By Martin Musil Jr.
This 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.
The team line-up was clear: Jan Bureš, Antonín Pleskač, Jan Carbol, Vojtěch Marek, Jan Wittner and the substitute was Tomáš Glaesner. Jiří Pejchar, who was acting there as the International Organizer, could not act as a team manager, the choice of his deputy was not easy. There were several really good names in the air and finally we have chosen Tomáš Starýchfojtů, who has been working with us since the last year’s Championship in Poland. Another member of our team was his son Lukáš, who joined us just before the championship.
The overall preparation was in peace and quiet. The only problem was higher water which did not correspond with the conditions that were supposed to come. Our great advantage was that the competition sectors were only on the river, because our traditional Stillwater – Květoňov Reservoir was under reconstruction. We knew what we were going into even before and we did not have a problem with high water. We were training a lot fishing with a streamer which none of our guys had practical experience with. Its use was considered for sectors 4 and 5, where rainbow trout was freshly stocked. Even despite this preparation, we did not do well in the first three rounds with a streamer. It needs to be reminded that all fish species longer than 20cm were eligible.
Another key element was finding that fish very well reacted to the new type of chenille material, which substituted banned Squirmy Wormy, with long-known pattern San Juan Worm. Classic small nymph was combined in the tandem fly – float (Klink and Dink). We had enough training and then came the time to move for the accommodation facility - Penzion Herbertov. Only me and Jan Carbol took part in the official training. In principle, we were fishing for about half an hour and we were testing our tactics.
The first competition day came on Tuesday, 13 August, and the team was really nervous. After the night thunderstorm, the two lower sectors of the Vltava River were muddy. I went to the first round with Jan Bureš to sector 2 in Vyšší Brod. Thanks to the move of times, when in big river (Vltava 28) the contest started at 7 a.m. and in the Devil’s rapids (Vltava 29) from 9 a.m. I was able to watch both sections. The sectors I was watching were in Vyšší Brod (Vltava 28) and both sectors 1 and 3 in Devil’s rapids (Vltava 29). Lukáš should have watched the 4th sector between Herbertov and Rožmberk (Vltava 28) and Tomáš should have watched sector 5 downstream of Rožmberk (Vltava 27).
In the first round, Jan Bureš went under the railway bridge in Vyšší Brod and he knew this beat very well. He was fishing there during the nomination competition when he did not do very well. He had a chance for retake and he was the first, even if the start was not according to our imaginations at all. After a quarter of an hour of nymphing, he changed for chenille worm, which worked perfectly, but the tippet of the diameter 0.10 mm proved to be too thin. After five lost fish with the broken line, he made the tippet thicker to the diameter 0.12 mm and then it was great by the very end, when he finally caught 21 fish. Jan Carbol was fishing in the upper section of the Devil’s streams in Loučovice and although he did not have bad beats, he could not compete with two lower beats. Competitors were rotating to the neighbouring places after the half of the round. He gained maximum with the worm and he was the third in the sector (20 fish), when the favourite for the total victory and last year’s World Champion, Szymon Konieczny, from Poland won there with 36 fish.
In the lower part of the Devil’s streams upstream from the Lipno II Reservoir, Vojtěch Marek was left to his destiny. Even if competitors were changing beats after the half of the round, but there we were practicing the most and therefore he finished on the first place in the sector 3 with his worm when he caught 22 fish. It was enough for him to change the weight and colour of chenille worm. In the sector 4, downstream of Herbertov, Tony Pleskač was fighting well and finished on the third place with 13 fish. Ben Confort from the USA won here with 19 fish. In the sector 5, downstream of Rožmberk Sergio Heredero (29 fish) from Spain won, but our competitor, Jan Wittner, did not fish well in his good beat and finished on the sixth place in the sector. It was the result of his little experience with streamer fishing and muddy river, where he used natural patterns of streamers and they were not seen much in the muddy water. Nevertheless, the total sum of placings 13 meant the victory of the Czech team in the first round, second were the Americans (15) and third were the Polish competitors (19).
In the second round, in the afternoon, Jan Bureš brought the first place with the worm on the lower part of the Devil’s rapids in sector 3 (19 fish). A curious story experienced Hugo Pearce from New Zealand, who was swimming in the bouldered riverbed and lost the bottom part of his rod, but despite of this bad luck he recorded 16 fish which was the third place in the sector. Jan Wittner in Loučovice had a very bad rotation in the sector 1, where he finished on the fifth place (13 fish). The winner was the Polish competitor Michal Kurnicki (34 fish). Tony Pleskač worked hard to finish on the fourth place on one of the worst beats in the sector 5, when he caught 16 fish. And the winner of his sector was Oskar Kaniuczak from Poland with 22 fish. Unfortunately, Vojtěch Marek was also unlucky in his beat in sector 4, where he caught 13 fish and finished on the fifth place. The winner of this sector was Maj Ivancic from Slovenia who was fishing there with the streamer for the first time. He bought this streamer (Black Woolly Bugger) in the shop before the competition and he recorded 19 fish and he must have lost the same number of fish due to his lack of experience. Unfortunately, nor Jan Carbol used the potential of his beat in the sector 2 in Vyšší Brod and brought the fourth place. The winner was Szymon Konieczny (19 fish) again. The sum of placings 19 meant the third place for the Czech team in the second round and total second place with a loss of 5 points against the first Polish team and advantage of six points against the third Spanish team.
