One of the top fly fishing anglers in the world is a Fort Mill native.
Brown Hobson, 29, competed last month in the Basalt, Colo., national championships for fly fishing, earning a spot on the U.S. national team. He finished the most recent season 13th in points to make the field of 15 anglers.
Hobson’s results this year include a third-place finish at a regional tournament in February, 16th at the national championships and 26th at the America Cup in September. Hobson competes with the North Carolina Fly Fishing Team. That team was named the top squad on the continent for both 2011 and 2012.
The results might be impressive for anyone, but perhaps more so for someone from an area that’s anything but a hotbed for trout fishing.
“There’s not a whole lot of trout in South Carolina,” Hobson said. “From Fort Mill you’re looking at about two hours to the nearest place to fish.”
Hobson grew up in here and graduated from Fort Mill High School in 2003. He fished the Anne Springs Close Greenway and Lake Wylie for bass or other species.
He then attended the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where he continued an interest in fly fishing he’d developed on trips with his dad during high school.
“I started to really enjoy it,” he said.
In 2006 he spent a summer fly fishing in Jackson Hole, Wyo. After graduating with a degree in natural resources he moved there for three years, before coming closer to home and starting Brown Trout Fly Fishing in Asheville, N.C. Now Hobson has a career in the sport he loves, and is making a name for himself among the best in the country.
While not as well-known as bass competitions, fly fishing can draw a crowd. The International Competition Fly Fishing Association counts 115 member countries and more than 50 million members. In August the U.S. team finished fifth at the world championships in Norway among anglers from 27 countries.
Next year’s world event is in the Czech Republic, followed by Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2015 and the U.S. in 2016.