BETHEL — Annual drift boat and fly-fishing competitions on the upper Androscoggin River are scheduled for Friday and Saturday, Sept. 14 and 15.
Held with Bethel's annual Harvest Fest, the Northeast Drift Boat Championship and Upper Andro Two Fly Contest are the yearly fundraisers for the Upper Andro Anglers Alliance.
The alliance is a nonprofit group dedicated to the conservation, protection, restoration and promotion of the natural fishing resource of the Upper Androscoggin River, its tributaries, watershed and environs.
The Fourth Annual Northeast Drift Boat Championship will be held at 3 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14, from Bethel Outdoor Adventures beside Route 2. The finish line is at Davis Park in Bethel, a quarter mile away.
Designed as a spectator event, the competition will test oarsmen’s skills at navigating a course and rowing speed, Wende Gray, spokeswoman for the Upper Andro Anglers Alliance, stated Tuesday afternoon in a news release.
Each drift boat must carry at least one angler, who must remain standing throughout the timed race.
During the Two Fly Contest, which starts at 6 a.m. and ends at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 14, contestants can use only two flies.
It tests the skills of anglers to fly fish for the most and the largest of the three trout species — brown, rainbow and brook — found in the Upper Androscoggin River from Shelburne, N.H., to Rumford Center, Gray said
A fly is defined as made from natural or synthetic materials tied to a single pointed hook, she said. No tandems or treble hooks are allowed. All fish must be released live.
Teams of three, including two anglers and a referee/oarsman, must fish from a drift boat. Teams can launch from public access sites from the Shelburne Dam in New Hampshire to Rumford Center, she said.
The contest is limited to 20 teams.
Prizes, including rods and fishing gear, supplied by Kittery Trading Post, L.L. Bean, Patagonia, Sun Valley Sports and House of Hardy, will be awarded at the Bethel Inn Resort on Saturday afternoon immediately following a parade of the drift boats up Main Street and around the Town Common.
The Upper Andro Anglers Alliance will be offering fly-tying and fly-casting instruction on Saturday from its Harvest Fest booth at the Bethel Inn Resort across from the Town Common.
A tally of trout caught during the Two Fly Contest will be updated and posted at the booth during the day.
Official contest rules and a registration form are available online at www.upperandro.com or by calling 824-3694.