Which pro athletes are the best anglers?

Paul Deeter and “Chuck Nazty,” the Colorado Rockies all-star center fielder.

I’ve been very lucky to have had opportunities to fish with some sports professionals over the years. And while they all have some great stories to tell and are mostly really fun to be on the water with, I have to tell you that some sports lend themselves to fly fishing a bit better than others.

Many football players are pretty hard to “dial down” to use a fly rod effectively. The hockey players I’ve fished with, have, believe it or not, been really good anglers. I think that’s equal parts hand-eye coordination and spending a lot of time in Canada.

My son, Paul, got to hang out with some of the Colorado Rockies last week, and he said that Charlie Blackmon, aka, “Chuck Nazty,” the Rockies all-start center fielder, was one of the best anglers he’s ever seen, period, present company not excluded.

But in all fairness, I think there is one other group who are usually exceptional anglers when they want to be. Golfers. That’s because they’re the same sport, one played wet, the other dry (or, in my case, mostly dry).

Of course, I have a hard time calling fly fishers or golfers “athletes” in most contexts. Don’t get me wrong, some golfers are in great shape, but anything you can do while you smoke a cigar really isn’t a sport as much as it is a game in my mind. But that’s another discussion for another day…

—Kirk Deeter

By Chris Hunt.