Hooray for a new year! Time to start looking forward to this year’s fishing adventures. I know people like to make New Year’s resolutions, but I usually lose those in a day or so. Instead, I try to plan out what I would like to do and then do it! Through PVFF I have many items to add to my list. We, of course, have no idea what kind of health guidelines may be issued or for how long. We’ve learned a lot last year about the types of programs and activities we can do that satisfies our member’s interest and participation. To watch how some of our innovations like virtual meetings and ‘Fly Tying at a Distance’ really take off and fill a niche in our Members lives has been great. There is a pent-up demand by everyone to get together physically (safely, of course) as evidenced by the great participation in our September casting clinic, clean up, and trout stocking. It was great to see everyone.
As we carefully navigate these first months of the year, we will continue to hold virtual activities and build from there. At the same time, I hope that we create more outdoor fishing opportunities for all of members. We have two new initiatives this year to do this to appeal to all levels of fisher. First, Kevin Haney is heading up our new mentoring program, so if you are new to the sport or just interested in improving, there is an avenue you can pursue. Second, Mike Holland has stepped up to help coordinate outings. After the initial restrictions, which inhibited our ability to have any organized outings, the state government finally did see the value of allowing fly fishing, done safely. This year, we know what to do — drive separately, socially distance, and wear a mask when you’re close to others. We are looking for you to let us know where you want to go fishing and if you’re willing to have some people join you. Mike will then assist you in organizing. In addition to exploring area streams, as well as out-of-state trips (e.g., salmon fishing in New York or Savage River trout), we’re hoping that we can perhaps get some enthusiasts of a particular type of fly fishing together, such as those who like to use bamboo poles, Tenkara, Euro Nymphing, etc. This should be a good way for those interested in one of the many sub-specialties of fly fishing to get together and learn from each other. Let Mike know if you want to lead any outings.
So you can see that with our many activities, we have a number of fishing options for the year. This is one of the cornerstones to providing not only a value, but a home to our members. In addition, Dave Keane is working on efforts to do more conservation efforts. He is working with the Department of Natural Resources to put water gauges in nearby streams, helping them and us, in addition to doing more stream cleanups. Let Dave know if you are interested in participating.
When it comes down to it for me, it’s about the peace of fly fishing (okay, there are moments in which you lose your fly, your fish, your rod). However, all the facets of the sport — fly tying, conservation, and fellowship of our fellow members makes it all the more satisfying. I am looking to a busy year of fishing activities and hope to see you in person or on camera. Please let me know if you have any ideas or suggestions. — Andy Mekelburg