by Karel Křivanec

Upper AmmaranBetween 12–18 August already the 20th European Fly Fishing Championship in Central Sweden in the surrounding of Östersund took place. Sixty-seven competitors from 12 countries took part in it. This year´s participation was not too strong, because Norway and Sweden had not only men teams, but also women teams and from Romania only two individuals took part. From traditional teams, this time competitors from France, Belgium, Slovakia and Wales were missing.


The organizers marked two sectors for the boat competition on the lake and three sectors were along the river. From the point of view of the organization and logistics the Championship was organized very well. There were only problems with the selection of sectors. Sector I was on the Ösjön Lake which had extremely low occurrence of large brown trout and arctic char, because in warm summer, the fish moved to the deepest places. The lake Öravattnet was chosen for sector II, where only perch was fished and to be frank I really liked this novelty.

The three remaining sectors were marked on the Ammeran River, where several beats which were marked should not have been in any competition. With respect to dry summer, water level in the river was low and probably the organizers did not notice, when they did not allow competitors to fish in the main stream if it was behind a large island. Competitors who were fishing in the shallow river before the island did not have the same chance like their colleagues who had the entire river bed at disposal and this was a clear breach of the paragraph 9.3 of the Competition rules. Why were these sectors set in forested and hardly accessed terrain? It was also something hard to understand, when about 70 km long river was flowing also through meadows. These objections are not only against the organizers, but also both FIPS –Mouche representatives who should have come to see and approve these sectors in time before the competition.

Fishing on the Ösjön Lake was extremely difficult, because only 8 fish were caught there and none of the most successful fishermen caught more than 1 fish. The best were the Czechs in here, because they had three successful competitors here, Spanish had 2 and one fish caught competitors from England, Ireland and Finland. As such a competition will not be repeated for a long time, I will disclose the Czech tactics.

The basics was a fast sinking line HiD 8 from the company Airflo, long leader and the only one fly Black Woolly Bugger on the hook size 8 with a big gold tungsten and red collar. We were fishing only in two deepest places (9-12 m), the line was left to sink for 30 seconds and then the fly was retrieved by regular medium long moves and waiting for the only take which was felt as a hit into the rod. The aforementioned tactics was found at the official training on this lake. When you look at results, it is clear that just these three fish were decisive for final ranking. The Czechs had the total sum of placings 31, Spanish 46, English and Irish 57, Finns 58 and other teams without catch 70.

At the perch lake Öravattnet, the fish were fished along the bank in grass, but after being hooked they had to be searched for in deeper water further from the bank. According to expectations, the English won here with the sum of placings 22, followed by Norwegians and Italians (28) who were successful with the perch pattern of a lure with silver 4 mm tungsten bead, chartreuse chenille body and long white marabou tail on the hook H – 200 size 8 which they bought before the competition in the hotel in my mobile shop. They were also speaking highly about the Orange Blob and the Black Woolly Bugger. Altogether all fishermen caught there 579 perches which was a very nice result which has shown that with fly you can fish not only traditional salmonid species. Personally, I would prefer to implement a rule into the Competition rules that all fish species are eligible as it is usual at the competitions in our country.

The Czechs finished on the lake on the seventh place with the sum of placings 31, however, with a minimum loss to the Spanish (30) on the sixth place. Unfortunately, we had a bad rival on the boat who was leading the boat to places without fish. The most affected was the most experienced of our competitors, Jaja Šram, who had a total disagreement with the Romanian competitor and both of them finally finished blank, when they were absurd fishing in shallow water and this was a big and unexpected loss of points.

Grayling was prevailing in the Ammeran River and from place to place also brown trout was abundant, especially in fast and bouldered sections. We were nymphing there mainly with the French leader. To make an assessment of individual beats, we made a theoretical calculation of their quality, where we included ranking and number of fish caught in individual rounds and by the sum of these placings we set the ranking of success rate of individual beats. These numbers need to be accessed as an auxiliary criterion, because more other factors need take their share on the competitor´s catch.

