U.S. National Fly Fishing Championships

U.S. National Fly Fishing Championships

The U.S. National Fly Fishing Championships are slated to be held May 30th through June 2nd, and this year's host city will be Bend, Oregon. Participating anglers will compete in judged coursework on the various disciplines involved in the sport, pursuing multiple species of fish over varied terrain. Significantly, team members for Fly Fishing Team USA for the next two years will be selected from the winners of the event -- who will then go on to represent the U.S. on the international stage.

Both river and lake environments will be part of the course, and the area around Bend was chosen for both its world class fishing and a wide spectrum of natural resources to challenge anglers of all stripes. Wild and stocked Rainbow, Brown and Brook trout will be targeted, alongside native Kokanee Salmon and Whitefish, and categories for catch numbers and largest specimens will be recorded by judges scrutinizing the angler's efforts. With both river and Loch (still water) venues being used, competitors will be tested in their overall abilities as fly fishermen, and not just their local specialties. The event is open to both professional and amateur participants.

According to press from organizers, this years competition will include the following locations over the course of the event:

Pete Alport photo

"Anglers will spend 3 days fishing 5 different locations including the Crooked River, Deschutes River, Lava Lake, East Lake and South Twin Lake over 3 days of competition fishing. Once the 3 days are up, scores will be tallied and the winners will be acknowledged."


The schedule for the event is as follows:


Wednesday May 30

Registration

Captains meeting

Draw for location


Thursday, May 31st

Sessions 1 and 2

Friday, June 1st


Sessions 3 and 4

Saturday, June 2nd

Session 5

Awards Ceremony and celebration

Venues:

Loch - Crane Prairie (wild and stocked rainbows, wild brook trout, kokanee, whitefish)

Loch - South Twin (stocked rainbows, whitefish)

Loch - Lava Lake (stocked rainbows and wild brook trout, whitefish)

River - Upper Deschutes River (wild rainbows, wild brook trout, whitefish, brown trout)

River - Upper Deschutes River (wild rainbows, wild brook trout, whitefish, brown trout)

While competitions are nothing new to the sport of fishing (with public derbies and highly sponsored, boat oriented lake events for Largemouth Bass fishermen), fly fishing as a discipline and an industry has historically not participated in these types of activities. This may be a function of the more individualized nature of the pursuit, where fly anglers typically seek out isolated water and are prone to constructing their own flies and rods. It can be argued that many times, anglers who are first introduced to fishing with bait or hardware eventually "graduate" to fishing with flies, and the interpretive elements of reading the environment that necessarily come with advancing abilities.

Numerous studies indicate that angling, particularly fly fishing, have enormous positive impacts on local and regional economies. Overall, fishing is the #1 participant activity in the United States, and fly fishing is now finding ways of quantifying skills. Showcasing the challenge and beauty of the pursuit benefits the sport and areas where it is being practiced.

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