Staff members of Brush Creek Ranch proudly welcomed Activities Director Josh Graffam home to the ranch after his successful 13th place finish at the 2013 Fly Fishing World Championships, held in Mosjoen, Norway last month. Graffam, and his six teammates on Team USA, placed 5th overall, in a field of 125 competitors representing 27 countries.
“My experience at the world level was unbelievable,” says Graffam, “The people of Norway were extremely welcoming, the organizers did a fantastic job running the event, and the scenery was gorgeous. The fishing was definitely challenging in this particularly region; if you were able to catch even one fish on a couple of the very difficult venues, you were doing well.”
The venues included three rivers and two lakes in Mosjoen, which is centrally located in the Vefsna region of Norway and only 45 miles from the Arctic Circle. “It was crazy being that far north, we only had four hours of darkness a night,” says Josh.
In competitive fly fishing, anglers are split into five groups, with whom they fish each sector (a river or lake) for the duration of the contest. Each sector is divided into “beats,” for the number of fishermen in the group. In this case, there were 25 beats for each venue. Generally, beats are 150 yards worth of water, which competitors fish for three hours. Points are awarded based on the size and number of fish caught. “The game,” says Josh, “is to learn how to use every bit of your water.”
Anglers fished for brown trout and European grayling, all wild fish in this region, which played to Graffam’s advantage, because the waters he practices on in Wyoming are comparable.
“We have a freestone river system here on Brush Creek Ranch and in the surrounding Platte River Valley, and it is consistently changing conditions due to the seasons. I have a multitude of options available to me – from boat fishing, to wade fishing, to canyon fishing, to small creek fishing. That kind of variety in one area is special, especially being that it is all wild fish. It’s good training for me.”
Brush Creek Ranch hosted Team USA for a practice session in April, which Graffam says was important for team bonding as much as it was for fishing. “The ranch provided the perfect setting for us to come together and gel as a team, while being able to enjoy all the other activities the ranch offers as well. My teammates were really impressed with the property and facilities.”
As Activities Director for the ranch, Graffam’s key role is to manage the entire team of guides for all ranch activities, which allows him less time for guiding, though he plays a prominent role in overseeing the fly fishing program. “For the same reasons that I choose to live and train here, I am excited for our guests at Brush Creek Ranch. They have the opportunity to fish the Encampment and North Platte Rivers, Brush Creek, as well as our numerous ponds and lakes. It’s all right here and it’s world class fishing.”
Next up for Josh is the U.S National Championships in the first weekend in October, in Aspen Colorado. He currently sits in first place in points in the country, and has already qualified for the 2014 World Championships in the Czech Republic.
“I can’t say enough about my Brush Creek family, and specifically the White Family, for the support they’ve shown for my fishing career over the last few years. I am extremely grateful.”
Honored as a prestigious Orvis-Endorsed Fly-Fishing Lodge, Brush Creek Ranch offers top-of-the-line equipment and guide services for novices and experts alike to create a truly once-in-a-lifetime fully outfitted fly fishing experience. For more information, or to plan your fly fishing adventure at Brush Creek Ranch, call 307-327-5284.