Fishing in general and especially fly fishing is supposed to be a sport practiced alone or with a close friend. It is a pleasant diversion between you and the fish set in the glorious environs of river or lake. It is not supposed to be a competition to see who can catch the most fish or cast the farthest.
Just look at the BASS circuit. These guys look like NASCAR drivers and walking billboards. Are they having fun, or is it the millions of dollars in prizes they are after? Fishing should be its own reward. Nothing destroys something faster in today's society than attaching money or competition to it. I see that every time I attend a fly fishing show.
So, what does it really prove? Angler X can cast 149 feet in a swimming pool? Nonsense. Formal competition between fly fishermen is like two classical music fans getting into a fist fight over who is the better composer; Mozart or Bach. It is pointless and rather stupid.
Instead, lets have funny self-deprecating competitions.
- The beer and beans wader race. Anglers consume huge quantities of beans and cheap beer the evening before and then in the morning put on waders and race for a line of porta-potties. Stinkyist waders win.
- Best body piercing by a hook. Anglers compete in a swirling wind to see who can place a 1/0 Ackroyd into various parts of the body. Extra points if the fly cannot be removed without exposing the privates.
- Artful wading accidents. Held on the Deschutes, Thompson, or Clearwater, this competition sees anglers try to successfully navigate through boulders and algae covered ledge rock. The winner is not the one who doesn't fall in, rather the person who attains the wettest state while falling with grace and gymnastic skill wins a wading staff made from an old broom.
- Dumbest fly award. Here the anglers use an assortment of pine-needles, old scraps of cloth, and seagull feathers to create a fly that will certainly not catch anything.
- Most name dropping in a single sentence. Anglers compete to see who can use noted steelhead and spey angler's names creatively in a sentence while making themselves out to be larger than life. Extra points if the judges run away screaming.
- Greatest collection of tackle competition. Anglers compete to see who has the greatest collection of junk. Bonus points if the person attends spey events, but doesn't fish. Super bonus points if the winner is the same guy who wins the name dropping contest.
- Worst name for a fly contest. Anglers compete to see who had named their fly after an old girlfriend, comic book super hero or professional wrestler. Most amount of groans wins.
I know, I know, I am a deviant.