Professional Fly Fishing Tour Launches. What Do You Think About It?


The new Pro Fly Angling Tour website is looking for members.

I logged into Facebook last night and found something unexpected and fascinating: Fly Fishing Team USA member Anthony Naranja has launched something called the Pro Fly Angling Tour, which aims to do for fly fishing what BASS Bassmaster competition did for bass fishing. Here’s what Anthony said on his Facebook page:

As many of you know, I have been working on a very large fly fishing project for the past few years. Fortunately, this project has become reality as of the past few months. . . . I have started a new style of fly fishing competition where this event will be limited to 120 members worldwide. It is a format never seen or used in this scale. Have you ever thought or dreamed of the possibilities of making money and fly fishing in front of large crowds and cameras with a passion that we all love and have done for fun? Well that is what the Pro Fly Angling Tour provides! This format is fast paced, athletic and an all out intense way of fly fishing. Currently we are searching for 120 of the world’s top fly anglers to start the inaugural season of the PFA Tour in the spring of 2014. If you are interested in being a competitor for the PFA Tour or just want to be a fan of this new style of fly fishing competition, go to www.pfatour.org for more information. I have appreciated all of your support through the years and hope this Tour opens up a whole new way of competitive fly fishing!

So, of course, I immediately clicked over to the PFA website to see what was up. I found what seems to be a mission statement: “Financial rewards and video exposure to a worldwide audience for fly fishing is the mission of the PFA Tour in hopes of encouraging more and more people to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors.”

I am very curious to see what kind of reaction he gets on this new venture. I assuming that many will be virulently against it, while others will be fascinated by the new format and interested in trying it out.

Click on over to the PFA website and poke around a bit. What do you think?

48 thoughts on “Professional Fly Fishing Tour Launches. What Do You Think About It?”

  1. My gut reaction? Turning the sport of fly fishing into an “intense athletic event” and turning trout into a commodity just to make money is objectionable.

  2. It’s sort of sad, I think. Most everything that I love about the sport is lost in it’s transformation into a competition.

  3. Generally, I would oppose anything that would stunt the growth of the resource. If they had the competition on stocked ponds, lakes or stocked streams that otherwise would not hold a population of fish – then maybe and only maybe.. But we all know that money talks and it is a great motivator…I would hope Orvis (and other manufacturers/retailers) would not endorse these activities..

  4. I hate to see fish reduced to the same status as a football. Rivers and fish should have more glorification than the anglers and this seems to be moving in the opposite direction.

  5. If commercialization was bad for fly fishing, Orvis would not be welcome on the river. I think this can be a WONDERFUL opportunity for education on things like catch and release and barbless hooks and handling those large older fish. The list could go on and on with things that need to be taught about fly fishing culture! This tour could be the perfect platform for education and awareness.

  6. I got out of tournament bass fishing because it destroyed the essence of fishing for me. I went back to fly fishing (my first love) and found what I always loved about fishing. I would probably not bother to tune into “pro fly fishing”
    Ed Walzer

  7. “dreamed of the possibilities of making money and fly fishing in front of large crowds and cameras”
    That statement is all you need to know about the motive behind this. Just someone else trying to monetize an activity that most of use a way to relax and unwind while using the resources as fodder.

    Shameful.

  8. Hold the phone.

    I just went from Meh to Opposed.

    Where are they going to hold these events? On my river? Can you imagine fifty competitors descending on any river? No thank you.

  9. Hate it! This is absolutely not what fly fishing needs. While this may attract a few people to our sport when you market it like this, “dreamed of the possibilities of making money and fly fishing in front of large crowds and cameras”, you need to ask yourself if we really want the people this would attract in the first place. I also echo most of the sentiments expressed by previous posters and hope this attempt to commercialize fly fishing fails to even get off the ground.

