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Today November 27, all teams registered and the welcomes between mates exchanged. After that I decided to go fishing. Still Jetlagged, slow and a bit uneasy with the unfamiliar left hand traffic I then also had my first real fishing here in Jindabyne, in the river Thredbo and in the heaviest fished area at that, just by the bridge. Wow, there eventually it all worked out. I got my first Australian trout, a beautiful fish at about two pounds, and in a place where the fishing pressure is hilarious. So in a way a test of ….well something; anyway it has given me a tremendous thrill. Just imagine a big brownie beautifully colored on the dry fly in Australia just when a white Baetis was starting to hatch. Tomorrow is the opening ceremony in the World fly fishing champs and parade. The day after that we have our first practice day. Anyway one of the secrets today is the yabby patterns…. Or what they really are called, for lake fishing. I’ll come back to the techniques for it.
Today 28th of November.
Today the reality of competitions dawned upon us. When marching through Jindabyne in the superb opening ceremony seeing all cheering faces, made this all a reality. All the fantastic controllers sharing their knowledge was as enlightening as the heavily shining sun here in Australia. Today was also the day of lost fish. But the practice showed that the flies has to be very small in the rivers. Perhaps also Wooly Buggers will do the trick in the difficult lakes. Opening meal was really a joy. But fishing tomorrow will show if there is any point staying here.
29November-practice – No killer fly yet.
After 6 hours it all stood clear: this is going to be tough. Four times fishing lakes and one river will make this competition a hazardous event where luck to a great deal will have its say. For the very few fish caught on the lakes Jindabyne and Eucumbene, and of the one caught jumping in a Scottish boat, the decision is to find still better ways of catching them than on Red tags, MrsSimpson’s or crayfish patterns. One fly though that proved successful was the one that caught both one of the competitors in his neck and later also a fish! Both were successfully released alive - the competitor though first after surgery. But apart from the danger of getting severely hooked by fly fishing in more than one way in this competition in Jindabyne, Australia, the perhaps biggest danger for unprotected anglers is the hot sun and the deadly snakes. Now however it's time for the next practice fishing.
November 30, just very shortly.
At last, I got my tooth fixed. No risk for getting the fishing spoiled by tooth trouble. So tomorrow the competition will start. Busses leaving at 6 Am. Today's practice proved the previous problems of catching fish in the lakes. The Murrumbidgee River though fished fine as it also done previously. More tomorrow.
Now the games started
Phew, after an early morning with breakfast at 5 Am and return for evening meal at 9 Pm and with the result of only three lost fish, the competition has started. The lakes have proven to be really hard and today's result of the fishing in River Murrumbidgee showed that the problems does not just concern the lakes. Australia and Canada are the teams that just now have the edge with one of the top rods being one of the Canadian lady competitors. Contrary to most of her male fishers she did not blank today, and she have thereby got the lead in group E which so far seem to be the toughest with less blanks. Weather has been really hot, no hatches though and with the black beetles as the most common getting the occasional rise within view, most of the time too far away to cast to. For lake fishing the circling wind is most annoying for the people fishing in the boats. Lets see how the fishing tomorrow will be.
December 2, and competition day two.
While still very few fish are caught the explanations to it grow rapidly. Sonar has established that most of the fish still are in their winter quarters, deep down in the middle of the lakes. Even the kangaroos are now curious on the outcome and are intently watching us casting. It is a bit strange, the whole family of kangaroos sit on their tails waiting for the action. One was very close to be caught by one of my back casts before I noticed its place about 10 meters behind where it had sneaked up behind me when I was fishing the Lake Jindabyne this afternoon. The day only resulting in a heart jolting bust off by a giant trout – the only touch of fish I had today. But tomorrow lets see what Lake Eucumbene bank can offer.
Congratulations to Australia the World Fly Fishing Champs. But that's not all, also the individual title went to Australia! More later.
Next WFFC in England
Today everybody is taking farewell. Next WFFC is already in May in England 2000 and this years winner Australia with France as runner up and third New Zealand will have to defend their wins. The Chew Valley Lake, Blagdon Lake and river Test will be the venues. They will certainly produce more fish than this event in Australia. Here one of the problems was the huge size of some of the fish, making them almost impossible to land. My lunker is probably still tailing my flies and leader around Lake Jindabyne just proving the case placing me together with half of the individual anglers on the 65th place. However this championship has still given a definite feeling of wanting to come back some other time. All the genuine friendliness between anglers and controllers, organizers and others, have made this one of the most memorable events I have participated in since my start in the WFFC in Kuusamo Finland 1989. And this time being here alone with fellow anglers from Australia to fill up my team, I would like mention Ian who actually scored a nice fish for Team Sweden. Thanks Ian! Well, got to go now……fly fishing….yes sure!
A few last secrets from the World Fly Fishing Championships at Jindabyne 1999.
This WFFC with totally only 140 fish caught by the 120 participants throughout the competition, again proved, that it is not the amount of fish that makes fishing memorable. The friendship developing between anglers from more than 20 different countries is one of the most powerful reasons, but also the intimate contact you get with your local controllers, organizers and naturally with the fishing. So I must admit that one of the lunkers busting off my flies and leader will be in my memory forever. Trying to master the yabby-technique with such an outcome is rewarding in itself. Just imagine, a crayfish imitation tied to your leader is allowed to sink to the bottom. There you just twitch it ever so slowly with long pauses to imitate a small crayfish. And ideally the trout will grab it from the bottom. Needless to say, I did not have to strike. The fish did all the job himself - all too well! Eventually I now have only my fantasy to figure out the size of the fish. -Well huge of course and still growing! Ah, I have to return to Australia to check it out, well, not today but some day in the future. For sure. Anyway now you know one other of the secrets why to participate in the WFFC´s: To the techniques of various countries I have learned by my fellow anglers during the years, I now alongside the Loch fishing of UK, Chironomide fishing of Canada and Rolling nymph of the eastern Europé to name just a few, can add the Yabby fly fishing technique of Australia. But another of the secrets, I think has to do with sanity. I mean how many people would be satisfied with spending roughly 2.520 hours catching 140 fish! What do you think? Should I try to forget instead?
If you however would like to try it out yourselves you could go here!for some information on the fishing.
For other views on the topic of competitive fly fishing, read Fly Fishing: Competition or Spiritualism? something to think about. I really like the views expressed here. It reveals some of the thoughts I also had prior to my first encounter with the competitons and also participated in for about 12 years.
But also - as I previously mentioned - to meet you all in fly fishing has been so rewarding. Just to learn all techniques from all over the world in fly fishing has been a revelation.
Watch this Space!
ya by the waters!