Results of the XV Commonwealth Fly Fishing Championships, Tasmania 2012
True to its name, Australia’s Gold Team was awarded Gold in the prize winner ceremony for the XV Commonwealth Fly Fishing Championships, which was held at a Gala dinner hosted by the event’s major private sponsor, Country Club Tasmania on Saturday 18 February. The Australian Gold Team won first place, England second and Northern Ireland third, based on the cumulative scores of team members over the five three hour fishing sessions each at Arthurs Lake, Woods Lake, Little Pine Lagoon and the Meander and South Esk rivers from Thursday 16 to Saturday 18 February.
Tasmania’s own Christopher Bassano won the Gold Medal. This was Christopher’s debut in an international competition, having only recently taken up competitive angling. Well known for his outstanding fishing prowess in Tasmania, he performed consistently at the front of the field and it stood out in the scores. He was backed by a winning team including local boys and experienced competitors, Joe Riley and Craig Carey, along with Emilio Caggiano, Steve Seclier and Tim Strong, and Team Captain and President of Fly Fish Australia, Craig Coltman.
Campbell Baird from Northern Ireland was exceptional during the competition and won the Silver medal in the Individual Award. This was his first time in Tasmania and the first time N. Ireland had entered a team in the Commonwealths. The team gave an outstanding performance, winning the Bronze Medal, even more amazing given their joint level of experience as the most youthful team with members aged in their late teens and early twenties.
John Tyzack from England won the individual Bronze Medal and England won the Team’s Silver Medal. England was considered a threat to Australia given the calibre of its team and their expertise in still water fly fishing.
The Friendship Trophy, given to the team that brings the most to the Championships in a social and cultural sense, was awarded to the team from Kiribati. This was the first time the members of this team had travelled from their home or fished in a competition or fished for trout. They adapted well to the fishing conditions in Tasmania and to catching trout, and bagged a respectable number of fish during the competition.