Now, I've never participated in any fly fishing tournaments, so I never gave the subject much thought at all. I have learned that there are many folks who oppose, or disagree, with the concept of a fly tournament. They feel that fly fishing shouldn't be competitive, or a numbers game & dislike the idea of a competition entirely. Some anglers feel very strongly about this. I can understand that - up to a point.
One survey I saw (I can't remember where, sorry) that was recently conducted showed that competitive fly fishing is the fastest growing segment of the sport. It also showed that among younger fly anglers it is becoming more popular all the time. I see tournaments popping up all over the place, so I can believe that.
I guess most of these competitions are timed, & have other rules like limited water you can fish, a limited number of flies you can use, & so on. If that's the case, then I can see where that would put a lot of pressure on the angler to get results. All that adrenaline might be very alluring to the younger, adventure-seeking anglers. Add in some really cool prizes for winning & bragging rights (of course) & I can see why tournaments might be growing in popularity.
Now for me, after having watched that video, I don't think I'd ever want to enter a tournament. It's just not my cup o' tea. I think that's because as the years go by the less I worry about the numbers or size of fish I catch & instead focus more on fooling difficult fish. If I can trick one smart, wary trout in a place where most anglers wouldn't even think that it would be, than I'm happier with that one fish than with, say, five easier ones. I guess to me that's the challenge & mystery that appeals to me. Plus, like a good meal, I want to savior the moment & make it last in my memory.
Still, I don't have a problem with tournaments or those that participate in them. If that's how you want to fish, have at it & enjoy yourself. So long as any tournament doesn't interfere with how I fish, what do I care?.....& if it draws more anglers to the sport, well it can't be all bad - so long as it's ethical, sporting, & doesn't unnecessarily kill too many fish.
So you fish your way & I'll fish mine. We'll all meet up at the truck at the end of the day & swap some stories & hopefully learn from each other after a very enjoyable day spent along the stream. After all, to me that's the point of this silly exercise with rod & line - to (ethically) enjoy ourselves, no matter if you compete or not. Let's all enjoy the sport.