A great Summary from our winning team

About 3 weeks ago, I had never heard of TroutPower or ever entered a fishing tournament (bass, trout, etc). A co-worker of mine happened to see a TroutPower sign while traveling near the West Canada Creek and mentioned the “tournament” to me. After a quick web search, I found TroutPower.com and the info on the 2013 creel study. After reading the mission statement and reviewing the data collected from last years creel study, I knew I wanted to be a part of it. More importantly though, I thought it would be a great “excuse” to con my brother (who lives in Virginia Beach) to make the trip so we could spend the day fishing. After convincing him to make the trip, I had the task of convincing my wife to let me out of the house for the day. Now that my wife and I have 19 month old twins, that task becomes much more difficult. However, the chance of prize money made it easier for me to justify to my wife leaving the house at 5 am so my brother and I could spend 6 hours floating the stream. Even though I really didn’t think we had a shot to win, the thought of friendly competition amongst fellow anglers and spending the day fishing with my brother was why I participated in the event.

During the event, my brother and I enjoyed the usual small talk during any given fishing trip. We talked about how amazing it is to fish the West Canada Creek, previous fishing trips on the stream (like the one on Dec. 22 2012 when I tripped while wading near shore and went completely under and still to this day trying to get warm!), how valuable times like these are as we get older, etc. Fishing gives us the opportunity to just hang out and enjoy the outdoors. Catching fish is always the goal but the time spent together is the real reward.

As we drifted down the trophy section in the canoe he bought me for Christmas last year, we came across many other anglers (mostly fly fisherman). Trying to abide by proper etiquette, I maneuvered the canoe behind them so I would not disrupt their fishing spot. Many exchanged small talk about the tournament, fish they had caught, the weather, the stream, etc. By this time, I had successfully landed a beauty, a 21 inch brown. Two fly fisherman, who were fishing about 100 yards down stream, heard my excitement when I hooked up on the eventual winning brown. As we floated down to them, one fly fisherman wanted to see what all the commotion was about. After showing him the picture and telling him about the experience, we talked about the tournament and how we both heard about it, where we were from, he told us how he caught a 17 incher, etc. Continuing on, we encountered more fisherman, more small talk and my brother hooked up and landed a nice 16 incher by the mouth of the Cincinnati Creek. After leaving the trophy section, we came across others canoeing the stream but not entered in the tournament. One canoeist was with his wife and dog and had two other canoes in their party. We told him about the 21 inch brown we caught in the trophy section and he felt that was going to be the winner. We eventually beached our canoes near the pullout by the bridge at the rt 28 and 8 junction, showed him the pictures we had taken that day and again, exchanged small talk about where we were from, how we heard about the tournament, some fishing stories, etc. Like all our other fishing trips, we had come to the end and had to call it a day.

Which leads to me to what TroutPower means to me:
1) A chance to spend precious time with friends, family and fellow anglers who are just as passionate about fishing as I am.
2) Building camaraderie amongst other anglers (fly fisherman, spin fisherman, etc).
3) Participating in an event that promotes/preserves the sport of fishing.
4) Playing a small role in helping TroutPower collect data to protect the amazing resource of the West Canada Creek.
5) Hopefully assisting TroutPower in preserving the stream so my kids can hear my fish stories and learn to enjoy the sport of fishing as much as I do.

To JP...Thanks for putting on an amazing event. Glad I had a chance to meet you in person at the check-in Saturday morning. Please keep in touch. My brother and I plan on making this an annual event! If I can help in any other way, please let me know.

Bill Betts
First Place Trout Power 2013


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