Last weekend, guides, anglers and sponsors participated in the third annual Mckenzie River Two-Fly Tournament, raising funds for McKenzie River Trust’s coldwater fish habitat restoration at MRT’s Green Island property on the confluence of the McKenzie and Willamette Rivers. The tournament raised $6,000 for habitat projects.
The tournament is hosted by The Caddis Fly Angling shop, and sponsored by McKenzie Mist, Trader Joes, Mazzi’s/Hideaway Bakery, Oregon Electric Station, Ex-Officio, Simms, Angler’s Book Supply and Trout Unlimited Chapter 678.
The winning boat was rowed by guide Mike Reardon, with anglers Chet Croco of Bellinger Fly Rods and Joe Palanuk of the Fly Fishers Club of Oregon. Palanuk caught the biggest fish of the tournament, a conservatively estimated 19-inch wild redside rainbow trout (it was too big for the 18-inch ruler). The team’s total inches for three biggest fish was nearly 49 inches, barely edging out second place Chris Daughters and Team Ex-Officio (last year’s winning anglers). Guide Lou Verdugo and Team Beast took third place.
The event started Friday night with Mazzi’s woodfire oven pizza at the Caddis Fly Shop, where participants drew their guides out of a hat. Saturday morning, anglers selected their flies (this year there was a $100 extra fly for purchase option), and hit the river. Saturday night, Trout Unlimited hosted drinks and appetizers at the Oregon Electric Station and did the official judging.
Thank you to all of the guides who donated a day to fund habitat restoration on the McKenzie River:
Stay tuned for the 2011 dates and sign up early!