Trout fishing tournament competition (?) [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Trout fishing tournament competition (?)


juro
08-04-2006, 06:08 AM
Trout fishing competitions... how do you feel about them?

Personally, they turn my stomach. The bubba bass circuit has already spread to redfish, seemingly fueled by Ranger boats drive into the saltwater boat market (really nice boats btw) or at least the ads would imply. But trout fishing?

The text reads....

The groundbreaking fly fishing competition is back, slimmer and trimmer than ever! We invited eight of the best fly anglers in each half of the country, paired them in random team matchups, and set them loose on some of the most heart-pounding trout water in the lower 48. Catch all the talent, tension and mayhem on display when a group of skilled, intelligent individuals get pushed to the limit by very big fish with very small brains. The pot at the end of the rainbow (trout) contains a top-end Hyde drift boat, a check for 10 grand, and the rights to the Fly Fishing Masters title. It’s trout fishing like you’ve never seen it before!


Thoughts?

Dble Haul
08-04-2006, 09:15 AM
Fishing tournaments represent the exact opposite realm of what fishing is to me. For me it's not about competition or keeping a count of fish caught and an eye on the clock.

No thanks.

jhicks
08-05-2006, 07:44 AM
Well, I have mixed feeling about FF tournaments. I love going out on the stream with a group of friends and having a friendly One fly, or single run competition for a sixpack of beer. I do not, on the other hand, care for bigger events that do not give anything back to the community. Comps can be a great way to give back to the stream or support another worthy cause.

Guernseybass
08-12-2006, 08:46 PM
Juro,

I think you are referring to Fly Fishing Masters which is on OLN (ch608) at 1.30pm on Saturdays maybe ?

I have seen two shows (including todays) and enjoyed them - they are totally catch and release and they have to submit their heaviest 2 fish from a 2 hour period each on a beat on a different small stream for each heat

personally i found it quite interesting to watch, if only for the fact that its one of the few fishing programs that is not accompanied by that goddawful heavy metal rock music. that said it wouldn't be for me - i like to relax in my fishing.

MArk

mugsy
08-13-2006, 01:41 AM
Juro,

I personally do not like competition fishing, particularly on streams/rivers. Tournament fishing on rivers and streams in Montana is not allowed - a policy I have supported as a Commissioner on the Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks Commission for the last 8 years; and a policy the fishermen in Montana have overwhelmingly supported. Tournaments or "derbys" are allowed on lakes and rivers if previously approved by MT FWP, with most being warm water tourneys. Lakes in MT are predominantly a "put and take" fishery with hatchery raised fish, whereas our rivers and streams, with very, very few exceptions are all wild fisheries. Our wild fish have a special place in our hearts - all of them - not just the biggest ones, and tournament fishing just seems to devalue all but the "trophy" fish. Personally, I love to fish - the act, the process of fishing - catching is a nice reward, but not the primary focus. My fondest memories, like most I believe, aren't the big ones I've caught, but rather the shared times with good friends and my Dad, the times of special solitude, and the ones that got away.

Tim

FlyFishAR
08-15-2006, 05:40 AM
Juro:

As a competition angler and caster I'm not exactly sure how I came into the game in the first place. I'm not really a competitive person by nature. I am however constantly trying to improve my knowledge and skill set. I have found over the years that competitions offer a terrific opportunity to learn new methods, skills, and techniques from other like minded anglers and casters. Those people I've become involved with along the way have become life time friends and fishing buddies.

Personally I think that the competitions I've been involved with are some of the best experiences of my life. I just got back from Portugal where I coached the US Youth Fly Fishing Team. The kids did very well this year and have a chance to do very well next year considering we had a sophmore team this year. I'm sure it was a positive experience for all involved.

I know that competitions are not for everyone. Competitons are however responsible for most of the advanced techniques that we use today. They are also responsible for spreading the practices of ethical angling around the world and educating the public in general to catch & release and conservation. Techniques like double hauling, czech nymphing, and density compensated lines, were all spread through competitions.

I suppose there are positives and negatives to everything. I've even heard some negative things said about fishing in general in the past.

