by: Katka Švagrová

Just on my way home from Canada 2023 Masters and Ladies World Fly Fishing Championships FIPS-Mouche.It has been two weeks of intense training and competing against the best ones out there.

Despite some controversial and unfortunate situations during the championship, which should be definitely fixed for next time and never repeated again I think it has been a success, especially for our team.


Written by Petr Barák

Report on 41st FIPS World Championship, Asturias, Spain.

Petr BarákThis year's World Fly Fishing Championship was held from 25 September to 30 September 2022 in the Principality of Asturias in Spain. The north of Spain is very different from other parts of the Iberian Peninsula. High mountains, frequent rainfalls and beautiful rivers and streams flow from these mountains. Their number is staggering. Brown trout can be found in all of them, and sea trout and Atlantic salmon also get to some of them. Trout is partly stocked, but mostly there are wild forms adapted to local conditions. They are very shy, the selection pressure on their populations has allowed only the most careful individuals to survive, because in the north of Spain it has been fished with flies for at least 500 years. It is one of the cradles of fly fishing in the world.

The conpetitors were held on 4 rivers and 1 lake or rather a rainbow trout pond. The rivers are of a different character. The largest is the Caudal River, flowing in a wide, mostly regulated riverbed. Frequent small weirs alternate with shallow currents and there are deep pools below the weirs. Water in all rivers is crystal clear, slightly bluish in colour. The Piloña is the river flowing in a slightly rolled landscape, similar in character to the Svratka River in our country. The currents change with shallow still water places, where it is almost impossible to get close to the trouts without being noticed. The Trubia is the character of a mountain river, in places flowing in a riverbed cut into the rocks. The pools are almost bottomless, only shining blue. The Narcea is also a mountain river, surrounded by lush vegetation. It was the most difficult river of this Championship. The natural population of trout trained by generations of fly fishermen made hard times even for the greatest masters. The Arenero Lake is about a 5-hectare relatively deep pond immediately from the bank. The maximum depth is 6 m. 4,000 pieces of rainbow trout around 30 cm in size were stocked for this Championship.

The preparation of the Czech team began in the spring. Antonín Pešek and Milan Čubík set out for an exploration trip back in May. They went to see all the rivers and the Arenero Lake, checked accommodation options for training and suitable flies. It was already clear from the very first fishing on the rivers that this Championship would be really difficult. Over the summer, other necessities were fine-tuned with the support of the Czech Fishing Union. Accommodation, car rentals, permits and many other things without which you cannot succeed. Our stay in Spain started a week before the contest. The training was planned on all the competition rivers and five days seemed like time enough. However, the practice sections were short, and after the training of several dozens of fly fishermen a day, there were almost no fish willing to take a fly. The trout fishing season in Asturias ended already in mid-August, and it was not possible to fish anywhere else except for the training sections.

czech bronze from spanish waters 2022On 19th September 2022, our group consisting of Antonín Pešek (coach and competitor), Tomáš Adam, Luboš Roza, Vojta Ungr, David Chlumský (all competitors) and Petr Barák (assistant coach, captain) set out via Vienna and Madrid to Oviedo. The journey was peaceful, the luggage including the rods arrived in good condition. Car pick up and accommodation at Casa Pando went smoothly. The accommodation was magic - a former pub converted into a guesthouse, located in a mountain village. We had enough space here for tying flies, drying things and cooking of course.

The 1st training day. On 20th September we started the morning training in the Trubia River. A crystal clear river flowed in a deep valley, hidden by lush vegetation. In places there were boulders, deep bottomless pools and slippery rocks. Access to the river was only possible in a few places. The dense vegetation intertwined with thorny blackberry bush did not allow free move. This was true on all rivers. We split into pairs and went our separate ways. The goal was clear, to catch some trouts and test our flies. I started below the parking place and worked on my way upstream the river. After a while, I saw two trouts under the rock. The riverbed was of a completely different character from Czech rivers. The riverbed was in the rock in some places, in some places it was possible to move only pressed against the slippery rock. And there was no fish move seen anywhere.

