Local angler Andrew Rea was one of Ireland’s star performers at the recent 30th Youth Home International fly fishing competition at the famous Grafham Water, Cambridgeshire, England.
Andrew, who was fishing in the Ireland team for the second year, was one of the 14 strong team that travelled to Grafham Water on August 3 to fish against Scotland, Wales and the host nation England.
During the two practice days the Ireland team and its mentors did their homework, identifying the hot spots, the depth the fish were feeding at and the killer flies. As a result the team was full of confidence on competition day.
The team was also highly motivated to get revenge over the England team which had beaten it in Ireland two years previously. Within a few drifts the Irish anglers received the word that it was going to be a very close competition with Scotland, England and Ireland catching regularly and Wales struggling in fourth place.
Throughout the day Scotland, England and Ireland were neck and neck as all anglers fished hard to try and win the coveted gold medal. At the weigh-in the anglers knew it was a very close competition and no-one was sure who had won. In the end Scotland were declared the winners and gold medalists with a total catch of 38 fish weighing 80lbs 7ozs.
Ireland finished in a fantastic second position and silver medalists with a total catch of 32 fish weighing 66lbs 4ozs. England finished in 3rd position with Wales finishing in 4th position.
Andrew had a fantastic day catching 4 fish for 7lbs 15.5ozs, including a magnificent Rainbow of 3lbs 9.6ozs which was team Ireland’s heaviest fish earning him the Lough Owel trophy and 10th position overall out of 56 competing anglers. Andrew thanks Banbridge Angling Club, Martin Dynes, Competition Secretary, David McCreedy and his fellow juvenile anglers in the Club for their support and encouragement.
He also thanked James Coburn and Sons, Scarva Street, Banbridge for their sponsorship towards the cost of travelling to the competition. Last but not least Andrew also paid a special tribute to his father, Stephen. Stephen introduced Andrew to fly fishing and passed on all the knowledge and skills to help Andrew become one of the best juvenile anglers in the British Isles.
Andrew is a great ambassador for Banbridge Angling Club, the Banbridge district and the sport of fly fishing. Banbridge Angling Club is proud of Andrew and wish him continued angling success in the future.
Andrew encourages other young anglers in the Club to consider competing in international fly fishing competitions.
If you wish to find out more, contact Andrew or David McCreedy and they will be very happy to advise you and point you in the right direction.