The World has a new Trout Fly Angling Champion. Banbridge Angling Club is delighted to announce that popular local angler Geoff Hylands has won the World Cup 2017 on Lough Mask. The World Cup, which was first fished in 1953, is the biggest, best and the most prestigious trout fly fishing competition in the world attracting almost 500 of the best fly fishers from across the world. The 2017 Competition was fished in heats and a final over a five day period from Thursday 3 August until Monday 7 August. Geoff qualified from the Sunday heat along with other local anglers Billy Graham, a former winner of the World Cup in 1999 and Joe Curran who finished a very credible 2nd and 5th respectively in the heat. Geoff is one of the Club’s top anglers and I understand that a number of the Club’s best fly tyers, especially Joe Curran, supplied him with some of their best lough patterns in preparation for the World Cup. Geoff qualified with one fish in the Sunday heat and he excelled in the final as the top rod with four fish for a total weight of just under 5lbs. Geoff said “I’ve fished the World Cup for twenty years and my previous best position was 15th. I’m absolutely delighted with the win today. All my fish were caught at the river outlet close to Shaw’s Bay. I would like to thank my boatman Laurence Gibb and my friend Joe Curran who tied the winning flies, a Claret Dabbler and Green Hopper.” This is only the tenth occasion when the World Cup has come to Northern Ireland and it is the second occasion when it has come to Banbridge, which is a fantastic achievement. Geoff is a very deserving winner. He is a great angler and he enjoys fly fishing locally at both the Corbet Lough and on the River Bann. Geoff’s success is a great achievement and honour for Geoff, Banbridge Angling Club and the Banbridge district. Congratulations Geoff – you are now officially the World Cup winner and the best fly fisher in the world in 2017.