On Sunday, October 28, approximately 50 people gathered at Rose River Farm in Syria, Virginia for the Inaugural Foster the Rise 2-Fly Tournament. Anglers and their fans, volunteers, and staff were on hand as fish were caught, stories were told, laughs and tears were shared, friendships and partnerships were made.
Before the event begun, participants chose their two flies carefully, making certain one of their flies had either red or pink on it. While anglers could share flies, once they lost them all – they were out of the competition. We heard stories that there was climbing of trees, boosting of partners, and much bush whacking to retrieve flies!
The tournament began with a field full of anglers, eager to compete. The starter horn blasted and the anglers were off to battle for first place. By mid-day, the top teams were just points within each other. The second session remained close, leaving our first and second place teams fishing within one point of each other!
Below, find pictures of the winning teams and angler who caught the largest fish. The winning team was Jim Greene and Rich Farino of District Angling with 112 points. Following directly behind them in second place with 111 points, was the father/daughter team of Bob and Grace O’Donnell. In third place was a team that traveled to join us from Tennessee and Kentucky - Mary K. Jenkins and Sydney Abbott of Team Tights for Life. And with the biggest fish of the day was Rich Ausberger. Rich not only walked away with that prize, but with BOTH raffle items. The 100 Anniversary Cortland Rod and a River Smith 2-Banger River Quiver!
Thanks to the sponsors who supported the event and The Mayfly Project. Some have been with us since the beginning and some are new. Regardless, we are grateful for your support his first year and look forward to a continued partnership. Cortland, St. Croix Rods, and Temple Fork Outfitters, went the extra mile in helping us to award our winning teams. Huge props to Amanda Wilshire of AwdaRT for creating our first place trophies. They were stunning works of art that caught the attention of everyone in attendance.
Big thanks to all the anglers who gave of their time and money to participate. Maryland, Virginia, DC, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Arkansas were all represented and think it’s safe to say that everyone enjoyed fishing this special piece of land. We were lucky to have two young men join us as a youth team thanks to their sponsor Husch Blackwell Strategies. Watching Jahlil and Konrad was quite fun. Their teamwork, their enthusiasm, their skill - all of this leads us to firmly believe that the future of fly fishing is in great hands!
This day wouldn’t have even been possible without the generosity of Douglas Dear, owner of Rose River Farm. When asked if the event could be held at this farm, Douglas couldn’t have said yes fast enough. We are appreciative of his generosity and spirit of giving. He’s also just plain fun!
Thank you to everyone to worked so hard to get this first 2-Fly off the ground. It was a group effort to say the very least. With TMP staff in Idaho, Montana, Arkansas, and Pennsylvania all working on this one goal, it’s apparent that living in four different time zones can’t tamp down our passion for the mission of The Mayfly Project, to mentor kids in foster care through fly fishing.