We had the chance to catch up with Max Logan and Noah Shapiro, two remarkable anglers representing Team USA Youth Fly Fishing. These talented individuals recently achieved a remarkable feat by emerging as champions in the highly competitive 2023 Mile High 25 On The Fly competition.

Noah & Max receiving their 25 On The Fly Award

With an astonishing score of 3700 points and an impressive catch of 17 different species, Max and Noah showcased their exceptional skills and undeniable expertise, solidifying their position as the deserving winners of the event. Their outstanding performance not only earned them well-deserved bragging rights but also served as a confidence booster as they prepare to compete in the upcoming Youth World Championships in Bosnia on behalf of Team USA. For a detailed account of our interview with these young guns, continue reading the full article below!

Flylords: Tell us a little bit more about yourselves.

Max: I’m Max Logan, and I’m proudly part of the United States Youth Fly Fishing Team. I’ve been fly fishing since I was a mere 5 years old, and I haven’t stopped since. Born and raised in the breathtaking land of Boulder, Colorado, I’ve always had nature’s playground right at my doorstep. In 2019, I stumbled upon the United States Youth Fly Fishing Team, and I knew right then and there that I had to be a part of it. It became my ultimate goal, my driving force. So, you bet I spend over 250 days a year with a rod in my hand, determined to make that dream a reality.

Noah: Hey there, I’m Noah Shapiro, a proud member of the United States Youth Fly Fishing Team. I’ve been hooked on fly fishing for a good 13 years now, and being raised in beautiful Boulder, Colorado, definitely helped fuel my passion. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been crazy about fly fishing, and when I stumbled upon the world of competitive fly fishing. I was stoked to meet fellow enthusiasts who share my obsession. Still to this day, I fish Boulder Creek like clockwork during the summer months. I hop on my bike at home, pedal my way to the creek, and spend the entire day there, casting my line and soaking in the pure joy of the sport.

Flylords: What is Team USA Youth Fly Fishing? How did you get involved?

Team USA Youth Fly Fishing at the GoPro Mountain Games in Vail, Colorado

Noah: The United States Youth Fly Fishing Team (@usyfft) was made to send five competitors and one alternate to the World Youth Fly Fishing Championships. To do this, they help train many kids through clinics, practices, and competitions and meet others who are just as passionate about fly fishing as Max and I. We have many coaches nationwide who helped instruct during clinics and practices.

Flylords: Tell us a little more about the competitions you guys compete in.

Noah competing in last years World Youth Fly Fishing Championships held in Trentino, Italy

Noah: Most competitions are made up of fishing in both rivers and lakes. In the case of rivers, you are given a section of water between 100 to 300 M long and a certain amount of time to fish, proximately 2 hours in that section of water. Without overcomplicating it, competitors from other countries are fishing similar water sections both upstream and downstream of you. Whomever competitor gets the highest overall length of fish caught will take the lead. The second-highest overall length will take second, third, fourth, and so on. At the end of the competition, they tally up these numbers, and whomever individual and team has the lowest score will win. Check out this video to learn more about the rules of the competition.

Flylords: What’s going down in Bosnia? What are you fishing for, how many teams are you competing against, and what are the rules for this competition?

Noah: This year we are competing in the World Youth Fly Fishing Championships being held in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina. We will be competing against 12+ teams from across the world including but not limited to Spain, France, Finland, Czech Republic, South Africa and more. During the competition we will not only be catching rainbow trout and brown trout but also catching softmouth trout, chub, and marble trout which are native to the area.

Flylords: What is your favorite fly pattern, and which pattern do you dislike the most?

Photo from @riverambassadorsmedia

Max: My all-time favorite fly is a must-have in every angler’s fly box. The pheasant tail has been my go-to fly for countless years, and it never fails to impress. This versatile pattern works like magic in various conditions, making it an absolute essential in my arsenal.

Noah: I have many favorite fly patterns depending on the day, but I particularly like a fly called the “Lucky Lead” that has caught me many big fish and fish in both rivers and lakes. Another of my favorite flies is the classic “Protagon” that many competitors worldwide fish with. There are no flies that I particularly dislike; every fly has a time and place, and I have no problem fishing flies such as squirmy worms or mops when it’s the right time.

Flylords: You guys just won the Mile High 25 On The Fly, how was your experience and what are a few things you can take away from the tournament to move forward to Bosnia?

Max & Noah after the Mile High 25 On The Fly. Photo by Davis James @davisjameslens

Noah: The Mile High 25 is a fun tournament where you’re trying to catch 25 different species of fish from Colorado. We had to drive around the state to catch all the fish species and pray the conditions were good enough to get one fish from each location. It’s always a grind in this tournament, but it’s always worth it in the end. I’ve been competing in the Mile High 25 for the past four years without success, and it was amazing how all the pieces came together this year. Although the Mile High 25 is a different type of tournament than usual, it still comes with all the stresses and difficulties of a standard tournament. One thing we will take away from the Mile High 25 is our ability to handle the pressure of the World Championships.

Flylords: What does the rest of the year look like? Do you have other tournaments?

Noah: I leave for Bosnia Herzegovina on July 8th and spend just over a week practicing for World Championships. We will spend most of July in Bosnia, either training or competing in that competition. We have a few more competitions before the winter, and then I plan on ending my gap year and attending college at the University of Waikato in New Zealand. I plan on continuing the fly fishing competitions while studying in New Zealand.

Flylords: Where can we find you guys when not competing against the world?

Max: When I am not competing, you can find Noah and I fishing all over Colorado. We also guide for Galvan Fly Fishing based out of Denver, Colorado where we primarily take out walk & wade trips.

Noah: Max and I spend a lot of time fishing across Colorado and Wyoming. Boulder Creek always holds a special place in my heart as the first place I learned how to fly fish, and I continue practicing on it to this day!

Be sure to check out the US Youth Fly Fishing Team on Instagram @usyfft to follow along for the Youth World Championships hosted in Bosnia. Special thanks to Max Logan and Noah Shapiro for their time for the interview. Follow Noah Shapiro @n.co.fish and Max Logan @maxfishboyyy.

Check out the articles below:

Dry Fly or Die: A Youth Mental Health Story

Changing Currents: Conservation > College Rivalries


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