May 15, 2014 —
The weather was chilly and the trout persnickety for the 2014 One Bug fly-fishing tournament. Forty fly fishermen and women competed in this year’s tournament, held April 25 through 27 on the rivers near Hancock and Deposit. Nasty weather made catching fish all the more gratifying. As one participant told me, “There’s a certain glory to fishing here in April.”
This was the seventh annual One Bug, sponsored by Friends of the Upper Delaware River (FUDR), our locally based nonprofit that works to protect the river. But the tournament is not just about fishing. We also wanted to boost the local economy after the long winter. Business owners tell us the One Bug helps jump-start the season, pumping cash into the region’s economy.
FUDR makes a point of spreading the love to the region’s businesses. Meals are eaten at local restaurants, the hotels are full, and many other businesses benefit, from Delaware and Sullivan counties in New York to Wayne County, PA. And One Bug proceeds go right back into community-based projects.
Yes, we do love to fish and we are committed to protecting the river. But we are so much more. Our first priority is the well-being of our neighbors here. And we all benefit in one way or another from the thousands of visitors to the region each year, so many of them drawn by the Upper Delaware.
For the first time this year, National Trout Unlimited (TU) sponsored a team in the One Bug. The organization’s CEO Chris Wood was in the boat. Wood told us he was thoroughly impressed by the quality of both the river and the community, and he promised Sherri Resti, FUDR’s executive assistant, that TU will be a One Bug regular.
Each year, our fishing tournament brings newcomers to the Upper Delaware. And every new visitor becomes an ambassador on behalf of the river because once you see it, you can never forget its glory. That’s our goal: to help the rest of the world appreciate our mountains, valleys and the river that runs through it.
[Dan Plummer is board chairman of Friends of the Upper Delaware River.]