THE 2ND FIPS-MOUCHE WORLD YOUTH FLY-FISHING CHAMPIONSHIPS 1999 DONEGAL, IRELAND AUGUST 18TH - 20TH.

The five-man team and travelling reserve met at Stansted Airport with the three management team members at 5.30am on Tuesday 17th August. Checking in and an obligatory cup of strong coffee preceded our Ryanair Flight to Londonderry departing at 7.30am. Our short flight touched down at 9.00am and we set about collecting the baggage from the tiny airport. We were met by a minibus driver who was going to take us all the way to Dungloe; a small town with a big heart that was going to be our home for the next few days.

We arrived in Dungloe at lunch time after a rocky ride across the country. With several hours to kill before we had to register and check in; the team headed off to a small lake that wasn't being used during the championships, called Tunny Lake. After a couple of hours fishing some members of the party lay down on the heather and went to sleep until the others decided that they had had enough. Some techniques had been discovered that day that would be used later in the week to great effect. We returned to our hotel for checking in, followed by a symposium on sea trout and the local area. A buffet was laid out and greatly appreciated by the many people who had eaten very little during the day's travel.

Wednesday saw the official practice day on the three match venues: Lough Meela, Tully Lake and Dungloe Lake. We were split up and groups sent to different lakes where we would fish all day. The sessions ran from 10.00am to 1.00pm then the boats returned for lunch until 2.00pm. We fished until 5.00pm when we returned to the hotel for dinner. Once dinner had finished the teams changed into their uniforms and awaited the official opening. This involved the fourteen teams from 10 countries (which were: England, Ireland, Wales, Czech Republic, Canada, U.S.A., Norway, Italy, Belgium and France) lining up behind bands and parading through the streets of Dungloe. We were met by the warmest of welcomes from the busy streets. After the opening ceremony the teams returned to their hotels. Both of the England teams were eager to discuss the day's findings on the loughs. After catching and returning 48 fish over 20cm during practice, the teams were quietly confident.

Thursday saw the start of the competition. Each angler would fish each of the three loughs once, for a three hour session. The fish were caught, measured and returned. Fish that were 20cm and above would count and a points' system was used to determine your placing on the section you were fishing. The position in which you finish, dictates the number of placing points scored. If you win your section you get 1 point if you are second you get 2 points and so on. The team with the lowest number of points after the three sessions would be crowned World Champions.

After the first session, England A were in first place closely followed by England B. The end of the second session brought a close to the first day's competition which still witnessed England A leading with England B in second place.

Friday morning was met with anticipation and nerves from some of the team members. This final session would determine if England A would walk away as the 1999 World Champions. As the boats returned to the harbours on each of the three loughs, members of the management waited desperately to see how the team had got on. Someone not catching would have spelt disaster for the team. News travelled from the other loughs that all of England A had caught and only one member of the B team had missed out on boating a legal-sized fish. This turned out not to matter for the B team, who took team silver ahead of the Czech republic, with England A taking the title of World Champions.

Friday evening saw the closing ceremony and medal presentation. This superb event was put on by the Trout Anglers Federation of Ireland (T.A.F.I.) with huge assistance from the Rosses Angling Club who supplied the fishing venues.

The England A-Team would like to thank their sponsors, Mssrs. Bruce & Walker who supplied rods, WWW.Fishing.co who helped greatly with funding, Sub Zero who supplied Team England fleeces and Fulling Mill who supplied flies and leader material. Thanks are also due to Anglian Water and John Marshall for the loan of inflatable life jackets.

The England A-Team consisted of:

Jonathan Tomlinson Captain Leon Brannigan Vice Captain Barry Nicholson Phillip Longstaff Steven Farmer Sam Stevens Travelling Reserve