John Wilson

juro
08-15-2006, 07:17 AM
John -

Good to hear from you. I'm afraid I have to clairfy, since you make some salient points that have helped me think it through more clearly:

The commercialization, sensationalization and televised bruhah is what seems odd to me; however I stand corrected as the tournament itself is a friendly competition among expert anglers and when you factor in youth programs it transcends that to an activity that benefits not only flyfishing but future generations of expert anglers.

You make very good points friend, and have clearly made me see that it's not competitions and angling programs that make me uncomfortable - just the sensationalization on the boob tube.

Sadly these youth programs probably can't be fueled by our ambition alone, even in our Big Brother program we receive assistance from grants. It may very well be the commercialization that makes these things possible.

Maybe another part of it is the trout and it's fragile nature. I think I would be less concerned with a bluefish, catfish or eel tournament because some species are hard to supress in population or injure in handling.

At least these trout are not killed for the scale like many saltwater tournaments, or held in the bilge to be lugged in plastic bags then weighed in front of a cheering crowd by fishermen with nascar style jackets on.

I agree, it seems some forms of competitions can retain the essence of flyfishing while using the competitive spirit to make good things happen, like youth programs.

Thanks for broadening my thinking on that brotha!

jhicks
08-15-2006, 09:25 AM
John,

Props to you and the U.S. team. I heard that Andy Simon came in 25th. He is one very fine angler.

FlyFishAR
08-15-2006, 11:02 AM
You betcha Juro. Obviosly I have tremendous respect for your opinions as well. There are plenty of fly fishermen on this forum that have a wealth of information which is why I often visit here. :hihi:

Yep, Andy is a fine angler. He drew a couple of tough beats or he might have finished better than that even. I am expecting some great things from Andy in the future. Keep an eye on him. That young man has a very bright future ahead of him in both fly fishing and in life.

We had one angler that finished in the top 10 even with a blank. He drew a beat on the 3rd day that only produced one fish for the entire competition. While other beats he was competiting with were posting numbers like 10-18 fish per day. It was a tough break or he would have certianly been in contention for a silver medal.

Our youth team is doing very well by the way in the world competitions. We started over last year with an extremely young team. We had 15 and 16 year olds competiting against 19 year old seasoned veterans from other countries. This year they are only a year older and had a real shot at medals. Within the next couple of years I think the team will have some real shots at being extremely competitive with some luck.

Talk about a bunch of world class kids. I continue to be impressed with the people I meet fly fishing. These are some of the finest young people I've ever been in contact with. I even get to cast with guys like Juro. Thanks for the lessons by the way buddy. I won't be able to make Denver this year sorry to say. I always learn something every time I see you. I'll hate to miss it this year. Bummer....

John

juro
08-15-2006, 11:55 AM
Being courteous as usual I see but I very much appreciated your key casting tip at the center pool that really helped my light line casting stroke finish, something I didn't so easily detect with the 9wt grainhucking I do as a practitioner in striper country most days of the season.

Sorry to hear you won't be at the tackle trade show, I am still a strong hopeful for that weekend due to free airline miles despite a church mouse budget.

Let me know if your world travels ever bring you up to New England!

FlyFishAR
08-15-2006, 01:12 PM
Let me know if your world travels ever bring you up to New England!


Juro:

Same here. If you ever make it to Arkansas.....

Although I did watch a show today on the striper fishing there that has me yearning for it. I'm going to have to sooner rather than later I'm sure.

John

teflon_jones
08-17-2006, 11:05 PM
I really enjoy watching the Fly Fishing Masters. They fish some amazing waters and catch some HUGE trout! They also treat the fish with a lot of respect in that they don't overplay them, they handle them carefully once out of the water, measure them quickly, and get them back in the water again and release them to fight another day.

