbs 6ozs.

We fished to a 4 fish kill and then catch and release.  Of the 354 trout caught, no less than 194 were returned alive to the lake.  Paul Roach, winner of both Lexus Chew Heats in 2013, continued his amazing run of form with victory on both days this year!  Quite an acheivement.

But the biggest cheer of the day went to Paul's granddaughter Daisy Bristow for qualifying for the Grand Final with 11 fish and with it 6th place overall.

Greys UK Pike Fly Fishing Championships

The inaugural UK Pike Fly Fishing Championships sponsored by Greys took place a few weeks ago on Chew Valley Lake.

Top rod on the day was Alex Mason who landed 2 pike for a match winning weight of 20lbs 4ozs.  Mason’s catch included a 15lb12oz fish and his prize was a Greys Carnivore Rod.

Geoff Hewitt’s 19lb 14oz pike won him the biggest pike prize of a Greys carnivore Rod, while Mike Bolt topped the Perch catch, also winning a Carnivore Rod for his 2lb 2oz Perch. Runner up was Simon Pledge and 3rd place went to John Bowen – both anglers winning Greys GX900 Reels.  4th place to Kevin Edwards who won a pair of Ugly Fish Sunglasses.

I am grateful to Bristol Water for allowing us to have a pike match and to Greys for their superb sponsorship.  Next year we hope to sell out the event and I am confident that there will be sufficient support.

Some great pike being caught

High water levels and reduced weed growth with masses of roach and perch fry have meant that the Chew pike are feeding well.  Things look great for the Autumn pike trials, but in the meantime, some superb quality pike have been caught on the Fly!

I have been out lots of times this Summer and thanks to high winds and good quality water, there has been absolutely no problem with oxygen depletion and the pike are in top shape.  My best was a 32:08 cracker from Stratford Bay and that makes it two 30's to the boat so far this season.

As the temperatures drop and the water cools, I am expecting some great results from the pike and possibly also the Perch.



Greys UK Pike Flyfishing Championships Prize Winners
Barry Hawyes with a brace of 3lb+ Chew rainbows
John Horsey with a 32lb 8ozs Chew Pike on the Fly

What a busy month!

 World Flyfishing Championships

What a busy month August was!  I spent almost 3 weeks in Norway fishing for England in the World Flyfishing Championships.
We finished in 8th place from 25 countries and I had a top 20 placing individually, coming 17th from 128 competitors and becoming Top English Rod.
All but 3 anglers had at least one blank and those 3 ended up in Gold, Silver and Bronze medal positions.  I had just the one blank, but some poor soles had 5 in a row!


The Championships were very hard, with many of the river and lake pegs not producing a single fish for 15 hours of fishing - basically not good enough for a host nation such as Norway, where there are so many great rivers and lakes!
The Norwegian controllers were superb and very friendly.  Scenery spectacular.  Prices of everything were rediculous though.
We didnt complain too much, but I really felt for countries like Australia and the USA who travelled on up to 7 flights and a team spend of around 100,000 dollars to fish bits of lakes and rivers that were completely devoid of fish!

The organising body, FIPS Mouche should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves for allowing this to happen!

Lexus Team Final

On 23rd and 24th August I returned and ran the Lexus Team Final for 22 Teams and 132 anglers.  Rutland Water was the venue and the match was excellent.
The new Lexus Team Champions are Seighford Sharks, with Harvey Angling Margam runners-up and 3rd were Hanningfield.

Sweden trip

Then it was off to Sweden, with a few days of guiding on Chew before I went.  We were taking the Lexus Prizewinners to fish for trout, pike and other species in an exclusive venue near Ribbinforrs.  Rob Honour and Andrew Esplin were the guests and Martin Founds of Anglers World Holidays provided the holidays as a main sponsor.

Both Rob and Andrew caught trout, pike and perch, while I had a day on Lake Vanern - the biggest freshwater lake in Sweden - and had pike on lures to double figures, but I also had 3 Asp - the biggest of which went over 12lbs.  Asp are predatory fish and this was my first introduction to them.  I certainly want to go back and catch some more - they are awesome!

Lexus Individual Final

A few days after I returned from Sweden, I had the Lexus Individual Final to run on Chew Valley Lake.  100 qualifiers were coming from all corners of the UK, plus Belgium, Norway and France.  Anglers were practicing on Chew for days prior to the Final and the lake fished really well.

The new Lexus Champion is Ben Dobson who runs Stocks and Bankhouse Fly Fisheries in Lancashire.  Ben not only won the car, but had the biggest fish as well so won the holiday prize too.  Well done Ben.

