Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Stream survey - observations of Patrick Webster

President Tom called our meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. with some late arrivals still eating dinner, and a few others sipping on freshly poured brews, glasses of vino, and coffee; sitting around the tables. This evening we had 22 club members and guest in attendance.

I few folks gave us their current fishing reports, which in most cases the fishing / catching has been slow, but it has been the holidays season, and there is a lot of icing on the fly line this time of year.

President Tom addressed some old business - Project Healing Waters - participation was moving rather slowly as there are a few hoops the club has got to go through in order to join forces with this organization to work with, fish with, help vet in their various recovery efforts.  The biggest hurdles we have seen is to have our club classified as an IRS 501c and the liability insurance needed to involve ourselves with the Project.
Tom also brought up for thought; putting together a steelhead fishing trip based out of Grant and Lottie Richie's Minam Motel - Minam Raft Rentals / fishing guide service. Tom proposed this this trip would take place in late February or early March. Steelhead counts are usually good at that time of the years, and with the Wallowa and Minam rivers to access, and there should be plenty of opportunity for all. Tom will be in contact with Grant and will make a report at our next meeting on Wednesday 12 February.
Club Treasurer Doug gave a treasury report and tells us we have over $1000 in our bank account. Petty cash was not counted as the donation for fly box raffle tickets was still taking place at the time of his report.

President Tom then ask club Secretary Dale to come forward to give a report on the development for putting together a fly fishing banquet with flyfisherman-author-editor-flytyer and world traveler John Shewey as our MC. Dale reported that with email contact with John we had an available date of Saturday 22 February. This date and the planning/preparation needs for a banquet were discussed with the attending membership. The amount of work that we felt that would need to be done in 6½ weeks, would not give us enough time to prepare and execute this event adequately. With the decision that February 22 would not work well, Dale said he would contact John to let him know this, and see if we could come up with a later date in May or sometime thereafter in autumn 2014.  We are also hoping to invite the membership of the Pendleton, OR and Tri-Cities, WA fly fishing clubs to attend this banquet as well.

This evenings we had two nice fly boxes, and the Door Prize fly box went to Roz.

After this first fly box was given away, Secretary Dale again took the floor and made a quick announcement of the Internet activity of our club's blog posting. He announced that since he had started publishing the blog there as been 16,253 hits made to it. Looking around the world, we see hits coming from these locations...


The posting that got the single most hits was - A Blue Mountains Fly Hatch Chart - with 1979 hits to date.

Our speaker for this evening's program was Patrick Webster who works for Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife(WDFW), in conjunction with the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation(CTUIR). Patrick's primary job is being an electro-shocker for making fish counts in the different fisheries of our immediate area. The projects / programs that Patrick are working on are the recovery of steelhead counts in the Tucannon River and the recovery of salmon in the Touchet River. Patrick was telling us of the other fish species that he had seen on his electro-shocking job sites, and he was quite surprised at the number of LARGE Bull Trout he had witnessed co-inhabiting with rainbow / steelhead trout and salmon. He indicated where some of the best Bull Trout holding waters were in our area -Bull Trout can NOT be targeted for catching- but can easily be hooked and released to comply with all WA and OR fishing regulations. This writer will not divulge these Bull Trout sighting locations here. If you wish to learn more, please attend our monthly meetings on the second Wednesdays of the month.
20" Walla Walla River Bull Trout

Patrick also told us a little of the current plans of the CTUIR and WDFW plan to release up to 100,000 Chinook smolts for the Touchet River and up to 400,000 into the Walla Walla River. Generally 1%-2% of these releases will return in 4-5 years. With the plans/hopes of WDFW to make Mill Creek in downtown Walla Walla a salmon fishery, this spring release should give us a good start.

Vice-President Dave won the fly box raffle of this evening. After these fly boxes were handed out, Dale took a moment to give the story he received from fly fisherman extraordinaire -George Cook- of how George came about developing the Popsicle steelhead flies that were included in this evening's boxes.

Our meeting this evening was adjourned at 8:07 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Dale McKain

Tight lines and good fishing.

Walla² Fly Fishers

Tom Craig – President
Dave Stemmer – Vice President
Doug Coe – Treasurer
Dale McKain – Secretary

Past Presidents
Tyson Kopfer
Bob Long
Scott Peters