Friday, September 19, 2014

BC Flyfishers Community Involvement

The  BC Flyfishers chapter of IFFF has a mission to promote the sport of fly fishing. Part of that mission is accomplished through education and on-the-water outings, and while the chapter has been successful with its own members, it also strives to reach out and educate the less fortunate, including those people who are disabled in some way.

Enter Kurt Nelson, BCFF webmaster. Back in February of 2008, Marc Feeko met Kurt at Timber Creek Sportsman Shop as he demonstrated and taught fly tying to a group from Broome Developmental Center (BDC), referred to as "consumers". The consumers typically have a multitude of developmental disabilities that can make teaching quite difficult. However, Kurt apparently liked the opportunity to help and interact with the group. That August, he held a fly casting demonstration at BDC and to test skills, he organized a fly fishing trip on the Delaware River.

These outings soon evolved into an on-going tradition with fly tying in winter, fly casting in spring, and fly fishing in the early and late summer. The consumers from BDC ended up fishing for trout, bass, panfish and channel cats in ponds, streams and rivers. Also during winter, Kurt taught groups to ice fish with guidance from additional employees of Gander Mountain. Kurt and another employee from Gander Mountain even procured the necessary equipment for these trips. Kurt has since worked to increase volunteer commitment from various fly fishing groups such as the Al Hazzard TU chapter and most recently, the BC Flyfishers chapter of IFFF.

And so it was on a recent Wednesday evening as Kurt and the BC Flyfishers hosted an on-the-water fly fishing outing for BDC consumers. The outing started around 3 pm, with Marc and a group from the BDC showing up around 4:30 pm at a pair of private ponds in Harpursville. The ponds are stocked with largemouth bass, crappie, and some big (and hungry) channel cats. Fly fishing is decent with lots of casting room and easy access to the pond form its shoreline.

The fishing was good. BC Flyfisher volunteers and the BDC consumers caught bass, crappie, and bluegill. Unfortunately, a line of thunderstorms came in and the group had to head for safe cover under a nearby gazebo. But all was not lost - hot dogs were soon on the grill, served with good helpings of talk and laughter. After the storm passed, the group got back to fishing. Near dark, they fed the channel cats and tried catching them on small poppers. Top fish for the eveningwas a 7 lb largemouth caught on a streamer by a volunteer. Everyone caught fish on fly rods - some more than others. Overall, it was a fun evening of fly fishing for volunteers, BDC staff, and consumers.

Marc Feeko is a believer. According to Marc, Kurt and his volunteers have been able to help the BDC consumers accomplish tasks that sometimes seem insurmountable to them. That work is not easy and requires a 1:1 BDC consumer to helper ratio in most cases. The numbers vary but usually 12 -15 BDC students attend a fly fishing session, with the appropriate number of staff andhelpers to assist with casting and casting instruction, changing flies, and helping with the landing and releasing of fish. Many of the BDC consumers help with local fish stockings, so this is an effort to get them to see what all of their work is about and a way to give back to them.

Many of the students have gone on to group homes and are no longer at BDC. This is partly due to the skills they have learned through fly fishing, fly tying and ice fishing with regular folks who volunteer. None of this would be possible without the many friends, fellow TU'ers, and IFFF'ers who volunteer. In Marc Feeko's words, Kurt and his BCFF / TU volunteers have made a difference in the lives of the BDC consumers in many ways. They have taught skills that will benefit BDC consumers throughout their entire lives.

Blogger's note:  BC Fly Fishers are located in Broome County, New York, about three and a half hours northwest of New York City.  Check out their website

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Whitney Gould – guide, teacher and caster extraordinaire

Willa, my dog, has rolled in half dead chum and is cleaning herself on my bed.  Fish are cleaned, processed, and ready for the smoker and the guide meeting is done. I reflect on the day’s events as I head off in search tomorrow’s guests to discuss their fishing options.
It’s mid-season at Alaska West. It’s my favorite part of the guide season as the river provides many fishing options, giving an angler an opportunity to catch three out of the five salmon species in addition to the dollies and trout. It is a transition time, a time when the really, really large kings are in the river, chums are abundant and silvers are beginning to show.
Trout Unlimited has sent up a group interested in fishing the upper river for the legendary K-tok leopard rainbows, so I am surprised to hear that the next day’s guests want to spend their last day on the river fishing for Kings with two-handed rods. Mentally I start my checklist, get three two-handed and two single-handed rods rigged to fish different water conditions, check the tide chart, tie flies, get coffee and fresh drinking water, and don’t forget lunch. “Done!”
To continue reading, click the link.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Frank Moore