In the third round, on Wednesday morning 14 August, all guys were fishing greatly. They used the opportunities of their good beats and from bad beats they made average ones. The sector 1 won Carlos Delgado Campos (20 fish) from Spain and Tony Pleskač was second there (13 fish). Finally, Jan Wittner excelled in the sector 2 when he won there with 25 fish, mostly they were brown trout and with the use of the method fly–float. In the sector 3 won Mike Komara from the USA, when he recorded 12 fish and by 6 centimetres he defeated Szymon Konieczny (12 fish), Jan Carbol was third there (9 fish). Sector 4 won another American, Eli Buchanan (23 fish), Jan Bureš was on the fifth place (15 fish) and the sector 5 was dominated by the American, Chase Kreider (26 fish), Vojtěch Marek was on the fourth place (15 fish). The second place in the third round with 14 placings brought us to the total lead again with 46 points ahead of Poland (51), third place USA (52) and fourth place Spain (61). In the individual competition, three Czechs were among top ten. And half a day off followed. It was time to complete flies, adjust leaders, and especially recover competitors’ bodies.
Our guys may have gained more power than expected, because the fourth round on Thursday, 15 August, was like in a paradise. Victory in this round with the sum of placings 7 is not often experienced. Vojtěch Marek won the sector 1 with 19 fish, Jan Wittner was on the second place in sector 3, only one fish less than the winner Gorjan from Slovenia (10 fish). In sector 4, Jan Carbol with 18 fish moved on the second place continually winning Szymon K. (12 fish) and Jan Bureš won the sector 5 with 20 fish. Tony Pleskač was fishing in sector 2 on the “professor’s” plain below the “hay shed”, where he had a bad experience from the preparation contest, but also he excellently managed the retake and in such a difficult beat he won the second place in the sector with 23 fish after Carlos Delgado Campos from Spain (25 pcs), who was excelling there with a dry fly in the last half an hour.
A funny story needs to be mentioned. I was coaching Tony to get to the fish with words: “You must go further – further to that bank.” He did not really well reacted to my words and therefore I was going on. “You must go under the alder tree opposite you“. Tony was nodding his head in agreement and slowly he was getting to that alder tree. After some time he turned to me and asked: “Hey, Máca, what do you mean by that alder tree?” Even such stories can experience the youth coach… In individuals, Jan Bureš was continually on the second place (8) after the reigning World Champion, Szymon Konieczny (6), Vojtěch Marek was on the fifth place (11), Tony Pleskač 6th, (11), Jan Carbol 7th (11).
Unfortunately, in the fifth round our draw was really bad. We finished on the fourth place in the teams and for the fifth round we lost the individual medal position. I would appreciate excellent performance of Jan Bureš again on the completely worst rotation in sector 1, when only boulders were in his beats and water was almost getting lost under them. The young Czech boy was jumping from a stone on a stone, but he finished on the seventh place with seven trout. One bigger fish more, would make mean a medal for him. Also Vojtěch, Tony and Jan Wittner showed great performance which helped the team to total victory. Winners in their sectors were Eli Buchanan (USA), Liam van der Merwe (South Africa), Luke O´ Donoghue (Ireland), Sergio Gonzales (Spain) and Mike Komara (USA). The last round was incredibly hectic for me and I managed to travel to all sectors. More or less to support and motivate the guys than giving advice. The result was the gold medal – for the first time since 2012, when I was competing for the national team in France as a youth and won the individual competition. The team which we managed to put together this year has a great potential to get our youth team on the top again and where they definitely should be.
The total winner and the World Champion in fly fishing for 2019 was the team of the Czech Republic, which defended the leading position on the fourth round before the close team of the USA which won the last round. Spain finished on the third place when they had a really great performance and by six points they got ahead of Poland. The individual competition had a clear winner - Szymon Koniecny from Poland, who defended the trophy from the last year. Second and third place in the individual competition gained Spanish competitors Sergio Heredero and Carlos Delgado Campos. Fourth and fifth place occupied two Americans Mike Komara and Eli Buchanan and the sixth was the youngest of the Czechs - Vojtěch Marek.
The general sponsor of the entire Championship was the Cortland Company, which contributed financially to every competitor and also devoted valuable prizes for the best individuals and teams. Regarding the sponsors of the Czech team, we need to thank to the Hobby-G company which was our general sponsor and equipped us especially with wear, great bags made by the Wychwood company and Giants fishing company and also to the Hanák Competition company, whose rods, lines and hooks belong among the best available on the world market nowadays. We would like to thank to the Czech Nymphs company for material support during the championship as well as the CzechFlyfish.com Company and the Král Company for provision of great accommodation and background near water.
We must not forget a couple of International Organizers - Jiří Pejchar and Milan Hladík for superbly organized championship. We have thank to Tomas and Lukas. Tomas Starychfojtu has done incredible piece of work again and I am very happy that somebody like him is willing to pass the experience to young fly fishermen. And the last and the most important thanks belong to the entire team for their performance which were sometimes on the limits of their abilities and especially their effort, spirit and team approach.
WYFFC 2019 - result statistics (PDF, 162 kB, author: Jiří Pejchar)