Competition Flyfishing
  |  First Published: May 2013

Fly Fish Australia is Australia’s peak competition flyfishing body.

Founded in 1988 after the World Championships in Tasmania, Fly Fish Australia has enabled many of Australia’s fly fishers to be shown world class techniques. Some of which are now standard practise when flyfishing here in Australia. There is no better way to fast track your flyfishing skills if you are learning than to be immersed in the wonderful sport that is competition flyfishing.

Firstly an explanation of what competition flyfishing is. These trout only competitions consist of four by three hour sessions (five sessions in international events such as the Worlds, Commonwealths and Oceanias). Where anglers have to catch as many trout on fly over 20cm for their allotted time. The scoring points are all attained by fish measured; weight doesn’t come in to it. With the angler who catches the most fish consistently over the four sessions being the winner, rather than the person who was only good at catching one big one.

Some sessions are boat based; some are in rivers and others are from the shore in lakes.

When fishing out of a boat the two anglers are generally allowed to fish anywhere in the lake, each of the fish measured is checked by the other angler in the boat. The three hour time is split in half so each angler gets a shot at being control, deciding on location and drifts within the competition area.

When fishing in rivers there are beats marked, anywhere from 100m to sometimes 500m long. Each angler must remain within their designated beat markers for the duration of the session. Beats are selected by a random draw so anglers never really know where you’ll end up. For each beat along the river there is a controller who measures each fish, checks it was caught legally and writes the measurement down.

There is something really skilful about being placed on any stretch of water and being able to catch fish from it, whether it was your choice of location or not.

As a competition fly fisher you must be able maximise your time, get the best out of the water your given and I believe this makes good anglers in to great ones. At the end of each session anglers will get a score depended on how many fish they have caught. One 20cm fish will get you one hundred points. Any extra centimetres after that will get 20 points, so a 30cm fish will get 300 points. Those that catch the most will score the most fish points and get a first place for the session. Whoever has the lowest session placing points at the end of the competition wins, for example, winning each session would give you a total score of four at the end of the comp.

Every year Tasmania, New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia, Queensland and South Australia all host state based competitions. These are qualifying rounds to earn a place in the National Championship. The National Championships are held each year and from the top 15 finishers a World, Commonwealth and Oceania team is selected.

Fly Fish Australia’s aim is to finish in the top ten consistently at the World Championships each year and to promote the sport of flyfishing. The World Flyfishing Championships really are an amazing event and a place where most new flyfishing techniques are found out.

The skills that the Australian Teams learn at the international competitions are then brought back to pass on to the up and coming anglers.

In the years ahead Fly Fish Australia plans to expand and grow, and continue its promotion of the sport of flyfishing with its catch and release only competitions.

For more information, to become a member or to see all of the upcoming competitions dates visit www.flyfishaustralia.com.au

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