Does competitive fly fishing have a future in the U.S.?

Will the vibrant fly fishing competition circuit found in Europe make its way to America's shores?
The award ceremony at the 30th annual FIPS-Mouche World Fly Fishing Championships in Krosno, Poland (photo: Stanislaw Szydlo / cc2.0).

After Team USA won its first international fly-fishing competition over the summer — a team win in the FIPS-Mouche Masters (over 50 division) World Fly Fishing Championship in Madonna de Compiglio, Italy — it was safe to wonder if competitive fly fishing could actually take off in the United States.

But, according to one prominent member of America’s international fly fishing team, it’s not a likely proposition.

Euro streamers: Buying, tying and fishing 'jig bombs'

4 simple concepts for effective jig streamer fishing
Photo: George Daniel

Euro-nymphing tactics have become popular among fly fishers for a variety of reasons. The patterns are easy to tie, the rigging and casting is simple and, most importantly, the flies achieve depth faster than any with any other nymphing tactic. When it comes to fishing below the surface, depth is paramount—and often can make the difference between a mediocre day on the water and a great one. My mentor Joe Humphreys likes to say that the difference between an okay nympher and a great nympher is one split shot.

The last moment of silence

A sneak peek at a chapter from Matt Harris' new book, 'The Fish of a Lifetime'
The Eg River in Mongolia (photo: Matt Harris / "The Fish of a Lifetime").

The last hour of the last day. I edged out into the run and lengthened the line before flexing the long Spey rod. The line sliced out towards the deep, emerald-green slot gleaming under the low cliff, and I settled into the meditative rhythm of “cast and step”. As the huge fly started to wake back across the glassy green water, the wind dropped and, once again, everything fell silent.

Learning to row, from the pros

Want to learn how to row? Go to the experts.
Photo: Chad Shmukler

On the 24th of May in 1869, O.G. Howland set out with his brother Seneca on the Green River in Utah with eight other men, each a member of the historic Powell Geographic Expedition. Led by American naturalist John Wesley Powell, the expedition aimed to complete a cartographic and scientific exploration of the Green and Colorado Rivers, traveling into stretches of river and canyon that no white men—and in areas, even no Native Americans—had ever set eyes on.

Shallow water lakers

Fly fishing the Yukon for lake trout, pike, grayling and more
A shallow-water Yukon lake trout (photo: Dalton Trail Lodge).

The look on my face must have been one of utter confusion as Hardy Ruf explained to me that I’d be standing thigh-deep in a high-country lake and, if the light was right, I’d be sight-casting to big lake trout not 20 feet from me.