Damon Bungard 07/08/2013 | Posted in 2013 Kilroy, Fishing, Fly Fishing, JK Team Posts
The new Jackson Kayak Kilroy showed his face at this year’s 2013 Ditch Pickle Classic fly fishing tournament on Lake Champlain. Jackson Kayak was a premier sponsor this year, and we had two kayak fishing teams in the tournament. I was teamed with Steven Atocha, the owner of one of our local dealers, the Middlebury Mountaineer, and JK team members Brian Cadoret and Pat Cohen were teamed up as well. Steve and I were both in a Kilroy, and Brian and Pat were in a Coosa and Cuda 12 respectively. The versatility of the Kilroy really paid off due to the high water conditions this year, performing perfectly in both rivers, and the creeks and bays on the lake around Swanton, VT.
With so much of the lake flooded and the fish dispersed up into the woods, we started out fishing the rapids on the Missisquoi River for smallmouth, and got right into them, hooking up with various fish and species. Pat won the ‘Big Pickle’ contest with the largest bass of the tournament with a 20″ smallmouth, and we landed many more in the 16-20″ range. We also landed perch, pike, and Pat even found a willing walleye – not easy on the fly. I was even able to ferry the Kilroy up through the whitewater and explore under the bridge a bit, but mostly found rock bass up there. Without the speed and control of the Kilroy hull, I wouldn’t have been able to make the moves needed to access that water. Standing and fighting big smallmouth down in the ouflow of the rapids was a lot of fun as well, and I’m constantly amazed by the stability of the Kilroy hull.
The Kilroy tracks made it easy to position cameras for the required catch-and-photo-release nature of this tournament. RAM fishing mounts, camera arms, and YakAttack tracks and camera mounts help keep the deck as organized as the inside of the Kilroy when I’m fly fishing, minimizing distractions and maximizing fishing time. Just what you need when it’s tournament time and every cast matters.
In the end it was another fun tournament, and great time had by all. Local Jay Modry ended up being the winning angler, taking home the grand prize of a new 2013 Jackson Kayak Cuda 12. One of his first comments was ‘I can’t wait to duck hunt out of this thing!”. Good thinking Jay.
Thanks to all the organizers of this year’s tournament, already looking forward to next year!