Lexus Fly Fishing Championships

Lexus Team Final dates changed

The Lexus European Flyfishing Championships Team Final dates have been altered so that both days fall on a weekend.

The new dates are Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th September 2012.

The official practice day will be Friday 14th September 2012.

The 2012 full Lexus Individual and Team Heat dates are almost complete - just 1 venue needs to be confirmed and then the dates will be released through this WebSite, the National Magazines and the official Lexus WebSite -

Two new venues - Foremark and Ravensthorpe - have been introduced into the 2012 lexus Individual Heats.

Lexus Final Dates announced

With a New Year comes a whole new season of fly fishing competitions, the biggest of which is the Lexus European Flyfishing Championships.

The Individual Championships is by far the largest event in Europe and possibly the World.

The Calendar of Heats and dates is currently a work-in-progress, but the Grand Final will be held at Chew Valley Lake in Somerset on Saturday 1st September 2012.

The 2 Day Team Final will again be held at Rutland Water near Leicester on Sunday 16th and Monday 17th September 2012.

Entry Forms will be sent to all existing competitors within the next 2 weeks and new entrants can register by emailing their contact details to ""


John Horsey Fly Fishing
John Horsey Fly Fishing
John Horsey Fly Fishing

Alba Orvis Flyfishers are new Lexus Team Champions

After a thrilling final day, top Scottish team Alba Orvis Flyfishers have been crowned the 2011 Lexus Team Champions.
On Day 1, they were in 3rd place, just 1lb 7ozs off the top spot, occupied by Blagdon Flyfishers, with Rio Masters in 2nd place.

Amazingly, those same 3 teams occupied the top 3 places on the 2nd day, albeit in a different order.

Blagdon Flyfishers from the West Country dropped to 3rd place, with Rio Masters again taking the runners-uop spot and Alba taking the 2nd day honours.  And it was the size of Alba's win on the final day that helped them to the top overall spot over the 2 days.

Top Individual Rod was Paul Roach from the West Country who was fishing for Team Snowbee.  Roach had 13 trout weighing 28lbs exactly.


  Team Results
        Fish Total Weight
1 ALBA ORVIS FLYFISHERS   55 117 lb 9 oz
2 RIO MASTERS     47 103 lb 0 oz
3 BLAGDON FLYFISHERS   44 97 lb 10 oz
4 PEREGRINE ESTHWAITE   38 79 lb 15 oz
5 ANGLO WELSH FLYFISHERS   33 73 lb 12 oz
6 TEAM WELLBANK     36 73 lb 6 oz
7 MARGAM FLYFISHERS   34 72 lb 9 oz
8 SEIGHFORD SHARKS   30 70 lb 9 oz
9 TEAM SNOWBEE     34 68 lb 15 oz
10 TEAM FROG HAIR     34 67 lb 13 oz
11 BRFFA EMERGERS     30 64 lb 14 oz
12 NYMPH-O-MANIACS   32 63 lb 13 oz
13 CLAN CHIEFS     32 62 lb 5 oz
14 GREENWELL PERSUADERS   29 62 lb 5 oz
15 ANGLO SCOTS     28 58 lb 12 oz
16 CHATTON TROUT FISHERS   26 54 lb 15 oz
17 TEAM FROZEN NORTH   23 53 lb 6 oz
18 STOCKS FALCONS     24 52 lb 13 oz
19 OSPREYS     24 50 lb 7 oz
20 TEAM AIRFLO     27 50 lb 0 oz
21 STOCKS HAWKS     16 32 lb 2 oz
Alba Orvis Flyfishers - 2011 Lexus Team Champions

Lexus Team 1st day Results

Day 2 - 13:00hrs

The 2nd day of this year's Lexus Team Championships Final is now underway.  Stronger winds and bright skies - normally the kiss-of-death for fly fishing - greeted the 126 anglers this morning.  Once again, the majority of the boats headed for the main basin, but 9 brave souls went straightr down the South Arm and I think they have made a good decision - but time will tell!

Top Team yesterday were West Country nymph and dry fly specialists Blagdon Flyfishers, with Rio Masters 2nd and Orvis Alba Flyfishers from Scotland 3rd.  The rod average was a respectable 3.34 and average weight of trout 2lbs 2ozs.  Top individual rod on Day 1 was Martin Barrett of Anglo Welsh Flyfishers - again from the South West of England.  Martin is one of the country's top coarse anglers who is quickly building a reputation on the fly fishing circuit.

