Yesterday morning, the 16 finalists competed in the flyfishing event at Dogwood Canyon. Each guy got his own beat on the stream (which was assigned based on his score in a casting accuracy competition the night before), and fished it for 90 minutes. So for three hours, I got watch competitor after competitor catch big honking trout after big honking trout. Which, don't get me wrong was a lot of fun, but the trout junkie in me was absolutely jonesing for a fly rod. I'm telling you, these trout were big and the fishing was hot!
How hot? Consider this: Yesterday was the first time ever at the TOC where every competitor caught and scored his limit of three fish. In most cases, the guys caught a lot more than three fish and had to release smaller fish unscored, hoping that they'd catch one last big 'bow before their time expired. That's what Matt "the Vermonster" Stadina did, and the gamble really paid off.
With two 20-inch trout already scored, Matt caught a 19-plus-incher but decided not to score it because he wanted to catch another 20-incher. That would put his total score over 60 inches, which was the score everyone thought would be enough to win. Sure enough Matt eventually caught his third 20-inch trout, and finished first with 62 inches.
Peter "the Principal" Mosby finished second in flyfishing with 60.75 inches--a score that was good enough to push him ahead of Scot Marcin as the leader of the overall standings.
A few of the competitors had their trouble with the fly rod, but they all still managed to get that last fish at the zero hour.
I'll leave you with some photos from the event for now, but you'll be hearing back from me later today. --Colin Kearns