The 41st FIPS-Mouche World Fly Fishing Championship was held in Asturias, Spain, from 25th September to 1st October 2022.
AT Team England FF was represented by: Howard Croston, Lewis Hendrie, Andy Taylor, Mark Withyman & Gilliaum Vermeulen
Australia – Belgium – Canada – Czech Republic – England – Finland – France – Hungary – Ireland – Italy – Japan – Lithuania – Mongolia – Netherlands – New Zealand – Portugal – Rumania – Scotland – Slovakia – South Africa – Spain – USA – Wales
Sunday 25th September
10:00-12:00 Registration at the hotel
15:00 Captains Meeting & Draw
18:00 Opening Ceremony
Monday 26th – Friday 30th September
10:00-14:00 Session in rivers
10:00-10:30 First subsession in lake
11:45-12:15 Second subsession in lake
12:30-13:00 Third subsession in lake
13:15-13:45 Fourth subsession in lake
14:00-14:30 Fifth subsession in lake
14:45-15:15 Sixth subsession in lake
Saturday 1st October
10:00-14:00 Closing Congress
18:00 Medal Ceremony & Closing
21:00 Closing Banquet
Sector 1 CAUDAL RIVER
Sector 2 PILOÑA RIVER
Sector 3 TRUBIA RIVER
Sector 4 NARCEA RIVER
Sector 5 ARENERO LAKE
AT Team England ended their first session in 11th place out of 22 teams. Howard Croston came 8th on the Piloña River, Andy Taylor 9th on the Narcea River, Lewis Hendrie 10th on the Caudal River, Gilliaum Vermeulen 12th on the Trubia River, and Mark Withyman 16th on Lake Arenero, in a session which saw 1st-placed Julien Daguillanes (France) catch 58 fish. With two 1st places and two 2nds, Spain dominated the river sections, and were leading the team placings with just 10 placing points, ahead of France 2nd with 22 placing points, USA 3rd with 29 placing points and Canada 4th with 37 placing points. Wales were 14th, Scotland 15th and Ireland 18th.
The second session saw AT Team England slip one place to 12th, with Howard Croston coming 7th on the Trubia River, Gilliaum Vermeulen 13th on the Narcea River, and Lewis Hendrie 14th on the Piloña River, while Mark Withyman was unable to avoid a blank on the Caudal River. On Lake Arenero, which saw reduced scores after the high totals in the first session, Andy Taylor came 16th. With several more good placings, Spain remained top of the team championship with 27 placing points, still some way ahead of France in 2nd with 43 placing points, and the USA 3rd with 59 placing points. Finland overtook Belgium to move into 4th place, as Canada dropped to 7th. Ireland moved up to 15th, with Scotland 16th and Wales 17th. Individually, David Arcay (Spain) was leading with two 1st places, with Julien Daguillanes (France) 2nd and Ruben Santos (Spain) in 3rd.
Session 3 saw AT Team England retain their 12th place, with Lewis Hendrie coming 4th on the Trubia River, Howard Croston 12th on the Narcea River, Mark Withyman 13th on the Piloña River, and Andy Taylor also 13th on the Caudal River. On Lake Arenero, which continued to show diminishing returns, Gilliaum Vermeulen came 17th. Two 1st places and a 3rd saw France narrow the gap between their 2nd place with 62 placing points and Spain in 1st place with 50 points, while Finland remained 3rd with 97 points, three ahead of the Czech Republic at 4th. Ireland moved up to 14th, with Scotland 15th and Wales 17th. Julien Daguillanes (France) and David Arcay (Spain) still contested the two top Individual places with 4 points each, one ahead of Ruben Santos (Spain) who remained in 3rd. Sean Dempsey (Ireland) was in 9th place.
AT Team England remained at 12th place after the 4th session, with Andy Tayor scoring a 5th place on the Piloña River, Lewis Hendrie 10th on the Narcea River, Gilliaum Vermeulen 14th on the Caudal River and Mark Withyman 15th on the Trubia River. In the Lake Arenero session Howard Croston came 16th. Both the Spanish and French teams continued to put in good performances, which saw them remain in 1st and 2nd places respectively, with 65 placing points to 80. Finland stayed in 3rd place with 128 points, with the Czech Republic 4th with 139 points. Ireland remained in 14th place, with Wales 16th and Scotland 17th. Individually, another 1st place for Julien Daguillanes (France) saw him top the listings with 5 points, with Ruben Santos (Spain) 2nd with 7 points, and David Arcay (Spain) 3rd on 8 points.
AT Team England finished the 2022 World Championships in 13th place, with Howard Croston getting a 6th place on the Caudal River, Gilliaum Vermeulen 9th on the Piloña River, Andy Taylor 16th on the Trubia River, and Mark Withyman 17th on the Narcea River, while in the session on Lake Arenero Lewis Hendrie came 15th. With both the Spanish and French teams continuing to set the pace the end result was close, with Spain the 2022 Team World Champions with 95 points, and France 2nd with 104 points. The Czech Republic moved up into 3rd place with 154 points, ahead of Belgium 4th with 178 points. Wales finished in 15th place, with Ireland 16th and Scotland 17th. Individually, Julien Daguillanes (France) added another session win to finish the 2022 Individual World Champion with four 1st places and one 2nd for 6 placing points (to add to the title he won at the 2016 World Championships in Vail, Colorado). David Arcay (Spain) was 2nd with 11 points and Ruben Santos (Spain) 3rd with 12 points. Sean Dempsey (Ireland) finished 12th, with the top AT Team England performer being Howard Croston in 43rd place.
The Angling Trust reports: The 41st World Fly Fishing Championships held in Asturias Spain on 4 highly technical wild trout rivers and one small, stocked stillwater that also proved to be a frustrating venue at times with the small, stocked fish reacting to changeable winds and the intense pressure of very tightly spaced pegs.
The fishing in the rivers was highly technical, centred around light tippets and perfect fly drift, with often only one chance to a target fish, second drifts after an initial refusal often resulted in a spooked fish that then in turn spooked other fish close by.
Team England enjoyed good practice results in the run-up to the event, supported by an excellent local guide, and despite the relative inexperience of the team at World level had hopes for a reasonable finish.
In the end a combination of tough and changeable conditions, combined with some difficult draws didn’t see the result materialise as hoped.
Successful methods for the winning teams varied from single nymph and dry, to dry dropper and double nymph, depending on the beat and water conditions, one common theme was the use of low diameter tippets down to as low as 0.075mm.
Our team led by Howard Croston (fishing and managing), Gilliaum Vermeulen, Andy Taylor, Mark Withyman & Lewis Hendrie are pictured below. Along with images of the beautiful wild river inhabitants landed by Andy & Mark and an amazing lump of a trout returned by Howard, who masterfully brought it to the net on a 0.08mm tippet.
Host nation Spain landed Gold, neighbours France Silver, and the always-in-the-picture team Czech Republic Bronze. England placed thirteenth on unfamiliar and heavily pressured water, however with new caps it’s a reasonable spot. Well done guys, such a difficult venue to tame without a decent set of peg draws.