By Larry Forte
Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a great Holiday Season. Looking back at 2018, it was a pretty amazing year. To be honest, I was a little concerned that after the 2017 celebration of our 50th birthday, that 2018 would be a difficult act to follow. As it often happens, I was wrong. I think it was a special year for PVFF. The big news for 2018 was the start of the Frederick Project Healing Waters. We had our 3rd PHW monthly meeting in mid-December and the number of participants keeps growing. It was special to see 5 participants at the meeting. They all enjoyed the evening. Without Dave Wooster and Jim Lowell and their commitment and hard work, this would never have happened. I am looking forward to watching the program grow and to help the military personnel and veterans that need it most in 2019!
Plus, we had many Club activities to help make 2018 a special year. Our Annual Banquet was a blast. In fact, I would say that it was one of the best Banquets that I have attended in years. Club turnout was great — we had 102 attendees. The Blind folded Fly-Tying Contest was very entertaining and just thinking about Lynn Ashe and her song just makes me laugh. Nice job Mr. Thames! No pressure Andy, as you start planning for the 2019 Banquet.
Our monthly Fly Tying Classes continue to grow. Don Fine and Jon Thames have made these evenings a big hit for the Club. I went to the December’s Beginner’s Class and there were 14 attendees including 2 under the age of 10. Plus, we got 3 new members join the Club that evening. Thank you guys for putting these Tying sessions together each month!
Also, we had many great speakers this year thanks to Dan Neuland. Our speakers covered a wide range of topics and waters to fish, including: Fletchers Cover, Gunpowder Falls, Beaver Creek and the LeTort Spring Run. Attendance at these Meetings has been great and I think we need to seriously look at a bigger room next Fall for our Monthly Meetings.
Our conservation efforts took a big step this year, thanks to Dave Keane.
Both the Catoctin Stream Clean-up and the Monocacy River Tree Planting were awesome events and well attended by PVFF members. Nice job Dave! More Conservation activities to come in 2019.
Add to the mix our participation at “Streamer Saturday”, the Lefty Kreh Tie Fest, the PVFF Family Picnic, the Boy Scout events in April and August, the “One-Fly” Competition and the Women’s Day at Beaver Creek Fly Shop, it was a very busy and very fun year.
This year will also be remembered by the historic amount of rain we received and the impact it had on fishing. I certainly fished less this year than the past couple of years because of all of the rain. But that did not stop me from fishing Catoctin Creek for our “fish” between storms. Raising and stocking our own fish in our “Home Waters” is pretty special. Thank you to Rick Loose and his volunteers for raising and taking such good care of them this year!
I can’t leave out our Club’s Newsletter, Website and Facebook presence. You would not be reading this Newsletter without the hard work of Bob Eichler. It is a lot of work and Bob produces a beautiful Newsletter each month and he uses Microsoft Word to produce it. That is a major challenge.
Have you been to our website lately? I think it is one of the best around and it would not be possible without Troy Kitch and his creative talents. Plus, we have a Facebook page that Andy Mekelburg keeps up to date and active. I know that has resulted in new members joining the Club in 2018. Thank you gentlemen!
Now, what about 2019? I could list a bunch of New Year’s Resolutions, but this column is already way too long. I am excited and looking forward to another fun year in 2019. I know that as long as we keep to the principles of Jim Gilford and our Club Founders — offering everyone a bunch of different activities and ways to get involved —- we will have an awesome year! Thank you for being a member of the PVFF!!!
In closing, if there is anything you would like to see improved with our Club or if you are interested in getting more involved with the PVFF, please don’t hesitate to contact me.