by Tomáš Adam
Originally, I did not want to take part in this year´s Championship and the nomination for my sixth championship I gave up mainly for family reasons. But when I had a call from Roman Heimlich that he had torn cruciate ligament in his knee during his last skiing trip, I agreed with my wife Hana that if the Czech team asks me again, I will go and I did not have to wait so long.
On Sunday, 27 May, we set out in two cars in direction to Bohinjska Bystrica and our team consisted of the Captain Tomáš Starýchfojtů, Ivan Vančura, Tomáš Cieslar, Luboš Roza and me. Tony Pešek should have joined us due to his workload on Monday evening. After 6 and a half hour long journey, we arrived in the place and got accommodated. Then there was an introductory evening, where we set the plan for the following day, when we decided for the training on the Sava Bohinjka downstream from the venue II. Then our one-week practice camp before the World Championship in Slovenia started.
I was quite afraid how I will fish with only one fly (I was not in Slovenia ever before) and with a short French leader, which was limited for the championship to the length of two rods at the most. Thus, I built 2 rods one with a streamer and the second with a nymph. Sava Bohinjka River was absolutely clear in this place, faster and with deep blue holes. I started with a nymph and just at the first cast I caught a fish. I caught many fish both with nymphs and streamers as well as I tried a dry fly with a success. Surprisingly quickly I got used to fishing with only one fly. From the fish caught, rainbow prevailed and sometimes also a grayling was caught.
After the first practice we put flies together and relatively without problems we found a consensus. During the training after changes of flies all finished with the same patterns. From the nymphs the best worked classic Orange Tag Nymph with a silver bead and Threaded Nymph also with a silver bead. From dry flies the best worked small Brown Mayfly, streamer Black Tadpole or Black Leach. In the evening we returned and helped prepare dinner and sat down to tie some flies. It was very important to tie flies on weighted hooks, which we were equipped with by Mirek Macháček from the company Hends before departure. The fly with this weighted hook sinks quite fast also in fast streams and sinks to the bottom and in the water the hook is turned upwards, thus there are only rare hooking at the bottom.
After the session where Tony was not missing, we decided to go to the Kokra river the second day and before we wanted to have a look at the big Sava river. I completed only some flies and then we welcomed Tonda. At about three in the morning I was woken up by Tomas Cieslar who had his head shaved. Ivan with a shaving machine next to him was pulling his face that he got his first victim, but I still resisted to his temptation.
In the morning at 9 O´clock we set out to the town of Bled, where we met Tony´s friend Valentin who should have showed us competition venue on the Sava River. Valentin was waiting for us and so we set out to make inspection of this big river. Already upon the arrival to the river I was sure that the principle of the success is to be drawn a good place with a possibility of wading, because in deep pools there were hutchins and other smaller fish were afraid of them and were staying to shallower places. After the inspection of the Sava we set out to the Kokra River upstream from the competition venue. The river was rather fast and it was of the same character like the river Rienza in Italy last year. Flies were working completely the same as on the Sava Bohinjka, which was great.
Another day we had a plan to go to the big Sava. Therefore, I chose a stronger rod than in previous rivers and of course a streamer rod was ready behind my belt. I was getting fish only up to 40cm, but they were very strong and it was necessary to have a strong strike and hook the fish well. There were working well only various modifications of Orange Tag Nymph and I fished well with the Gray Nymph too. I caught many fish with a streamer.
The next day we visited a very short section of the Sava Bohinjka River upstream from the upper competition venue and it was much worse there, because many teams were practicing there, but we caught many fish. On other days we went to the big Sava and one day we took the motorail train to get to the competition lake, where Valentin with his friend showed us good places to fish. A few fish in the lake were seen near the bank and we also saw chubs in more shallow bays. Dušan took us to the local fish breeding hatchery, where they also hatch and breed marble trout and grayling. I have to say that this was a great experience for me, especially the look at broodstock of marble trout which were really scary.
