There are many factors that make a for great fly fishing event and surprisingly most of them do not revolve around the fishing. But if the Trout fail to make an appearance the atmosphere after a long day on the water can get a little frosty.
Fortunately with the balmy weather playing it’s role, at the 2nd leg of the TOPS Corporate Challenge, the Trout came out to play, giving all the festive ingredients of this remarkable gathering a recipe that you just can’t replicate anywhere else. The legendary Notties had every angler come steaming out the blocks and it was clear from the opening night that these bunch of lads were embracing the celebratory moments before they even got on the water.
A lot of this was due to the incredible gift packs from TOPS and Heineken as you arrived!
For a lot of entrants, this was their first TCC experience and one that they will remember for many years to come. For a few, it was their very first fly fishing trip and when you land your first Trout on fly, the memory is cemented by the celebrations that are sure to follow. A shout out to Alan Browning, NJ Smit and Clyde Mahoney for doing just that! Alan actually hooked 4 beauties within the first half hour, creating a fly fishing expectation that will be hard to beat!!
A total of 285 Trout were caught, measured and released, with another 78 hooked and lost (for those that were brave enough to admit it). But it was again the average size fish in WildFly waters that had tongues wagging. Five different dams out of the exclusive 15 waters fished, produced a specimen in excess of 60cm and 74 Trout measured more than half a meter in length.
In this wonderful event format, it is all about each session, ensuring that everyone was in with a chance to make the final (which would guarantee their team a fly fishing holiday somewhere in Africa). And with the bequeathing role, it levelled the playing field, making way for any casual fly fisher to qualify. Sean Joubert caught 13 Trout is his 1st session, single handedly carrying this team mates into contention in this regard.
It’s all about getting on the board in each of the four fly fishing sessions and only the final Saturday afternoon decides who goes through, keeping a teams’ enthusiasm and intrigue at an all time high.
The hilarious antics off the field are too many to detail and what goes on tour should always stay there, but needless to say at their expense the WildFly choice awards had everyone in stitches come prize giving.
The largest Trout was a Rainbow Hen of 65cm caught by James Hills and the top fly fisher was awarded to Mark Venter who managed to land 11 fish at an average of 51cm…..a formidable tally of good sized Trout!
The Fly Fishing Consultants, Reel Wanderers,Bottom Feeders and Rhino Energy cruised into the grand final with the Fly By Nights nailing the gold medal with two 1st placings out of the four sessions!
As always the prizes from Hardy, Frontier Fly Fishing, Greys, Outdoor Warehouse, Airflo, Horizon, Scientific Anglers, Xplorer & WildFly made for big smiles, especially when most had nothing to do with their fishing performance.
Here’s to the time we spend with good mates reliving great times always outweighing the fish that might oblige.