Nice Swedish graylingIn the sector III, which was located in the upper parts of the river, altogether 913 fish were caught. The most on the beat 14, where competitors recorded 147 fish caught and the least at beat 11, where only 1 fish was caught and such an ace such as Kazimierz Szymala from Poland was blank there. Similar were also beats 9 (2 fish) and beat 10 (9 fish). All competitors who got to these three beats could have said good-bye to a good final result in the individual competition. The highest number of fish was caught in this sector in the fourth round on the beat No. 4 by the Polish competitor Tobiasz (46). The Finns won the sector, when their sum of placings was 14, when the sum of the quality of their places was 23 from, second were the Polish, their sum of placings was 23 when their beats were with the quality ranked as 33, the third were the Czechs (sum of placings 24, quality 36), fourth finished the Spanish  (31/45) and the fifth were the Swedes (34/26).

In the sector IV in the middle section on the river Ammeran 1,188 fish were caught, the most fish were from the beat 8, 181 in total and also beats 14 (168) and 6 (164) were excellent. The worst was the beginning of the sector on beats 2 and 3, where only 25 fish was caught in each and also beats 1, 4 and 5 were bad, thus who got to this sector then was also outside a good placing. Therefore, it is necessary to highlight the performance of Perez from Spain who caught 21 trouts in beat No. 1 probably with a dry fly and he finished on the fifth place here. The highest number of fish caught (62) in the first round caught Adreveno from Italy in beat No. 14. The Spanish won the sector with the sum of placings 21 (quality of their beats was 33), the second were Polish (23/29), third were Italians (28/37), fourth Czechs (29/37) and the fifth Norwegians (32/28).

And finally, in the sector V on the lower Ammeran, 1,079 fish were caught and the most were from beats No. 12 (122) and 5 (116), the least catches were from beats 10 (18) and 14 (19). The best individual performance was in the second round in beat 5 by Syvertsbroten (48) from Norway. The Polish won in this sector with the sum of placings 11 and the quality of beats 23, second were English (18/24), third Spanish (25/31), fourth were Italians (32/39) and the fifth were Czechs (33/44).

In the first round of the competition, which untraditionally took place on Friday afternoon. The Czechs won with the sum of placings 24, second were the Spanish (30) and the third were English (35). Also the second round on Saturday morning was still for the Czechs (25) before the Spanish (25) and the Polish (26). After two rounds the ranking was 1st Czech Republic (49), 2nd Spain (55), 3rd Poland (62). On Saturday morning the third round won the English (23), before the Spanish (24) and Czechs (29) and the running ranking after three rounds was 1. Czech Rep. (78), 2. Spain (79), 3. England (90).

Lower AmmaranOn Sunday morning, the Spanish dominated in the fourth round (24), before the Polish (26) and the English (27). The Czechs had extremely bad time and finished on the eight place (43), even despite the fact that they had a catch on the Ösjön Lake (Adam). Šram was blank on the perch lake, Drož was seventh on a bad beat on the upper flow of the Ammeran, Hosenseidl finished on the tenth place on the middle Ammaran on the place with the quality 13 and on the lower Ammeran on a terrible beat No. 14, Heimlich caught only one fish and he was twelfth. After four rounds the ranking of teams was as follows: 1. Spain (103), 2. England (117) 3. Poland (118), 4. Czech Republic (121).

In the last fifth round everything changed again and the Czechs won again (22), second was Finland (27), 3rd Ireland (28), 4th Norwegians (30), 5th Polish (36) and Spanish fell to the seventh place (43). In final results our team got by three points before Spain and the final ranking of the 20th European Championship was as follows:  1st Czech Republic 143, 2nd Spain 146, 3rd Poland 154, 4th England 163, 5th Finland 170, 6th Italy 185.

