World Youth Fly Fishing Champion Sims Signs with Lee
By Rachel Westcott
On Thursday, April 28, Lee University signed Mason Sims, the 2015 world champion U.S. Youth Fly Fishing Team member and silver medalist, to Lee’s recently established fly fishing team.
The university created their fly fishing program in spring 2014 in conjunction with the International Federation of Fly Fishers (IFFF). Dr. Guy DeLoach, associate professor of business, heads the program.
“Having Mason Sims, one of the world’s top competitive fly fishermen, anchoring our team enables us to immediately compete at a national and world level,” said DeLoach. “We anticipate that several of our team members will also compete in the world competitions and represent the U.S. national team.”
Sims, originally from Chickamauga, Georgia, is a senior at Gordon Lee High School and is involved with many clubs at his school. A member of the National Honor Society, Sims participates in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), serves on the FCA leadership board, and serves as Student Council President. He also is involved with various humanitarian projects, including Project Healing Water for four years.
In 2014, Sims competed at the international level at the Fips Mouche Youth World Fly Fishing Championship in Poland where his team, the USA Youth Fly Fishing Team, won gold. The following year, his team won gold again at America’s Cup in Colorado.
According to DeLoach, Lee’s fly fishing team continues to expand in popularity on campus. Over 100 students have attended the introductory fly fishing class and intermediate class, with several going on to compete on the team.
Lee’s introductory fly fishing class includes a casting school, two freshwater trips, bass fishing, introduction to knots, equipment, tackle, fly-tying, safety, sustainable practices, and entomology instruction. Students receive one credit hour for taking this class, and every student who takes the class becomes an IFFF member.
Lee’s fly fishing team won its first match against Clemson and University of Tennessee, and they look forward to competing against Penn State, Yale, University of Kentucky, Appalachian State, Western Carolina, and Georgia this fall. DeLoach hopes the addition of Sims to the team will allow them to reach a new competitive level.
“In addition to competing, Mason will assist in teaching advanced fishing techniques to our young team,” said DeLoach. “We are fortunate to have such a great young man attend our university and advance the program.”
For more information about Lee University's fly fishing program and team, contact DeLoach at firstname.lastname@example.org.