Ham Posted June 6, 2022 Share Posted June 6, 2022 So, a few years ago a local Fly Shop came up with a Multi-Species fly fishing tournament. You try to catch each fish that is on the approved list of target species. You can read all about the rules etc on The Ozark Fly Fisher Journal. So, of course, as soon as I hear about it, I start scheming on how to fish it. Apparently, I am a little competitive since I wanted to only fish it IF I could have a respectable chance to win it. Several of the local Big Sticks in the fly fishing community fish it as well as several of the guides. It is not a walk in the park. Some of the big stipulations are no soft plastics, fly rod only, and has to be public water in Arkansas. Two man team and you have to fish “together”. they had an AGFC fisheries biologist doing the official ID work. Bonus points to act as a tie breaker are awarded to each species. The more difficult the fish the higher the bonus points. I conned FishNDave into joining me on the event last Summer and started prepping for the event back in August Last year. I did a lot of pre fishing to determine what species could be reliably caught where and time/distance to travel to these fish. I didn’t always use fly gear, but I did start fly fishing more. well after what seemed like forever this weekend was the tournament. Shotgun start on Saturday at approximately High Noon. Photos of your catches had to be received by 8 PM. Then the Tourney resumed Sunday morning at 0600 and pics had to be received by 12 noon. Saturday after our Shotgun start we drove to the wilds of a Black River backwater slough. I call it the Bowfin Hole. Dave needed a bowfin and we needed one for the tournament. Between last year and this year, I was pretty dialed in. Once on location, it took Dave 2 minutes to land his Lifer Bowfin. Which was a Beautiful Baby Boy.we could have caught a bunch, but we needed to get more species. Things had changed dramatically since I was there on Wednesday. I had multiple gar species biting my flys on Wednesday, but we could get no love. We did rally and get a Bluegill, Redear, and a Crappie. I know many were tiny fish, but in this tournament Size Does Not Matter. I also got a strange fish that I thought was a Redear and the biologist agreed.I had allotted a certain amount of Swamp time and then jump and run to the Spring River. Well, everything went as well as we could have hoped on the Spring River. We had minimal time, but dropped a hammer on them. Day 1 ends and we are in First Place. Felt pretty darn good.so so so after a short nights sleep (5 hours maybe) we rolled to Lake Norfork. I had a bunch of fish and a bunch of species located BUT the water just kept coming up flooded all my fish out. I was VERY disappointed. Dave saved our Bacon with some last minute heroics and got a nice Largemouth Bass. we ran back to the house. Swapped out Waldo for the No Name Canoe. Headed to Crooked Creek to see what we could get. I wanted an Ozark Bass and Smallie for sure with hopes for a Northern Hog Sucker. locals were swimming and fishing with live bait and doing what they do right where I wanted to fish. Part of what you have to work around. we got an Ozark Bass much quicker than I could have hoped and then STRUGGLED to get a Smallie. I was mortified at the prospect of failing to get a Smallie, but at the last minute I got a little Smallie for the needed picture. #crisisaverted At that point, it was all over but the crying and the woulda shoulda coulda. We awaited Final Results as we drove to the Wrap Up Meeting. So, we finished third. 5 bonus points away from Second. We each won a Custom Color Nautalist XM Fly Reel. I had a Great Time! I really wanted to win, but I just didn’t work the mental game well enough. I really would encourage you guys to come play. I’ll do my best to fish it in 2023. Thanks to Dave for being my partner in this endeavor and previous adventures. Next Year. netboy, Greasy B, snagged in outlet 3 and 9 others 12 Every Saint has a past, every Sinner has a future. On Instagram @hamneedstofish Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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