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Fishing Derby Awards Prizes – But The Big One Is Still At Large: Photocolumn

By: Maria Moore

The river was high, the water was cold and the fish just weren’t biting as they normally do but none of this seemed to matter to the group of fishermen who took part in the New Hartford Fishing Derby yesterday morning. After checking in with the Derby organizers outside the Collinsville Antiques store in Pine Meadow, the fishermen headed for the nearby river.

Carol Allen presents one of the kid's prizes

By 10 a.m., about two dozen fishermen had made their way back to the Collinsville Antiques parking lot, some with trout to be weighed, others just curious to watch the proceedings.  One by one, the fish were placed in the tray on the scale, Mark Russo carefully called out the weight which Holly Bunn then noted on the spreadsheets before her. Then it was time to announce the winners, with David Childs handing out the prizes, Holly snapping photos of the winners, and Carol Allen of UpCountry SportFishing lending a helping hand.

Following are the names of the winners, with the weight of their winning fish:


  • 1st place – Jared Dziekan of New Hartford – 2 lbs. 1 oz.
  • 2nd place – Aidan O’Neill of New Hartford – 15 oz.

John Walsh, second prize


  • 1st place – Tyler Barney of New Hartford – 2 lbs. 15 oz.
  • 2nd place – John Walsh of Wethersfield – 2 lbs. 7 oz.
  • 3rd place – Paul Gerceren of Plantsville – 2 lbs. 6 oz
  • 4th place – Jason Urso of New Hartford – 2 lbs. 6 oz
  • 5th place – Brian Tardiff of Enfield – 2 lbs 3 ½ oz.


Tyler Barney of New Hartford accepting the first prize of $300 from Carol Allen with Holly Bunn taking a photo. Photo: Maria Moore

Waiting for the fishermen to come back with their catches. Photo: Maria Moore

Weighing in one of the kid's catches. Photo: Maria Moore

A father and son fishing team weigh in their catch. Photo: Maria Moore

Mark Russo carefully weighs in the fish caught during the New Hartford Fishing Derby on Saturday morning, May 21. Photo: Maria Moore

The New Hartford Fishing Derby is organized by: (from left to right) David Childs, Chairman of the New Hartford Economic Development Commission; Mark Russo (in the back), member of the EDC; Holly Bunn (sitting), Mark's wife; with the help of Grady Allen (not shown in the photo) and Carol Allen (standing), co-owners of UpCountry SportFishing. Photo: Maria Moore

And the winner of the $5,000 prize…

It’s one of those good news/bad news types of things: None of the fishermen who brought back their catch at the end of the Fishing Derby yesterday had landed the $5,000 tagged fish.   But that prize money will still be awarded to the lucky fisherman who lands the specially-tagged fish by 6 p.m. on Friday, May 27.  Check with UpCountry SportFishing on Main Street in Pine Meadow to learn whether the prize fish has been caught; we will also post an update once this information becomes available.

For a downloadable copy of the Fishing Derby Rules, including the rules to claim the $5,000 prize, see our May 16 article A $5,000 Trout Yours For The Catching…

Looking forward to next year’s bigger and better Fishing Derby

“Next year’s Fishing Derby will be bigger and better,” David Childs told our reporter.  “There’ll be lots more activities like fly-casting contests and kids’ contests with the derby itself spanning a whole week.  This year’s Derby was a step towards establishing the annual event as a week-long contest.

The New Hartford Fishing Derby is sponsored by the New Hartford Economic Development Commission and the Farmington River Anglers’ Association.

For more information about the Farmington River Anglers’ Association, please visit

While down at UpCountry SportFishing…

Just a mile or so down Main Street from Collinsville Antiques, the fisherfolk at UpCountry SportFishing were busy doing what they do best: tending to the needs of fishermen.  Grady Allen was busy showing a customer fishing rods on display in the store but after a few minutes he was done and he came over to the NewHartfordPlus crew who were hanging out in the yard.  Grady said he’d remained at the store this year, while Carol had gone over to the Fishing Derby to lend a hand.

Marla Blair teaching her class

Asked about the various activities going on at the store, he pointed to a class being conducted in the back room by local fishing guide Marla Blair.  Marla graciously allowed our photographer to snap a few photos of her class before turning back to her laptop and the large fly pictured on its screen.  Grady also introduced the NHPlus crew to two men hanging out at the front of the store.   Turns out the two,  Fred Krowchenko and Jerry Jahn, are also fishing guides, specializing in Spey Casting – casting with a two handed rod.  And before you knew it, the pair were demonstrating casting with a Spey rod – any effortless, flowing movement which gives the feeling of watching poetry in motion.  ” It is effortless.” Fred said, “Otherwise it’s not been done right.”  He conceded, though, that it took a lot of practice to get there, something fishermen don’t seem to mind.  Fishing isn’t just a hobby – it’s an obsession that keeps bringing them back to the river, they both agreed.

You never know what you're going to land when you go Spey casting, as Fred Krowchenko and Jerry Jahn demonstrate in front of UpCountry SportFishing. Photo: Maria Moore

Jerry Jahn demonstrates Spey casting on the banks of the Farmington River behind UpCountry SportsFishing. Photo: Maria Moore

Holly Bunn stops by to see Grady Allen at the end of the Fishing Derby on Saturday, May 21. Photo: Maria Moore

For more information about services offered by Fred Krowchenko and Jerry Jahn of Spey Casting – North East LLC, email

For more information about Marla Blair, Fly Fishing Guide and Instructor, visit

For more information about UpCountry SportFishing, visit

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