by Milan Čubík
When we obtained two gold medals last year on the World Championship at home – in Chotěboř (Czech team and Jindra Kalivoda), I was sure that next championship in Slovakia (2010) would be much more difficult. Possible defending of either of these two gold medals I therefore considered as big success. That is why we started preparations for the next championship already at the end of school holidays 2009. We made a dash for practice to Slovak rivers where the competition should be present with the group of potential junior representatives. We left out just Poprad river as it was not possible because of time. But training on the Belá and Váh rivers was very beneficial. Even the flows of both rivers were little changed after this year floods, during the Championship itself we could utilize a lot of knowledge from last year practice. In March we had a ground preparation yet, where we mainly tied, adjusted leaders and also learned something from the theory.
The main five Czech junior representatives had been selected already at the end of 2009 and so this year it was just a fight over the sixth place for reserve. By June it was already clear about the team constitution: Jindřich Kalivoda, Lukáš Starýchfojtů, David Chlumský, Libor Skrášek, Lukáš Svoboda and Martin Musil Jr. Jiri Pejchar was stated as the team manager and I was the team captain.
Finally it was time of departure to IX. World Junior Flyfishing Championship. We met in my house at Záhorovice and then we left to Roháče Mountains on Studený potok (Cold brook) that is very similar to Belá river. During this part of the preparation, well known Czech international Martin Drož also participated. Just his knowledge from practice on Studený potok was very useful to us. After heavy rains still relatively high water flowed here and so we focused first day only on fly tying and precise preparation of all details. Next two days we could enter the water and practice on this river was one of key moment for our successful fishing on Belá river.
On Sunday at 1st of August in the morning we had any more training and in the afternoon we moved to the Poprad town to continue our preparation at the river with the same name. Here the advice and information of Slovak international Michal Krebs helped us so much and we could build up our tactics for Poprad river based on them. I was also satisfied with this part of practice and already here I felt more and more that our team is very well prepared and with a bit of luck we can reach very high positions on the Championship.
On Tuesday at 3rd of August 2010 we moved to the hotel Jánošík at Liptovský Mikuláš where it was noticeable that nervousness of the team increased a little bit. Fortunately we met here a lot of foreign friends and during discussions with them we could forget about pre-start tension at least for a minute.
For Wednesday official practise we chose Váh and Belá river and only for the morning session as wanted to be sure that our tactics and particularly flies will work. And really: everything went as directed. In the afternoon we just tied flies and mainly we focused on precise preparation for the first two periods.
Jiri and I went that evening for captain meeting and tossing where we were again charged with manipulation at last year’s World Championship by French captain Astier. After the meeting of captains still easily “shaking” I called our internal meeting and informed the guys where they will fish at the first day. I will go to Belá and Jiri to Poprad because it was agreed on the meeting that this time two team members can talk to competitors. I think it was very clever decision that should be utilized also on adult championships.Jindra’s standpoint Nr. 2 on Belá river is known for me and so I would classify it as the one of three worst places at this venue but for the first period it can be all totally different. Very soon it showed that one of decisive factors of successful fishing on Belá will be physical readiness of competitor. Performance that in the morning was presented by Jindra Kalivoda and in the afternoon on adjacent section Nr.1 by Lukáš Svoboda too, was restrainedly the concerto of flyfishing art and amazing sport ebullience. Their wading at strong flow into the places where fishes were present and their sprint with catch up to the distance of 80 meters to controlors was tiring and competitors with weaker physical condition had here quite serious difficulties. Results reached by other competitors evidence this. Jindra with catch of 23 fish including 7 graylings with length between 30 - 37 cm was followed by 4 other competitors with total catch of just 17 fish (4, 4, 6, 3). Lukáš Svoboda then did the one with 25 fish and no other competitor was even close to this number.
David Chlumský on Váh River has not bad place but because water was murky, I was not confident of his result in advance. But David fished very well and for 8 fish he got placing “two” at his sector. Afternoon event then was the concert of Czech junior that put down 13 fish and this time it got placing “one”. Young Lukáš Starýchfojtů fished on the section that didn’t make me happy. But by his calm and quite faultless technique he catch here 13 pieces and it got also 1 . In the afternoon he fished on very difficult place but again very well, because he pulled out 6 fish and it was 2. Also Poprad river was ‘invaded’ by Czech competitor Libor Skrášek. At first round he won for 48 fish and it doesn’t need any comment. In the afternoon he had little worse place but placement 3 for 36 fish was excellent too.
Already after the first day some captains congratulated me on total win as the top of the team competition looked like this:
... nevertheless I was not so happy about this because I know well how we use to say at home: “Shit is coming after the regale” and therefore it is good to be still very very awake and not to depreciate anything.
Second day of the Championship is coming and Libor Skrašek at Váh River chosen exactly what is coming after the regale. In the morning he slaved and he pulled out 4 fish from the river what meant 5th place. In the afternoon I didn’t choose good tactics on the venue I know very well. We agreed that Libor will try dry fly along the bank for approx. 20 minutes because last year we catched fish this way. But even after 30 minutes he didn’t have any fish and so we changed tactics and switched to the nymphing. Unfortunately he lost 2 fish already at the start, then he caught one brownie and another one again fell down. Suddenly the river started to stain and who didn’t have enough fish till then, he didn’t catch anything after. We should have used nymph from the start and result would be probably better. This way Libor ended only as last but one at the sector and this was placing 10th
Lukáš Starýchfojtů after morning sleeping long started at Belá river in the beat Nr. 9 that was probably the best here, but my experience with “the best” places is, that after third period they become to be places substandard because they are usually very well “legible” and relatively easily fishable. Even Luke passed during the event also weak moments, he finally had 24 fish and this was „one“ again.
