At age 12 in 2016, Maxine McCormick became the youngest world champion in fly-casting history, and this year’s Mover and Shaker (awarded to Outdoorsmen and woman under age 30).
The San Francisco native was the first child to win a gold medal at a world-class event since 13-year-old American diver Marjorie Gestring won gold in the 1936 Berlin Olympics.
In 2018, McCormick followed that up by winning another gold medal at the world championships, this time in England, for Trout Accuracy and Salmon Distance. Her success, personality and eloquence have captured the imagination of media and the public in the U.S. and Europe. She has been described by The New York Times as “The Mozart of Fly Casting.”
“The No. 1 question people ask is, ‘How did I get into casting?’ ” McCormick said. “I tell them how my dad flyfishes, and one day, I was like 9, he took me to the casting ponds (at Golden Gate Park) and I tried it. I liked it right off.”