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Student catches first place in fly fishing tournament

September 26, 2013

When he is not working on his master's research on Lake Dillon, Colo., Colorado State University graduate student Devin Olsen can be found casting competitive lines on the water.

Devin Olsen, center, with his Fly Fishing Team USA teammates.Fly fishing champion

A member of Fly Fishing Team U.S.A., Olsen won first place in the sixth annual America Cup International Fly Fishing Tournament - the third largest fly fishing tournament of its kind in the world and the largest in America with 80 Anglers competing for three days. 

This was the third America Cup win for Olsen who won the America Cup silver in 2008 and gold in 2010. This year, he competed against 70 anglers from around the world including a team from the Czech Republic and anglers from Italy, Poland, Finland, Portugal, and France. Olsen caught 50 fish in total to help him earn the first place trophy and narrowly beating French former World Champion fisherman Yann Caleri.

'Toughest and best win'

“Caleri is one of the top three or four anglers in the world, so I was thrilled to ke

Olsen competing on the Blue River.

ep up with him,” said Olsen. “This was probably my toughest and best win because of the level of competition from foreign countries.”

The Eagle County-based tournament took place over five venues around Vail, Colo. over the very rainy weekend of Sept. 10-15. Anglers competed in rotating groups and were scored by a combination of the number of fish caught and fish size. All fish are measured and then released. 

A last minute venue change from the Colorado River to Black Lake was made due to muddy conditions, and Olsen was the only angler to catch more than one fish on Black Lake.

Olsen holding a trout at his research site on Dillon Reservoir.“Having some previous skills developed from fly casting tournaments helped me reach fish that were too far out into the lake for other anglers,” said Olsen. “I'd also like to thank my teammates for their help and congratulate them on a bronze medal. Also, thanks to the organizer John Knight for putting on another great tournament.”

Arctic char research

Olsen is master’s student under advisor Professor Brett Johnson in the Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology in the Warner College of Natural Resources. His research is focused on Arctic char (a salmon species) populations and dietary habits in Dillon Reservoir. His project is part of a larger collaborative research effort led by Johnson that is working to improve Dillon Reservoir as a premier fisheries destination.  

National Championships

Olsen and his team will compete in the U.S. National Fly Fishing Championships coming up in Basalt, Colo. October 4-6. Those interested in following the tournament or learning more about the team can visit the website.