Sunday, May 14, 2023

2022 RECAP

On June 25th we had 100 anglers check in at the Missisquoi Refuge Headquarters to grab their pickle sticks and get some paper work out of the way so we could all hit the water and work on our tans. Check in is always a fun time to catch up with friends and talk strategy and this year was no different. Anglers grabbed their captains bag loaded with shirt, koozies, scorecards, decals generously supplied by Musky Town & hand tied flies from 802 Flies. A big thanks to Steve Stanley of “802 Flies” who had an amazing selection of flies to purchase for anyone who wanted to add to their arsenal. The past 2 DPC’s we have all navigated a pandemic, low water, wind and some very tough weather. This year our anglers were blessed with some glassy water and sunshine. A very welcome change from recent years past. So, at 10:00am we all fired up our boats and here are the details of how the 2022 DPC unfolded.

John Cooper 1st place Indy

All said and told it was John Cooper of team “Imbassiles” that took home the top angler & and a Helios outfit with a huge score of 28 individual pts. 2nd place and a Orvis Recon rod was award to his teammate Jeff Faulkner who also had 28pts. The 3rd place indy award went to Mr. Tom Getz of team “Basscar” with 28pts who won a peak vice and Orvis Hydros line. A 3 way tie for 1st place that came down to their next biggest fish! Congrats gentlemen. 

The top Team award went to some familiar faces. Team “Imbassiles” were able to scratch out 56 total points! John and Jeff returned to the pickle after a couple year hiatus and picked up right where they left off, on the podium. John said while his teammate caught some bass pre fishing, he himself couldn’t even get a bite before the tourney. Ya never know! Thanks to Costa Del Mar and Whistle Pig Whiskey, team “Imbassiles” took home 2 pairs of Costa shades and some Whistle Pig. The 2nd place team was team “Basscar” who tallied up 52pts! Just one fish behind the leaders Brenden Hare and Tom Getz put Tom’s new boat to good use. Team “Basscar” was awarded 2 bugger boxes and a $250 Musky town gift card. Thanks Musky Town! Coming off a tourney win last year Ben Wilcox and Michael Wulff landed 49 pts. worth of Bass, good enough for the 3rd place finish. They took home a pair of 3 weight fly rods. Ben went in for foot surgery the next day so, heal up soon Ben! Congrats to all the top teams! 

Quinn Lynch is all smiles as top Jr.

On to the the Jr. category, it was Quinn Lynch aboard team “Fish & Chips” who put up 9pts to take home an Orvis encounter outfit. Quinn put his hours in and was the only fish n’ chip who didn’t head home with an epic sunburn. Well done Quinn! 

37" Channel cat for Andy Conlan

The exotic category is always just that, exotic. This year we had a fish landed that we have never had entered before in the 12 years of the DPC. There was not one, but two channel catfish caught. One was by Jay Modry of team “Kiss Micropterus” but it was Andy Conlan of team “Stop Playing Grabass” who won a beautiful musky print from Nick Mayer Art for his huge 37” channel catfish.

Elton Boneville with the coveted dink

 Most people say that size doesn’t matter but I think Elton Boneville of team “Pickle Pirates” would disagree. Elton manage to fool a 5.5 inch bass to win the smallest bass dink award. The dink award is always a favorite and for his efforts with the younglings Elton was awarded an extending boat net the size of Texas. 

Every year we award a breakdown award. It could be a wrecked prop or a broken rod or a wheel coming off a moving truck on the way to check in. We had an angler fall overboard trying to save his sunglasses this year but that could not top Brian Cadoret of team “Nothing but Gas & Bass” who drove his car into a rock at the boat launch and punctured his radiator. To ease his pain Brian won 2 bottles of Whistle Pig Whiskey and a case of fiddlehead beer. 

The best team name was voted at the awards barn and that honor went to Kyle Forrest & Bennet Chadbourne of team Big Chungus & Heratio Holmes. I have no idea what that means but hey, I voted for em’. They took home some maple syrup from Sterling Ridge Resort and some fly boxes and flies from Fulling Mill. 

Casey Thomas takes down the paddle award

The top paddler this year was Casey Thomas with an impressive 8pts. For his efforts in his 1st ever pickle Casey won a fishpond pack and tying materials from Vermont Fly Guys and a $50 Mtn. High Fly gift certificate donated by Stream and Brook. The 2nd place paddler was awarded to Brian Cadoret for landing 6pts. Brian took home an Orvis sling pack and a $50 gift certificate to Mtn, High Fly Shop donated by Stream and Brook Fly Fishing. It was Eric Hurley who landed in 3rd place paddler with 5pts. and earned himself a nice pair of Dr. Slick Pliers. 

Patrick Sharrow with $1000.00 dollars of bass

Like I said, size matters and this year that size was 20.5 inches. That’s the number that won Patrick Sharrow of team “Lil Game of GraBass” a cool $1000.00 in cold hard cash for the big pickle pool. 

This year we renamed the top pike prize after the late Jon Zukowski. Jon had fished the pickle many times with his teammate CJ and although he wasn’t physically here with us, this year his name is now and forever entrenched in the tourney that he loved to fish. 
This years JZ award was awarded to Luis Ayala of team “Keep Fishing Simple” for his 30” pike. This was the first time Luis has fished the DPC and he just picked up a fly rod 4 month ago! He took home a huge boat box , fly patch,  & JZ hat & shirt, donated by Mtn High Fly Shop. Congrats Luis, I’m sure JZ would be proud! 2nd place pike went to David Gerard of team “Fish Tank” for landing a 29” pike alongside his son Adain. These guys, like myself and others have made the DPC a father son tradition that they look forward to every year. David took home a fly line and stickers donated by Mtn. High Fly. The 3rd place pike award went to loooong time pickler Brian Lang. Brian and Sherve of team “BassKing in the Sun” are almost always one of the 1st teams to sign up! Brian took home some sweet flies graciously donated by Fulling Mill. 

Well that’s how 2022 DPC went down. At the barn hungry anglers went to town on some Pie in the Sky Pizza. A big thanks to Hannah and Brian for the delivery! We raffled off some swag and fought the internet uploading pics. Thanks for your patience! As always, the DPC crew tries our best to keep the event fun for everyone. I hope you all had as many laughs as we did. I swear no other weekend of the year goes so damn fast! 

MHF representing

Well that’s how 2022 DPC went down. Before we wrap up, I'd like to take a moment to thank the Mountain High Fly Crew. Not just for donating to our event but for participating this year. We bust our asses every year putting this together but when I got home from the lake and saw MHF instagram posts of all of them smiling, I remembered why we do it all in the first place.  If you are reading this and need fly gear, consider skipping the big retailers & give Mtn. High Fly shop and our other sponsors a call. 

Peace out picklers, DPC Crew.

Mike, Chris, Bubba, Brian C, Brian P, & Brenden H.
2022 TEAM SCORES............