Update 3 on Team Kiribati trip to the WFFC

The weather continues to play havoc with the teams fishing the highland lakes. The exposure of Little Pine Lagoon has meant some”surf like” conditions at the boat ramp. This meant that the only place that could be comfortably fished was on the lee side of the hill opposite the ramp. All teams found the fishing tough as the winds stirred up the shallow water.

This is an area near Penstock Lagoon on Thursday morning that shows deer in a paddock blanketed with snow.

Wednesday saw the team still holding 22nd position in front of Wales. Some really tough beat allocations and fishing saw a couple of the team members draw blanks on Thursday. They weren’t the only ones as some of the more fancied teams members also caught zero for the session. This is to be expected late in the competition due to the same pieces of water being fished on a daily basis. Yesterdays result saw them slide down the list to below Wales.

Today, Friday is the last day of competition. Reports have filtered through that there was again snow last night but the wind speed had dropped marginally. The team arrived home in good spirits as they all caught fish which made a huge impact on the standings. Session standings  for the day were Kiribati 13, Poland 14, Belgium 15, South Africa 16, Netherland 17, Luxenberg 18, Canada 19, Mongolia 20, Wales 21 and Japan 22.

The standings for the competition are the top 3 are France 1st, Czeck Republic 2nd and Spain 3rd with Australia finishing 7th just in front of England at 8th. Kirbati finished at 19th followed by Japan at 20, Mongolia at 21st and Wales at 22nd. Individually for the competition, the finishing order was Eketi 86th, Beia 87th, TK 89th, Menty 93rd and Taatoa 99th out of 114 fishing. If they had been a bit luckier on the tough days when fish were lost, their standings would have been a lot higher……but that’s fishing.

Taking all things into account though, this has been a spectacular effort on their part considering that they have never fished for trout. An even greater effort when the harsh daily weather conditions that they have never had to endure previously are taken into account. There was never a complaint and they stood up ready to go fishing every day. They have done themselves and their country proud with the dedication they have put in.  I think their sentiments can be summed up in a statement made by TK, “I have always wanted to see snow, now that I have, I don’t want to see it again”.

Saturday night is the award presentation dinner and we fly back to Brisbane on Monday at 4pm. They head back to CXI on Tuesday.  This means that there will be some free time on Saturday and Sunday so no doubt there will be a bit of retail therapy at Kmart and Target before heading home.

Due credit for their success has to go to Jim Williams for passing on his knowledge from previous competitions and Peter Woods for the production of the location specific flies. It also would not have been possible without the support of the sponsors and the “friends of CXI” who donated cash to make it happen. On behalf of the team, I would like to thank you one and all.

Update 2 on Team Kiribati Trip to the WFFC

The team arrived in Launceston last Saturday, checked into the Hotel Grand Chancellor where they would be staying until the 9th December before returning to CXI. A parade through Launceston was followed by an opening ceremony. The tradition fishing hats gained a lot of attention and they looked sharp in the uniform. A proud moment when the team was presented to the public

The country names were carried by students from St Pats and Mason who carried the Kiribati name plate was given a hat as a to-ken of appreciation. He was over the moon and was the centre of attention with his fellow students. Hope he doesn’t wear it to school and it would not be approved school uniform.

Sunday was taken up with competition briefings and finding out where the individuals would fish on Monday…..either one of 2 rivers on foot or 3 lakes out of boats. Once this information was available, it was a late night preparing the gear and flies specific for each location.
Monday dawned with horrific conditions for the 3 lakes located in the central highlands. Snow, sleet, rain and small hail were all encountered. Below is a photo taken at one of the venues.

Needless to say, they were cold when they returned back to Launceston and a hot shower was the order of the day. The 2 members who fished the rivers had better conditions but the wind chill was still a big factor.
Given the conditions, the team did well considering that they just started trout fishing 2 weeks ago and couldn’t tell the difference between an nymph and a wet and thought a shrek was something from a cartoon movie and an emerger was who knows what.

Team position is #22 just ahead of Wales.
Menty—caught 4 fish in the conditions above and stands at #48
Beia—I think was still shivering this morning caught 2 fish (one cracker in Penstock) is #82
TK—had shocking luck and dropped 4 fish so blanked out.
Eketi— caught 2 fish in the river and is #88
Taatoa—(Now called Mr T) caught 1 fishing the river and is #103

Tuesday—They fish different locations today but the weather conditions are the same if not worse. The extensive preparation for the trip to take into account the potential conditions was well worth the expense. Even though they had 2 weeks in the high country to get used to the cold yesterday came as a shock to a couple of the members who didn’t heed the advice about layering to combat the cold. A valuable lesson was learned and they headed off today well rugged up.

For Information on the Championship – https://www.wffc2019.com
Contact: NIAL LOGAN Phone in Aust: 0417 426 282
Email: niall@learntoflyfish.net Web: www.learntoflyfish.net