TU and Wood River Land Trust Single Fly tournament to help Home Rivers Initiative

Any (safe) means necessary can be used to retrieve the fly . (Trout Unlimited photo)

Trout Unlimited press release

KETCHUM, Idaho — Trout Unlimited and the Wood River Land Trust are sponsoring the second Big Wood Single Fly fishing tournament on July 25 and 26 to raise funds for the Big Wood River Home Rivers Initiative.

Proceeds from the tournament will go to protecting, re-connecting, restoring and sustaining the Big Wood River drainage and its famous wild trout fishery.

Specialized projects will enhance and improve habitat along the mainstem Big Wood and its tributaries, enhance stream flow, restore disconnected tributaries and habitat and in conjunction with state and federal agencies assess watershed condition and provide youth education in resource stewardship.

The registration fee is $1,000 per team and that covers the entrance fee for the two anglers, Saturday evening’s welcome dinner, Sunday fishing, lunch, awards dinner and a fundraising contribution.

Trail Creek is a major tributary to the Big Wood River near Ketchum. (Trout Unlimited photo)
Trail Creek is a major tributary to the Big Wood River near Ketchum. (Trout Unlimited photo)

The competition

The not-too-serious event will consist of 20 teams of two anglers with their allotted section chosen at a random drawing and assigned at the welcoming dinner Saturday evening July 25. Each angler is allowed one fly only.

On Sunday, each team will be monitored by an attendant/judge and fishing areas assigned the night before. For the tournament, anglers will furnish their own fly fishing equipment which will be limited to a personal choice of one fly rod/reel set‐up. No real or artificial fish attractants, such as scents, are allowed. It is fly‐fishing only and catch and release. All proceeds from the tournament go towards the Big Wood Home Rivers Initiative overseen by Trout Unlimited and the Wood River Land Trust.

Last year eight teams participated raising approximately $8,000. This years goal is 20 teams and $20,000 in proceeds for the initiative.

The competition is solid, but not too serious. (Trout Unlimited  photo)
The competition is solid, but not too serious. (Trout Unlimited photo)

Tournament Flies

Any conventional fly pattern may be used, with a single, barbless hook only. Molded metal heads (jigs) are not allowed.

Flies must be tied on a single barbless hook or on a hook with the barb mashed down. Repair of flies may only be done with the use of glue or any adhesive. Any re‐tying of the fly with thread or fly tying materials is prohibited.

Broken hooks may be honed or filed to a usable sharpness. Traditional strike indicators are allowed. Flies are not allowed to be used as a strike indicator. Only a single fly may be attached to the leader and any weight used must be attached above the fly.

Fishing Procedure

Fishing regulations will be strictly observed and a valid Idaho 2015 fishing license is required. Only trout will be counted in the scoring and fishing hours will be from 7:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. Attendants are the official timekeepers and judges.

If an angler’s fly becomes caught in brush or in a snag, it may be recovered and reattached to the leader and the angler can continue fishing in the event. The angler can be disqualified by the attendant for any unsafe practice used to retrieve a fly.

Scoring ends for the angler when his/her official fly can’t be retrieved. That person may continue to fish for the remainder of that day, but no trout caught after the event fly is lost will not count in the team’s final score.

Catch and release methods must be observed, and minimal handling of trout and protection of the fishery resource are of paramount importance. Touching and handling of trout will be minimized by strict adherence to the following:

  • Rubber net material is encouraged.
  • Any trout brought to net and quickly released scores one point and must be witnessed by the attendant.
  • Measurement will be done by the attendant and the attendant’s decision on length is final.

Each angler team will be allowed to select two trout to score during the competition. Declared trout score one point per inch, and measurements will be rounded to the nearest inch. Anglers must decide if they want to score the fish they have caught before it is released. That decision is final and if the angler continues to fish and catches any larger trout they can be entered for “big trout” bonus points.

It's tourney time on the Big Wood River and when all is said and done it's about improving the river for the fish and local wildlife, and the anglers as well. (Trout Unlimitted photo)
It’s tourney time on the Big Wood River and when all is said and done it’s about improving the river for the fish, wildlife and the anglers as well. Last year’s winners were Dave Perkins (Vermont) and Justin Petty (Hailey) with attendant Mike McKenna (Hailey). (Trout Unlimited photo)

Bonuses for big trout

To keep all anglers active in the tourney after they have declared a fish for measurement, fish of 15 to 17 inches will earn a special “big trout” bonus of 5 points and the trout does not need to be one of the two measured trout.

A trout of more than 17 inches will earn a special “super big trout” bonus of 10 points. This trout also does not need to be one of the two measured trout either.

The total team score is determined by adding the total number of trout caught (1 point each) to the total inches of the team’s 4 measured trout plus applicable “big trout and super big trout” bonuses. Ties will be determined by the flip of a coin.

The ultimate goal of any Big Wood angler --a Wood River rainbow trout. (Trout Unlimited photo)
The ultimate goal of any Big Wood angler –a Wood River rainbow trout. (Trout Unlimited photo)

The goal of the tournament is to shed light on threats that the river currently faces. Following the competition will be an awards dinner and fundraiser.

The Big Wood Single Fly tournament is not affiliated with the Jackson Hole One Fly competition in any way. For more information contact Chad Chorney (CChorney@tu.org) 208 420-4096.