News & Articles


I Remember When

Posted by mikeh On June 7th, 2013

Yes indeedy, I do remember the day’s when a BFCC meeting consisted of two men and a dog, and sometimes even the dog didn’t turn up. This was one of those rare days for the new and revitalised BFCC when overall turn out was only twelve, which would have been classed as a red letter day five or six years ago. It just goes to show how far we have come in recent years. However the benefits of a relatively small turnout was that it turned into a very relaxed day where several records were broken. For instance; Wendy Bath achieved her ambition of getting into the record books with a cast of 94′ 4” in the five weight, which just pips Sue McNivens  previous record. Tracy Thomas is the Women’s record holder in the new ST27 (27g head event) class. Mick Copeman not only blitzed the B100 class but has recorded V70 bests in the #5, 7 and ST27 events and I managed to pop the ST27 just a bit further than anyone else and get the record for that. I don’t expect it to last long so I will enjoy it while it’s mine.

There were some other notable casts but the one that impressed me (because I had to leap out of the way of it) was Brian Szukala getting the T120 to 195′ and it’s the first time he has cast it. God help us if he actually gets good at it. He was only just beaten by Mike Marshall who, uncharacteristically, didn’t quite get over the 200′ mark.

There were badges for Wendy Bath (30yds) and Brian Szukala (35yds) and Brian also qualified for his 65yd badge.

Surprise of the day was to see Mark Surtees compete in the T120 and T50 D/H events and, seemingly, enjoying it.

You may notice we did cast the T50 event but there isn’t a class for it yet. We have yet to finalise the rules and equipment, mainly the line, yet. Once we do it will become part of the competition.

Many thanks to all those that helped out with marking and timing. Special thanks to Alan Bath for taking over the timing, it’s nice to see him recovering so well from recent illness.

And finally thanks to Willesborough Cricket Club for hosting us and Bobby Ades for providing us with superb refreshments.

We will book the event again for next year so all of you who missed out on some really good casting can come along and see what you missed.


Cullumpton 2013

Posted by mikeh On April 14th, 2013

After the most miserable winter I can remember we were blessed to have some decent weather for the first event of the year. A chance to blow away the cobwebs, try to remember which end of the fly rod to hold and catch up with friends old and new while lamenting the passing of Tom Hill who was instrumental in helping us set up Cullumpton as a venue. We had a really good turnout and considering the lack of practice some of us have had over the last few months there were some very creditable casts laid down. The wind did get up a bit but couldn’t decide which way it wanted to blow and the turbulence that was created by the big tree in the corner made for some bizarre back casts on occasion, but that’s fly casting. One of the few who have braved the elements this winter to practice was James Evans who is going to threaten some of the outright records this year, if we get the conditions right on the day. After a fantastic 136′ during #7 competition he decided to have a crack at the record and pipped Paul Ardens senior record with a cast of 139′ but just failed to hit the outright record. Better luck next time James. I, on the other hand was informed I had the dubious honour of extending the S60 (I know, I don’t look it…do I?) #7 record to 129′ 9”. Later Tracy Thomas extended her #9 record to 114’9” and was also the first (I think) woman to win the B100 class. Rob Doyle proved to be a natural with the Monster (T120) and after a brief master class from Mike Marshall promptly stuck it out 190′, which is mighty impressive for a first attempt. Toby Merigan could be a serious contender as he was there or thereabouts in all the events he took part in before he had to leave. Get serious Toby and actually practice! It was great to see Alan Bath well on the way to recovery after his recent illness and Wendy back in the old routine of making sure everyone handed over their cash. Many thanks to Alan, Wendy and Tracy for helping the competition run so smoothly and everyone else for helping out on the lanes. I think it was the most enjoyable comp I have had for quite a while. Mike Marshall did his usual sterling job of taking care of all those that came just for tuition and our host and hostess, Bryan and Sue Reeve, in the pavilion did an outstanding job of keeping us all refreshed and fed. Thank you all so much. See you all next April. Mike Heritage

Shenfield 2012

Posted by mikeh On October 10th, 2012

I haven’t looked back at the write-ups for our previous meetings this year but I seem to recall writing a lot about wind and rain. Well, not this time. We had the first heavy frost of the year, light breezes and blue sky. The frost melted away quite quickly but it left the grass very wet and it didn’t really dry out until quite late in the day. Even so it was a pleasure to cast in decent conditions and not have to move the tapes around to follow the wind.

