British Float Tube Association

BFTA EVENTS => Competition Reports 2018 => Topic started by: bracken on October 30, 2018, 02:42:55 PM

Title: AGM / Kennick match - 27th October 2018
Post by: bracken on October 30, 2018, 02:42:55 PM
The Venue: Kennick Resevoir - somewhere in Devon! This is an absolutely delightful water high in the Hills of Devon, (1000 feet above sea level I was reliably informed by Basil). The lake is surrounded by trees and has an extensive wild rhododendron population down one side opposite the lodge.

To get to this fishery one has to have a strong heart if driving, and a very extensive local knowledge of where the goat tracks approaching it are located. (There are lots of these tracks, as evidenced by the grass growing up the middle which the goats have not eaten yet). There is another more realistic road approach but this has been closed for over two years now!

The weather: Blue sky and very sunny most of the day, with occasional high white clouds scudding across the sky, driven by a north wind. The wind was a tolerable strong breeze rather than the forecast 23 mph plus version which was forecast. It was very cold!

Nature notes: A substantial population of cormorants were noted and seen fishing the lake. At one point in the afternoon a flock of ten took to the air and were quickly followed by at least three others. A couple of ducks were seen, as was what I think was a dabchick diving near the boats when we arrived. A robin and a pied wagtail made up the noted small bird population. A heron flew over mid-morning.

The fishermen: A mixture of up-country chaps and a few southern members – fourteen in total, of which twelve took to the water in float tubes and one fished from the bank. (The other old git shivered in the car for the duration of the competition)!

Some of these lads deserve commendations for the distances they had travelled to be present – Brian came all the way from Preston, Martin travelled from near Manchester. A couple of the surviving Leicester lob-wormers were there, as were Steve F. and Ric from Chesterfield. Stevie N. (do you remember him)? was there from the backwoods of Bronte Country. (He even wiped the mould off his fishing gear and took to the water like a professional). Chris had travelled from Helston and Dave W. from St. Just - which is about the closest part of the UK to South America. Jim joined us from Plymouth. Another Cornish Stalwart had arrived in his trusty old campervan – (which was a bit like me in being a bit reluctant to start and run on all cylinders).

Russ and Kevin slunk into the water from the other side and were very anti-social. They fished up the opposite bank to the lodge without meeting anybody before the match. Andre reckoned they were trying to avoid being caught for a fiver for the kitty in case they didn’t win the match. I was immediately designated to collect the money – probably because I couldn’t run away very quickly and there was nowhere to spend it for about twenty miles in any direction.

Some of the other Cornish lads didn’t arrive – I suspect because it was east of Redruth and they are not very adventurous and frightened of the strange up-country!?

The fishing: Bright sunshine and the surface of the water being seriously chilled by a very cold North wind do not make for ideal conditions to catch trout. Indeed, the trout were not very keen to get there noses cold near the surface and were very seldom seen. I saw one opposite the boats when we arrived and another couple showed near one of the float tubes during the match.

This was a back-end match which was fished for a kitty of five pounds per angler. The system was largely catch and return.

I must say here that the launch was very entertaining to watch. Despite the spectacle of a dozen tubes taking to the water at once, some of the antics were well worth watching. I must particularly commend Gary at this point, and am pleased to report that his ornithological studies, which I have been encouraging for very many months now, had obviously instilled such curiosity in him that he dived into the water to see where the little diving duck by the boats had gone. Sadly he neglected to remember that ducks dress there feathers with preened oil and that Vision waders are not quite up to the same level of waterproofing when totally submerged! Ooops!

In the meantime, my attention was distracted by Martin’s strange system of throwing the reel end of his rod into the water while holding the tip in his other hand. (I must say here that I was immensely impressed by the strength and flex of a Greys rod test curve)! It was then that I noticed Martin had launched his tube and forgot to sit down in it, so it was gaily heading out into the lake without a pilot. Perhaps fortunately the wind eventually blew it back into rod range.

Now old stick-in-the-mud Andre, was adding to the entertainment on the other side of the slipway. He really had got stuck in the mud! THREE TIMES! He was only able to escape by pulling his foot out of the fin straps and dragging the fin out on a metre of strong keeper rope. The problem was standing in the mud and then sinking in, with the mud immediately closing back over top of the fin thus firmly holding it. (I remember the feeling of desperation well from a few years back when Ric kindly rescued me from a similar problem). Needless to say Andre got little sympathy and some degree of barracking!

I was glad that I had turned up to watch the spectacle unfold!

