Romano: Catch Carp, Save Yellowstone Cutthroats

I'll readily admit I'm a sucker for anything that has to do with fly fishing for carp - no pun intended. That's why when I heard that Trout Unlimited is putting on a fly fishing only carp tournament to help benefit habitat on the South Fork of the Snake River I felt the need to share with our Fly Talk readers.

Money raised catching carp in the tourney will go directly to helping with habitat restoration for the Yellowstone cutthroat trout in one of its last big-water habitats in its native range. In case you hadn't heard, the Yellowstone cutthroat has its share of problems, including invasives (think lake trout), whirling disease, hybridization, etc... These little fellers could use some help.

The tournament will focus solely on carp, and anglers will fly fish a pair of two-hour time slots over the course of the two-day tournament. Legal fish (those hooked in the mouth) will be weighed and can then either be harvested or released, depending on the angler's preference. Total stringer weight will be counted toward a team's score. Members of the winning team will win either a Winston Vapor 5-weight fly rod, or a Mystic 8-weight fly rod. Other prizes for various accomplishments (largest fish, smallest fish, etc.) include items donated by MorningStar Lanyards, flyfishforcarp.com, and RIO lines.

The tournament is being held in Gifford Springs, Idaho - 20 miles downstream of American Falls Dam on the Snake River. I realize this is a far-flung locale for most of us, but you never know... Call your friends or family members in the area and get them out raising some money for a species I hope we ALL endeavor to catch one day.

For more information, or to stay up to date on CarpFest, visit carpfest.blogspot.com , or call either Chris Hunt or Matt Woodard at (208) 552-0891.

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