Know Your Enemy

Competitive fly-fishing is a bit of a conundrum really.

First of all, it’s hard to set your sights on your adversary when you can hardly see them and here I refer to the fish, not the angler with whom you are fishing, the morning after. Which begs the question what is the real target? The trout you’re trying to fool, or the fly fisherman you’ve been sharing a welcoming beverage with?

One thing that every TOPS at SPAR Corporate Trophy Challenge is renowned for is entrants charging out the gates on opening night and this is where an anglers motives are hard to camouflage.

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The Social Brigade waste no time in flying their banners, signaling their intent by buying rounds with gusto, eager to be on the front line.

Then you have those Strategists who spend all their time studying that baffling science of entomology. They can tie a fly quicker than Bob Marley could roll a joint and know every phrase in the fly fisher’s dictionary. Although they rarely see any action, you are guaranteed to hear about it at Notties hotel that evening.

It’s the Mercs that you have to watch out for! They hide in plain sight, sipping on the same drink, listening and sizing potential challengers up. Propaganda is a deadly weapon in their arsenal. They are easily identified, dispensing more advice than a consoling bartender.

But the veterans tend to keep us all on track. These seasoned campaigners know that this illustrious gathering has little to do with fishing, yet still look forward to the prospect of a skirmish with a trout or two.

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And that there are fish in WildFly country there is no doubt

1458 trout released in the qualifying legs in June and July with the 2013 results trouncing every record set in the events’ 12-year history. A further 590 fish were measured and released by the 15 teams qualifying for the final, bringing the total to an eye opening 2048 specimens.

There are so many variables in fishing that to prepare a level playing field is nearly impossible. To begin with, when an event is held over 3 separate weekends, with a team choosing one to qualify through, the weather tends to have the first say on matters.
Then there’s the random dam selection in the lucky draw. All the waters are exceptionally well stocked, but water quality and annual rod pressure will always account for better fishing waters.

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And this is why only your top 3 fish count in each session, providing a par and handicap system for those that are luckier than others.

But the TOPS at SPAR Choice Awards dominate proceedings, rewarding antics off the field rather than performance on it. Betty Ford, Gupta Gate, The Stig and Justin Bieber are all namesake nominations to give you an idea of proceedings.

And the prizes were nothing short of astounding. Every team who made it to the final won a holiday for their team efforts. Over R300 000’s worth of holidays given away, thanks to WildFly Travel.

The largest fish of the tournament went to Mark Keating for his 61cm beauty, estimated at 8lbs, winning himself a brand new Quintrex Boat and motor, compliments of Yamaha worth R30 000. Top Fly Fisher went to Greg Zeiler and Pieter Bezuidenhout won a holiday for life from Easy Escapes for catching a great fish on the fly he tied at the opening night.

The TOPS at SPAR Corporate Trophy Challenge winners were-:

5th Place– Roadspan Royals –winning a trip to Shayamoya camp on lake Jozini.

4th Place – TW Ferguson – winning a trip to Semonkong Lodge in Lesotho

3rd Place –– Leads2Business winning an Xstream Yellow fish Canoe Safari on the Orange River

2nd Place – Team KOI winning a trip to the Lower Zambezi at Tsika Island with Chongwe Safaris.

The 2013 Champions were for the 1st time, Team Ubhungezi who won an incredible trip to the luxurious Matoya Lodge on the Upper Zambezi.

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As always the festivities outweighed any fishing, with the main event being the race to get the pink permission slip to attend from their better halves in the first place.

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Competitive fly-fishing is a bit of a conundrum really.

 

First of all, it’s hard to set your sights on your adversary when you can hardly see them and here I refer to the fish, not the angler with whom you are fishing, the morning after. Which begs the question who’s the real target? The trout that you’re trying to fool or the fly fisherman who you’ve probably been sharing a welcoming beverage with?

 

One thing that every TOPS at SPAR Corporate Trophy Challenge is renowned for is entrants charging out the gates on opening night and this is where an anglers motives are hard to camouflage.

 

The social brigade waste no time in flying their colors, signaling their intent generously, buying rounds with gusto content just to be on the front line.

 

Then you have those strategists who spend all their time studying that baffling science of entomology. They can tie a fly quicker than Bob Marley could roll a joint and know every phrase in the fly fisher’s dictionary. Although they rarely see any action, you are guaranteed to hear about it at Notties hotel that evening.

 

It’s those snipers that you have to watch out for! They hide in plain sight, sipping on the same drink, listening and sizing potential challengers up. Propaganda is a deadly weapon in their arsenal. They are easily identified, dispensing more advice than a consoling bartender.

 

But the veterans tend to keep us all on track. These seasoned campaigners know that this illustrious gathering has little to do with fishing, yet still look forward to the prospect of a skirmish with a trout or two.

 

And that there are fish in WildFly country there is no doubt

 

1458 trout released in the qualifying legs in June and July with the 2013 results trouncing every record set in the events’ 12-year history. A further 590 fish were measured and released by the 15 teams qualifying for the final, bringing the total to an eye opening 2048 specimens.

 

There are so many variables in fishing that to prepare a level playing field is nearly impossible. To begin with, when an event is held over 3 separate weekends, with a team choosing one to qualify through, the weather tends to have the last say on matters.

Then there’s the random dam selection in the lucky draw. All the waters are exceptionally well stocked, but water quality and annual rod pressure will always account for better fishing waters.

 

And this is why only your top 3 fish count in each session, providing a par and handicap system for those that are luckier than others.

 

But the TOPS at SPAR Choice Awards dominate proceedings, rewarding antics off the field rather than performance on it. Betty Ford, Gupta Gate, The Stig and Justin Bieber are all namesake nominations to give you an idea of proceedings.

 

And the prizes were nothing short of astounding. Every team who made it to the final won a holiday for their team efforts. Over R300 000’s worth of holidays given away, thanks to WildFly Travel.

 

The largest fish of the tournament went to Mark Keating for his 61cm beauty, estimated at 8lbs, winning himself a brand new Quintrex Boat and motor, compliments of Yamaha worth R30 000. Top Fly Fisher went to Greg Zeiler and Pieter Bezuidenhout won a holiday for life from Easy Escapes for catching a great fish on the fly he tied at the opening night.

 

The TOPS at SPAR Corporate Trophy Challenge winners were-:

 

5th Place– Road Span Royals –winning a trip to Shayamoya camp on lake Jozini.

 

4th Place – TW Fergusson – winning a trip to Semonkong Lodge in Lesotho

 

3rd Place –– Leads 2 Business winning an Xstream Yellow fish Canoe Safari on the Orange River

 

2nd Place – Team KOI winning a trip to the Lower Zambezi at Tsika Island with Chongwe Safaris.

 

The 2013 Champions were for the 1st time, Team Ubungezi who won an incredible trip to the luxurious Matoya Lodge on the Upper Zambezi.

 

As always the festivities outweighed any fishing with the main competition at this fly-fishing event being the race to get the permission slip from your better half to attend in the first place.

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