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In a game of inches the Grand Champion team of Rick Moeller and Capt. Mark Gilman of Islamorada scored big this past weekend, winning the Backcountry Fly Championship and capturing largest snook and redfish honors. Their redfish measured 26.5 inches and 27 inches alongside snook of 28 inches and 29.5 inches for a grand total of 111 points. Pocketing runner-up honors was Frank Criscola of NJ and Capt. Chris Jones of Islamorada, scoring 99.5 points.

Guides and anglers set out from the Lorelei Marina with the goal of catching the largest two snook and two redfish on fly. The event allows you to score your largest redfish and snook each day for two days. The angler accumulating the most measuring tape takes home top prize.


Eight teams measured their limit. Twenty-seven snook and 31 redfish were tallied. Due to popular demand there will be an additional fall version of the event in October: The Backcountry Fly Fall Championship (BFFC). Contact Capt. Paul Tejera at captbackbone@gmail.com for more info.

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Tom Bie is the founder, editor, and publisher of The Drake. He started the magazine in 1998 as an annual newsprint publication based in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. He then moved it to Steamboat, Colorado (1999), Boulder, Colorado (2001), and San Clemente, California (2004), as he took jobs as managing editor at Paddler, Senior Editor at Skiing, and Editor-in-Chief at Powder, respectively. Tom and The Drake are now both based in Denver, Colorado, where The Drake is finally all grows up(Swingers, 1996) to a quarterly magazine.

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