National Fly Fishing Championship ~ Interviews
||The National Fly Fishing Championship & Conservation
Symposium sponsored by Colorado Trout Unlimited and associated TU chapters
will be held in Boulder Colorado on June 1 to June 4 of 2006. It constitutes
the final round of three regional competitions. Fifteen of the competitors
will be chosen to represent the United States in an Olympic style event
in Portugal during August of 2006.
The National Championship will consist of 9 to 12 teams of five members
each. Six of the teams will come from winners of the regional events,
two from Team USA 2005, three international teams, and two Colorado teams
- one will be all women - who are planning on a big upset!
Jim Hickey, Member TEAM USA
Jim Hickey is the Head Guide and Director of Guide School Operations for World Cast Anglers based in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Jim cut his teeth on the rivers of North Carolina and Virginia. He graduated from Hampden-Sydney College in 1993 and then moved west to begin his professional fishing career in Wyoming. As a Federation of Fly Fishers Certified Casting Instructor, Orvis Endorsed Guide, ESPN competitor, and member of Team USA, his knowledge and proficiency are widely admired.
Pete Erickson, Member TEAM USA
Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Pete Erickson got an early introduction to fishing. His parents love of fly fishing enabled him to experience some of the worlds great fly fishing meccas at a young age-places like Kamloops, BC, the Olympic Peninsula, WA, and Southwestern Alaska.
Pete received his BA in Journalism from the University of Oregon and subsequently his MA in English at the Boise State University.
Love of teaching ultimately lead to a career in Education. Love of fishing combined with teaching lead to a becoming a fly fishing guide.
Pete is no stranger to competitive fly fishing. In the past few years he has competed in three World Fly fishing Championships and was the highest American finisher in 2004 & 2005. Along with a 12th place overall finish at the Worlds, Pete was also the 2002 ESPN Great Outdoor Games Gold Medalist. He has been a member of Team USA since 2002.
|CTU: Where do you reside currently and what do
you do when you're not fishing, tying flies, or thinking about fishing?
JIM: My wife Jenny and I live in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. I am a fulltime
fishing guide and partner in a fly-fishing outfit, so I spend my non-fish-related
time with my wife and 5 week old son.
CTU: Where and how did your interest in fishing begin? Why were you attracted to fly fishing?
JIM: Growing up hunting and fishing in Virginia and North Carolina, fly
fishing looked like the next step in my outdoor passion. I started fly
fishing at twelve, and I think the entire process and the unlimited amount
of learning involved in the sport has captured my interest for the past
JIM: I'm on the water 200+ days a year.
CTU: Are you involved in any conservation activities? If so what are they?
JIM: The Federation of Fly Fishers and Trout Unlimited. I also donate
trips to conservation causes such as the Jackson Hole One Fly.
CTU: Why competitive fly fishing?
JIM: Competitive fly fishing allows me to focus entirely on the fishing.
A fishing trip with friends and even a trip where I am guiding another
angler are fun and relaxing, yet those trips often shift away from the
fishing and onto to another part of the experience. Fishing in a competition
leaves no room for distraction, so I can completely enjoy each cast, each
fish, each moment, fishing as hard and as intensely as I can.
CTU: Has completive fishing changed your style or approach to the sport? What personal benefits, if any, can have resulted from your participation?
JIM: Competitive fishing has definitely changed my perspective on fly
fishing. I still enjoy the same parts of the sport as I did before, but
I now also see how much more information there is throughout the world
on fly fishing.
CTU: What advice would you offer to someone who would like to become involved in competitive fly fishing?
JIM: Learn as much as possible and then continue to practice what you
CTU: I'm assuming you have traveled extensively in pursuit of great fly waters. Where is your favorite place to fish and why?
JIM: So far (as I have many more destinations and waters to fish!), southern
Chile has been my favorite place to fish. The mountains, the completely
undeveloped landscape, the pure crystal water, and the 100% wild trout
help me imagine what the American West might have looked like and fished
like 100 years ago.
CTU: When fishing for fun what is your favorite method?
JIM: Dry fly fishing (1st) and then Polish nymphing.
CTU: How has fly fishing changed your life for the better?
JIM: Fly fishing has helped me meet incredible people and share some
of the best places on earth with those people.
CTU: Good luck to both of you in June of this year