ADENDUM TO PRESIDENTS MESSAGE:
Elected Officers for 2020-2023 are as follows:
Russ Kucinski- Vice-president
Joe Manjione- Secretary
Don Jackson- Treasurer
Bob will be choosing his additional Board members in January. Congratulations to all…looking forward to working with them all!
Happy Holiday’s! Welcome and thanks to all members who have chosen to be part of the Tri -County Fly Fishers Club. It was an honor to serve as your President this past year and I’m looking forward to another successful Club year in 2020. We are surrounded by a great Board of Directors that are all very passionate about our sport and our Club and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you all along with our committee chairmen for their hard work this year. We were able to grow our membership to just under 100 members and I am proud to say that today our Club is as strong as it has ever been. Our focus this year was not only on catching fish but also on education and community outreach. Here is a month to month recap of our very busy year.
At our first business/breakfast meeting of the New Year, our new board members were introduced and I outlined our goals for 2019.We kicked off the year with our Winterfest Pot Luck in January and those that attended the event at the Wildwood Community Center were treated to a delicious meal catered by Giovanni’s Italian Restaurant.
In February, the Club participated in The 18th Annual Villages Outdoor Expo once again. Our fly tying and casting demos are always a hit and several new members were garnered from the event. We were treated to an awesome presentation on February 20th by guide Capt. Brian Boehm entitled ‘Bridges, Dock Lights, & Grass Flats - Night Fishing the Gulf Coast’ and in early February, our TCFF Fly Tying Group met at the Sumter County Service Center.
March proved to be our busiest month of the year. Several members volunteered and participated in the Florida Springs Fest at Silver Springs State Park in Ocala where we once again demonstrated our fly tying and casting skills. Once again our TCFF Fly Tying Group met at the SCSC. Our annual TCFF Club Picnic, headed up by Barry Palmer & Crew, took place on a rain delayed date. Russ showcased his “Aircraft Carrier” Hobie Kayak, Stevie Lusen headed up our golf chipping contest and Marilee conducted the fly casting skills challenge. Great food and a fun time were had by all.
Steve Gibson with Southern Drawl Kayak Fishing was our guest presenter at the evening meeting and spoke about “Fly Fishing for Exotics” in south Florida and tied his world famous fly, the “Myakka Minnow”. (All of our resident tiers scrambled to find and purchase his “top secrect” magic tying material the very next day!)
Meanwhile, out at Grand Oaks Resort, we held our first ever TCFF Fly Fishers & Tiers Tournament. A $5.00 entry fee entered you into the tournament where you were paired up with a tier and used his flies. Fish were measured and photographed by the judges and the winner was Art Palmer (caster) and Stuart Lane (tier). They split the 1st Place prize money of $100 between themselves.
Lastly, our wonderful relationship with GOR paid off in that we were asked to volunteer for parking control at the grand opening of their Golf Academy featuring professional golfer John Daly.
Once again, TCFF Fly Tying Group met at SCSC from 2pm-4pm in room 162, our annual Jon Cave Casting Clinic and Refresher took place out at Grand Oaks and Don Jackson headed up another successful “Davey Ferris Commemorative Fly Swap and Raffle”.
The TCFF Fly Tying Group met once again and those present were captivated with fishing yarns by the always entertaining Russ Kucinski. We celebrated the 90th birthday of long-time honorary member Ed Rapisardi at the Elan Rehabilitation Center. At the evening meeting we were treated to an awesome “hands on” presentation by Dr. Chuck Cichra with the University of Florida on "Florida’s Aquatic Invertebrates and Critters".
We took a much needed break.
The second half of the year began with our breakfast meeting on September 4th where Bob Levin updated the group on our involvement with the Boy Scouts Troops in Central Florida and assisting with their Merit Badge program. The TCFF Fly Tying Group met the following week and will continue to meet each month through the end of the year. I was given 2 N.C. Tuckaseegee River float trips by Hookers Fly Shop to auction off. The tickets are $5.00 each and the drawing will take place in February. Club members Chris Lyndrup, Barry Palmer and Russ Kucinski gave an educational presentation on "Fly Fishing the Shenandoah River Basin in Virginia".
The October 16 evening meeting featured a presentation on "Fly Fishing Shell Key Preserve" outside of Clearwater with Scott Hennet. Bob Heinbach, Art Palmer, Sharon Hamilton, and I participated in the FFI sponsored Co-ed Casting and Community Event in Homasassa as a tune up for the Big Gun Shootout in November.
Bob and I made a decision to have those wishing to attend an impromptu get together, the TCFF Fun Casting Congregation at Grand Oaks every Friday with fishing from 7am-9am. followed by breakfast in the Bistro.
Six Club members made the trek over to Picnic Island in Tampa on November 17, for the Tampa Bay Fly Fishing Club’s "Big Gun Shootout". Bob, Art and I formed our team and Bill Pettinger entered as a single. We made the rounds through the 6 casting skills stations scoring a measly 532 points. We thought that was a pretty good team score at the time until we learned the winning team scored 1421 points. Ouch! The distance casting competition was won by some young guy who cast his 8wt. only 125 feet!
Professor Sid Dobrin gave a wonderful presentation on fishing in Yankeetown, entitled "Yakking in Yankeetown". We put together a kayak day trip to Henderson Lake in Inverness followed by lunch at the Cove Restaurant. The fishing wasn’t so hot, the food was great and the stories around the table were even better.
Our Chairperson of the Nominating Committee, Barry Palmer, will announce the Officers and Board members for 2020-2022 at the business meeting on December 4. No evening meeting this month.
There are several members that I would like to personally thank for their tireless volunteering and contributions to the Club this past year. I apologize if I’ve unintentionally left anyone out. Special thanks go to Board members Bob Heinbach, Bob Levin, Russ Kucinski, Gary Christie, Joe Manjione and Mike Carragher. Thanks to: Barry Palmer (Club picnic, nominating chair), Art Palmer (nominating committee), Don Jackson (fly swap), Bill Johnson (ticket sales), Ron Shauster (ticket sales), Lou Thomas (fly sales), Jon Cave (casting instruction) and Dan Dauchess (meeting set up).
So, as you can see, we have been busy this year. Remember, this is your Club. Participation in the Club gives you access to the expertise and insight of its membership. Our members have years of experience and knowledge about kayaking and boating, fly casting, fly tying, and fly fishing in general. I urge you to continue to share your vast knowledge of the sport with the group. I believe we can make this Club even better but we need your help and involvement. If you would like to get involved in any activities or have ideas on others, please bring it to my or any board member's attention.
In the meantime...go fish!