The First Annual "Pet Fly Smackdown"
Rumble in Iowa, 2003

Smackdown Date - Dec. 6th, 2003 pending weather
Smackdown Location - We will start and finish at FAT's Basecamp in Dorchester, IA

About the tournament:

The Pet Fly Smackdown all seems to have started with MP's Tucker Nymph, a fly which has proven itself very effective in a wide variety of angling situations. The Tucker Nymph is primarily composed of underfur from a Domestic Longhair Cat named Tucker. After expounded on the virtues of this material for its ease of dubbing and it's seemingly aphrodisiatic qualities in getting the bite, other fly tiers came forward with their "secret flies" which were composed of similar materials; hair or feathers derived from a household pet. Some heated debate ensued over who's "Pet Hair Fly" was truly the best, and thus the "Pet Fly Smackdown" was born, inspired by the famous Ausable Two Fly. Based on good-natured fun between angling friends, this is no official tournament, but rather simply a way to test one's creations against those of peers and have a little fun (or a lot of fun) doing it. Participation is open to all, and liability / responsibility fall upon the any angler who is participating. There is no organization to sue anyways, so don't even bother trying.

"Pet Fly Smackdown" Rules:

  1. The PET FLY - The fly in question can be any type or size, but must incorporate a pet-sourced material a main portion of the pattern, i.e. body as dubbed pet hair. If your pets are avian in nature, then feathered portions of the fly constructed with feathers from a pet bird are also permissible. Pet is defined as any domesticated or captive animal living within the same dwelling as humans (examples are Cats, Dogs, Ferrets, Hamsters, Gerbils, Parakeets, Finches, Macaws, etc..). Remember, your fly may consist of other non-pet materials in addition to the pet-sourced material. However, the pet-sourced material should be a main or majority component of the overall pattern.

    Any fly consisting of materials gathered from HUMAN sources is strictly forbidden (it's just disgusting)! Each participant will use one pattern for this event. If you have multiple patterns you'd like to fish in this competition, you will need a teammate to fish it (see #4 - "Teams"). A PATTERN is defined as one specific combination of materials and colors in any size. "Variations" of the pattern (i.e. Pink Bead Head instead of Gold) are considered DISTINCT patterns and will require separate entries / anglers to fish them.

  2. Fishing Methods, Restrictions & General Fly Definition - All participants over the age of 10 will utilize fly gear. Any normally recognized fly fishing technique may be employed. The fly can be fished with or without weight. However, the fly cannot be a "jig" (cast lead head) or any other lure. Flies tied with propellers, lead eyes and/or rattles may be used, however traditional spinners are not permissible. BAIT, in ANY FORM, may not be used as an enhancement to the pet fly. Participants under the age of 10 may fish bait on the same rig as the contest fly provided the bait is set at least 12" apart from the fly, and all fish landed on bait are obviously not scored in the participant's catch.

  3. Material Source - The Pet Fur can be sourced from any pet owned by you, your friends or family but may only be harvested in a way which is not detrimental to the health or appearance of the animal (i.e. no shaving the cat, but combing out the hair as would happen with normal grooming is fine, no plucking of feathers from a bird, only naturally shed feathers). PETA is happy now :)

  4. Pattern Entry , Teams and Participants who don't tie (or don't have pets!) - Each participant may only fish and score ONE pattern (if you get bored and switch to another pattern, that's fine, but you can't score any fish caught as part of your competition total). You must tie your own pet hair flies or join on a team.
    1. Prior to the start of the derby, all participants will "enter" the pattern they are fishing, as well as the team they are part of (if joining a team).
    2. Individuals who tie their own pattern may compete individually or can become the captain of a team and solicit for additional anglers to fish as a portion of their team. If you enter only one pattern and form a team, all members will fish the same pattern.
    3. Individuals who create more than one pet hair pattern can only personally fish ONE PATTERN throughout the competition, and as a team captain must solicit for teammates who can fish their any additional pattern(s) that the tier wishes to enter in the tournament. One teammate is required for each additional pattern to be fished.
    4. Individual who wish to participate in this event but do not tie are encouraged to seek out and join a team. If you cannot find a team to join but require one in order to participate, you will be randomly assigned to an existing team.
    5. Team Scoring - Individual scores can remain separate in any instance. Alternately, if all team members are fishing the same "Pet Fly Pattern", the team can opt to take the average of all team scores (this final decision to take the Team Average is at the discretion of the Team Captain). Should a team captain opt to take the average score, the prize flies will be equally divided between team members and the captain will retain the prize box (see also: #5 Prize and #6 Scoring).

