At the southeasternmost tail of the Poland on the San river and distribution reservoir Myczkowce under the Solina lake already 30th World Flyfishing Championship took place this year. Czech team compounded of three very experienced competitors and two very young novices that it was first Championship for. Neither one of these novices went into the competition with zero international experience. The both have got over a lot of hard competitions not only at domestic waters. Roman Jörka (21 years) has started few times at Youth World Championship and he have represented at European Championship of Adults for two times. Pavel Chyba (25) was unfortunately off his luck that when he was ranked among the best juniors at Czech Republic, any World Championships of Juniors were not being held. But he also have represented at European Championship two times, where even he has obtained title of the European Champion last year at Ireland. It is not necessary to supply any information about above mentioned experienced standbys as the most of you probably knows what successes and medals they have reached at World and European Championships: Martin Drož and Antonín Pešek and Tomáš Adam. Captain of the Czech team also this year has been well known international Tomáš Starýchfojtů and the team manager has been Martin Musil.
Our flies and used methods were as follows: at streaming water there were mostly nymphs in combination with “French” technique (long leader) – this time it was possible to use only 2 flies (specified by the rules for World Championship at Poland). Our most successful exemplars were as follows: Threaded Nymph, which is actually Hare´s Ear with pink ribing and with silver or bronze tungsten bead 2,5 - 3,5 mm, according to water depth and flow power, furthermore Vosges Nymph with golden head (PTN with bold orange collar), all in sizes 12 and 14 that we had linked to jig hooks H 400 (Hanák Competition). We used these two exemplars as end point fly. They were relatively well taken by browns and occasionally also grayling. I have to say that we didn’t find expressively well fly for graylings during the Championship but as likely as nobody. But no so much of them was fished. Needed to say that on San there were relatively little streaming sections where it was possible to angle with nymphs successfully. Long protracted and slow plains predominated where fishing with long “French” leader was relatively difficult and we applied here fishing with dry fly. We angled either occasionally rising fishes and we were succeeding in fishing them also on the spots, where it was not possible to observe any surface activity of fishes.
At fishing with nymph we used as dropper either one of foregoing flies or classical Czech nymph in relatively “cheerful” colours (Five-color Handsome Bobesh, Rainbow Handsome Bobesh) in sizes 8, 10, 12 – on gammarus hook H 300 Hanák Competition. We hereinafter used also pink coloured nymphs (Faggot) or multicoloured from green-beige that merge into violent colours, where the most significant element was bright pink-purple hearts (Violet Hermit). These Czech nymphs were basically only flies that we succeeded in fishing of local graylings with, even occasionally they have took some of golden head nymphs mentioned above.
At slow water plains we made a bid for long nymphing. Two nymphs, classically cast away, lower heavier and non-weighted subsurface nymph on droper. We use this technique for fishing at our county very little, nevertheless, how he have seen at training of Poles, Slovaks, Italians and other competitors, this method was relatively successful. We either didn’t have correct flies or correct knowledge how to present these flies, which probably was the main reason why we didn’t succeed in fishing this way. At slow and flat plains was very important namely what furrow or depression is where or something else, what fishes likes and they stay there along of. This knowledge was Alpha and Omega of success on wide San river (80 -120 m). If fish wouldn’t appear during rising, it would quite big problem for us to find them. We have seen this big river for the first time just before Championship and it had high and turbid water that time.
Regarding dry flies the most successful were relatively big samples of CDC sedges in size 12 and 14, even at natural colours or eventually with some tip at violet or light orange colour. We fished with them both browns and graylings, if they showed surface activity. We were not so successful in case of upwings even some days there were a lot of them breeding. Whether they were big May flies or small Olives in size 16 there. Sedges were the best choice for us.
All our success on San has been built up on these two fishing methods (nymphing and dry fly). After competition we learned that relatively lot of competitors used also streamers for browns. But we didn’t succeed in the streamers training, in some competition periods our guys tried it at various places too, nevertheless it was not significantly successful for us and we really based our fishing on French nymphing and dry fly.
We adapted rods used at river to its size and to the size and power of fished fishes. Therefore we used little stronger rods comparing to the rods used at our domestic competitions, so AFTMA 3-5, 9,6 -10 feet. Also rods that Franta Hanák provided us with for the Championship from the Hanák Competition series Nr. 496, 596 or 3100, 4100, 5100 too. We also used our proven Sage rods just as it was suitable for everybody of course. We used fluorcarbons Airflo G3, 3M, Hanák Competition – 0,10 – 0,14 (dry, nymph) and in stronger design for eventual streamer and still water periods.
Browns set out at distribution reservoir Myczkowce there predominated in size up to 30 cm. They were fished here at relatively big quantities but sometimes it managed to fish also some older native browns. Not until last lake practice we found out that trouts have to be stocked relatively recently as we fished a lot of browns between 20 – 30 cm. We used to them rods AFTMA 5 – 6 with length 9-10 feet. Sinking lines Airflo Di3 - Di5 or fast intermediate lines and also novelty from Airflo Sweep Di 3 and Di 5 became to be proven competent. For flies skimming we used relatively fast and aggressive retrieving with “hang” at the end.