The trout that rose to the fly after my first cast hid somewhere. Just another level of fly fishing. I moved upstream with a float-nymph (clink and dink), and below that I tied the local specialty - Olive Perdigones. And in a small stream it finally happened, the float disappeared and after the strike I finally felt the resistance of a fish, rather a smaller fish. A 22 cm trout was in the landing net in a short time. Okay, I'm done. A successful fly goes into the water once more and another trout, a small yearling. This would be the way? No, nor a single take since. A successful fly goes into the box and I start changing flies, dry and nymph. But I'm without a single take. Tomáš catches up with me after a while and reports 2 eligible trouts. After a while, we can see Luboš standing in a deep pool. He also reports an eligible fish. I go onto the road and look at Luboš. I could see something I had never seen in 35 years of fly fishing.

River TrubiaMore than 100 fish swim in a circle in a pool like in an aquarium or in fish tanks. From 30 cm to 70 cm long. And Luboš's flies among them. Suddenly, a fish around 50 cm flashes near the bottom and swims down the water. Luboš’s rod is bent to the reel. After all, the 3 AFTMA rod is not built for such large fish. A line of 0.13 mm does not give many chances, the trout knows about the logs in the water and infallibly heads for them. After a while the line breaks. Luboš casts a stronger line, but the approximately 70 cm long fish does not give him much of a chance, this time the fish swims downstream and after unwinding the entire line to the backing, the fish frees itself. It is sure that they are sea trouts, because they are also differently coloured. Other teams confirm this fact to us later.

After 3 hours, we meet at our cars, everyone reports a fish and there was even one swimming guy - David slowly slid on the slippery stone to a depth of almost 2 meters. Various teams stop by, the Mongolians immediately ask where Luboš is. They take pictures with him, as many others did later. They get his book Flyfishing World signed. He is our global fly fishing celebrity. But all the competitors from our team have fly fishing friends and acquaintances there. It's amazing to see how the world has really changed thanks to English, everyone speaks the language and it breaks barriers.

After a quick lunch we move to the largest river - the Caudal River. It flows in a valley that is densely populated, there are industrial plants, black coal mines, roads, railways everywhere. Simply an industrial river. But the river is beautifully clean. It flows in a wide riverbed, with local spills and deep pools. In the spills there is a large amount of chubs and the local type of barbel, or rather small barbel called "Boga". Fish up to 20 cm in size take immediately. So we don't want this. We move into the currents, Vojta has 2 eligible trouts on the nymph, David also catches an eligible fish. Only dozens of barbel and chubs on a dry fly. Dinner, fly tying session and sleep.

The 2nd training day. In the morning we are going to the furthest venue – the Narcea River and watch the Arenero Lake. The Narcea is a river hidden in a deep mountain valley, sometimes interrupted by a dam or weir. The training section is downstream of the town of Cangas del Narcea and it is 2 km long again. Such short sections for more than 100 competitors and company are pointless. Only Tomáš and Vojta catch an eligible size fish during the whole day, the others catch only small fish. The river is beautiful though. Fortunately, we can already see a relatively large number of active trouts in the competition section in the city. We move to the Arenero Lake. It is a 5-6 hectare lake surrounded by a hedge, sunk in a valley and on a dam there is a pub where they issue permits. Again, we just watch, because training is prohibited. Locals are very successful with Tenkara fishing for rainbows around 30 cm, the lady on the right side from the dam, angling with maize, has a lot of takes and occasionally gets a trout. There are plenty of fish here, they also hang around near the bank. It looks like a "French leader" and a float-nymph will come into play. But the contest will show that it will be partially different in the end. After returning to Casa Pando, dinner, tying and sleep.

River CaudalThe 3rd training day. We drove to the already rather low-located the Piloña River. Once again, the river cuts through the landscape in places, lined with lush vegetation, and in towns and villages is bordered by stone barriers. Crystal clear water, flow rate of about 1-2 m3. We divide our team - David and I head to the end of the training section. It looks promising, there are lots of nice trouts all around the spill. However, it cannot be casted from the bank, David carefully steps into the river. No wave, no move, but the first trout disappears immediately. After a careful cast with an almost 6 m long leader, the rest of the fish disappear too. So, this is going to be difficult. We creep upstream. David catches trout up to 20 cm on both dry and float fly, none of eligible size. I only catch juvenile salmon up to 10 cm and a similar yearling trout on the nymph. We meet guys, who have made similar experience. Tomáš saw decent trout in one deep pool, after changing probably all the flies from the box, also remains without a single fish contact. Sitting quietly near the water without moving doesn't help either. The water is absolutely crystal clear, even according to the locals there is low water flow rate. They say that they do not almost fish in such conditions. If it is going to be the same for the competition, then 1-2 fish will be okay for the 1st place in the sector. That will be really hard work in 4 hours of fishing. We are going to have a look near the school, there is a competition sector. We can see fish here and there, but we, especially Vojta, don't like the long still spills. As it normally happens, fate will play with him.

