Sunday 12th November 2023.
This week saw the eagerly anticipated River Wye 3 Day Festival take place on the Belmont and Tennis Courts sections of the river Wye on the 8th, 9th, and 10th November. The 72 anglers taking part gathered at the Hereford Rugby Club and were met with a river running at just over 2m in height. Bleak and barbel had featured mostly in recent matches and were expected to feature again in this match. The roach had not really shown previously so the hope was they would start to figure more in catches The match is split into 3 zones with each angler rotating through each of the zones over the 3 days. A good draw is essential with the aim of winning the 12-man section in each zone and getting the minimum number of penalty points (1 for a win, 12 for last in section). Total weight over the 3 days also plays a part as well as the number of section wins. Zone pegging was as follows…
A ZONE 2 4 6 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 28 30 32 34 36 38 39 40 41 43 45 46 47
B ZONE 48 49 50 51 52 53 72 73 74 75 76 77 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65
C ZONE 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102
Day 1 Results The river fished well despite they relatively high-water level with lots of decent weights. Winner on the day was Tom Scholey with a fantastic weight of 67lb 4oz made up of roach, dace, and perch from the Tennis Courts section.
Day 2 Results Despite dropping the previous day, the river rose overnight to peak at around 2.2m in the hours before the start of the match. The roach had decided to feed and there were several good weights of roach caught along with other species. Winner today was Lee Edwards who drew fancied peg 96 between the bridges. He managed a tremendous weight of 85lb 2oz of mainly roach. At the end of Day 2 there were 4 anglers tying on 2 points, Lee Edwards, Hadrian Whittle, Matt Godfrey and Geoff Brierley.
Day 3 Reults The river at the start of Day 3 was 2.02m but was predicted to rise slowly throughout the day making it a challenge for most anglers. A good draw for the anglers on 2 points was needed. With Hadrian Whittle drawing hot peg 96, Matt Godfrey drawing peg 90 and Lee Edwards drawing peg 28 above the pumphouse it was likely to be a 2 horse race between the 2 anglers on the Asda bank. In the end the top weight of the day of 74lb of roach came from peg 88 and fell to local angler Rory Jones who took the section point ahead of Wye novice Matt Godfrey who weighed in 66lb 4oz.of roach. Hadrian Whittle ended up with 64lb 2oz of mainly roach to win his 12 man section which included the pegs on the Tennis Courts. Lee Edwards managed to catch 14lb 8oz to finish 2nd in his section and collect 2 points. As the only angler to acheive 3 section wins and achieve the lowest points total, Hadrian Whittle was declared the festival winner retaining the trophy he won last year and winning it for an incredible fifth time. Four anglers tied on 4 points for 2nd place but it was former Wye Champion Lee Edwards from Caerphilly, who finished runner up on a weight count back, just ahead of England international Matt Godfrey from Sheffield.
Despite the river running just below or above 2m on each day and finishing on day 3 with a height of 2.4m, there were plenty of good weights. With the roach eventually deciding to feed in numbers it was a great festival with some great catches along the Asda bank. The match produced an average of over 20lb of fish per angler per day. No other river in the country would produce those sorts of weights on a river running at that height. Special congratulations must go to Matt Godfrey who was making his match fishing debut on the Wye. He managed a very credible 3rd place against seasoned Wye regulars.
A big thank you must go to festival organiser Dave Roberts who with his team of helpers ensured the 3 days ran smoothly and also to Geoff Brierley for producing a professional set of results each day. Thanks also to Hereford Rugby Club for hosting the matches and providing food and drink over the 3 days. Next up is the Pairs match on the 18/19 November. Full results are shown below: