Mason Sims got picked up by his own country this time, and it was a pick-me-up for the United States youth trout fishing team.
The 16-year-old Gordon Lee High School sophomore from Chickamauga, Ga., finished sixth out of 70 individuals in the America Cup International Fly Fishing Tournament in the Vail area of Colorado. That was the highest for any Team USA Youth member, but the group's balance netted the gold medal with Team Naranja Fly Fishing Academy second and adult Team USA third out of 14 teams.
Sims' teammates were ninth, 11th, 14th and 19th after two and a half days on Black Lake, Dillon Reservoir, Sylvan Lake and the Blue River upper and lower venues. Only a handful of competitors caught trout on Black Lake, but Sims had the biggest, which gave him the early lead.
The USA youth team won gold in the world junior championships in Ireland in July, but Sims -- as a new member of the 12-angler national team -- wasn't one of the six officially taking part. But he stepped in for Scotland and would've tied for second individually if his points had counted.
The other U.S. anglers wanted him on their team in Colorado, and he's going back to that state for the men's nationals starting Oct. 3 at Basalt. Sims qualified for that in regional competition.
• The Walmart Bass Fishing League has 12 super tournaments scheduled for the next two weekends, including at Watts Bar Lake for the BFL's Volunteer Division this Saturday and Sunday and at Lake Guntersville for the Choo Choo Division and Percy Priest for the Music City Division on Sept. 28-29. All will have up to 400 boaters and co-anglers competing for top prizes of $9,000 and $4,500, respectively.
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