Author Topic: 2017 World Youth Fly Fishing Championship, Slovenia.  (Read 170 times)

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Matthew Dirksen

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2017 World Youth Fly Fishing Championship, Slovenia.
« on: August 20, 2017, 01:18:54 PM »
Hi Everyone,
Evan, Mackenzie, Alex Enzo And I just returned from the World Youth Fly Fishing Championships in Slovenia this past August.
Slovenia must be on everyones bucket list if you are into fly fishing. Slovenia looks very similar to the lowermainland British Columbia where Evan,Mackenzie and I grew up fishing. From its picturesque landscape of the Alps and crystal clear winding rivers to the small hospitable farming communities, Slovenia is Europes hidden jem.

Evan and Mackenzie's Families let me ride along with them as we toured around Italy before the competition. we took a van from Venice to Slovenia and met
Norm and the others and carried on to our accommodations at the sports centre in Prodinuk. The house we stayed in was spectacular and was a 10 second walk to the buses we had to take on the competition mornings. After we settled down and had dinner we sat and shared some fishing tales with each other about our adventures since we last saw each other.

Now for the fishing!
The first day we wake up and the competition venue was blown out from the night before. Instead we headed east and fished a small creek called the Dreta. The Dreta was a small low clear river jammed to the rim with grayling that would not eat a fly! but the hundreds of browns and rainbow trout were very naive for a well presented dry fly or nymph!
a few days later the river was fishable and we got some good practice in on the competition river the Savinja. the Savinja river was about 50 to 70 feet wide and filled with pocket water and lots of structure in the top 3 sectors but some beats on the lower section were 2-3 feet deep sections of ginn clear slackwater. The coarse fish in this venue would spook very easy but the trout were not as on edge. Fishing the clear shallow water you had t make long pin point casts to try and entice a fish to eat your nymph or dry!  Soon it was the comp. We were feeling confident and had a good game plan of the flies and techniques we would use to approach these spooky fish.

Day 1 of the competition i fished sector 1:Ljubno Pond. It was a bank fishing session and you fished 4 beats for 45 minutes and had a 10 minute time allowance to relocate to the next beat. A competitor would start on a beat and rotate clockwise every 3rd beat. the pond was very small about an acre and the average depth was 3-8 feet deep.  I set up 3 rods, a floating line with a attractor, a aqualux with a attractor, and a aqualux with a natural pattern. I started off fishing beat 6 and noticed lots of trout cruising in the first 6 inches of the water column and I began my session throwing my floating line with an attractor but got no interest during the first 4 casts. I immediatley switched to my clear intermediate line with a attractor pattern and it was game on! I got 11 fish in my first beat.
Beat 9 was tough I only caught 1 rainbow. Lots of carp and nase were in that beat and not many trout.
Beat 12 gave up 4 fish while working the hang close to shore with an attractor.
Beat 2 was the make or break for the session. I was close with many other competitors and got a nice beat. the pods of fish were cruising but harder to fool as the sun was up high in the sky by the end of the session. I got 3 fish on a very slow retrieve with the attractor.
I ended up with 19 fish and that was good for a 3rd in my group. I followed the Irish with 24 fish and Belgium with 18!

Session 2 I fished sector 2 beat 2. It was a gorgeous beat with smart fish. I walked my about 5 times and set p my rod and waited for 45 minutes until the session started. The afternoon session was from 5-8. At the top of my beat i noticed a small deep troth with about 8 trout and I started fishing there and nymphed out 2 in the first 15 minutes. But then I did not get any action for 2 hours and was contemplating why I fished! after a few flies sacrificed to bushes, some tangles, and lots of non counter grayling I per-servered. Earlier in my session i fished near a pile of logs with some skinny water long side them and some calm water behind. I hooked a trophy brown and it took me back into its hobbit hole in the logs but did not want to ply outside so we parted ways.
with about 40 minutes remaining I went back to the skinny water by the logs and nymphed out 9 rainbow upstream.
my session ended while I measured my last fish. I ended up with 11 fish and that was good for a first.

The next day we fished session 3 and got the afternoon off. Session 3 started at 8a.m I fished beat 8. The beat was shallow and skinny up top but deep slack water in the lower section with 2 large browns about 4-6 pounds nestled down on the bottom. I managed to pull out 4 fish from some skinny water that I though previous competitors skipped with overhanging bushes covering its treasures. I finished my session off swinging a streamer and came in contact for a brief second with a large brown in the bottom of my beat but he robbed me of my fly in a heart beat. I came 5th in that session with 4 fish. I was happy with 4 fish as some very good anglers only pulled out 2 before me!

