Improve Your Catching!

September 1st, 2003

All-American Casting Tournament Revived
By Jim C. Chapralis

The All-American Casting Championship was one of the most prestigious tournaments during the "golden years" of casting (1940s and 1950s). It was always hosted by the Jackson Park Casting Club (JPCC) in Chicago. This legendary casting competition was terminated when the JPCC, became inactive due to changing times.

New and old rod and reels of various types can be seen on the rod rack. In the old days, most of the casters favored cane rods, but today graphite in the choice of most casters.

Recently the indefatigable John Seroczynski, president of the American Casting Association, thought that this classic tournament should be revived. And it was. Casters came from Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, California, Texas and Illinois.

On August 23 the distance casting events were held at the Valparaiso University athletic practice field, Valparaiso, Indiana. The accuracy events took place on August 24, at the Chicago Angling and Casting Club, in Chicago.

Here's a wrap-up of the fly-casting events:


The rod used is similar to a Spey fly rod only longer and more powerful. The caster has seven minutes to make as many casts as he can. The longest cast determines the winner, but the second and third long casts are also recorded in case of ties.

John Seroczynski was not going to cast this event, or any other distance fly events for that matter, because of chronic back problems which required surgery.

We convinced him to enter the event even though he was limping noticeably. He decided "to make only about four or five casts to test his back." His first cast went 200 feet. His second 227 feet and his next cast went 234 feet. John reeled in after that cast. John won first place, eclipsing Andy Statt's 226-foot long cast and Zack Willson's 215-foot cast.


The weight of the line is equivalent to a No. 12, but this is a button-busting event, because the head must be almost 50 feet long. If you aren't a strong double-haul caster, don't even consider this! One can use any size running or shooting line and the fly rod cannot be longer than 9 feet, 9 inches. There is a five-minute time limit.

The winner was Jim C. Chapralis (hey, I think know this guy!) with a cast of 166 feet. Keith Pryor and John Seroczynski both cast 160 feet, but Keith's second longest cast, 157 feet, topped John's by one foot. Zack Willson finished fourth with a long cast of 146 feet.


This is similar to the above except that basically a 30-ft. No. 10 head (approximately 300 grains) is used and the running line must be at least .015" in diameter.

West Coaster Keith Pryor won this event with only five seconds to go (limit is 5 minutes) with a marvelous, soaring cast of of 152 feet, topping Zack Willson's 150-foot cast, and Dave Roberts' and Jim Chapralis' 149 foot casts (Dave took third place as his second best cast was 144 feet to Jim's 143 feet.)

John Seroczynski was declared the winner of the All-Distance Fly Award.

The action now shifted to Chicago for the accuracy events. Unlike the distance games, which had only one division, the accuracy events included three divisions (Men, Women, Seniors). Here are the top casters and there scores for each accuracy fly event in the various divisions.

The Trout Fly Event includes roll casting. John Seroczynski (and other casters), often kneel on casting platforms to get closer to the water, simulating actual fishing conditions.


Men: (1) Jay Klenk (98); (2) John Seroczynski (96); (3) Dave Roberts (92).

Seniors: (1) Zack Willson (96); (2); Bill Peters (95); (3) Dick Fujita (91).

Women: (1) Pam Peters (86); (2) Beth Statt (79).


Men: (1) B. L. Farley, 97 (2), Andy Statt (96), (3) Dave Roberts (96).

Seniors: (1) Zack Willson (95), (2) Bill Peters (92), (3) Dick Fujita (92).

Women: (1) Pam Peters (92); Beth Statt (88).


Men: (1) Paul Melchior (93); (2) Dave Roberts (93); (3) John Seroczynski (91).

Senior: (1) Jim Chapralis (90); (2) Frank Gralak (89); Bill Peters (86).

Women: (1) Pam Peters (91); Beth Statt (79).

The Chicago Angling and Casting Club pier is wonderful place to spend a Sunday afternoon…that is, if you are not trout fishing.

Interested in knowing more about these fascinating games? FlyAnglersOnline has considerable background information on the following events. (Just click on the event name):

Single-Hand Distance Fly Event

Angler's Distance Fly Event

Dry Fly Event

Trout Fly Event

Bass Bug Event

Casting practice-for accuracy and distance-is a wholesome, fun activity that can be practiced just about anywhere. And remember, expert casting usually means better fishing results. ~ Jim C. Chapralis

About Jim:

Jim Chapralis is a world traveler, a pioneer in the international fishing travel business, and author, most recently of Fishing Passion, reviewed in our Book Review section. He is an avid angler - and caster. You can reach Jim via his website

Previous Target and Distance Casting Columns

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