PHWFF CASTING COMPETITION
Winter is nearly over already and some PHWFF programs have been practicing the 5-Weight Combination Casting Games for several months already. Are you?
2018 marks the launch of the inaugural PHWFF National Casting Competition. The 5-Weight Combination Game was chosen for this competition because it presents situations similar to those we encounter when fishing: the need for accuracy to cast where the fish are rising, the ability to judge distance without ticking the water and spooking the fish, casting around an obstacle such as a boulder, and distance casting. The greatest emphasis in scoring falls on accuracy, although distance is an optional component. We are using 36-inch hula hoops and aluminum pie plates as targets because they are readily available, inexpensive and easy to transport and store. For more information contact your PHWFF Program Lead.
The PHWFF National Casting Competition officially begins in May when each program is asked to select a program casting champion. That individual will then represent his or her program at the regional competition. Every region is likely to have a slightly different regional competition that will be determined by its size as well as distances between programs. For example, a smaller region might bring together the competitors on the day of the event, compete and then head home, whereas a larger multi-state region might decide to have a state-wide competition first, followed by a regional competition among those state champions. Your Regional Coordinator will plan the date and format. Regional champions must be selected by the end of June so that travel arrangements to the Fly Fishers International Fair can be made.
Fly Fishers International(FFI) has graciously offered to host the national competition during their annual Fly Fishing Fair this summer in Boise, ID. The casting venue will be available to the regional champions for practice all day on Thursday, August 9. The official national competition will start at 9 am on Friday, August 10, followed by an awards ceremony during the Fair barbecue on Saturday night. Travel to and lodging at the Fair will be provided for the competitors.
Programs that have already begun practicing the casting game report that it has been a learning experience for all those involved, both participants and volunteers. For some, it can be challenging but often so is fishing. Many participants say that it’s fun, sometimes humbling. Most say that they see improvement already after just a short time. Some of our programs in the north have set up courses inside gymnasiums because of the weather outside, while others are practicing on grass outdoors.
The ultimate goal is to improve the casting ability of our participants. Additionally, this is another skill participants can benefit from in terms of keeping both minds and hands busy while focusing on a fun activity, and being in the outdoors.
If you have questions or need help, please contact Casting Competition Chairman Carole Katz at firstname.lastname@example.org.