Jubilee 25th World Fly Fishing Championship took part between 16 - 22 August 2005 in Swedish Lappland and the centre of the Championship was again in the small town of Lycksele, which welcomed competitors from 21 countries of Europe, America, Australia, Japan and South Africa. This time completely different waters were used for fishing than during the Championship in 2001, but in this area there are so many different possibilities that this would be enough for several other championships. This year's competition was influenced by heavy rains just before this significant event and therefore fishing in two stretches of the river Lögde älv was very complicated and high water was even on the not-distant lake of Rödingträsk, where the boat fishing was done. However, the river Juktan, lying below the large reservoir had a stable water level, but its captiousness was hidden in something different. Who had not arrive long time before the championship he did not find out how rich in fish it is, because the practice stretch was very short and heavily fished.
Also two official trainings did not bring any bigger experience, except the possibility of two fishing practices in the competition lake, which was for this reason divided into two parts (training and competitive), which was a good idea of organizers. The competition itself took part from Friday to Sunday and included six rounds, even if every competitor had his own five rounds and one break. Brown trout and grayling were fished and minimum length for both species was 20 cm. One had to travel even more than 100 km to some of the venues and so the competitors had to get up before 5am and at night the flies were tied over midnight.
The first round on the Juktan surprised all with its sunny weather and numerous catch, so Vladimir Sedivy on the upper part got 17 place with 15 nice fish and before him finished various competitors with dry fly, because hungry fish took almost all what had fallen on the surface. His failure equalized Martin Droz, who was third in a very nice beat with 25 catches in the lower part of the Juktan, however, the first Andrew Dixon had 41 records in the scoring card, which was the absolute record of this championship. The English managed to get an excellent Finn Antti Vapulla as a guide and he advised them to try the imitations of ants, which belong to the secret Finnish weapons.
Another Czech competitor Pavel Machan had a very bad draw at the beginning on the lower Lögde älv in No. 1 and he was 13th with two graylings, however, also this was excellent, because after him there were Hytonen from Finland and Belgian Gigot blank. On the upper part Tomas Starychfojtu showed off with the fifth place with 11 fish, and on the lake Jaja Sram had a fantastic second place with seven trouts. After the first round the Czech team was on the fourth place with the same sum of placings (40) as well as the third team of Italy, both teams were 13 places behind the second English team, but these were full 21 places behind the leading French, whose the Juktan was the best present for. They could not wish anything better from the organizers for its specific way of fishing. Even if they had the best draw from all favourites, they managed to cope with very deep nymphing in the strong stream and they were leading the team competition from beginning to the end, except the others because they were blank only once and this was in the last round on the lake.
The second competition round was for Czechs even more complicated, and even if Martin Droz had a good result again with 18 catches on the upper Juktan he was 3rd. Vladimir Sedivy had totally shallow water in the lower stretch, where Manuel Pedroso from Portugal caught 20 fish with the dry fly and our competitor had only 4 catches after him, when he lost three good fish and therefore this was 18th place. Unfortunately even this beat No. 9 belonged to the worst in all lower part of the Juktan and after him only 7 fish were caught in total.
Pavel Machan was in his best water on the upper part of the Lögde älv, where he shocked all spectators. From time to time only his head was seen and before his head there was a small fountain. His absolutely unpredicted tactics of fishing trouts from the deep pool, where he served his Muddler Sparklers in the way of flashing roly-poly, brought him 21 catches and clear victory in his sector. To document the exceptional Pavel's performance, I have to say that the Italian Massimo Valsesia, who was finally second, was fishing here before him and he had only 13 catches there in the first round and this was enough for 3rd place in the sector.
The most successful and the most experienced of the Czechs was Tomas Starychfojtu, who however, had a bad luck on the lake and after three hours of fishing his scoring card was as blank as at the beginning. That was totally unexpected and therefore we dropped to the seventh place, even if the difference of the team before us was not a dramatic one. Second were the Finns and the third was England. In the individual competition Jarkko Suominen (5) from Finland took the lead and the second was Stephane Vincent (6) from France and 3rd was Martin Droz (CZ), fourth Massimo Valsesia (7) and fifth Markus Tandefelt from Finland (9).
