Tracy&James | Sunday, 2 October 2022
Well that’s it for another BFCC casting season, the final event was yesterday in Brentwood, Essex. James had already won the yearly championship prior to the day but was looking to make it a clean sweep of event wins for the year, however the competition on the day was fierce and the standard of competitive casting was fantastic with four different winners of the individual disciplines.
The first event of the day was won by Nick who was delighted with his first ever BFCC win in the accuracy competition. This was a very difficult event with a gusty wind making high scoring tough. However Nick held his nerve and made the necessary adjustments to take a well deserved win.
Nick went on to take his second win in the afternoon’s single handed events where he cast a stunning 143ft distance to win the #7 trout distance competition. This was one of the most competitive #7 events that the BFCC has recorded with the top nine casters all exceeding 40 yards, including myself, although my 127ft cast was only good enough for 6th place (but beat my oldies female record). The distance Nick cast is perhaps the biggest demonstration for technique being key in fly casting as (and I’m sure he won’t mind me saying this) he’s certainly not using brute strength to fire it out – anyone who has seen the stature of Nick will know that brute strength isn’t his forte!
Nick also produced a fantastic cast in the #5 trout distance competition to join a very exclusive club who have cast a #5 over 130ft or ~40m at a BFCC event. The first person to do it was a bloke you may have heard of; Paul Arden – but he’s since been joined by Matt Tonkin, Kei Okamoto, Zhongxiang Zhu, Bart de Zwaan and my James. So Nick now gets to add his name to that short list. It’s also clear that Nick’s wins this weekend will be the first of many and he will definitely be a contender for next year’s championship.
Nick could well be slugging it out with Bart for next year’s virtual trophy (yes, the club still hasn’t bought one). Bart is keen to attend more events and to up his game with the disciplines that he’s less familiar with at the moment. That said, at the weekend’s event he held his own in the double handed competitions and the T38 so he wasn’t too far behind James (who won with both Salmon outfits and came 2nd in accuracy and T38) going into the afternoon’s single handed outfits. Here he produced another one off his stunning #5 trout distance figures of 137ft, just shy of his BFCC record. Two second places, in the ST27 and #7 trout distance was enough to give him the overall win on the day, pipping James by one point overall. James had a bit of a nightmare in the #5 trout distance, coming a perplexing 7th, after being beaten by myself amongst others.
It was also great to have John Reynolds back fit and casting after a lay off caused by a hip operation. Despite a lack of practice, JR showed he’s still a formidable competitor taking wins in the ST27 and T38 single handed shooting-head events. Hopefully there will be many more wins to come, keeping the youngsters on their toes.
There were a number of other notable casting performances on the day but one I’d like to mention here is a certain board member, Whinging Pom. There wasn’t much to moan about when he put a #5 weight line out to 114ft. I know how much ‘Pom’ has been practicing and it’s clearly paying off!
Although I’ve talked about the competition side of things, I should mention the instructors who have attended the BFCC events throughout the year. Without them there would be no BFCC and their efforts to improve the casting of those attending for tuition is hugely appreciated. This event we had the ‘old’ crowd, so Mark, Mike H, Sekhar and Mike M supported by Dominic providing excellent instruction and all of the attendees praised them and asked me to thank them for their advice. In particular after that day of tuition from Mark and Sekhar, one attendee was so pleased when casting with me, he cast 77 feet following which I presented him with a 25 yard badge – which he had primarily come for. Next year he promised me he would come to more events and would work towards the 30 yard badge. All the other instructors for this year have also been amazing – Paul B, Phil R, Ian G, Mark P, Don S and John D - so my great thanks to all of them for theirsupport.
I’m now looking forward to focusing on my fishing as James and I go on a long salt water fly fishing trip (long awaited too) in less than 2 weeks. So whatever you have planned, enjoy and tight lines,