GWFFA 3rd Bank Match at Grafham Water on Sunday 23rd October 2016

Thirteen GWFFA club members fished their third and final bank match at Grafham Water on Sunday 23rd October 2016. Most of the anglers opted for the North end of the dam and along the North shore. Winner Steve Jones found his fish along the G bank area with Hares Ears and Diawl Bachs on a floating line. Second place Hilary Tomlinson netted her fish in The Bowl on a small muddler. john Vincent caught his on Diawl Bachs at The Willows and weighed in by 10am. The best fish was caught by Steve Jones a 2lb 15oz rainbow. The thirteen anglers managed 74 fish for a rod average of 5.7. The fish were mainly full of killer shrimp. £26 in match fees was collected.


1st. Steve Jones. 8 fish for 16lb 10oz.

2nd. Hilary Tomlinson. 8 fish for 15lb 14oz.

3rd. John Vincent. 8 fish for 15lb 8oz.

My Grief with ‘Grafham Grief’

This is a copy of a letter sent to Trout Fisherman by Stephen Jones in response to a letter that was very critical of Grafham Water.  I am sure that it reflects the views of many of us who fish Grafham.

Dear Trout fisherman
I’ve been a reader of your magazine for the past ten years and congratulate you in keeping it interesting with a varied content. I always read the letters page with interest and although I’ve not agreed with all of them, I’ve not felt the urge to reply until now. I am writing in reply to the letter written by Graham Dyke who last month gave Grafham Water a bad review. TF Editor, I’m surprised you let this go without a challenge given your relationship with Grafham, thousands of anglers must read this magazine and will be sure to avoid the place after such a negative review.

Dear Mr Dyke, if you’ve only been fishing for four years then I doubt very much you have the knowledge and ability to get it right at Grafham on every visit. I’ve been fishing Grafham Water for the past eleven years and still get it wrong often. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t any fish there, just that I’m not quite there yet, a bit like you. You can’t understand why you’re not catching as many as previous years but no year of fishing is ever the same as things can change from season to season and you need to learn and adapt.

You asked a Lady in the shop what the rod average was, it could have been one of two ladies that work there and they are both lovely and helpful, but probably not as interested in fishing as us. Perhaps you’d have found the notice board that you passed before entering the shop helpful, it’s updated daily telling you the all important rod average, best areas and methods. It also tells you the day’s weather forecast just incase you haven’t bothered to check before leaving home.

You asked a manager if they were having a spot the ball competition, ball being replaced by a staff member, why be sarcastic? It’s true that Grafham have lost some quality staff but that’s life, things change, life goes on. John, Paul and Simon left to take up new jobs with more sociable hours, Alan and Ray have retired, something we are all entitled to do eventually, so what’s your point? All the Wardens currently on Grafham’s books are friendly, helpful and informative. They work long hours and probably get fed up with negative comments from anglers like yourself, but you need to remember that it’s not their fault if you’re not catching, more likely yours or the weather.

Stocking levels—not sure of the exact numbers but if they are important to you then just check the notice board at the shop. It’s true that they have been stocking smaller fish at Grafham and Rutland over recent years but absolute nonsense to state that your 7wt feels like a tow rope. Even the small two pounders are giving a good account of themselves at the moment and will easily straighten your hooks if you are too hard on them.

You think your two fish catch is fishing as well as average, if not better. Sorry but you are wrong and way off the mark. The rod average at Grafham this year has been as high as 10.3, it was 7.9 last week and was 5.8 w/e 17/7/16 with a season average also of 5.8. What’s wrong with that? I fished the Anniversary match on the 3rd of July, it was an eight fish kill match with no catch and release. It fished to an average of 7.9 and most anglers had caught their limit fairly early. I have had as many as thirty fish to the boat this season and just two weeks ago fishing with a partner we managed twenty to the boat. At the other end of the scale I’ve fished two club matches this year where I only managed one fish while others bagged up. That’s life, and that’s fishing!

I think it’s a shame that someone can write such a negative review of a water without really knowing it and potentially damage its custom. Mr Dyke I hope you enjoy future success at Grafham, but if you feel the urge to write to TF in future then why not write to the advice squad, you may get a reply from the likes of Rob Edmonds with some useful tips for fishing Grafham. If any readers were put off fishing Grafham after reading Mr Dyke’s letter ( Grafham Grief ) I’d advise you to reconsider as it doesn’t paint a true picture of this great venue. Ironically it rates 3rd place in the Trout Fisherman Stillwaters top 100 guide included in the same issue.

