Summer Cup – Sunday 17th May 2015 (Revised Date)

Brick FarmOur 2nd Competition of the year ( Summer Cup ) has been re-arranged for Brick Farm on the 17th May to avoid a clash with the Cowpie show on 10th May 2015.

Initial enquiries for a bacon roll resulted in us being quoted £4 each!!, however, after a bit of negotiation we have got that included in the price for the 4 fish ticket – £30.

If you intend to enter this competition please contact Neil Nice as soon as possible using the comment section of this article, the entry form on the Club Notice Board or through the Club Face Book Group.

Spring Cup Report

Garry Poole

Garry Poole – Winner of the Spring Cup 2015

Ten members took part in the Crawley Fly Fishers Club Spring Cup Competition held at Hazel Copse Fishery on Sunday 12 April.   The morning began with Wilf , doing us proud, serving up a bacon roll and tea/coffee first thing. The weather was dry but the wind was strong, changeable and proved problematic at times making casting difficult. 

Spring Cup 2015 (3)

Don’t step on that net handle Fred!

Fish were in abundance and members were catching almost immediately from the start  –  well some were!! two members in particular got five fish between them as far as the net and no further – much too early for catch and release!!!

A couple of members taking a relaxed approach to the competition.

A couple of members taking a relaxed approach to the competition.

There did not appear to be any particular fly pattern in vogue although two members had a very good day using a ‘Montana’ on intermediate / sinking line. 

You can just see one of our more dynamic members in the background

You can just see one of our more dynamic members …………… in the background!

The competition was based on a 3 fish ticket with everyone bagging up before the end of the day – one member who shall remain nameless just managed to get his last fish 10 minutes before the final whistle.

The one and only 'brownie'

The one and only ‘brownie’

We had been told lots of ‘brownies’ were available, and although the fish were not exactly giving themselves up everyone got their limit with surprisingly only one ‘brownie’ being caught.  

The fishery was well stocked and everyone had a very enjoyable day


 1st  – Garry Poole 

2nd  – Fred Golding 

  3rd  – Ted How

Early Season Outing – Fly Fishing for Carp

By Simon Young

OOOPS!!!   Very slippery these Carp.

OOOPS!!! Very slippery these Carp.

On the 8th March, Myself, Garry Poole and Colin Rogers met up at mid-day at Centre Lake in Newdigate Farms Estate to fly fish for Carp.

Not really expecting too much to happen due to the cold water and cold wind this early in the season we were surprised to get fish up and feeding albeit slowly.

Ahhh!!    Now got it under control

Ahhh!! Now got it under control

When the wind dropped and the sun came out briefly the Carp were slightly more active. I only managed 1 of about 7lbs and lost another bigger one at the net whilst Garry had several more from his favourite spot.

We let Colin play a few fish on our #10 weights and the look on Colin’s face was priceless, I’m sure he will be off to get himself a bigger landing net and unhooking mat soon.

That's right, keep it in the net  -  Less likely to slip out of your hands!!!

That’s right, keep it in the net – Less likely to slip out of your hands!!!

Despite the cold it was a very enjoyable few hours and nice to get out to flex the muscles and getting Carp on the top so early in the year was a bonus.

Newdigate Farm Estates   01306 631573

Newsletter 1 – 2015

CFF Logo 1Members present at our AGM held on the 3rd February indicated that the Committee needed to prioritise certain matters, therefore I think it appropriate to provide each of you with a brief update on what your committee have been up to this past five weeks.

On the 6th February I delegated initial individual responsibilities to your Committee as follows:

Frank Carlin, Simon Young, Garry Poole – Development of the Web Site / Corporate Image / Revamping literature.

Jim Fullbrook – Identifying methods for promoting CFF in the wider Crawley area

Tony Kaatze – Club Trophies, Club Collateral and fly tying programme.

Neil Nice – Organising Club outings (fishing venues) and providing photo shop expertise in support of Frank, Simon and Garry

Sue Leverett – Safeguarding obligations, marketing CFF to local Secondary Schools & organising summer social activities.


Our entry on the Crawley Borough Council website has been updated and as a result of negotiations with their Web Master the site has been tweaked so that searching on ‘fishing’ or ‘fly fishing’ will now reveal our existing on page one as opposed to page 32!


Following a lead provided by Bob Thomson a page for Crawley Fly Fishers was set up in Streetlife and we have placed notice of our annual casting Clinic. Not sure if Streetlife will generate any interest but it’s free and worth a punt. Please take a look and add comments.

