Orvis Species Slam: Calling all anglers for fly-fishing ‘scavenger hunt’
Photo: Logan Robertson

Orvis Species Slam: Calling all anglers for fly-fishing ‘scavenger hunt’

Posted by: Shauna Farnell

In new Orvis Species Slam, teams of 2 have less than 7 hours to catch 7 kinds of fish

Like all events at the GoPro Mountain Games, the fly-fishing competitions showcase the sport’s top tier competitors. Unlike other events, which also offer open categories for athletes of all levels and ages, fly-fishing has historically mostly featured professional anglers. The new Orvis Species Slam, however, is open to everyone. And … the local kids who know the neighborhood fishing holes might just claim victory over the visiting pros.

“We noticed that some fly-fishing events weren’t inclusive of younger individuals who don’t have the means to row a boat down the Eagle River or who aren’t a professional fly-fishing guide. This event is something for all ages and all anglers. Fly-fishing as a sport is associated with trout fishing in the mountains, but people fly-fish all over the world for a ton of different species,” says Orvis Colorado Community Leader Davis James.

Along with partner Blake Katchur, James masterminded the Orvis Species Slam based on a similar competition they run in Denver called 25 On The Fly. The concept is “fly-fishing meets scavenger hunt,” in which teams of two set out in a limited window of time to attempt to catch each of the fish species on the list and document it via phone video.

“It’s kind of like ‘The Amazing Race.’ Teams take this list of fish, figure out which are your challenges and challengers and try to conquer all,” James says. “What we found with our event is that kids who spend a lot of time riding through neighborhoods on a bike know all the fishing haunts under people’s noses. They know where to catch that Bluegill. You can fish any public water in our event. This is a specific list for species that can be found in Gore Creek, the Colorado River, Eagle River and those ponds down in Gypsum. For this, you need to do your research. It’s something where a 12-year-old kid could beat a 40-year-old man.”

The seven fish species to hunt in the Orvis Slam include Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, Brook Trout and Bluegill, worth 25 points each; Cutthroat Trout, worth 50 points; Mountain Whitefish and Smallmouth Bass, worth 75 points.

The event is open to anglers 12 years and older and duo teams of sisters, brothers, parents and children, partners and friends are all encouraged to register.

Following the debriefing meeting at Vail Christian High School in Edwards at 8 a.m. on June 11, teams will set out to fish. Once a catch is made, teams must record a video on their phone (location services on) using the free Cinebody App. The App will stop taking submissions at 3 p.m.

The five teams to notch the most points will split a $3,000 prize purse. Prizes will also be awarded to clever content submissions and biggest (longest) fish.

“A big part of the sport is the ability to catch multiple species. There’s a few people who catch Rainbow and Brown Trout constantly. This event presents a real challenge,” James says. “It was originally a cutthroat tournament, but we found we were attracting the same kind of angler. When we started giving out prizes for content, we found engagement increase. The Species Slam has the same vibe as a mud run, where some people are there to get dirty and some are there to win the thing. It’s a great opportunity to be a part of fly-fishing.”

Find more info and register for the Orvis Species Slam.

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