Briefs;  Sports USA Fly Fishing Team June 17, 2009

The USA Fly Fishing Team netted eighth place at the end of the 2009 Fly Fishing World Championship held last week near Drymen, Scotland.

The team, which includes Grand Junction dentist Anthony Naranja, rallied from 13th place on the final day, Naranja said in an e-mail Tuesday.

“In a stillwater championships where Team USA historically has not fared well, I am extremely proud of our team,” Naranja wrote. “I know that we fished as well as we could and we utilized all the resources we could. “

The top U.S. finisher was Pete Erickson of Boise, Idaho, who finished 13th overall. Other top USA finishers included Mike Sexton (Pagosa Springs, 24th), Lance Egan (Salt Lake City, 35th), Devin Olsen (Salt Lake City, 57th), George Daniel (State College, Penn., 108) and Naranja, 120th.

Twenty-seven nations competed.

The championships were held on four lochs and one river, a situation that didn’t play well for the American team, Naranja wrote.

“For those who have followed Team USA over the years, historically Team USA has not performed well in the stillwater venues,” Naranja said. “For us to have four out of the five venues consist of stillwaters, we were anxious to see how much improvement Team USA has had in these type of venues.”

The fishing was made difficult by sunny days and warm temperatures, a reversal of what’s normally expected in rainy and cold Scotland, Naranja said.

Also, the quarry was the hard-to-catch Loch Leven brown trout, a wary fish made more so by the bright weather.

“All the days of competition were like a day you wish you had at the beach: Sunny, warm with very little wind,” Naranja wrote. “This type of weather is not very conducive to catching wild loch brown trout.”

In the end, the top three individual medalists were the only competitors to have caught at least one fish in each venue.

The top three teams were England, France and Scotland, with Ian Barr of England the new World Champion.

The 2010 World Championships are scheduled for Poland.


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