Regrets, I Have a Few
But then again it’s my own fault. The fact I had been away on holiday and the few days I could have practiced were just too bloody hot is really no excuse. If I had been that serious (and I should have been) I would have at least had a few casts in the few I had available before the CLA salt water comp. Before I went on holiday I did actually go to a lake and practice picking the head off the water and I’m jolly glad I did, there is definitely a technique to it. I arrived too late to compete on Friday and I had to do all my attempted qualifying on Saturday which, as it turned out wasn’t such a bad thing because Friday was very hot and Saturday was a lot cooler but the wind was a bit of a pain blowing strongly down the lake which meant we were casting across it. It’s a shame they cannot re-orientate the markers but there you go, it was the same for everyone. At least we didn’t have a fence or ropes behind us, for a change. It wasn’t all bad news though, I did qualify for the trout distance final.
I haven’t competed at the CLA for a few years but I seem to remember big queues at the qualifying and getting nervous that time was running out. This year there were just a few of us and getting your goes in wasn’t too much of a problem. It turned out that most of the competitors were good friends anyway, Lee Cummings, Ben Dixon, James Evans, Tracy Thomas, Hamish Young, Jonathon Tomlinson, Gilly Bate and, biggest surprise of the day, Matt Howell who was in the UK because of a tragic accident to his father-in-law. Regardless of the circumstances it’s always a pleasure to see Matt although I’m not sure the feeling was mutual, but it’s not his fault the Aussies are crap at cricket.
Sitting quietly to one side was a young Irish lad who turned out to be our nemesis (the men anyway). Thomas Armstrong looks too young to worry about but I suggest if you see his name on the list of competitors you start to worry. This young man is serious competition, he eventually beat me in the trout distance final and beat everyone else in the salt water final. I just hope that by next year he has found women and gives up casting for a year or two and give the rest of us a chance.
I think I need to consider having a go at the spey casting then I can fill my entire weekend with competing and have a thoroughly good time with a great bunch of people. I just love competing and the strange thing I’m not a particularly completive person. In the Great British tradition, it’s not the winning, it’s the taking part. Yeah, right.
Gilly Bate is the CLA ladies UK Trout Distance Champion and Tracy came third. James was just behind me in the Mens but Thomas Armstrong won everything else. Well nearly, Scott MacKenzie came out of retirement to win the spey comp and show the youngsters how it should be done. Oldie Power.
Next year no more Mr nice guy, I’m getting serious.