Details of our annual casting clinic have been uploaded to Mid Sussex District Council – What’s on website; to Where Can We Go website and East Sussex Council web site. Over the next few days our entry will be uploaded to the other councils within a 40 mile radius of Crawley.


We have renewed our membership of ClubMark with effect from 25th February 2015 and our insurance cover with Sportscover in association with Insure4sport and the Angling Trust.


We held our first committee meeting on 24th February at which we set the development of our new web site and literature as our immediate top priority. I am delighted to let you know that Frank has made fantastic progress in laying out our web site. It’s still ‘work in progress’ in many areas as it requires input from the Committee and you, the members, however it provides the look and feel of

how our website will perform once launched. You may access the website at I think you will agree it’s a vast improvement over our existing site.

During our meeting I learnt that Bob Thomson produces our membership cards and that he has done so for many years without claiming reimbursement of cost from the Club. I think we owe Bob a big vote of thanks.

Future committee meetings will be held on either a Monday or Wednesday evening to avoid impacting on our regularly Tuesday sessions.

Frank has also produced a layout for our new 1/3 A4 leaflet which needs a little more tweaking before we obtain costs for printing an initial supply. It is important that we standardise on type face & point size to be used in all literature and on the web site at the same time as standardising on our logos / background colour and insertion of our QR codes in all documentation / web pages. In fullness of time we will create a Standards Portfolio to protect our corporate identity.

It has been suggested we might encourage more members to come together and participate in the running of the Club if we run a monthly / quarterly photo competition with say three or four themes about people socialising, perhaps about people tying rather than photos of fantastic flies which currently appear on web sites. It’s about people about engagement and coming together as a club and the eclectic mix of things we do which captures the spirit of the Club and what we are about. At least the photos would be topical with the winning photos being displayed on our Club web site so I hope this suggestion will encourage you to participate.

Once we agree on our literature / promotional material they will need to be distributed and we have come up with a list of potential outlets as follows:-

Hard Copy – tackle shops, garden Centres, Women’s Institutes, Village Halls, Village Notice Boards, Community Centres, Doctors Surgeries, Schools etc.

Electronically – Mid Sussex DC, East Sussex DC, West Sussex DC, Surrey DC, Crawley Borough Council, Where Can We Go, Freshwater Informer, Mid Sussex Times, Sussex Angling, Crawley / East Grinstead Observer, Streetlife etc.

We believe we should also investigate further use of Facebook & Twitter so will be looking for help and guidance from the younger element to guide us through the potential minefield.


A meeting is to be set up, probably upon return of the Cuba contingent, with the owners of Sumners Ponds to see if it’s possible to work together to promote fly fishing at their complex. We have also made an approach to a professional sports/wildlife broadcaster to establish what we need to do, or provide to him, to enable him to write an advertorial for CFF.


Neil is well on the way to confirming dates/venues for all the Club outings, one of which will be an afternoon / evening event. In addition to the normal Club outings we believe we ought to consider the possibility of holding a few events at one or two of the more prestigious waters in the region

which stock larger than average fish (Trout / Pike / Carp) and / or opportunity for some Grayling fishing and a Summer social get together to include a Paella evening. Notices will be placed on Club Notice Board to gage interest of Members.


We have a limited stock of reasonably priced Club collateral – White or Black in various sizes available for purchase. Please support your Club and advise Tony Kaatze of your requirements.


That’s about it for now, folks. Just need to remind everyone that subscriptions are due and need to be paid to Ron Mott. If you have already paid, thank you. For those who have not paid please ensure you do so by the end of March. I intend to delete details of those who do not renew membership during April.

Alan Purnell



CFFC Casting Clinic – Sunday 19th April 2015

Casting ClinicWe hold a casting clinic for members and non-members every year under the expert guidance of our Registered Game Angler Instructors.  If you are not a member you are still quite welcome to come along and just watch or get the help and advice of our instructors. The casting clinic will take place at 10.00am on Sunday 19th April at the Three Bridges Cricket Club, Three Bridges Road, Three Bridges, Crawley, RH10 1JR. Anyone wishing to try out their skills should come along and join us, if you are a seasoned fisherman or just a beginner we feel sure our instructors will help you to improve your casting technique. Bring your own rod if you wish but rods and reels will be available if required.

J C Memorial Cup – Sunday 7th June 2015

ChalybeatOur 3rd competition (JC Memorial Cup ) is fixed for Chalybeate on 7th June and will be a four fish ticket and starting at 14.00, fish until 20.00, this hopefully will take in a rise. It has been mentioned in the past that it would be good to fish an evening so lets  see plenty of names for this one please. We will come back with a price but the last comp. was £40 with a very tasty egg and bacon roll.