David had in the afternoon on Belá a barely mediocre place under pedestrian footbridge that I know (or I used to know). Just that is where we suffered from the fact that flood changed here the flow and I didn’t recognize it. At the opposite bank some kind of little stream full of fishes have created and we found this out only few moments before the end of period so David didn’t catch another two or three needed fish more. His 19 pieces meant 5th place at the sector and how we learned later, these two or three fish would place him up on 3rd place in his group of competitors and it would mean at the end of the Championship the individual bronze medal for him.
Lukáš Svoboda had in venue at Poprad quite poor place and with 29 fish his placing was equal to the number of his beat – 5. But in the afternoon he already utilized good place and 50 fish caught brought him clear 1st . Jindra Kalivoda performed quite good sport at Poprad, in the morning he pulled out 64 fish and in the afternoon he had 28 of them, so it meant a second 1st.
After second day the captains came again (they were more this day) and congratulated me as the sequence of the teams was following:
… but other teams got near from the back, especially native Slovakians became better and better.
Third day I decided to change Libor Skrášek on Belá in last round. This change was not connected with his performance as Libor made really good job. But he finishes at junior category this year and young Musil (Macínek) is perspective junior that has three more seasons waiting for him. It was something like symbolic “guard-changing”. Besides I also became to be steady a little and started to believe that jump of 31 placings should not be lost anymore by so quality team as we were.
In the afternoon on Belá Martin entered the place I considered at the start as not so bad but for whole championship very few fish were caught there. Nevertheless Musil Jr. confirmed that he is really high-quality competitor and at this last period on the beat Nr. 7 he caught 12 fish. It was the most from all competitors that fished on this beat, but this his good achievement meant “just” 6th place in his venue.
But I still don’t know to this day, what really happened at Poprad River. Lukáš Starýchfojtů had after two days a clear chance for medal and he didn’t have very bad places there (but not very good), but result unfortunately was not according to our expectations. Starýchfojtů Jr. caught there 13 fish in the morning and he was 5th and in the afternoon he had 12 fish and ended as 7th what was under his possibilities. Maybe nervousness from possible success? I dont know but we have to talk about it because Lukáš is big talent of Czech flyfishing and I am sure the best is only waiting for him. Therefore we need to learn from pertinent faults to never repeat them again.
David Chlumský fought at Poprad very valiantly and from average beats he brought two times 3rd . Lukáš Svoboda was 5th at Váh I with 6 fish and at Váh II 4th with 2 fish. There were just normal places and results evidence that not many fish were catched there.
Jindra Kalivoda had on Váh II a difficult place again with deep hollows, closed by trees from the sides and only last 30 meters was without trees on the bank. When second big fish fell down and scoring card was still empty after one hour I started to have a few doubts. But Jindra showed great morals again and just on these last 30 meters of water and particularly at fast stream he pulled out 6 big graylings and it was 1st again in his group. Only for information, at first round only 3 fish were caught in this beat (9th place), at second and third round there was no catch and after Jindra only 1 more fish was caught here (10).
In the afternoon it was not so “jumpy”. Even Kalivoda had after one hour of fishing already 4 fish, but then nothing happened for a long time. Only 20 minutes before the end we decided (and surprised bystanders) to try dry fly at murky water and see, it worked. Three fish were caught and 3 lost (2 of them are result of Jindra’s too fierce play) so finally it was placing 6. And because we already had the message from Poprad that Spaniard Lopez was not very successful at the last round, I was quite sure that Jindra will regain his last year title.
In hotel we just waited for displaying of official results. They confirmed what was expected: Czech republic (with total score of 82) and Jindřich Kalivoda (11) are Junior World Champions for year 2010! I have to commend also native team of Slovak republic for excellent finish following poor start ending by silver medal (total sum 109). Spain have occupied third place (112), 4th USA (134), 5th Poland (141) and 6th has been France (151).
In individual: second was Lopez (SP) – 12, third American Thompson – 13 and “potato” medal has won David Chlumský (14).
Afterwards we called last meeting of the team at the hotel terrace. Program contained also champagne and my thanks to competitors that sounded like this: “Thank you for your behaviour, your approach to all activities we had to or wanted to do. Thank you for 2 golden medals because even this in individual competition mirrors how whole team cooperates. I want to thank Jiri Pejchar for great amount of work that he did not only during championship but mostly before it.
And finally also thanks to them who participated on this excellent result as sponsors. Besides Czech Fishing Union they were companies: Hends Products that provides us with tying materials, hooks and tungstens as well as with rods HENDS XP. Monfish company gave us bags, clothing, nylons and a lot of other things. Also Flyfishing Point enabled us fishing on dry fly with reels Vivarelli. I thank also television channel Fishing and Hunting that sponsored production of purpose competition vests and thank company Hanák Competition for lines Monic and hooks HC that really hold the fish. Without support of above mentioned companies our preparation for the championship and the championship by itself was for Czech team much more difficult.