The 4th training day. We are going back to the Trubia River. Luboš has unresolved problems with sea trout, he is fishing only for a while because they take each cast. These are fish up to 45 cm, the larger ones have moved down to the end from the pool. There are about 100 fish grouped in the tongue shape, among them a trout 70+ cm. Sometimes some teams try them, but these fish don't take anymore, and if they do, it's a short fight due to the thin line. Everyone rather stops here and looks at the beauty. In the end, nobody is fishing here anymore. In other places it is better for us compared to the first training session. We are the first in the water, so we manage to catch fish over 20 cm on nymphs, Olive Perdigones and Sirupčík Nymph work well. David sees the big trout caught by Devin from the US team on Tuesday. He is trying to convince fish, but the fish is indifferent to the flies and after a while the fish disappears under the stone.

From the bank, we observe trouts over 40 cm, but we are not able to catch them. Tony caught a decent trout in a deep pool upstream from huge boulders. We have to get closer to the fish so that it can't see us. Gradually, other training competitors arrive and in the end there are probably more competitors than fish in the river. We pack and go to tie flies. Dinner, of course, and sleep. It's sunny, warm, the weather forecast changes radically for the competition. It is supposed to rain occasionally, all day on Thursday. This could be good and the locals say excellent.

The 5th training day. We have been at the Piloña since early morning. Sometimes it rains and almost pours. Trouts rise in the rain, but do not take our flies. We occasionally catch size-eligible trout on nymphs. Persistent rain gradually makes the river muddy, and sewage or rather direct waste from the toilets from the city is added to this. Fertilizer, maybe too much. We pack up and drive via Oviedo to Casa Pando. In Oviedo we unsuccessfully try to buy a chair in Decathlon for the lake competition. Guys will stand or kneel. Little do they know that they will be kneeling for several hours during the river competition. It is not going to be as a punishment, it will be as a reward. Tying together, dinner, more tying and sleep. It has already become a ritual.

The Championship begins with moving to the hotel in Oviedo. AC Marriot Hotel is a large hotel in the centre of the 200,000-people city. We return the second car, which would have no use, to the airport. One will be enough for us, the competitors will be transported to the competition sectors by buses. In the afternoon at 3 pm, there is the Captains' Meeting. Before that, competitors from different countries meet, warmly greet each other and there is a very friendly atmosphere. Immediately after sitting down on the chair we will get a great surprise. We can see the schedule of the competition, where a substantial change is beating our eyes. All the time before the Championship, a time schedule of 4 hours and one round was written in the river fishing instructions. And now after 2 hours of fishing is the rotation with an hour-long break and 2 hours in the neighbouring beat. Some sections are 500 m long!

Fortunately, after a 30-minute discussion, the American captain took the word and formulated a clear requirement to vote on the original variant of the competition. When using rotation, it would be an absolutely clear advantage of the home team that knew the fish habitats. The vote was clearly in favour of adopting the original variant - without rotation. Then the draw proceeded. I was entrusted with the team to perform this task as best as I could. I drew number 14 and the individual sectors were 1st sector Caudal, 2nd sector Piloña, 3rd sector Trubia, 4th sector Narcea and the 5th sector Anero Lake. In the 1st sector, Tony Pešek started, in the 2nd sector Vojta Ungr, the 3rd sector belonged to Tomáš Adam, Luboš Roza had the 4th sector, and the 5th sector occupied David Chlumský.

On the 1st competition day the alarm rings at 5:45 a.m., breakfast at 6 am and buses leave gradually at 7:00, 7:30, 7:35, 7:45 and 8 am. I am saying good-bye to all guys and waiting if someone forgot something so that I could bring it for them. Also I am waiting for a message from individual competitors in which beats they will fish. The competitors will learn this about 2 hours before the contest. In Oviedo there is a morning rush hour, buses get to the river about 90 min before the start of the competition, i.e. at 10 am. I am aware of the fact that if someone forgets something, I will not be able to reach him by the start of the competition.