  10. I agree with Ed Walzer. I did the same thing. Not to mention the how BASS tournaments have literally ruined great fisheries (i.e. Falcon, Amistad) from over fishing due to exposure. Im a new fly fisherman, and Id be disappointed to get into it as this starts up.

  11. Out of curiosity, how many people here have witnessed an organized fly fishing tournament before? They’ve been around for a few years (there’s actually a league).

  12. Sadly, just another shallow attempt at raping the resource in the name of celebrity and cash. Pretty is as pretty does. This is exactly what our fisheries resources do not need.

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  14. Great idea ! It sounds exciting. Although it is not for everyone, it gives some outstanding anglers the opportunity to compete. If you don’t like it just stay away, if you do like it support it. I’ve been fly fishing for over 40 years and have seen many changes in styles and techniques, some good some bad. I think this will be a good thing. Again it’s a great idea.
    Good luck on the project.
    Doug O.

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  16. Quote “Have you ever thought or dreamed of the possibilities of making money and fly fishing in front of large crowds and cameras with a passion that we all love and have done for fun?”

    Dream? No
    Nightmare? Yes

    Awful sentence – poor grammar and construction of concept.
    Awful idea – back in the box with you Anthony

  17. I could be mistaken, but from what I’ve heard most fly fishermen aren’t big fans of “fly fishing in front of large crowds”, actually most of us avoid that exact situation. The last thing I want is to feel rushed on the river. The whole damn point is to take everything in move slow and relax, but to each his own.

  18. This ass-clown should just go watch some NASCAR. Fly fishing is not an organized sport nor should it be. Eat it, Anthony Naranja as well as anybody associated with pro bass fishing.

  19. The last thing I want while fly fishing is thousands of people gathered around to watch. I fish to get away from people and stress, not get into it.

  20. What is next? Ranger 500 series Jet Boats on the river?

    Sounds like they want to take everthing that’s right about flyfishing and make it wrong.

  21. I’m not sure how I feel about this. If executed well, this could be a great event. It cold give us all something else to nerd out on, while at the same time expose more people to the sport and hopefully even promote conservation and proper angling ethics. I don’t think you’ll ever see me wasting a day competing, but i might drink a couple beers in the evening and check in on the event.

    It does seem like a lot of the commenters are opposed to competition in general. You do realize that competition fly fishing isn’t a new thing at all. There are plenty of big fly fishing competitions all over the world, and these will still be happening whether or not this league starts up. I don’t think anyone can argue against seeing the Jackson or Green River One Fly on TV. It would be badass and we all would watch!

    If this competition portrays fly fishing has hammering on high speed sparkly bass boats wearing retarded looking jerseys covered in logos, well then I retract everything I said above.

  22. A misguided attempt to try and monetize and “expose” fly fishing. It will never catch on unless it’s done in such a ridiculous manner that it won’t be taken seriously by anyone with any amount of clout. All it will serve to do is drive people towards a “take no prisoners” method of fly fishing. This will glorify a situation where etiquette and professionalism take a back seat to being utterly ridiculous in an effort to get more camera time and doing anything to yank out a few genetically enhanced trout.

    There’s a little too much ego in the sport these days. A few too many people trying to grab a piece of a very small pie by marketing themselves as being “more extreme” or “more epic” than the other guy. A lot of guys talking the talk but only a few able or willing to walk the walk. Admittedly, some of this has actually been good, but we’ve reached a saturation point. Fly fishing isn’t an extreme sport, it isn’t an “intense athletic activity” and by its very design it can’t ever be. You can try to blur the lines as much as you want, you’ll never cross into “extreme” territory doing anything that resembles fly fishing.

    What I think fly fishing as a whole needs is some soul searching…social media, YouTube, marketing, etc. are guiding this ship into some troubled waters in my opinion. We can use these tools to more effectively promote fly fishing for what it truly is than we’ve been doing. The change over the past 5 or 6 years is startling for someone who’s been a student of this pursuit for 20+ years.