Spring Cup – Sunday 12th April 2015

Hazel CopseThe first competition ( Spring Cup ) of the year will be on Sunday 12th April at Hazel Copse. Anyone interested in going now should have some good fishing, Wilf says there are plenty of Brown’s coming out.

If you have not entered and wish to do so please complete the booking form at the club meeting on Tuesday night ( 7th April).  Alternatively, email Neil Nice or add a comment to this article asking Neil to book you in.

A heat wave is forecast for Sunday 12th so those who have just returned from Cuba should be suitably acclimatised!!  – Get booked in.


Crawley Fly Fishers Club presented with Clubmark at the Sussex Sports Awards.

Club Mark

From R to L Tony Kaatze –Secretary; Alan Purnell – Vice Chairman & Clive Sparke – Youth Development Officer

Crawley Fly Fishers are one of only two fishing clubs in Sussex to have achieved Clubmark status. They were presented with their Clubmark Certificate at the prestigious Sussex Sports Awards in Brighton on Friday night, 26th November 2011.

Clubmark is an accreditation scheme for sports clubs with junior sections. Clubmark serves two main functions. It gives parents, guardians and carers the confidence that their children will be attending a safe club where they can learn new skills and in a safe learning environment. It is also a sign that the club is working to ensure all its members reach their full potential.

Sports clubs must meet rigorous set standards to achieve and maintain Clubmark status. Crawley Fly Fishers, founded in 1985, are a small club (about 50 members) dedicated to FLY FISHING for trout and other species – Carp; Pike; Bass; Mackerel; Mullet and saltwater Game Fish.

They meet socially every Tuesday Evening at 8:00pm at, Three Bridges Cricket Club, 156 Three Bridges Road, Crawley, West Sussex, RH10 1JR for fly tying, listening to guest speakers or just for a drink and a chat.

In the winter months, they organise fly tying tuition and guest speakers,together with an annual casting clinic, tackle auction and other activities.

They are members of the Angling Trust and organise club trophy competitions and other matches.

Crawley Fly Fishers have three members who are licensed under the 1st4sport Qualifications as Level 2 Game Angling Coaches. Anyone thinking of starting to fly fish or those who want to brush up on their casting and waterside skills may obtain further information by visiting their web site

My new personal best pike on a fly of my own creation

garry pool1

by Garry Pool

It was late summer 2012 that I finally committed to buying a 10wt fly rod, reel and line and embarked on my first season ever of pike fishing. I was unable to help myself and bought a pike fly tying kit, vice and tools. You just never have everything you need so money continues to slip through my fingers, but I don’t regret any of it. It was no wonder I swallowed hard on stumping up the cash for my pike syndicate membership at Weir Wood Reservoir. The best investment of all was joining Crawley Fly Fishers, you guys have be very welcoming and helpful.

The fact that I cut my hand to ribbons on the gill rakers did not distract for the sheer exhilaration I felt after catching my first pike ever in early October 2012, estimated to be about 7lb. This was followed by many days out in the freezing cold blanking on most outing. I consoled myself with the belief that my casting technique was improving, only to learn at our casting clinic in March that I had accidentally been sold a Spey line for my single handed rod.

With the promise of improved fishing in this spring, typically after the pike have spawned, I took a day off either side of Easter (2013). Armed with a borrowed fly line from Simon Young and a few new self-tied flies, I set out early afternoon on the Thursday of my elongated Easter weekend. I passed a few course and trout fishers on my way to the waters edge, all of whom had had no luck. I anticipated this might be another day of improving my fly casting and cracked on.

After a short spell close to the dam wall on the north bank, in an area partly sheltered form the driving wind pushing up over the wall, I decided to move to the first bay where I had previous success before. I must have covered every inch of the bay at least once and was beginning to give up hope when my line locked up solid. A short sharp strip to set the hook and the fish pulled back somewhat harder than I was expecting. At first glimpse of its flank I knew it was my biggest so far. I pleaded with the fish, probably out loud, not to slip the hook. A couple of runs latter the fish began to yield sufficiently to ease it into the shallows where I carefully ‘chinned it’ and pluck the fly out from the scissors of its jaw my frozen fingers. I was totally elated when it weight-in at 14lb on my spring scale. A quick photo and I slipped the fish back into the water, none the worse for making my day.


The ‘giant aphid’ I caught it on.

About 30min later I caught a 6-7lb pike, which was the first time I caught 2 in one outing; all-in-all a great day despite the very unseasonably cold weather and wind.