You can read the full story of both the Team and Individual Finals in Trout Fisherman Magazine and on-line in the Total Flyfisher site.

Ireland filming

Next week I go to Ireland to finish filming for the Irish Tourist Board.  Des Taylor and I will be fishing for bream and pike, while Baz Smith will also be joining us for some of the same.  

Guiding on Chew & Blagdon

I've recently been guiding on Chew and Blagdon and both lakes are superb!  Quality trout with loads over 3lbs and most feeding in the top 2 feet of water at the moment.  Dries or Washing Line tactics are the best methods and the back-end looks like being as good as last year - and that was incredible!!!

Once I return from Ireland it will be guiding until the end of the season.

I still have some availability, so if you fancy a day, then please drop me an email.

I am now on Facebook & Twitter and update these social media sites on a daily basis.  


Taking a 48cm brownie to my Controller - thanks to Gillies for the pic
Seighford Sharks - 2013 Lexus Team Champions
Ben Dobson - Lexus Champion - gets the keys to a Lexus RX450 SUV

The Heatwave continues

 We are now officially into the longest sustained spell of hot weather for 10 years - and it looks like getting even hotter!

Earlier last week I fished with Mike Purseglove on a hot, sunny and near calm day on Chew Valley.  There were fish rising so I couldnt wait to get out and at 'em!  However, none of these fish rose more than once and it soon became clear that they were not feeding on the surface.  What they were doing escapes me.

Thankfully Mike soon had a nice rainbow on the washing line.  But then it got really hard and it wasnt until I fished a DI7 near the aerators that I started to catch fish - and one was a cracking 4lb plus brownie.

I am back on Chew tomorrow for pike, so it'll be interesting to see if they are feeding in this hot weather.  With all the fry around, they can feed easily and without much effort.  I have a feeling we might get a decent fish tomorrow - but I'll let you know.

Lexus Stocks Heats

I am typing this blog sat in the Lodge at Stocks Fly Fishery near Blackburn.  Over 100 anglers have supported the 3 days of Heats and suffered some of the hottest weather this year.  Thankfully the catch rates have been pretty good.  day 1 saw a catch per rod of 1.9 and an average weight per fish of 2lbs 3ozs - but it was a Floating Lines Only Heat, so we thought it would be hard.

The next day, 40 anglers averaged 3.0 per rod at the same average weight, but most reverted to sinking lines.  Top man was Derek Moore who had 8 fish, as did his boat partner John Brown - so 16 fish to the boat.  Good Angling!

Today is the last Team Heat of the series and 3 teams will progress to the Grand Final to be held over 2 days at Rutland Water in August.

Places still available at Draycote for the Lexus Individual 

Next weekend sees the final 2 Heats of the Lexus Individual Championships at Draycote Water.  There are still some places available, so please contact me or Draycote to reserve your place.

Mike Purseglove's Chew rainbow
My decent brownie
A very low Stocks Fly Fishery

Ireland, Filming and Fishing

 The last 2 weeks have been pretty hectic.  First I guided each day on Chew and then filmed a "special" on Chew with Keith Arthur and the Sky TV cameras for Tight Lines.
We started off the day fishing for trout and had some cracking rainbows to over 4lbs - with Keith taking the best on a floating line with a Diawl Bach Nymph.
Then we had a go for the pike and both of us had one pretty quickly, but as the day went on, the rain got heavier and heavier.  We were about to call it a day when we landed a beauty - but you'll have to wait until Friday 5th July to see the action on Sky's Tight Lines when I am joining Keith in the Bothy for a "Chew Special" programme.

Ireland and Lough Derg

The very next day I caught the ferry from Liverpool to Dublin and then drove the 3 hours route down to Portumna and the mighty Lough Derg.  At 29 miles long, this is a brute of a lough, but full of fish.  We were filming for the Irish Tourist Board and along with top matchman Baz Simth, we landed over 200lbs of quality roach, bream and roach/bream hybrids over the two day-sessions.

I also lure fished for pike and along with top Irish Guide Dave Harris, we landed plenty of fish with 3 decent doubles and a couple of big fish lost upon the way.

There were also lots of mayfly coming off and I had a few chances at the big brownies, but sadly blew my chances when I was broken twice and then missed the best take of the day by striking too quickly - BAD ANGLING!!!!!