It can be deduced from the above that the lake was still at a low water level and that the very gloopy mud was prevalent around the margins.

Intermediate lines were the favourite starting lines. The fish average for the water had been running at somewhat less than two fish per rod for a while. The above anglers are generally quite good at sussing out the situation on any water in the country, and can usually get a good bag of fish. Now because they all inconsiderately cleared off out of sight of my vantage point in Dave’s passenger seat, I cannot clearly report on how the fishing went.

However, I can report that a surprisingly good number of fish were caught when the conditions were taken into consideration. Ric ended up the overall winner by netting six fish – at least three of which took a damsel. Dave Williams caught five - these on a deep sinking line and again on a damsel fly. Gary and Steve F. had three each but couldn’t increase the catch. At least one other member caught three, Chris caught one. A couple of other fish were also caught. Only two fish were retained with all others being returned safely. The retained rainbow was a nicely mended fish which had virtually full fins, so had been in the water some while. The other retained fish was a very nice looking blue trout.

Most of the trout were taken on damsel flies or Sweet Susan’s. I believe Russ had three on a pheasant tail. Surprisingly, I am not aware of any fish being caught on a cat’s whisker or black flies with a bit of red in them – these usually do very well on this water.

I must congratulate Ric on winning the match and commiserate with Dave W. who just couldn’t quite get his last fish before the fishing finished at 3.30pm. In reality everybody who caught fish on this day deserves a meritorious mention – the conditions were not brilliant for big bags. I also suspect the depredations of a large number of cormorants are having a very deleterious effect on the stock levels in this water so to catch six was really good going.

Asides: Well after many years as your scribe, I thought it was only fair to let somebody else have a go at doing the job. My major reason is that my health has not been very good for a long while, but over the last couple of years it has deteriorated to a far worse level than I had expected. A pretty close run thing which necessitated another heart operation eighteen months or so ago, really started the rot. It was shortly followed by having to have four cancerous tumours removed from my head. My back hips and knees have troubled me for many years, but in the last six months I have become increasingly immobile, and now really do need to use a mobility scooter to get around town etc. An X-ray six months ago showed increasing osteo-arthritis in my hips, not quite enough to bother a surgeon yet, but probably will do in the future. The final killer has been osteo-arthritis in my shoulders hands and wrists which stop me holding a fishing rod, (or any other tool that needs gripping), for more than a couple of hours.

The net outcome of the above is that I can only spend a relatively short time on the water, (hence partially my desire to develop a motorised aid system for powering a tube). I became increasingly aware that these reports were becoming somewhat ego-centrical narratives about my days fishing, rather than a description of what everybody else was more interestingly achieving - which is what a scribe reporting on a match should be writing about. I have therefore decided to stop while I am still just ahead and before anybody ignominiously asked me to quit.

I am also slightly hampered in coming to matches now. There is now a very definite North / South divide in the BFTA, (something which I had hoped I would never see again). At least this one is amicable and there is some provision for crossover. However, I live right in the middle of it all, and in reality a long way from anywhere. Driving any distance is also now becoming a bit challenging for me fitness wise. Hotel bills seem to be seriously increased in places where I did go and stay overnight, (Toft being an example). I had to seriously question the cost of travelling into the hundreds of miles, staying at a hotel for what may have been a couple of hours on the water before my body forced me off. This means that I have not attended as many matches as I would have liked, and therefore cannot write the reports on them.

Consequently at this years AGM I resigned from my Officer’s role and eschewed my Honary Status. I have now paid my standard sub for next year, and will turn up and fish as an ordinary member for as long as I am allowed, and can do so in my opinion safely. (You may have gathered from the above that I was not in a fit state to safely fish at Kennick this weekend, so stayed off the water rather than burden other members).

If my reports have upset anybody over the years I sincerely apologise. (I do have quietly warped sense of humour which not everybody will share or recognise.

Getting old is a swine and not what I had in mind.

I will look forward in the future to fishing with you, the many acquaintances and friends  I have made in the Association over the last many years. Thanks to all of you for your help.

Acknowledgements: To SW Water for letting us loose on Kennick on Saturday. To Russ and Helen for opening the Sandpiper for the AGM and the bar for Christine and Stevie. To Julie and John at the Exton for putting up with the overflow guests from Russ.

Title: Re: AGM / Kennick match - 27th October 2018
Post by: buzzerman on October 30, 2018, 06:51:56 PM
Great report Tony your reports will be sadly missed. Regarding flies with black in I had 2 on a black booby and the other on a claret emerger and lost 1 on a apps bloodworm. Many thanks to Russ Helen and Laura for making our stay most welcome. Again Tony I look forward to seeing you on the water next year hopefully.

