Fly fishermen from across the country and Canada will head to Wilmington May 19th and 20th for the annual Ausable Two-Fly Challenge competition.
The event was founded 18 years ago by local anglers to celebrate the joy of the fishing, spirit of sportsmanship, and to help preserve a world-class fly fishery. Money raised from the entrance fees goes to preserving the river for future anglers. The funds are donated to the Ausable River Association and various other causes. According to lead organizer Michelle Preston, about 100 anglers are expected to participate.
Rules for the catch-and-release tournament are simple: Anglers are allowed to bring two barb-less hook flies, of any combination or patterns. Once the flies are lost or unusable, the angler is out. Anglers must fish with a partner and each must record the total number of fish caught, the length of each fish and the cumulative number of inches. Only fish handled by the angler and successfully released will count as caught fish. The winner is determined by the highest cumulative length of each fish caught.
There are four competitive categories: junior, men, women and professional. Each angler can choose just two flies to use per day. They must pick their flies they will use at the beginning of the day. If they lose them, they’re done.
The Two-Fly Challenge begins Friday, May 19, with a day of fishing followed by a fly tyer’s reception that night where anglers can share the day’s experiences on the river while learning new skills from talented tyers. It will be held at Wilmington’s Pourman’s Tap House. The ever-popular fly casting competition will be a part of the evening’s festivities, and the band Fade to Blues will perform live music.
Saturday morning check-in is followed by another day of fishing on the Ausable River. The weekend finishes up on Saturday evening with a banquet complete with prizes, raffles and a presentation by a special guest speaker Robert Streeter.
Registration is open to the public, to register click here. For more information, contact the Whiteface Mountain Regional Visitors Bureau at (518) 946-2255, or via email [email protected]
Photo of AuSable River Two Fly Challenge provided.