At Bass Louie, we believe that kids can accomplish big things! That’s why we’re so excited to tell you about Maxine McCormick, the world’s youngest world champion fly caster.
Maxine has not one but TWO back-to-back World Championship titles to her name – 2018 and 2016 gold medals for trout accuracy. Her 2016 win made her the youngest gold medal winner ever in the sport.
This year, at age 14, she won gold in the World Casting Championship’s Trout Accuracy and Salmon Distance events, even in 30-50 mph wind gusts. She also won the silver medal in Sea Trout Distance, with a cast of 161 feet!
Only 5 years in the sport
Maxine has only been fly casting for five years. She got started at age 9, when her dad took her to the Golden Gate Angling & Casting Club in San Francisco in 2013. He wanted to become a better fisherman, and Maxine tagged along. At the time, they didn’t even know casting was a sport.
But like all prodigies, Maxine’s gift for casting was apparent almost immediately. Her father said that her ability to get the fly to come off the rod was incredible for such a young angler. By the time she was 10, she was regularly outscoring women at national tournaments.
Last year, she even outscored her own coach, 11-time world champion Chris Korich.
How she trains
To help with her training, Maxine and Chris came up with names for the fundamentals he was teaching her. The wrist muscles she uses while casting are called “magic rainbow bands.” Her back cast is helped by visualizing poking a giant in the eye. To learn to conserve her energy, Maxine pictures herself casting in a giant egg she doesn’t want to crack.
What’s next for Maxine?
There aren’t pro fly casters the way there are pro baseball or basketball players, so if Maxine wants to make a career out of casting, she’ll have to find another way. She enjoys teaching other young casters, and may choose to pursue that as well as continuing to defend her championship titles.
You can read more about Maxine here.