Back to Chew

Yesterday I fished with Anthony Tabor and his father John.  The weather was awful - strong, cold winds and unrelentless blue skies - fleece weather but also high factor sunscreen!  We fished long and hard with nymphs and floaters, but John managed only 1 good rainbow in 6 hours of drifting and fishing the known hotspots.
Anthony was happy to try the sinking lines, so on went a DI3 and our fortunes changed instantly.  
We drifted from the North Shore across to Denny Island and in 2 hours had boated another 10 rainbows and lost several others.  John also switched to a slow sinking Intermediate and he too joined in the action.
Boobies, Blobs and Nymphs all caught fish and the action was at times frantic, with some great fighting fish. 

Lexus Heat on Blagdon

Today I held the first ever Lexus Individual Heat on Blagdon and it was a raging success.  In the sell-out Floating Lines Only Heat, the average catch per rod was 8.5, with an amazing average weight of 2lbs 11ozs.

Top rod was Mark Stevens, who qualified for the Grand Final at Chew in September and won an emboidered Greys jacket and a pair of Ugly Fish Sunglasses.  The other qualifiers, who all won Greys reels were John Piper, Wayne Aitken, Jim Purvis, Mark Thomas, Alex Johnstone, Steve Ebdon and John Glanfield.


Baz Smith and me with Lough Derg Bream and Hybrid
John Tabor with fin perfect Chew Rainbow
Keith Arthur's best Chew rainbow

Anglo Welsh are 2012 Lexus Team Champions

Two days of consistent Team performances with no blanks assured Anglo Welsh FF finished in 3rd place on Day 1 and 1st Place on Day 2 to take the covetted title of 2012 Lexus Team Champions.  In fact, they were so consistent, even if they had a blank - which would count as 132 place points against them; they would still have been Champions!

In 2nd place for the 3rd consecutive year, were the ever consistent Rio Masters team and in 3rd place were Margam FF from Wales.

This year, the Team matches have been fished to FIPS Mouche World Championship rules, where all individuals' positions in the match are added together and the Team with the least place points are crowned Champions.

This format suits the more consistent teams and no longer can 1 individual's performance carry their team through.

Most of the competitors enjoyed the new format and most importantly, more Teams entered this year than last.

Cliff Waters will have full pics from both the Team and the Indiviedual Finals on his "Fishy Pics" web site.

Renegades lead Lexus Teams Final after Day 1

The Renegades lead the challenge for Lexus Team Champions 2012 after the 1st day of competition, having amassed the lowest total place points score of 235 points..  22 Teams are battling it out over 2 days here at Rutland Water and the sunny, windy conditions did little to help the elite field of 132 anglers.

Although the fishing was hard, the quality and size of the Rutland trout was extraordinary.  Average weight was 2lb 9ozs and the best fish to the scales was a Brown Trout weighing 7lbs 3ozs and fell to the rod of Trout & Salmon Magazine's editor Andrew Flitcroft.

Top rod on Day 1 was Warren Gain of the Fishhawks, with 6 fish for 20lbs 12ozs, including a 6lb 1oz Rainbow Trout.  Warren was closely followed by Blagdon's Mark Miles with 7 fish for 20lbs 8ozs and Margam's Rob Honour with another 7 fish weighing 19lbs 15ozs.

The match is fished to FIPS Mouche World Rules where points are allocated to individuals based on their position in the match, so no one individual can dominate the Team's results and every team member's contribution counts - with a blank adding 132 points to the Team's score.  So every angler is now trying to avoid the dreaded blank at all costs and team work is everything!

In 2nd place are the reigning Champions, Alba Orvis FF from Scotland with 282 points, 3rd are Anglo Welsh FF with 284 points, 4th Seighford Sharks with 329 points and 5th are Rio Masters with 338 place points.  In 6th place are previous Champions Team Airflo with 342 points, 7th are another previous Lexus Champion Team; the Ospreys, with 342 points, 8th are Sonik Sports Pitsford Pirates with 358 points, 9th are Nymph-O-Maniacs with 367 points and in 10th place are Iain Barr Team Costa with 378 place points.

The conditions at the start of Day 2 were far better, with lighter winds and a cloudy sky.  There was another even split, with boats heading for both Arms and some to the main Basin.  I predict more fish being caught today than the 253 caught yesterday!

Day 2 at Rutland

2012 Lexus Team Final kicks off today.

The 2012 Lexus Team Final has just started here at Rutland Water, with 22 Teams and 132 anglers competing for the title of Lexus Team Champions.

When the shotgun start signalled the "off", the boats split pretty evenly, with 28 heading up the South Arm, 17 to the North Arm and 21 boats opting for the Main Basin.