I agree though that this competition is not to me in any way what fly fishing is about. It's the same as any other fishing tournament though. Fishing is the one thing I'm not at all competitive in. Well, at least with other people. I'm competitive with myself in that I set goals for each fishing trip, and for each season, such as catching at least 6 largemouth in every pond/lake trip and catching at least one 5 lb bass each year. For stream/river fishing, I'd just like to catch at least one fish on the day. I don't care if it's a 4" native brookie or a 14" one. I just don't want to get skunked! :)

FishHawk
08-18-2006, 04:48 AM
I don't like the Fly Fishing Master Tournament. It doesn't work for me. I can see it in Bass fishing where the fish have some size and it's by weight. But measuring small trout to get an overall score just doesn't cut it for me. Goes against what trout fishing has means to me. Don't want to see trout streams commercialized.
The fisheries can't handle the competition. Just my .02 FishHawk

FlyFishAR
08-18-2006, 10:25 AM
FishHawk:

Fly Fishing has already been comercialized. Rods are $600, a trip to New Zeland with Dave Whitlock $8000, waders $400, flies $2 each, and on and on. As bad as we hate to admit it, fly fishing is a commercial venture and will be for a long time.

That said though it is not nor will it ever be on the same field with Bass Fishing competitions, golf, tennis, or any other competitive "sport". Fly Fishing Competitions are more like the gardening competitions at the county fair. It's fun to see who can grow the biggest pumpkin, or who can throw the longest cast, catch the biggest fish, etc.

Human nature still will get the best of some people. There will always be the guy who puts lead in his pumpkin, or who tries to measure a foul hooked fish. That sort of behavior needs to be curbed as much as possible. I think it's important to project examples of sportsmanship as often as possible.

Fly fishers are a unique breed. It is a sport that attracts people who are intelligent and enjoy a true challenge. Fly fishers are constantly trying to improve themselves, their ability, and their knowledge. They thirst for a chance for self examination. For some competitions are just a natural progression of that and a chance to network.

But you're right. They are not for everyone. But then again neither are bamboo, strike indicators, nymphing, spey casting, salt water, ............

sean
08-18-2006, 12:31 PM
Fly fishers are a unique breed. It is a sport that attracts people who are intelligent and enjoy a true challenge. Fly fishers are constantly trying to improve themselves, their ability, and their knowledge. They thirst for a chance for self examination. For some competitions are just a natural progression of that and a chance to network.

Hmm.... So if I read your posts correctly flyfishing 'masters' will never fall into that bass masters category because fly fishermen are so much better people and of course more intelligent.

It is no different and/or better than a bass masters competition. I have watched those shows and these guys are not growing pumpkins. They are competing and their attitudes show it. It is OK by me but do not try to cloak it as something different, better or more noble than a bass master classic. Same thing and there are smart, knowledgeable, self examining folks fishing in both tournaments.



-sean

FlyFishAR
08-18-2006, 12:49 PM
Sean:

I'm not saying they are better at all. you completely misread that.

But the motives are "totally" different. First of all in the Masters there is little or no actual money won. The anglers are there for the sake of competition, period. In a typical Bass Masters there are "millions" of dollars at stake. As far as better anglers I'd wager that the typical bass masters angler has more time and education invested than the best fly fishermen. In that way they will never be like a Bass Masters.

So far I've competed in the Masters, Great Outdoor Games, various casting competitons, and of course the world championships. From that so far I've earned tons of knowledge, friends for life, $1700 for setting the great outdoor games casting record, and a silver medal for coaching a team in the worlds. Not exactly a money making proposition. Does that sound intelligent? It would be debatable.

I have to assume that you hold those anglers in fairly low regard based on your comments or interpretaion of what I'm saying. If that's so I can understand your position as is your right. However, you might know that almost everything that is learned at these events is passed to others. If we were all truely competitive jerks I doubt that we'd be as willing to help each other, share insight learned, or hold each other in such high regard. I have the utmost respect for almost everyone I've met in competiton. I can't always say that of those I meet on the river.

NH-Gerry
08-26-2006, 09:06 PM
Trout fishing competitions... how do you feel about them?

Personally, they turn my stomach. The bubba bass circuit has already spread to redfish, seemingly fueled by Ranger boats drive into the saltwater boat market (really nice boats btw) or at least the ads would imply. But trout fishing?

Thoughts?

Juro, I concur with your assessment.
The thought of turning trout fishing into a competition also turns my stomach. People talk about fly fishers passing through multiple stages of development: catch lots of fish, catching big fish, catching lots of big fish, catching difficult fish, enjoying the experience regardless of the number and size of fish caught. (or some variation)

It seems to me that the fishing competitions are stuck in phase one. IMHO, fly fishing competitions are to fly fishing what the Nathan's world championship of eating hotdogs is to eating.

