It’s always a long lead up to an international fly fishing competition but the day had finally come for the Aussies to fly out to NZ for the 20th Commonwealth Fly Fishing Championships.
This year Australia was sending two teams, a men’s and also the very first Australian ladies team.
The men’s team was lead by captain Jason Garrett Jr and the amazing manager Paul Simmons. Ladies captain was the incredible angler Tom Jarman.
Arriving at Turangi the Aussies had a week to practice techniques on both rivers and lakes to get themselves dialled in for the competition. While they had planned to practice some of the competition venues they also had a huge emphasis on having fun and making the team a team, as is a massive factor in a successful campaign. Fishing the Tongariro and Whanganui practice waters, they also visited rivers such as the Manganuioteao, Waihou and Mohaka. This was mixed in with a couple days on lakes including the competition venue practice water on Rotoaria, and a fun session on the famous Otamagakau.
Heading towards the pointy end of practice they did a team building session which included white water rafting the head water of the Tongariro. With all the techniques and game plan set, and the team in a great head space, it was time to travel to Taupo for the 3 days of competition.
With each team member getting their draw the day before the competition, they could then set about getting specific gear organised and ready for the bus departures the next morning. The Aussies had a fantastic first session, winning 3 out of 5 and placing high in the others. The afternoon was harder but it still kept them well and truly in the hunt.
Day two was filled with mixed results but they were still were moving up in the placings. With good results on both the river and lake venues they were able to keep ourselves in a medal position.
The final day pressure was on, with the team in 3rd place and myself in the gold medal position. The team worked incredibly hard to bring it all together and make the sprint to the finish line. Good results were coming in from both the lakes and rivers. As the scores were tallied they were able to secure the team silver, and individual gold and bronze medal positions.
The Ladies also succeed in bringing home the individual gold and silver medals.
The biggest learning curve for the Aussie team was that you need to be a team to do well, if you are a team and work together through the right process the results sort themselves out.
The Australian team would like to say a huge you to the legends at Manic Tackle Project for their continued support.
Keep an eye out for a full run down on the gear used by gold medal winner Lubin Pfeiffer on an upcoming video on The Full Scale Fishing Adventures YouTube Channel.