International Friendship FlyFishing Marathon
Fulling Mill is one of the main sponsors for the International Friendship Flyfishing Marathon organised by Castingclub of Flanders (Belgium) www.castingclub.be.
This year it was the 27th edition and is one of the biggest bank fishing competitions on the continent. On Sunday November 3rd, 72 fly fishers (36 pairs) from Holland, Belgium, France, Luxemburg, and Italy compete on the “Lac de Rabais”, South of Belgium. The fishing was pretty tough due to the lousy weather, we had a lot of rain and extremely gusty wind making casting difficult.
This fly fishing marathon means 9 heats of 45 minutes non-stop and is a melting pot of different tactics because of the gin-clear water. Each peg is different, with changing depths and bottom features around the reservoir. Mix this with spooky trout that have seen multitudes of trout flies makes it very challenging. The reservoir is stocked with rainbow, brown and tiger trout, giving a wide array of fish to catch as well as the opportunity to try different methods.
Most of the fishermen started fishing with fast intermediates using a single weighted mini snake or damsel nymph imitation. The obvious goal was to get the fly through the surface tension as quickly as possible so it would sink faster to find the fish close to the bottom. Mini boobies and FAB’s on a Di3 also brought some fish to the net. By the end of the day, the best casters caught the odd trout needed to avoid a blank. Although those with ‘eagle eyes’ who could spot fish in the margins targeted them with small black nymphs ended high up the list!
Gold, silver and bronze went to the Belgian teams, who are used to fish in these conditions and of course you need some luck with the rotations of pegs. The winning team Alex Vanrijkel/Stefaan Vanbilloen caught 33 trout and received, along with a very commemorative trophy a Fulling Mill Clear Silicone Fly Box. Second was team Thierry Jamagne/Julien Lorquet and third Giani Devooght/Geert Janssens.