Tournament Season Recap

I realize that I’ve been slacking in the fishing reports department, which is largely a product of having less time to reminisce. I do want to recap both the fishing we had in both the Golden Fly and the Gold Cup, as well as give proper respect and mention of the teams that did better than everyone else.
In the Goldenfly, our fishing was hard. We hooked a weight on the first cast minutes after we shut down on day 1, and while this seemed like a nice way to start things off the fish broke off and left us with only release points to show for it. After struggling to find more, we ended the first day with only one release despite a few more bites that we couldn’t convert. The next two days we struggled still–managing only one weight fish and another release for our efforts. Others in the tournament had very different results: by the second day Luis Cortes and Rich Garcia had strapped out, which was mind blowing. Even more amazing was that their effort was only good enough for second place: on day three, Greg Dini and Evan Carruthers caught their fourth weight and four more releases in one of the more dramatic first place comebacks I’ve seen in recent years. As sometimes is the case, this tournament wasn’t about us at all. Sometimes, all you can do is watch other people put together a win and continue working.
It’s worth noting that Greg and Evan continued their season in peak form during the Hawley, winning that event as well, which is even more impressive.
As for the Gold Cup, which finished two weeks ago, we had a better showing (though still far from the showing we have been working towards). We struggled to catch any weight fish on the first two days, catching only three releases, though starting day 3 had a weight and another release on the board. Losing another near the boat was difficult, and painful. Despite this we were in position to make a move, provided we were able to continue catching fish that made the strap. Day 4 brought some difficult weather and we had to move in order to avoid it, and the wind picked up. Depsite this we were able to catch two fish, the first of which seduced us into a bad call: strapping a fish that didn’t make the 70-pound minimum. The other was our fifth release, leaving us with plenty of release points in the bank if we could make more weights happen. We went into day five with a distinct disadvantage, needing to catch a weight to add to our point total, and in a deep hole behind the leaders that were once again Luis Cortes and Dave Preston. We finished as strong as we could, catching a weight first thing in the morning, hoping to carry this momentum towards our own comeback, though in the end it was all we could make of the final day. The leaderboard had shuffled on the last day, with two other teams having a good day and pushing us off the podium. Dustin Huff and Thane Morgan caught a weight on the last day, catapulting into second place, and Mike Alfano and Chalmers Allen caught two weights to secure third place honors. We sat trophy-less in fourth position, though our five releases were enough to get called up front for most releases.
As far as Ian and my tournament showing thus far, it’s both frustrating as well as encouraging. We have been consistently within striking distance, and we need to focus our energies in the same place we have been. Above all else it’s engaging: we know what we have to do, and it’s a luxury to have the chance to work toward it. Huge respect is due to Luis and Dave, who have now won the Gold Cup three years running.
Next week is the Del Brown, which Kat and Doug are busy preparing for, and I don’t have a lot of fishing planned until this fall when I have a lot of time committed to the 4lb permit pursuit.

More to come,

Nathaniel