The 37th World Fly Fishing Championships were held in Slovakia from 5 – 11 September 2017. Anglers from 31 countries around the world put their fly fishing skills to the test on the Dedinky Lake, Poprad River, Bela River, Orava River, and Vah River.

The Australian team comprised Captain Craig Coltman, Victoria, Christopher Bassano, Tasmania, Jonothan Stagg, Tasmania, Mark Bulley, NSW, Rick Sunderland, NSW, and Tom Jarman, Victoria. Team Manager was Tasmania’s Garth Jackson. In reserve was Tasmania’s Glenn Eggleton.

The Aussie team came in 5th place overall, with our members placing well individually:

  • 6th place: Christopher Bassano
  • 17th place: Tom Jarman
  • 19th place: Jonothan Stagg
  • 29th place: Mark Bulley
  • 77th place: Rick Sunderland

Tom Jarman also received a special award for netting the third highest total over a three hour session on the Orava River. His total was 49, and the Mayor of Orava presented Tom with his award at the presentation dinner.

The fifth placing is the Australian team’s best ever results on mainland Europe, their only better performances coming in Australia and England. The overall winners of the 2017 WFFC were France, Czech Republic, Spain, and Slovakia respectively.

The great result for our Aussie team builds our excitement for the 2019 WFFC, which will be hosted here in Tasmania, Australia. (view submission video here).

TGALT congratulates Christopher Bassano, a member of our Association, on his 6th placing. We asked Christopher to share the tale of his WFFC adventure in his own words:

‘On the back of last year’s good performance in the USA, we went into the world championships quietly confident of a better result. Having Martin Droz (multiple time world champion with the Czech Republic) as our technical advisor also gave us the boost we needed when chasing grayling and chub along with trout. These two species are not found in Australia and counted when caught so getting to know the various tactics when chasing these fish was extremely important. Competing against any European team in Europe is a tough ask but the team jelled together very well.

Large numbers of fish were expected and the waterways didn't disappoint. Some rivers produced 60 fish in a three-hour session so it was a case of fitness and skill as all fish have to be taken in to a controller for measuring when caught. Most of the rivers are clear and technical which means anglers need to be abreast of all the river fishing techniques from nymphing to dry fly, streamers to nymph under dry.

The French and the Czechs were exceptional as always with the Spanish (gold medallists for the last two years) coming in third. Slovakia are always hard to beat at home after winning the last world championships in their home country and it was no surprise when they came in fourth.

We were absolutely delighted to come fifth in a truly wonderful team performance. It would be safe to say that we surprised everyone with this result.

Momentum is building nicely for the world championships that we will be hosting in Tasmania in 2019, which we can look forward to with renewed optimism’.


Image: Christopher Bassano.