British Float Tube Association

BFTA EVENTS => Reports 2019 => Topic started by: bracken on September 08, 2019, 01:09:50 PM

Title: Steve Parton Memorial comp. 7th Sept at Eybrook
Post by: bracken on September 08, 2019, 01:09:50 PM
A view of the Steve Parton Memorial Competition at Eyebrook on September 7th. by a Guest Reporter.

Why a guest reporter? Well the man in charge muttered something about having to go to the Queens house at Sandringham and there was lots of fair-game in Norfolk, which he apparently wanted to get involved with. I hadn’t got my hearing aids in, so may have missed something important in the reasoning. He then said “none of these other beggars can write so it’s down to you mate”! Followed by - “would you like a bacon bap”? Who could refuse such an invitation?

The Venue: Eyebrook Reservoir somewhere in a corner of Rutland, Leicestershire and Northamptonshire - very close to an absolutely heinous speed camera at Rockingham, which welcomes all fishermen travelling from the South.  (It’s placed on a blind corner just down a steep hill on the 30mph speed limit sign). I bet somebody got a knighthood for setting that one!!!?

When you find the water, it is an absolutely delightful venue formed from a large reservoir, which used to apparently supply water to steel manufacturers in Corby. They must have needed to make a huge number of cups of tea for a lake of this massive size to supply their kettles is all I can surmise.

This is a superbly run fishing venue, and holds a good stock of very hard fighting trout. A large number of boats are available to the more adventurous and lazy trout fishermen who like to sit down while angling. Float tubers can spend a happy day wending their way between the hulls and many fly lines.

The occasion: Both a sad and a happy day! This Steve Parton Memorial Match, is held annually in memory of Steve Parton, who was one of, if not the most influential person for introducing Float Tubing to the many followers today in the UK. Those of us fortunate to have fished on the water with Steve, always had a very good day, with lots of banter and laughs. We would always come away having learnt something new if we cared to ask quietly.  Steve was a fount of knowledge about all matters regarding trout fishing and float tubes. He was a demon fisherman on the water, and could paddle a tube faster than anybody I know. He could always be spotted by the plethora of outlandish coloured flies ‘drying’ in his hat – which could be fairly stated to be more fluff and feather than tweed! A sometimes controversial regular writer for Trout Fisherman and other magazines, he was a lively read when he penned an article too. A character we sadly miss!

The secondary part of this day was the Annual BFTA Pairs match which it was decided could be held in parallel with the main event.

The Weather: Now we perhaps ought to spend a few shillings of our funds to buy the long-range weather forecasters a new anemometer – they reckoned a week prior to the match that the breeze would be between 3 and 8mph. On the day it was reckoned to be between 14 and 20mph. All I can say is that the wave bounce was about eighteen inches high at the launch ramp. This leading to some interesting sensations with the FT bouncing up and down round your legs when trying to stand on the bottom and connect the crotch strap. You didn’t need to stop finning for very long before you were some way away from where you wanted to be when out in the lake. The sky was dull in the morning, changing to sunshine just after midday.

The fishermen: A group of good friends well known to each other over the years. It was sad that so few attended the match this year, particularly when we see a lot of new members posting about BFTA matters on facebook. This would have been an excellent venue to join in with the fun.

As it was; most of the fishermen present are now pensioners. At least three of these could be fairly stated to be disabled. A fourth slightly younger member was also suffering from serious knee problems. All of these chaps braved the wind and went out onto the water for at least two and a half hours or more. Their contribution to the day should be applauded! At least one was in fear of his wife banning him from fishing if he staggered back into the house looking a bit rickety. (Mind you, Andre spotted him doing a Western Roll when getting out of his car upon arrival)! Another has an aneurism which would give him about five minutes if it burst. At least two of them have bits of their anatomy spread about in NHS waste-bins across the Country. One has more springs around his heart than there are in a clock! Isn’t it time some of the younger members came along and got involved?

The fishing: Members chose to fish a one fish C&R ticket. They are all honest men so would be trusted if they caught out of sight of other members.

As stated above, the wind was quite strong and a bit of a problem when we launched. To exacerbate the problem this wind was coming from the North which is, Ifor informed us, the worst possible direction for catching fish at Eyebrook. Nevertheless, it didn’t take Brian very long to catch two fish along the dam by using a sink-tip line with a green and black nomad as the killer fly. Andre had travelled two thirds of the way across the lake and about three to four hundred yards off the dam wall, where he had caught several fish a day or so before. He had two in the bag by 11.30 and had lost two more. He was also getting lots of pulls on a floating line and buzzers.

In the meantime, Steve had had a couple in the bay along the west bank, reportedly on diawl bachs. Dave C. fishing along the same shore but closer to the launch point had caught three fish by 1.00pm. Unusually for Dave, these fish were all caught on green bead buzzers. Tony had caught one fish near the top of the water on a claret buzzer when fishing near Andre.