I get in the car and go to the Caudal where Tony is going to fish. We have agreed so. I come to number 19 and park the car. It is raining. I can't find our competitor, so I walk downstream. I find number 20 and go to the river through the blackberry bush. It is still raining. Down in the river I can see a fly fisherman, but apparently according to the style of fishing this is not Tony. So, I walk almost a kilometre back. Suddenly I see running people towards me. Finally, Tonda, but he looks worried. After almost an hour of fishing below a beautifully looking weir, he had nor a single take. He is running to a promisingly looking rapid and stream section. Judge bravely follows him. After a moment Tony is kneeling in the water and nymphs upstream the water.

Finally, he has a take and the first trout is in the landing net. Run to the judge, measuring, recording and signature. Again, cautious but fast walk to the water, wading and kneeling. Another fish. Gradually, he adds more and more fish. The TV crew of the Championship is coming to shoot Tonda's fishing. He is a legend, a double World Champion, everyone knows it here. After a while Tonda gets a beautiful 38 cm long trout. The cameraman is satisfied.

I walk along the competition section and try to find active fish. Down in the spill, they sometimes rise, but it is confusing there, because there is a huge shoal of barbel. In the current upstream from the rapids they also rise here and there. Tony gets another trout with a dry fly, but unfortunately more often trout falls off the hook. Even on the nymph, trout falls off quite a lot. Immediately after the strike they jump and spin in the water. This will be the same throughout the Championship for all competitors.

In the last hour Tonda finds a shoal of trout in an inconspicuous stream. He adds 9 more and his score is 17 fish in 4 hours. We do not know how others did, but with respect to the training it is an impressive number. After arrival to the bus, the optimism is over. A big favourite of this championship, home competitor David Arcay, caught 38 fish. And others have more fish than we do, too. But fortunately also less. Finally, Tonda takes a decent 8th place in the 1st sector.

Step by step we learn the results from other sectors. Vojta was fishing near the school in the Piloña River. This is the fate - what you don't want, you often get. He could not even see the beat. In the part of the boarding bank there were houses with gardens where he was not allowed to enter, after about 300 m there was a beat number again, nor knew the judge what it was. He called the sector judge, who partially explained all. It was a mark of approximately half of the beat. A little confusion, 15 min lost. In total he caught in the round 14 beautiful fish and took the 5th place in the sector.

Tomas caught 14 fish in the crystal clear Trubia River and took the 7th place. Luboš had the worst draw of our guys. He drew beat number 2 on the Narcea River. In the upper part of the competition sector it was more like a stream with deep pools and no little rapids anywhere. He literally dug out 2 trouts, which was enough for the 15th place in the sector. David started at the Anero Lake. It was clear that the first round would be a massacre. It was, but unfortunately only at the dam. David started at the tributary, he caught 3 fish until the rotation, but people on the dam had 20 fish. He gradually added more and more, but it was impossible to keep the pace with the best and so he ended with 24 pieces of rainbow trout and the 6th place.

On the first day we had a bit of bad luck. We found that the fish are a bit somewhere else and that there are quite a lot of them in the rivers, although very careful and falling off the hooks. On the first competition day we finished on the sixth place (sum of placings 39) with a minimum distance to the 4th place. The Spanish were the first with the impressive result - 10 sum of placings!

Olive PerdigonesOn the 2nd competition day, I am going immediately with David to the 1st sector on the Caudal River. On the bus, we learn about the draw. David has a beat where yesterday David Arcay from Spain caught 38 fish and took the 1st place in the sector. It is the last beat in the sector - number 23. We like it very much after watching the beat. Rapid, ragged, there was a spill near the top. The length of the beat is about 500 m. A friendly judge warmly welcomes us and follows David on the boarding bank. David systematically starts from the bottom, there is no other way. He catches a decent trout in the very first moment, but he has a lot more quick taps on flies. He uses a "French leader" with two nymphs. Sirupčík Nymph and Pheasant Tail, that's a classic, from time to time he changes to Olive Perdigones.

I went upstream to see if something is going on in the spill. When I returned, David reported nice trouts 49 and 41 cm long, both on Perdigones. He moves thoroughly upstream, adding a size-eligible trout. In a pool with a stream at the right bank he strikes a fish and immediately reports a heavy fish. A huge trout, certainly over 60 cm. and the fish is rolling near the surface. He quickly gets under the fish, trying to control its move, but the 3 AFTMA rod and 0.09 mm line do not allow much. The fish tries all possible tricks, finally it gets under David into the current. It is heading between rocks, into branches, and down and down. David quickly follows the trout. After 100 m and about 5 minutes of fight, David gets under the fish, quickly lifts it to the surface and lands it. This is followed by joy, thanks to the spectators and run to the judge and the necessary photo. The judge is completely excited, he had never seen anything like this and he was checking and measuring fish caught by David Arcay the previous day.

