I cannot remember a Super Bowl that pits two fly-fishing meccas against each other quite like Super Bowl XLVIII does. Seattle against Denver. Two great cities that represent some of the highest concentrations of fly fishermen (and women), per capita, anywhere in America. The steelhead nation versus the high country anglers.
Interestingly, fly-fishing guides, who rarely show any interest in football when they’re squeezing in Sunday river trips throughout the fall, are now a deeply-divided lot. The western fly-fishing heartland–places like Idaho and Montana–are now battleground states, where allegiances split both ways. Bozeman doesn’t know what to do. Wyoming skews strongly orange, while Oregon naturally tilts toward the Seahawks. Most Alaskan guides will be pulling for the Seahawks, but then again, most Alaskan guides are in Hawaii or someplace tropical now, so they probably still don’t give a rip about this football game, because they’ll be surfing, or bonefishing, or something like that.
As a Coloradan, I now find myself roped into some friendly bets with a number of colleagues and fishing pals from the Pacific Northwest. If, somehow, the Seachickens figure out how to slow down the Manning Express (and I think they have about as good a chance of doing that as they would reversing the flow of the Skykomish River), suffice it to say that you’ll see Deeter wearing plenty of blue and green with hook-beaked birds and such in upcoming blog photos.
There are, of course a number of other NFL teams beloved by fly anglers. I would bet that the team enjoying the strongest allegiance of fly guides nationwide is actually the Green Bay Packers, but that’s just a hunch. The Pittsburgh Steelers are also from a strong fly-fishing state, and they win Super Bowls. The Giants and Patriots have a dedicated angler following. Cincinnati Bengals? Not so much. Washington Redskins? Please. Dallas Cowboys? Maybe a few. But all the Texans actually fly fish in Colorado, so they’re probably pulling for the Broncos.
There are many fly anglers in Michigan, but I think many of them fish on Sunday afternoons so they don’t have to watch the Lions.
In any regard, I’m looking forward to the game. And I’m looking forward to all of us being back on the same fly-fishing team come Monday. Even if I will be wearing a Seahawks hat.