With just under two months to go before the start of the World Youth Fly Fishing Championship (WYFFC), the excitement is building and participating teams are well under way with their preparations for the event. Rods, reels, lines, leaders and backing have all been thoroughly checked. Fly boxes are crammed with secret flies that may give these world class young anglers the edge in what promises to be an epic battle for this prestigeous title. In addition to the normal packing and practice sessions, a number of the competing teams have undertaken familiarisation trips to Ireland to find out more about the fishing venues and acclimate themselves to the fishing locations, fly and bug life and the style of fishing associated with each venue. On a recent visit to the River Fane, two members of the USA youth team Gabriel Wittosch (Georgia Regional Team) and Hunter Hoffler (Team North Carolina), who were accompanied by Bob Wittosch from Atlanta GA; met with Martin Cooper of the Dundalk Brown Trout Anglers and members of the WYFFC organising committee, Matt Campbell, Fred O’Hagan and Paddy Tennyson.

An Irish Welcome for USA Flyfishers. (L to R) Fred O'Hagan (WYFFC Organising Committee), Martin Cooper (Dundalk Brown Trout Anglers), Paddy Tennyson (WYFFC Organising Committee), Bob Wittosch, Atlanta GA., and Matt Campbell (WYFFC Organising Committee)

Gabriel and Hunter tested the waters of the River Fane in advance of the 23rd May moritorium after which no participants or their agents could fish at any of the competition venues. It was quite obvious that the lads were at well at home on this fantastic river as they reeled in trout after trout and although many of the trout were small in size, the experience gave them a great feel for the river. Trout were rising freely to olives hatching during warmer periods and this hatch was soon matched by these two accomplished young fly fishermen. Both anglers said that they “were looking to their return trip in July” when they would really have the opportunity to get to grips with Irish trout fishing.
This years 12th FIPS Mouche WYFFC, which is being hosted by the Trout Anglers Federation of Ireland (TAFI) takes place from 21st to 26th of July. It is being jointly organized by the Ulster and Leinster councils and run on a cross border basis between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) is the main sponsor of the event which is also part of the Gathering 2013. With up to ten teams expected to participate in this event, counties Louth, Monaghan and the border counties can expect increased visitor numbers in advance of and following the Championship. This will provide the area with an excellent opportunity to showcase to visitors the fantastic trout fishing and other activities available.
The opening ceremony takes place in Dundalk, County Louth on 21st July with the Carrickdale Hotel situated on the border as the championship headquarters. The marvellous setting of Hillsborough Castle, County Down hosts the official closing ceremony, the awarding of medals and a Conservation Symposium on 26th July.
For more information visit our website at www.wyffc.com  Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/wyffc.ireland
Gabriel Wittosch (bottom left) with Team Mate Hunter Hoffler (above) on the River Fane Co. Louth Recently

Gabriel Wittosch, USA, on the River Fane

Hunter Hoffler, USA, Plays a Trout at Castlering Bridge on the River Fane