Tracy&James | Thursday, 14 December 2017

My annual foray into competition fly fishing did not go at all well at the weekend. I’m not sure what position I finished in as they didn’t embarrass me by publishing the full results sheet, but I must have been near the bottom in a field of 20 odd.

Things actually didn’t start too badly. I wasn’t overly enamoured when I arrived at the first peg that I’d drawn at random, it was a shallow bay which, on a freezing cold day, I’d normally walk past due to the lack of accessible deep water. However whilst getting ready I saw some fish move, and my newly found optimism was bolstered by a take on the second cast. Unfortunately I lost this fish after a few seconds. I started with a hare’s ear pattern on a long leader with a floating line, this tends to be my default setting on small still-waters unless something obvious makes me kick-off with some other tactic, e.g. hatching buzzers or seeing fish taking dries etc. Not long after the lost fish I got a nice solid tightening which resulted in a fish in the net, but subsequently I pulled out of another, annoyingly right at the net. I quickly added a second fish landed, however again this was followed by a distance release. So three fish lost and two landed, whilst telling Tracy about my bad luck (she wasn’t fishing as she’s still suffering with her injury – plus she doesn’t really do ‘cold’) I also managed to miss a solid take, which probably serves me right for not concentrating.

The gun then went off for the hourly change of peg.  The format of the competition meant that everyone moved clockwise by 5 spaces, thus by the end of the competition everyone had completed almost a lap of the lake.  Tracy let me know that the chap 5 places down from me had done pretty well, so I was relatively happy that I was going to a fishy area.  However this proved to wishful thinking on my behalf.  It turns out that the chap whose footsteps I was following in (for the rest of the day) is a well known competition angler who had won an event on the lake just a few weeks earlier.  He also went on to win this competition by a large margin with an impressive fish haul (plus the biggest fish of the day).  Interestingly I did not get another take or even see a fish for the rest of the event.

I believe the angler in question did a superb job of maximising his catch from every spot, methodically fishing each area from side to side and from surface to lake bed with his shooting head set-ups.  This left me nothing to go at once I arrived at the pegs he’d just vacated – just one of those things I guess (I also think this is one of my best ever excuses for not catching fish Frown ).  There was one consolation though, one of the fish I caught was tagged and this won me a free day’s fishing at the same venue.  I’ll probably save this for spring when things are warming up a bit.

On my last FP I asked a question about observational bias; i.e. someone takes a coin out of their pocket and flips 6 heads in a row and then asks you to bet on the outcome of the 7th flip.  

Everyone knows that coins have no memory, thus it could be argued that heads or tails offer the exact same odds of 1 in 2, or 0.5 probability.  However, perhaps this answer plays on the observational bias that most of us have that coins are inherently fair, albeit prone to seemingly odd runs of luck.

But all we actually know about the particular coin in question is that it’s been flipped 6 times and landed on heads 6 times – what if the coin itself is biased?  In this case a bet on ‘tails’ gives a maximum probability of 0.5 (assuming that the 6 heads was just an unusual run), whereas a bet on ‘heads’ gives a minimum probability of 0.5 (i.e. if the coin is in fact ‘biased’ then the odds would be better).  Therefore, in this case perhaps a bet of ‘heads’ would be the best choice.

Have a great weekend, James

sportfish comp 1

sportfish comp 2

sportfish comp 3

sportfish comp 4

sportfish comp 5

sportfish comp 6