pictured above is The 2016 team alongside England Coach Steve Elliott
The best of England’s young flyfishers came together at Grafham Water on Sunday 24th May to compete for the Youth Loch-Style championship and for places in the Angling Trust’s England Team for the 2016 Home International to be held in Ireland.
It was a day for Gold Standard angling – not only did two anglers catch the maximum 8 trout limit but one of the heaviest catches in the 30 year history of the championship was recorded by 2014 Youth Champion Graham Hayward from Rutland, who put together a fantastic 22lb 7oz weight.
There was added excitement too when under the “time bonus” rule, Robbie Turner’s catch of 17lb 8oz won by a mere ounce when he caught his limit in less than 4 hours.
Finishing in third was Harry Upton with a brilliant catch of 6 fish for 14lbs.
Pictured above: Robbie Turner with the Championship trophy
Ben Thompson, Head of Competitions for the Angling Trust said “The young anglers fished to International Rules which mean always having to keep their flies in front of the boat. This is a challenging method in the waves of a big, breezy Grafham Water.”
Ben added: “Most of the 16 teenagers had progressed through the Angling Trust’s England Talent Pathway, supported by Sport England. Therefore the standard of fishing on the day was very high. The rod average of 2.5 was excellent for these young anglers fishing on a challenging water, and it was great to see a really fair match with the top seven rods all on different boats.”
Robbie Turner (16), from Huddersfield had practiced the day before and found fish off the western shore but it took an hour to discover they had moved north towards Savages Creek on the day of competition. Once he had located them, Robbie used a quickly retrieved Di5 sweep line with a tequila blob on the top dropper and a black and green boobie on the point.
Robbie already has two England Caps and will be representing England alongside Graham Hayward in this years Home International in Scotland, earning him his third cap.
The heaviest fish of the day weighed 4lb 12oz and was taken by Ryan Campbell who finished equal 4th alongside Jessica Tweddle from Co. Durham. Jessica is the first girl to qualify for the England Team in three years.
The Championship was sponsored by Greys and each angler took home a bag of Greys products. In a very generous gesture from our new sponsor the top four competitors also shared some top prizes from Greys – a 9’6 7# XF2 Competition Special rod, a GTS700 fly reel, a Greys drogue and a GS net.
Anglian Water continued to show their enthusiastic backing for youth fly fishing in England, by once again supporting the event.
The qualifying rods for Team England 2016 are:
1. Robbie Turner
2. Graham Hayward
3. Harry Upton
4. Jessica Tweddle and Ryan Campbell
6. Ben Fox
7. Daniel Tranter
8. Ben Beckworth
9. Elliot Fawdington
10. Luke Hill
The Angling Trust are inviting any anglers interested in competitive fly fishing to get in contact and register an interest. The 2015 England Talent Pathway will start soon and as part of this programme, anglers will have the opportunity to learn about international tactics and techniques. Then in September the new Greys Junior Bank National kicks off and this will be an ideal opportunity for young anglers to enter the world of competitive fly fishing.
For more information, please visit this website www.anglingtrust.net