The AMFC 2023 season kicked off with the Spring match at Rutland. The weather stayed calm, and the fish were mostly enthusiastic. Sixty-one competition anglers headed out at 10 a.m. heading, it seemed, to all areas of the reservoir. Myriads of small buzzers were in the air and buzzers proved to be the fly of the day. Small and black. I’m told that early on the fish were about three feet down so were being caught on the top dropper. I certainly had a fish that way. Later, I understand the fish dropped down to about nine feet so were caught on deeper flies. Straight-lining buzzers worked ok but fishing then under a bung was much more successful. Invicta’s Mark Mathieson started with this method and had caught his twelve fish by just after 12:15, so gaining 4lb 8oz in time bonus.
We had a change in our rules this year regarding Brown Trout – all must be returned unharmed, and only one is allowed in your bag weight as a two-pound bonus. This is not an issue on most fisheries as Brownies are not often stocked but they are at Rutland. Our rules are designed so that if you find yourself over a shoal of recently stocked baby Brownies, you simply move away as only the first one can count towards your bag weight. Only one angler claimed to have caught a Brownie.
The excellent meal of beef and ale pie, followed by Chocolate brownie and ice-cream, was provided by Sally Burton of the Waterside Café – many thanks to Sally and her team for excellent service.
After the results were announced, it was drawn to my attention that two angler’s results were totally incorrect. I checked back on the score cards, located the problem, and informed the organisers in Group 1 of the new results – it was due to a slight ambiguity on the wording on the score cards and overwork of the officials. It’s all sorted now, and advice will be provided for match organisers to try to prevent a recurrence.
Many thanks to all who participated – it was a great day’s fishing. Congratulations to Tunbridge Wells for being the outstanding team on the day. And to Phil Thomas, currently recovering from surgery, for grabbing the best bag.