Last October we announced AFFTA’s first-ever essay contest, with the focus being on the importance of saltwater fisheries and habitat conservation in the waters off our own coasts. This particular competition was open to guides only and asked our front-line ambassadors for the sport, fish and the places we find them to craft stories that brought to life their passion for the salt and protecting the resource.
We were exceedingly pleased to receive 20 submissions from points across the country sharing a diverse range of personal perspectives and experiences. The quality of writing and the passion was evident across the board, which gave our judges plenty to consider. In the end, we did land on three essays that best-represented to spirit and focus of the competition and the tradition of quality writing that our sport has in its DNA.
We’re proud to congratulate Ryan Brod (Portland, ME) with his essay “A Pole Down Memory Lane,” John Livingston (Carbondale, CO) with “Grand Slam Caucus” and Matt Reilly (Abingdon, VA) with “Something We Cannot Lose” as the winners of the inaugural AFFTA guide-only essay contest!
Each author will receive a $1,000 prepaid Amex card to help defray some of their guide costs this season and a complementary, 1-year AFFTA membership. Additionally, we’re finalizing some publication details for each essay—so stay tuned for more information on where you’ll be able to read their work.
Thank you again to all who submitted essays, and also to our judges, Tom Bie from The Drake, Jen Ripple from Dun Magazine, Jason Rolfe from The Flyfish Journal, and Kirk Deeter from Trout Magazine.