On the Fly
FFTUSA CAPTAIN, ANTHONY NARANJA, SPEAKS ABOUT UMPQUA'S PACKS AND BAGS
Umpqua Packs Are Newest “Members” of the U.S. Fly Fishing Team
Welcome to a newest addition to the U.S. Fly Fishing Team. No, not another championship angler. It’s Umpqua’s new line of packs. Long a sponsor of the team, the new Umpqua products will be seen in competition, according to team captain Anthony Naranja.
Naranja, 42, a dental surgeon in the Denver area, is head of this country’s 15-member entry into competition fly fishing and The World Fly Fishing Championships hosted by FIPS-Mouche. The team’s mission is "to share the world of competition fly fishing within the U.S. to expand our sport and passion for the outdoors, and conserve and protect fishing resources within the country through education, seminars, clinics and advancements to the fly fishing public.
Anthony’s home waters over the last 14 years have been the rivers and lakes of the Roaring Fork Valley near Aspen and Carbondale, Colo. Between traveling there and fishing in the Denver Metro region, he’s on the water an enviable two to three times a week.
Five years ago he converted from a standard fishing vest to chest packs because of easier handling and lighter weight in competition. What he likes best about the new Umpqua Overlook 500 is how it rides – comfortably nice and high without the need for a counterbalance weight on the back.
“I also appreciate the angulation of the zippers that I can open and close with one hand, without putting down my rod and reel.”
Recently, he tested the Ledges 650 waist-pack, raving, “It’s almost like it’s on rollers – you can swing the waist-pack all the way around from back to front without it getting stuck.”
Since joining Fly Fishing Team USA, which is now in the top 10 among 40 nations competing worldwide, he has been to seven World Championships as either a competitor, captain or coach, fishing in Sweden, Portugal, Finland, New Zealand, Scotland, Poland, Italy and Slovenia. Next up are championships in Norway later this year. Eventually, the team hopes to lure the competition back to the U.S. – they were last here in 1997 at Jackson Hole.
“We’re taking the sport to a higher level of competency,” he tells us. “And there’s much the angling public can learn from watching competition fly fishing.”
Anthony would also love to see fly-fishing become an Olympic sport. Who among us wouldn’t? The Olympics are eliminating wrestling, so maybe there’s room for fly-fishing? Time to teach Bob Costas how to cast.
Learn more about the team here: www.FFteamusa.com