Here is a run down of the results from Day 1.

        Fish Total Weight
1 BLAGDON FLYFISHERS   30 65 lb 14 oz
2 RIO MASTERS     28 64 lb 9 oz
3 ALBA ORVIS FLYFISHERS   29 64 lb 7 oz
4 PEREGRINE ESTHWAITE   27 57 lb 3 oz
5 SEIGHFORD SHARKS   23 51 lb 13 oz
6 TEAM SNOWBEE     25 48 lb 12 oz
7 NYMPH-O-MANIACS   25 48 lb 4 oz
8 ANGLO WELSH FLYFISHERS   21 47 lb 6 oz
9 TEAM WELLBANK     20 42 lb 10 oz
10 MARGAM FLYFISHERS   21 42 lb 6 oz
11 TEAM FROG HAIR     20 39 lb 14 oz
12 ANGLO SCOTS     20 39 lb 2 oz
13 GREENWELL PERSUADERS   17 37 lb 11 oz
14 CHATTON TROUT FISHERS   15 35 lb 8 oz
15 BRFFA EMERGERS     17 33 lb 13 oz
16 TEAM AIRFLO     18 33 lb 6 oz
17 CLAN CHIEFS     17 33 lb 2 oz
18 OSPREYS     14 28 lb 12 oz
19 STOCKS FALCONS     12 26 lb 5 oz
20 TEAM FROZEN NORTH   12 25 lb 15 oz
21 STOCKS HAWKS     10 19 lb 12 oz


  Individual Results
    Fish Total Weight
1 MARTIN BARRETT 10 21 lb 5 oz
2 NICK DUNN 10 19 lb 5 oz
3 PAUL ROACH 9 17 lb 14 oz
4 GREGOR FLEMING 7 17 lb 5 oz
5 PHIL DIXON 7 17 lb 0 oz
6 ALASTAIR BEAUMONT 8 16 lb 9 oz
7 JOHN BRAITHWAITE 7 15 lb 8 oz
8 NEIL ANDERSON 7 15 lb 6 oz
9 ANDREW HEDGER 6 14 lb 3 oz
10 ROB SOSBE 6 13 lb 9 oz
11 BEN BAYLISS 7 13 lb 8 oz
12 PAUL LITTLE 5 13 lb 6 oz
13 ALLEN HUGHES 7 13 lb 5 oz
14 JAMES GARDINER 6 13 lb 2 oz
15 PAUL WILD 6 12 lb 12 oz
16 RON GENT 5 12 lb 11 oz
17 JON TURNER 6 12 lb 10 oz
18 MARK MILES 6 12 lb 4 oz
19 JULIAN HUBBARD 4 12 lb 2 oz
20 JIM TWADDLE 6 11 lb 15 oz

Lexus Team Final Day 1 nears completion

Day 1 - 17:45hrs

Just 15 minutes to go and the weigh-in for Day 1 of the 2011 Lexus Team Championship Final will begin.
The competitors were treated to some cloud during the afternoon and plenty of trout have been caught.  We think that nymphs on floating, Midge-Tips and slow sink lines have been the main tactic with the majority of the boats fishing the basin due to a localised brown algae bloom in the South Arm.

Full results from Day 1 to follow.

John Horsey Fly Fishing
John Horsey Fly Fishing

Lexus Team Final - Day 1

12:30 Sunday

It's 13:10 on Day 1 of the Lexus Team Final and all 21 Teams are present, meaning that 126 anglers are out on the water.
Yesterday the fishing was very hard, due mainly to the awful weather - strong winds with intermittent rain and sunshine.  Later in the evening, the heavens opened and it tipped it down for over an hour.

This morning, it felt like Autumn, with low air temperatures, bright skies but thankfully; very little wind.

Many of the Welsh contingent were up early to watch the rugby, with Wales beating Samoa, closely followed by England's win over Georgia - so spirits were high in both camps!

9 boats ventured up the South Arm, with 54 heading for the main basin.  Within 6 minutes of the start, we counted 6 fish being netted, so things had definitely improved on yesterday!

13:13 Sunday

Some anglers have now taken their 4 fish limit bag and are on Catch and Release, so Fishery Manager John Seaton is happy that the Rutland trout have come back on the feed.  If the weather remains settled, this looks like being a fantastic competition.

I will update whenever possible over the next 36 hours.


