Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Fishing in New Zealand with Tom

This evening President Tom called our business meeting to order at 7:15 with 16 members and guest in attendance.

President Tom and VP Dave addressed that they had both tried to make contact with Waterbrook Winery concerning our proposed 2015 Fly Fish Fair. They both reported that their previous discussion with Waterbrook Winery this year was that the new winery management was only discussing trying to create a banquet affair instead of a venue similar to our past 6 years of sharing the art and science of fly fishing with the interested general public.

 We always have a morning of casting instructions


Fly tying demonstrations

Some trout to be caught in the Waterbrook Winery casting / catching ponds

Tom and Dave both said that they would continue to work for the development of an event as we have had in the past, with hope that we could do so at the Waterbrook Winery.
Club Treasurer Dr. Doug tells us that we currently have over $1100 in the bank, with a few first of the year checks yet to clear the account. Doug reminded us that after all was said and done that our 2014 Banquet cost the club about $70+ with the yet to be reimbursed 2015 Oregon fishing license fee for Jerry - door prize winner.
VP Dave gave us a brief summery of results from the questionnaire passed out during our February meeting concerning 2014 Banquet thoughts and opinions and suggestions for a 2015 Banquet.
Steelheaders fishing reports - Dave said he had been fishing the Tucannon River with no results, Jerry said he had been on the Wallowa River making a survey for a fishing trip for Project Healing Waters vets, and had seen a lot of very large steelhead. He says he is working on a fishing trip for all Project Healing Waters participants to take place the weekend of 20-22 March on the Wallowa River with a base camp set at Minam Motel. Jerry told us that this past week the Wallowa had a waterflow that looked like July's - scary flow conditions for this time of year.
Dr. Mike, Dr. Doug, Jim and Robert reported that they had been fishing the Imnaha River with no steelie keepers to tell about.

This evening our door prize fly box was won by Harold S.

Tonight President Tom presented our meeting's program, of his most recent "summer" fishing trip to New Zealand. 

The trip started Feb.11th and it took Tom over 24 hours to get to Mataura where his long time friend and fishing buddy Sean, and wife Lisia lives. 
Sean and Lisia Barron
Tom tells us he "fished 19 of the 23 days I was gone. Fished 11 different rivers, streams, and lakes….mostly for brown trout. Largest brown was about 6 lbs. Average fish caught was 3 to 4 lbs mostly on dries. Sean told me that there is over 50 different 

streams, rivers and or lakes and ponds that can be fished within 2 hours of his home in New Zealand. Many with fish over 10 lbs to be caught."
One of Tom's NZ rainbow hook-ups
Tom reported... "It was late summer in New Zealand so weather was pretty good. Only had one rain that effected the fishing for about a day.
Most of the fishing in New Zealand is 'sight fishing' finding fish to cast to without them seeing you, can be challenging and most casts are into wind which is also very challenging for someone like me not used to having to cast into the wind. I usually use the wind to help me make long casts."

A couple of the brown trout Tom hooked along the way.

While in NZ Tom went to the Wyndam Angling Club which is the oldest fishing club in New Zealand established in 1895. He went to one of their meetings and said they were very gracious and interested in our club and what we do for our members etc.
Tom comes back sharing the feeling... "If at all possible New Zealand should be on any fly fishers “Bucket List” just so many varied and wonderful places to fish and the scenery is magnificent much like Alaska where I lived and fished for 38 years."

For Tom this evening's presentation was a very bitter - sweet story of a wonderful fly fisher's winter vacation in NZ. As he began his presentation it was with great sadness that Tom announced that his friend and long time NZ and AK fishing buddy had just passed away, a couple of day before this evening's meeting. Sean RIP, and may your leader never again be tangled by a chilling wind.

Tom, we Thank You for sharing with us this story of a fly fisherman's dream come true.

Melanie Owens,  4-H Program Coordinator
for Walla Walla County

After Tom's presentation we had Melanie Owens visiting with us this evening, asking for some fly tyers support for the upcoming 4-H Super Saturday 21 March. She currently has the help of club member Stu Farnham as lead fly tying instructor, but would like to see a few more helping hands around the table. Anyone else that can help Melanie and Stu on the 21st, please contact them for details of that day's activities.

 After Melanie's request for help, Dale reminded everyone of our next fly tying round table event at Stu's house to be held on Sunday 22 March, and then looking at another gathering of fly tyers on Saturday 4 April. Dale will email details of these events as these tying times draw near. These fly tying gatherings are open to all club members that wish to learn more about the art, simplicity of fly tying, and wish to have a good excuse to sit together and fill their fly box for the upcoming salmon and trout seasons.
Gail's Chartreuse Springer Hook
Our next regularly scheduled club meeting will be 8 April at Smith's Family Restaurant in Walla Walla.
6:00 pm dinner and social hour ~ 7:00 business meeting

Our meeting was adjourned at 8:10.   

Respectfully submitted,
Dale McKain
Club Secretary

Tight lines and Good Fishing

Tom Craig – President
Dave Stemmer – Vice President
Doug Coe – Treasurer
Dale McKain – Secretary - Blogmaster 
Gerald Newell - PROJECT HEALING WATERS Coordinator

Past Presidents
Tyson Kopfer
Bob Long
Scott Peters