Funny! A Look at Fly Tourney Rules

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Cushion Regs! Seriously!

If you didn’t know it, the America Cup international fly fishing tourney in Colorado recently ended, and two Team USA guys took the first two spots. Looking at the standings (pdf), it seems like another Team USA member, who finished 6th, actually had more points than the 2nd-place guy – but maybe it uses some kind of rugby or cricket scoring. After all, the rules are European.

And speaking of rules (pdf), we took a look to see how they’re different from bassin’ rules. Here are some interesting – and funny – examples:

1.1.  Sport fishing is angling with rod and line, by amateur anglers, for no financial reward.
[Exsqueeze me?]

1.2.  Competition sport fishing is angling among competitors, who are observing a standard, approved set of rules, for no financial reward.
[What’s with this attitude toward money?]

1.4.  Competition sport fly fishing is a doping-free sport in order to promote health, fairness and equality for all competitors worldwide.
[Look man, there are dopes in every sport….]

2.5.  Each World Championship must include a Conservation Symposium.
[The Classic has always done this, hopefully still does.]

10.5.  No boat may approach within fifty metres [yeah, they spelled it that way, European] of another boat from which a competitor is at the time fishing, except for reasons of safety or necessity.
[So much for the bent rod pattern – but this is probably to prevent getting an eye taken out or getting your ear pierced by a fly.]

10.6.  Competitors while fishing must be seated on the fitted seats but may use a cushion of a maximum depth of ten centimetres (but see Article 10.8).
[Cushion regs?! If you’re too comfortable, maybe you’ll fall asleep.]

14.4.  Each team member, including the captain/acting captain, must wear a visible identification card or badge throughout every competition session. It must be supplied by the host organisation.
[Does it say, “Hi my name is…?”]

14.8.  Each competitor must observe the principles of the World Anti–Doping Code and all anti-doping regulations set up for the Championships.
[This anti-doping stuff is all the way through the rules. What can you take to make yourself a better fly-caster? Valium?]

22.3.  If a competitor decides that a fish is ineligible or is undersized, he is not required to net it but must release it in the water, taking care not to cause it any damage, and ideally without touching it.
[Touch a trout and it goes to the emergency room.]

22.4.  If a controller or any other competition official determines that a competitor has negligently injured a fish, that fish will not be scored and the competitor will be penalised the number of points attributable to a fish of minimum valid length.  The incident must be reported to the Jury for consideration of further action.
[Drop a fish and you can’t win!]

24.2.  Only fish hooked in the mouth area, i.e. in front of the rear edge of the gill cover, will be eligible.
[Guess crankbaits are out.]

24.3.  A fish hooked inside a competition session is eligible if it is landed not more than ten minutes after the end of the session.
[No weigh-in – keep fishin’!]

25.1.  One conventional fly rod, not more than twelve feet/three hundred and sixty-six centimetres in length, may be used at one time.
25.2.  Competitors may have spare fly rods with them but when boat fishing, these must not be assembled nor the reel attached.

[Can’t attach the reel?!]

28.7.  All flies must be dressed on hooks which are barbless or de-barbed.
[Or else see rule 22.4.]

29.1.  The material of the landing net must have knotless construction.

30.1.  The following are prohibited:

(a) The fishing of competition sectors by competitors or their agents during a period of sixty days prior to the official start of the event.
[No prefish!]

(c) Lack of sportsmanship towards other competitors, organisers or officials.
[Bring tea and biscuits, ol’ chap.]

(d) Any action by competitors, organisers or officials which would produce fraudulent or biased results.
[Well duh.]

(e) The use of still or video cameras to film beats and/or the competitors of other countries to provide information for a team, during the whole Championship.
[No spying.]

(f) The use by a team member of radio or other electronic communication methods during a competition session.
[Radio? How old are these rules? How about smoke signals?]

(g) A competitor, during a competition session, requesting advice relating to the fishing from anyone (other than his captain) or accepting material help relating to the fishing from anyone.
[No help.]

(h) The use by a team member of a fish/depth finder during a championship.

(i) Use of any prohibited substance(s) constituting doping, according to the anti-doping regulations set.
[Does a Snickers bar count?]

32.1.  For each eligible fish caught, a competitor will score one hundred points.
32.2.  Competitors will also receive twenty points per centimetre length of each eligible fish; the recorded  length will be rounded up to the next complete centimetre for scoring purposes.

[Rounded up!]

33.3.  Any competitor who is forced to retire for any reason from a session of a championship shall have his catch up to that time included in the results.
[Bassin’ equivalent: Miss the weigh-in? No prob.]

37.5.  A formal protest from a team must be accompanied by a deposit of two hundred Euro or its equivalent. If the protest is upheld, the deposit will be returned; otherwise it is forfeited to FIPS-Mouche funds.
[Got that? You want to protest, pony up. We can envision at least one tourney trail implementing that rule….]

38.7.  There will be no monetary or substantial material prizes in any FIPS-Mouche authorised competition.
[Okay, okay, enough about the money already.]



  1. Jason

    September 28, 2010 at 9:21 am

    At bass tournaments, we hang out after the weigh in and talk about the one that got away or what lure was catching them that day.

    I searched for “fly fishing dudes shooting the bull” and got this:

  2. Yeeeeeeep

    September 28, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    You can’t win any money, but you’ll get a ripping trophy!

    And all those awesome flyfishing sponsorships to follow. The guys who are on the Chicken Feather pro staff really have it made.

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