NWT anglers in North American fly fishing tournament

Click on the slideshow above to view captions.Photos: Todd Oishi.

Three anglers from the NWT are back and fishing on the territory’s waters after a four-day fly fishing tournament in BC, where professionals from across the country and as far away as Scotland crossed rods.

Around 60 competitors – more than ever before – came out for the fourth year of the North American Loch-Style Fly Fishing Championships, held in Logan Lake, BC last week.

From the NWT, Terence Courtoreille, Darin Benoit and Donny Boake competed for angling titles.

Boake, a youth member on team Flytastic 5, was named Sport North Federation’s youth male athlete of the year in May.

This is Boake’s second year competing in the Canada-wide fly fishing championships and, according to the event’s founder and organizer Todd Oishi, he has a good shot at making the Canadian youth fly fishing team.

After the full five sessions in the tournament, Boake’s team won the silver medal while in the individual ranking, he took 6th place overall, a huge win for the NWT youth.

Oishi, a former member of the Canadian fly fishing team, said there were seven young anglers in the mix this year, the most youth the event has seen to date.

“It’s great; they are the future of our sport,” Oishi said. “It’s important to encourage young people to come out and compete because we are getting older and so they are going to be the ones to continue the sport.”

The competition is arranged into 12 teams of five rotating partners so that each three-hour segment of fishing is done with a new member of the team. The idea is to have the anglers learn from one another, Oishi said.

“I wanted to make sure that everybody gets a chance to learn. Everybody walks away feeling like a winner because they walk out of there a better angler as a result of being there,” he said.

Several of the competitors have been on the national fly fishing team and have a lot of experience and skills to share, Oishi said.

The three days of competition are accredited in the selecting process for the national team, which means many of the anglers collected points towards their national ranking.

“It’s my hope that for guys like Donny and the other youth, they’ll pick up some points here and have a chance to represent the youth team at international events,” Oishi said.

In September, Canada is sending a youth team to a competition in Colorado. Oishi, who is one of the coaches for the team, said he was watching for potential candidates from the seven youth who attended.

“We’re looking for, first off, that they make great ambassadors for our Canadian youth,” he said. “We’re looking for kids that show a lot of heart, that don’t just quit, and they obviously have to have fairly good skills for fly fishing on rivers and lakes and great casting abilities.”

The Canadian national fly fishing championships will be held in Kenauk, Que. this October and after his success this tournament, Boake will likely be among the competitors.

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