A Brief History
“How it all started”
The idea for a
Commonwealth Fly fishing Championship originated
following a successful World Fly Fishing Championships
held on the River Test in England in May 1987.
Competitors from Australia, Canada and New Zealand
approached Annie and Arthur Humbert with the aim of
holding a separate competition based on the simple
mantra of “friendship in fishing”.
It was hoped to promote
the pleasure of fly fishing with the avoidance of
“politics” in the sport. Rule 1 of the original rules
states “Rules and organisation should be kept simple,
the twin aims are enjoyable fishing and companionship
and a chance to sample each others waters and methods.
The results to be secondary to these aims”. Mention
here should be made of the invaluable help and technical
advice we received from Tony Pawson. Annie and Arthur
with these aims in mind organised and held the inaugural
Championships with the enormous support and co-operation
of Jason and Barbara Garret at London Lakes Tasmania in
December 1988. Six teams from Australia, Canada,
England, New Zealand, Scotland and Wales participated
together with a celebrity team which included
Australia’s former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser. Below
is an excerpt from the itinerary from London Lakes and
as you can see it was a particularly early start to
London Lakes and Presentation of Prizes
Australia won the
Championship and handsome piscatorial prizes were
presented to the team members, a magnificent perpetual
trophy was donated by Jason Garret and presented to the
team most promoting friendship in fishing.
events have taken place since, England hosted the Championship in 1989,
Wales in 1990, with generous sponsorship from Welsh Water, New Zealand
in 1991, Canada in 1993 and Scotland in 1995.
Thereafter the Humber's
relinquished the reins and passed the management into
the capable hands of Jill Mandeno.