The club is starting to invest in some new rods and the first one was the new MSX Black Diamond 9′ 5 weight. Mike has had one made up with lined rings and I used it to good effect to win the five event. It got a very positive response from everyone who used it. 117′ isn’t a huge distance but concidering the wet grass and non existant breeze, plus it was the first time I had cast the rod, it wasn’t to be sniffed at.
James Evans won the #7 with a very nice cast of 126′ 4”. He insisted I went first to give him a target distance and he pipped me by just under a foot so that’s the last time I pathfind for him!
I had my revenge in the #9 and John Reynolds thrashed the rest of us in the T38 with a very nice 176′ 1”. MM only had a couple of casts with the T120 and ‘dink, dink’ it sailed effortlessy out to 185+, much to Mikes chagrine, he usually goes well over 200!

The B100 was a hotly contested with David Fishers’ aggrigate of 199’7” just winning from Tracy Thomas and Mick Copeman. Tracy has hit a rich vein of form and topped 100′ in three events one of which extended her #9 record to 111’10”.

It was a contrast of styles in the accuracy with my hover and drop thoroughly thrashed by John ‘Machine Gun’ Reynolds style of rapid fire and never mind the arm ache. The accuracy is a nice way to end the day as it involves nearly everyone and is quite light hearted.

The club welcomes Yvonne Webb and John Frank who achieved their 25yrd and 30yrd badges respectively.

So, that’s another year gone. There have been some

Glasgow 2012

Posted by mikeh On September 18th, 2012

Sorry about the lateness of this report but I have just not had the time having been away two weekends on the trot.

This has been a frustrating year weather wise. If it wasn’t raining it had just stopped and we were casting on a marsh, or, it was windy. Glasgow proved just as frustrating because the wind was very fickle, none early on but as it picked up later it couldn’t make up it’s mind which way it wanted to go and we had to alter the casting lanes several times.
Because of the lack of wind at the start we decided to cast some of the heavier events first in the hope that we might get some decent distances in the full line events but, as you see from the results, it didn’t quite work out. Some of us got lucky with the breeze, others weren’t so lucky. But that’s competition casting.
The turnout was very good. Thanks to everyone who made it.

There were some exceptional casts such as Peter Thains 241′ 6” and young James Hek who created a new J17 T120 record with 186′ to add to his new T38 record of 153’2”. The ladies were not to be left out and Sue Macniven created a new womens record of 140′ 11” in the T120 as well. Ally Bremner wasn’t far behind with 137’7”

Peter McCallum won the B100 and won the #7 event outright. No more B100 for you then Peter!

As you can see from the results Peter Thain has brought some serious expertise to the show and many of us will have to get in some practice if we want to give him a run for his money in the future.

Some of you may see an event on the list that is new to you, the 27gram shooting head. We trialed it and it seems to have been very popular. This is a world championship event and has the potential for huge cockups and massive distances, in other words, great fun. It also gives some lattitude to those that like to tinker with their tackle. There are rules though and we are looking into it.

One side note. We mislaid an Orvis Access 9′ #7. If anyone finds an odd rod in their kit and wonders where it came from please let Mike Marshall know.

Sorry I can’t mention all of you but we sincerely thank everyone for making it such a good day.

See you in Shenfield.

Mike H

East of England Show

Posted by mikeh On July 3rd, 2012

Ok, I know it’s very short notice but I have been invited to demo and instruct at the show. I will take the opportunity to see if the BFCC can make it a regular venue for our instructing. We were quite successful at a similar show we did in Kent earlier in the year. I will be on my own for most of the the three days so if you are there pop over to the country sports arena and say hello.


Oswestry 2012

Posted by mikeh On June 24th, 2012

We seem to be having a run weather at our events that leaves something to be desired and Oswestry was no exception, even the fishing I was looking forward to on Saturday afternoon was literally washed out as the river was in spate. OK, it did stop raining before we actually started casting, which was nice of it, but the wind couldn’t make it’s mind which direction it wanted to come from, which made casting problematical for most and downright awkward if you happened to be left-handed.

The casting competition was a bit disjointed and highlighted the fact that with the success the BFCC is experiencing comes logistical problems we had not thought about. Fear not, we have thought about it and, hopefully, have come up with solutions that will help make the day more enjoyable for everyone, and lets face it, that is what our event days are all about.

Once again the weather affected distances but there were a couple of notable exceptions, namely, John Reynolds 177’10” in the T38 and an astonishing, if slightly unorthodox 179’5” by Bud Budryk, who has never cast the monster before.

Many thanks to our hosts at the rugby club for providing such great facilities, very good coffee and grub.

Once again we had a great turnout with several coming from some distance. One or two of the locals thanked us for coming because ‘nothing like this ever happens up here’. Well, it does now!

See you all next year.

Read all about it? No Thanks

Posted by mikeh On June 19th, 2012

Have you ever read an exciting fishing story, the big one that got away or that special cast to a wily old brownie that had eluded all previous attempts to tempt him to take a fly? Yes, of course you have. Now, have you ever read an exciting story about fly casting? No, nor have I. And there’s the rub. Watching fly casting can be exciting, reading about it is not. If you think reading about it is painful you should try writing about it and you will discover the real meaning of pain, especially if you want to make it entertaining as well as informative. While I will admit to reading articles and contributing to forums, even writing about it in my own blog, I have to hold my hand up and admit I have never read a book on fly casting so, arguably, I have missed a riveting read or two. I doubt it though.