DavidDavid continues in the contest, catching more fish. We can't agree on where the sector ends, he perceives it differently from the water than I do from the bank. But after a while he can see that he still has about 150 m of flowing water. Picks up the pace, more fish, some fall off from the hook from time to time. The score card has two pages filled up with records, we are a bit confused in our euphoria and everywhere we report 32 fish, even though there are only 27 of them. A small correction of the length of the trout in the score card (by mistake it was written 606 mm), the gutter was not long enough when measuring (length of the gutter is 59 cm) and the tape had to be taken to see the final length. Corrected with a smile under the supervision of the sector judge at 660 mm.

We are satisfied on the bus, the Englishman comes and reports 0. But right behind him, the greatest favourite of the Championship and a nice guy Julien Daguillanes, reports 29 fish. David has several big ones and one giant, so this time he caught more than Julien. More competitors come, all with less than David. And so finally the 1st place in the sector. Tony was also fishing well in the Piloña, 20 fish and the 2nd place in the sector. In the Trubia, Vojta struggled in the deep, long spills, caught 5 fish and took the 11th place in the sector. And Tomas had a similar beat in the Narcea, a long current without obstacles or any shelters. He caught 1 fish and one fell off the hook. So, the 17th place in the sector. In the Arenero Lake, Luboš caught 11 fish, he was the only one to catch a fish in every rotation, but overall it was enough for 6th place. After the day, we remain on the 6th place in the team competition.

On the 3rd competition day, I'm at the Caudal again, this time I'm accompanying the Luboš who was in competitive mood. He has beat No. 9. We liked the beat already during the inspection. It is perhaps up to 600 m long, faster and ragged. We can also see some trout. We are again greeted by a sympathetic judge, a young man who speaks English. And a fan, who wades behind Luboš across the river in only calf-length boots. At 10 o'clock the next round starts. The very first trout repeatedly jumps and falls off the hook, after a while another one. The beautiful ragged stream is fishless. One hour has passed and Luboš is still without a single fish. Fortunately, one size-eligible trout got persuaded in an inlet of the stream, and then another one.

RozaIn the deep pool below the dam, trout begin to rise. However, it is very difficult to convince the fish with a dry fly, the nymph seems to be better. And then the break comes, the rod is bent to the handle and Luboš reports a big trout. The trout lets be controlled for a while, but then turns and heads infallibly among the boulders. However, Luboš expertly puts the rod into a counter move. However, if the trout breaks the line, the rod will hit the side of the boulder. Fortunately, Luboš manages to pull the trout out of the hole and bring it to the surface. He picks it up expertly, we scream at each other. He runs to the judge and the gutter shows 57 cm, another quick photo and the trout is free. The contest continues, Luboš adds more fish in the pool. But then it is over.

We agree on a quick move across a shallow long current, a few casts and away. But in the current there are also some trout and Luboš adds 4 more. I expect a lot from the upper section, an hour ago there were rising quite a lot of fish and in the pool at a petty tributary there were 7 fish in the pool. But the promising current gave no fish, trout we can see in the pool ignore the flies offered. After a while, a larger trout under the next weir breaks the leader against the rock. Time passes really quickly, Luboš reaches the beginning of the beat and adds 2 more fish. He is trotting back to the pool and adds the last trout in the last minutes, totalling 14 fish and taking the 5th place in the sector.

We are a bit disappointed, the fish were willing to take in different places than we expected. I also feel guilty, it looked different from the bank and the fish that I saw were not willing to get caught. Fortunately, David had a great catch in the Piloña. He caught 16 fish and took the second place behind Julien. In the Trubia, Tony coped well with a difficult beat, 7 fish and the 7th place in the sector. In the Narcea River - the hardest river, Vojta caught 4 fish and took a respectable 6th place. And Tomas also took the 6th place with 9 fish on the lake. Wednesday went great for us, we took the third place and in the evening at the bar could be heard: "Czech Is Back!". In teams, we moved on the 4th place. And the best thing at the end of the evening, Vojta's son Albert was born. The celebration was decent, there was a good line of congratulators.

