The River Test One Fly was conceived by Simon Cooper – founder of Fishing Breaks after competing in the US version of this competition since 2005. The basic rules are simple - you start and finish the day with the same fly, not the same pattern but the same fly! This simple change to the normal rules of engagement throws a huge spanner in the works and makes for a very interesting and at times frustrating day by the water. Every cast has the potential to lose your fly either in a tree or in a snag, so this is not a competition for the faint hearted or novice angler. You can select a new fly after lunch but there will be a points penalty to carry if you choose to do this.
So Team Rok Max arrived at the appointed time at the Greyhound in Stockbridge – Ross Brawn, Duncan Goldsmith and myself made up the team. Our secret weapon was a bead-head nymph pattern tied by top trout angler Ben Bangham. After the draw we headed off to our chosen beats with our guides and at 10.00am we commenced fishing. I was fishing the lovely School Farm fishery on the River Dun (a Test tributary) assisted by my guide Bob Preston. We got off to a great start with a 19” brown trout in the first few minutes followed by a steady stream of browns and rainbows – I finished the morning with around thirty fish – all returned alive and well to the water.
The afternoon continued in the same vein – until my fishing was bought to an abrupt halt by the hook on my fly snapping. That’s it - out & finished! All I could hope was that I’d done enough to get the team into the upper part of the score sheet.
We then headed back to the Greyhound to hear the results – I needn’t have been concerned, I had taken the Top Angler trophy and thanks to Ross and Duncan’s efforts Rok Max ended up second overall.
I’d like to thank Simon Cooper and team for organising such a great event and Bob Preston for some great guiding and the use of a variety of his fishing tackle! See you all again next year!
If you would like to compete in this event next year please contact Simon Cooper at Fishing Breaks www.fishingbreaks.co.uk - its great fun and highly recommended!