  5. "Entry Fee" & Prize - each participant must submit two (2) "Pet Hair Flies" of the pattern being fished by the participant as the whoppingly ridiculous "entry fee". The submitted flies which will be donated to the winner or winning team. For the "Rumble In Iowa 2003", MP will furnish a spare really cool fly box he has sitting around as well. Additionally, there will be a prize for the most productive fly pattern (multiple anglers fishing the same pattern will have their scores averaged).

  6. Locations / Streams / Etiquette - currently all Iowa Trout Streams are open for this tournament; there has been some debate and this rule may change prior to the tournament date. Multiple participants or teams may fish the same body at the same time and it is in fact encouraged (afterall, we're all friends here and we like to fish together), however proper stream etiquette must be practiced and any given hole or river stretch is available on a "first-come, first-served basis". Remember, if there's any doubt or desire, ASK. Give the general angling public PLENTY of room to work. Above all, do your best to not disturb anyone's fishing experience.

  7. Scoring - Keep track of the TROUT you catch. ONLY TROUT CAUGHT (caught defined as bringing to hand or net...actually TOUCHING and having control over the fish) with the pet-hair pattern you entered may be counted towards your score (feel free of course to fish other patterns and enjoy the day suckers!). Non-Trout species do not count. Be honest and fair in recording your catches. A Pencil or pen, pad of paper and tape measure are required to accurately record your catches. A net is strongly encouraged for handling fish, especially if practicing Catch and Release (C & R). There is no bonus or penalty for creeling your catch (follow the bag limits etc...) although you are strongly encouraged to release all wild fish (if in doubt, ask someone who is familiar with the area).

  8. Tournament Disclaimer - well since this is really nothing more than a smackdown between friends, not sanctioned or sponsored by anyone, any organization or business, and since the only prize is a handful of donated pet-hair flies, these rules legally disclaim ALL of us from any liability in participating in this "event". In other words, play at your own risk. Of course, you need the appropriate license, and well fish to your abilities (i.e. don't think you can walk on paper thin ice, fall in and drown, that would be bad). Furthermore, as this first annual smackdown is being held during hunting season, participants are required to wear FLAME ORANGE for safety. Your participation in this event is your acceptance of these rules, this disclaimer, and liability for your own actions. This is not a sponsored, sanctioned, or licensed "tournament" as defined by the state laws in Iowa.

  9. State Regulations - you are, of course, expected to strongly adhere to ALL laws and regulations pertaining to fishing for trout at the location of this smackdown. You MUST have the appropriate license. To keep this tournament from requiring licensing as an official fishing Tournament in the State of Iowa, a maximum of 10 participants are allowed.

  10. Schedule - The Scheduling for this first smackdown is as follows; we will start assembling at our location prior at 7:00 am if possible. The derby will begin immediately following the completion of entry by the last known participant (in this case, it's likely to be Red Hat), or 8:00 am, whichever happens FIRST.* Fishing must end 6:00 PM. Participants will meet at Fat's Trailer at 6:30 pm or so to tabulate the scores and declare a winner and collect / redistribute the "prizes", and maybe we'll even all get together and whip up some really good camp food.

* Rules are still being debated and will be finalized no later than 12:00 am, December 4th, 2003.

**Why Negative? Well, 'cause I feel that despite my moniker as the "Dinker King"; slamming 36 6" trout isn't the same as slamming 12 18" trout, and we'd all clearly claim the latter to be the winner of any contest. This scoring system reflects that desire of productivity from our flies.