Few events at ESPN's Great Outdoor Games combine strategy and finesse like the One Fish competition.
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The Games are one of the few venues where competition is introduced into the sport of fly fishing, but the results are exciting. The 12 best fly anglers in the world compete on their own stretch of the beautiful Au Sable River with the goal of landing the longest trout they can land. There are two flights of anglers morning and late afternoon. The anglers can land as many trout as possible in a three-hour period. The catch is that they can only submit one fish as their official fish. That's where the strategy becomes a factor. If an angler catches a 15-inch rainbow trout and he has two hours left to fish, does he return that 15-inch fish to the water and risk not catching a larger fish?
In 2000, Tom Rowland had made up his mind before the competition began that if he landed a fish 18 inches or over he would make that his official fish and quit fishing. As it turned out Rowland presented his fly delicately and landed an 18.5 inch trout. After much deliberation, he decided to stick to his pre-game strategy and submit that fish. It turned out to be the right decision and he took home the gold.