Montana State University

MSU hooks top spot in Fly Rod & Reel's college rankings

June 10, 2005 -- by Carol Schmidt, MSU News Service

In its first-ever rankings of colleges and universities, Fly Rod & Reel magazine rated MSU as the top university in the country for students looking for both an education and fly-fishing opportunities. Scan of Fly Rod & Reel magazine used with permission.   High-Res Available

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571
BOZEMAN - Montana State University is the number one college in the country for undergrads angling for an education near trout streams, according to Fly Rod & Reel magazine.

MSU topped the first-ever college rankings by the magazine found in the July-October 2005 issue. Published by Down East Enterprises in Camden, Maine, the issue hits newsstands this week.

"How are you going to beat it?" asks the text that accompanies MSU's number one ranking. "Located right smack in the middle of trout country, with Yellowstone a short drive away, the Gallatin's East Branch right there in town and the Madison close enough that you could fish between classes."

The other universities that were ranked in the issue were, in numerical order: Penn State, Western State College in Gunnison, Colo., State University of New York-Oswego, Cape Cod Community College, Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., and the University of Maine-Farmington, Lyndon State College in Lyndonville, Vt., State University of New York-Plattsburgh and Florida International University. Schools netting honorable mentions were Gonzaga University, the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, the University of Colorado-Boulder and the University of British Columbia.

"We obviously chose schools located in areas where excellent fly fishing is available and one would be hard-pressed to find a better school or location than Bozeman, Mont.," said Jim Reilly, FR&R's assistant editor.

Reilly said the idea for the ranking was proposed by writer W.D. Wetherell, who says he came up with the idea while visiting colleges with his daughter. Wetherell both wrote the ranking and an article preceding it, "How to Major in Fly-fishing." Wetherell says that the rankings give preference to the North over the South, and "trout are given more weight than other species."

"We had a lot of fun with (the rankings piece)," Reilly said. Even though the magazine had just been placed on newsstands, he said the magazine had already received a couple of e-mails from people reacting to it.

This is the second time that MSU has been ranked as the leader of colleges and universities in the country best for the sport of fly-fishing.

In 1998, MSU snagged the number one spot in Sports Afield's fly-fishing section in a ranking of universities close to fly-fishing in its poll of four-year institutions offering quality experiences for students interested in adventure sports.

Also, in 2003 Outside magazine ranked Bozeman as the fifth-best college town for outdoor sports.

Contact: Julie Kipfer (406) 994-4571