The 36th World Fly Fishing Championships were held in Colorado, USA from 11th to 18th September 2016. Set in the stunning Rocky Mountains, the Eagle, Colorado and Blue Rivers provided the river sectors while alpine mountain lake of Sylvan State Park gave anglers the opportunity to fish Loch Style. 28 nations from around the world descended upon the Rocky’s with 133 individuals competed in the competition over 6 sessions.
Team England based themselves at Beaver Creek which had good access to the competition and practice venues. This gave England the opportunity to cover the majority practice and competitions venues however, there was no access to Sylvan Lake but England were able to gain access to two other lakes nearby that contained wild brook trout and stocked rainbows.
England’s first saw the team tackle the predominantly skinny water and small river beats, along with the gin clear water of Sylvan Lake. The team’s efforts produced less fish than that was expected from the practice days performances and England finished 16th by the end of the first session.
The second session saw a considerable improvement with Howard Croston finishing in fifth place while John Horsley and Simon Robinson ended up 6th in their respective sectors. Sylvan Lake continued to fox the team, however four of the other nations appeared to have identified the correct approach and England finished 8th in the session giving an overall place of 14th after two sessions.
The third sessions saw England head back to the river beats and the enigma of Sylvan Lakes. Simon Robinson delivered a 6th place on the Eagle river. England ended the session in 14th place which saw them drop to 15th overall.
The fourth fishing session brought a new morning and renewed optimism that some good pegs would be drawn. Phil Dixon produced a 4th on the upper Eagle and the largest fish of the Championship 88cm Rainbow. The Lake continued to flummox the team and the other river sectors proved challenging. England ended the fourth session in 10th place and dropped further in the overall placings to overall to 16th.
The fifth and final session proved much the same for England but two bright spots gave were Andrew Scott’s 4th place along with Phil Dixon a 6th place during the session. The team’s efforts resulted in England finishing the session in 10th finishing and a final position of 14th overall.
Paul Page, Team England’s World Team Manager stated ”The team produced top 3 numbers of fish when practicing on the Blue, Colorado and Eagle rivers. With no boat fishing opportunities on gin clear Alpine Lakes Sylvan Lake was always going to be an open book to the team. The river beats, 24 per sector, varied tremendously in their fishing quality, mainly due to their shortness and low water levels. This unfortunately meant that the Championship was very peggy, however the top teams did perform well above average on the beats they were drawn”. Many thanks go out to all those who enter our regional qualifiers where a portion of their entry fee goes to support our International, European and World teams, along with our major fund raiser (John Ball) without who’s efforts Individual participation would be very expensive.”
Top 4 Team Results:
1st Spain 133 points;
2nd France 150 points;
3rd USA 162 points;
4th Czech Republic 176 points
Top 4 Individual Results:
1st Julien Daguillanes, 13 points;
2nd Jordi Cortina, Spain 14 points;
3rd Lance Egan, USA 18 points;
4th Pat Weiss, USA 23 points.
England team positions:
14th England 304 points
41st Phil Dixon 51 points;
50th Simon Robinson 56 points;
55th Howard Croston 58 points;
72nd Andrew Scott 68 points;
94th John Horsey 82 points.