England Youth Fly Fishing
WELCOME TO TEAM ENGLAND YOUTH FLY FISHING!
Lisa Isles. Carl Malpass. Scott Nellins. Simon Robinson. What do they all have in common? The answer might seem obvious - they're all highly-accomplished, high-profile fly fishers who've represented their country at various levels (Home International, Commonwealth, European and World) as adults, and are often featured in the pages of our game angling magazines. However, there's something else that binds these hotshots together; something that lies at the heart of their journey towards becoming the very best anglers they can be....
They've all been members of the England Youth Fly Fishing Team.
Competitive fly fishing is an ideal environment in which young people can extend their involvement in the sport and hone their skills, within an atmosphere of honesty, integrity, responsibility, good sportsmanship and respect for the environment. Gaining an England Youth Team cap, and participating in Home International Championships against Scotland, Wales and Ireland, is the pinnacle of achievement for youngsters between the ages of twelve and seventeen, who are keen to pursue their passion to a much higher level. Qualification for and competing within the team requires the very best; not just in terms of ambition, but also attitude, motivation, teamwork, sportsmanship and respect for angling's core values. Ever since Home International fly fishing became available at youth level in the 1980s, all who have made the grade and gone on to represent England have been excellent ambassadors for themselves, their families, schools, angling clubs, the sport of fly fishing, and of course their country.
The England Youth Team has consistently achieved excellent results over the last three decades; not only as multiple championship winners, but also in frequently producing the best-performing, highest-scoring angler on the day. This journey has, of course, seldom been easy - and being prepared to take defeat on the chin remains just as important for the team as knowing how to celebrate victory properly. As the host nation for 2014, England unfortunately lost out to the Scots in last year's Home International Loch-Style final on Grafham Water. With the 2015 final set to take place on the Lake of Menteith in August, it's now hugely important that our current team members focus all their efforts on taking the battle to the reigning champions on their own home turf - and bringing the trophy back south of the border where it belongs! With all our national angling teams now under the banner of the Angling Trust, we naturally wish them the very tightest of lines for the challenges that lie ahead.
English Youth National 2016
Grafham Water will host the 2016 English Youth National on Sunday September 11th 2016. Entry to the competition is £30 and includes fishing permit and boat hire while each competitor will receive a goody bag and number of prizes supplied by Greys Fishing will be up for grabs. The competition is open to anglers born between 1st August 1999 and 1st August 2004.
In addition to crowning a National Champion for 2016, the top 10 anglers from the Youth National will automatically qualify for a place in the England Youth Fly Fishing squad for for 2017. The Youth International will take place in Wales in August 2017.
To enter the Youth National please download an entry form from the bottom of this page or by clicking here and return to the Angling Trust Competitions Department
England Youth Fly Fishing Squad 2016
England will travel to Killarney in Ireland for the 2016 Youth Fly Fishing International. Lough Lein will host the event from 31st July - 4th August. The England team to compete in the event will be:
Management Team: Charles Jardine & Carl Malpass
Thames Water Shield 2016
Angling Trust has teamed up with Thames Water to reintroduce the Thames Water Shield in 2016. The event will be run as a pairs competition with anglers fishing both the bank and from boats on Farmoor Reservoir on 16th April 2016.
This is a fantastic opportunity to take part in a fun competition fishing alongside or against friends and family members. Entry for Juniors (U18) is only £8 per angler, concessions entry fee is £25 and adults £30. Entry fee includes permit and boat hire.
Entry Form, Event Poster and Event Agenda can be found at the bottom of this page. please download your entry form, complete and return to Corina Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to Angling Trust, Strelley Hall Main Street, Strelley, Nottingham, NG8 6PE
Winning anglers on the day will receive prizes and the top junior rod will be presented with the Peter Stone Memorial Trophy
2015 English Youth Fly Fishing National & 2016 Team Qualification
Sunday 24th May 2015
Grafham Water, Cambrideshire. 10am-5pm
Grafham Water will host the 2015 English Youth Fly Fishing Loch Style National on Sunday 24th May. In addition to crowing a 2015 Youth National Champion, the event will also be used to select a squad for the 2016 Youth Home International. The top 10 anglers in the National will qualify to represent England in Ireland during the summer of 2016.
The cost of entering the Youth National remains the same, £30 entry and this will cover boat hire, fishing permit and a boatman or woman for the day of the National. 20 additional boats have been reserved for Saturday 23rd May to allow anglers a final practice session to hone their skills and tactics. Boats for practice day should be booked direct with Grafham Fishing Lodge quoting Youth National Practice to receive agreed discounted rate.