On Sunday we moved to the official hotel also with the team manager Igor Slavík, who arrived on Sunday evening. After the Opening ceremony, where competitors from 26 countries were present, dinner followed and then the Captains´ meeting started, where it was decided about the possibilities for training on the lake for two boats and 4 competitors from the team, whereas the fifth competitor could take part in this training only from the bank. We took this opportunity, however, we were registered for the last practice day and this was Tuesday afternoon. We were 5 competitors and one had to fish from the bank. Luboš Roza took this opportunity voluntarily, and as the only one of us after 2.5 hours he caught the only one fish - about 50 cm long rainbow and had one more take, but without a successful strike. Both our boats were completely blank. The lake was very dirty after heavy rains and fish were quite injured from hooks after two days of training. We did not know much and we were quite afraid who will start on the lake the following day. Finally, this role came to the most experienced of us - Tony Pešek, who finished there the third and I had a challenge on the big Sava for the first morning and in the afternoon on the Kokra river.
After the arrival in the place to the Sava I was happy, because this was the place which we saw during the inspection and we liked it. On the Sava, there was always our captain with the competitor and Tomáš also assisted me. I started in the middle of the competition sector with a dry fly and caught two eligible fish. Then I took the nymph and caught about 4 fish. I knew that I have a good place at the end of the sector and after quick nymphing in promising streams I hurried up to the end of the beat, where a shallow stream was slanting down into a deep pool, then followed up and down into a pool again. I had the entire time schedule in my head and thus I had enough time there.
I walked upstream from the first hole and started with my favourite streamer and line Di-3. Already with first casts I had many takes, but the fish were not hooked well. I had to react to it and reduced the streamer size to half. I was ready for it and I had it in three various sizes. Practically immediately after the exchange of the fly, the fish was hooked well and I started adding other fish. When I fished the first pool in this way, then I took the nymphing rod and finished there with the nymph. The same was repeated in the lower pool. The result was 27 fish and the second place in the sector. With a dry fly I caught 5 fish, with nymph 10 and with streamer 12 fish.
After the lunch little chaos started. My tackles along with tackles of five other competitors departed in a van, where we had left them based on the driver´s instructions. Organizers had to call him to bring all back. The French guy was making fun that he will lend me a piece of nylon and one fly and that´s enough for me – that´s the Bertrand. After moving all stuff onto the bus, I departed to the Kokra River, from where I had news from Ivan that it had been nothing special there. He was not very successful there, because he was in the lower part of the venue, where teams were practicing before the Championship. Organizers found just before the Championship that originally planned venue will be too short for so many participating countries and they stretched it into these heavily fished sections. However, flies were working well and this was important. I got beat No. 9 and after meeting the controller I found that an Englishman had been there before me and he had caught only 5 fish, which was not very pleasant news for me. The controller told me to go upstream where the Englishman caught all fish in the pool in the upper part. I started as I wanted at the lower end, because 3 hours on a small river is relatively long time.
I walked upstream with a dry fly, then with the nymph and finally I walked all places with streamer again. After 40 minutes I fished about three quarters of my beat and caught the first fish - 20.1cm long and then I finally got to the aforementioned pool. This reminded me of an aquarium, where a fish crossed from time to time and I was without any take. After about 10 minutes I put there a heavier Orange Tag Nymph with a load diameter of 3.2 mm. With the second cast the nylon on the leader slowed down and in the aquarium one of the biggest fish moved. After about a 3-minute long fight and 40-meter long sprint with the fish downstream and applause of my great controller I landed a rainbow 45.5 cm long. Another fish followed and this was a grayling 50.2 cm long. Altogether I caught 6 fish from the pool with a nymph. Nothing was happening for longer time then and I came to the idea to try a streamer. I walked upstream, casted to the end of the pool half of the line from the roller and pulled streamer across this aquarium with the rod tip sank under water. This tactics brought me 3 important rainbows who did not want the nymph any more. I caught three smaller fish with a dry fly and I finished fourth in the sector with 12 fish. After the first day we were leading, however, a minimum ahead of others. After dinner I tied some heavy nymphs and dry patterns and got ready for Wednesday, when we had only one competition in the morning and the afternoon was free.