After evening meeting it was clear that we have to use dry flies more on the Juktan and we cannot rely on our traditional weapon - short nymph. Tomas and Pavel got up as the first ones and went to the Juktan, where they were supposed to show their fly fishing art and they really did not disappoint anybody. The sky was overcast with grey clouds and around the lunch time there was a short shower which was not bad at all, because we were the second in this morning round.
Pavel was second in the stony river-bed with the dry fly as a float and below placed two micronymphs with 14 fish and Tom was the first in the upper stretch, when he changed into the dry fly after preliminary nymphing and he created the ballet creations after another while landing the fish. His floating line led under the rod literally planed with the lower sedges into the places, where nobody casted before. He caught many fish just on the edge of the weir, where water was moving down off the stones.
It was worse for the Czechs on the Lögde älv, where Jaromir and Vladimir spent their time. The first one managed to catch 3 graylings in the lower part and he was eleventh and his friend was seventh with eight fish on the lower stretch. Again Martin succeeded, who had three trouts in his lake round, but this was enough for a nice fifth place and so he travelled balanced to Lycksele, because he had a free afternoon there. In the mornings competition only Polish were before us and so we firstly were better than the French but three placings only.
View into the draw of our beats for the afternoon round did not promise anything good and so only Pavel might expect a better position. He got the same place on the upper Juktan, where the dangerous Belgian Alan Gigot and in the third round Tony Curtis from England were fishing and did not manage anything better. Pavel's first cast brought a nice take in the starting place and a nice brownie finished fast with the 0,12 mm line. Morning tactics worked well even in the afternoon and the Czech competitor started fishing among the numerous flooded stones that had brought him the success.
We did not stay here for a long time and so he got the last advice not to forget the dry fly and we went to see Tom who was fishing probably in the worst place of the lower venue. When we got there after an hour of fishing he was without a take. Just when he was putting the nymphing rod and walked along his shallow stretch, this time with a dry fly. This had paid off thanks to the great effort and he caught three graylings, while five other competitors around him were blank. Tom's performance was excellent, even if this brought "only" eight place. While Pavel was proud as a pigeon, because his twelve catches were enough for the third place in the upper part of Juktan River.
Vladimir got a difficult beat in the lower Lögde älv in the afternoon, which he managed to wade across thanks to his high body and when he gradually brought 4 graylings from the second side and finally he reached a nice sixth place. Our amazement from the success on the Juktan was cooled down by the Jaja's arrival who had more catches on the upper part of Lögde älv, but none of them exceeded the limit of 20 cm and this meant very unpleasant twenty-one penalty points. In this afternoon's round we finished on the eighth place, but in final chart we were after fourth round on the fifth place, when the English were on the second place behind the leading France and on the third place were surprisingly masters of the dry fly from Spain and the team of Finland was fourth. In the individual competition Martin Droz fell low, because he had a break in the morning and the current chart was led by Massimo Valsesia (14), second was the English Andrew Dixon (16), third Jarkko Suominen (16), fourth Eric Lelouvier from France (17), fifth Oscar Quevedo from Spain (19) and the sixth was Pavel Machan (19).
Sunday's sunny morning was in token of the success of the Czech colours. Jaromir drove to the Juktan by himself to rectify yesterday's failure and in the fifth round he succeeded completely. He was fishing on the same place as Peter Bienek from Slovakia had in the third round and who caught seven fish and finished ninth, while the Czech competitor had 14 catches and this was an excellent third place in group E. Unfortunately, we could not watch his performance, because we were watching Bienek on the horrible beat No. 20 in the lower Lögde älv, where our Martin was supposed to fish in the afternoon. Slovak competitor was doing his best, but in the strong stream under the river break he did not catch any eligible fish.
While in the next upstream beat a young Swedish Daniel Jonsson was excellent and he caught 8 graylings. Three he caught in the deep stream on a really very big unsinkable dry upwing which was formed from roe fur and five fish he caught for a big black Wooly Bugger with reflexively green plastic bead on the head. This fly was casted across the stream to the second bank and then he left it drifting on the surface and in the bend crossways under him the graylings were taking it! As can be seen in Lapland you can fish the big fish on the surface during high water, however, with a big fly.
After an hour and a half of the competitors we set out to look for Tom, who had a definite command - to win his sector in beat No. 15. We have known that this is a good place and where the fish are caught, even if Robinson from England (10 fish) and Spanish Garcia (8nbsp;fish) so few ones. Tom started fishing in two places, where there was nobody before and when we arrived on his place, he was standing far from us and his controller was biting his nails, because only three times he was measuring his fish. He also informed that all the fish were caught just before us in a small side water behind the longer small island. This was an ideal place for graylings and a short nymph and so the coach - Jiri Klima was trying to call Tom to come back.
As I know Tom's thinking for those many years, it was clear to me that Tom left this store for the last hour. This time he exaggerated this, because he should have changed his tactics completely. When he finally came back to his bank there were only about 55 min left and this was little for complete and detailed fishing of this place. Controller wondered all the time and he was so amazed by the Tom's concert with the short nymph and he thanked Tom for this excellent experience. The Czech competitor finished totally with 11 graylings and he finished one centimetre behind the Italian Valsesia second and may be this was even less, because all milimeter data are rounded up for the whole centimetre. It is a pity that he did not catch a small grade at the end of the pool, because there would be a fish as well. By this Tom finished at the championship and his was the 19th position. His blank scoring card on the lake was his end, because if he repeated Jaromir's performance, he would be totally third.
We got the text message from Vladimir, who was fishing on the lake, that he has a fish and later we found out that had he lost two smaller ones and the second hooked itself so badly that it was caught behind the line, where the regular catches are recognized. Punctual judges did not recognize it and so his only trout was enough for the sixth place. Even for him the competition finished and it can be said that he had the most lost fish from our competitors and this has certainly influenced his final worse 45th position. However, Martin continued in great performances and in the morning competition on the upper Lögde älv he scored again and he had a chance for the medal. 10 catches helped him very much and these were enough for the second place in his group. He was praising the good efficiency of big wet mayflies, who he had the possibility to try during the competition and so he believed in them even for the afternoon's round.
We informed him about the morning's Slovak's blank on his place and so short nymph and streamer were eliminated from the first plan and the coach considered about the other possibilities. For sure I cut strong wading stick from the Northern birch because it seemed to me that the stream could be waded across and at the second bank on the upper edge of his beat there was a nice and surely "virgin" place. Martin started pulling large nymphs on the sinking line against the stream and then he changed for the fishing with big mayflies, but the results were several small graylings. Also the French Stephane Vincent, who was fishing upstream from Martin on a very good beat No. 19 was blank for about an hour, when the captain Jacques Boiko advised him to use three heaviest nymphs, which may be casted under the rod with the rolling cast and the result was here almost immediately.
Martin then changed for the short nymph and he was fishing around the big stone from his bank and this brought him a small trout, which was 4 mm shorter than the minimum length. Until the end of the competition there were 50 min left only and he finally tried to wade across the river. According to our calculations, which reflected the results of the fourth round, he needed to catch minimum 4 graylings in this lower part.
Just the first attempt at the cross wade through the dangerous stream he managed, even if this would be impossible and in a minute he was suddenly at the second bank. He walked quickly through the forest and he was at the end of the deep pool above the white water. The first cast finished by entanglement into the small bush and then the first nymphs touched the water and in a few seconds our fishermen firstly stroke with the rod. This was bent as a bow and on the hook, somewhere deep there was a grayling! Great! We have caught the first fish! Our faces are smiling and we are waiting how this finishes. Martin is not in a hurry and he is landing his catch into the landing net. After its lifting we are rejoicing and the controller and sector judge join us.
French management turned the heads down the stream and now they saw that the Czech at the second bank had reduced their lead to 3:1. Martin disappeared with his catch behind the bend and walked quickly across the stream on the way back. A short time to relax and new walk across the stream even with less worries. The French sent their observers to watch the lower border of their beat because the main part of this pool is on the French side and also camera was involved in case of possible protest. It is a pity that Martin could not walk a few meters up the stream.
The next catch is on the border of minimal size and our boy does not want to wade back because of this so he releases the fish back. After other 20 minutes there is another nice grayling and it seems that might finish well, but the time passes and nothing happens. Only the French, who disappeared behind the bend, made a victorious roar twice. In a moment all is over and two graylings are enough for the thirteen place in the group. Five would certainly bring the bronze, four only maybe and two are complete 6th position in the total score among 105 competitors.
