A Fly Fishing Magazine Unlike Any Other
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photo by Ray Gralak

For those of you who haven’t heard, Maxine became the youngest gold medalist and world champion in history last summer, at the sanctioned World Championships in Flycasting.  She not only beat all female competitors in fly accuracy,  but outscored every male competitor, except her coach, at only 12 years old!  

This young and talented now teenager also “enjoys softball and track, is taking an archery class and wants to take a woodworking class.” You may be asking yourself how old she was when she first started casting.  Maxine says “I started going on a few of my dad’s fishing trips when I was 8, but I didn’t really start to practice my casting until I was 9.  Do the math.  She has accomplished this feat in only 3 years. 

Truly amazing!  

photo by - Mattias Rosell

From left to right, Evgeniya Roschupkina (RUS), Maxine McCormick (USA), Anna Hedman (SWE) and Donna O’Sullivan (USA) proudly display medals earned at the 2016 World Championships in Flycasting.

“I love fishing.  My favorite fish are trout and steelhead, but I have also caught bass and bluegill.”  Maxine’s favorite river right now is the McCloud River in Northern California.  According to her father, Glenn McCormick, she has also recently taken up spey casting.  She doesn’t stop at fishing and casting, but also ties flies.  “My favorite flies to tie are soft hackles.” 

photo by - Mattias Rosell

Maxine delivers a fly accuracy cast at the World Championships in Estonia.

When asked what she is most proud of, Maxine said, “I have had lots of proud moments with fishing and casting, but I think winning a gold medal in accuracy at the World Championship and beating all the men except for my coach was one of my proudest moments.”  

So who does she look up to?  “That’s a hard question.  I look up to so many people because so many people have helped my casting and fishing.  My dad because he always seems to catch a lot of fish when others aren’t, he has always supported me and it’s fun to spend time with him.  Chris Korich because he has taught me so much and is the best casting coach.  There are also other people who have helped me or helped with equipment and tips that I also look up to:  Donna O’Sullivan, Steve Rajeff, Travis Johnson, Gary Anderson, Whitney Gould and Simon Gawesworth.  I also look up to others that I have met, and they were really nice to me:  Mia Sheppard, April Vokey, Tim Rajeff, Val Atkinson and so many more that the list would be too long.”

photo courtesy of - Ggacc

Maxine and her coach Chris Korich celebrate.

Maxine really wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up.  “I really like animals and my friend and I want to have our own vet practice.  I also want to fish all over the world and be the best caster, like Steve Rajeff ... My friends think that it’s really cool that I do something different like fly casting.  They were all so proud of me after the World Championship and my school even had a celebration for me when I got back.”  

What type of equipment does this now 13 year-old like to use?  “My favorite rods to cast and practice with are an older Fenwick fiberglass rod and an older Fenwick graphite rod that my coach balanced perfectly for me with double taper lines and Hardy reels.  I think they are 40 years old.  I like them because they allow me to feel the line and are great for roll casting.  For fishing, I mostly use an 8’6” 5wt Sage RPL or whatever else my dad sets up for me.” 

“My most memorable moments in casting are when I scored better than my coach in tournaments, when I beat Steve Rajeff in an event at the Nationals, when I made the All American Team for the first time and going to Estonia for the World Championship.  For fishing, it was when I landed two rainbow trout at the same time on the McCloud River, one on my dry fly and one on my dropper, and when I caught my first steelhead.  I guess all of my fishing trips are memorable.  I also think a lot about the fish camps that I went to because they were so much fun.”

So what does dad have to say about everything?  “It’s really amazing.  Every time I watch her cast, she amazes me with her efficient stroke and controlled loops ... I think most who watch her cast think the same thing I do; how in the world does she do it?”  A great competitor, Maxine McCormick is a fly casting extraordinaire.  

photo courtesy of - Mccormick Family

At 12, Maxine scored 99/100, equaling the highest points in any fly accuracy at the US Championships regardless of age or gender.

Good things really do come in small packages.

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