Practice here has been hard, with bright sunny skies and a biting sharp wind making things difficult.  The winds have dropped a bit today, but it is still cold and sadly; still bright and sunny - often the kiss of death for feeding trout!

The anglers are fishing to a 4 fish kill, then Catch and Release, with every returned trout counting as 2lbs 4ozs; the average weight of trout here at Rutland Water.

The reigning champions; Alba Orvis Flyfishers are here to try to retain their Trophy and previous Champions Iain Barr Flyfishing, Team Airflo and Ospreys are also attempting to recapture their titles.  For the first time we have a ladies team in the Grand Final - the Damsel Nymphs from Scotland.  We wish them well and the other 17 Teams who have done so well to be at this Grand Final.

I will update the match situation after the first day weigh-in which takes place at 1800hrs and will take at least an hour to complete.

Sponsors Flags at Rutland

Off to the USA!

On Saturday I ran the Lexus Individual Final on Chew and today (Monday) I am flying out to the USA - Jackson Hole to be specific.

I have been invited by my American World Team friends to share a few stillwater secrets.  Having done the same in Australia, Canada and Tasmania, I had no reservations about doing the same in the US of A!

More of this trip when I return.

Lexus Final a raging success.

We have a new Lexus Champion for 2012 - Alistair MacGillivray from Scotland- and SKY TV were there to record the entire event.  Alistair's name is now the 12th name on the prestigious Lexus Trophy.

Alistair caught his 10 fish limit weighing 26lbs 10ozs by 3:30pm and was the clear winner on what was a cracking fishing day on Chew.  Craig Barr was the only other competitor to take his maximum bag, but it took him until 5:15 to finish and his weight of 23lbs 15ozs meant that Alistair's time bonus got him the ultimate prize in fly fishing - a Lexus RX450 Hydbrid SUV - and what a prize!

The Bronze medal winner was Charlie Abrahams, with 9 trout for 21lbs 6ozs.

The holiday prize for the biggest fish of the Final went to Andrew Esplin for a magnificent 8lb 9oz Brown Trout.  This is the 2nd time on the trot that Andrew has won the holiday prize for the biggest fish of the Final!

In 4th place was Lee Patten, 5th was Peter Andrews, 6th Steve Docherty, 7th Marco Orsi, 8th Lee Bartlett, 9th Alan Williams and 10th was Bill McIlroy.

Lexus Team Final.

The next Lexus Final is the Team Championships, where 132 competitors representing 22 Teams, will be competing at Rutland Water on 15th and 16th September.

More on that in my next blog.


Hot off the press, here are the venues and dates for the 2012 Lexus European Flyfishing Championships.


Llyn Llandegfedd      Sun 11th March
Rutland Water           Mon 9th April
Chew Valley               Tues 24th April
Chew Valley               Weds 25th April               Floating Lines Only
Woodford (N.I.)          Sat 28th April
Grafham                     Sun 29th April
Straid (N.I.)                 Fri 1st June
Loch Leven                Weds 13th June
Woodford (N.I.)          Fri 15th June                    Floating Lines Only
Foremark                   Sun 17th June                * * NEW VENUE * *
Eyebrook                    Mon 2nd July
Eyebrook                    Tues 3rd July                    Floating Lines Only
Pitsford                        Weds 4th July
Lake of Menteith        Thurs 12th July
Llyn Brenig                  Sat 14th July
Stocks                          Thurs 26th July               Floating Lines Only
Stocks                          Fri 27th July
Ravensthorpe            Thurs 9th Aug                * * NEW VENUE * *     Floating Lines Only
Draycote                      Fri 10th Aug

Grand Final                 Chew Valley Lake        Sat 1st Sept 2012


MIDLANDS          Rutland Water            Tues 10th April
SOUTH/MIDS      Grafham                      Mon 30th April
SOUTH WEST     Chew Valley                Weds 14th June
NORTH                 Stocks                          Sat 28th July
                               Stocks                          Sun 29th July

                               Lake of Menteith          Fri 13th July

                               Llyn Brenig                   Sun 15th July

Grand Final        Rutland Water             Sat 15th & Sun 16th Sept 2012

Lexus Entry Forms will be mailed to all existing competitors within the next 10 days and the Lexus Web Site will be updated soon, where Entry Forms can be downloaded.

Those wishing to enter now should list their chosen dates/venues and send the details to:

Stanton Wick,
BS39 4BZ

Entry Fees for the Individual Heats remain at £30 for first entry and £25 for subsequent entries.

Team Fees are £165 per Team of six anglers.

Cheques should be made payable to "LEFC"



Briefing the competitors at the Lexus Grand Final

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