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—Courtesy of Mike Speer

Fly-Fishing for the Big One

Top teenage anglers throw their lines into Colorado waters in hopes of claiming the title of world’s best.

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Vail is the hostess with the mostest. In February the luxe mountain town hosted the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships; in March it was the Burton U.S. Open Snowboarding Championships. And this month (August 10 to 16), Vail welcomes the world’s top teen anglers for the FIPS Mouche World Youth Fly Fishing Championship, the event’s first-ever U.S. stop. The five-member teams—hailing from as far away as France and South Africa—will cast into the upper and lower Eagle River, Colorado River, Dillon Reservoir, and Sylvan Lake. Each angler has a three-hour block at each location to catch as many wild trout as possible. The scoring is simple: Whoever catches the most fish and the biggest fish wins. The U.S. youth team won the last two world championships, in Ireland and Poland. Sadly, there are no locals to root for on this year’s roster (they must be prepping for ski season), but the out-of-state talent pool is stocked to inspire kids to throw a few flies. The event also will serve as a precursor to 2016’s adult FIPS Mouche World Fly Fishing Championship (September 11 to 18) in Vail. Guess you could say the town is hooked.

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