Whether it be a competition, training or just relaxing, Henry Wagy ’24 can always be found near some water with a fishing rod. Ever since his dad first taught him, Wagy has been an avid fisherman, and a pretty good one at that.
Henry Wagy competes for Team U.S.A. Youth Fly Fishing, which is a group of 16 teenagers who have shown their talent throughout multiple clinics. They are coached by world-class fly-fishermen who teach them skills such as euro nymphing, a technique where an angler holds a sighter off the water in an up and down motion to detect a fish.
In late November, Wagy competed in the National tournament for youth fly fishing where he took silver and was selected to the elite USA Youth World Team.
Scott Wagy, Henry Wagy’s father, mentioned the importance of this accomplishment. “That is the highest honor in this sport. It is similar to an Olympic team.” Wagy’s father said.
Wagy, along with some of the other top anglers from Team U.S.A. Youth Fly Fishing, will focus on sportsmanship and team community as part of the world team. They will be competing in Italy against the best youth fly fishermen from around the world.
Competitions are run in two different sessions where competitors take turns fishing and judging. Fish are scored on a point system, which includes a minimum base centimeters, giving competitors extra points for how much each fish exceeds the base.
Henry Wagy has traveled all over the world to fish, including Canada and Chile, targeting all kinds of fish including carp, trout, and salmon. While his toughest catch was a permit in the Atlantic Ocean, his favorite type of fish is carp because of their hard fighting nature.
Carp can be found in many of Arizona’s lakes and rivers, including the canal right next to Brophy. Henry enjoys throwing topwater lures and being able to sight fish for carp, saying “there’s nothing like watching a 40-pound carp cruise by and look at your fly.”
Though some of the best anglers can become professionals, he doesn’t plan to pursue a career in fly fishing due to the political nature of the team. However, recent movements to make fly fishing an Olympic sport could change his mind.
Wagy continues to fish as much as possible, continuing to get better with the help of his peers and professional anglers.