If they could hook a meter up to your brain that measures how much fun you are having, that should be the only viable measure of fly fishing success. To my way of thinking the competitive aspect cheapens the experience, exploits a fragile resource and sends a faulty message to people new to the sport.
tight lines,
Gerry

juro
08-27-2006, 07:22 AM
Gerry -

I have to say that thru the course of the thread I've realized that although my stomach will remain tipsy from some trout tournaments, there are others that attract honorable angler participants and are really meant to achieve things like fostering the next generation of anglers enthusiasm (youth programs).

Sure they aren't for everybody, but when compared to other tournaments they are downright civil. The fish are not killed for weight, they are not held captive in sloshing livewells, they are lip hooked with flies.

It should probably not be conducted on every stream, some have fragile trout populations. However there are so many put and take fisheries out there today that could easily serve this function.

I think my reaction is still viceral and objectionable if a tourament was held on a wild trout river, but if a hatchery induced population which is annually replanted is targeted my concerns would be low. On wild streams besides the trout there is habitat damage and introduction of foreign parasites from peoples boots to think about too.

On a related topic, introduction of hatchery fish into rivers with wild populations - now there's a problem!

tie-dye-fly-guy
08-27-2006, 11:43 PM
i just want the chance to beat charlie moore with my 5w one day.

i think fishing comps should be ameture events for networking, conservation fundraising and awareness. a simple lil trophy to pass on year after year could add to harmless bragging rights. endorsements and pro sponsorship i think taint the sport, just look at the current sport of bassing with 20 lb test for a two pound fish. i think the competition should be between the fish and the fisherman, not just between the fishermen themselves. ff comps could be really entertaining if the guidelines were better thought out.

i cant bear to watch the striper tourneys with the huge trolling rigs when im out there casting to well thought out choices of water at first or last light looking for a moron on 6lb test., 7w rod, and a barbless fly i tied myself that same day.

SDHflyfisher
09-07-2006, 08:55 PM
personally i dont mind them i think they bring more attention to the sport which in my eyes is a good thing because i got a job in a fly shop a few months back

and as stated before it is the forefront of new techniques being developed and shared

zugbugz
09-09-2006, 12:24 AM
I've always associated trout fishing (fly fishing for them that is) with nature, conservation and being one with the environment. I think tournaments go totally contrary to those "ideals." Here in Arizona, those of us who fly fish hold our trout habitat sacred, as I'm sure most in other states do. We do not advertise where the best fishing is, again, no big difference there either...but tournaments bring lots of people and lots of people in my experience bring waste and disrespect for the environment. Let the guys in the bass boats have their tournaments, for me I like the solitude and oneness with nature...that's why I don't bass fish much anymore (except occasionally with a fly rod) or chuck bait...I like getting away from the crowds, and whether I catch fish or not is not important, my escape from civilization is.

That said, I have no problem with casting competitions and the like. My two cents.

Zugbugz - Arizona

FlyFishAR
12-08-2006, 02:44 PM
Juro:

FYI I recently received notification from FIPS Mouche that State College PA has been awarded the bid for the Youth Fly Fishing World Championships in 2007. This will be a terrific opportunity for those in the area to observe and meet some of the best young anglers from around the world.

The USA Team came in 4th in Portugal this last year. I am "hopefull" about our chances in PA with a much more experienced team. However teams like the French and the Czechs are definately some of the best. Their teams study hard and fish often. They are definately some of the best fishermen on the planet.

If you want to see some terrific dry fly fishing observing the French makes it into a true art form. We'll have to be extremely lucky to have a chace against them.

FlyFishAR
12-08-2006, 02:44 PM
Juro:

FYI I recently received notification from FIPS Mouche that State College PA has been awarded the bid for the Youth Fly Fishing World Championships in 2007. This will be a terrific opportunity for those in the area to observe and meet some of the best young anglers from around the world.

The USA Team came in 4th in Portugal this last year. I am "hopefull" about our chances in PA with a much more experienced team. However teams like the French and the Czechs are definately some of the best. Their teams study hard and fish often. They are definately some of the best fishermen on the planet.

If you want to see some terrific dry fly fishing observing the French makes it into a true art form. We'll have to be extremely lucky to have a chace against them.