U.S. Youth Fly Fishing Team Takes Silver

The eleventh FIPS-Mouche World Youth Fly Fishing Championships ended last Friday with Team USA bringing home two medals for the second year in a row. This year’s competition was held in the Lozére region of southeastern France and involved teams from 11 countries fishing three streams and one lake.

Headquartered in State College, the USA’s travel team consisted of six teens. Team members hail from California, Colorado, Texas and Pennsylvania. Only five anglers can fish at a given time while one serves as an alternate.

At the competition, the 55 young anglers from 11 countries were divided by lottery into five groups of 11 contestants — one from each of the 11 international teams. Each group of 11 fished a different water during the five 3-hour sessions that make up the world competition. All anglers are assigned a “beat” that consists of 300-350 meters of stream, monitored by a judge, called a controller. With each trout and grayling (or other fish at the lake venue) caught, the contestant takes it to the controller to measure, record and then release the fish back into the water.

Eighteen-year-old Austen Randecker, a graduate of Central Mountain High School, finished in third place in the individual standings and took home a bronze medal. He also won the 2012 US Nationals, which were held June 22-23, in Cherokee, N.C. During the 2011 Nationals — held in central Pennsylvania — he finished tenth. Randecker will enter Penn State this fall to major in chemical engineering.

“Austen fished like a champion,” commented coach Bourcq. “He possesses a tremendous skill set and ability and he never needed to be watched. I knew that he would stick to our game plan and do well.”

Cody Burgdorff, who placed eighth, caught the largest fish of any USA anglers — a 20-inch European grayling. Burgdorff, who hails from Lafayette, Colo., also won the America Cup Loch Tournament, which was held June 17, near Avon, Colo. Robbie Wirth, from Moraga, Calif., finished at No. 10 and was the third USA angler to place in the top ten in the individual standings.

Cody is the third from the left

Cody got his first big fly fishing opportunity when he was sponsored by the  Boulder Flycasters to attend the CTU Camp in 2008.