I arrived in Galway, Ireland around noon today. I’m here as a member of Team USA for the World Masters Flyfishing Championships. There are four of us on the team that includes my longtime friend Jay Buchner, other friend and fly fishing legend Joe Humphreys and Scott Robertson who I don’t know well but competed against in the first ever National Fly Fishing Championships back in 2004. Then there’s our Team Captain, manager and generous sponsor, Jerry Arnold.
As always Victor, Idaho to Europe is a haul but not too bad when compared to some of my wild off the grid Africa trips. I was feeling strong despite the 7-hour time change and 25 hours of travel. I moved into my room at the Connacht Hotel where I’ll be sharing with Scott and wandered down to the hotel bar to visit with Jay. Jay has been here with his wife touring before the fishing gets serious.
The World Masters Flyfishing Championship is a new division of the Fips Mouche World Flyfishing Championships. The World Flyfishing Champs have taken place annually for nearly thirty years while the World Masters just began in 2015. I was hand selected for the team because back in the late 90’s I competed for Team USA in the Worlds. I had a good track record that included a bronze medal in Spain. As soon as word got out that I was 50, old enough to be on the team, I got the invitation.
Although I wasn’t tired when I got here, we just finished up a nice dinner and of course, a few Guinness and a local beer called Galway Hooker. It’s been an awesome start to what should be a fun adventure. I’ll talk more about the tournament tomorrow.