There is something about competitive fly fishing that just doesn’t seem to fit. Sure, there is the constant battle between fishing buddies about who caught the biggest, who caught the most, and who didn’t catch anything, but those conversations usually occur in the abstract after a couple of beers. Soon, someone has caught a brown trout as big as Jaws and enough rainbows to feed the Army of the Potomac for a week – if they had taken any pictures, they could prove it to you! This is the natural progression of a fish tale, but when you have rules and regulations, measurements and fish counts, that all goes up in smoke pushing all the previous hot air out of the way. Heck, half the fun of fishing is the lying about it. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule and a little friendly competition can certainly bring an added level of enjoyment to any fishing outing. The story we did on the Project Healing Waters fishing tournament is a great example.
Another great example is happening this weekend during the 2nd Annual Washington and Lee University-Virginia Military Institute Fly Fishing Tournament. The friendly competition pairs up a student from each school and sets them loose on the private water of Escatawba Farms outside Covington, Va. to see who the top anglers are in Lexington. The actual competition takes a backseat to the effort to foster camaraderie between the student bodies of these two schools whose campuses run into each other, but whose students rarely do. Raising awareness of conservation and preservation efforts is also a goal of this fledgling tournament.
If you are in the mood on Saturday, head out to Escatawba and take in the festivities for yourself. You may learn a thing or two. The tournament begins at 9am and runs until 4pm.