While some of his peers are tumbling at cheer practice or rehearsing arrangements for band after school, Seth D. is waist-deep in a local river, practicing his casts.
The 17-year-old Henderson County Early College senior just won 2nd Place as part of a team at the 2016 National Youth Fly Fishing Championship in Pennsylvania.
“They put you on four-man teams,” Seth said. “I got paired up with three guys who were already on the US Youth Fly Fishing Team.”
During the competition, Seth said, “You draw a certain section, or beat, of the river and that’s the only place you fish. You pull as many fish as you can in two hours,” which constitutes a “session,” he said.
“The first session I pulled 6 fish in two hours, which got me 3rd place for the session,” Seth said.
Each person on a team is awarded points individually for the number and length of fish they pull, and thus earns an individual score. The teammates’ scores are then combined to determine the team’s placing.
Individually, Seth placed 11th, and he and his teammates came in 2nd as a team. His performance in Pennsylvania landed him a spot on the US Youth Fly Fishing Team, which is comprised of 16 of the best youth anglers in the country. Annually, six from the team are chosen to compete in the FIPS-Mouche World Fly Fishing Championships, and Seth wants to make the cut by next year – when he will have “aged out” of the qualifications.
He’s there now, in Vail, Colo., shadowing the professional anglers at the 2016 FIPS-Mouche World Fly Fishing Championships in an effort to learn as much as he can before gearing up for next year – when he’ll have to re-qualify for the US Youth Fly Fishing Team and then works his way toward a spot on the team that goes to Worlds.
“I’m just going to be seeing how people do what they do,” Seth said.
– By Molly McGowan Gorsuch
Public Information Officer