February 27, 2012
The Salty Fly Tournament is the brainchild of outdoor photographer Sam Root. Like his photos, Root took the proper time, care and dedication to make this year's flyfishing-only event a success.
Unlike some other fly tournaments, Sam Root envisioned a tourney accessible to all when he first came up with The Salty Fly Tournament about two years ago. Now in its second year, word has gotten out and 65 teams competed for prizes and bragging rights during the weekend of February 12 near Tampa. Besides fishermen, spectators came out to participate in every aspect of the weekend--there were 150 tickets sold and it was standing room only at the Friday night party.
Tournament day came Saturday, and despite unfavorable weather, every single team showed up for the 6 a.m. check-in. Two-man crews went out in search of the top two redfish and single trout they could catch. Then, it was a matter of taking photos of your largest fish next to a Florida Sportsman measuring stick along with your numbered ID chip.
Sam Root explained the rules in this video:
At about 3:00 p.m., their was a live broadcast of the tournament winners at Momma Iguana's in Apollo Beach. So many people came to the event that parking became congested at the Winn Dixie parking lot, enough for Winn Dixie workers to complain that there wasn't room for their customers. As Sam Root explained: "It was a nice problem to have."
Official Tournament Results
Team Flatz Slobz: Capt. Nick Angelo (left) and Capt. Bryon Chamberlin
Team Flats Hunter: Alonzo Sotillo (left) and Frank Leto
Team 20 Knots: Leigh West and Jay Wright
G. Loomis Skiff Casting Challenge
On Sunday, February 26, more than 100 people came out to watch 20 teams pole and cast at the G. Loomis Skiff Casting Challenge.
Crews had to have each team member pole and cast at targets through an on-the-water course near Maximo Park.
There were video cameras and spotters on hand to judge the different teams (see photo, at left).
Once again, angler Nick Angelo found himself at the winner's stage, this time in second instead of first.
See the course layout below:
The top winners received crystal trophies and two G.Looms fly rods.
Casting challenge Winners: 1st Place) Capt. Colby Hane and Capt. Dave Chouinard and 2) Capt. Bryon Chamberlin and Capt. Nick Angelo FS