The temps are high, the river is low, and the trout are hiding out in some deep dark pool waiting for Autumn. The dog days are usually relegated to catching up the honey-do list that you neglected during the spring and finding a little time to throw top-water for bass and bluegill at the local mud hole. Maybe you’ve spent your evenings hunched over the vise; reloading fly boxes that were bursting with a myriad of fur & feather concoctions, the fruits of a long winter’s toil, that have one-by-one met their demise through the evil clutches of branches, rocks, and a plethora of sunken logs and car parts. Fear not sweaty bug-slinger, your day of respite has finally arrived; the 2nd annual Great Feathers One Fly Chub Tournament.
For a much welcomed second year, the good folks at Great Feathers Fly Shop in Sparks, Maryland hosted a day of friendly ‘competition’ in support of Trout Unlimited. The format is simple; a shotgun start with a 2-hour window to catch as many creek chub (fall fish) as possible on just one fly and fill your garbage bag with the trash tossed on the river by lesser humans, in a predetermined section of the beautiful Gunpowder River. No private creek honey holes, no swapping flies or reloading when yours meets a low-hanging oak, and the trout don’t count!
Last years inaugural event was soaking wet success in some of the hardest rain I’d seen in years that didn’t include the words tropical storm or hurricane so-and-so. The torrential downpour probably kept a few folks at home, but those who braved the elements were treated to an otherwise empty river and a great event, capped off by a smoking grill full of grub and rain-soaked fish stories back at the shop. The weather for this years One Fly could not have been better; temps in the 80s, a dead wind, and the sun sat high in the sky as everyone piled into their vehicles in search of the mighty chub. And so we were off…..
My weapons of choice this time around were pretty simple; my 7′ (ok, maybe 6’9″ after an incident with the car trunk and some Krazy Glue) 5/6wt Eagle Claw Featherlight loaded with 7wt line and a little hopper pattern. The chub may not have put quite the photogenic bend in the 5/6wt glass that a fatty Brown might, but it sure laid that hopper softly under the branches and right up against the bank where 8 chubs were hiding.
At the end of the day, we had 2 lucky fisherman raise the prestigious Great Feathers One Fly Chub Tournament trophy with 24 chub each, a pretty big pile of garbage that was no longer gunking up the Gunpowder, and a few dozen fed, fat, and happy ladies and gents already looking forward to next years tourney. So, if you’re in the area next summer; put your cash on the counter and your line in the water with us in pursuit of a not-so-elusive and not-so-trendy trash fish that’ll put a smile on your face and a pretty snazzy t-shirt in your closet in support of a good cause. Big thanks to the Great Feathers Fly Shop gang for another late-summer Saturday that was way more fun than mowing the lawn.
By Joshua Crew.