Official Practice at the World Flyfishing Championships in Spain

by | Apr 24, 2018 | world fly fishing championships | 2 comments

The World Fly Fishing Masters Championships here in Asturias Region of Spain officially began last night.  Scott Robertson and I were delirious for the opening ceremonies being we got off the 30-hour plane ride from the USA only an hour before they started.  The rest of our team, manager Jerry Arnold and Team Captain Pete Erickson, along with anglers Mike Sexton and Sam Mavrakis were fine.  They’ve been here practicing since Friday.

 

It may sound foolish to show up for a Worlds Competition the day it starts but the way the dates landed I had no choice.  This is why Jerry and I came here three weeks ago – so I could see the water and pre-fish it.  But unfortunately, Asturias had a huge storm during our visit and the rivers blew out.  Check out the difference in the picture I took three weeks ago compared to today’s.

 

Piloña River on March 25th

Piloña River Today

 

After last night’s opening ceremonies, we got a good night sleep and today we did “Official Practice”.  Basically, the Worlds organization runs a day of organized practice just as if its actual competition (which begins tomorrow):

 

6 am – cafeteria style breakfast

7:15 – leave hotel for bus ride to Piloña River

9-12 – morning fishing session

1-3 pm – lunch

4-7 – afternoon fishing session then return by bus to hotel

9-11 dinner

 

First and foremost, simply getting out of bed at 5 am to unpack gear then reach breakfast in time to then catch the departure bus was a body-shocker.  Jetlag and the 8-hour time difference kicked us hard there.

 

Once to the river, stringing up rods and getting the waders on was a task.  Fortunately for me, once the water hits my waders I wake up no matter what.  With the exception of Scott (he was struggling like me) the rest of the guys were quick to the water and appeared to be in the groove having their jetlag and first day woes behind them.

 

The fishing has been tough.  Pete, Sam and Mike have caught few fish and hardly any were large enough to have counted in the competition (they need to be 20 cm).  But that’s wild brown trout fishing in Europe.  I’ve found they are the spookiest trout on earth and always hard to catch.  Furthermore, the numbers of fish are low.  Mankind has inhabited Europe forever and our impact has hurt all of its native fish stocks.

 

The good news is that fishing will be challenging for all teams.  If you can believe what you hear, this mornings practice showed that.  Very few teams caught a measurable fish.  We five Americans were officially blanked – not good. . . .

 

The food here in Spain is to die for.  Jerry and I ate like kings here last month and it looks like we’ll eat well again.  After morning practice we had a huge lunch with all teams at the La Roca Restaurant on the banks of the river.  You could eat all the wonderful grilled meats your stomach could hold.

 

At 4 pm it was back to a different section of the Piloña.  I observed and sat on rocks staring at the water hoping to see fish rise.  I held an Elk Hair Caddis in my hands and my 4-weight Winston Air.  Rises were very few and far between.  I saw one brown that appeared large enough to score.  It was a battle to fool the speckled rascal.  I eventually got him to eat a tiny CDC PMD.  He was smaller than I thought and wouldn’t have scored after all.  The un-scoreable wild brown trout was my only fish.

 

Although Scott and Sam’s results were the same as mine, Pete and Mike managed to catch five measurable browns on nymphs.  This was good news.  Although I’m not the best nympher I’ll plan to put down the dry flies if necessary when competition starts tomorrow.

 

At 7 we caught the bus back to the hotel.  Our bus ride is with the other teams and just like this morning there were very few fish caught.  We felt better having caught at least a few.

 

We woofed down dinner as fast as we could then retired to our rooms to get our stuff in order.  Tomorrow is the same schedule as today only the results will count.  5 am will come early.

 

No doubt I’m a little nervous as I get ready for bed.  I don’t want to hurt my team.  The lack of practice here in Spain could bite me.  Counting on nymphing to catch nearly impossible tiny trout scares me.  And the lack of trout fishing the last six months simply has me rustier than I’d like.  All this being said, I have a life of trout fishing under my belt and plenty of fly fishing competition experience to go with.  Time to focus!

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

2 Comments

  1. Dan Yeast

    Good luck! Love the posts!

  2. Jeff Currier

    Thank for reading Dan!

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I started fly fishing at age 7 in the lakes and ponds of New England cutting my teeth on various sunfish, bass, crappie and stocked trout. I went to Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin, where I graduated with a Naturalist Degree while I discovered new fishing opportunities for pike, muskellunge, walleyes and various salmonids found in Lake Superior and its tributaries.

From there I headed west to work a few years in the Yellowstone region to simply work as much as most people fish and fish as much as most people work. I did just that, only it lasted over 20 years working at the Jack Dennis Fly Shop in Jackson, WY where I departed in 2009. Now it’s time to work for "The Man", working for myself that is.

I pursue my love to paint fish, lecture on every aspect of fly fishing you can imagine and host a few trips to some of the most exotic places you can think of. My ultimate goal is to catch as many species of fish on fly possible from freshwater to saltwater, throughout the world. I presently have taken over 440 species from over 60 countries!

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