On the 4th competition day I'm back at the Caudal. I start to like that river. This time I am there to help Tomas. It has been raining since morning, the river is not muddy yet, but it is dark. An excellent judge again. He showed us where the fish are. He knows the river as he goes fishing there. Tomas descends to the river on an 8 m long ladder. The judge is behind him and the contest begins. Unfortunately, right in the starting pool, a big trout breaks the set of two nymphs. In a moment, another trout falls off the hook. The bottom of the beat is already well fished, Tomas is moving upstream the water. Finally, he adds a few fish and it still rains. Fish can be rather caught in shallow flowing water. The last hour is left and we agree to fish in the last current in the upper part of the beat almost near the beat number. This is where Tomas starts his concert. He adds a few more trout, after a big trout had torn off his dropper, so he is fishing with only one fly. That also brings another fish and that's the end of the round, the 9th place for 13 fish.

In the Piloña, Luboš was fishing in the spills without fish, but then he caught incredible 8 size-eligible fish and took the 8th place in the sector. David caught 8 fish in the Trubia in a flowing but average place and took the 6th place and was the only one of the team who was in touch with the absolute top of the Championship. But already with a significant distance to 1st and 2nd place. Tony in the Narcea was fishing well, because the river rose due to the rain and the fish were active. He scored with 4 size-eligible fish, but the others also caught some fish and so it was enough for the 9th place in the sector. Vojta caught 7 rainbow trouts on the lake in the windy and rainy weather, which was enough for the 9th place. Overall, we stayed on the 4th place with a little hopeful distance to the 3rd place.

The 5th and the last day of the World Championship. I am with Vojta at the Caudal, we know what to do and how to do it. Today, we will show them. After arrival to the river we are staring a bit. The water is 15 cm higher and a bit muddy. What else, we are welcomed by a nice young judge wearing the waders. I have to say that at this Championship we met excellent and fair judges. Bravo! Vojta traditionally begins from the bottom part upstream. He is fishing in hopeful places and nothing. An hour and nothing. However, we already know that the river is completely muddy downstream and to get just one fish will be a problem. So let's calm down.

Czech teamAnd Vojta calmly gets 2 fish, gradually adds 3 more pieces. There are 2 hours left by the end of the contest, the water decreases slightly and starts cleaning up. Vojta is going into the best place, the current is knee-height deep with some stones from place to place. And the place brings fish, adds 10 more trouts with applause of many cheering spectators. The nymph works, still the same line-up and the Orange Tag Nymph gets the floor. This must not be missing. We know from the audience that no one has caught much. After the end of the round we begin to be nervous.

Incredibly good news we get from other guys. Tomas caught 4 large trouts in the completely muddy and high Piloña River, even one was over 50 cm long and took the 1st place in the sector. Fantastic! Luboš also fished excellently with 11 fish and the 2nd place in the sector. David on the Narcea fished quite well in the city, where we went to have a look a week ago. He had there 2 beautiful women judges and perhaps therefore he was the 3rd in the sector with 11 fish. So far, the sum on the rivers was 2+1+2+3 = 6.

The Finns completely failed in the last round – they were twice blank. The US team also had one zero. We were already beginning to anticipate that it could be okay for bronze. At 15:15 the last contest on Anero Lake ended. Tony reports 6 rainbows and this was the 7th place in the sector. It's there! Bronze and the 3rd place in teams in the world. We won this last round with a total placings of 13 and beat France (24), Belgium (24), Spain having a total of 30 and the rain had no small part in it.

In teams the winners are the home team of Spain and they deserved this. But it was not easy for them as the French team followed them closely. In individuals, Julien Daguillanes (France) phenomenally won with the sum of placings 6. He is the World Champion for the second time. David Arcay was on the second place and Ruben Santos on the third, both home guys. The fourth was David Chlumský from our team. And Julien Lorquet of Belgium completed the first five. Our other competitors ranked as follows: Antonín Pešek on the 20th place, Vojtěch Ungr 23rd place, Luboš Roza 25th place and Tomáš Adam on the 29th place. Medal, plaques and prizes were handed over with all respect and dignity as well as the exuberant celebration in the Cider Pub.

