GOLD ON THE TAY
TEAM Managers report
RIVERS INTERNATIONAL 2012 RIVER TAY SCOTLAND
It was with great expectations of some good fishing that the Team arrived in Dunkeld on the Saturday morning almost a week before the International Match. A previous visit in early May to try to glean some prior knowledge of the trout populations, and feeding behaviour had seen some pretty impressive catches, with a good many rising fish, and good hatches of fly. This time however, despite good water conditions, fairly good weather, and plenty of fly about, the fish seemed to have simply disappeared.
Kieron, as Captain had considered the best ploy on a River the size of the Tay was to work each section as a group, each fishing a different method, and noting the success or failure of each method. As we were together all the time, we were all of course aware of exactly where fish were being taken. Not that a great many fish were taken however, the fishing was extremely tough. We considered throughout the week, that the other Teams must have been struggling to catch too, and that just a couple of fish per session would be enough to win.
On Thursday, (the day before the Match) the forecast was for sustained heavy rain, which the locals informed us might well rise the River by around 3 feet! This was a little bit scary, and would mean that many of the spots we were counting on as areas to produce fish would simply be no longer accessible.
By the time we went to bed on Thursday night though the forecast rain had not appeared, and we all quietly breathed a sigh of relief. What we were not aware of though, was the fact that in the catchment area many miles away high in the mountains, it had been raining steadily all day, and continued throughout the night. We awoke on Friday morning (Match day) to the news that the River was up over 2 feet, and quite coloured. This of course meant all the Teams plans were virtually abandoned. A quick rethink was considered, but then discounted. Kieron and I were confident our Team had the experience and ability to be able to adapt to the change in conditions, and we explained this to them. We simply said, “Just go and fish what you see in front of you. You decide where in these conditions you are most likely to get a fish, and you decide the best method”.
The change in conditions meant we knew this was now going to be a real scratch for a fish, and many blanks were going to be inevitable. We considered that 1 fish per session would very likely produce a session win! And so indeed it turned out.
The home Team Scotland, failed to catch a single fish in the first 2 sessions, whilst we had a number of 1sts, as well as a couple of blanks ourselves. By lunch time, we believed we were some distance ahead of our nearest competitors, though we still needed a good afternoon, as we have been in similar positions before, and have lost the advantage in the last 2 sessions. This time however, confidence was high. Just do the same as you did this morning said Kieron and I, and we are home and dry. We achieved a very similar result in the afternoon, as we had in the morning with a good number of 1sts and 2nds, and were we believed, clearly well ahead at the end of the Match.
The official results confirmed our beliefs; Wales had won by a very comfortable margin, to round it all off, we also had the highest placed individual (Allen Hughes)
This was a very satisfying result away from home on a River the size of which, none of us were used to fishing, and as Manager, I am of course, extremely proud of the entire Teams efforts.
Whilst we all relish the days of perfect water conditions, and we look forward to some pretty impressive numbers of fish caught, in reality we have to rely on the conditions as we find them on the day. And of course in poor fishing conditions, we simply have to set our goals a lot lower. In the high water conditions we have had for seemingly months now, many of us have simply not bothered to fish, probably because we know that catches are going to be very low, or even none existent. However, we as true competition anglers must realise that big numbers of fish is not always the measure of a successful day. In high water conditions, a single fish can be a success, and this International Match was on one such day.
So set your sights lower in bad conditions, forget about huge hauls of fish, get out there and learn to scratch a result from poor conditions…….You never know you might be faced with similar conditions in an important Match in the future.
Rivers Team Manager.
2012 VICTORIOUS RIVERS TEAM which includes fishing Manager Paul Jenkins
From Left. Overall Ind winner of the Moc Morgan Trophy Allen Hughes and winning team Captain Kieron Jenkins