IFFF President, Phil Greenlee was standing there handing an IFFF Life Membership to Frank Moore.  It was a moment that made one feel really good inside.  It happened last Saturday, September 13, 2014, at the Umpqua Valley Fly Fishers Fall Festival.  The venue was the Glide Community Center in Glide, Oregon.  The venue was small by most standards but it was staffed and attended by people that were pleased to be a part of it.  There was a great sense of history in the room with Frank Moore and his wife Jeanne in the room along with Skip Hosfield.  To be there in the shadow of where the genesis of the IFFF occurred and to listen to the people who were there and be part of it was special.

Now don’t think the whole day was about the old days.  There was plenty of talk about the future of our sport.  One topic was how do we get people to join before they get gray hair?  Back to Frank Moore.

Frank and Jeanne Moore built and then operated the Steamboat Inn on the North Umpqua River for many years.  It is located east of Roseburg, Oregon.  It is a very famous place for folks to come and fish for Steelhead.  Much has been written about Frank Moore and all you need do is go to the computer and search for “Frank Moore Oregon”, and there you will find a plethora of written articles and videos.  One is a TED Talk that is very moving and reveals the much loved Frank Moore.  It is a You Tube video titled “A Perfect Life & Love”.  Click here for the video.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Fly Tying in Portland, Oregon

Pacific Northwest Fly Tyers Rendezvous
Join us Saturday, November 8, 2014 at Jackson Armory in Portland, Oregon from 9am to 4pm. The Northwest’s best fly tyers share tips to improve your skill at the vise and your success on the water. Meet up with old fishing buddies, discover new fly patterns and brush up on tying techniques. Bid in the auction for great gear and fishing trips. It's the show of the season. See you there!
Click here for more info

Bill Nelson Memorial

The McKenzie Flyfishers invite you to attend the dedication of the

Bill Nelson Memorial

11:00 a.m. Saturday, September 20, 2014 at

Hendricks Bridge Wayside Park Boat Ramp.

Bill Nelson was a driving force and the founder of the McKenzie Flyfishers. His foresight, determination, and hard work made possible the first organizational meeting for what became the unified, internationally recognized voice of flyfishing, The Federation of Flyfishers.
Truly an ambassador for flyfishing. Bill Nelson was a superb fly-fisher and innovative fly- tier. Bill loved to talk about flyfishing, he loved to share his flyfishing knowledge and experiences with anyone who would listen. He promoted flyfishing everywhere he went. Please join the McKenzie Flyfishers and Bill’s many friends to celebrate his lifetime commitment, contributions, and dedication to the sport of flyfishing.

Hendricks Bridge Wayside Park Boat Ramp is located 9 miles east of downtown Springfield on the McKenzie Highway, US 126. Take the first right after you cross the Bridge. Follow the signs to the Boat Ramp.

Lane County has waived the day use fee and parking restrictions from 9:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. for those attending.

Thanks to the Lane County Parks Department, the McKenzie Flyfishers, and contributions from all who donated so generously to make this tribute to Bill Nelson possible.
Additional information contact: Bill Laing ph#541-688-5439 e-mail 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

By Skip Hosfield

Beginnings in Eugene, 1965

The July 1965 issue of The Creel, the distinguished quarterly published by the Flyfishers Club of Oregon, began its feature article as follows:  “Close by the trout pools and rapids of the river for which they are named, the McKenzie Flyfishers of Eugene sponsored a memorable gathering of anglers in June.  The Young Tigers of the McKenzie, as they deserve to be remembered henceforth, will recall the occasion for the rest of their lives.”Those of us who could be called Young Tigers in 1965 have become Old Geezers, more likely to be exchanging photos of grandchildren than a fish we have caught.  But the memories remain, clear and untarnished.
I remember President Bill Nelson standing before the McKenzie Fly Fishers at our second meeting, outlining the things we could do during our first year.  Three months before, few of us even knew another club member.  Now here we were, listening to a guy telling us that in addition to a whole list of club activities none of us have ever tried, we were also going to put on a big conclave of fly fisherman in order to promote the forming of a nationwide organization!  To continue the story click this link