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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Western Regionals for US Fly Fishing Team

First let me say I personally am not into competitive fly angling. Nevertheless, last week-end (March10-11) I was at the Western Regionals of the US Fly Fishing Team in Reno. I was to be a "controller" (judge/scorer) but upon my arrival the the organizers had enough volunteers. So, I free-lanced at the different "beats" merely observing and assisting as needed. Overall it was interesting and informative.

I decided on going per request of my long-time buddy and fellow-guide in the Truckee Guide NetWork,  JR...aka...the Leader. He moved to Colorado two years ago so it was a nice opportunity to catch-up with each other. Most important I provided some moral support. He has been a competitor for at least 10 years in fly angling competitons. Initally he competed in the OutDoor Network and ESPN events. He has competed to be a member of the US Fly Fishing Team for the last 5-6 years. He hasn't made the touring team YET...but I'm confident he is on the cusp of doing so soon.
Powder, the famous wonder dog assisting JR with fly selection
...'Prospecting', no fish showing...Alex judging
Hooked-up! offically measured "score"
Also, I'm aquainted with a few other participants; Mike Curtis, Doug Quelette and Mikey Weir.
Doug and Koop...da judge in the middle of Reno
Doug high-sticking. Some rules were 1) no lead on the line (in the fly only), 2) no egg patterns, 3) seperation between the flies off the main line had to be a minimum of 20" and 4) no indicators such as yarn or Thingamabobers, "hot-tips" excepted...

There were 28 competitors during the two day event. Each day 2 groups of seven fly fished either Pyramid Lake or the Truckee River in Nevada. Simply, Pyramid provided the least "scoring" opportunities while the Truckee had provided more hook-ups & nets. The river provided Rainbows mostly in the 17"-21" range; largest was 23". Everything was measured in centimeters so I'll let you interpolate. The largest scored Cutthroat at Pyramid was 24"; it was netted on Sunday my Mikey Weir making him one of the five who qualified to move onto  the US finals in Bend Oregon later this year.

Today it was brought to my attention that a Nevada fly fishing guide was either accusing or implying that the competitors were fishing over spawning trout. It is true that there were pre-spawn, spawning and post-spawn trout in the river while the competition was on. I haven't seen the post and will look for it on Face Book.

In the interim, and being a devil's advocate, if the rant or implication is true I'm saying that both the competitors and the judges were informed that doing such was stricly VERBOTIM. Any type of egg pattern or bead was forbidden...period. I attended both the competitor and judges pre-contest meetings. If a judge even suspected that a competitor was fishing on a redd, he was to informed the angler not to do so. If a trout was brought to the "controller" for official measurement and the angler was suspected fishing a redd spawn; it simply was not counted as a score and the competitor was warned.

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