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Kamloops man going to Scotland for world level fly fishing competition

Brian Danilkiewicz of Kamloops will be competing at the 2023 Commonwealth Fly Fishing Championship in Scotland.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Brian Danilkiewicz

An angler in Kamloops is going to Scotland to compete for Team Canada at the 2023 Commonwealth Fly Fishing Championship next spring.

Brian Danilkiewicz has been practicing, studying and honing his skills since he started taking the sport seriously around ten years ago.

“I blew out my knee playing lacrosse and needed something to do,” he said. “I’ve been fly fishing on and off since I was 16 and I sort jumped into it on a more professional, competitive level.” 

Danilkiewicz started researching the sport and practising every chance he got. He threw himself into many local competitions and then bigger competitions until he found himself competing on an international level.

He is passionate about the sport and excited about the upcoming trip overseas. 

“I love the camaraderie of the sport, especially in the local events,” he said. “I look at it as a day I get to go out and fish with a group of good friends and we just keep track of fish caught.”

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From smaller competitions over the year Fly Fishing Canada collects points on anglers and Danilkiewicz started climbing up the ranks. The board puts out a call for international events where anglers apply and a selection committee picks a team.

Danilkiewicz’s first trip oversees was to New Zealand in 2020 to compete at the Commonwealth Fly Fishing Championship, but his team was rushed home right before the competition as borders were closing due to COVID.

He was chosen again for the 2022 Canadian national fly fishing team to go to a small island in Scotland called Isla, which was postponed until 2023, again for COVID-related precautions, so he is more than ready to go. 

“I’ve never been to Scotland,” he said. “It won’t just be about fishing, our team will be toodling around the island and going to some distilleries. We are all excited about it.”

The team flies out in the middle of June and competes from June 27 to July 2. Of course, there will be new and different challenges. 

“The lakes are different than local lakes which make it a challenge,” he said. “The species of trout is brown trout which is different than what is in our local lakes so I will have to go to Washington to practise catching them.”

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The competition includes a series of challenges called sessions that include fishing out a boat and fishing off the shore against other teams, and trolling is not allowed.

“How you win a session is based off fish points,” Danilkiewicz said. “It is a combination of the number of fish caught and overall size in length. All fish need to be released, so it’s catch and release.”

He said the real prize is bragging rights.

“We are going over there to do the best we can,” he said. “This is a first international competition for some on the team. Getting into the top three would be a considered a win for us. There is no financial gain for winners, you get a little plaque or a medal you can hang around your neck. It's all about the bragging rights.”

Danilkiewicz owns Casting Loops Fly & Tackle at 40-1967 East Trans-Canada Highway in Valleyview. 


To contact a reporter for this story, email Shannon Ainslie or call 250-819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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