Up North: Rain Didn't Slow Bite at First Paddle the Pads Fly Fishing Contest

August 30, 2017 10:46 PM

To help celebrate Duluth's newly restored section of the St. Louis River at Chambers Grove Park, the very first "Paddle the Pads" fly fishing tournament was held on Saturday.

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The weather may not have been ideal, but anglers stuck it our for the tournament hosted by the Great Lakes Fly Shop.

"We started out here in the pouring rain, but there's nothing better than a day of fishing," said Eric Suppes.

Rain came down for just about the entire duration of the fishing contest, which meant that breaks by the fire and warm beverages became part of the strategy for anglers before getting back out on the water.

"Stay tight to the banks, fishing the whole time, keeping the fly on the water, and drink a lot of coffee," is what Jackson Elliott said his strategy was for the day.

However, the rain didn't slow down the bite for anglers who hit the water early.

"The fishing today has been pretty good. First cast for me I caught a fish and the first cast for my buddy he caught a fish, so the fishing has been pretty hot," added Elliott.

"I caught a lot of fish right off the bat and really had a good time," said Hansi Johnson the Director of Recreational Lands for the Minnesota Land Trust.

Prizes were awarded for the five longest bass. Below is a list of the winners. Note: an official coin was flipped to determine placement for the tiebreakers.

First Place: Carson Spohn @ 18'5'' inch small mouth bass

Second Place: Hansi Johnson @ 17'5'' inch small mouth bass

Third Place: Leif Birnbaum @ 17'5'' inch small mouth bass

Fourth Place: Erik Suppes @ 15'5" inch small mouth bass

Fifth Place: Nate Gervenak @ 14 3/4 inch small mouth bass

Sixth Place: Daryl Valentine @ 14 3/4 inch small mouth bass

All proceeds went to the Minnesota Land Trust.


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