European Champions 2014Also in the individual competition the Czech competitor won the gold medal and the trophy of the European Champion. This was Tomáš Adam who was the second from the World Championship in Poland in 2010. Tomáš had a good draw and he went through the entire competition without hesitation. In the first round, he was fishing on the upper Ammeran on the beat 1 and the same ranking was also in the sector for 34 graylings. In the second round on the middle Ammeran on the beat 6 and he caught there 48 fish and he was the first again. In the third round he had altogether 35 fish caught on the lower Ammeran on the beat No. 2 and this was enough for the second place with 35 fish. He did not hesitate in the critical fourth round on the Ösjön lake, where he caught a trout 45 cm long and this was the first place again and in the final fifth round on the perch lake he was in one boat with Guzdek from Poland and he won with 12 fish caught again and his rival followed him on the third place in the sector with 6 fish which was the best Polish ranking on this lake. Altogether, our competitor had an enviable sum of placings 6 for 130 fish caught from which the biggest was grayling 462 mm from the first round of the competition.

Best threeTomáš Adam was on the first place for the entire time of the competition, and on the second place was Ander Perez from Spain who belonged to the same group of competitors and finally he finished on the second place with the sum of placings 15 (101 fish). In the first round he was second (35 fish), in the second round he had a very bad beat No. 1 and he managed to get 21 fish from there (rank 5), in the third round on the lower Ammaran he managed to beat Adam as the only one of all, when he caught 40 fish and won his group. Even on the Ösjön Lake he had one catch (2) and on the perch lake he finished on the fifth place with four fish caught.

While the first two places were quite clear, after the fourth round there were at least 5 candidates for the bronze, but finally the sixth of them got the bronze – the World Champion from New Zealand 2008 Martin Drož from the Czech Republic. He did not start really well at all, when in the first round on the lower Ammeran he had a bad beat 11, from which he brought 22 fish and the eighth place. On the Ösjön Lake he was in the boat with Carulla from Spain and he had to show Czech cards. Even there he caught a trout in the depth and he was the first there, but the Spanish had a fish there too and finished as the second. On the perch lake both competitors met in one boat again (even if the rules do not allow it!), but they did not agree on the selection of the right places and Martin finally had nine fish and he was the fifth in the group. At this moment he was on the eleventh place. Last two rounds he did on the river, in the upper section he had a bad beat 3 again and finished with 10 fish on the seventh place, but after all he moved to the eighth place. While in the last round on the lower Ammaran he had a happy draw for the best beat 8 and he managed to take the opportunity perfectly, when he finally won the sector with 44 fish which was also the total maximum of the last round. And when his competitors hesitated, he moved to the bronze position for the sum of placings 22 (86 fish).  

Best teems 2014The fourth place in the individual competition this time remained for a little known Polish competitor Bartosz Rapiej with the sum of placings 24 for 77 fish, when he was eleventh after four rounds and in the last round he won on the lower Ammeran with 16 fish caught. On the fifth place finished known Norwegian competitor Olav Syvertsbroten with the sum of placings 25 for 127 fish, because he was also blank on the Ösjön Lake, but in other rounds this time he was doing extremely well. On the sixth rank finished Jirki Hiltunen from Finland (25/124), the seventh was a young Englishman Scott Nellins (25/91), who was on the third place after four rounds, he had a catch from the trout lake, but he lost the medal in the last round, when he was blank on the upper Ammeran. And finally on the eighth place finished Joan Carulla from Spain (26/59).  

The Swedish European Championship has proved the shortcomings in the work of the Presidential Board of the International Organization again, because the FIPS-Mou Presidential Board is not able to guarantee the fair selection of beats. Maybe, it would help to assign this task to someone from the Technical Committee which in fact exists only on the paper. Of course, it would cost some extra money, but it would lead to higher satisfaction of competitors who would not have to embarrassingly wait for bad ranking.

European Championship 2014 - Statistics (PDF, 267 kB)