We didn’t enter official practice on the lake to hide our only sureness we had for competence. But how it turned out later, experienced teams fished practically in the same way as we and then the point was only to fish as much fishes as possible and as quick as possible. We were relatively successful. Even we didn’t won lake sectors, the position at still-water periods still helps to keep us close to medal positions. In addition to set our browns also a few wonderful old brown trouts catched during Championship. One of them was present also at competition of Antonín Pešek, whose boat partner was Portugese Mr. Rodrigues that neted beautiful old brownie of 60 cm. A few of these fishes were catch here but we didn’t have so much luck.
We used simple flies for still-water competitions. They were different variations there from Black Tadpoles and Black Leaches, whether with beads or without them. Point fly was mostly bigger - size 10, hairy body made of seal, opossum and rabbit hair mixture, with marabou tail, all that at black colour and with silver tungsten bead diameter 2,5 mm. We diversified similar variants at smaller sizes on dropper, sometimes with more outstanding bead in the colour of chartreuse, or without bead but with lure head in the same chatreuse colour. We also had classical wet fly Kate McLaren size 10 on the dropper. But according my opinion the kind of fly didn´t matter so much. Important was aggressive retrieving of the flies in correct depth.
To practice on San was practically impossible because there was no section to fish. It was not permitted to practice at competition part of San 30 days before competition and it was not possible to fish even during our training week before competitions as water was still high. That week before Championship we were present basically just to see this river and we could practice just on its affluent.
We got into the San river and tried competition conditions (flowage, water cleanness etc.) firstly practically not until the start of the competition by itself. Marked practice sections, where it was already not allowed to fish, were prepared only for official 3 hours long trainings that were performed only when the World Championship was already running. Flowage from reservoir was decreased to competitive 10 m3/sec. from previous 50 m3/sec. But even these official trainings didn’t open our eyes properly as approx. 50 competitors stormed into the practice sector and within section of 1500 m we after 30 minutes at these small water finished. On the contrary, we became to be even more unsure at the finding how successfully Poles fished (long nymphing) at the places which we passed through and catch nothing.
I have to say that we never entered the World Championship competition with such doubt. Finally only faith into our own art and abilities and experience from a lot of our domestic competitions buoyed us up. And of course mutual support and teamwork of whole team members. I don’t want to highlight anybody as all worked so hard and gave own art for the benefit of whole team.
Immediately at the start of first day we were dropout by the problem with flat tyre of our car. It happened after 9 AM when Tomáš Starýchfojtů have parked at one field path near to family houses and he went to “coach” Antonín Pešek. He called me immediately and I had to leave the lake for him and solve whole situation with local police. Wrongdoer is known and this was probably resulting of old-age imprudence of the land owner that wasn’t related to the World Championship at all. Unfortunately, we lost first competition day by this situation and we cannot help our guys at their beats at all so they had to make out by themselves.
Through this all first day was not the worst day. We won first round even Martin Drož at the section “Catch and release” allot probably the worst place from all. Long slow hollow where were no doubts about the presence of big fishes but we all know well how it is with big and very experienced fishes. Unfortunately, even he catch approximately 30 fish, he didn’t register any eligible (25 cm). Therefore he had zero and of course it was knock-down for him and whole team, and we had to get out of this another two rounds. Despite it Martin showed his extra-level and he became to be very important team member at next competitions, even he knew that, his zero at individual event didn’t provide any chance to win individual medal. Nevertheless he didnt give up and at next round he showed that he belongs in absolute worldwide flyfishing top level. Other guys significantly supported the team results at the first round by excellent achievements both at the lake and at other river sectors. Second round was not so good for us so at the end of first day we already were behind the teams from France, Poland, Slovakia, Southern Africa and Norway, as number six. First three teams had slight jump and we with other 4 teams were in the range of few points.
We entered second competition day, when only one period was planned, with doubts how it will continue, but still with resolve and belief in our capabilities. Even we didn’t get another zero, we were not successful in some sectors and our position at second half of competition field didn’t move us upwards at all. On the contrary it seemed that actual top level teams as France, Poland and Slovakia drew apart and they are almost out of shot. After 3th period we slightly improved our position and were fifth, but Spanish team was close behind us. We had free afternoon and so we sat down and put heads together and analysed what was wrong and how we will get along. Result of this was that we said we will do what we know to do and what we have proven, and we will hope that we will avoid very bad places that no competitors were successful on them, even from leading teams. Bad luck during lot must turn round because at five competitions and five round it should be like this. All teams should finally have at results both bad and good points and only the best of them, able to transform bad points into the average result, will reach the top.
We said to ourselves that we have to win medal at any costs and our mood and resolve of whole team for last competition day came up to this. We finished flies tying we just bet on and we were not willing to change anything anymore on chosen fishing tactic and technique. Of course, various information about flies of successful teams, fishing techniques, etc. came to us, but we considered any possible changes of our techniques and flies as the way to the hell and we bet everything on our art, improvisation and fishing experience of all team members.
