The 2013 England Youth International fly fishing team headed to Llyn Brenig in North Wales hoping to defend the Gold Medals that they had won the previous year in Ireland. With 8 new caps in the team this wouldn’t be easy but the team was well prepared and ready for the challenge.
Previous practice had shown the fish to be deep – very deep! However, the few days before the championships saw cooler weather and as a result, the fish moved up in the water and became far easier to catch.
Official practice saw all teams catch well. The England lads all caught and a pattern started to emerge. After the second days practice, areas were confirmed and tactics finalised.
The lads had found some large pods of fish that the other teams didn’t seem to know about. These areas were banned during the second days practice with just an occasional cast being allowed to prove they had not moved. It was also noticed that once a couple of fish had been caught from an area, that area would go dead. To combat this, the team plan was to never repeat a drift and to find clean water.
During practice it was noted that early on the fish would readily take a fly moved on the surface – but as the day wore on, they became move reluctant to take a fly if it wasn’t down at their cruising level. Having observed fish cruising in the wooded bays, it was ascertained that the fish were cruising 4-6ft down. Di3 sweep was the most effective line with Coral & white Humungus Boobies proving to be the deadly flies.
Match day arrived and the lads were met with light winds and cloud cover – perfect!
The fleet split to all parts of the lake and after just 45 minutes news began to filter through that England lads already had 8, 6 and 5 in just three boats. Keeping those pods of fish quiet appeared to have worked!
After a nervous and seemingly long day on the bank for the coaching team & parents, the lads came back to the boat dock exhausted. The England team had put together a total of 64 fish……was it enough?
The results were announced at the lake and were as follows –
England 145lb 10.25oz
Wales 132lb 2.5oz
Scotland 128lb 3oz
Ireland 80lb 3.25oz.
England also had the Brown Bowl winner for the 4th year in a row. An outstanding performance by Tom Adamson saw him take the individual title with a haul of 11 fish for 23lb 9oz. Other outstanding performances in the England team were recorded by Oliver Avis (11 fish) and Adam Worker (9 fish). It was Alex Waddington who caught the overall biggest fish at 3lb 9oz. That said, it was the team performance that won the gold medal with England being the only team not to record a blank.
After a celebratory dip in the lake the team headed back to Llangollen for the International dinner & presentations at the White Waters hotel.
The behaviour & conduct of the England team filled myself and the coaching team with pride. They even received a written appraisal from the hotel complimenting them on their behaviour.
I’d like to thank everyone who has supported the team over the last year. There are many people to thank and you know who you are but in particular, I’ like to thank the coaching team of Gary Owen, Carl Malpass, Ryan Worker and Dom Sheratte. The time and effort that they put in was outstanding. Bobbie Worker, the team simply wouldn’t exist without her. Thank you Bobbie. All of the parents, committee members & boatmen who have supported the team during the year and the fisheries that have supported our training sessions (Draycote, Blithfield and Anglian water).
Finally, I’d like to thank the Welsh committee for organising & hosting a superb event. The England Youth look forward to welcoming you all to Grafham in 2014.
England Youth Team Manager