    Now…if you’ll excuse me I’m going to go ride my bike into my favorite stream…do a backflip over a 100 foot opening in the canyon and rappel in. Then I’ll rip on some sweet browns using my 1 weight. After I’m done, I’ll free climb out of the canyon and climb onto my waiting paraglider to fly home. All in a days work of fly fishing. YouTube video coming soon…maybe Simms will send me a hat?

  23. For anyone that thinks this is a good idea, Google Professional Tarpon Tour Series controversy. That tournament in Boca Grande Florida is basically what this guy is trying to do: monetize a public resourse for the enrichment of a few, to the detriment of the fishery.

  24. Pingback: Competitive Fly Fishing and the Notion of What's "Proper" | Orvis News
  25. I once was against fly tournaments but now realize that it helps drive innovation related to skills, techniques, fly patterns, strategies, rigs, tackle and philosophy. If you don’t like it, don’t participate, support or observe. I find that I learn and grow as an angler when in or observing a tournament. Many are conservation oriented. As a fly fishing professional guide/writer/photographer/designer, I always wished there would be a way to make a living fly fishing, like professional athletes, pro golfers and pro bass anglers do. I personally can’t afford the money needed to be on tour (without sponsors) but I say Kudos to something whose time has come. Also, if companies want to sponsor competitors, it will be great exposure and advertising and may help true competitors compete, not just the wealthy wanna-be’s that have the time and funds to travel and fish the tour. I hope the tour promoters keep that in mind and don’t make it cost or time prohibitive.

  26. This is a great thing for fly fishing which has become over run with the “next great thing” being a piece of material or a new twist on a product that already works. The industry has been STALE! Let’s get it on. I am all for it. All for the new avenue for kids to be brought into the sport. All for our production companies really having an avenue to sell more product to weed out the bad and bring in the best. It’s a win win, period.

  27. Being one that has done this style of “Fips” angling in competitions. Granted, new skills, styles, and technologies are developed. (The same happens as a result of wars) It is not for anyone that has a thinking brain. If you are into stroking egos and one-upping each other, than be my guest. To them it is a numbers game and I don’t think they even stop and enjoy the resorse nor the environment they are in. All I ask is that you watch a competition sometime and you will know what I mean.

  28. I just caddied in the most recent event, everyone was in awe of the venue and the natural resourses we where involved with. The anglers all have the utmost respect for the sport as well, thats why they are competing. To show the world what the newiest styles of fly fishing all about. Ive been fishing my whole life and fly fishing over 20 years. It was a great expierence to see the best of the best going head to head. I cant wait to be on the tour myself. No fish was returned to the waters harmed. The inviroment was un scaved. The river is in the best of shape. I cant see how this isnt a possitive hange for the sport of fly fishing. We all have our relaxing time on the water. I personaly enjoy countless hours on the water year after year. This was a blast!!! For alot of the the anglers on the tour its not about the money its about being the best we can be. Thank you Anthony for allowing me to be a part of this great and new event. Great job to all the anglers that worked so hard to be were they are today. Tight lines to all

  29. If we are to have fisheries in the future, we need to expose more people to them now. If you promote this the right way (we already have tournaments and pro series folks), it could be a valuable tool for educating the masses. Many fisheries harolded as Gold Metal, Blue Ribbon etc. are literally alive due to stocking efforts. Some are kept healthy by people who care enough to go out and clean up waste and trash. Those same people vote on clean water initiatives. During this day and age, the more we can get people to embrace this sport/art…the better off we will all be.

    It would seem that some people here are stingy with their fishing holes. Perhaps they feel that is rightfully so. I personally think that this is a craft best served by sharing.

    I remember being told the old “If you do something you love, you will never work a day in your life”. Hey- if some folks can make a living doing this, or even support their addiction, and it can promote the cause…GO FOR IT. Do it mindfully of what is at stake, and with the intention of bettering Fly Fishing as a way of life. After all, for those of us who do it, that it what is really is.

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