• James Parry

Hudsonite Donald Thom leads Canada to victory in Commonwealth Fly Fishing Championships


PHOTO COURTESY DONALD THOM

Coached by Hudsonite Donald Thom and using barbless hooks for catch and release, Colin Huff was photographed getting in some early morning practice September 14 in Vail, Colorado, on the eve of representing Canada together with five team mates in the World Fly Fishing Championships this weekend.

As a kid growing up in the heart of the village of Hudson, Donald Thom would spend every free minute he could fishing for trout in the small Viviry Creek that runs through the town into the Ottawa River and Lake of Two Mountains.

More recently, and as one of Canada's top fly fishermen and with numerous international honours and trophies to prove it including Vice World Champion 2009, he bagged what had to be one of his greatest catches ever. As captain and coach, seeing his Senior Team making history by winning the Gold Medal at the Commonwealth Fly Fishing Championships held at Mont Tremblant, Quebec, and one of his protégées, 21 year-old Colin Huff of Chelsea, Ontario, also taking home gold for best individual competitor.

“Competition was fierce as we were up against some 14 teams - both men’s and women - from 10 different countries,” Thom told Your Local Journal in an exclusive interview this week. “And I am so proud that we swept the podium. It was a lot of hard work and a real thrill for us all.”

Competing countries comprised, in addition to Canada, England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Malta, and the Isle of Mann.

PHOTO COURTESY DONALD THOM

Coached by Hudsonite Donald Thom, third from left, Team Canada winners sport their gold medals at the recent Commonwealth Fly Fishing Championships in Mont Tremblant, Quebec. From left to right:

Ivo Balinov individual Bronze, Colin Huff individual Gold, Donald Thom Captain, John Beaven Manager, Todd Oishi, Keefer Pitfield, David Forgeron, Ian Troop, and Jeremiah Hamilton.

Said Thom, who now lives on a 350-acre farm in Cantley, Ontario, just north of the Gatineau Hills complete with its own beautiful lake and who formerly coached Canada's Youth Team which included both Huff and Hudsonite, Alex Baumeister, “They certainly did Canada proud!”

Added Thom, “In this day and age, when so many kids are hooked up to their computers, playing video games, or texting to their friends nonstop, these youngsters – through fly fishing – have come to learn more about nature, conservation, and the importance of looking after our planet.”

As YLJ goes to press, Huff and five of his fellow Canada Team members are competing in the World Fly Fishing Championships in Vail, Colorado. Will keep you posted as to the outcome.

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