Session 4 was on the morning of the final day we had some rain the night before but the river looked fine. I drew beat 14 and it had produced outstanding numbers the entire comp. The bus driver dropped everyone off and I had to go go further. The sector judge told me I got a great beat. I met up with my controller and he greeted me saying "the river is bit dirty." so I thought it may be good a bit of a tinge may be a advantage and the fish wont be so spooky.
I get to my beat and it is chocolate milk. A tributary of the Savinja was blown out and fed into the river 5 beats above me! the guys above the tributary had hay days but me I was happy to just catch a fish. I ended up with a 30.3 cm chub and a 26cm rainbow dragging a heavy bright nymph thru some shallow slack water along the bank. I came 9th this session with 2 fish. I was happy with just catching 1. The second was a bonus.

Session 5 on sector 5 I drew beat 4. It was about a foot and a half deep with a riffle at the top of the beat tapering out into slack water the same depth at the bottom of the beat. The river was below sector 4 and the whole sector was brown! I pulled out 1 fish and was good for 11th place in my group! I Have never been so happy to catch a 25cm rainbow. I learned lots that session. If there was any pocket water then there were lots of fish in there. I did not have any but I made due with the resources I was given!

Overall team Canada had a 6th place finish and I managed to snag 21st.

I cant express the amount of fun I had in Slovenia. The memories and friendships will last a lifetime and I hope I can do it all over again. I have learned so much and cant wait to put the new techniques to use on my home waters. I will be returning to Slovenia one day again!

Thanks to Norm and Leslie for looking after us and coaching us to success! Thank you to my teammates and all the coaching staff for the tips and staying by our sides throughout the journeys of me and my team!

Now for the Pictures!
(sorry I didn't get any of the comp water I left my phone in the room so it didn't get wet!)

Matthew Dirksen

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Re: 2017 World Youth Fly Fishing Championship, Slovenia.
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2017, 01:21:19 PM »
Here are some more!

Matthew Dirksen

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Re: 2017 World Youth Fly Fishing Championship, Slovenia.
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2017, 01:24:09 PM »
A few more...

Matthew Dirksen

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Re: 2017 World Youth Fly Fishing Championship, Slovenia.
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2017, 01:26:04 PM »
They keep coming!

Matthew Dirksen

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Re: 2017 World Youth Fly Fishing Championship, Slovenia.
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2017, 01:32:29 PM »
Last of them!

Chris Puchniak

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Re: 2017 World Youth Fly Fishing Championship, Slovenia.
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2017, 08:41:25 PM »
An awesome description Matt!  And I have never seen you write so long of a post...  lol.

Well done to all you guys!
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Istvan Kereszturi

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Re: 2017 World Youth Fly Fishing Championship, Slovenia.
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2017, 12:32:39 AM »
Thanks For sharing Matt! We were cheering you guys on from here. You all did great.  Great pictures too!
I miss good old Europe sometimes.
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Todd Oishi

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Re: 2017 World Youth Fly Fishing Championship, Slovenia.
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2017, 06:31:07 AM »
Excellent report, Matt! Thank-you for taking the time to write and share this with us!

As Istvan said, we were all watching and cheering you guys on! Glad that some of our advice helped and even contributed to a fish here and there!

Well done by you and the rest of the team. You guys did an awesome job represent Canada at this event!
For me, the quality of a trout is not measured in inches or pounds, but rather by the journey and circumstances that allowed our paths to cross...

Stanton Jack

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Re: 2017 World Youth Fly Fishing Championship, Slovenia.
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2017, 07:32:39 AM »
Great write-up Matthew, and thanks for sharing. Congrats to you and the team! And look at those rainbows!! 👍🏽

Mike Learmonth

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Re: 2017 World Youth Fly Fishing Championship, Slovenia.
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2017, 08:25:32 AM »
Awesome write up!

I knew something was going on in session 4 for you. I saw the numbers of the previous guys and it looked so good ... but that's fishing. Glad it was such a good experience for you guys. Great job Team Canada.
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Matthew Dirksen

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Re: 2017 World Youth Fly Fishing Championship, Slovenia.
« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2017, 08:26:45 AM »
Thanks guys! You all helped us out big time!