Fly-fishing simulators over the past 15 years have mostly sucked, possibly because they were made by guys who love to fish, but aren’t great at video games (and vise versa). Oddly, there is now a fully functional and enjoyable fly-fishing simulator out there, but it’s just a small part of the game Far Cry 5, an action-adventure first-person shooter game developed and published by Ubisoft for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
The game setting is the fictional Hope County, Montana, where an unnamed deputy is forced to liberate the country from a cult called Eden’s Gate. Of course, if you’re an off-duty deputy in Montana, you’d fly fish in all your spare time, catching bull trout and cutthroat trout and occasional defending yourself against cougar attacks, armed cultists, and other intrusions that interfere with your fishing time.
Many first-person shooter enthusiasts seem intrigued by the fly-fishing aspect. So much so that they find themselves ignoring the first-person shooter aspect of the game, and fishing the waters of Hope County Montana for hours on end.
There are fishing records published on the wall of an abandoned lodge. Try to break those, or fish for the massive trout locals know as only “The Admiral.” It seems that gamers like the fishing aspect so much, that Youtube guides are popping up all over the place—but instead of showing how to win the game, fellow players demonstrate how to get improved fishing rods, how to break state fishing records, or how to catch a paddlefish on a fly rod.
In the end, it’s not as good as real fly fishing, but it’s the closest I’ve ever seen.
And if it gives a generation of gamers even a glimpse of what fly fishing is really like — everybody wins.
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