Guys, it was an interesting format. The incentive to contribute a worthy fly was the fact that you wanted to receive a good one for yourself, but also the fly tyers were rewarded for the first fish, big fish, and most fish along with the anglers in those categories. For those who don't tie, they could bring a store-bought fly. The organizers also had a collection of flies on hand to throw in the pot if needed. That level of accomodation was great, so it wouldn't discourage folks who are new to the sport or who don't tie their own.
The flies had to be on size 2-6 hooks and had to be a variant of a weighted Clouser. Color, style and materials varied widely.
I contributed one of my best producing surf flies for the event.
I received a nice red and white Clouser that I thought would put me in the hunt. However, I ended up with no fish...not even one bite.
The guys on either side of me were a bit dismayed by the olive-colored flies they drew, but they both caught fish, so obviously the size and color they used were good for that particular morning.
Normally, if a spot isn't producing, I will change location and change flies. In this case, I couldn't change flies, and there were so many anglers, it wasn't easy to move without crowding other people, so I stayed put. I knew fish were around, but I just wasn't getting any love from them.
That's fishing! I still had a great time with my friends and met lots of new people as well.
Riderfisher, send me a PM before you head out this way. Maybe we can meet for a surf session when you're out here.