First Post in a While

First Post in a While

A few people have mentioned to me recently that the reports haven’t been updated in a while, and I agree. Gone are the days of the account of every day of fishing, it seems, but that also shouldn’t mean I don’t update for 3+ months.

As a lucky byproduct of not updating regularly, I do have a fair amount of news to share. Most are tournament related, so I’ll start there.

The first is the Cuda Bowl, which Chad Huff and Scott Christian won the fly division of in fantastic form, setting a fly-division scoring record (as well as, impressively, an all-time scoring record, full stop). The spin division was won by Captain Scott Collins and angler Russ Campbell, who also had the biggest fish on spin.

Next up was the March Merkin, which this year had a dramatic finish. Nick Labadie and Robert Dougherty, after losing a fish on day two, returned on the final day having caught two fish in the final hours of competition. Brandon Cyr and Mike Ward also caught a second fish on the final day, though their two fish were not as big as Nick and Robert’s and as such assured Nick and Robert in P1. This was an inversion of when Nick and Robert lost this tournament in exactly the same way a few years ago, which made it feel right in a way. Nothing like coming back from a loss to a win, and it was great to see two guys who have put in the time and effort take the hardware home. Special props are due to Brandon and Mike, who got pushed out of first by the smallest margin and handled it like pros. In third were Justin Rea and Jose Ucan, who caught a very large fish on day one that was enough for largest as well as third place overall.

Recently the Spring Fly Bonefish Tournament took place, and after a major win in the Fall Fly Honson Lau and Jeremy Alderman once again took top honors. Once again, these guys caught infinitely more weight fish more than anyone else. And once again, they were humble and cool about it. With two weights on day one among a field that produced precisely zero other weight fish, these guys didn’t even need the 13+ pounder they caught on day two but they caught it anyway. Hats off to these guys, who are making the bonefish tournaments pretty inhospitable for everyone else. It’s a great thing to watch.

So that’s the report, which now that I write it all down makes me glad that I waited. Not that any of what the aforementioned people did needs to be highlighted or editorialized by anyone, but since I’m in front of a keyboard and I’ve got an opinion, here it is:

What it takes to do these things–whether it’s win in the last few minutes of the final day, blow everyone away twice in a row in the bonefish tournaments, or best the spin fisherman with a fly rod–takes hard work. To all the people that complain about how tournaments take the joy out of fishing, or that they’re unfair, or to those that who do well only do well because of some magical advantage that others don’t have, I disagree. Success can come from anywhere, from anyone, and it’s nearly always the product of hard work. And that work that people do along the way ends up benefiting others in the sport. Nearly every thing that we know of as “standard” in this sport came from someone who figured it out, and those people were interested in improving their performance. Tournaments are often the major goal that teams have to look toward to measure their success. Whether or not it’s comfortable for some people that just don’t like to work hard (or prefer to be declarative on social media instead of putting in the time themselves) shouldn’t matter to the people who are putting in the work. And based on the performance we’re seeing in the sport these days from these and other teams, I’m grateful that the people working hard don’t seem to be bothered by it. They shouldn’t be.


I’m two days a week from now through the Gold Cup with Ian, and we plan on doing the same thing we do every year: go fishing, try our best, and do everything we can to prepare. Whatever happens, I’ll do my best to keep these pages updated in the meantime.


More to come,



Posted in

Nathaniel Linville

Archive Calendar

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun