World Youth Championship 2004

members bound for Norway

World Fly Fishing Championship 2004

 

Within days of returning from Ireland five members of the Welsh Youth Team were bound for Norway for the World Youth Fly Fishing Championship. The flight to Bergen and the bus journey to Forde was tiring and the fishing itself turned out to be very much the same.

The World Youth Championship in Norway was held over five sessions of two and a half hours each – two sessions on rivers and three on lakes. This was a totally new experience for the members of the Welsh team. Mathew Crossman was the only one who had previous experience of World championships. The rivers around Forde were quite forceful in their flows and this took some time to get accustomed to and the fish were somewhat on the small side. The lake fishing was difficult in the heat wave and especially the very calm conditions. Unfortunatley the team members got off to a poor start and it was not until the fourth session that they really got to grips with the competition when they easily won the session quite easily with two members coming in first and two in second place. Had this been repeated in the other sessions then Wales would have run away with the championship.

The top angler in the championship was Lubomir Roza from the Czech Republic who fished brilliantly.

I watched some Spanish lads fish the dry fly in very rough water and marvelled at their expertise.

The Welsh team just missed out on the bronze medal. It was a team from France that took the gold. The French team worked hard but I was left to wonder at the coach and his approach to coachin which consisted of incessant loud commentary and the hurling of advice. However it worked and they came out top. In the silver position was the local Norwegian Team and it would be totally wrong to think that they had any favours. They really played the game in all aspects and their approach was true sportsmanship personified.

The Czech Republic team took bronze with the role of Lubonir Roza being well and truly important. This very popular team did well and had a few star performances.

Wales beat a great team from Spain to take fourth position and in the main this was due to their superiority in fishing lakes. Had the lakes fished better then the Welsh team could have been in the medals. Unfortunately in the heat wave the fish were very dour and the surface of the lakes was like a mirror without a ripple resulting in the fish seeking the deeps. Ireland just failed to catch Spain despite some gallant efforts by the lads in green.

Gavin Perry from Pontyberem was the top rod for Wales followed by Nathan Gittings (Ystrad Mynach), Mathew Crossman (Cenarth), Craig Bowen (Aberdare) and Leila Davies (Bwlchygroes).

Preparations are already in hand to challenge for the gold in the championship to be held in the Czech Republic next year.

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ACID RAIN AND NORWAY’S ANSWER.One was pleased to learn that Norway although unable to curtail and eliminate the effects of acid rain is tackling the problem the best they can.

This in itself should be a lesson to our Government.

The problem of the acidic fall out and subsequent acidic waters in the rivers is being ameliorated by having helicopters spray the land and rivers with powdered lime. This enhances the water and in turn the whole aquatic environment. The little dipper was conspicuous on the rivers and it was heartening to realise that the Norwegian Government admitted that there was a problem and had the guts to do something about it.

Our Government admits the problem exists and accepts that it is caused by industries which makes money for the country and although it destroys our countryside, the Government does nothing to remedy matters.

The liming carried out by farmers in the age when the British Government gave a grant certainly helped the countryside – but where is the effort NOW to help in this present climate?

The Environment Agency has decided on a policy of increasing participation in angling and has spent a lot of money on it. This is good!

I’m NOT SURE that had SOME OF THIS MONEY been spent on enhancing the countryside with liming as is being done on the River Towy that the anglers would return to fishing on their own accord and participation would then increase. Of all the schemes to use European money to enhance the angling scene the one neglected is restoration of water quality in many of our rivers. Would that we had the Norwegian Government in Westminster then our rivers and our countryside would be greatly improved.

In Wales it is left to angling clubs to undo the damage done to the countryside and its aquatic environment by the acidic fallout. Somehow this does not seem fair to me.