August 21, 2008
Should Fly Casting Be an Olympic Sport?
By Tim Romano & Kirk Deeter
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?