Last Cast: The Future May Be Murky (But We Can Still Go Fishing)

By Andy Mekelburg

So, it was a delayed Spring season, but at least it started. After being “released,” I went with a friend of mine (driving separately) to Mossy Creek, which is near Bridgewater, Virginia. It’s a private stream winding through farmlands. We caught some good size rainbows. There were quite a few monster brown trout. From the water they looked like they were almost two feet long. I didn’t see any out of the water, as they barely looked at anything thrown at them. Cold conditions, but we were out of the house and in nature!

The following week, I went out with my same friend to our home waters of Catoctin Creek. I can report that there were probably 50 of our fish drifting in front of me at an unnamed location there. They remained there after I left, untouched. One would have thought that after not seeing any flies for a couple of months they would be hungry, oh well. I can say that there are no small trout in there! Thanks Rick and team.

While I was out, I only thought of fishing, clearing my mind of current issues. It was me against the fish. That is the beauty of our sport. The focus on the water in front of you, replacing thoughts of anything else.

To say the least, it’s been an incredible couple of months. It was so nice to be out and communing with nature. Americans are smart, we do what we have to do to overcome obstacles and remain optimistic about the future. Not that it’s over and we can let our guard down. We’ve all learned a lot of non-fly fishing things and we need to adapt those to the changing circumstances. In the midst of this, I would like to thank our board and volunteers for stepping up to continue to think about what our members need. We aren’t a health care group, except for the contribution fly fishing makes to our mental health. It’s been an interesting challenge for us, but new innovations like “Fly Tying at a Distance” was launched to keep our fly tying members engaged. Great effort by Don and Troy in making that happen. In addition, thanks to Dave Keane for keeping the fly exchange on track — I look forward to receiving and using them.

The future is as clear as the Monocacy after a hard rain. One of the club’s obstacles is the issue of gatherings of more than 10 people. Thanks to you, we’re very popular! Unfortunately, this has led to the postponement of the June 9 annual picnic. The board continues to monitor the situation and we will look month to month.

We are going to try something new for our June Monthly meeting, in lieu of the picnic. We are hosting a Zoom Virtual Meeting on June 9. I realize that having a good speaker is one of the strengths of our monthly meetings, but a lot of the value is just to be around other fly fishing enthusiasts, swapping fishing stories.

Typically, we don’t have monthly meetings in July and August, so we hope to get back up and running by September. But honestly, nobody knows and we surely don’t want to put anyone at risk. We are still planning on holding our annual banquet on October 24 at the Middletown Amvets, but this will be subject to current operating conditions.

We could use your input. As you know the banquet provides the majority of our funds to operate the club. We are going to have to push hard for as many donations as possible, given the tougher changed economic climate, so any help you can give, starting now, would be greatly appreciated! Let Karen Baker ( or myself ( know if you have a contribution. In addition, it’s prudent to think about what we can do for fundraising, in case of cancellation. Please send me your ideas on this at .
I look forward to hearing your fishing stories in June and hopefully seeing you all safely, securely, and soon.

— Andy Mekelburg