Notebook: Cambria man named amateur fly champ


Notebook: Cambria man named amateur fly champ

Sunday, February 20, 2011

By John Hayes, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show in Harrisburg bills itself as the biggest expo of its kind in eastern United States. This year’s production lived up to its reputation with traffic congestion that brought a center lane of Interstate 81 to a standstill, miles of stop-and-wait traffic, lack of parking spaces anywhere near the Farm Show Complex and aisle gridlock inside.

In the middle of all that, with people pushing within feet of their tying tables, contestants in the Pennsylvania State Fly Tying Championship concentrated on tying three perfect flies.

“It was gridlock like that pretty much all day,” said Mike Klimkos, event organizer and editor of Mid-Atlantic Fly Fishing Guide. “Everybody was commenting, ‘I can sit at my desk all night, but tying three flies under these conditions was pretty tough.’ ”

In the end, last year’s open division winner, Mark DeFrank of Uniontown, dropped to second place behind Ken Moser of Severna Park, Md. Bill Paulmier of Westfield, Pa., placed third.

In the amateur division, Andy Fresch of Summerhill, Cambria County, placed first with his interpretations of a Letort Cricket, Pickett Pin and Adams.

“The crowd didn’t really bother me,” he said. “I expected it to be busy. Spinning the deer hair on the cricket was a little bit tough, but I practiced that a lot.”

Al Edinger of Sharon Hill, Pa., placed second in amateur competition; Richard Grzybowski of Palmyra, Pa., placed third. In the youth category: Matt Edinger of Sharon Hill, Pa., was first; John Snyder of Sunbury, Pa., placed second; David Pacy of Thomasville, Pa., was third.

Outdoors on the air

Tom Kane of Monroeville and Ron Gdovic of Harrison City say the idea of a talk-radio outdoors show in Pittsburgh is long overdue.

“About 90 percent of the demographic of our listening audience likes some form of outdoor adventure,” said Kane, “whether it’s hunting, fishing, camping, boating, skiing, tubing, riding ATVs, riding a motorcycle or running in the Pittsburgh Marathon.”

With backgrounds in media, both men say they hope to appeal to Pittsburghers’ cross-over recreational interests.

“It’s been my experience that the average weekend warrior isn’t 100 percent [into a single sport],” Gdovic said. “I know women who have their … tree stands and go hunting and also run triathlons. This is really unique to Pittsburgh.”

Produced by Peter Guellard on a yacht moored on the Allegheny River, their new “Adventuradio” show is broadcast 5-5:30 p.m. Saturdays on 104.7 FM WPGB.

With a contract that forbids them from talking about politics and religion, it’s all about the outdoors. Their first guests included Les Stroud of the Discovery Channel’s “Survivorman,” and the manager of an off-road driving school. Gdovic said upcoming shows will spotlight fly-fishing for trout and turkey hunting, with a weekly feature rating the “thrills, skills and bills” associated with each activity.

“We’re participating in these things, not just talking about them,” Kane said. “There’s nothing we cover on the show that we won’t try ourselves.”

Notebook: Cambria man named amateur fly champ


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