High flying: National Fly Fishing Championships return

http://dailycamera.com/news/2007/sep/27/national-fly-fishing-championships-return/

By Zak Brown
Thursday, September 27, 2007

When Jay Alipit steps into the rushing waters of the National Fly Fishing Championships next week, the cool Colorado flows will feel mighty familiar.

The Boulder angler will be one of more than 150 competitors at the Boulder-based championships, the largest fly fishing competition in America. At stake are individual and team gold, silver and bronze medals. And as a local angler, he has homestream advantage.

“I’ve fished these rivers for a long time and feel like I know them like the back of my hand,” Alipit said. “When you step into the waters, you immediately know what’s going to work, how spooky the fish are. (The competition stretches) are not the most popular sections, but I think they’re probably the more challenging on the waters.”

Five-member teams from the U.S., Canada, Great Britain and Ireland will assemble in Boulder for the championships, which are being held in northern Colorado for the second consecutive year. The competitors will fish for three days on the Big Thompson River, the Poudre River, Dowdy Lake and Parvin Lake. The lakes are part of the Red Feather Lakes area.

The areas around the fishing venues are open to the public, and spectators are welcome to watch. It is a chance to pick up some pointers from some of the best fishermen – or women – in the country. The competition is coed.

The winner will be determined by total centimeters after the three days of competition, and the species of trout caught has no bearing on who wins. There are two sessions on Oct. 3 and 4 and one session on Oct. 5. Anglers’ assignments, or beats, are determined randomly, and that’s why total centimeters won’t determine who gets spots on the U.S. national team.

The 55 American anglers, who earned their spot in Boulder through qualifiers, are vying for a chance to be considered for one of the 15 spots on Team USA. The qualifications are not objective. An angler’s skill and competency are also factored in when invites for the 2008 World Championships in New Zealand are handed out.

“Sometimes the competitors will draw bad beats (their fishing assignments) for the entire tournament and struggle,” said Paul Prentiss, chairman of the championships. “Then some will do really well, but draw good beats the whole time. So the coaches look for things like a competitor’s focus and skill and heart.”

Alipit competed at last year’s tournament and qualified for the tournament this year in Fresno, Calif. After seeing the type of competition he’s up against, he expects to be more prepared for this year.

“We were surrounded by great anglers. It was a learning experience for all of us, with the exception of the guys who were already on the team. It was great fun,” he said. “To have those type of anglers competing on our local waters, it’s pretty intense.”who gets spots on the U.S. national team.

The 55 American anglers, who earned their spot in Boulder through qualifiers, are vying for a chance to be considered for one of the 15 spots on Team USA. The qualifications are not objective. An angler’s skill and competency are also factored in when invites for the 2008 World Championships in New Zealand are handed out.

“Sometimes the competitors will draw bad beats (their fishing assignments) for the entire tournament and struggle,” said Paul Prentiss, chairman of the championships. “Then some will do really well, but draw good beats the whole time. So the coaches look for things like a competitor’s focus and skill and heart.”

Alipit competed at last year’s tournament and qualified for the tournament this year in Fresno, Calif. After seeing the type of competition he’s up against, he expects to be more prepared for this year.

“We were surrounded by great anglers. It was a learning experience for all of us, with the exception of the guys who were already on the team. It was great fun,” he said. “To have those type of anglers competing on our local waters, it’s pretty intense.”

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One Response to High flying: National Fly Fishing Championships return

  1. Johnsie Kame says:

    I am going to Gulf Shores, AL, for a week beginning this Saturday and plan on fishing off a inflatable rubber raft 50 100 yards off the shore. What baits/lures should I use? What kind of fish can I catch? What time of day is best/worst for fishing? Any tips would be helpful.

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