Game Section Newsletters & Reports
|2007 Team Captains Report|
Dear Fellow Anglers
Having taken over from Chris when I first drafted this letter in early January, I was stuck on a train delayed by flooding and the new season seemed a very long way off. I had naively hoped to publish a 2008 fixture list at Christmas but little did I understand the complexities and de-confliction required. Mindful that our anglers are itching to arrange leave and holidays, I have decided to publish the provisional fixture list but with the health warning that only the fixtures in bold are confirmed and safe to enter in your diaries in ink! As the few remaining fixtures firm up, the web will be updated. At the stage when I am happy to commit to paper, I will inform you all and request availability returns from our members.
The administration of the Association can be challenging at the best of times and unavoidable events led to last year being no exception. Circumstances construed to throw up challenges not least with our Secretary Chris Anderson leaving the Service and finding it difficult to attend as many fixtures as he would have liked. My being deployed and starting a new appointment in London (not much fishing there I know) also caused much disturbance in my support as Team Captain. Not least was my forced absence from the Inter Services. Despite these distractions, the fishing didn't seem to suffer and on the whole, as an Association, we experienced a successful season.
The continued development of the RNRMAA website has been a great success and thanks must go to Lin our WEB MISTRESS for all her hard work. To make it even more informative and pertinent, I urge you all to use the Forum and make a concerted effort to submit articles. I can also recommend the Army's Soldier Palmers website as an informative location which should provide inspiration.
The Combined Services Sports Board periodically reviews individual sports eligibility for public funding. Last autumn it promulgated its latest report which reclassified Competitive Angling, effectively downgrading it. This has very significant implications regarding the standing of anglers and their duty status which also effects leave, insurance, accommodation and travel entitlement. Importantly the report specifies that prior to any reclassification, the relevant Service Sports Association would be consulted, this did not happen. Currently senior officers from the three Service Sports and Angling Associations are making a joint top level approach to resolve this issue. More to follow on this one as things develop.
Association of Major Fly Fishing Clubs(AMFC)
I have attached the AMFC Secretary's 2007 report which details just how 'touch and go' it was in the battle for promotion to group 2. I have to say a big thanks to Paul Vine for his outstanding support in running the AMFC's over the last few years. Last year work commitments and looming OU targets meant he was unable to commit as much time to fishing and was forced to take a slight step back. I took over running the AMFC fixtures but must add that Paul had already completed a majority of the administration. That said, the most challenging aspect I faced was identifying sufficient anglers to field a full team. Several matches found us a rod short on the day as individuals were forced to withdraw at the very last minute. Those that did attend fished exceptionally well and kept us in the race for promotion and found us going into the last round, still with the potential to be promoted. Although a close run thing we came second in the group and live to fight again. Better luck next year! I strongly believe that the main reason for the team's strong standing throughout the season was due to the extra effort put in by those that regularly were prepared to attend practice sessions on the days prior to competitions and were able to share information with the other team members.
I would like to thank all those that supported and the 14 anglers that fished in the AMFC matches last season. I would especially like to pay tribute to Dave Morton who particularly aided me in the running of the AMFC's last season. His support was unwavering, from his willingness to practice, his reliability and his local knowledge of Bewl where, on a particularly windy day, he unselfishly gave me a lesson on beaching drills and outboard engine maintenance. Thanks David!
Mark Glass will hold the fort until Damian Sheils takes over as AMFC Rep in August when he returns to a shore side job. Having experienced the challenge of coordinating these fixtures I urge you all to support these events which despite being very competitive are always rewarding and educational.
Services Fly Fishing Championships
Early June saw the initial staging of the Services Fly Fishing Championships which was held at Grafham. It was the painchild of the Police Fly Fishing Section and pitted 6 teams of 8 anglers from the Police, Fire and Rescue, Prison Service, Civil Service, Army and RNRM. It was a well organised event which was won by a very strong Army team; however, the RN team accredited themselves well, coming a very respectable 2nd. It proved a popular fixture that we will continue to support and this season it will again be contested at Grafham in early June.RN Open and RN Pairs
The 2007 RN Open and Pairs Championship was again fished at Rutland to increase our anglers knowledge of the fishery prior to the Inter Services, as well as to ease travelling for those from the North. Despite this, no anglers from the North made it to the Open and it proved to be a particularly hard day with only 20 competitors, no bag limits, 8 blanks and a rod average of 1.5! Congratulations must go to Mark Glass for the determined way in which he plugged away in the area around Normanton to catch 7 fish and, in doing so, won the Open and also the Pairs with his boat partner Kev Melhuish. This season we have decided to remain at Rutland for the RN Open but at the next committee meeting the 2009 venue will be decided.
I have posted a detailed report, photographs and catch return elsewhere on the web. Well done the RM team who for once did exactly as piefed by their team Captain (me)! I had managed a day's practice the previous day partnered by Mark Glass and had caught a double bag limit of good quality hard fighting fish by lunch time. When Mark eventually switched to match my tactics, he too caught a double limit but after much ribbing! We both agreed it was an exceptional day's fishing and without doubt my best day on Rutland. Having purchased the lodges remaining stock of the killer fly, the team were piefed and given the flies and went on to win convincingly! Again practice paid dividends. Mne J Lawson with the biggest bag also won the RM Open title. A real bonus was the discovery of Mne Ed Cain who, despite being a novice, caught a bag limit on his first outing on Rutland. If this was not impressive enough, as he did not have a landing net, he boated all his fish and his partner's with his bare hands!
I was not able to attend the Inter Services but Chris has posted a detailed account elsewhere on the web. Suffice to say that despite finishing 3rd the squad as a whole enjoyed the competition. Those that attended the coaching sessions benefited from the experience, tips and local knowledge provided by a couple of days tuition from the well respected professional coach Craig Barr. Although it had minimal effect on the day of the competition, the tips will filter through the team and might just be the killer method next time!
This season we are unable to conduct a similar coaching session on Rutland because all boats have been pre-booked on the Saturday prior to the event. The merits of conducting a similar session at a different water will be an agenda item at the forth coming committee meeting.
A Look Forward
Chris and I have now completed the handover as Game Secretary but he cannot escape that easily! He has volunteered to assume the role of the newly created Membership Secretary and will no doubt still have a big part to play in developing the Game Section. At the last fixture of 2007 we publicly thanked him for his loyalty and support in running the Game Section as Secretary and also thanked Lin for all her efforts with creating and maintaining the website.
To ensure you have your say at the forthcoming committee meeting, please pass any issues through your regional/Command reps. Looking at the demographic of the Association, it shows the stark reality that our membership is in need of some younger blood. We desperately require a positive recruitment drive to promote our sport and entice a more youthful pool of anglers who can be developed for the future. This is an aspect where Chris especially has several ideas and will focus on as the Membership Secretary but if each one of us introduces just one new member this season it will be a good start. I am greatly looking forward to a good year on the water, to seeing as many of you as possible at our fixtures and hope to maintain the good work that Chris and his predecessors have done.
Regards and Tight Lines for the coming season.
AR MUNDY, RNRMAA Game Secretary
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