Competitors will fish loch style with 2 anglers per boat, supervised by a boatman/woman. A copy of the rules can be downloaded here
To download an application form please click here
2015 England Youth Fly Fishing Squad
England will travel to Scotland and lake of Menteith for the 2015 Home International. Scotland are the reigning champions after a stellar performance at Grafham Water in 2014. The England squad to compete at Lake of Menteith is;
Will Robins (captain)
Official Supplier to England Youth Fly Fishing
Official Sponsor of Loch Style & Youth National & Junior Bank National
The Game Angling England Talent Pathway
in 2012 the Angling Trust introduced the England Talent Pathway. A programme designed to to support the learning and development of young game anglers who want to learn about competitive fly fishing and aspire to represent their country.
Anglers from all over England can get involved with regional squads in the North, Midlands and South. A series of screening events are delivered in 9 regions with the top 6 anglers selected to join their respective development squad. Anglers then enter a 10 month training programme working alongside experienced international anglers and coaches. The training focuses primarily on competition tactics and techniques required to fish for England.
The programme culminates as squad members participate in the English Youth Fly Fishing Loch Style National and attempt not only to become English National Champion, but also secure a place in the England Youth Fly Fishing squad for the Home International.
For more detailed information about the programme, to find out how you can get involved and what is on in your area, click here
For more detailed information
Youth International comeptitive fly fishing started in 1985 after moc Morgan OBE, the well know and respected Welsh TV personality and angler issued a challenge to Tom Bilson, the senior teams President and one of the founders of teh Confederation of English Fly Fishers, to select a team of ten youngsters to compete against a Welsh team on Llandegfedd Reservoir. Russell Owen, the 1993 World Fly Fishing Champion was a member of that Welsh team and Wales won the match and England's Harry Bannerman was top rod.
In 1986 the Welsh team were invited to fish against England at Chew Valley. For the first time the English team was selected fro m a National competition also held a Chew Valley and was organised by Tom Bilson. The winner of the first English National was Jeremy Hermann, Jeremy went on to represent England many times and was crowned World Champion in 1995.
Tom Bilson initially received help to set up England Youth Fly Fishing Association (EYFA) from many anglers including Bob Church, Chris Ogborne and Geoff Clarkson MBE, all of whom formed the first EYFA committee.
in 1987 Scotland entered the fray for the first time and Wales were victorious again this time on Llyn Brenig. England won the match for the first time in 1988 with Dave Shipman coaching the team to success on Rutland Water. England Senior International Graham Smith took up thew reigns as team manager, a team that contained the 1988 youth national winner and daughter Kelly Smith. in the same year Tom Bilson was made life president of EYFA in recognition of his services to Youth Fly Fishing. Tom had been involved with fly fishing for many years having been a team member and team manager of the senior international side, Chairman of the Confederation of English Fly Fishers and organiser of the 1987 World Fly Fishing Championships which were held in England.
1992 brought in a new era for EYFA, under the guidance of new chairman David Prior, senior international Graham Pearson and his wife Rosemary. A new constitution was formed and fundraising efforts doubled with team members encouraged to raise funds through numerous activities
Dave Haseltine took over in 2002 and helped the team to win on Rutland Water the same year. in 1993 Ireland joined the competition and the Home International as we know it today was complete.
Over the years the number of anglers competing in a team has increased, from 1996 each team comprised of 14 anglers with the top 12 rods counting. inviting the top 10 rods from the previous years National to join the top 4 rods from the previous years International (age permitting) forms the England team
1n 1995, the EYFA together with England Ladies & Disabled Associations were invited to become members of the Confederation of English Fly Fishers thus unifying all four representative bodies in a major step forward in the administration of competitive fly fishing.
Wales hosted the inaugural World Youth Fly Fishing Championships in August 1998, England entered two strong teams and finished 3rd and 4th taking a team bronze while Chris Watson from Northumberland won a Individual silver medal. Ireland hosted the 1999 event with England winning both Gold and Silver team medals. in 2003 Lisa Isles was a mewmber of anotehr Gold winning England team, Lisa went on to captain England in the 2007 World Championships in the USA where England won a team Bronze
The 2013 Youth International
The 2013 England Youth International fly fishing team headed to Llyn Brenig in North Wales hoping to defend the Gold Medals that they had won the previous year in Ireland. With 8 new caps in the team this wouldn’t be easy but the team was well prepared and ready for the challenge.
