This Year’s “20 Days in September” Contest Starts in ONE Week!

Last year’s winner was fatfingeredflytyer’s dreamy shot of an angler surveying a mountain trout stream in the southern Appalachians.
Photo courtesy Chris Williams

The end of summer can be bittersweet for anglers, so to ensure that we make the most of the late season, we launched the “20 Days in September” Photo Contest back in 2015. The contest has grown every year, and participants have sent us countless emails and messages about how much fun they’ve had and how the need to get on the water so often caused them to check out local ponds and streams they’d passed by for years.

Once again, we’re hoping to grow in 2021, but we’ve added an important new rule (see below) to make the contest more fish-friendly. And if you check out the prize list below, I think you’re going to want to give the contest a try this year. So start thinking about how you can carve out a little time each day, or plan a couple big adventures for the month!

Here’s how it works:

1. Make an honest attempt to get on the water 20 times during September. Of course, these don’t have to be full or even half days of angling. Just 10 casts are enough to count on any given day. So steal time whenever you can: before work, at lunchtime, after work, or . . . (cough) during work. (If you’re still working from home because of the pandemic, you’ll have your usual commuting time available for fishing.) On weekends, get in a few casts around family time, kids’ sports, or yard work.

2. This is not just about trout. Any species and kinds of water are eligible–from bass and pike in lakes, to stripers and bonefish in saltwater, to carp in canals. If you can catch it on a fly, it’s game. The only limitation is that the fish must be caught during the month of September.

3. Take pictures of your fish, the water, your fellow anglers, the flies you’re using, or anything else. NEW RULE: Photos may not show trout held out of the water. With so much low, warm water around the country, we want to ensure that trout are released as quickly as possible, with no extra time out of the water for photos. You’ll note that none of last year’s finalists were of the grip-and-grin variety. Photos must be taken during September, 2021.

4. Post your photos to the Orvis Fly Fishing Facebook page or on Instagram with the hashtags #orvisflyfishing and #20sepdays. (Only photos using both hashtags will be eligible!)

At the end of the month, we’ll go through all the photos posted as part of the project and pick 10 finalists. Then we’ll let you vote for the winners! (Check out all of last year’s finalists below, and see all three winners here.)

Here are the prizes:


First Place: A Helios 3 Fly Rod of your choice.


(Artist collab model not available.)


Second Place: A Pair of Orvis Pro Waders.



Third Place: A Mirage LT Fly Reel of your choice.


We’ll also give a pair of made-in-the-USA Orvis Nippers to one randomly selected voter at the end of the contest.

You don’t have to complete your 20 days to be eligible to win, but we will have a Roll of Honor for those who do manage to complete the Project. So start clearing your calendar to allow for more fishing time. Get ready to make September all about spending time on the water.

We will have the full contest rules ready when the contest launches on Wednesday, September 1.

11 thoughts on “This Year’s “20 Days in September” Contest Starts in ONE Week!”

  1. GREAT new rule. Should make it permanent and extend it to all fish, not just trout.

    Looking forward to another quest for 20!

  2. Looking forward to participating again this year. Will there be a Local Slam again this year? It was great seeing everyone’s mixed bag catches from their local waters.

      1. That’s disappointing. Hopefully, some will still share their local slams along the way.

        Still looking forward to the primary contest regardless!

  3. Rule #3 Fish have to be caught in Sept 2020. That will be the hardest part of the challenge. Need a time machine to catch and photo the fish from last year.

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