AT-TEFF 5 Nations Championship
Established in 2014, the 5 Nations Fly Fishing Championship (5NFFC) was formed to enable multiple teams from the UK and Europe to compete and gain experience in a FIPS-Mouche style format over boat, bank and river disciplines.
In order to improve participation by potential elite level fly fishers, both among experienced international participants and those at the start of their international career, it has been decided that the previous policy of selection by invitation should be dropped in favour of a programme of open competitive Team Selection heats.
8th 5N FLY FISHING CHAMPIONSHIP 2023
HUNTINGDON, GRAFHAM WATER & ELINOR TROUT FISHERY ENGLAND.
Monday 12th to Friday 16th June 2023
You would not have chosen to hold a Fly Fishing Championship with light and blustery North Easterly winds, bright Sunshine, temperatures in excess of 26⁰C and water temperatures of 19⁰C, but these are the conditions the 16 competitors faced during their 3 days of fishing.
However, despite the conditions, all competitors caught trout during the 2 Competition days, with a total of 50 rainbow trout caught and safely released at the 2 Midlands fisheries.
Day 1: England got off to a flying start in session 1, both as the 1st placed team and individually taking 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th places.
In session 2, England lost some ground with Norway, Ireland and Scotland all closely chasing them. Norway’s Henrik Botnevik coming 1st and Ireland’s Eamon Kearney 4th, and England’s Simon Clarke and Mark Withyman 2nd and 3rd.
Team positions at the end of Day 1 were: England; Norway; Scotland; Ireland
Day 2: Session 3, England got off to another good start with Mark Withyman and Gilliaum Vermeulen in 1st and 2nd place, with Norway’s Henrik Botnevik in 3rd and Ireland’s Darren Curran in 4th place. England’s Captain Mark Withyman had now taken 3 1st places and both he and England were heading into the last session with a healthy lead over Scotland, Norway and Ireland who had only 2 placings separating them.
Session 4 in the afternoon saw everything to play for. Norway and Scotland took joint 1st place with England 3rd. Similarly, Norway’s Erlend Vivelid Nilssen and Scotland’s Scott Freeman took joint 1st individually, with England’s Gilliaum Vermeulen in 3rd place.
The competition turned out to be a fight to the end, however England’s Captain Mark Withyman had done enough in the first 3 sessions to hold on to 1st Place individually and England’s Gilliaum Vermeulen’s 1st in the last session had moved him to 2nd place. Norway’s Henrik Botnevik’s largest trout of 52.5 cms secured him 3rd place individually.
England took the Team gold with 22 trout and 27 placings, Norway silver with 13 trout and 49 placings, Scotland bronze with 8 trout and 52 placings and Ireland a very close 4th with 7 trout and 53 placings.
England’s 5NFFC Host Nation Organiser said:
“I’m very relieved we took the advice of Elinor Fishery owner Brad Gifford and moved the fishing times at Elinor to start at 07:00 in the morning, to take advantage of the cooler temperatures. Whilst this meant we had to leave the Huntingdon Racecourse Hotel at 05:30 every morning, from the results it was clear that fishing at Elinor became difficult from mid-morning as the temperatures soared. Grafham being a much larger and deeper expanse of water didn’t have the same issues.
The weather was undoubtedly an additional challenge for the competitors, so I was very relieved when the first trout started to be caught at both venues. In the end it was a close competition and I thank the Nations and their team members for their continued participation in the Championship. I would also like to thank Grafham and Elinor Fisheries, the Holiday Inn Racecourse hotel and our 2 sponsors for their support. And finally, Dave Currie, Chris Bobby and Graham Willis for giving up their time to help make this another successful 5NFFC.”
Holiday Inn Huntingdon Racecourse Hotel – www.ihg.com/holidayinn/hotels/gb/en/huntingdon/xhuhr/hoteldetail
Grafham Water – www.anglianwaterparks.co.uk/grafham-water-park/fishing
Elinor Trout Fishery – https://elinortf.co.uk/
Hunts Original – www.huntsoriginal.co.uk
FlyFishNorth – www.flyfishnorth.com
Angling Trust – www.anglingtrust.net
Team England Fly Fishing – www.te-ff.org