Grand Junction man, U.S. Fly Fishing Team to compete in Scotland
America’s top fly anglers are off again, this time to Scotland for the 2009 FIPS-Mouche World Fly Fishing Championships.
The U.S. Fly Fishing Team, with Anthony Naranja of Grand Junction plus five other competitors, two coaches and a team manager, will have eight days of practice prior to Friday’s start of the weeklong contest.
This year’s World Championships are being held on four lakes and several beats (or stretches) of the River Tay near the town of Drymen, on the banks of the famed Loch Lomond and within Loch Lomond National Park.
“After a great early season of U.S. regional qualifiers, Team USA looks to be primed and ready for a very challenging championship,” Naranja said in a recent e-mail.
The team spent two days practicing on some nearby lochs and on Monday boated around Loch Leven, which at 3,600 surface acres (about one-third the size of Blue Mesa Reservoir) is one of larger competition sites.
Loch Leven is world famous for brown trout and for years produced eggs for waters worldwide, including many in Colorado.
“We spent the day on Loch Leven with no fishing gear, just looking for (fishing) locations,” Naranja said.
This year’s team Is Naranja, George Daniel (State College, Pa.), Lance Egan (Sandy, Utah), Pete Erickson (Boise, Idaho), Mike Sexton (Pagosa Springs) and Devin Olsen (Salt Lake City, alternate). Captain is Josh Stephens and coaches are Jerry Arnold and former world champion Vlade Trzebunia.
FIPS-Mouche (the International Federation of Sport Fly Fishing) was founded in 1989. The Fly Fishing World Championships had been held since 1980 by the previous sanctioning organization. The U.S. fielded its first team in 1981.
The 2008 World Championships were in New Zealand where an outstanding Czech team finished on top of the team standings, and its members won gold and bronze individual medals.
The U.S. team, which as recently as a decade ago usually disappeared during the world championships, finished sixth overall.
As the world of fly fishing grows smaller, more countries are sharing concerns about transmissible water-borne diseases and parasites.
New Zealand instituted some rigorous safety demands, and Scotland is doing likewise this year. Officials banned felt-soled wading boots and require all fishing equipment, footwear and clothing to be dried and disinfected which chlorine-based agents prior to use in Scotland.
Results will be available at http://www.Worldflyfishingchampionships2009.com.