Where is this blasphemy leading I can hear you ask.

To the BFCC, and what it is coming to represent. The BFCC is about doing. It’s about coming, seeing and realising just what can be achieved with a rod and line. It’s about enthusing people to try and improve their casting and thereby get more enjoyment from their fishing. It can be real eye opening stuff for some. I have lost count of the number of times I have heard the comment that they would never have believed anyone could cast that far. It’s also about people enjoying the day so much they drive half way across the country to come to another event. It might be interesting to know how many book lessons with local instructors after coming to one of our events.

It has taken three or four years but the BFCC  is just what it says on the tin, we are now a truly national club, with the exception of N Ireland we have events in all the home countries and the way things are going we may find a way to add them to the list as well. There seems to be a genuine appreciation of the effort we put in to make the events enjoyable,we know this because of the feedback and comments we receive after each event (which we love to get BTW).

Fly casting can be beautiful, amazing, enthralling and educational to watch. It can be exciting, exasperating and enjoyable to compete. It can be bewildering, difficult  (not really) and rewarding to learn. All three of these take place in one day at a BFCC event (near you soon).

Much better than reading about it.

Mike Heritage

Ashford 2012

Posted by mikeh On June 4th, 2012

It was great not having to travel further than the bottom of my garden for a BFCC event, shame about the weather though. There was a continual drizzle interspersed with the odd heavier shower and absolutely no wind for the full line events. It did clear up a bit later in the afternoon and we had a very slight and variable breeze for the T38 and T120 events. The damp atmosphere and still conditions were reflected in the,somewhat, disapointing distances we were able to achieve. That’s competition casting though, you just have to get on with it. It beats casting in the tail end of a hurricane as we did in Glasgow last year though.

Despite the weather and the Queens Jubilee celebrations happening on the same day we had a very good turnout of both competition casters and those who came for the instruction and it was nice to welcome back old friends and new members.

Congratulations to James Evans for winning the five, seven and nine events, to Tracy Thomas for her new ladies records in the nine and T120 (although I think it’s actually the T50 for women) and me for the T38, which I was very pleased about, I think it’s the first time I have ever come close to winning this event and finally Mike Marshall for once again showing us just how the T120 beast should be cast.

Many thanks to James for running the competitions, Tracy for keeping the scores, Wendy Bath for making sure everyone paid, for Mark Surtees and Mike Marshall for instructing and Willesborough Cricket Club for supplying us with tea, coffee and sandwiches all day plus providing a great club house to dry off in and field to get wet in.

Well done everybody and thank you all for coming.

Mike H

New Record

Posted by mikeh On April 16th, 2012

It has been discovered that we missed the fact that Alan Bath’s cast of 121’4” in the nine weight at Cullumpton was in fact a record cast for the V70 class. Sorry about that Alan.

Congratulations, really well done.

Cullumpton 2012

Posted by mikeh On April 3rd, 2012

My goodness we get about, last weekend we were instructing at the Kent Game Fair near Maidstone, this weekend we had our first real event of the year at Cullumpton in Devon, our first venture in the west country. Despite it, apparently, being the first day of the season we had a remarkable turnout. More than twenty wanted to compete and several others decided to concentrate on the instruction being offered. Rumour has it that this is likely to be an annual event, we will certainly be there next year anyway, it’s already booked!

We would like to welcome the new members, Bryan Martin, Tim Edwards, Tom Hill, Matthew Kelly, Fiona Smith, Alan Barrow and David Chester and congratulate the winners of the various events. Also, a very well done to those who achieved their distance badges. Another five yards next year please.

The weather conditions were much better than forecast, bright and sunny all day with, what should have been, a perfect breeze. However, something was wrong because it was just one of those days when the line ‘hit the wall’ and crashed and burned. If the line had actually managed to turn over instead of piling most of the distances would have been substantially better. Despite that John Reynolds hit a very respectable 183′ 1” with the T38 and Matt Tonkin (who seems to have shrunk) popped the T120 out to 206′ 3”. Toby Merrigan needs to be watched as he won the #9 weight with 123′. Alan Bath nearly had it with a very good throw of around 122′ I believe. James Evans took the seven 122′ 9” and I scraped the five with 113′ 3”. Alan Bath won the B100 with a very good aggregate score of 192′ 4”.

The BFCC would like to say thank you all for making us feel welcome and providing such wonderful facilities and we are already looking forward to seeing you all again next year.

Our next instructing event is at Sportfish Reading 12th and 13th May.


Mike H