The ATTEFF rivers team consisting of Del Spry (Captain), Cameron Craigs, Mark Lynch, Simon Clarke, Paul Fairhurst and Carl Nixon (Manager/Reserve) headed out to the River Agivey in Ireland to compete in the recent Home International, 1st-5th July. England had several new caps in its team of six and beating the home team, and the experienced Welsh and Scottish teams, was always going to be a difficult task. Three of the team went out for a three-day trip in June to practice on the river and this proved valuable as the team prepared on the official practice days before the match.
As the week and practice progressed the team worked well to come up with working methods and to identify fish holding areas and access points. However, the big numbers and sizable fish soon made themselves scarce as match day approached. The team settled on a few successful methods, these being; the Duo, double nymph, a Single Plume Tip for the rising fish, and a larger Parker’s Dry in dead water slowly twitched back to get a response. The river conditions all week were ideal, however, agricultural machinery capable of raising and dropping the level 2-4 inches in a matter an hour or so, made the fish a little skittish at times.
On match day the Scottish and Welsh teams picked up blanks in the morning session and the Irish and English all caught. Things were close heading into the afternoon session. The afternoon sessions proved difficult and again the Scottish and Welsh teams picked up more blanks, unfortunately so too did the England team. The final scores saw Ireland win on home turf with Scotland taking silver and England bronze.
Del Spry Team Captain said, “On the whole the week went very smoothly; the Irish did a fantastic job at organising everything. The team worked well together and worked hard on the water, both during practice and match day. We had an inexperienced team, but they were not lacking in effort and this showed in the results as we were only a few points behind a very experienced and disciplined Scottish team. This was a great England team and with more experience at this level I am sure we can improve on the results next year.”
Carl Nixon Manager said, “For an inexperienced team, we pushed a very experienced, circa 50 capped Scottish team hard for Silver. It was not the result we had hoped for but one we are all proud of considering the experience of the other teams. We would like to thank our sponsors Wychwood Game, Pure Fishing, Hunt’s Original and the Duke of Northumberland and Albury Estates for their support”
1st: Ireland 34 points
2nd: Scotland 50 points
3rd: England 54 points
4th: Ireland 63 points