PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A Cleveland High School sophomore has been named the best female competitor in her sport in the entire world.
Maxine McCormick first started fishing when she was only 8 years old. At 15, she’s a world champion fly caster.
“I wasn’t good at it at first, but I liked the challenge of trying to hit the target,” Maxine said.
She usually practices in Southeast Portland at the Westmoreland Park casting pond.
She easily casts farther than her dad, Glenn, and for the last several years, every other female in the world.
“Her technique is certainly the best I’ve ever seen,” Glenn said. “She beats me. She beats me all the time.”
In August she set distance records for several events at the World Fly Casting Championship in England — casting as far as 189 feet.
She also won gold in accuracy events, hitting 16 targets in 5 minutes in the worst weather conditions in world championship history.
In the single-handed sea trout distance event, she cast 161 feet, which set a world record for women. In the two-handed salmon distance she cast 189 feet, earning gold.
Her success in those events cemented her title as the best female fly caster in the world for the second time. She also won gold for accuracy at the world championship two years ago in Estonia, when she was only 12.
“I’ve never met another girl my age doing this,” Maxine said. “But that’s another part of the challenge, trying to compete against older women.”
“I’m just very proud of her,” Glenn said.
The world championships are held every two years. In 2020, they’ll be in Sweden and you can bet Maxine will be there to defend her title.
“I think it can inspire young girls that maybe fly fish with their dad and haven’t really figured out how to cast yet and they want to get better,” Maxine said.
When she’s not practicing, Maxine likes fishing for rainbow trout in the Sandy and Crooked Rivers, running track and hanging out with her friends.