Four seasons in one day at Draycote
WMP Fly-Fishing Section
Inter-force friendly, Draycote Water
A resolute group of 20 anglers from five police forces gathered at a cold and windswept Draycote Water in Warwickshire for this year's inter-force friendly competition, a number of them having practised the day before in even harsher conditions. The event normally sees a higher number of competitors, but given the bad forecast and a variety of operational and personal commitments preventing many others from attending, the turnout was still good.
The forecast had been mixed but no one expected the extremes of temperature and resulting rain, hail and snow interspersed with bright sunny, warm spells that was experienced whilst out on the water. Nevertheless, the show did go on and actually, quite a good number of fish were caught.
On competition day, the best results came to those who were able to fish buzzers in a controlled manner in the choppy water or able to find the right depths to find feeding fish using small lures.
After a full eight hours out on the boats, the bedraggled competitors came into the boathouse where organiser Steve Owen arranged the weigh-in and totted up the catch results. There was quite a range of returns from a winning result of 13 trout by West Mercia rod Rich Watkins to some who could only tempt one or two, or even none. This showed the importance of finding exactly the right method in what were generally difficult conditions to fish.
Whilst everyone competed keenly to do well in the contest, it was, after all a ‘friendly’ and the group entered into the spirit of it with several rounds of congratulations for the winner, runners-up and organiser to show their appreciation. Everyone recognised that anglers from different forces were prepared to get together in tough weather conditions to socialise and to support the event.
After the winning plate was presented, the group stayed on to chat for a while and some then adjourned to the pub with everyone saying that they were already looking forward to next month's Team competition which is again at Draycote, when as the song goes, things (or weather) can only get better!
1. Rich Watkins (West Mercia) 13 fish
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