Team USA wins World Youth Fly Fishing Championships
2015 World Youth Fly Fishing Championships
3.Czech" target="_blank">ListNumb">3.Czech Republic
4.South" target="_blank">ListNumb">4.South Africa
1.Hunter" target="_blank">ListNumb">1.Hunter Hoffler, USA
2.Mason" target="_blank">ListNumb">2.Mason Sims, USA
3.Emilo" target="_blank">ListNumb">3.Emilo Jose Berjaga, Spain
4.Libor" target="_blank">ListNumb">4.Libor Marienka, Czech Republic
5.Bartek" target="_blank">ListNumb">5.Bartek Zajac, Poland
6.Hunter" target="_blank">ListNumb">6.Hunter Enloe, USA
7.Cam" target="_blank">ListNumb">7.Cam Chioffi, USA
8.Filip" target="_blank">ListNumb">8.Filip Svasek, Czech Republic
9.Brennan" target="_blank">ListNumb">9.Brennan Lund, Canada
10.Warwick" target="_blank">ListNumb">10.Warwick Reid, South Africa
If you’re a member of Team USA’s youth fly-fishing squad, then click your wader heels together three times and repeat, “There’s no place like home.”
Team USA won its third straight world title, and its fourth in five years — this one in the U.S., specifically on three rivers and two lakes in Eagle and Summit counties.
This week is the first time the World Youth Fly Fishing Championships have been contested in the United States. They were in Poland last year, and the Czech Republic the year before that.
More than 200 young anglers from 10 countries were in town for the 14th annual event. The 36th annual men’s world championships are here next summer.
“It’s a big deal to be defending a world title on home waters,” said Cam Chioffi, a member of the U.S. team since 2012, and the 2013 individual world champion.
Chioffi may have an individual world title in his creel, but that didn’t make him the favorite, he said.
“Anyone on this team could do it,” he said, pointing to his teammates.
He was correct, of course. On the way to its world title, Team USA took four of the top 10 spots.
Hunter Hoffler was this year’s gold medalist, and Mason Sims won the silver. Chioffi was sixth and Hunter Enloe was seventh for the U.S.
Team USA edged Poland and the Czech Republic in the team standings.
Vail Valley native Jack Arnot got to hoist that huge world team champion trophy Saturday evening in Vail Mountain Plaza, after he fished his way onto the U.S. team. He’s a freshman at Vail Christian High School, or will be when school starts this week.
To get here, competitors worked their way up through their national rankings at local and regional qualifiers around the globe. That earned them a spot on their nation’s teams.
Everyone fishes everything, two lakes and three rivers: the Colorado River, Blue River, Eagle River, Sylvan Lake and Dillon Reservoir.
“Everyone has their own way of doing things,” Arnot said.
Arnot spent his week fishing at Sylvan Lake – not a bad place to spend his last week of summer vacation.
Sure, he had a bit of a home court advantage, but when you’re as good as these competitors are, you can look at a river and read it like it’s a large print edition comic book.
They can tell you where the fish are, what weight flies to use, what weight line to use … just about everything they need to know to catch fish.
And that’s what you need to know to win a world title.
How to win the worlds
The world champion is the angler who catches the most fish. Competitors earn 100 points per fish and 20 points per centimeter for the length of each fish. The minimum length is 20 centimeters, which is about eight inches.
The key to winning, said organizer John Knight, is to be able to catch fish after they’ve been pursued all week like they’re the prom queen holding the numbers for a winning lottery ticket.
About America Cup
The America Cup founders John and Jodi Knights won the bid in 2011 to bring the World Youth Fly Fishing Championships to the Vail Valley. They’re bringing the men’s world championships here next summer. The America Cup promotes competitive and amateur fly-fishing in the state, nation and world. The money they raise goes to Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, which is dedicated to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled, active duty military personnel and veterans through fly-fishing outings and fly-tying education.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
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