Striperfest '18 - Epilogue

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Posted by Noel de Guzman on 2018-11-06 08:45:22

Striperfest 2018 - It was the same, but different

Normally for me, Striperfest starts one week ahead of the event where I cajole a handful of people to come over my house to eat, drink and package up raffle prize. But not this year.

At 4:30a.m, the day before Striperfest, I loaded up my truck with all the generous donations that I've been collecting since August, I attached my boat, and I decided once and for all that disappearing with all the goodies would not go well.

So, I set off for Sugar Barge RV Resort & Marina and put our long time event venue to the test. I packaged the prizes in one of their many event halls on the eve of the 'Fest; I slept in one of their trailer rentals; used their launch ramp; side-tied my boat over night; ate and drank in their bar; ate and drank in their restaurant; ate and drank on their roof top deck; and their shower kicked out hot water immediately. Five stars, for sure.

When I arrived on Friday, I launched and fished the delta for the first time since May. The wind was calm, the temps were in the 80s and the water was glass-alicious. Deeper clousers found fish, but the funnest grabs were those that came from fishing a chuncky bluegill fly on a Type III.

The fun didn't stop there! On Saturday, the weather was a carbon copy of the day before. The Striperfest event kicked off at 1pm, earlier than normal; and, many of the close to 100 people showed up early anyway, eager for the playdate. Money and raffle tickets were flying all over the place; the BBQ was top notch and we handed off 83 raffle prizes; all in the name of protecting our California Delta, protecting its awesome fishery, and nurturing youth fly fisherman who will one day carry the conservation torch.

And, we grossed a few hundred shy of $14K! Not bad at all Watson; and to top it off, with the earlier start time, I had a chance to get back out on the water and fish until a fabulous sunset stopped us in our tracks and had us scrambling for photos.

Another meal in Sugar Barge's restaurant, a restful sleep in the trailer, and another fishing session Sunday morning capped off a great great great weekend.

Heartfelt thanks and gratitude the Dan Blanton, who has been an incredible mentor for me and a generous influence to a world wide audience; thanks to Matt and Julie Havelock who handle the RSVPs, coordinate the BBQ, handle registration, provide the name tags and are the first people we see when we arrive at Striperfest. Thanks to Sugar Barge once again for welcoming us back year after year and laying out the chairs, tables, umbrellas, buffet table and bar for us, and for managing the venue in a friendly, down-to-earth yet professional manner.

A possee composed of Nigel Robson, Dan Carver, Bob Woznicki, Dave Ahre, Jay Remley, Bill Martin have been doing the heavy lifting for years now and stepped up once again. Thank you also to Rob Anderson, Harry Petrakis and Sam Yee for jumping in this year.

Special uber thanks to the roughly 100 attendees and the 70 donors. You folks are the nuts and bolts of this important fundraising event that has now reached 22 years old.

By the way, Sunday's fishing session was off the charts particularly after the tide switched and began to ebb... a type III, a clouser and a levee wall made for constant grabs from fish up to 7lbs and striper thumb!

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