Fly Fishing Olympian Heads to London

Fly Fishing Olympian Heads to London

Ryan Hall hasn't been getting much fly fishing in while preparing for the 2012 Summer Olympics

America will be watching Ryan Hall of Redding, California, when he runs the marathon in the 2012 London Summer Olympics. In the 2011 Boston Marathon Hall finished in fourth place but with a time of 2:04:58, it was the fastest marathon time ever recorded by an American. Kenya's Geoffrey Mutai won the event, breaking the world record by 57 seconds, and he credited Hall with setting a fast early pace to set up the record time. At the London Olympics, Hall will be America's best chance at a marathon medal since Meb Keflezighi (an immigrant from Eritrea) won a silver medal in the 2004 Olympics.

When Hall isn't logging miles of running to compete as an Olympian, he's an avid fly fishing olympian. Here's an exclusive interview between Hall and Fly Fisherman editor Ross Purnell:

RP: How did you get started fly fishing and how did it affect your life?


RH: I started fly fishing in Mammoth Lakes, California, when I was in college. We used to go up to Mammoth in the summers for training and vacation.  I remember hooking up on my first session. I have been hooked ever since. Fly fishing is one of my favorite hobbies.


RP:Does your wife Sara ever go fly fishing with you?


RH:Hah, not really. She hates fishing but sometimes she will come along just to keep me company and to enjoy some of the scenic places that I get to fish. Her whole family is made up of avid fly fishers, so their family vacations were always fly-fishing trips which she could never get into. She swore she would never marry a someone who liked fly fishing, but some how I still won her over.

RP:Do you ever mix in fly fishing when traveling for race events?


RH: Not typically. I would love to do some more fly-fishing trips because when I am racing I am pretty dialed in on preparing for the race, which entails a lot of time lying around in hotel rooms. Also, most of my races are in major cities which aren't really known for fly fishing. I have yet to make it out to Idaho, Montana, or Alaska but they are high on my bucket list.

RP:Has your training for the upcoming London Olympics eclipsed any opportunities for fly fishing, or can you still work in some relaxation time on "easy" training days?


RH:I have actually had some of my best fly-fishing experiences while training for the Olympics. I usually take one day a week completely off when I pretend like I am not a runner. I don't even wear my watch on these days so these days usually have a short fly-fishing trip on the upper or lower Sacramento River. I've both landed and lost the biggest trout of my life. It has been really fun just starting to learn some of the epic waters around Redding. I plan on spending a lot of time experiencing the amazing fishing in the Redding area.

RP:You live near Redding, California in one of the country's best fly-fishing areas. What is your favorite river and why?

RH: Well, I haven't done a ton of exploring yet. I've yet to check out the Trinity River, which I hear is going to be epic about the time I am in London preparing for the Games but I've really enjoyed fishing the Sacramento River, especially the upper Sac. Its so beautiful up on the upper Sac that even when I don't hook up I still just have a great time being outside.

RP:Norman Maclean wrote, "In our family, there was no clear line between religion and fly fishing." How do you relate to that?

RH: I can totally relate to that. I find that some of my most intimate moments with God are when I am outside doing what He created me to do, whether it be running a 2:04 marathon or when I am out on the river all alone tracking a giant trout.

RP:After the Olympics, how to you plan on unwinding?

RH:Well, I wish I could say I would be going to Alaska on a fly-fishing trip but unfortunately I think my wife wouldn't enjoy that as much as I would. We are planning on touring through Europe a bit before heading back to the States and I begin my preparations for the 2012 ING NYC Marathon. Hopefully I'll have a couple of days in Redding to hit the water before I start into serious training.

To see stats and other information about Ryan Hall see the the USA Track and Field web site. Hall is sponsored by Nissan and will be posting daily updates of his training and from the Olympics, on the Nissan Innovation for Endurance Facebook page. For More on Hall see the feature story at redding.com or see the fly-fishing video featuring Hall, The Story of the Orange, below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRjmVgxCWmM&feature=youtu.be

Recommended for You

Fly Tying

Fly Tying Chip's Monster Magic Fly

Dwayne 'Chip' Cromarty - January 15, 2016

Chip's Monster Magic. Designed in Saskatchewan's pike paradise - works anywhere.

Industry

Fly Fisherman Magazine Documentary Recognized by Outdoor Writers Association of America

Fly Fisherman - June 24, 2019

Fly Fisherman's documentary "One Path" was recognized with two awards.

United States

Saving the Chattahoochee River

Ross Purnell - April 23, 2019

How an Atlanta craft brewery is helping to save Georgia's most important trout stream.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Adding Bass Popper Legs

Bass maniac Ben Romans showcases his balsa wood poppers and demonstrates how to add rubber legs to hard, durable, bass bugs.

Getting Started In Fly Fishing

Getting Started In Fly Fishing

Casting Backhand in Tight Quarters

A backhand cast is when you use your backcast to deliver the fly.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Fly Tying

Best Panfish Flies

Skip Morris - October 17, 2016

Best Panfish Flies

Industry

Fly Fishing Community Stunned by Twin Slayings on Belize Saltwater Flat

Fly Fisherman Online Staff - June 27, 2019

The fly fishing communities in the U.S. and Belize are mourning after twin slayings that...

Gear

Top Drift Boats of 2019

John Fedorka - April 02, 2019

Drift boats help you search through miles of river quickly and effectively. Here's the top...

See More Stories

More Editor's Notebook

Editor's Notebook

Tying the Parachute Damsel Adult

Ross Purnell, Editor - March 27, 2017

Tying the Parachute Damsel Adult is an easy, accurate, and durable imitation.

Editor's Notebook

Utahns Win Five-Year Battle for Stream Access

Ross Purnell, Editor - November 05, 2015

Utah fly fishers win five-year battle for stream access to the Provo, Weber, and many other...

Editor's Notebook

Far Cry 5 The Best Fly-Fishing Simulator Yet

Ross Purnell, Editor - April 18, 2018

Far Cry 5 is The Best Fly-Fishing Simulator Yet!

See More Editor's Notebook

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

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

×