This year our very own Caroline Cutmore won the Brick Farm Lakes Troutmaster Final and travelled to Grafham Water in Cambridgeshire to take part in the National Finals. Here Sophie Curtis interviews Caroline about her experiences.
When did you arrive?
I arrived the day before the competition, howling wind and rain greeted us. Following a drive around the huge 1500 acre lake I discovered that some anglers had been there all week practising. Bearing in mind that many of these anglers are International standards I felt a bit daunted at the prospect of the forthcoming day.
How did the big day go?
I did manage to eat a big breakfast even with the nerves, but felt as if I ate it sideways as I did not want to be late. On arrival at Grafham, with the rain still pouring, I was checked in and a random computer draw decided who is in a boat or on the bank for the first half of the day. We were all given a lovely goodie bag and a VIP badge and I went off to the jetty to put on my life jacket. As there were two to a boat I had to make a fast judgement on who to ask to spend the morning with, a nice gentleman as it turned out! We started to fish in the far end of the lake opposite the lodge and drifted in the water. In regards flies etc. all I can say is I tried every fly in my five boxes!!! Montanas, Cats, Damsels, Daddys, Orange, White and Black Lures. In particular I tried all manner of wet flies as all the chaps were saying that the fish were taking small natural food just under the surface film. I also tried muddlers as these are one of my favourite flies for reservoir fishing but to no avail. My only crumb of comfort was the fact that all the locals were heard to say how tricky the conditions were (the water level was down 40%!). And as Peter Winder has said "never mind there's always next year".
Did you have much luck on the water?
The points system is such that you have to catch on both parts of the day, so you must land your fish both in the morning and afternoon boat and bank. My lack of catching in the boat, along with many others, meant that I was out of the running before lunch! The day ended at 4.30 with a very comprehensive hot buffet while the final weigh-in took place which was a nice way to end a very interesting day.
Finally, the fishing is excellent at this time of year especially after a long hot summer. It’s very nice to start lighting the fire and see lots of fish being caught! Buzzers are brilliant, Daddies are a definite and Montanas a must.
Tight lines! From us all at Brick Farm Lakes