Winning teams, flies and tactics from the 2020 Cortland Team Championships

With a massively disrupted competition calendar, the Turrall and Cortland sponsored 2020 Team Championships were more keenly anticipated than ever! Staged on Chew and Blagdon, the event drew a strong attendance and some great catches this year, with 168 anglers relishing their return to competitive fly fishing, with brilliant seven fish average.

With the fish hungry and high in the water, the majority used floating lines, making the most of the early calm to get off to a flying start. Favoured patterns included FABs, mini Boobies, crunchers and Diawl Bachs. More on the winning patterns and tactics shortly…

Top rod on day one was Tom Bird taking 17 fish for 33lb 11oz. At this point, Stocks Falcons were in the lead, with Cortland second, closely followed by FASNA and Airflo. It was to set up a tight finish on the second day, with favourable conditions holding, but slightly more challenging fishing.

It was Stocks Falcons who prevailed in the end (above). The team successfully replicated tactics that had been very successful during practice, fishing a Foam Daddy on the point, along with two Mini Cormorants, plus a Sparkler on the top dropper. Their total of 117 fish for 244lbs took them three clear of FASNA, to claim victory.
Team FASNA claimed second.

Blagdon Fly Fishers earned a hard-fought third.

The winners were richly rewarded by the sponsors, with a cheque for £1000, Cortland fly lines and Turrall fly boxes to go with their trophy. Second and third teams also won top quality fly lines, fly boxes and other Turrall goodies, along with cash prizes for an excellent match. Meanwhile, individual crown went to Team FASNA’s Tom Pitchford (below) , whose 31 fish haul over two days won him a Cortland Mk2 Competition Series rod.

Huge credit also has to go to John Horsey and the team at both waters, for their excellent job of hosting and keeping everyone safe with the extra measures needed due to Covid.
FINAL TEAM STANDINGS

1. Stocks Falcons 117 fish, 224lb 2oz
2. Team FASNA UK 114 fish, 235lb 1oz
3. Blagdon Fly Fishers 107 fish, 223lb 7oz
4. BRFFA Team Cortland 103 fish, 221lb 13oz

  1. Team Vision 92 fish, 194lb 6oz
  2. CWM Flyfishers 93 fish, 193lb 6oz
    7. Hungry Trout 89 fish, 189lb 4oz
  3. Welsh Wizards 84 fish, 180lb 1oz
    9. Team Airflo 86 fish, 179lb 1oz
    10. Team Snowbee 69 fish 151lb 5oz
    11. Tannahill Raiders 71 fish, 145lb 6oz
    12. The Peregrines 65 fish, 136lb 13oz
    13. Trout Ticklers 62 fish, 132 lbs 7oz
    14. West Country Crunchers 52 fish, 112lbs 0ozFINAL INDIVIDUAL STANDINGS

    1.HF Tom Pitchford 31 fish, 63lbs 12oz
    2. CE Alun Williams 29 fish, 59lbs 14oz
    3. HE Sean Jones, 28 fish, 56lbs 9oz
    4. LF Paul Bond 27 fish, 55lbs 8oz
    5. EE Bob Fitzpatrick 24 fish, 51lbs 1oz

Winning flies and tactics

Along with several regular favourites, the fishing threw up some surprises this year. Perhaps most notably was the success of a Foam Daddy Longlegs as a point fly. These worked very well on a Washing Line set up, with mini Diawl Bachs or Cormorants on the droppers.  Obviously competition anglers have to limit their flies to strict dimensions, but for a pleasure session on the lakes, you could easily opt for one of our award-winning full-size dry flies, like the Dark Foam Daddy.

Of course, there are other successful point flies that will work a treat for the Washing Line on point, whether you go for floating or intermediate line, and these include the various FABs and small Boobies, both of which put out lots of commotion, while drawing fish to your smaller flies.

One good tip, though, is not to fish these flies too fast. Quite often, especially with trout that have seen lots of bright flies, you’ll get more hook-ups by using slower retrieves and pauses.


Finally, don’t rule out the natural approach either as autumn arrives! Buzzers will continue to catch, as will Diawl Bachs and Crunchers, not to mention dry flies such as Bob’s Bits and Hoppers, such as the easy to fish Maraflash Hopper (below). Find all these patterns at Turrall stockists including Trout Catchers and FliesOnline right now.

With ex England International and Team Cortland angler Gary Pearson currently at Turrall Flies, we’re also going to be refining and expanding our range of top class stillwater fly patterns in the coming months! Don’t forget to keep an eye on our website and the Turrall Flies Facebook page for the latest flies updates.

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