After the sun came out at Midday the fishing effectively died. Andre didn’t get another pull until he left the water around 3.00pm. By 1.00pm Tony , Mick and Dave had left the water and sat with their sandwiches admiring the tenacity of the others. As Tony was heading for shore he passed Brian who by then had got four fish all on the nomad – all caught not too far from the dam. Steve proved the exception to the afternoon fish dearth, by moving to the dam and catching a fish just before 3.00pm which effectively won the pairs trophy for Andre and himself. One of the Sue’s will now be proudly admiring their man’s proof of piscatorial ability and polishing the silverware.

At the end of the day, Ifor presented the SP Memorial Trophy to Andre and Brian who accepted it once again on behalf of the Float Tube Association. It will now be displayed again in its ‘home’ at Thornton lodge.

In Summation: A not too easy days fishing! However, the float tubers once again demonstrated their ability to catch fish in ‘difficult’ conditions. Although I have no doubt that the very numerous boat fishermen will have caught some fish, I actually only saw one fish caught by one of the boat anglers, and I was amongst a lot of them. All in all however, a very pleasant day out fishing in the company of some smashing chaps!

It was also quite heartening to hear questions and positive comments from boat anglers regarding the motorised float tube system. It was also interesting to watch some of them come across to look at it in place on the FT when they thought the owner was out of sight. I guess it is unusual – but it has the advantage of still allowing its owner to get on the water some days.

It was good to see DC back at the meets again after a very harrowing few months for him. I was impressed to hear that his light breakfast had consisted of two sausages, two fried eggs, two large rashers of bacon, two rounds of fried bread etc. etc. He also managed a bacon bap at Eyebrook just to check that Andre was cooking them right. Could it be that the bead buzzers he was using worked so well because they were smeared with essence of bacon? Just a thought!

I must state for all to see that Eyebrook Reservoir is a Prime fishery for disabled anglers to take to the water. There is disabled parking close to the launch area, and a gentle slope down into the edge of the water itself. It is an outstanding venue for float tubing staffed with a very friendly and helpful management team. Wouldn’t it be great that there were more venues like it!

Belated Nature notes for Gary: There were at least five red kites working the fields on the track to the reservoir. I’m not sure what they were feeding on, but they were landing briefly and then taking to the air again.

I was amazed to see a couple of cormorants landing close to, and between the boats and float tubes, and then proceed to dive after fish. I also thought I saw a little grebe in the launch area by the boat dock. If not a grebe it was a seriously small diving duck.

The grey squirrels were very busy on the ‘lawns’ under the trees beside the driveway by the lodge.

One thing that has struck me this year, is that there have been very sadly, very few swallows, martins and swifts about – this observation applies wherever I have been all over the country and Scotland. Today I did see a few swallows at Eyebrook. All of these birds seem to leave the UK in the last week or two of September in the normal state of affairs. However, I observed several small groups obviously heading south around three weeks or so ago, and before today had not seen one for at least a fortnight. I hope this does not mean that there has been a mass die-back or culling in Africa or on their migration route. It hopefully does not portend a bad winter either. I suppose another reason is now the lack of insects in the UK. How often do you now have to remove fly splats from your windscreen compared to 25 years ago?

Acknowledgements: Many thanks to Andre and Ifor for their efforts in organising this event and ensuring that it could take place this year.

Ifor must also be thanked for his continuing quiet support behind the scenes in ensuring that float tubing continues in the UK – he also does a lot to ensure that the Committee knows what is going on and gives salient advice on legal considerations

Andre must be thanked for his generosity in supplying and cooking the bacon baps for us to ensure we started the day with some sustenance.

Title: Re: Steve Parton Memorial comp. 7th Sept at Eybrook
Post by: andre on September 09, 2019, 03:24:42 PM
Thanks Tony, an excellent report as normal. If you are unable to fish can't you just attend to do the reports ?!

Don't forget the AGM is scheduled for Oct. 19th.

I'm off to the Eyebrook again tomorrow, the wind has dropped & shifted to a westerly so hopefully it will be a better day. Not available to fish after this until early October.


Title: Re: Steve Parton Memorial comp. 7th Sept at Eybrook
Post by: bracken on September 09, 2019, 04:17:20 PM
You write very nice interesting reports Andre. I'm sure you would miss the challenge if some crusty, moaning old git usurped the task from you.

I must admit I would love to be able to fish more, but I'm sadly approaching the time when I have to admit to myself that there might be a mountain of fishing gear for sale. Even after a brief couple of hours or so floating around yesterday it has left me sore today. I won't get much sympathy from the gardener if I mention it either - she's been giving me the evil eye since I hobbled in last night. The mad resident spaniel has greeted me with frenetic amounts of sympathy however.

What the club needs is for one or some of the new members to turn out more often. There must surely be some who have benefitted from the wonderful British education system and who can communicate the written word other than in text speak!?

Tight lines tomorrow and don't eat all the leftovers of Ifor's birthday cake!?

Title: Re: Steve Parton Memorial comp. 7th Sept at Eybrook
Post by: andre on September 12, 2019, 08:38:38 AM

1.     Brian Heald.      4 Fish
2.     Steve Frakes.    3 Fish
        Dave Carrie.      3 Fish
4.     Andre Russell.   2 Fish
5.     Tony Parker.      1 Fish
6.     Gary Horsley
        Mick Woodcock