Costa win a close contest after early scare in qualification

Team Costa
Team Costa

Flyfishing Costa A won a closely-contested Anglian Water Airflo International final at Rutland Water last week.

Day one saw Gateshead Flycasters in the lead with 44 fish for 88lb 4oz.

This was the team’s first appearance at the International final, having qualified at the Scottish day heat held at Menteith in June.

Flyfishing Costa A lay in second place with 37 fish for 84lb 6.25oz and the 2016 champions ChangeFlyfishers AC weighed in 37 fish for 76lb 14.75oz for third place.

On the first day Rutland Water fished to a rod average of 4.97.

Pablo Mullings of The Renegades took the best Brown, a lovely 4lb 4oz specimen.

The best Rainbow weighed 4lb 5oz and was landed by Craig Barr fishing for Flash Attack Reservoir Dogs.

Day two of this challenging match saw a change in fortune for some of the top contenders.

The overnight leaders Gateshead Flycasters could only manage 13th place with Change AC going one better in 12th position.

The results on day two were incredibly close at the top with Flyfishing Costa A (second overnight) leading with 32 fish for 62lb 10oz, just ahead of New Angling Patriots who took 30 fish for 62lb 8oz and Team Airflo (fifth overnight), third with 32 fish for 62lb 5oz.

Top rod on day two was Sean McCaffery representing Shetland Anglers Association with a bag weight of 19lb 15oz. Nick Dunn of Flash Attack Reservoir Dogs weighed in the biggest fish, a lovely Brown of 6lb 1oz.

There were some stunning Browns brought to the scales throughout the match.

Spare a thought for Cameron Neil (Renegades) who had already caught his one permitted Brown and had to return a superb Brown estimated in double figures.

The best Rainbow on Day Two weighed 3lb 9.5oz and went to Willie Simpson of Menteith Ospreys.

Competition organiser Jon Marshall said: “Yet again we’ve seen some outstanding performances across the board.

“It’s always a delight to welcome teams from far and wide to fish in this match and we’re already taking entries for the 2018 competition.”

Announcing the final results in reverse order at the presentation dinner, Jon Marshall kept the teams in suspense.

Gateshead Flycasters took the bronze medals in third place overall, just behind Team Airflo who won silver and the team triumphing to take the gold medals was Flyfishing Costa A.

Back in early April Flyfishing Costa A were behind the pace and just managed to qualify at the North of England heat hosted at Rutland Water.

They went on to win the North of England final in July and returned to Rutland to be crowned worthy champions at the International Final.

Team members Iain Barr (captain), Graham Hayward, Ben Race, Rick Cooper, Paul Runec and John Buchanan put in excellent, consistent performances against the 23 other top teams.

At the awards dinner following the second day of competition the team was presented with gold medals, the coveted silver salver, £1500 cash and tackle prizes. Over the two days the team weighed in 69 fish for 147lb.

Second placed Team Airflo pulled up from fifth place on day one to win silver, with 70 fish for 136lb 3oz. The team consisted of match top rod Scott Graham, Phil Cotton, Mike Kayes, Andrew Lewis, Gary Haskins and Simon Gurney.

Gateshead Flycasters, top team on day one, were presented with bronze medals weighing in 66 fish for 134lb 2oz.

Team members were Bradley Chalmers, Ben Robertson, Greg McLaren, Derek Hessett, Neil Barrett and Stewart Barclay.

The prize for top overseas team went to Belgium and was won by Fly Fishing Forever who took ninth place overall.

The top individual rod was Scott Graham, fishing for Team Airflo. He recorded an impressive 37lb 4oz at the scales.

Just behind, by the narrowest of margins, in second place was Sean McCaffery fishing for the Shetland Anglers Association who weighed in 16 fish for 37lb 4.5oz. Paul Collict fishing for Welsh Hawks B weighed in 15 fish for 31lb 4.25oz to take third place individually.

The best fish caught during the International final weighed 6lb 1oz, this superb Brown fell to Nick Dunn fishing for Flash Attack Reservoir Dogs.

Steve Peart of Ospreys was awarded the WaterAid trophy for the heaviest fish caught during the competition. He caught a 9lb 12oz specimen while fishing the northern heat at Stocks Reservoir in June.

The Green Peters, who made the long journey to Rutland from as far afield as Galway, sportingly accepted the wooden spoon awarded for 24th place.

The open water of the reservoir saw the vast majority of fish caught with mainly Rainbows around the 2lb mark.

n Prospects look good at Rutland Water with plenty of fish including lots of Rainbows out in the open water.

However, anglers aiming for specimen Rutland Browns are in for a treat as there are significant numbers being caught close to the reservoir’s shoreline.

Rutland has earned its current reputation as the country’s leading Brown trout reservoir.