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February 06, 2006

Results from the 6th Annual GIFT Tournament

Sixth Annual Gray International Fly-Fishing Tournament Quepos, Costa Rica 23-26 January 2006

The sailfish and marlin were absolutely everywhere this year,
buuuuutttttttttt ????????.??? were the bait fish !!!!

What started as a "tough bite" was manipulated by 31 top class fly anglers to their benefit of 161 sailfish releases, 1 blue marlin, and one "first place decision maker" striped marlin on the last day.  During the four days of competition we saw thousands of sails and over 60 marlin.  Seventeen lucky anglers had a chance to sink hooks into those marlin, resulting in 2 releases and the other 15 to the "coulda, woulda shoulda" column.  The great showing of marlin this year produced a very happy and optimistic group of anglers hoping to have the opportunity to hook into a nice big marlin to break up the day. 

One team of anglers even took a short break from trolling for billfish when they saw some spinner dolphins.  They broke out the spinning rod and threw the cedar plug into the pile and within a 47 minute recess from competition, had brought in, cleaned and chilled two 50 pound yellowfin tuna for all to enjoy with a drink or two that evening.

The top three teams finished with close totals .  Dr. Stanley Sherman and Dr.Lee Arnett were our first place team with 15 sails and 1 striped marlin released aboard La Sarita with Capt. Rafael Solano.  Jeff McFadden and Jim Gallagher took home the second place trophy with 19 sailfish releases aboard GamefisherII with Capt. Richard Chellemi.  Nick Smith and Jim Gill the third place team with 13 sailfish and 1 blue marlin released aboard Old Reliable with Capt. Chip Shafer.

The lucky winner of the distinguished "Bill Barnes Top Angler" award this year was third place team angler  Nick Smith for his 10 sailfish and 1 blue marlin released  Welcome to the prestigious list of the world's leading billfish fly anglers, Nick,  we a very proud to have added your name to the list.

Thank you one and all for your participation in the best billfish fly
tournament in the world.  This year we raised not only thousands of fish but we have added thousands of dollars to the GIFT fund which
helps pay for medicines, equipment and procedures involved in performing liver transplants for children here in Costa Rica.  The GIFT of life.  Thank you Dr. Amalia Matamoros for your dedication to the
all the families that you provide this miracle for, we are proud to be part of your team.

We also extend our gratitude to the following people and organizations who have helped us make GIFT 2006 another "winner":
Christel Cherrix and Ricardo Leon of the world famous El Gran Escape, Harold Lovelady and John Kane of Marina Pez Vela,  Jesus Beita from TShirts JB, Lorraine Champagne of Si Como No, and our
radio team, Jeanette Perez, Carlos Rojas, Luna Tours, Roger Cruz and Ana.

But most of all, thank you Harry for bringing us all together here in Costa Rica to celebrate you, and life????????????????..

We will do it again next year, the 7th annual GIFT will be  held 22-25 January 2007, right here in Quepos, Costa Rica.  Book your boat and hotel early.

Any questions or suggestions please contact Marsha or Christel
At  or telephone/fax 506-777-0765.