Once again, IT WAS A BIG TIME! Hardly, Strictly Musky 2015 is now in the books, everyone has made it home safely and the river is quiet once more. After all the casting, eating, drinking and hanging out was over, it was North Carolina resident Alan Broyhill along with his Team Southern Culture on the Fly / FLYMEN teammate Abbi Bagwell who brought home the Brad McMinn hand painted guitar with their successful release of a 49 1/2 inch musky on the Caney Fork River.
A total of eight fish were submitted for scoring ranging in length from 27 to 49 1/2 inches with Nate Lowery and Buck Himber of Team Lowery, Chris Willen and Mike Schultz of Team Schultz Outfitters/Towee, Kyle Burnett of Team Burnett, Eric “Yoda” Cohen and Dave Neeley of Team Yoda and John Toughy and Zach Bogard of Team Toughy all getting on the board. Fish were very active on Friday with most every team reporting moving many good fish but Saturday’s bluebird weather shut down the bite with the Team SCOF/FLYMEN release being the only catch submitted for the day – and they made it count taking home both the overall championship and the Mystic big fish award.
We’d like to give a huge thanks to our sponsors who made this all happen: Towee Boats, Costa Del Mar, Scientific Anglers, Cohutta Fishing Company, TFO Fly Rods, Southern Culture on the Fly, Hunter Banks Company, 3 Rivers Angler, Vedavoo, Flymen Fishing Company, Wetfly, Clutch Tactical Fly Rods, SMITHFLY, SIMMS, Mayfly Coffee, SP3 Lubricants, MYSTIC Fly Rods and a huge thank you to our featured artist, Brad McMinn who really went above and beyond to create a beautiful on of a kind piece of art for the championship. We’d also like to give a huge shout out to the owners and crews of Collins River BBQ and The Foglight Foodhouse, Randel Cagle and Adam Freeze.
But wait! The art of Brad McMinn wasn’t the only art around – we had street art popping up in downtown McMinnville as well. Our good friend and artist Buddy McMahon created an awesome mural on the wall of the historic Colllins River building proclaiming McMinnville and Warren County, TN as the official “Home of Southern Musky” per a proclamation by the Tennessee State Senate that was formally presented to the group of anglers on Friday night. We’d like to thank Buddy once more for allowing the Musky Tribe to finally leave their mark on McMinnville.
A big thanks to Kelly Galloup and Gene Herring who made the trip from out West to shoot some footage for their upcoming project – we can’t wait to see what you guys have in store. The folks from PIG FARM INK conducted their inaugural “GET TRASHED” mini-river clean up event during the tourney. The farmers had a great response and several boat loads of trash were removed from the river. Thanks Pig Farm! We’d also like to thank Dave Hosler, Tom Hazelton and Jeff Trigg for helping out all weekend. We’re certain that there are at least a dozen more who we remember to thank as soon as this is posted.
As always, thank you most of all to 80 anglers from 17 states who really made this event what it is. Preparations for a bigger and better Hardly Strictly Musky 2016 started early yesterday morning and we plan to keep it different and interesting each year. If you’re all up for it, we’ll do this again next year. Stay tuned for for an formal date announcement and we’ll see y’all on the river.