Sunday Share - The 38th World Fly Fishing Championships

By Gus Lapin 09/23/2018

We recently got in touch with our Fly Fish Australia Inc. correspondent, Mel Dawson. She was kind enough to give us a run down on the World Fly Fishing Championships held over the last few days in Trentino, Italy. For those interested in taking your fly fishing to the next level, this event is one we can all aspire to. 

Congratulations to all compeditors this year from both Australia and New Zealand, it's a massive achievement to represent your country and we are stoked that the froth is so strong out there.

We can now look forward to hosting this prestigious event right here in Tasmania in late November 2019. 

The 38th World Fly Fishing Championships has just concluded in Trentino, Italy. Thirty countries competed for the Gold team and individual Medals. The Australian team this year consisted of Royce Baxter (Captain), John Cummins (Manager), Tom Jarman (Vic / Tas), Tim Strong (Tas), Josh Flowers (Tas) and Dave Hemphill (NSW/ACT). Our guide/coach is the multiple World and European gold medallist, Martin Droz, from the Czech Republic. 

For those who are unaware how competition fly fishing works, here is a quick summary.

There are five fishing members from each country and five venues that need to be fished over a three day period. One member from each country is put into each of five groups. If there were thirty countries, there would therefore be thirty people in each group. This is done randomly.

On the first morning of the competition, each group is randomly assigned one of the five venues on which to fish for three hours. Each angler is only competing against those anglers who are in his or her group and therefore at the end of the first three hour session, each angler has a ranking from one to thirty (one being the angler who won the session, while thirty ranking points means you came last). 

In the afternoon you rotate to another venue and repeat the fishing process. The third session is the next morning and usually the afternoon is free with the final two, three hour sessions, being held on the third and final day. 

At the end of the competition, the individual award is given to the angler with the lowest total ranking points while the team event is decided upon by the sum total of all the anglers from each country.

The technical part is that in each session, you receive points for each fish you catch plus a further ten points per centimetre of each fish caught. Basically, the most fish in each session wins.

The most important thing is to ensure that you catch at least one fish in each session because if you catch no fish, you will automatically get given thirty ranking points. For example, if one angler in your group catches one fish in a session and everyone else catches nothing, he will get one ranking point for coming first and everyone else will get thirty ranking points as they didn't catch a fish and handed in a "blank" score sheet. This is ultimately nicknamed a "blank"!

Selection for the Australian team is based on your results over the previous three years of competition fishing within Australia at state and national titles. Selection for Australian teams is currently done 18 months in advance as most World Championships are held in the northern hemisphere summers (our winter) and it is felt that six months’ notice is not enough to get time off work for those who have been selected. Therefore, it currently sits at 18 months. 

Ultimately, competition fly fishing has been a major influence on the fishing knowledge of many of the top anglers around the world. The Fips Mouche (International Sport Flyfishing Federation) style of competitions, not only betters you as an angler, it exposes you to techniques and methods you’d never otherwise have the opportunity to see. 

For more information and results for the 2018 championships please checkout to the official website


A big congrats to Tom Jarman for placing highest across Australia and New Zealand

Full results can be seen HERE