Monthly Archives: August 2015

U.S. Youth Are World Champs — Again

The land of Gierach and Gordon, Lefty Kreh and Lee Wulff, used to be a perennial also-ran in the world of competition fly-fishing.

The U.S. adult fly fishing team went decades without so much as a bronze medal, while European countries – in particular the Czech Republic – took gold after gold.

That’s all changed in recent years. The men’s team finally medaled this year at the World Championship, winning the silver. Last summer in Colorado, Fly Fishing Team USA won the America Cup, an international tournament very much like the world championship.

The grown-up American anglers have now finished in the Top 5 three years in a row. And the 2016 world championship will be in Vail.

But while the men have steadily worked their way toward respectability, the U.S. Youth Fly Fishing Team has become the world’s best by a mile. The younger anglers won the FIPS-Mouche Youth World Championship over the weekend – the team’s third gold in a row and fourth in five years. Hunter Hoffler of Moreland, Georgia, who at 18 is aging out of the youth team, won the individual gold medal.

Hoffler is the host of “In The Loop: Modern tactics on the Fly,” a comp-fishing inspired show that has aired on cable outdoor sports networks.

Fellow Georgian Mason Sims took the individual silver medal. Cam Chioffi of Massachusetts finished sixth and Hunter Enloe of North Carolina finished seventh.

The youth team beat out Poland and the Czech Republic, the silver and bronze medalists respectively, in what was described as a tough, close contest on the Eagle and Colorado rivers, Sylvan Lake and Dillon Reservoir.

John Gierach and and Lefty Kreh may or may not care for comp fishing. Wulff didn’t have much to say about it, as far as I know (though his wife, Joan Salvato Wulff, was a world champion competition caster), and Gordon flat-out didn’t like it.

Even so, with the U.S. men finding their groove and a dominant youth team aging out of the junior circuit and into the senior ranks, the American anglers’ days as also-rans seem to be over.


World champion Hunter Hoffler with his his folks, Melissa and Phil Town, and the U.S. Youth Fly Fishing Team’s first-place trophy.

Long Time No See!

Hello again. The Fly Line returns after an extended absence. During the past 20 months, I managed the fly-fishing page at, a fun job but one that took up most of my time. The Fly Line went on hiatus. I’m no longer with, and I’m happy to return to The Fly Line, chronicling the news of the world of fly-fishing.

What happened while I was away? Well, for one thing, I wrote a book. It’s called “Simple Flies” and it’s both a fly-tying manual geared toward beginners and an essay on how and why ultra-simple flies — some made as little as one material, plus hook and thread — can be really effective. It turns out this has been a topic of discussion in the fly-fishing world for at least 150 years. I’ll post more about the book, but it’s available now in paperback, Nook and Kindle versions.

Also while The Fly Line was away, American anglers became a force in the world of competitive fly-fishing. This weekend, the U.S. Youth Fly Fishing Team won its third straight team gold medal at the World Fly Fishing Championships, held this year in Vail, Colorado. In June, the adult team, Fly Fishing Team USA, won its first medal — silver — at the World Championships in Bosnia-Herzegovina. European countries have long dominated the international competition circuit, but the U.S. has now established itself as a major player. Next year’s world championship will also be held in Vail, and no one will be surprised if the adult team takes the gold, too. More on the youth team’s win soon.

striper boat

Photo courtesy of Capt. Joe Blados

Thanks for reading, and please don’t hesitate to comment!