WORLD FLY FISHING CHAMPIONSHIP IN FRANCE – OCCITANIA 2024

The 43rd World Fly Fishing Championship, WFFC France 2024, will take place in the Pyrenees, in the Occitania region. This championship will feature the participation of 30 countries and 230 competitors. It will serve as a showcase to promote Fly Fishing in France beyond our borders.

In this article, you’ll find all the information you need to know if you’re participating or planning to visit this sporting event. Additionally, if you’re interested in hiring a local guide to learn about secret flies and the best techniques, don’t hesitate to contact us via email at flyfishingfr@gmail.com.

 

1- RIVERS AND LAKES WHERE THE FLY FISHING WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP IN FRANCE IS HELD

The French Fishing Federation, led by Fabien Domenge in collaboration with FFPS Mosca and FIPS Mosca, has chosen to host the upcoming World Fly Fishing Championship in the Occitania region of France. Specifically, it will take place in the departments of Ariege and Pyrenees Orientales.

Occitania, located in southern France, consists of 13 departments. Its area is slightly larger than Ireland and twice the size of Belgium. Encompassing cities like Toulouse and Montpellier, it spans from the Mediterranean beaches to the Pyrenees mountains.

The World Championship will be held on the north face of the Pyrenees, primarily in rivers flowing through the Regional Natural Park of the Pyrenees of Ariege and the Regional Natural Park of the Catalan Pyrenees.

This section of the Pyrenees is characterized by its high peaks and granitic materials.

The main rivers and sectors selected for the championship include:

    • Vicdessos River (Sector 1): Located in the Ariege department and very close to the small Principality of Andorra, the Vicdessos River is a small granitic stone river (acidic soil), about 15 meters wide, of glacial origin, situated within the Regional Natural Park of the Pyrenees of Ariege. This river hosts a healthy population of Mediterranean-origin striped brown trout, also known as zebra trout. Effective flies in this river include CDC patterns such as mayflies in spent or caddis. Pumpkin, black, and red-colored perdigones and those with an orange scarf are also highly effective.

    • Lakes of Carlit (Sector 2): In the high Cerdanya, near the Regional Natural Park of the Catalan Pyrenees, there are a series of mountain lakes frequented by hikers, with a circuit covering a total of 12 lakes. A selected series of lakes in this environment will serve as the second sector of the championship. In these lakes, trout often patrol the shores and are frequently caught in plain sight. Small nymphs or even ants are used for this purpose. Fishing with intermediate lines is also common when the fish are not active. Brown and rainbow trout can be found in these lakes.

    • Têt River (Sector 3): The Têt River is regulated for electricity generation, ensuring a more stable flow. Located near the Mediterranean Sea, it flows near the town of Prepiñan. This river, with beautiful Romanesque bridges like the one in Villefranche-de-Conflent, is an ideal spot for dry fly and dropper fishing. Anglers can catch brown trout in its waters.

    • Camporells Lakes (Sector 4): Camporells Lakes are high-altitude lakes located in the Eastern Pyrenees, near Puigcerda. Surrounded by an impressive alpine landscape at the base of Pic Péric, these lakes, like those in Carlit, occasionally witness brown trout hunting along the shores for insects and small larvae. When the fish are less active, anglers use nymphs with sinking lines of varying degrees. These lakes are home to beautiful brown trout.

    • Aude River (Sector 5): In the lower part, the river widens and becomes a plain watercourse with a much gentler slope. The profile is entirely different from the upper part and is more suitable for the development of common shadows.

2- WORLD FLY FISHING CHAMPIONSHIP PROGRAM IN FRANCE

Participant registration will take place on Friday, June 21, and the competition days will be on June 24, 25, 26, 27, and 28. As of now, the detailed program for participants and accompanying individuals has not been published.

The four official towns where the competition is centralized are as follows:

    • Font-Romeu: A charming town located in the Eastern Pyrenees, in the Occitania region of France. Known for its high-altitude ski resort, it is a popular destination in both winter and summer, offering opportunities for alpine sports, hiking, and cycling. It also features thermal waters and a stunning natural environment, making it a cherished place for mountain enthusiasts.

    • Prades: Located in the Occitania region of southern France, Prades is a charming town known for its rich history and architecture. It stands out for the Saint-Pierre church, built in Catalan Romanesque style, and its role as the venue for the famous Pablo Casals music festival. Surrounded by picturesque landscapes, Prades provides a unique cultural experience in a mountainous setting.

    • Quillan: Situated in the Occitania region of southeastern France, Quillan is a picturesque town on the banks of the Aude River. With its medieval charm and historical architecture, Quillan serves as a starting point for exploring the Cathar region. Surrounded by mountains and hills, the town offers outdoor activities such as hiking and water sports on the Aude River, along with local cultural events.

    • Tarascon-sur-Ariège: A town and commune located in the Occitania region, in the French department of Ariège, in the Foix district. It is situated in the French Pyrenees, on the banks of the Ariège River.

Please note that the specific program for participants and accompanying individuals is yet to be released.       

3- FAVORITE TEAMS AND ANGLERS TO WIN THE FLY FISHING WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP IN FRANCE

With the upcoming Fly Fishing World Championship in France – Occitania in June 2024, excitement is building among competitive fly fishing enthusiasts. This event, gathering the world’s best anglers, promises to be a highly technical and thrilling competition. Let’s take a closer look at some of the favorite teams and anglers who could clinch the coveted title:

Team Competition:

The host country, currently holding the top spot in the International Fly Fishing Federation rankings with the highest number of medals in world fly fishing championships, is considered the favorite. The home advantage, coupled with the team’s impressive track record, positions this country as a strong contender. However, it’s important to note that they will face significant pressure right from the start of the championship. Another nation widely seen as having strong chances is Spain, whose team has been performing at an equal or even better level than France in recent years. With the competition being held in close proximity to the Iberian country, the Spanish team is expected to be well-prepared and may experience less pressure than the French team, potentially playing to their advantage.

Some anglers from the Spanish team, such as Jordi Oliveras, live very close to the competition destination and are likely to have already explored and tested the rivers and lakes where the competition will take place. Other countries with strong contenders include Italy and the Czech Republic.

Individual Competition:

When examining the rankings of the International Fly Fishing Federation, it’s evident that the sectors and fishing stretches significantly influence the individual competition’s dynamics. Despite these challenges, two competitors have stood out in the past two years: French angler Julien Dagiillanes and Spanish angler David Arcay. These two competitors must be closely considered as they have demonstrated exceptional skill and performance in recent competitions.