We put the word out and you delivered!
We admit; it took us longer than expected to choose winning entries because there were so many (over 1100!) and because they were so good. To thank you for your patience, we threw an extra signed copy of the Orvis Fly Tying Guide into the mix and chose an entry at random.
A little skinny on the judging criteria.
We picked the best half-dozen fly tiers and anglers on our staff and asked them to rate our entries on innovation in design, expected fishability, and of course appeal to the angler. Because we have not been able to fish any of these patterns we had to guess, but when you get as good as these tiers are you can just tell by looking at a fly how well it will fish. Because this was a fly pattern and not a fly photo contest, we tried to look beyond some of the fine macro photography in these entries, but realistically those with a good photo probably had a better chance. But then again there were some awesome photos that did not win so we like to think we were as objective as possible.
Without further ado, here are your winners.
Fly by Scott Blackhurst of Meridian, Idaho.
All of our judges kept coming back to this one with statements like “Wow” “It’s so buggy” “I would fish that one in a heartbeat. I am going to tie a bunch”. Not only did this fly have all the right materials to create movement and the impression of an emerging insect, it had them in all the right places and in perfect proportions. I suspect this fly will be a killer for mayfly as well as caddisfly hatches. Scott’s fly will be included in our 2016 line.
Fly by Nick Vlahos of Baton Rouge, Louisiana
You don’t see many sand flea imitations, but you know fish other than pompano eat them all the time — stripers, snook, bonefish, and redfish for sure. And this one is so elegantly tied, with some innovative use of materials, that the judges were just blown away by it. Not only does it look cool, but judging by the way the materials are used it will have very lifelike motion in the water as well. Nick will receive a new Renzetii Vise.
Fly by Rick Nyles of Fleetwood, Pennsylvania
All of the judges said they have never seen biots used as a wing material in a dry fly, but this fly used them, probably to help simulate the wing profile and help balance the fly. With hair tails, biot body, and what looks like a combination of snowshoe rabbit and hare’s ear fur in the thorax, this is an all-natural fly with 21st century design aesthetic. Without even fishing this one we know it will be a top choice for really fussy trout. Rick will receive a signed copy of the Orvis Fly Tying Guide.
Fly by Jared Robbins of Gorham, Maine
Congratulations to our random draw winner, who likes to fish the salty shallows in and around Portland as well as those on Cape Cod and in Rhode Island. Jared will receive a signed copy of the Orvis Fly Tying Guide.
Congratulations again to all of our winners and thanks again for participating.