Berwickshire angler picked for Scotland world championship team

Leitholm's Keith Renton at the European Fly Fishing Championships
Leitholm's Keith Renton at the European Fly Fishing Championships

A Leitholm angler has been selected for the World Fly Fishing Championships this year, netting a one-two for the village.

Keith Renton, who runs his own joinery business was this week announced as part of the five-man team to represent Scotland at the Championships, to be held in Bosnia in June.

He follows fellow Leitholm man Derek Logan who was a team member last year.

An announcement by the team selectors this week read: “Once again the Scottish National Fly Fishers League (SNFFL) is pleased to announce our participation in the 35th FIPS-Mouche World Fly Fishing Championships 2015, due to take place in Jajce, Bosnia and Hercegovina, from the 15th to the 21st of June.

“Having cogitated, digested and calculated 2014’s league positions, the team selection for this year’s prestigious event is as follows: Steve Corsar, John McCallum, Keith Renton, David Downie and David Walker.

“I’m sure you will join us in congratulating this great bunch of guys on their selection and wish them every success as they take centre stage with the rest of the world’s elite anglers, competing for the ultimate prize in fly fishing.”

Keith, who has previously represented Scotland in two European Championships, said that he was surprised but very excited to be selected.

“I hadn’t thought that I would qualify for these championships,” he said. “There is a two league system in place, with five rounds through the year, so it’s quite a tough selection process.

“I actually had my eye on qualifying for next year’s competition, which will be in Colorado, somewhere I’ve never been.”

Rather than the States, Keith is packing his bags for eastern Europe, where the river will be a different test to those he fishes in Britain.

“In Britain, I manage to get out on rivers the length and breadth of the country.

“Of course, i run my own joinery and building business, which eats into my fishing time, but I still manage to get out.

“Over there, for the competition, the river is all snow melt,” he further explained, “it’s all very fast flowing, and gin-clear waters, so that will be a real challenge - especially at my age!”

To that end, the Scotland team will be over in Bosnia and Hercegovina for a week of training before the competition proper starts on June 15.

Keith said that he is fairly optimistic about Scotland’s chances.

“There is a lot of competition, with teams from all over the world. We’re looking to finish in the top half. If you’re in the top ten, then I think you’ve done very well indeed.

“Really, though, it’s more about the sense of community that you experience.

“Through competitions like this I’ve met anglers from all over the world, Europe, America, and Australia, and it’s great to talk and share stories with them. And it means that there’s always someone to meet up with and stay with when you’re fishing in a foreign country.”

For more details and to follow the championships, search Facebook for ‘Team Scotland’.