As we enter August I would expect things to get hard but no harder than normal. It can be a great month for dries and hoppers depending on the weather but don’t forget to pull your hoppers. On the other hand you may need a sinker but working it out is all part of the fun, it’s fishing! I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the staff at Grafham for their hard work, their dedication and their friendliness. They work long hours to allow us to enjoy this great sport and for me, taking a boat out at Grafham always feels a privilege.

Steve Jones

GWFFA 2nd Bank Match Saturday 24th September.

8 members of GWFFA were on the banks at Grafham Water on a very breezy day. Fishing happened to be very good with a number of 8 fish limits taken. The winner Mark Brinkman fished on Pylon Point before the wind picked up catching 8 fish in about an hour using SSI line with a snake and Daiwl Bachs. His best fish was a cracking 4lb 7oz rainbow. Another angler Peter Waterhouse caught his 8 in Plummer on floating line with shrimp in about two hours. A number of limits were also taken on the South end of the day with shrimp and Daiwl Bach’s There were lots of fish on the bank line. Fish in Plummer were all full of shrimp. The 8 anglers managed 49 fish for a rod average of 6.1. £16 in match fees was collected.


1st. Mark Brinkman. 8 fish for 17lb 4oz

2nd. Steve Cracknell. 8 fish for 16lb 1oz

3rd.  Steve Jones 8 fish for 15lb 11oz.

GWFFA 3rd Boat Match

15 Club members fished their 3rd and final boat match on Saturday 17th September. The weather conditions were awful with high winds restricting fishing to the North shore. The day was difficult and challenging. Some anglers did well using intermediate lines with blobs and nymphs and others on full floating lines. The anglers managed 50 fish including a spectacular 4lb 11os brown trout caught by Norman Ruston. Also a novice angler and new member John Abrey from Barton Mills managed 2 fine rainbows on a floating line with traditional wets on what was his first boat trip. He beat a number of well established anglers.


1st. Derek Bravington 8 fish for 15lb 10oz.

2nd. Mark Brinkman 8 fish for 14lb 4oz.

3rd. David Spall 6 fish for 13lb 12oz.

John Maitland Trophy Sunday 28th August.

This annual boat match between RWFF and GWFFA at Rutland was well supported again this year with 28 anglers in total taking part followed by a meal and presentation in the Italian restaurant in the fishing lodge.

117 fish were caught and weighed with a rod average of 4.2. All our competitions this year have been a 5 fish kill only and many other fish were caught and released on the day(up to a maximum of ten) with c and r counting as 2lbs per fish.

Well done to GWFFA who managed to out fish us by 66 fish (134lbs) to 51 fish (108lbs).

Best bag   Richard Cooper  10 fish for 21lbs 7oz with best fish of the match at 3lbs 9 oz

Best pair prize   Chris Bobby and Graham Pearson   39lbs 14oz

2nd pair prize    Richard Cooper and Neil Walsh        32lbs 8oz

3rd pair prize    Chris Evans and Mark Brinkman       24lbs 3oz

This was the first time in three matches that GWFFA have won and the match will take place at Grafham next year.

Well done and thanks to all who took part.

Revised Match Rules

Anglian Water have changed the season ticket format with the deletion of the previous blue ticket, which was previously Catch & Release with 10 days where a full 8 fish catch and keep was allowed on boat days. There are now Gold, Silver & Bronze season ticket options; the Bronze ticket allowing a maximum of 5 fish to be kept. Anglian Water have for many years kindly given a dispensation for our bank matches to allow a season ticket holder to fish to an 8 fish limit, to match the day ticket limit. This I am pleased to say Anglian are happy to continue with for all season ticket holders. However for the boat matches the Bronze is limited to 5 fish kept with Catch & Release thereafter.

To enable our members with Bronze tickets to compete in GWFFA club boat matches without the need of buying a day ticket we have modified the club rules. They now allow 5 fish to be caught and kept and a further 3 fish released and witnessed by your boat partner. Each released fish will be deemed to weigh 2lb. Alternatively if you would prefer to catch and keep 8 fish and additional day ticket will need to be purchased for boat matches.

Trusting this gives you the flexibility of choice of ticket with the ability to take part in both bank and boat matches without additional cost. I have attached a full copy of the match rules for your information.

Please do note that the club match days are as much about a fun day out with like minded anglers as they are the competition. If you have not yet joined us on a day either boat or bank I do urge you to do so.