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The Fly Rod Chronicles at the Harman's North Fork Invitational 2013

Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 01/08/2014 (4280 reads)
The Fly Rod Chronicles is a program I have been enjoying on the Outdoor Channel for a number of years. Curtis Fleming and crew travel the country sharing their fly fishing pursuits like no others. In early May of 2013 the show made it's way back home to West Virginia for the Harman's North Fork Invitational 2013. The event offers two-man fly fishing teams a chance to compete for first place on the North Fork of the South Branch River in West Virginia.

Fly Rod Chronicles
The Fly Rod Chronicles at the Harman's North Fork Invitational 2013

Some really top notch anglers get together for this event and Todd Harman was on me for a couple of years about getting a Paflyfish team going for the Invitational. Since Paflyfish has some pretty darn good anglers I figured it wouldn't be too hard to get a competitive team in place. With all the talent I see at a Paflyfish Jamboree I was more concerned about just fielding a team that could wake up for the first session.

As it turned out the short straws went to Shane "Sbecker" Becker and Phil "PhilC" Chadbourn to represent Team Paflyfish at the competition Shane had been to Harman's the year before, which offered him some advantage for the team. Before leaving I asked the guys to just have fun and do their best. I felt like I was sending my kids off to college and almost digressed into warning them about not getting into any trouble.

The North Fork does not support naturally reproducing trout and Todd Harman, Harman's Invitational host, makes sure the stream is always stocked with some awesome looking trout.

Not having been in any fly fishing competitions myself, I had to get familiar with how the Invitational worked. Basically, sixteen teams competed over two days during three sessions of fly fishing. Each team had two sessions on Friday and one on Saturday. Points were accrued by the total length in centimeters of trout over the three sessions. Each team was allowed to land up to seven fish during a session. The best eight teams then duked it out for one final session with the winner being selected based on those points from that last session. There was some strategy that each team needed to make with picking the section of streams or beat for the session. Higher scoring teams got the early picks on their preferred beats.

Harman's North Fork Invitational
Shane at the Harman's North Fork Invitational

The guys headed off Thursday for the weekend and I waited for snippets of emails for updates on their progress.

[Spoiler Alert]
I got a short email late on Friday of first day from Phil cautiously offering up they had a lot of fishing yet to do, but they were in first place. Phil must have figured I would think this was some sort of hoax and Shane shortly followed with an email validating that they were ahead after the first two sessions. Phil managed to land one of the biggest trout of all the competitors that first day. It was great to read their excitement and was much better news than the bail thing that was still itching in the back of my head.

A mid-day email from the duo on Saturday was a little less encouraging. Day two Team Paflyfish presented some new challenges in the third session as they were only allowed to use two flies. That morning was not as productive and they fell back to third overall. This still put them into the finals and they had the third pick of the stream beat.

I didn't hear anymore from them until much later that night. I got a text photo of a poorly lit image from Shane that had some darkened red, white and blue looking thing. My guess was they didn't do so well and moved onto some Pabst Blue Ribbons. A more detailed email arrived later sharing that the guys ended having a really good day. They offered it would have been better if they could have landed a bunch of big rainbows that they missed getting into their nets, but the final message was, "We got it"! Much to their own surprise, Shane and Phil pulled it off by taking first place at the Invitational.

Fly Fishing Competition
The Surprised Winners

"It was just awesome. We had a great time and I never thought that we would win. I just didn't want to come in last and holy cow we won the thing," said Shane. Phil added, "It was a really good time and enjoyed hanging with Curtis and crew."

Curtis later shared with me, "Phil & Shane are class-act and represented Team Paflyfish in high regards. They were a blast to hang out with and very good fly fishermen."

Catch all the fun of the weekend, including Shane and Phil of Team Paflyfish as they take on some of the best anglers from all over the country at the Harman's Invitational 2013 on the Fly Fishing Chronicles. Shows air on the Outdoor Channel starting Monday, January 13th at 11:00 am, Friday, January 17th at 7:00 am and 12:00 pm. A final program will be aired on Saturday, January 18th at 5:30 pm.

