Skip to main content

Burned by the Professional Fly Angler Tour

Cody Burgdorff celebrates his 2014 PFA Tour Championship win.

In 2014, 23 fly fishers paid up to $12,000 each to join the world's first professional fly-fishing tournament series. Modeled partly after the Professional Golf Association Tour, the idea was to promote a series of events offering significant cash prizes for top finishers.

Colorado fly fisher Cody Burgdorff paid $12,000 to join the Professional Fly Angler (PFA) Tour, won the championship event in September 2014, and was presented with a oversize fake check made out to the amount of $25,000, but according to Burgdorff he never got that money.

"It was basically sold to us as a way to promote what we're passionate about — fly fishing — while still making a decent living doing it," Burgdorff told a Denver ABC News affiliate.


https://youtu.be/EUqz_DGu1Z0


The PFA Tour was started by Anthony Naranja of Denver Colorado who spent 10 years with the amateur organization Fly Fishing Team USA — some of those as a team captain. Some members of Fly Fishing Team USA like Maktima and Weiss also paid money to compete in the PFA Tour, but the two should not be confused. One is an amateur nonprofit organization with a long, credible history that ended with a team silver medal at the most recent world championships. The PFA Tour is owned and operated by Anthony Naranja.

According to Burgdorff, Naranja also collected entry fees for a 2015 season and also a "rookie camp" planned for early 2015, but none of that ever happened. He says Naranja paid two installments on the 2014 prize money and then, "He just basically disappeared, wouldn't answer emails, wouldn't answer facebook posts, wouldn't answer calls, he still owes me about $19,000." Burgdorff is a college student and works at Front Range Anglers fly shop in Boulder Colorado. He says he doesn't have the resources to pursue any legal action.

While Burgdorff won the final event of 2014 billed as the PFA Tour championship, Pat Weiss of Pennsylvania won the inaugural event at Steamboat Springs, Colorado, earlier in the year. His prize money was supposed to be $20,000 and he too received a giant check for promotional purposes, but he didn't actually get the money. Like Burgdorff, Weiss received two small "installment payments" and never heard from Naranja again.

"He jacked a lot of people over including organizers, on-air personalities, and film crews," said Weiss of Naranja. "Basically, everybody who was involved got hosed."


Weiss has filed a complaint against Naranja with the Colorado Attorney General's Office.

The PFA Tour web site is still operational but the published phone number and email address are no longer in service.

Click here to see a video trailer promoting a 2014 PFA Tour event.


Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Scientific Anglers Amplitude Infinity

Scientific Anglers Amplitude Infinity

Scientific Anglers Amplitude Infinity

George Daniels Hauling Tuck Cast

George Daniels Hauling Tuck Cast

George Daniels Hauling Tuck Cast

Hobie MirageDrive 360 Kayak Propulsion: Amazing Control and Power

Hobie MirageDrive 360 Kayak Propulsion: Amazing Control and Power

The Hobie MirageDrive 360 pedal propulsion system is the pinnacle of kayak control with more efficient fin designs, glide technology and allows the boat to be moved in any direction.

Tying the Double Barrel Popper

Tying the Double Barrel Popper

All these tricks can be put to use on poppers or sliders for anything with fins, from panfish to billfish.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Fish are cold-blooded, so their body temperature reflects that of the water in which they swim.Temps for Trout: How to Catch Fish that Behave Hot n Cold Trout

Temps for Trout: How to Catch Fish that Behave Hot n Cold

Hilary Hutcheson - July 15, 2020

Fish are cold-blooded, so their body temperature reflects that of the water in which they swim.

How to deliver meat & potatoes to hungry troutTools for Streamer Fishing Beginners

Tools for Streamer Fishing

George Daniel - February 10, 2020

How to deliver meat & potatoes to hungry trout

This line control is one of the unique aspects of fly fishing.How to Mend, Set the Hook, and Strip Line Beginners

How to Mend, Set the Hook, and Strip Line

Landon Mayer | Illustrations by Joe Mahler - August 11, 2020

This line control is one of the unique aspects of fly fishing.

See More Trending Articles

More Industry

He left a lasting legacy on the sport of fly fishing.Ed Shenk Influenced Us All Industry

Ed Shenk Influenced Us All

Ross Purnell - April 15, 2020

He left a lasting legacy on the sport of fly fishing.

We need more young people to become fly fishers.The Herb Miller Scholarship for Diversity Industry

The Herb Miller Scholarship for Diversity

Fly Fisherman Staff - January 05, 2021

We need more young people to become fly fishers.

Cast your nominations for the 2021 Conservationist of the Year.2021 Conservationist of the Year Industry

2021 Conservationist of the Year

Fly Fisherman - April 14, 2020

Cast your nominations for the 2021 Conservationist of the Year.

See More Industry

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Fly Fisherman App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Fly Fisherman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now