Trout fishing tournament competition (?) - Fly Fishing Forum
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Old 08-04-2006, 06:08 AM
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Question Trout fishing tournament competition (?)

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?
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  #2  
Old 08-04-2006, 09:15 AM
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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.
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Old 08-05-2006, 07:44 AM
jhicks jhicks is offline
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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.
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Old 08-12-2006, 08:46 PM
Guernseybass Guernseybass is offline
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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
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Old 08-13-2006, 01:41 AM
mugsy mugsy is offline
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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
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Old 08-15-2006, 05:40 AM
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Pros and cons

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
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Old 08-15-2006, 07:17 AM
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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!
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Old 08-15-2006, 09:25 AM
jhicks jhicks is offline
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John,

Props to you and the U.S. team. I heard that Andy Simon came in 25th. He is one very fine angler.
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Old 08-15-2006, 11:02 AM
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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.

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
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Old 08-15-2006, 11:55 AM
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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!
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  #11  
Old 08-15-2006, 01:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juro
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
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Old 08-17-2006, 11:05 PM
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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!
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Old 08-18-2006, 04:48 AM
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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
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Old 08-18-2006, 10:25 AM
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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, ............
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Old 08-18-2006, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
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
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