Title: Re: AGM / Kennick match - 27th October 2018
Post by: martin on October 30, 2018, 10:37:05 PM
All the best for the future Tony and hope to see you on the water when you are able, good luck.

Title: Re: AGM / Kennick match - 27th October 2018
Post by: Terry on October 31, 2018, 10:20:22 AM
I will miss reading your reports Tony, your style and humour suits my sense of humour. I am sure, however that whoever takes over will develop their own style and do just as well, but perhaps a little differently. You deserve to sit back and enjoy your fishing, it's all about enjoyment and I still look forward to seeing you on some comps and pass a bit of time chatting with you and keeping up to date with your motorised float tubing. Best of luck.

Title: Re: AGM / Kennick match - 27th October 2018
Post by: brian on October 31, 2018, 10:44:58 AM
still hope to see you about at the meets Tony . thanks to Russ and Helen for a great weekend and every one else who came

Title: Re: AGM / Kennick match - 27th October 2018
Post by: John Dagnall on November 01, 2018, 10:19:10 AM
So sorry to hear that your medical conditions are preventing you from fully participating in the sport that you love. I am having similar frustrations. After kidney cancer I developed a hernia where the robot was inserted into my abdomen to remove the tumour (no not Scissorhands up the backside) which prevented me from float tubing this year but I am going into hospital on 15 November to have the hernia repaired. Hopefully will be back tubing next year.

Even though I have not fished with the club this year I have been following the antics and your reports have been amusing and very informative> I wish I have your attention to detail. You have been the clue holding the association together and I am sure I can speak for many current and past member's who really appreciate the time and dedication you put it for the benefit of us all 

Title: Re: AGM / Kennick match - 27th October 2018
Post by: davec on November 01, 2018, 10:32:40 PM
Great report as usual Tony my wife and I will miss your extensive reporesearch i hope to see you again soon when you are well enough cheers buddy.

Title: Re: AGM / Kennick match - 27th October 2018
Post by: andre on November 09, 2018, 01:24:34 PM
Sorry for the late posting I have had a hell of a two weeks since the AGM. On my return from Torquay I found out that my mum had been taken ill on a bus and admitted to Kings Lynn hospital, later we found out she'd had a heart attack and was being transferred to Papworth for tests. In the mean time as you know my father who is on end of life care had taken a turn for the worse and the inevitable was looming.

Got mum home last weekend, she's going to need a pacemaker probably in the new year, then unfortunately I got the call on Tuesday that my dad had lost his fight with the dreaded prostate cancer and the frankly bloody awful dementia and subsequently I have spent the rest of this week in Norfolk sorting out his affairs and looking after mum.

However, problems aside, I too would like to place on record my thanks to Tony, Susan and I read the reports together and always find them extremely amusing even if I was the butt of most of the jokes; something which I secretly enjoy !

Russ and Helen did a fantastic job for us for the AGM and I think everyone enjoyed the weekend it's really good to get the WAGs involved and from what susan has told me the had a most enjoyable day whilst we were making complete fools of ourselves at Kenwick (speaking for Gary and myself obviously).

I will over the next week or so get round to writing up the minutes of the meeting but please bear with me as I have another piece of written work to complete before my dads funeral on the 23rd.

Lastly, thank you to you all for your support for the association in this last very challenging season and I look forward to catching up with you all in the New Year.


Title: Re: AGM / Kennick match - 27th October 2018
Post by: bracken on November 09, 2018, 05:44:23 PM
Really sorry to read about your loss and family woes Andre. My mother had both advance Dementia, (she didn't know me), and heart problems before she died, so I do have an idea of what you are going through. Death of loved ones is a sad passage of rite that we all have to come to terms with at some stage, but it is horrible when it happens!

On another subject:-

Thanks to all for your nice comments with reference to my reports, it's nice to know that some people appreciated reading them as they sometimes took quite a while to write - and then edit out the very contentious bits. I guess I might guest and do a couple more at some stage - although fishing is probably out of my reach for a while. (I spent most of yesterday at the Nuffield hospital where they X-Rayed my right hand, and also gave me another steroid injection in it - the supposed 'pin prick' felt more like a six inch nail being hammered through it)! The very pretty foreign Doctor smiled sweetly as she slowly pressed the plunger three times - I'm sure she must have heard some of my under the breath curses! My wife sat cringing next to me, so I did get the bonus of a couple of minutes sympathy for a change.