I went to the Sava Bohinka River – lower sector. In the morning I was given number 18 and the controller told me that before me a Norwegian fisherman had been there and had caught 18 fish and after him a South African with 8 fish. I started with a dry fly in the upper part, where I had a fish after five minutes and step by step I managed to persuade other not rising fish. I always fished these places with a nymph and caught very nice fish, which nobody had caught in these places before me. The longest fish from this place was a rainbow 48.5 cm long. I finished this place with 26 fish and on the fourth place in my group again. My French friend Bertrand Jacquemin won there with 76 fish, mainly smaller graylings. He had to fish fantastically as usually. Tony Pešek was fishing well from our competitors and he won his group on the feared Kokra River. Then a half day long relax followed and we all slept after arrival in the hotel almost until dinner. Our team increased the lead after three rounds to 24 points, but two more competitions followed and it meant that one blank score would totally eliminate this lead.
The last day I started on the upper sector of the Sava Bohinjka River, beat No. 10. According to the information from the controller, there was the Italian Amantini in the first round with 25 catches, then one Irish was blank and in the third round a Luxembourger caught 9 fish. All in all nothing exciting. I started up with the nymph, first take and after a short fight about 30cm long rainbow was lost. After several other casts I caught one rainbow and I lost one white fish. I took the rod with a dry fly and in about half an hour I had 6 fish. I walked all the way downstream and started fishing upstream with a dry fly and caught some fish, but I also lost many. In the middle of my beat there was a small pool and in crystal clear water I saw several big fish there. I took the rod with the nymph and started fishing in this place. The result was 5 rainbows from 38 cm to 45 cm. Finally, I had 20 fish altogether and this also meant 4th place in the sector.
After the lunch I had to take the train to the lake, from where I did not have very good news. Ivan was blank there; however, fortunately all favourites were blank there except the Italians. After arrival Igor was waiting for me at the bus and he was loading me with the information who, how many and where fished. I looked at water and saw a rise not far from the port at the entrance to the bay, where the bottom was covered with some water plants which created such a spit of land. I was immediately decided that if there is no boat, I will stay just there. I prepared a fast intermediate line on a finer rod # 6. On about 4.5 meter fluorocarbon leader of 0.16 mm in diameter (Hanak Competition), I tied Black Leach with a small red tungsten bead.
Boats set out about 20 minutes before the start and everybody hurried up somewhere. Suddenly, I stayed at the entrance to the bay alone. I sailed about 20 meters from the edge and was waiting for the beginning of the competition. Starting shot started the contest and I firstly casted in direction to the underwater grass. I slowly made figures of eight, then three times pulled and again and again. I stopped at the boat and slowly lifted and nothing happened. And I told myself how many times I would have to do it in three hours.
I started whipping my line and casted for the second time. Twice turned the line between fingers and the line got heavy. My eyes immediately glanced at its end, where I saw a big body of a fighting rainbow. I calmly got it near the boat and then the fish started to rage a bit. I quickly looked at Igor and told myself: “He is not looking at me and he is watching other competitors?” Near the boat the rainbow made a few swims to the side, but the hook was well hooked and so in the first minute the rainbow 47.5 cm long was in the net and over the lake sounded my mighty “YEAH”. After calming down and about twenty other casts, I moved the boat to the bay, where I caught a chub about 24.5 cm long for a micronymph and this made me calm. Then I sailed to the free water to try to get a rainbow. By the end of the round two more fish followed the fly to the boat, but the fish did not take any. Both caught fish finally meant a bit disappointing 9th place in the group. Ivan remedied morning failure on the lake, when he managed to win his sector on the Sava River in the afternoon.
After the first round our team was sixth, but the second round we won, in the third we were second, in the fourth we finished fourth and in the last one we won again and thus after the end of the competition we had the sum of placings of 183 and the second Italy 220. What an incredible victory by 37 placings! The third finished Spanish with the sum 235, fourth France 238 (without medal again) and on the fifth place finished Slovak team (258) which had the same number like Belgium on the sixth place. For the entire Championship I was not much interested how I am standing in the interim ranking, but when we were sitting at the dinner and it was clear that the Czech team won with a great difference. I really wished to be on the podium, but due to the 9th place on the lake I did not believe much in it. At around 11p.m. Tomáš Cieslar showed me three lifted fingers and I shouted “YEAH” for the second time. Then I called home to Hanka, daddy and brother and the party went on. After that we moved to the room and Ivan, the barber, started his job and my head had to be shaved as well.
(More photos: www.muskarskezavody.cz)