We woke up at third competition day with finding that during the night there were huge water rushes and it was still raining so hard. It is possible to say restrainedly that big luck rained for us that is always an essential part of good result. During departure to competition venues we learned that our positions are again at lower halfs of sectors and I couldn’t understand the matrix of the lot fully. At whole Championship we had just one upper place in venue 5. It was stand Nr. 6 where Pavel Chyba went to the last round. The rest of our beats were from Nr. 10 to Nr. 26. But how finally showed, the rule “Everything bad is also good for something” applied.
Nightly fruitful pouring rains and storms made all small rivers and streamlets join competition section of San turbid and taller. Suddenly it was not glassclear stream anymore, but at least from one side it was yellow river. With crescent rain clear water drained from the lake gradually mixed with turbid water from all inflows and this big change of the situation changer overall fishing conditions. Our lower places at sectors provided suddenly slight advantage as turbid water flowed in here little later than in the competitors at upper sectors. Before these rounds we said to ourselves that it will be struggle for fishlets but finally also this last day we catch more fishes than I expected.
Czech team suddenly knew how to fish in this turbid water and what to use as this way we trained for whole preparation week. Our team members are good and experienced enough to adapt immediately to change of conditions and use more effective methods or flies. Teams that fished for small and glassclear water were not able to react to this. Only the best can react to this type of changes quick enough, they can improvise and think about what and how to do in new conditions. This was probably our biggest advantage comparing to all else teams. Ability of immediate improvisation, the situation evaluation and great experience at our domestic competition were priceless here.
We won the both remaining rounds and no other team could react to this. We basically had just placement at first six at each sector. Indeed Frenchmen performed very well and composedly, except of few little exceptions removed by some very bad results of Poles, so immediately after the end of the competition they rejoiced in the World Champions title obtaining. They had slightly distorted information and they didn’t count with us. Their satisfaction with their own result was finally overchanged by great disillusion.
What to say in the end? First placement at the teams’ competition and after a year again “silver plate” for the World Champions team is back at home at Czech Republic. As well as “silver plate” for the World Champion at individual competition that will be enhanced already by sixth Czech name: Pavel Chyba (following Slavoj Svoboda, Tomáš Starychfojtů, Vladimír Šedivý, Antonín Pešek and Martin Drož). Our best result was pointed out by second position of Tomáš Adam at individual competition. It will be very difficult to reach more....How results look like:
|Teams:||sum of placements|
|1. Czech republic||206|
|5. South Africa||270|
|8. New Zealand||305|
|10. Bosnia and Herzegovina||312|
|11. England (last year's World Champion)||313|
|1. Pavel Chyba (CZE)||24|
|2. Tomáš Adam (CZE)||25|
|3. John Horsey (ENG)||29|
|4. Julien Daguillanes (FRA)||30|
|5. Sandro Soldarini (ITA)||30|
|6. Jarkko Suominen (FIN)||33|
|7. Igor Fičan (SVK)||34|
|8. Laurent Gagneux (FRA)||35|
|9. Grzegorz Golofit (POL)||35|
|10. Miroslav Antal (SVK)||36|
|31. Martin Drož||51|
|33. Roman Jörka||53|
|38. Antonín Pešek||56|
133 competitors from 28 countries of the world engaged and were classified into the Championship as well as 25 complete teams.
After our success at the World Championship 2006 in Portugal, where Czech team won and the first at individual competition was Antonín Pešek and third was Martin Drož, I thought that anything similar cannot repeat. Then the World Championship 2008 at New Zealand came, where our Czech medal obtaining was the same, nevertheless this victory was more conclusive and the first position of Martin Drož and third position of Tomáš Starýchfojtů was supported by further excellent results of individuals at first ten. And now at the Championship at Poland 2010 it was again about victory of Czech team and the first and second position at individual competition for Pavel Chyba a Tomáš Adam! What else to say? Maybe just – with high exaggeration – that we just need now to collect all 4 medals from 4 possible at the same time....
But it is necessary to know that we don’t miss humility even after this success. We sometimes have just little more luck and next time not. But this is always about fishing. We try to prepare as responsible as possible and in the best possible way every year for these competitions. To select the best possible representation and coordinate the team of fishermen from every quarters of Czech Republic well that all of them will willing to work hard for the team until the last minute. And even somebody is not successful in the present moment and his chances for success at individual competition are minimal, he will deliver maximum for the team. Because at the finale always particular “small fish” decide that the team would miss just without 100% appointment of every individual.Finally I would like to thank all sponsors of Czech national flyfishing team led by our head “patron” – the Czech Fishing Union and all its members, followed by our general partners and sponsors – Hanák company (Hanak Competition and Airflo equipment) and Monfish company (SIMMS equipment). Other partners of our team were companies Hobby-G and Hends. We thank so much all of them, as without their support our results definitely would not be so good. We believe that we didn’t breach of their trust and we hope that they take pleasure in our success at least just as we do.