Lexus Team Final this weekend

This weekend, the 18th and 19th September, will see 21 teams of 6 anglers descend upon mighty Rutland Water near Leicester to compete for the title of 2011 Lexus Team Champions.
All the teams have qualified from their Regional Heats earlier this year and the Grand Final looks like being a cracker!

Scores of full International Anglers will be rubbing shoulders and sharing tactics with anglers fishing their first major final - where else but fly fishing can you witness such a thing?

The rules have been amended to allow Catch and Release, so only 4 fish will be killed and then unlimited catch and release using de-barbed hooks.  At this stage, boobies will still be allowed, but not double hooks.

There is no doubt that Catch and Release is the best way to ensure a true result and the only worry is that some anglers will not de-barb their hooks properly - however, a Marshalls Boat will be on the water to check flies and hooks and anyone found with a hook not properly de-barbed will have their released fish disqualified.

Due to the Catch and Release element, the need for the ever-controversial Time Bonus has been eliminated and the team catching the greater number of fish normally wins - unless of course, some of the team members decide to target the larger, grown-on trout for which Rutland Water is rightly famous - in that case, the race for the stockies could be unwise!

I am hoping for a couple of testing fishing days, where stockies do not influence the result, competitors have a choice of whether they want to target the grown-on fish, they need a multitude of methods to catch them and most important of all, everyone has a great few days, leaving with some happy memories and making some new friends.

Full report on Tuesday.

Dave Lang is new Lexus Champion

Dave Lang was yesterday crowned Lexus Champion for 2011.  Chew Valley fished incredibly well on the practice day, with some anglers recording as many as 20 fish.  The match day saw plenty of rain, but light winds meant the fish kept feeding, but they were far harder to tempt following the hammering they received during practice!

Top rod Dave used a combination of 2 Boobies, with 2 nymphs sandwiched in between - proper "washing Line" tactics utilising a Midge Tip fly line.  Not one of the 100 competitors managed their 10 fish limit, but Dave Lang and Kieran Bonas both weighed-in 9 rainbow trout. 

It was quite a day for runner-up Kieran Bonas, who isn't legally able to drive until October when he reaches his 17th birthday.  Already, the youngster won the Rutland Water Heat, beating a star-studded cast of older anglers and in the Final, he very nearly did it again.  There is no doubt that this young man is destined for great things and we all wish him the best of luck in the coming years.

Off to Italy for the World Championships

Tomorrow I head for Milan and then on to the Dolomite Mountains for the 2011 World Flyfishing Championships.

Torrential rain has seen a change in one of the River sessions, as a landslide has forced one of the Aurino River sessions to be transferred to the Rienza.  This is a great shame, as the Aurino is a fantastic river, with lots of big Marble Trout and Grayling.

These championships promise to be one of the best ever ......... or one of the worst.  Everything hinges on the weather - too warm and the snow melt will colour the rivers - too wet and the rivers will turn chocolate brown.  Last year it rained in Poland and I managed a bronze medal - this year, as long as we get a team medal, I really don't care what the weather throws at us!

You can follow the results as they happen on the official FIPS MOUCHE web site.

I will let you know how it all went in early September.  Until then, good fishing and Tight Lines.

Dave lang being presented with the keys to his brand new Lexus RX450

4 days to Lexus Final

Just 4 days to go before the new Lexus Champion is crowned.

100 anglers from all over the UK, plus the Czech Republic, France and Belgium will descend upon Chew Valley Lake near Bristol to compete for the ultimate prize in competition fly fishing - a brand new Lexus RX450 hybrid SUV worth over £50,000.  The person catching the biggest fish at the Grand Final will also win a holiday to Norway in 2012, courtesy of Anglers World Holidays.

Chew has been in superb form all season, but last week saw a green algae bloom which curtailed sport for a while.  Thankfully, the winds and rain of the last few days have dropped the algae out in many parts of the lake and the introduction of 4,000 rainbows will hopefully have stirred the resident fish into action.  By Thursday, as long as weather conditions are favourable, we should be in for a cracking match.

Grafham and Draycote

The last 2 Lexus Heats were held at Grafham Water near Cambridge and Draycote Water near Rugby - both had been fishing well all season, but for the Lexus Heats they were very tricky.  Just 6 fish was sufficient to win the day at Grafham, while Craig Barr's 8 took the honours at Draycote.

