Thursday, July 28, 2011

Fishing Seminars, Project Healing Waters and Pro Am, OH MY!

What a busy spring and summer we've had here in Oswego County! I've been all over the county taking photos and helping out with numerous events. I normally dedicate an entire post to each of the following, but since they're all fishing related, I've combined them in one.

Women's Fly Fishing Seminar:

The women's fly fishing seminar took place on May 14th and 15th. Every year women from all over get together, thanks to Trout Unlimited, and learn how to fly fish on the Salmon River. 

This year the women fished on the Upper Fly Zone on the Salmon River in Altmar. I showed up on Saturday to document the event. It was a very rainy day, but the women were tough and had no complaints while they fished. It was also a great memory for many of the women who fished alongside of Pulaski resident, Ellen Boyle, who had helped out with the event for years along with Project Healing Waters and numerous other organizations. Unfortunately, Ellen passed away a month after the event. I remember talking to her while she was standing in the river, soaked head to toe, and when asked how she was doing her response was, "GREAT... I don't care if I'm wet I'm still having fun!" I think it's safe to say that was the attitude of all the women on the river that day. May Ellen rest in peace and may her memory live on through women who love to fish!  

(Continue past these photos to read about Project Healing Waters and the Pro Am Tournament)

 Ellen Boyle - She will be greatly missed!

Project Healing Waters:

The Project Healing Waters event, a national program that has been coming to the Salmon River for a few years now, took place the following weekend, May 21st and 22nd. 

In short, Project Healing Waters is a program where wounded soldiers and veterans get to learn fly fishing for rehabilitation. You can learn more about it on their website,

This year's event took place along the Douglaston Salmon Run in Pulaski. I stopped by on Saturday and hung out for a while, taking pictures and talking to some of the fishermen (and one fisherwoman)!

Douglaston was the perfect location because it was quiet, calm and extremely accommodating to their physical needs. All of the participants had a blast hanging out, joking around, and fly fishing; as they do every year when they come to the Salmon River.

*A HUGE thanks to Fred Kuepper for all of the work and effort he has put into the Women's Fly Fishing Seminars and Project Healing Water events. Fred has decided to take a break from these events to focus on other endeavors. He will still be around to help out and I'm sure you'll see him out fishing the river from time to time!

(Continue past these photos to read about the Pro Am Tournament)

 The whole gang!

 Above: Wounded warriors getting ready to fish the Salmon River!
Below: River guides who donated their time to support our troops!

Lake Ontario Pro-Am Salmon and Trout Team Tournament:

2011 marked the 17th year for the Oswego Pro-Am tournament, a tournament where professionals and amateurs take over the lake trying to catch the biggest fish imaginable to win cash and prizes. I love helping out with this tournament because it's the one place you get to really see the size of the fish that come out of Lake Ontario.

At the early hour of 5 am on Sunday, I was down at Mexico Point (mouth of the Little Salmon River) to collect disclaimers from the teams fishing out of that port. The phrase "it must be in the water" took on new meaning after the tournament because both of the winning teams claimed the Little Salmon River as their home port. (Or maybe I'm just good luck!)

On Sunday afternoon I went to Oswego to help photograph the event. For years it has rained during the pro-am tournament, but this year the sun was out in full force. Thank goodness the Econo Lodge was accommodating all of us on their riverfront property, as well as serving us delicious burgers and keeping us hydrated with water and other beverages. A big thanks to them for their continued help with the tournament.

This year’s pro division winners were Trout One/Fish Chopper. The am division winners were Horsin' Around. Congratulations to both teams and all of this year’s participants!!

 Check out my huge fish on the top right!
Thankfully some participants let me pretend I caught their fish.

Am winners, Horsin' Around - weighing in, checking their score and showing off their catch (I wanted to pretend I was part of the winning team - thanks guys!)

 Congratulations Am Division Winners, Horsin' Around!

Congratulations Pro Division Winners, Trout One/Fish Chopper!

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