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Success for Rok Max at the 2016 River Test One Fly Competition

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.

River Test TroutSo 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 - its great fun and highly recommended!

Allan Shephard
I've spent a big chunk of my life either fishing, talking about fishing, teaching fishing or working in the tackle trade. My hunger for ever more extreme and challenging fishing adventures continues to grow and can only be satisfied by a regular angling fix! I hold AAPGAI advanced instruction qualifications in single & double-handed fly-casting and have had articles published by some of the biggest UK fishing magazine titles. I consider myself very much an all-round angler. I have fished in over 20 countries worldwide for a variety of species in both fresh and saltwater. Advising people how to kit themselves out with tackle and clothing for their next fishing adventure is always a pleasure – please take advantage of my experience and knowledge.