Italy World Championships did not go to plan!

The World Championships are now over and after 5 days I have recovered sufficiently to pen my blog - apologies for the delay.  Hardy Greys Team England were in 2nd place overall following a cracking team effort on the first session and at the end of day 1, we were in 5th place and going well.

Sadly, we had a few blanks in the team and some awful draws on the river and we finished the event in a disappointing 10th position.  Italy on the other hand, came from 13th on the first session to storm ahead of the ever-reliable Czech Team to win Gold and also claim Gold and Silver Individual placings.

Now I was in Castel di Sangro when the Worlds were last held in Italy and a similar thing happened.

It wasn't the best organised of World Championships - there was stocking in 2 of the rivers prior to the match, which meant some competitors were fishing for ultra finnicky wild browns and marble trout, while others could strip streamers down-and-across to drag out stocky rainbows!  What a joke.

The lake session at Lago de Brais was the most scenic I have ever fished - but once again, they shoved in a few thousand stocky browns before the match and turned it into a stupid bun-fight, where some of the anglers were fishing while their boatmen rowed them around - why these guys are not banned I will never know.  One of the reasons perhaps, is that there was no official from FIPS Mouche overseeing the sessions.  Some of us watched in total disbelief as lines were being trolled behind boats and fish jumped on and leapt out of the water - GOOD ANGLING (NOT)!

We normally have duplicate catch return sheets in World and European Championships, so if someone adds the total of fish wrongly, or there is a dispute, then it can easily be rectified.  Not this year.  We felt that FIPS Mouche should have insisted on this critical part of the results system.

These Championships had the potential to be superb - in practice we caught well, even though the rivers were grey with snow melt thanks to temperatures in the 90's!  We were prepared thoroughly by our ace guide Edgardo Dona who himself is a true expert on these Italian rivers.  We were kneeling for hours to fish upstream for ultra wary fish - but that seemed rediculous with the introduction of stockies into the rivers Aurino and Rienza.
What's wrong with hard fishing?  At least it is the same for everyone.

As usual, the mix was 4 rivers and 1 lake - they had a reserve lake, so why don't FIPS Mouche insist on a 3:2 ratio? 

The Dolomite Mountain area was scenically breathtaking and I will never forget the beauty of the area.  The friendships made will last lifetimes.  Competitors travelled from as far apart as Mexico and Australia.  We don't need stockies - when will organisers ever understand this?  It blighted what could have been one of the best World Championships ever - instead, it will be remembered for farcical boat sessions on a beautiful lake and a series of "peggy" sessions on the rivers.

My hearty congratulations go to World Champion Valerio Santi Amantini, 2nd placed Stefano Cominazzini and 3rd placed Roman Heimlich.  I would also like to congratulate Simon Cocker of Scotland who was in my group and deservedly finished in the top 10 - as well as the rest of his excellent Scotland Team.

In total, 21 countries took part this year and all were full of praise for the Controllers who were, to a man (and woman) - fantastic.  We salute you all.  As for the organisers and FIPS Mouche .................. well, hopefully lessons will be learnt for the future.

The victorious top 3 teams in Italy
John and Valerio - World Champion

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