The day before the Draycote Heat, I fished a guided day there with my good friend Barry Hawyes and we managed 8 to the boat between us.  The tactics were either Dry Flies, targetting the fish that were moving on top, or a team of nymphs using a 20 foot leader for the other band of trout that were feeding deep.

We had heard of Draycote's reputation  for big fish this season and Barry had the best fish at almost 6lbs - see pic.  It was a fin perfect specimen and reminiscent of a New Zealand rainbow trout.


New Lexus Heat added at Draycote on 31st July.

Due to popular demand, Draycote water near Rugby has been added as the final Qualifying Heat of this year's Lexus individual Championships.
The Heat will be held on 31st July and there are 30 places up for grabs.

New Fisheries manager Craig Barr has had his local anglers asking if there will be a lexus Heat on the venue, following the year's closure by Severn Trent and this has prompted the creation of an additional Heat.

I too have had competitors contacting me to ask for a Heat at this very popular venue, particularly following it's recent stunning form, where 00's of 3lb plus rainbows have been caught.

To enter, simply email or download an Entry Form from the official Website at

Tony gets his PB pike

Congratulations to Tony Bennett and the capture of his personal best ever pike on the fly weighing 28lbs at Chew last week.
I fished with Tony a few days earlier and he was snapped by a big fish which we were certain would have been his personal best.

Still, he made up for it in real style on his very next trip and I am sure his new aim is one of Chew's legendary 30 pounders!

Tagged pike

If you are fishing for pike - or trout - please look out for tags on the base of the dorsal fin.  They can be covered in algae and even have some weed growth attached, but they are quite easy to detect (once you know where to look).
I have tagged over 400 pike and am getting over 10% recaptures - no longer do we have to rely upon faded photograghs and hearsay to know if someone has caught the same fish - we can be certain!

So far, the average growth rate for a year is no more than 2lbs - even for big doubles and twenty pounders.  This has surprised even me, as I feel sure they are predating mainly on roach and perch.  Last week I had a 22lb fish which I caught myself just over a year ago and it had actually lost 2.5lbs.

I've included a pic of the above-mentioned 22lb fish, with the tag position clearly shown.  Note the bite mark across it's back which extended to the other side as well (would like to catch that big mother soon)!  So please log any tagged fish you catch with the weight, date of capture and area caught on the lake.  That way, we can build up a picture of recapture rates, distribution and weight increase/loss and have some real evidence on which to base our findings, rather than just the usual speculative nonsense!  So far, my findings are pointing to normal annual increases in weight and definitely not those associated with pike predating on 2lb average size rainbows.

Awful weather continues

I was hoping that once the terrible winds that battered us in May and June had subsided, July would bring a return to settled weather - sadly this has not happened.  I have just returned from Stocks Fly Fishery near Blackburn and the fishing was tricky - average rod returns from 3 sell-out days were less than 4 per rod and this is a very good and productive venue.  It is also superbly managed by Ben Dobson and his staff Matt, Paul and Tom.

Some of my friends have also just returned from Rutland Water where they were fishing in competitions and they told me that the fishing there was rock-hard.

Chew has also been "iffy" of late, but was just starting to improve again before I left for Stocks.  A big stocking seemed necessary to liven things up a bit and that happened 4 days ago.  Hopefully this will get the resident fish feeding, most of whom are still being caught around or behind Denny Island.
Washing Line or straight-lined nymphs are still the best 2 methods - I simply cannot get the fish up to dries at the moment - even last week when there was a massive fall of flying ants; they seemed very loathe to rise.

I think this is due to the fluctuating air pressures surrounding not just Chew, but the rest of the country at present.  Next week more unsettled weather is forecast, but at least that means cloud.


I have often said that there hasn't been a decent book on fly fishing for trout written since the Pursuit of Srtillwater Trout, written some 20 odd years ago.
Well now there is one!

A Passion for Trout is a fine book written by Irish angler Mick O'Farrell with photograghs and publishing by top fishing photographer Peter Gathercole.

Mick is a life-long trout angler, fly tier and genuine nice bloke - he is also a very fine competiton angler who genuinely knows his stuff.  I have fished with and against Mick in competitions such as the European Championships, where we were both representing our countries.

The flies are superbly photographed - so often a fault in other fishing books.  Gathercole excels here and the patterns are truly up-to-date, incorporating the latest materials.

This book will become a reference tome for many and a "must have" addition to any serious fly angler's book case!



22lb pike with tag in dorsal - note the bite mark from another pike!
Stocks Fly Fishery

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