ATHENS – A new fly fishing tournament benefiting the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center is coming to Athens the first weekend of December – just in time to kick off the beginning of rainbow trout stocking season in the state.
The “Select a Fly Challenge” fly fishing tournament will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens. For a $40 donation to the Friends of Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center, a dedicated support group that exists exclusively to raise funds for special projects and construction at TFFC, anglers can compete for big prizes by targeting rainbow trout in one of the TFFC’s several stocked ponds.
The tournament will use the catch-photo-release (CPR) format, meaning photos – not fish – will be submitted for live scoring. Each angler who catches a rainbow trout using any legal technique will take a picture of the fish on a provided ruler, submit the photo to tournament volunteers, and get right back to casting after releasing the fish.
Anglers will be eligible for prizes in several categories, including the biggest single trout of the day, hourly leader, and a challenge championship for the most overall total inches caught during the day. But there is one catch – anglers will only be allowed to fish with a single fly on one fly rod throughout the challenge.
Donated pre-tied flies will be provided by Select a Fly tiers, and each angler will be allowed to purchase one “mulligan” fly for an additional $20 donation to the TFFC friends group.
Proceeds from the tournament will be used to support the development of a fly fishing education program at the TFFC.
Anglers can pre-register for the event by contacting Johnny Martinez at (972) 697-7096 or Rebecca Sellers at (903) 670-2266. Registration will also be open on-site before the tournament from 7:30 to 9 a.m. Dec. 2.
The Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center is located at 5550 F.M. 2495, about 4 miles east of Athens. Regular admission is $5.50 for adults, $4.50 for seniors 65 and older, and $3.50 for children ages 4 through 12. For more information call (903) 676-2277 or visit tpwd.texas.gov/tffc.