Mike Dixon has been crowned this year’s ATTEFF English National Loch-Style champion after a challenging two-day final held at Chew Valley Lake.
Mike’s splendid performance over both days saw him land eight fish to 3lb 10oz to pip last year’s champion Mark Miles into second place.
Over 100 anglers had qualified for the Angling Trust Team England Fly Fishing final through a series of heats held all over the country but found catching tough right from the start of practice days when they were greeted with bright sunshine and strong winds.
Day one of the final saw a change in the weather with overcast skies and near calm conditions but the fishing remained tough with many experienced anglers struggling to catch. With the sun returning for day two, the fishing didn’t get any easier.
It resulted in a tight competition which saw a number of anglers who prospered on day one slipping out of the top spots by the end, including overnight leader John Hardy who failed to add to his tally of six fish on day one.
Eventual winner Mike Dixon, however, maintained his form over both days. His five fish on day one put him in eighth spot with a total weight of 10lb 9oz, and on day two he finished sixth on the day and first overall after landing a further three fish with a total weight of 8lb 7oz.
Runner-up Mark Miles followed up his three fish on day one – the best weighing 4lb 3oz – with seven on day two, while third place went to Tom Gott who found five fish on day one and three on day two, the best on both days weighing 2lb 12oz.
Biggest fish on day one was landed by Matt Kingdom at 6lb 3oz while Andy Haskins took the honours on day two with a fish of 4lb 14oz.
There were 189 fish caught on day one with 135 on day two. With the conditions proving challenging, many anglers resorted to a variety of methods from dry fly fishing to pulling lures and nymphs.
The 28 top anglers will form the two Angling Trust Team England Fly Fishing teams for next year and will fish at either Chew in the spring or Menteith, Scotland, in the autumn.
The top 10 anglers were:
- Mike Dixon
- Mark Miles
- Tom Gott
- Mark Haycock
- Nikki Long
- Mark Rooney
- Phil Shaw-Browne
- Thomas Bird
- Iain Bar
- Antony Donnelly
Rest of the England qualifiers were: John Braithwaite, David Bromley, Roger Truscott, Ed Foster, Andy Cottam, Dave Summers, Mark Tremain-Coker, Tony Fox, Alex Johnstone, Steve Smalley, Mark Rose, Ed Smith, Tom Speake, Nick Dunn, Ryan Feber, Craig Barr, Andy Taylor and Matt Kingdom.