Let’s dive into the other spectrum of the league, the individual or “free agent” angler. I interviewed Joseph Kwolek to get his take on competitive fly fishing, the league and more.
Ben- “How long have you been competing and what brought you to the competition scene?
Joseph- “I started competitive fly fishing in early 2018. I wanted to learn more about Euro Nymphing and thought that this would be a great way to learn and a cool way to catch big fish at some of the events.”
Ben- ” What were your goals for last season and did you accomplish them? If so what were the keys to your success.?”
Joseph- “When I started comp fishing in early 2018 I was still uncomfortable with the Euro technique. I was still dry-dropping and soon realized that I needed to advance my skills. I set a goal to start Euro Nymphing 100% of the time in order to get better. It was not until the summer of 2018 that I really felt I had a good grasp of the technique and was able to catch fish consistently.”
Ben- ” What are your goals for this season and how do you plan to achieve them?
Joseph- “Goals are pretty much the same. Improve my small stream abilities while continuing to work on presentation and landing skills. I plan on fishing as many events as possible in 2019, as well as hitting the smaller streams in N GA/N Carolina.”
Ben- ” Do you have a favorite fly Pattern?”
Joseph- “Just depends on the stream and time of year. The Pats(Girdle Bug) is my favorite anchor fly though…”
Ben- ” What is your go to technique when competing? ”
Joseph- “Finding the seems and pockets. I learned about the seems and pockets growing up fishing and it is a tried and true way to find the fish.”
Ben- ” For someone interested in competing or starting out, what would be your advice to them?”
Joseph- “Ask questions and observe all the competitors. I learned a ton this past year at various clinics and comps by watching other folks and their techniques”
Ben- ” Why did you choose to compete in the SEFFL and after its first year what do you think about the league in general?”
Joseph- ” I think the league has a lot to offer both the experienced angler and the new comer to the sport. I like the group of folks that fish in the league and enjoy our time together.”
Ben- ” You are fairly new to competition. What are your thoughts on how it affects the sport, positive or negative?”
Joseph- “I do not dwell on negative feedback on competition fishing. Man has always competed in one sport or another. I think it helps make better fishermen, and it helps in the organizations that put on the events or are donated to by the events.”
Ben- ” What was your favorite event so far and why?”
Joseph- “Any event that is not affected by the rain… Seriously though, my first comp early in 2018 was my favorite. Even though I did not finish well it was a great learning experience. Since about mid-2018 I started fishing with my son so they are all my favorite no matter where we finish.”
Ben- “Have you been able to apply what you learned competing to be a more succesfull angler outside of competition? ”
Joseph- “Most definitely. When I started Euro Nymphing I was still fishing way too far away from where I stood. I did not realize how close you can get to some of the fish and still catch them. In stocker streams, this technique really lands the fish consistently.”
Ben- “Open forum, anything you want to add, you can add below.”
Joseph- “I would be interested in events outside of fishing like fly tying nights. I started tying my own stuff this year and really like it but still have to learn a bunch.”