We are pleased to announce the Third Annual Platte Rivers Veterans Fly Fishing – Fly Tying & Rod Building Recognition Competition Event, which will be held at the Peace with Christ Lutheran Church, 1412 W. Swallow St. in Fort Collins, CO, on Saturday, April 29, 2023 from 11:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. This will be a family event for all Platte Rivers members, not just for rod or fly submitters.

Over the winter, our Veterans constructed nearly 100 hand built fly rods and created dozens of fly patterns at our weekly fly tying sessions in our five area programs, across two states. We are looking forward to putting this hard work on display in a contest format that will include prizes for first, second and third place in both beginner rod building and fly tying categories. Rods must have been constructed during our classes for the years 2020 to 2023. Flies should come from 2022-2023 beginner class attendees. We will also celebrate everyone’s efforts by providing a light lunch at no cost, casting lessons/contests, fellowship and discussions surrounding this summer’s fishing trip opportunities.

Submissions should be given to your Area Leads who will assign an anonymous ID number and complete an entry ledger, including the ID number, entrant’s first and last name, and contact info. Rods are to be submitted without reels in just rod socks and the sock should have the entrant’s name on it, such as with a secure masking tape label.

Rods and flies will be judged anonymously! All submissions will be on display at the event, and will be returned right afterward.


Event Rules and Timeline

Fly Rods:

  1. All construction must be done by the participant as part in our Beginner’s rod classes. An instructor may demonstrate construction, but the final construction must be completed by the participant as their first time program rod.
  2. Customization, such as lettering, drawings, fancy wrappings, custom grips, inlays, etc. are encouraged, only limited by the participant’s imagination.
  3. The submitted rods from each program will be gathered and returned directly by the Local Area Leads.
  4. Rods must have been constructed during our “first rod” classes for the years 2020 to 2023.

Three judges will evaluate each rod. They will use a 100 point scale for categories that include “Neatness” (evenness of the thread wraps, no excess glue or finish on blank/grip/seat), “Functionality” (guide spacing, components in-line, etc.), “Creativity” (open to interpretation of the judges), and so on. The totals are tallied for each participant and the winners picked with the highest overall scores. Decisions by the judges are final.

Hand Tied Flies:

  1. Contestants should be “beginners”. This could mean they have less than 1 year experience or are rated as such by local fly tying instructors.
  2. All Flies must be tied by the individual contestant. An instructor may demonstrate, but the final construction must be completed by the participant.
  3. Flies will be judged on 4 criteria: Overall appearance: Is the fly neatly tied, do the color combinations work? Proportions: Standards used will be based on Charlie Craven’s book on Basic Fly Tying. Durability: Will the fly still be usable after several hours of fishing or several fish caught? Fishiness: Does the fly look like it will be attractive to fish?
  4. Each contestant will submit 3 flies.
    a. Size 8 Wooly Bugger: any color combination is OK. Bead or coneheads are optional.
    b. Size 12 Gold-Ribbed Hare’s Ear: some portion of the fly will include material from a hare’s mask. Beadheads are optional.
    c. Size 14 Elk Hair Caddis: any color combination is OK.
  5. The submitted flies from each Area program will be placed in a Scheels fly container marked with an ID number by the Area Lead or tying instructor
  6. The score totals are tallied for each fly with the highest overall score determining the winners. The decisions of the judges are final.

Rod Judging starts at 10:00 a.m. on April 28th and flies will be judged on April 29th starting at 9:00 a.m. Awards will be placed soon after for the following:
Beginner Rod Building: 1st, 2nd and 3rd places
Beginning Fly Tying: 1st, 2nd and 3rd places

Prizes include fishing and tying equipment and materials, books, and a fishing trip to Red Feather Lakes.

Laramie and Cheyenne Participants: All rods and flies must be submitted to your Area Lead and then delivered to Larry Neasloney or Ron Escobedo in Cheyenne by April 27, 2023. Ron will bring the entries to Fort Collins on Friday, April 28th for judging.

Greeley, Fort Collins and Loveland Participants: All rods and flies must be submitted to your Area Lead, who will deliver them to Dave Morse in Fort Collins by April 27, 2023.

Plastic fly containers, “Hocky Pucks”, from Scheels and String Tags have been given to the Area Leads to anonymously identify and submit your items.

Although you do not have to be present to win, we strongly encourage everyone to come celebrate each other’s accomplishments and newly found craft!