It all came down to Wednesday the 31st of July. Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England all motored out onto the Lake of Menteith hoping to return with that Gold medal-worthy haul!
The fishing was tough, very tough. Hot weather had warmed the water up so much the fish were forced to retreat to the deeper water to stay cool. This required us as anglers to use fast sinking lines and a team of diawl bach nymphs and Fulling Mill boobies to achieve the depths we needed. The fish were sitting roughly 30 feet down, so a Di 7 or Di 8 sinker was essential.
Personally, I managed 3 fish to the boat and my welsh boat partner had 2. Feeling myself and the rest of the England team had done enough when five o’clock came we were hopeful to receive that prized gold medal. Nerves were high as fish were weighed and rumours spread.
Finally, the results were announced…
The celebrations were brilliant, people cheering and shouting, Ireland even went for a swim in the lake! Ireland simply out-fished every other team that day beating second place by nearly 20 trout! It was a well-deserved victory indeed.
This was my first fly fishing international for England and although we didn’t get the win we wanted, I can still say that the time I have spent with the team over the last few months at various venues such as Eyebrook and Rutland has been some of the best days of my life! I, and all of my team-mates in-fact, can’t stress how much we would recommend entering into the qualifiers for the international side, whatever your nationality. It’s a great place to get to know fellow anglers, anglers which you will be fishing with and against for years to come… The laughs, the friendships you make, the fly fishing methods you learn, and not forgetting the fish you catch will stick with you for life. I can honestly say I would not be the angler I am today without the help of my coaches and my team members.
If you’re under 18 and fancy a crack at fly fishing for your country, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your countries organisers, see links below.
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