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August 21, 2008

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Should Fly Casting Be an Olympic Sport?

Like millions of Americans, I've been watching the Olympics with great pride and admiration. And before we get too carried away with this discussion, let me say this again to anyone who watched Usain Bolt do his thing on the track, or Michael Phelps do his thing in the pool: If you think it's even slightly, remotely, plausible to use the phrase "world record" in association with anything to do with any fish caught in any context... well, I think you're nuttier than an Amish sticky bun.

But I do find myself thinking that fly casting (casting, not fishing) should maybe be an Olympic sport. Heck, if dingy sailing, table tennis, and trampoline qualify, fly casting should. In fact, if rifle and shotgun shooting, and archery qualify, why don't we have fly casting? Seems like everything else we cover in Field & Stream has an Olympic cousin. Casting belongs, dammit. In fact, I think it should go beyond fly casting; why don't we include flippin' and surfcasting also? NBC wouldn't care. You tell me... what is the Lake Charles, Louisiana, television market more apt to tune into, rhythmic gymnastics, or the baitcaster finals? I rest my case.

I think we should really lobby the IOC to include more good ol' American-bred fishing disciplines to the lineup, just so we can pad the medal count against the Chinese.

But then again I wonder... would Americans actually win casting events? Okay, the flippin' gold is going to some dude from Alabama, automatically. Maybe the Japanese have an outside shot there. Baitcasters with soft plastics on targets... we have that covered. But on the fly casting side, I don't know. I mean, the double-handed Spey competition naturally has to favor teams from the U.K., Scandanavia, and Canada, and the Russians and Argentines would be damn tough. The single-handed 8-weight competition... gotta think the Bahamas might be the equivalent of the Jamaican track team. I wouldn't count the Kiwis out of the "accuracy in clear water" trout casting competition either.

Hmmm. What do you think?



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It would be better than badmitten....(did I spell that correctly?)

Chad Love

I don't know. I just got back from a couple weeks of flogging my fly on the Kootenai river in NW Montana, which means I spent two weeks watching an endless loop of wealthy nimrod-packed drift boats float by in a haughty, condescending manner, shooting me those "why is this obviously lower socio-economic prole sullying my experience and occupying the space I paid good money to fish? My God, is he actually wearing cut-offs and a T-shirt advertising cheap non-artisanal beer? Row faster, damnit. He might try to engage us in some kind of coarse, lowbrow conversation" type looks.
If, like me, you're an economically disadvantaged angler you know what I mean.
So I'd watch as they floated on down the river with their high-dollar equipment making some of the lousiest, ugliest, inelegant casts I've ever seen.
I am perhaps the lousiest, ugliest and most inelegant flycaster around. I mean, no joke, I really suck. I have no idea what I'm doing. Give me a baitcaster and I'm a performance artist. Give me a fly rod and I'll make you embarrassed to know me.
But even I could make a nicer cast than a lot of these guys. I mean, how freakin' hard is it to make a 20-foot cast out of a near-stationary drift boat?
I'm a simple redneck. I know nothing of competitive flycasting, but if what I saw is any indication of the general state of flycasting in this country then my money's on that hottie from British Columbia...

tim romano

I dunno Chad... You're one hell of an articulate redneck.


combat chuck and duck...
stalking golden bones

all USA medal sweeps


combat chuck and duck...
stalking golden bones

all USA medal sweeps


I agree fishing should not be a part of it, as hunting is not a part of olympic archery. I think there is a chance casting could be an olympic sport...but only because we would not have a monopoly on it(look what happened to baseball and softball(except this years loses)). I'd watch it!

Blue Ox

I could see this happening.
Contestants could score based on length of cast, accuracy, and difficulty. Score doubles if a fish is rolled, and triples if the fish is landed.
But for this to be done in true form, all contestants must be wading...barefoot. (ha ha hahaaaa!!!)

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