Tournament combines golf, fly fishing | SteamboatToday.com

Tournament combines golf, fly fishing

— Golf and fly fishing are time-consuming sports. Yet, they have been rolled into one event for the second Golf Trout Tournament to be held Friday through Sunday. The event benefits the Yampa Valley Stream Improvement Charitable Trust.

Berths in the tournament have been sold out for weeks, but the public is invited to attend a benefit barbecue and auction at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at the Catamount Ranch and Club Lake Club.

The evening will include casting contests to determine which angler can throw the most fly line and which can place the fly most accurately. The participants in the tournament will compete in teams to see who can catch and release the most trout Saturday, then try to break 100 in a best-ball golf tournament at the Sheraton Steamboat Resort on Sunday.

Tournament Director Jim Zuccone of the Yampa Valley Fly Fishers promised golfers and anglers will find bargains at the silent auction and bucket raffles. Proceeds go toward the rehabilitation of more than 1.5 miles of the Yampa River within the public Chuck Lewis State Wildlife Area south of Steamboat on Routt County Road 14F.

“It’s a great food value for the money and an entertaining evening, with great prizes.” Zuccone said. “Based on last year, there were some good values in the raffles.”

The Charitable Trust is a nonprofit established by the Fly Fishers club to administer funds devoted to public projects. Last year, the inaugural event raised $16,000. Based on a field that has doubled since last year, the organizers are optimistic they can raise $25,000 this year, Zuccone said. That would put them on target to raise about $75,000 by the fourth year of the event. The money would be used to leverage grants toward the estimated $300,000 needed to improve the aquatic habitat in the Chuck Lewis State Wildlife Area.

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Zuccone said the stream channel has widened over the years, making much of the Yampa within the wildlife area too shallow to support trout. There is significant erosion along the riverbank. Where there isn’t erosion, it’s because the rusted hulks of old automobile bodies were embedded in the banks to stabilize them.

Anyone interested in making a contribution to the project is encouraged to attend the barbecue, Zuccone said.

“The $25 barbecue price is our cost,” Zuccone said. “It’s our gift to the club and to the community for participating in our projects.”

Among the auction and raffle items available at the barbecue are Patagonia gift certificates totaling $1,000, golf drivers and putters, a fly fishing vest, a Creek Company two-person catamaran/raft, and an Abel reel.

Saturday night’s barbecue menu includes ribs, chicken, salads, hamburgers and hot dogs prepared by the Catamount staff. Tickets will not be available at the door. They are only available in advance from three stores: Bucking Rainbow Outfitters, Straightline Sporting Goods and Steamboat Fishing Company.

Tickets for children 12 and younger are $15.

— To reach Tom Ross call 871-4205

or e-mail tross@steamboatpilot.com