Previous practice had shown the fish to be deep – very deep! However, the few days before the championships saw cooler weather and as a result, the fish moved up in the water and became far easier to catch.
Official practice saw all teams catch well. The England lads all caught and a pattern started to emerge. After the second days practice, areas were confirmed and tactics finalised.
The lads had found some large pods of fish that the other teams didn’t seem to know about. These areas were banned during the second days practice with just an occasional cast being allowed to prove they had not moved. It was also noticed that once a couple of fish had been caught from an area, that area would go dead. To combat this, the team plan was to never repeat a drift and to find clean water.
During practice it was noted that early on the fish would readily take a fly moved on the surface – but as the day wore on, they became move reluctant to take a fly if it wasn’t down at their cruising level. Having observed fish cruising in the wooded bays, it was ascertained that the fish were cruising 4-6ft down. Di3 sweep was the most effective line with Coral & white Humungus Boobies proving to be the deadly flies.
Match day arrived and the lads were met with light winds and cloud cover – perfect!
The fleet split to all parts of the lake and after just 45 minutes news began to filter through that England lads already had 8, 6 and 5 in just three boats. Keeping those pods of fish quiet appeared to have worked!
After a nervous and seemingly long day on the bank for the coaching team & parents, the lads came back to the boat dock exhausted. The England team had put together a total of 64 fish……was it enough?
The results were announced at the lake and were as follows –
England 145lb 10.25oz
Wales 132lb 2.5oz
Scotland 128lb 3oz
Ireland 80lb 3.25oz.
England also had the Brown Bowl winner for the 4th year in a row. An outstanding performance by Tom Adamson saw him take the individual title with a haul of 11 fish for 23lb 9oz. Other outstanding performances in the England team were recorded by Oliver Avis (11 fish) and Adam Worker (9 fish). It was Alex Waddington who caught the overall biggest fish at 3lb 9oz. That said, it was the team performance that won the gold medal with England being the only team not to record a blank.
After a celebratory dip in the lake the team headed back to Llangollen for the International dinner & presentations at the White Waters hotel.
The behaviour & conduct of the England team filled myself and the coaching team with pride. They even received a written appraisal from the hotel complimenting them on their behaviour.
I’d like to thank everyone who has supported the team over the last year. There are many people to thank and you know who you are but in particular, I’ like to thank the coaching team of Gary Owen, Carl Malpass, Ryan Worker and Dom Sheratte. The time and effort that they put in was outstanding. Bobbie Worker, the team simply wouldn’t exist without her. Thank you Bobbie. All of the parents, committee members & boatmen who have supported the team during the year and the fisheries that have supported our training sessions (Draycote, Blithfield and Anglian water).
Finally, I’d like to thank the Welsh committee for organising & hosting a superb event. The England Youth look forward to welcoming you all to Grafham in 2014.
England Youth Team Manager
The England Youth
Flyfishing team headed over to the 2012 Youth International held on Lough Owel,
near Mullingar in Ireland, determined to regain the title that they had lost
the previous year in Scotland.
The fishing was to be totally different from the heavily stocked rainbow trout waters that the team is used to, with brown trout being the quarry in the vast expanse of water that is Lough Owel.
Following a grueling journey, the team awoke refreshed on Monday morning ready to take to the Lough for the first time. Unfortunately, the weather was against them, with flat calm and bright sun making useful practice impossible for most of the day. Despite this, fish were caught and areas were identified. That evening would prove to be crucial, with the development ofa new fly to be tried the next day. And with good conditions forecast, everyone knew that areas and tactics must be proven and perfected in the that final day's practice.
The day produced plenty of fish. The new fly had worked well and was christened the BBD. But now each team member would need at least two of these for match day. Everyone chipped in to make sure that the lads had every fly that they would need, and the team was sent to bed to rest up for the competition the following day. No such luck for the tying team as they carried on tying until the early hours of the
Competition day arrived and the blustery conditions that were forecast arrived with it. The teams were paraded to the water, lead by two pipers and the boats were boarded. There was nothing else that could be done now.
