Smart Angling (Ivo): Ian, when and how did you start fly fishing?
Ian: My dad would tell you I started fishing before I could walk, but what I remember is fishing ponds for pan fish and bass when I was about 8 years old. There was a small lake or big pond, called the 'brick yard' about 5 mins from my house. I must have fished there almost every day in the summer growing up, and got really into bass fishing. When I was about 15 I found an old fly rod in the basement my father had used when he was I kid, I started fishing poppers on the ponds and loved it. I ended up buying one of those all in one kits at a local fishing shop and the rest is history, from then on I only wanted to catch fish on a fly rod.
Smart Angling: What is your favourite type of water? You favourite technique?
Ian: That's a tough question as my favourite is fishing a variety of water using different techniques, I like the challenge of choosing the best techniques for the water and conditions in front of you vs trying to find water to use the technique you prefer. That said if I had to choose one, I really like pocket water on rivers. I'm old school, still love fishing dries on rivers or lakes but tight line or euro nymphing is right behind it.
Smart Angling: What do you like about competitive fly fishing?
Ian: By far is the comradery in being part of a team and the people you meet. Completely understand that competition in fly fishing isn't for everyone, but I think a lot of people would be surprised on the friendships you make and amazing people you meet, from all over the globe. I'll also add that I really like how it makes you a better angler for your 'fun fishing'. It's fun to catch fish and competition fishing teaches you how to catch fish in any condition.
Smart Angling: What do you think is the biggest myth about competitive fly fishing?
Ian: To me the biggest myth is that competitors aren't welcome and we're intimidating. I think most individuals that have tried a competition would tell you that the experienced competitors want you to do well. Not saying we're not competitive but you'll find so many people want to help you succeed that I think people are surprised.
Smart Angling: What is the biggest challenge facing competitive fishing in Canada? What is the biggest success?
Ian: The biggest challenge in my opinion is making sure we keep the youth engaged. The reality is, we're seeing the same folks at the majority of competitions and we're not getting any younger. I've seen amazing young anglers lose interest in competitions and feel we can better develop that talent; the US is doing a good job in recent years. We've seen some new teams join the Canadian National Championships, this is through the focus on local competitions. Some great work to make sure everyone has access and feels welcome to try competitive angling.
Smart Angling: Who is the person that has inspired and motivated you the most in fly fishing?
Ian: I have two - first is Ian Colin James, a Canadian fly fishing icon. Ian was my fly fishing mentor and guiding instructor, I don't believe I'd have the success in guiding and competition fishing without Ian taking me under his wing. To this day when I have an opportunity to learn from some of the best in the world, it lines up with the fundamentals Ian taught me. Second is Joe Humphreys, I think Joe was more influential in fly fishing than anyone in North America. He was and is my fly fishing idol. I must have read his books 50 times each, and watched his videos about 100 times. What was really cool I was able to spend time with him at his house and go fishing with him multiple times, something I'll never forget and it was inspiring to see the master at work in his 'office'
Smart Angling: What is Smart Angling for you?
Ian: Smart Angling to me is the one stop shop for the worlds best fly fishing equipment and materials, run by world class experts. As competitive anglers you know that quality matters and there's a lot of BS out there, so you only provide what you actually use and you test everything before adding to the shop. What I find really cool is that you're on the cutting edge of the latest advances in Europe and the top competition teams and you provide that to Canadian fly fishers. This is stuff you can't get anywhere else or you pay a high price to have shipped over here.
About Ian Troup:
Ian has been fly fishing for over 30 years. A firm believer that you never stop learning, Ian spends all his free time improving his fly fishing skills and has had the benefit of learning from some of the best anglers across the globe, including World Champions and guiding mentorship from the late Ian Colin James.
Ian has a passion for competitive angling and coached the first all women team to compete in the Canadian National Championships. He is a captain of a fly fishing team and member of Team Canada, having the honour to represent Canada internationally in multiple events, most recently as part of Team Canada’s first ever Gold Medal performance, winning the 2016 Commonwealth championships, followed by a team silver medal at the 2018 edition of this major international tournament. Ian earned the individual Silver Medal at the 2017 Canadian Fly Fishing Championships.
He has been guiding for the past 15 years, along with being pro-staff for Smart Angling and for the Franklin Club fishery. Ian is a certified FFF Fly Casting instructor.