TOPS Corporate Challenge Leg 3
Never has so few been caught by so many. To say that the fishing was slow on the last leg of the TOPS Corporate Challenge, would be like calling Leicester City's premier league win predictable…….which the Trout clearly were not. Sixty anglers toiled and when - in the very first session - the talents of Jeremy Rochester and Mark Yelland did not produce the goods, the writing was on the wall.
Wayne Stegen of "The Zimmers" showing why ran off with Top Honours in Leg 3 of the TCC 2016.
The weather was ideal, the waters cold and clear, and the atmosphere was one of eager anticipation……until lunch time where at the legendary Notties hotel, it became apparent that a common denominator united the fly fishers……the dreaded blank scorecard. I will always turn to the angler as the first reason why we don't catch, but the calibre of many of the fly fishers had been proven in seasons past.
Then rod pressure is my go to excuse, but with all the waters having been rested for the last two weeks, I couldn't accept that a Trout's memory is anything in that realm.
Granted, a wild contingent of party comrade's only made it onto the water well after the sun had risen, but even accounting for the late risers, the general consensus was that the fish had lockjaw. Fly boxes were thrown at the problem as well as many beverages in commiseration, yet the stubborn fish remained steadfast in their refusal of all the weird and wonderful patterns pulled through the water. The lads tried stripping it at Hussien Bolt speed, dredging it at snail pace, hanging the fly and every other manner of enticing a reaction, but to very little avail.
Yet that didn't stop the party. In fact it pretty much brought all the teams together, with both experienced anglers and rank novices relating to this odd state of affairs.
A paltry 173 fish made it to the net to be measured in stark contrast to the 420 in Leg 1 and 497 in the second Leg, bringing the total of Trout caught and released to 1090 so far in the 15th anniversary of the TOPS Corporate Challenge.
Charles Woods, got the biggest of the bunch, with a 56cm Rainbow hen and his team mate Anton Smith, who equaled his hefty fish won Top Fly Fisher.
Paarl Media Cape, The Wild Guys, PM Ideas, Team Hardy and the 3rd Leg champions, The Zimmers, will be returning in a little over 3 weeks time to contest for the coveted final.
Here's to some co-operative fish in the final of the TOPS Corporate Challenge.