Although meteorological summer doesn’t end for another three weeks, the kids are heading back to school, summer hours at work are nearly over, and the nights are growing increasingly crisp. It’s a time to reflect on how well you spent those longest days of the year.
Back in 2014, I had a tough summer, fishingwise, so to make up for it, I set myself a goal: to go fishing 20 days during the month of September. Thus was born the “20 Days in September” Project. I had so much fun—and enjoyed my time on the water so much—that we opened up the project to everyone and turned it into a photo contest on Facebook and Instagram. Every year since, the contest has attracted more and more participants, who tell us what a blast they have trying to complete the challenge. As blog reader Mike Sepelak once commented:
The contest is GREAT fun. Each year it’s encouraged me to find new local waters and revisit long neglected “fishin’ holes” in order to add variety to the month. It’s also encouraged me get creative when I’ve had to do non-fishing related travel. I’ve managed 20+ each of the past two years and really, really look forward to doing it again.
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. This year, that might be easier than ever. On weekends when your schedule might be full, get in a few casts around soccer or football games.
2. Take pictures of your fish, the water, your fellow anglers, the flies you’re using, or anything else. (Photos must be taken during September, 2020.)
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 above, and see all three winners here.)
Here are the prizes:
First Place: A Helios 3 Fly Rod of your choice.
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.
New: The Local Slam!
Saltwater anglers have long prized the Grand Slam, which involves catching a bonefish, tarpon, and permit in the same day. If you were to apply that concept to your home waters, what species would constitute your own “Local Slam”? In southwestern Vermont, where Orvis is headquartered, we can cast for brown trout, brook trout, rainbow trout, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, pickerel, northern pike, common carp, and a variety of panfish—all within a half hour of the office.
This year, we are including a Local Slam category in this year’s “20 September Days” Photo Contest. All fish for this competition must be caught during the month of September, and you’ll be up against anglers from all 50 states.
To enter for the Local Slam , you must submit at least 4 photos of different species caught during the month of September, using the hashtags above plus #localslam. The winner of the Local Slam category will receive a $100 Orvis Gift Card.
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 start carving out more time for fishing. Do you think you can hit the 20 mark?
The contest is open only to legal residents of the USA who are 18 or older. (We apologize to our readers in Canada and overseas; Click here for an explanation of why we have to do this.)