Sophomore Maxine McCormick dominates the world of fly casting

Maxine McCormick isn’t your ordinary San Francisco-born, Portland-transplanted, snowboarding, hiking, fishing sophomore who wants to be a pediatrician. The UW biology major is a legend in the world of fly casting. McCormick, 18, won a record four gold medals at the 2022 Fly Casting World Championships in Norway, including casting the first-ever perfect score (by a man or woman) of 80 in Trout Accuracy.

In addition, her Sea Trout Distance cast of 165 feet was the longest ever by a woman. No wonder the youngest fly-casting world champion in history—at age 12—feels no pressure when she faces the world’s best.

“Fly casting is really relaxing, and I have been doing this so long,” says McCormick, who took up the sport from her dad at the age of 9. She will be an odds-on favorite at the 2024 World Championships in Sweden. Nothing fishy about that.