AUGUST: Well, it’s August and I feel like the summer is flying by. Football season is just around the corner and I for one can’t wait! I just returned from 10 days on the beach in Siesta Key. As I mentioned in last month’s message, I had a couple of trips planned. My Colorado trip was awesome. Spent 4 days camping on the Conejos River and fished a couple of different stretches. Nothing but dry fly action! We were able to land several rainbows in the 20”- 22” range. I’ll be heading that way again next summer.
My night tarpon trip to Port Charlotte didn’t fair too well. We were out on the water at 7:30pm and I didn’t drag my butt home to bed until 2:00am. Not a fish did we see or hook up with. Pretty disappointed but that’s fishing. While vacationing in Siesta Key, I was asked to tie flies at the Mangrove Coast Fly Fishers meeting with several other tyers. I featured my Velcro Crab and it was well received.
And, my beach snook adventure to Manasota Key was certainly an adventure. I landed 2 Ladyfish and 1 Snook. .. Had shots at others... hooked into a really large one and she bolted, my fly line got a rat’s nest while shooting through the guides so it broke off where the fly line joined the leader. So somewhere in the gulf there is a very large Snook swimming around with a fly and a 9 foot leader in its mouth! Had another hook up and the fish threw the fly. And I had another really big one chasing but I ran out of water before it bit...12 more inches of water and the fight would have been on! Also had a couple of shots at Tarpon from the beach too! All in all I had a fun day!
So that’s it. I’ve been told that fishing in these parts hasn’t been too good due to the extreme heat and rain. I’m looking forward to September and starting up our meetings once again. On tap is our September 4 breakfast meeting at Pennbrooke Fairways. I’ll catch you all up on some of what’s going on for the remainder of the year. We’ll also begin selling raffle tickets for 2 North Carolina float trips courtesy of Jason with Hookers Fly Shop. Our September evening presentation will feature a presentation on fly fishing the Shenandoah River in Virginia by Barry, Chris and Russ. I’ve got some other presentations in the works and just as soon as I get them solidified, I’ll post them on the website.
See you all in September!
JULY: Happy 4th of July! Welcome to our Tri-County Fly Fishers website. I'll be traveling for most of the month of July so this message is brief. I'll be heading to Colorado to fish the Conjos River in South Central Colorado with one of my boys, Trevor. There have been reports of VERY high runoff water as the snow pack in Colorado this year is reported to be 539% above average! The water has to go somewhere when it melts making fishing very difficult. Later in the month, I've got a Tarpon/Snook night fish trip scheduled with Capt Brian Bohem with Quiet Waters Fly Fishing in Sarasota. Really looking forward to this one! Also, I'll be beach snook fishing with Steve Gibson at Casey Key. Both Steve and Brian have been to our evening meetings this past year. Lastly, I've been invited to tie fly's at the Mangrove Coast Fly Fishers club in Sarasota on July 24th at 7pm at the Sarasota Garden Club. I'll be featuring my Velcro Crab. There event is called "Tie for Pie in July". If you are in Sarasota on this date, come on over as their guest. I'm thinking of doing something similar up here with our Club. Stay tuned. And, if any of you are Facebook friends, check out the Tri-County Fly Fishers page. Lots of cool stuff posted by some of our members. Have a great July and I'll be back in August!
JUNE: Has anyone but me noticed how hot it has been and it seems to be really early this year? We have had sustained temperatures in the 90’’s for several weeks now. Shouldn’t that happen in August? Anyway, this month, I thought I would take a few minutes and recap the Club’s first 6 months of the year. I like to do this for a couple of reasons. First, it gives recently joined members the opportunity to see what we’ve been up too and to get excited for what’s to come. Second, it gives the public some insight as to what our Club is all about and to possibly get involved.
Many members have a vast amount of fishing knowledge and skills, and they are happy to share. I would venture to say that Club is the fastest-growing and probably the largest fly fishing Club in Florida. Think about it? We started this past January/February with several members not renewing their membership for one reason or another and as of this writing; we are back up to 88 members and growing. You all should be pretty proud of the fact that we must be doing something right?
Our main focus of course, is fly fishing. While the Club does not organize formal trips, many members team up with buddies and get together for informal weekly outings. Russ does a wonderful job with his weekly report notifying members where and when we may be fishing. Anyone can go along. Just contact a buddy and set it up. If you are not on Russ’s email, please get in touch with him. We target warm water fish species here in central Florida, and salt-water species on the Gulf, East coast and South Florida. Many of us fish in the far reaches of the United States and the world for that matter. So far this year, local outings have taken us to the Ocala National Forest, Grand Oaks Resort, Hilochee WMA, Tenoroc WMA, and the St. Johns River, Kings Bay in Crystal River, Ozello, Homosassa, Yankeetown, western North Carolina, Colorado, Georgia, Wyoming and Montana. Also a few members have fished in New Zealand, Canada and the Bahamas. We sure do get around!
Another huge aspect at the heart of our Club is the teaching and instruction of fly fishing, not only to members, but to children as well. This includes: tying flies and fly casting mostly. We started the TCFF Fly Casters and the TCFF Fly Tying groups which meet monthly and always have a great turnout. We had Jon Cave, one of the premier fly casting instructors in the country, come to our April meeting to show us casting basics and to hone our skills. We are involved in various community outreach activities where we donate our time and resources to organizations requesting our help and expertise. We volunteer our time at The Villages Outdoor Expo each February and gain several new members from this worthwhile event. We took part in the Florida Springs Fest in Ocala for the first time this past March. Several members have also volunteered their time with the local Boy Scout troop out of Inverness. I’m thrilled that several new members have gotten involved in some way to volunteer for these Club activities. Thank you.
Another major focus and one that I feel very strongly about, is providing good quality speakers and presentations at our evening meetings. Our informative and educational presentations so far this year have included presentations on fly fishing southwest Florida for exotics with Steve Gibson, Night fishing for Tarpon and snook with Capt. Brian Boehm and an educational presentation on Florida aquatic invertebrates by Dr. Chuck Cichra.
Lastly, our Club social activities build comradery and it’s always a fun time when we get together. We kicked off the year in January with our Winterfest social. Club members and wives enjoyed a catered dinner and music. We held our Club picnic and bar-b-que in March at Wooten Park complete with door prizes, a casting competition and chipping contest. Other coordinated activities included: Bass n’ Breakfast at Grand Oaks Resort, our annual Bass Fishing Tournament and The Davey Ferris Commemorative Fly Swap & Raffle. Bob coordinated the Jon Cave Performance Fly Casting workshop in Oviedo and the wives of The Gals of FFI get together each month for a social gathering and lunch.
So, as you can see, our Club has been very active the first six months of 2019. Come check us out!
In the meantime...go fish!