It was my only championship, so I have no comparison, so it was just the best. Atmosphere in the team, results, nature, rivers, cautious trout, organizationally and generally all great. This Championship was certainly a significant contribution to the further development of fly fishing in the Czech Republic and in the world. I thank the boys for a dignified representation, Czech Fishing Union for great support, Hanák Competition company for material support and many other people without whom this beautiful sport would not exist. So goodbye, and see you while fishing again…



by Jiří Pejchar


At the beginning of June this year, I was asked to travel to Kuusamo, Finland, with the Czech team for the World Championship as their team manager. I agreed and preparations began immediately.  I have known the international organizer Illka Pirinen for many years since the 2009 Youth Championship in Chotěboř. I contacted him with initial questions and Illka very willingly answered everything and recommended us great accommodation for a preparatory training camp, right next to the Kuusinkijoki River.


by Howard Croston

At the end of day three, Team England had slipped to fifth place. Although a fall of three places, it was a long way from a disaster, and we still had everything to play for. Individually, my seventh place on Woods Lake helped me stay in medal contention and with 12 place points for three sessions fished, I was only trailing bronze by two points and gold by four, as I sat in fourth place overal.

Session 4, day four my group, was the Mersey river. Again, the draw wold be a contributing factor to the results, with an uneven spread of fish in some areas. For this session, three separate coaches were used for travel and, prior to the actual beat draw being announced, anglers were sent to the relevant coach roughly corresponding to the area that they would fish. Over the previous three days it had become clear that if you were directed to board at the first coach then you had drawn the higher, more difficuts beats of this particular sector and, whilst your fate wasn´t actually sealed, it would be an uphill struggle against the more productive lower beats.

 (FF&FT April 2020) - 2nd part

Session Two  and the draw would play a crucial role in obtaining a good result. I was bound for the Meander river, a medium sized wenue with a deceptively powerful flow and clear water, well populated  with wild browns, but not always equally distributed, as is the norm in river-based sessions, and particularly apparent in the early season Tasmanian rivers. I reconed that I´d need at least ten fish from the session.

My beat was number 4, a good draw as it turned out, with around 400 m of generally very fishy  looking water on a fair gradient that created lots of pocket-water over a large substrate bottom. The beat was split about two-thirds of way up by a high bluff that made the access a bit tricky in places, but as I surveyed the water, I was quite hopeful for a good session.  Although we had  no snow today, the unpleasant conditions persisted with a very strong wind blowing.

by Howard Croston

Howard CrostonIn December 2019, WCh 39. were held in Tasmania. Blessed with aproximatelly 8,000 bodies of water and countless connecting rivers and streams, Tasmania is a wild trout fisher´s paradise. The trout in Tasmania are predominantly wild brown trout stock reared from eggs imported from England in 1864, but with a few rainbows here and there which are now also effectively wild. The fisheries are expertly managed by the Inland Fesheries Service who in the main are all passionate anglers themselves. This unique combination of shallow, food-rich lakes, low rod pressure and active fisheries management equals one thing: simply unbelievable wild trout fishing in a unique and inspiring wildlife-rich landscape.

Team England this year comprised of myself as captain, manager, competitor and chief cook and bottle washer with Tony Baldwin, Lee Bartlett, Stewe Cullen and Mike Dixon fishing five sesson each, and Bernie Maher as actting captain and reserve. It would také a small novel for me to recount each day from a team perspective but here is an account of my championships, session by session, in what turned out to the most memorable week of my fishing life to date.

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By Martin Musil Jr.

01 Martin s POThis year, I got a difficult task with the youngest and the least experienced youth team in history to maintain invincibility of Czech teams at domestic championships. Since last year, when I was as a coach at the Youth World Championship in Poland, along with the team management we have changed the system of preparation, modified rules for selection of youth team members and generally said, continually have worked with the team. In 2019, we organized the contest in Devil’s streams (Janus’ memorial), and the nomination competition at the same place and at Vltava 28. This all was connected with a camp, consultations and with the help of several senior Czech competitors and more than a week long preparation just before the championship finally proved to be a key element.

by Karel Křivanec

02 plavsko.jezeroBetween 1st and 7th July 2019, the 25th European Fly Fishing Championship was held in Montenegro. The following competitors qualified into the Czech team: Antonín Pešek (fishing captain), Miloslav Hosenseidl, Luboš Roza, Lukáš Starýchfojtů and Roman Heimlich, but he had to be substituted by Petr Červenka, at the last moment, as Roman’s daughter started having problems after her birth and he decided to stay at home with his family. The Czech team had a week for on site preparation and during this time the competitors should have seen and tried all competition sectors. This year’s championship was exceptional also by the number of teams – twenty team took part in it.