Fishing in the Olympics?

Photo courtesy of Bassmaster Classic

As I watched Chloe Kim defy gravity on a snowboard last night, I was reminded of the splendor and the impact of the Olympics, and what it means to the compeitors who have devoted their lives to just a sliver of actual living. For Kim, it's the half-pipe. She learned as a kid when her dad toted her up to the Sierra from their Southern California home, and she's never stopped. She is, very clearly, the best woman in the world when it comes to riding a snowboard down a half-pipe. 

Others, of course, are the best at figure skating or cross-country skiing or the luge. Being the best at these disciplines gives them the right to compete for medals every four years in what the world recognizes as the ultimate sporting festival. These narrow disciplines define the lives of these athletes.

Then, as I looked around my basement at the fishing decor on the walls and the fly rods standing in tubes in the corner and ... what's that? Yellow marabou on my jeans? ... I realized that these folks are no different than anyone who is passionate about one particular thing.

I then remembered an article I'd seen recently in the Midland (Mich.) Daily News about an organized and international lobby of anglers requesting Olympic status for fishing. 

Fishing. In the Olympics. Is the world ready for that? Can you imagine the PETA protests when the bass guys lip their listless catch that's been chilling in the live well for a few hours, grinning big for the cameras? Or the "excitement" of watching the world's best ice fishers sit over a hole they've drilled in the ice? Or the confusion when international teams of fly fishers descend upon a series of rivers and lakes and map out "beats" and cast hand-tied flies at trout?

If fishing were an Olympic pursuit, would it be divided by the disciplines within the discipline? Spincast? Baitcast? Ice fishing? Trolling? Fly casting? Saltwater fishing? Saltwater fly fishing? 

Yes, there are millions and millions of devoted amateur anglers out there (and quite a few pros, too). But does this justify Olympic status, given the challenges it poses?

What do you think? Fishing? In the Olympics?

— Chris Hunt

Comments

 
said on Friday, February 16th, 2018

Olympics? Initial thought - No.

However, the BASS tournaments have had many good effects and the bad practices need not be copied. So, overall, yes. 

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said on Friday, February 16th, 2018

I am opposed to fishing in Olympics or any other format that is a contest using our natural resources.

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said on Friday, February 16th, 2018

NO!!!!!  The Olympics already have too many "sports" that shouldn't be there.  In my view, fishing or any knid--deep sea, bass, trout, freshwter, saltwater, etc.--are  (or should not be!) competitive "sports."  Fishing already has national and international competitions, which I deplore, as well as casting competitions, which I think are marginally acceptable.  We do not need an Olympic fishing competition of any kind. [Which, by the way, what kind of "fishing" Olympic event(s) are the lobbyists considering? All types, or only a select one or two?]

BASS already has its own commercial tournaments.  Does TU want to follow in those footsteps?  Not I!

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said on Friday, February 16th, 2018

Competion is antithetical to the very spirit of fishing.

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said on Friday, February 16th, 2018

No on so many levels.

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said on Friday, February 16th, 2018

The only competition in any kind of fishing is between the angler and the fish!  Well, with the occasional side bet with other anglers ..  We all know and understand the wide range of variables which impact fishing and part of anyone's success is a random event.  Another observation is that many of these competitions take placed on specially managed waters, an artificial environment which eliminates a very large part of our sport in the real world ...  Finding the Fish!

    Wherever the competition takes place, it shuts down public access to public water.  Your favorite stream hosts a contest and you may not go fishing.  In my view, this is a very good reason to not support competetive fishing and should be considered by the NLC for TU to actively oppose competition.

 

--johnkies--

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said on Friday, February 16th, 2018

I fish because I love to; because I love the environs where trout are found, which are invariably beautiful and I hate the environs where crowds of people are found, which are invariably ugly; because of all the television commercials, cocktail parties, and assorted social posturing I thus escape; because, in a world where most men seem to spend their lives doing things they hate, my fishing is at once an endless source of delight and an act of small rebellion; because trout do not lie or cheat and cannot be bought or bribed or impressed by power, but respond only to quietude and humility and endless patience; because I suspect that men are going along this way for the last time, and I for one don't want to waste the trip; because only in the woods can I find solitude without loneliness; because bourbon out of an old tin cup always tastes better out there; because maybe one day I will catch a mermaid; and, finally, not because I regard fishing as being so terribly important but because I suspect that so many of the other concerns of men are equally unimportant - and not nearly so much fun...Robert Traver, Trout Magic

In other words, NO!

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said on Friday, February 16th, 2018

Fishing as an Olympic Sport?  Great...how about card tricks and juggling too!!

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said on Friday, February 16th, 2018

I’m not keen on fishing competitions at any level other than, as mentioned earlier, bets or bragging rights between friends. Even that I’m not too keen on.

Now casting competitions... different story. In fishing there are scads of excuses for not doing well. e.g. bad beat, windy on my beat, sun was in fishes eyes and so on.

In fly casting you either hit the targets or not. Everyone has identical challenges which they will ace based entirely on their skill sets. Another very nice thing with casting comps is that the age demographic of contenders is much wider than most every other Olympic event. 

So, my votes if allowed:

Fishing comps - No

Fly Casting comps - Yes. And the sooner the better for our sport and to make it more inclusive.

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said on Friday, February 16th, 2018

No, no a thousand times no!  

Fly fishing doesn't naturally rely on competition as a prime motivator or reward. Looking back over my fly fishing "career" of about 45 years, I notice that whenever I've slipped into competing with my fishing buddies (biggest, most fish etc.) my awarness of my surroundings, presence and peace of mind have suffered.  I hate the idea of racing to water and fishing to short finite periods of time.  Let's not encourage this kind of grand-standing...especially on public waters.

 

 

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said on Saturday, February 17th, 2018

We used to call fishing (at least fly fishing) "The Quiet Sport".  Can't we just leave it at that?  The only thing I see coming out of making it an olympic sport is placing another unnecessary strain on the resource and driving the price even further up than it is now.  We are already pricing a lot of young folks out of the game or preventing them from getting into it to begin with.  Let's go back to a simpler time.

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said on Monday, February 19th, 2018

Oh. I thought you meant the Olympic mountains in Washington State. Makes more sense.

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said on Friday, March 16th, 2018

Olympics Sport for fishing may bring in many new contenders to fish and give a new perspective of fishing for the better

 

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