It’s not often that you see anglers return from the water with very little to say, especially if they have even less to show for their efforts. To say the fly fishing was tough in the 3rd leg of the TOPS Corporate Challenge would be like describing this world-wide pandemic as a mild  head cold.

Wind is reviled by anyone trying to throw a line and having to deal with a howling NE sucking into the oncoming cold front sweeping up from the Cape, left many simply shaking their heads. Anchors couldn’t stop float tubers from flying across the water, their lines resembling teasers skipping the surface on their high-speed trawl.

Hunkering down in the limited shelter, these brave souls should still manage to record 109 fish on day one but retired looking quite broken that evening.

Then the following day, the weather changed…….for the worse. Constant drizzle changed to incessant rain, then sleet and finally snow.

But it didn’t stop the determined fly fishers from taking on the weather gods, in fact the falling snowflakes were embraced as for many this was their first encounter with a Winter wonderland.

But the shine wore off once the intense cold set in, which soon saw everyone heading back for a hot shower and a stiff dram of Glenbrynth.

Spirits were high as toasts to fishing in such amazing conditions flowed and remarkably these intrepid anglers managed a total of 182 Trout

The talents of Gavin Cowell took top fly fisherman with his 15 fish at an average of 47cm, including 2 fish over 60cm, but his smile wasn’t quite as broad as Reardon Sanderson who bagged his personal best of 62cm.

And this was pipped by a 64cm, 9lb beast that had a jubilant Doug Pickard celebrating the largest Rainbow Trout of the TOPS Corporate Challenge so far.

The teams that will be returning to contest for the 2021 TOPS Corporate Challenge title, were Fork and Fly, Team Springvale, ARTAV and the winners of the 3rd leg, the Nymphmaniacs.

Here’s hoping the the TCC final will enjoy some less challenging fishing conditions.