Flies for a Cause: 2020 Autism Awareness Creative Concept Contest

Autism Awareness
Photo Courtesy of Dead Meat Customs

Over the last few years, we have seen an uprising in the fishing community around the world. The industry has blossomed in multiple directions creating avenues of opportunity for anglers of all classes. This welcoming force has created a band of brothers and sisters all searching for the same common goal; tight lines. Community outreach and support of non-profit organizations around the world are two features that bring endless attention to the industry. We at Flylords had the opportunity to learn about a super rad cause bringing light to Autism Awareness.

Get to Know the Creator

Autism Awareness
Photo Courtesy of Dead Meat Customs

Matt Pelletier is the owner of Dead Meat Customs out of Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is an artist and avid fisherman who creates and sells over 300 patterns of custom eyes for lures and flies. We had the chance to chat with Matt about his Autism Awareness Creative Concept Contest initiative.

The Contest was Born

The contest was originally created for artists to showcase their talents in the form of paintings, but the lack of support led Matt on a different yet more unique path. Matt’s involvement with non-profit and charity operations sparked the idea of making this contest into a cause bringing light to Autism Awareness. To Matt’s surprise, the initiative took off with 128 registered artists and anglers spanning across the globe. Matt decided to open the contest up to fly tiers as well to cover all areas of the fishing industry. Wildly popular fly tiers such as Svenddiesel and Pat Cohen have punched their tickets by providing epic fly donations for the cause.

Autism Awareness
Photo Courtesy of @svenddiesel

How the Contest Works:

  • Upon registration, artists and tiers receive the custom made Autism Awareness eyes from Dead Meat Customs. 
  • Artists and tiers create a custom painted bait or a custom tied fly which includes the custom eyes.
  • The deadline for bait or fly submission is March 31st, 2020.
  • Contestants will post their entries and facts about the bait or fly to social media using the hashtag #DMCAware.
  • Fly entries will be posted to Instagram first and baits to Facebook.
  • Entries will be judged and awards will be distributed amongst the winners in April 2020.
  • Funds from the auction of baits and flies will go towards the Abrazos Family Support Services Non-Profit Organization

Youth Involvement

Matt’s strong passion for youth involvement gives children the opportunity to design their own bait or fly. The children color and design the bait with a specific template making their imagination, a reality. The designs are then replicated onto a bait or fly and is incorporated into the cause. According to Matt, the children love this interactive opportunity. Youth involvement contributes greatly to furthering Matt’s vision of raising awareness for Autism around the world.

Autism awareness drawing
Image Courtesy of Dead Meat Customs: A depiction of the drawing template and artwork created by a young man involved with the cause.

Although in its infancy, the Autism Awareness Creative Concept Contest has united fishermen and artists all around the world in support of a very important cause. Matt has an admirable passion for working with non-profit organizations. 

Additional Information:

To learn more about the contest, visit the Dead Meat Customs website, or follow the progress on Matt’s Instagram page @deadmeatcustoms. To learn more about the Abrazos Family Support Services Non-Profit Organization, click here. Huge thanks to Matt for his willingness to contribute information about this awesome cause!

Written by Content Team Member Grant Michaels. Check out what he is up to here: @gemichaels

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