On the lower Juktan there was Jaja Sram in the afternoon in beat No. 15, where we had marked two exclamation marks. Before him, there was the World Champion from the year 2003 in Spain the Italian Cotugno (seventh for 20 fish), then the Polish Konieczny (sixth for 13 fish) and then Bartko from Slovakia (thirteenth for 3 fish). In the fourth round there was the Norwegian Roksvag blank with five other competitors and now there was our competitor, after the morning break here to catch at least one fish. This was a hard task, but Jaja after a very hard work got four catches and this was the thirteenth place in the group. Altogether this had brought him 35th position and it is a pity of a bad draw for him and could have finished much better.
Last part of this championship took part in the lake Rödlingträsket, as it is called and our main hero was Pavel Machan, who had the obligation that he stay with roly-poly tactics for an hour and his Muddler Sparklers. He was in the boat with the Norwegian Skyrud, who was so confused after half an hour who was trying to imitate our competitor. After ten minutes he was sweating and after a quarter of an hour he came back to his original tactics. Pavel had a fantastic start and soon he caught three trouts, but it has finished this way. Then they were drifting on the lake and could not the fish, even if the Norwegian scored once. This was enough for only fifth place in this round for Pavel as well as in the total score.
"Fishing machine" as he is called, he finally managed to shine just in the moment, when we started to think and he was fishing with the best quality. If he had a better draw in the first round on the upper Lögde älv, he might have been even the World Champion. This did not happen and so this year's Champion was the French Bertrand Jacquemin (placings 15, total 53 fish), second was with the same number of placings the Italian Massimo Valsesia (48 fish) and the third was Andrew Dixon from England (placing 17/79 fish), 4. Jarkko Suominen (Finland) - sum of placings 17 (53 fish), 5. Pavel Machan (25/52), 6. Martin Droz (26/56), 7. Pablo Castro (Spain) - 27/47, 8. Bernard Marguet (France) - 28/52, 9. Eric Lelouvier (France) - 29/63 and 10. Stephane Vincent (France) - 29/56.
In the team competition, on Sunday afternoon, we did not have the best time, because the draw in both river stretches was a very unpleasant one. On the other hand this was enough for our competitors from Finland and so they got on the second place behind fenomenous team of France. Until we learn to fish in the French style, hardly can we think that we would be able to beat them. Next to the great competitors and almost perfect equipment in detail, they have much more money at disposal, which makes them possible to gain the key information and all this makes them unbeatable sensitively run by the captain Jacques Boiko.
We can win in our way only in the rivers, where we know it well. In other cases, and that is the majority, French will win again and they are my biggest favourites even for the next year's championship in Portugal. Their speciality is fishing with the smallest nymphs upstream and very long leader, fishing with a small nymph under the fly-float and the same way of fishing with the dry-fly upstream and also without the use of the fly fishing line - these are their best weapons. Huge landing net on the back with the magnet makes them possible not to loose any fish. Compared to these our wooden ones are the rackets for badminton. And finally their great elastic leader, which make possible tight contact with the fish which does not scare off well-known fly fishing line.
Only the first three teams got under the level in the total score of 200 pts. in Lapland. First was France (148), second Finland (177) and third the Czech Republic (191). Somebody might see that the third place is "nothing special" and that this is directly our duty, but this would be a big mistake. All want to win and the level of competing in all countries is increasing really fast. It is also seen that such teams like 4. Italy (202), 5. England (218), 6. Spain (226), 7. Belgium (230), 8. Poland (240), 9. Slovakia (243) and 10. Norway (276) finished behind us.
As I have mentioned the weather was not good for this championship, but nobody shall be blamed. Organizers were excellent. The most sympathetic was that they managed to ensure for our team starting fees by € 600,- per participant cheaper than this was one year ago in Slovakia. All should take it as an example, because we do not want to pay the accommodation in an expensive hotel. This chance used even many richer countries.
Unfortunately, the total score of the individual and the team is influenced by the draw which is not solved well. International Federation uses random draw, which has a big mistake, because this does not eliminate the reality that more competitors from the best teams meet in the same beat and more teams meet in the same venue more than once and some teams have much more stronger rivals than another.
Of course this can be done, but instead the random draw the directed draw would have to be done. I mean to work out such a matrix which would ensure more regular allocation of beats, not mentioning the strongest teams, like it is with other sports. Then classic draw into the groups in a matrix defined in advance. For the individual competition it would have sense to change the place for the individual competition to eliminate bad or excellent draw. This all we have proved in our competitions for several years. I know how to do it and I know how would my motion for the change of rules would finish - unfortunately.