Welcome and thanks to all members who have chosen to be part of the Tri -County Fly Fishers Club. As the year comes to a close, I like to look back over the year and take note of some of our accomplishments. 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, conservation and community outreach. Here is a recap of our very busy year.
We kicked off the year with our Winterfest holiday dinner in January. The event was attended by 40-45 Club members and spouses and those that attended the event were treated to a catered dinner provided by Oakwood Smokehouse. The group enjoyed music, a Club slide show and raffles with many of the items donated by Club members. A great time was had by all.
The Club participated in The Villages Outdoor Expo once again this year and in March, we had our annual “Davey Ferris Commemorative Fly Swap” and our Club Picnic at Wooten Park in Tavares and in October, we volunteered our time at the 18th Annual Florida Wildlife Festival in Umatilla
I would have to say that our most exciting and worthwhile accomplishments this year was our Club partnership with two entities. One is with the Grand Oaks Resort and Museum in Wiersdale. We hold two ongoing events (Bass n’ Breakfast, Fly Tying Class) at this great facility. The other group I’m excited that the Club is partnering with is the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranch in Inglis, FL. We volunteered our time for 5 days during a 10 week period this past summer with the kids ages 10-15 and teaching them fly tying and casting at the Ranch.
We were able to secure a space at Grand Oaks and once again had our annual visit by honorary member and friend of the Club Jon Cave to give us his Performance Fly Casting instruction followed by a light meal and a presentation by Jon in the Brewster room.
The TCFF Fly Tying Group meets each month at the Sumter County Service Center. Always a fun time getting together to tie your favorite fly and tell fish stories. Our TCFF Kayak Group and our TCFF Bank Fishing Group have been busy this year as well. Russ reports and outlines local fishing opportunities for both groups each week. You won’t find these opportunities outlined on the website however. If you are interested in going with either group during the week, please contact Russ or Bob.
We continue to secure quality speakers for our evening presentations at the Wildwood Community Center. Most notably was Capt. John Rohan "Fly Fishing Ozello", "Fly Fishing Cockroach Bay Preserve State Park" with Scott Henett, and ” The American Shad of the St Johns River” with Capt. Mark Benson. We’ve also had several Club members give informative presentations as well.
Finally, Officer and Board member elections will be held in December at the Breakfast meeting. Our current Officers and Board members have indicated that they would like to keep their current positions. Russ has expressed an interest in joining the Board and we have an opening for Treasurer as Chris Lyndrup is stepping down. However, if you are interested in this or any other position, please let myself or Bob know.
So, as you can see, we have been busy this past 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, rod building 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 I 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.