The USA National Fly Fishing Championships got underway in Central Oregon Thursday. Fifty of the country’s top anglers are facing off in rivers and lakes outside Bend.
Perhaps the youngest of these anglers is 17-year-old Gabriel Wittosh. He came all the way from Duluth, Georgia.
Wittosh, like many of the others, was lured to Bend by the prospect of qualifying for a spot on the U.S. national team and competing in next year’s world championships in Slovenia.
“Whoa, looks like he’s got one.”
Wittosh measures the length of his fish on a plastic board.
Volunteer Jerry Newell records the results in centimeters.
Newell, drove six hours from Walla Walla to watch the best at work and hopefully catch a few pointers.
Stick around for an hour with any of these anglers, he tells me, and you’re bound to learn something new.
“Actually every minute watching this guy. He’s probably got a degree in entomology the way he works those bugs,” he said.