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'Poor man's bonefish' tourney planned for Purcell Lake

Donavan Clary of Purcell has won two carp fly fishing tournaments in the past month in Texas. A carp fishing class and tournament will be held this month in Purcell to bring attention to Project Healing Waters. [PHOTO PROVIDED]

Donavan Clary of Purcell has won two carp fly fishing tournaments in the past month in Texas. A carp fishing class and tournament will be held this month in Purcell to bring attention to Project Healing Waters. [PHOTO PROVIDED]

Carp is called the poor man's bonefish.

It's a worthy target for a fly fisherman and will put up a fight equal to the tropical species.

Donavan Clary of Purcell has been competing in carp fly fishing tournaments in Texas and has won two major tournaments in the past month. He also is assistant program lead of the new Oklahoma City program of Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing.

Through social media, city officials in Purcell noticed he was catching carp on a fly rod and contacted him for advice on removing the overpopulated carp in the city lake.

As a result, Clary is helping organize a carp fishing tournament on Sept. 22 at Purcell City Lake.

In advance of the event, Clary and Nate Satterelli, program lead of OKC Project Healing Waters, are teaching a carp fishing class beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday in Purcell at the city lake's main pavilion.

Carp fishing is very popular in Europe, and many fly anglers in Texas have begun chasing carp, Clary said.

"As far as fly fishing, there isn't a bigger challenge for a fly angler," Clary said. "Carp are smart, selective, and fight harder than any other fresh water fish."

In addition to helping reduce the population of carp in the Purcell City Lake, Clary and Satterelli are using the tournament to raise awareness about Project Healing Waters and the new Oklahoma City program.

Both the class, Carp 101, and the subsequent fishing tournament are free, but donations to Project Healing Waters will be accepted, Satterelli said.

For more information on the carp fishing class and tournament, contact Satterelli at Michael.satterelli@projecthealingwaters.org or 303-881-6762.

Ed Godfrey

Ed Godfrey was born in Muskogee and raised in Stigler. He has worked at The Oklahoman for 25 years. During that time, he has worked a myriad of beats for The Oklahoman including both the federal and county courthouse in Oklahoma City for more... Read more ›

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