Truckee fly fisher leads team to bronze
October 15, 2007
Truckee fly fishing guide John Roberts was one of over 70 qualifying anglers from the United States, Canada, England and Ireland to hit the waters of Boulder, Colo., on Oct. 3 for the first official day of the U.S. National Fly Fishing Championships.
Appointed to a team of four strangers, he was asked to fish unfamiliar rivers and lakes over multiple days with little sleep.
After disappointing practices, conflicts with new team members and the sheer pressure of competition, Roberts and his teammates started to buckle.
If they wanted to succeed, things needed to change.
Roberts convinced rival teammates Kurt Finlayson, Teo Whitlock, Rob Kolanda and Loren Williams that they were going to have to work as a team. That meant trusting each other and sharing techniques and flies, which is practically unheard of in the competitive fly fishing culture.
The team began to collaborate and the risk paid off.
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Roberts earned a top-3 individual-session placing and his teammates responded equally well. Things quickly changed for the better and after five grueling sessions of competition, Robers’ team found themselves in the running for a highly coveted championship medal.
Due to his 15th-place individual ranking, Roberts and his teammates were able to surpass the tough competition, including several world-class teams, and secure the bronze medal for a surprise finish at the U.S. National Fly Fishing Championships.