Friday, January 21, 2011

The 2011 GIFT Tournament

It’s a travel day for me. I’m sitting in the airport in Houston waiting to make the second leg of my journey back to Costa Rica for the 2011 Gray Invitational Fly Tournament.

Jamie called me a couple of nights ago concerned about if we had the proper flies and just what we needed to do to be ready for this years contest. I guess I wasn’t exactly polite when I asked him “Are you just starting to think about this? I’ve been working on this for the past 360 days!!!.” Just joking!

I’ve been working for the past few months with several of our friends whose expertise in different aspects of fly-fishing that has proven to be invaluable to the past success of the FRENZY team.

I’ll be trying out a new reel from our friends at Waterworks-Lamson in Ketchum Idaho. We have been sold on the Waterworks reels for several years now. The new Vanquish is supposed to be even better so I’m excited to give it a good test.

Brian Thielke (our own personal world class fly tying master), knew the tournament would be coming up and he called us last month just to make sure we had what we needed. Since there have been so many marlin being caught this year, we have had Brian prepare some special marlin flies in addition to our usual sailfish fly order.

Garry Sandstrom, our equipment and tackle expert, has provided me with three new fly lines that he wants tested. One of the lines is experimental and Garry feels it will be a definite improvement over what we have used in the past. Garry is one of the best fly-casters I have ever seen. Because of his reputation, he is constantly testing new lines for the various manufacturers. Overall the lines coming out are stronger, and yet much thinner than what we have used previously and should cut down on the dreaded drag created by the weight and size of the line. This is important when a big fish takes out several hundred yards of line or when we intentionally let one fish run when we hook up a double and then have to work each fish individually.

Garry and I spent a good deal of time preparing equipment and lines at Puget Sound Fly Co. It’s owner, Anil Srivastava, is constantly on the phone to make sure that we get everything we need from the various companies in a timely manner and he is gracious enough to allow us to use his shop equipment as we load reels and build fly-lines. Anil also provided me with some flies that he developed over 10 years ago, the Shock and Awe. I hope to soon cast these to Mahi, sailfish, and tuna. It is a great fly that is used a lot in the Northwest for sea-run cutthroat and salmon although in a smaller size.

All these friends, Brian, Garry, and Anil, are world class fly-fisherman in their own right and we are grateful for the information and assistance that they provide as part of Team FRENZY.

Well it's time to catch that plane. The Tournament Starts Monday!!!

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