Seven hours later, all arrived back at the shore for 5pm and news of the fish caught started to filter through the waiting crowd. England had no blanks and a total of 38 fish. We knew that this was more than the Scots and Welsh, but we heard that the Irish had 5 anglers with 5 fish. Only at the weigh in would the results be known, and after an agonising wait it turned out that England had won comfortably with 10 fish more than second placed Ireland (28 fish). Scotland were third with 24 and a young Welsh team came in with 12.This proved to be England's third Gold Medal winning performance in the last 4 Home Internationals.
Following a victorious dunking in the Lough, the England team headed back to the hotel.
A superb meal preceded the presentation of awards and medals, where we learnt that our James Atkinson’s hard work throughout the year had been rewarded with a Brown Bowl winning performance. His 7 fish on the day was the best bag in the competition and is further evidence that James is certainly a name to look out for in the future. This was the team's third Brown Bowl winner in a row.
The England team would like to thank everyone that helped them over the year and would also like to thank the Irish for being fantastic hosts. The event, regardless of the result, was a wonderful success.
Manager, England Youth Flyfishing
2011 Home International
The England Youth Team headed up to Scotland in good spirits after comfortably winning the two previous internationals. They were greeted with 3 solid days of sunshine and minimal wind……hardly normal weather for this part of the world!
After two days of successful practice, the team were all catching good numbers of fish to straight lined nymphs on either a midge tip line or a straight floater. A pattern quickly developed with regards to key areas on the lake and it was apparent that the match would be won or lost in Gateside bay.
Unfortunately for the England team, the predicted cloud cover for match day didn’t materialise and the fish moved deep in an attempt to get away from the glaring sunshine. This left their previously productive methods floundering and by the time that the lads had adapted, the match was lost. Home advantage proved to be invaluable and the Scottish team ran out as clear winners.
The England lads gave everything that they had on match day and we are all proud of the effort that they put in.
Congratulations must go the Scottish team on an impressive win and also for organising a faultless event.
Rest assured that the England lads will re-group and do everything that they can to take gold in Ireland.
England caught a total of 41 fish for 97lb 0.2oz, the heaviest English Bag went to Oliver Avis with 8 fish for 17lb 11.6oz and the heaviest English Fish was caught by Adam Worker which was 4lb.
England Youth Team Manager
2010 Youth Home
International - Grafham Water
England Youth Team led by their mercurial manager Rob Edmunds and coach Phil Longstaff romped to a victory in the Youth International held at Grafham Water on 28 July 2010, putting a staggering 50lb of fish between them and second placed Ireland. Seen by many as a controversial choice of England Youth Team manager a couple of years ago, ‘Major’ Edmunds has now led his troops from the front on two consecutive occasions. Say what you may, the man is an out and out winner second place does not exist in the land of Rob Edmunds. Make no mistake the team members love him and I’m pretty sure if he could put on a pair of short trousers and get away with it he’d be out on the water fishing alongside them. England’s winning match plan was quite straightforward. If you have control of the boat fish P,R and M Buoys with a Di3, long leaders and two flies, a Cocktail Blob Booby and a Pink Blob Booby and strip them back quickly. “We knew through practice the fish were holding around the four feet mark and looking up,” said coach Phil Longstaff. “And we found them in areas the rest of the teams seemed to be ignoring, they seemed to be concentrating their efforts in and around Savages Creek. However, it was the team member John ‘Spanner’ Mackintosh who really cracked it. John found fish between 60-100 yards off the Seat and although he mentioned the fact during the team meeting before the match, his was the only boat fishing the area and did he make it pay. Having fresh water in front of him John had his eight fish into the boat by 14.15 winning the Heaviest Basket and the Biggest Fish trophies. A mention must go Team Ireland who, with only one day of practice, managed to beat both Scotland and Wales into second place, a fabulous effort. An a mention for the England team manager Rob Edmunds and coach Phil Longstaff who not only coached the youngsters brilliantly but also offered superb motivation and support opening up all their vast experience (and flyboxes) to the team. To conclude, there was a dramatic example of fishing a competition out to its finish. Strangely, several boats were seen to motor back into the Grafham harbour before the finish of the competition, which, for an International, is rather an odd thing to do. England’s Matthew Holroyd demonstrated the need to fish out a match to its conclusion taking his eighth fish in front of the harbour at 16.57 three minutes before the official finish time. Tight, but completely legal. Congratulations to Matthew and to Graham Pearson his boatman who delivered both his charges back to the pontoon by 17.00. England Youth captain Matthew Kidd made a very eloquent speech during the presentation dinner thanking EYFA secretary Bobbie Worker for her splendid organisation of the event, a sentiment that was repeated by almost every speaker.
