Juan Del Carmen On Competitive Fly Fishing

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Juan Del Carmen left his home of Pamplona, Spain, in search of fly fishing opportunities. Landing in Australia, he worked his way from learning the basics to becoming a certified casting instructor. Now, working with both the Spanish and English international teams as a Technical Director, Juan embraces competition and believes it’s a sure way to improve your angling skills.

On this episode, you will learn about the often misunderstood world of competition fly fishing along. 

Outline of this Episode

[1:11]  Juan is from Papua New Guinea…or is he?

[4:53]  Big move to Australia 

[16:44] Getting the inside information from the local shop

[20:58] Trout fishing in Spain

[23:37] What is competition fly fishing?

[46:56] Atlantic Salmon in Spain

[1:01:20] 54 casts per minute 

[1:08:29] What does a Technical Director do?

Why do people get into competition fly fishing

Juan explains that competition fly fishing is more than just ego, even though that is involved. It comes down to wanting to be the best and learning from the best. As a competitor, you connect and learn from the local experts of the region you are competing in. The desire to learn and excel is what pushes competitors to spend countless hours working on the water. 

Special techniques in competition fly fishing

There are similarities in techniques used between the teams. However, there are strategies specific groups use that differ from their competition. One example is the Spanish team’s use of greased silk lines for their dry fly presentations. The line can hold the water, so it doesn’t fall off during the cast and make small splashes with the droplets. A little detail that most anglers wouldn’t think about, but for the competitors, it could mean spooking some fish and not performing as well as their counterparts. Along with tried and true techniques that teams have developed, there is still the desire to keep perfecting their angling to get more fish. 

On Negativity

Juan recognizes that there are many strong opinions around the competition in fly fishing, but he focuses on what he loves to do and not what others say about it. Juan’s commitment to not let others’ negativity pull him down was a reminder of the book “The War Of Art” by Steven Pressfield. 

“We must do our work for its own sake, not for fortune or attention or applause.”- Steven Pressfield.    

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