3) An emphasis on native trout: As always, native fish captured and released during the Middle Creek Flyathlon are a double time bonus (because they are better than non-native fish). In 2016, more than a quarter of the fish caught and released during the race were Rio Grande cutthroat trout.
One native fish story will stick with me for a while. Flyathlete #86, Jordan Geswein, was an esteemed race volunteer in 2015, and vowed to participate in the 2016 race. The day before the race, while helping to mark the course, Jordan caught his first ever cutthroat trout on a brand-new fly-fishing rig. On race day, he did it again, and will forever be a native trout advocate. Nice work, Jordan. Stranahans earned.