1. England 63 fish for 121lb 3/4oz
2. Ireland 39 fish for 70lb 123/4oz
3. Scotland 31 fish for 60lb 13/8oz
4. Wales 19 fish for 34lb 43/4oz
Heaviest Basket: John Mackintosh, England 21lb 43/4oz
Best Fish: Stuart Crockett, Scotland 3lb 81/2oz
Top English Rod: John Mackintosh 21lb 43/4oz
Top Irish Rod: Harry McAteer 11lb 15/8oz
Top Scottish Rod: James Fairlie 13lb 81/4oz
Top Welsh Rod: Jamie Phillips 5lb 133/4oz
Best fish England: John Mackintosh 3lb 11/8oz
Best Fish Ireland: Christopher Kelly 2lb 123/4oz
Best Fish Scotland: Stuart Crockett 3lb 81/2oz
Best Fish Wales: Dafydd Davies 2lb 101/8oz
Number of fish caught: 152
Rod Average: 2.71
2009 Youth International
The 2009 International was held at Llandegfedd, where the first challenge between England and Wales was held 25 years ago. England Youth Team Manager Rob Edmunds carries on the story...We arrived in Wales on Wednesday night, meaning that we had two full days of practice to find methods that suited our team. We then knew we had to adapt the methods to suit each angler in the team, as we have a varying range of ability.
The reservoir was divided into 4 quarters with boats being sent to each area, their brief was to try a variety of methods and cover all the water in the area; we reasoned that it was just as important to work out what methods didn't work, as finding those that did.
On arrival at Llandegfedd is was quite obvious that the fish were going to be high in the water...we were greeted with an almost flat calm and literally hundred's of rising fish!
Day one practice saw the team catch an a variety of methods, from pulling Orange Blobs on a Di-3, to Dries on a floater, however it soon became clear that best methods were Black and Claret Hoppers on a floating line, fished static for 10-15 seconds then slowly figure of eighted back subsurface, or small eyed Boobies on a intermediate, again fished with a slow figure of eight retrieve.
Day two practice saw the whole team try both methods for half a day, in an effort to build up confidence in both styles and to get a better feel of where the main concentrations of fish were holding.
On the evening before the match we had a quick debriefing session; we all agreed that there were two main methods, dries on the floater, or, Boobies on the intermediate, no area was very difficult, we had caught well over the entire reservoir. However, practice had shown us that with the fish being so high in the water they were easily spooked and became very wary of boats after one or two drifts through them. Therefore we reasoned that finding fresh water was essential. A evening of tying ensued ensuring that each angler had an identical selection of flies to those that we had been catching on.
Match day saw the boats start in two main areas, the Dam and the Cages, however, they soon started to disperse. My brief to the lads was simply to start on the method they felt most confident in, and, the area they thought best. Then as the match progressed change methods when they saw fit.
Weigh-in saw all our team with consistant bags of between four and six fish with no blanks, an excellent team performance in my opinion, regardless of the result. A quick count up revealed we had 73 fish (8 more than the Scottish team) who had also fished well.
Eventually the results were read out.....Wales 4th.....Ireland 3rd....Scotland 2nd.....England 1st.
try to instill into the team that, although we had distinct methods and area's worked out, conditions change. This means that they must adapt to keep catching. It's for this reason that I don't insist they fish a particular method, I merely give recommendations, I have confidence in their ability and so should they.
‘Although it was the good ‘average‘ bags of four to six fish that secured us this memorable victory, there were also some fine individual performances.
Kireon Jenkins of Wales won the Brown Bowl (top individual in the match) with 17 fish, in his last year in the Welsh Youth Team (due to age), his performance, catching fish mostly with a small Cat's Whisker Booby on a Slow Glass line, was simply head and shoulders above the rest of the field, proving once again that he is going to be a serious contender at senior level and in my opinion a future world champion (remember where you heard it first!)
Kireon Bonas was the English top rod with 9 fish all caught by fishing Dries through the middle of the reservoir, an excellent performance especially when you consider that this was his first international. He was closely followed by Dom Sherette with 8 fish (also fishing his first International who also caught all his fish on Dries) and Matthew Holdroyd also with 8 fish.
These fine individual performances by some of our youngest anglers are very encouraging for the future and I feel that with continued practice over next season we should once again challenge for the top honours at the International at our home venue of Grafham Water in 2010.
England Youth Team Manager