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Fly: Egan toughs it out again

By Steve Wright
Great Outdoor Games staff ? July 9, 2004

MADISON, Wis. ? A year ago, Lance Egan was shocked when an 11-inch brown trout earned him a Fly Fishing gold medal in the Great Outdoor Games on the Truckee River in Reno, Nev. But Egan felt confident Friday when he landed a 13¾-inch rainbow trout less than halfway through his afternoon session on Silver Creek.

Though the fishing was nothing like the Snake River drainage in his native Jackson Hole, Jim Hickey adapted well, earning the Fly Fishing silver medal.
"This was definitely tougher water to fish," said Egan about the narrow, brush-lined creek that was coffee-colored due to recent rains.

Egan's confidence in that 13-plus-inch trout was well-founded. It earned the Salt Lake City, Utah, angler a second-straight gold medal in the Fly Fishing competition.

Jim Hickey of Jackson, Wyo., won the silver medal with an 8-inch brook trout.

Ryan Barnes, also of Salt Lake City, took the bronze medal with a 7¾-inch brook trout.

"The thick overgrowth on the creek forced you to use a short rod and make short casts," said Egan in describing the difficult conditions each angler faced.

Had he kept this 10¼-inch rainbow, John Wilson would have placed second.
"Because of the color of the water, you couldn't tell how deep it was, and there were lots of snags. I probably lost 10 or 12 flies, which is pretty uncommon for me. I can usually go a whole day without losing more than one or two flies."

Rather than fish a fly pattern recommended by local anglers, the 26-year-old Egan went with one of his own creations, a Tungsten Surveyor, in a size No. 12.

"There were lots of scuds in the creek and that's a fly pattern I have confidence in," Egan said. "When the conditions are this tough, you've got to fish something you've got 100 percent confidence in, rather than trying lots of different patterns."

It was a strategy that made Egan the first two-time gold medal winner in the Fly Fishing competition.

Three other anglers caught trout that could have earned them a silver or bronze medal in the event. But all three chose to let those marks go unrecorded and continue fishing for something bigger. That's just part of the gamesmanship in this format, which adds a poker playing element to catch-and-release trout fishing.

Rick Hartman of Harlingen, Texas, released a 12¼-inch rainbow. Tom White of Marathon, Fla., landed an 11-inch rainbow. And John Wilson of Russellville, Ark., let a 10¼-inch rainbow go unrecorded.

But it was some consolation to all three anglers to know that none of those fish would have topped Egan's gold-medal winner.

Final standings
1 Lance Egan, Sandy, Utah -- 13.75 in.
2 Jim Hickey, Jackson, Wyo. -- 8 in.
3 Ryan Barnes, Salt Lake City, Utah -- 7.75 in.
4 John Wilson, Russellville, Ark. -- 7.5 in.
5 Rick Hartman, Harlingen, Texas -- 0 in.
6 Foster Hetherington, Brandon, Vt. -- 0 in.
7 Chuck Farneth, Little Rock, Ark. -- 0 in.
8 Lance Stanchfield, Wise River, Mont. -- 0 in.
9 Brian Capsay, Durango, Colo. -- 0 in.
10 Steve Bechard, Oneida, N.Y. -- 0 in.
11 Capt. Tom White, Marathon, Fla. -- 0 in.
12 Mike Dawes, Victor, Idaho -- 0 in.

Results (By Round)

Final Round
1 Lance Egan Length: 13.75 in.
2 Jim Hickey Length: 8 in.
3 Ryan Barnes Length: 7.75 in.
4 John Wilson Length: 7.5 in.
5 Rick Hartman Length: 0 in.
6 Foster Hetherington Length: 0 in.
7 Chuck Farneth Length: 0 in.
8 Lance Stanchfield Length: 0 in.
9 Brian Capsay Length: 0 in.
10 Steve Bechard Length: 0 in.
11 Capt. Tom White Length: 0 in.
12 Mike Dawes Length: 0 in.

1 John Wilson Total: 2464.6
2 Jim Hickey Total: 1998.3
3 Rick Hartman Total: 1938.7
4 Foster Hetherington Total: 1815.3
5 Chuck Farneth Total: 1630.5
6 Lance Stanchfield Total: 1580.5
7 Brian Capsay Total: 1499.1
8 Ryan Barnes Total: 1374.2
9 Lance Egan Total: 1316.8
10 Steve Bechard Total: 1115.6
11 Capt. Tom White Total: 1015.9
12 Mike Dawes Total: 974.5

Lance Egan - Gold Medal Winner

Foster Heatherington

Mathew Stedina

Mike McFarland

John Wilson

Jim Hickey

[ 07-13-2004, 11:44 AM: Message edited by: NIGHTSTRIKES ]

1,032 Posts
Nice! Steve, I think I could give those guys a run. Lots of skunkerooskies and small ones. Jersey trout fishing may get a bad rap, but there are bigger trout than that in the drainage creek in front of my office. You got to fish the big brown and uglies when the water is high.
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