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Trout Rock Lodge guide Mike Harrison holds up Sean Brennan's 45-inch Northern - the biggest of the weekend - as judges Ragnar Wesstrom, left, Mike Olson and Scott Martin take pictures of the trophy catch before its speedy release. - Aaron Whitfield/NNSL photo

Big fish, big fun

Aaron Whitfield
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (July 01/05) - With sunny skies and eagles overhead, a dozen fly fishing enthusiasts gathered at Trout Rock Lodge for the 12th annual Northern Pike Fly Fishing Derby.

Sean Brennan took home this year's title with two trophy catches on the first day measuring 40 and 45 inches respectively.

"He with the best guide wins," said Brennan after spending two days on the water with senior guide Mike Harrison.

"They are the players - I am the coach," said Harrison.

Brennan also attributed his success to a red and yellow fly tied by Scott Martin who was in attendance representing event sponsor Martin Fishing Supplies. The fly was appropriately named the Trout Rock special.

"It needs rehab!" said Brennan, figuring that he caught over 60 fish with the fly on the first day alone.

Brennan also had the unique designation as the only guy to pull in two burbot which were half eaten by pike that grabbed his fly while digesting the smaller fish.

Edie Dul, the 2003 champ, finished a solid second with two early catches on the first day measuring 39.5 and 41.5 inches. "You don't need to be a pro to be out there and have fun," said Dul, who was impressed with the staff awareness and care in handling the fish.

Brennan and Dul both took home new Fenwick rods and reels for their efforts.

The biggest fish on day two was caught by Harry Griep who pulled in a 44-incher that propelled him to a third place finish.

The competitors were treated to delicious shore lunches each day prepared on site by the guides using the morning's catch.

The good food continued in the evening with eats courtesy of Northern Fancy Meats and beer and wine supplied by Coyotes Bar and Grill.

Air Tindi and First Air also served as sponsors.