What does Greg Gondella, Dalton, enjoy most about fly fishing? “Everything,” he said. Gondella is part of the Troutlegend Professional Circuit.
Adam Nidohmanager of A&G Outfitters, Dickson City, said, “There’s nothing else like it in the world…you’re connecting with nature. It’s such a relaxing hobby…I think all of us fly fisherman are wired a little differently. We get so excited about bugs and fish…really ridiculous things that other people find to be uninteresting.”
Together, Gondella and Nidoh are organizing a competitive fly fishing event, a first -time venture in Northeastern Pa. to take place the Lackawanna River, May 18, and on the Tunkhannock Creek, May 19. Gondella looked to Nidoh to round up volunteers, provide assistance in running the event and to check in to be sure it was a great idea.
A full field of 24 anglers is expected and five spots are currently open.
According to Gondella, “Sections of the river being fished are from the I-81 Bridge in Dickson City downstream for one mile. The other section of the Lackawanna will be from the Southside Complex downstream one mile. On the South Branch of the Tunkhannock Creek, from the College Avenue bridge downstream to the end of the Keystone College Property, and then from the Lackawanna Trail Elementary School downstream to the Clifton Township recreational park,” he said.
Competition hours are 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. and prizes will be awarded.
Gondella said prizes awarded will include, based on a full field of 24 anglers: first place -$200, a trophy and a $75 gift card from Mountain Khakis; second place - $125, a trophy, a gift card from Mountain Khakis; third place - $75, a trophy and gift card.
“Maui Jim Sunglasses kicked in two free pairs of sunglasses; one for the guy who catches the biggest fish and one to raffle off for the volunteers, with a ton of other prizes from other companies. For all of the guys who volunteer to come out to measure fish, we are having a raffle at the shop on Sunday night after the event…,” Gondella said.
He added that volunteers are needed to measure fish and to be sure people who fish are not breaking rules. He is hoping to have more volunteers comprised of men, women and children, 16 years and older.
Gondella and Nidoh hope to make this an annual event.
Nidoh said, “As a fly shop just outside of Scranton, we really feel this is something that could help to put the city on the map…”
Anyone who would like to be a spectator at the event can find a place to watch along the lower section of the Lackawanna River on what is referred to as the “rails to trails.”
“People that maybe want to volunteer, but maybe they’re not sure what a competitive fly fishing event is, can get down there and see some of these guys fish… There will be 24 different anglers and 24 different styles of fishing…”
For more information, including, Troutlegend membership fees visit troutlegend.com.