My Stafford Moor Silvers Week

Drennan Bordon’s Peter Kay reports back from an annual silverfish festival held at Stafford Moor Fishery in Devon.

The author with a quality Stafford Moor silverfish catch.

It was that time of year again for my annual pilgrimage down to Stafford Moor for the BT/Polerigs Silvers Week. New owners, Jo and Paul, have done an immense amount of work in the past year, not only to the banks but the fishing was to prove excellent with the general size and condition of all species a credit to their hard work.

The Sunday practice match proved disastrous for yours truly, smashing four sections of my pole in the 80mph winds, four seconds after I decided enough was enough and to pack up! D’oh! Thanks to Ray Wood for lending me spares for the week otherwise it would have been a very early bath and drive home. This typifies the generosity between anglers in our unique sport.

Kenny Farrell.

On to the competition properly, and Tanners peg 5 for me on Day One. A good if not brilliant peg. I caught mainly roach at 5m with caster, with odd skimmers and carassio long (never seen these before, but they look a bit like a cross between a carp and a pope!). I ended up with 15lb for second on the lake, beaten by the brilliant Kenny Farrell with 15lb 12oz. I bet there isn’t an angler in the country who can catch like he does on the waggler and pellet. I did however draw next to him twice during the week and made the mistake of asking him what he had, only to be treated to a two hour rendition of ‘I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts’. Don’t make that mistake, trust me!

Day Two and Tanners 36 was my destination. Oh yes, a proper peg, but to be honest I didn’t do it justice and didn’t fish the peg with enough conviction, which is what the peg requires. In hindsight I spent too much time trying to get the waggler to work. I ended up catching late against the boards. Four proper bream in my last four put ins helped me to 16lb 14oz and 4th on the lake, with 17lb 8oz coming second. Double D’oh!

Part of Peter Kay’s 83lb catch on the midweek match.

Wednesday was a practice match with both carp and silvers counting. I had a really enjoyable day fishing the bomb and pellet and down the edge, ending up second with 83lb. The old master Andy Love won with an impressive 106lb, so it must have been black with them!

On to Day Three of the festival and I was on Pines peg 10. This lake has been rearranged and it looked like I was at the right end. Again I fished caster at 5m for allsorts, including two 2lb perch, and the long pole for carassio and skimmers on single red maggot over groundbait whenever bites tailed off. I managed 37lb and second on the lake, beaten by just 4oz!

Into the last day and I was lying third. All the leaders drew in the same section, which I like as win the section and ‘Robert’s your dad’s brother’! Peg 34 on Tanners came out of the bag, so I can’t blame the drawing arm this week.

I thought the lake would go today as the weights had been getting progressively better all week and the weather had improved. I decided to take no prisoners… Triple D’oh! Unfortunately I couldn’t make it work and struggled for long periods In the middle of the match. Ray Wood, who had three lake wins going into the final day, suffered even worse after fishing in the same positive manner. You cannot afford to mess about on these festivals and it’s normally the right approach. 27lb won the lake, but 20lb was second from last, so it was really close. I ended up with 22lb 8oz and should have done better, but that’s life.

I ended up sixth overall and last in the overall frame. I suppose the analogy would be similar to being 2-0 up then drawing 2-2 and going away disappointed, as opposed to being 0-2 down and drawing 2-2 and going away happy. Same result, though!

Congratulations to Dan Diment on winning the festival with 27 points. A deserved winner as he fished the best overall all week. I’m already looking forward to next year, and I would encourage anybody thinking of taking part in one of the many Stafford Moor festivals to give it a go. Good fishing, good food, good drink and very good company.