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Kurt Finlayson

Competitive Angler, Fly Designer, Photographer, Writer, Fishing Explorer

Kurt started fishing flies for bluegill as a kid in the Brazos River in Texas. But it was family vacations to the Yellowstone River with his family that inspired his first love of fly fishing. Some of his earliest fly fishing memories are casting stoneflies to rising Yellowstone Cutthroat below LeHardy Rapids.

After moving to Utah he fished his local waters as well as Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana. Living out of his car for days on end, he was a self-confessed fishing dirtbag. He settled in Cache Valley in northern Utah to start a career in the fitness industry as well as a family that includes his wife and three daughters.

Kurt Finlayson

Listen to Kurt Finlayson's Show...


Fighting and Landing Trout

Kurt Finlayson a former member of the Fly Fishing USA Team and former coach of the US Youth Fly Fishing Team knows how to get fish to the net. To win competitions this is essential. Listen and learn his techniques for fighting and landing trout that you can use to bring your hookups to the net.

His love of native cutthroat continued to call and he eventually crossed paths with the One Fly Conservation Event in Jackson, Wyoming. This event raises money for habitat restoration for the Snake River Cutthroat trout and inspired him to write articles covering a wide array of fly fishing topics for numerous national magazines as well as producing photography for fly fishing industry catalogs.

In 2006 opportunity knocked again when the One Fly organizer and legendary fly fishing personality, Jack Dennis, asked him to join Fly Fishing Team USA in the Australian Oceania Championships. This event introduced him to amazing anglers and he and his team came back with a bronze medal and left Kurt wanting to learn more from his new friends about competition methods in rivers and stillwaters.

From that time to his competitive fly fishing retirement in 2016, Kurt fished over 30 regional and national competitions across the United States winning multiple team and individual medals. He was asked to help coach the US Youth Fly Fishing Team in multiple clinics and then to a gold medal in the Youth World Championships in Slovakia. He is also a commercial fly designer at Rainy's Premium Flies with the Dirty Politician being his most popular pattern.

His job in the fitness industry requires travel to China and Taiwan where he spends time exploring fresh and saltwater with a fly rod. That exploration has finally produced results of catching multiple new species including Snakehead, Pacific Tarpon, Tilapia, and Milkfish among others. He has fished on 4 continents and landed over 55 species and is currently on the hunt for Grass Carp and Sturgeon on the fly!

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