2014 Youths International Fly Fishing Championship
A very big well done to Team Ireland on winning silver medals at the 2014 Youths International Fly Angling Match which was held at Grafham Water, England. This is a fantastic achievement for these young anglers many of whom are only fifteen or sixteen years of age.
This year’s International Match took place on Wednesday 6th August 2014 and although fishing conditions were a little challenging with squally winds and very high temperature, Grafham Water provided some great sport. The four teams from Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales departed from the fishing lodge at 10.00 AM looking forward to the seven hour challenge. As the horn sounded, the Irish team members asked their respective boat controllers to bring them to the P buoy, G buoy and B buoy area of the lake. Having done their homework in the months leading up to the competition and on the practice days, the lads were sure that they had the method cracked. Experience has indicated that the trout were pretty high up in the water and they hoped that the combination of boobies, crunchers and blobs fished on a fast glass line would bring success. It didn’t take long for the Irish lads to reap the reward of many months of preparation and begin to hook into these big Grafham rainbows. The lads stuck with it for the day and managed to net thirty two fabulous trout. As the match drew to an end, and 5PM approached, these young anglers headed for the fishing lodge hoping that they had done enough to bring the Bob Church Trophy back to Ireland. When the scales came down it was Scotland who came out on top, with second place going to Ireland, third position to team England, and fourth position going to Wales with a very respectable twenty one trout.
I spoke with Irish Team Captain, Ciaran Reilly, when he returned to Ireland and asked him for his comments on the match. Ciaran responded with a smile “We had a tremendous performance from Peter O’Brien with five trout for almost eleven pounds, and a monster rainbow from Andrew Rea. Irish anglers don’t have the same exposure to rainbow trout fishing as our counterparts in England, Scotland and Wales, yet we managed to win silver medals at an away venue. I’m absolutely delighted!”
Fly angling is an absolutely fantastic sport and we are extremely lucky to have an abundance of brown trout angling on our doorsteps here in Ireland. If you are interested in fly angling as a hobby, and would like to improve your team building and problem solving skills, why not contact your local trout angling club. You can also contact the ITFFA Youth Officer, Mr Frank Dempsey, at 087 2351830.