Harman's Luxury Log Cabins is a sponsor of Paflyfish. The North Fork does not support naturally reproducing trout and is stocked by Harman's along 1 3/4 miles of water providing anglers with the opportunity to fish for rainbows, browns, brookies, tiger and golden trout. A great place to relax with friends, family and for in some awesome trout fishing.

Photos provided by PhilC and Shane.

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Author Thread
Published: 2014/1/8 15:41  Updated: 2014/1/8 15:41
Joined: 02/12/2013
From: Centralia
Comments: 35
 Re: The Fly Rod Chronicles at the Harman's North For...
The DVR will be set to record. Congratulations Shane & Phil !!!
Published: 2014/1/8 16:08  Updated: 2014/1/8 16:08
Joined: 10/24/2012
From: Landenberg, PA
Comments: 453
 Re: The Fly Rod Chronicles at the Harman's North For...

I shall DVR it too and hopefully pick up a few tips.
Published: 2014/1/8 16:08  Updated: 2014/1/8 16:08
Joined: 06/08/2008
From: Pittsburgh
Comments: 206
 Re: The Fly Rod Chronicles at the Harman's North For...
With Phil's good looks and Becker's sense of balance they were a lock to win.

Congrats guys.
Published: 2014/1/8 21:16  Updated: 2014/1/8 21:16
Joined: 10/11/2009
From: Southeastern Pa
Comments: 228
 Re: The Fly Rod Chronicles at the Harman's North For...
Good, read.

Great job guys I look forward to watching your success!
Published: 2014/1/13 13:51  Updated: 2014/1/13 13:51
Joined: 10/02/2006
From: Greensburg, Westmoreland Co.
Comments: 287
 Re: The Fly Rod Chronicles at the Harman's North For...
I'm anxious to get home and see it on the DVR tonight.

Harman's is a nice venue and Shane and Phil are a couple of great guys!
Published: 2014/1/13 14:36  Updated: 2014/1/13 14:36
Joined: 06/16/2013
From: Monroeville
Comments: 4
 Re: The Fly Rod Chronicles at the Harman's North For...
Wow. That was a nice sized trout. Congratulations on the victory. Maybe now that the episode has aired we can hear about what was working for you on the water. I'm very interested in the two-fly round. After seeing the size of those Rainbows, I'm thinking I may need to book a room at Harman's.
Published: 2014/1/13 20:12  Updated: 2014/1/13 20:12
Joined: 12/14/2006
From: Centre/Clinton County Howard/Beech Creek)
Comments: 56
 Re: The Fly Rod Chronicles at the Harman's North For...
Great to see a couple guys from PAFlyFish having fun. I remember talking about this at the Jam.
Published: 2014/1/18 18:05  Updated: 2014/1/18 18:05
Joined: 03/13/2007
From: Washington, PA
Comments: 18
 Re: The Fly Rod Chronicles at the Harman's North For...
Way to Represent! Great Job guys! It isn't that far from me in Washington PA. Looks like it would be worth a weekend.

Published: 2014/1/18 22:34  Updated: 2014/1/18 22:34
Joined: 09/23/2006
From: Williamsport, PA
Comments: 560
 Re: The Fly Rod Chronicles at the Harman's North For...
Won't lie i HATE that show and laught at the stockies and private waters they fish. I can't stand that Curtis Flemingon's voice. I haven't been able to find a fishing show on tv worth watching in several years...but despite all that congrats on the win...nice to see PA guys win!
Published: 2014/1/26 7:50  Updated: 2014/1/26 7:50
Joined: 02/22/2012
From: Cabins, West Virginia
Comments: 5
 Invitation for 2014 Harman's North Fork Invitational
Our first invitation for the 2014 Harman's North Fork Invitational goes to Phil and Shane.

Harman's would love to have them back representing PA Fly Fish.

As we work thru the selection process, I expect another team from PA Fly Fish will be selected. Thank You.. The Harman's

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