It’s been a wonderful trip over here in Ireland competing in the World Masters Fly Fishing Championships. I can’t explain how exciting it’s been to return to world competition. It’s like I went back in time. Furthermore, it had been fifteen years since I’ve seen many of my European friends. We’ve had a blast together and last night after the final session we partied down till the wee hours.
Today was a relaxing day around the city of Galway. Our generous sponsor and team captain Jerry took us out to some classic Irish Pubs for Guinness and fresh seafood. Joe Humphreys has been craving oysters since we got here and he, Jerry and I knocked off two dozen of the tasty creatures.
We returned to the hotel for closing ceremonies. This included a big dinner and medal ceremony. The way things finished up is Team Italy took 1st Place, Team Scotland 2nd and Team Ireland 3rd. We came in 5th place which isn’t half bad considering not one of us on the team had ever fished in Ireland let alone the competition water. I wanted so badly for us to win a Team Medal for Joe but we had one too many blanks. Thoughts of just one more fish will haunt for a few days.
As for Individuals finishes my longtime friend Jackie Coyne of Ireland took home the Gold Medal. I’m extremely happy for him. Jackie had a lot of pressure to do well as this is his actual home waters. No doubt now he is the best fly fisherman on his waters and now the world!
I ended up with a very respectable 8th place finish. Honestly I came here hoping to dip in the top ten but it didn’t seem very realistic against the Euros on water I’ve never fished. Right behind me was Scott finishing 11th. He and I carried the team and Jerry has already asked us to represent Team USA in Portugal in 2017. We’ll see how my schedule shapes up.
A special thanks to all my sponsors for this one.