Thursday, November 15, 2018

November 14, 2018 Meeting Minutes

This evening President Dave Stemmer brought our meeting to order at 7:09.
There were 25 members and guest in attendance.

There were several items on the agenda that were to be addressed this evening:

·     Election of club Officers for 2019
·     Disbursement of $200 from June fly fishing seminar to non-profits
·     Treasurer’s report of end-of-year bank balance
·     Discussion of buying some pontoon boats for membership use
·     Recent fishing trips reports
·     Meeting program presentation -steelhead- by Dr. Chris Peery
To start the meeting President Dave opened the floor of new officer nominations, no one came forward, so the slate of member who had previously consented to take office was presented –
Diane Briggs – Co-President
Judy McDole – Co-President
Tyson Kopfer – Vice President
Harold Saxby – Treasurer
Dale McKain – Secretary / Blogmaster
All of the above had previously agreed to form a new club administration. A vote was called for on these members to be our new officers beginning 1 January 2019, and this slate of officers was passed unanimously.

Next order of business was the disbursement of $200 received from the Walla Walla Public School District for the fly fishing presentation our club members made in June for the Washington State Dept. of Education DO Seminars at Whitman College. 
Several Non-Profit organizations were under consideration. After discussion and a vote was taken, the club decided to donate locally -- $100 to the Tri-State Steelheaders’ schools classroom Salmon Recovery Program, and $100 to the Walla Walla Christian Aid Center.

Treasurer Doug Coe gave us his end-of-the-year Baker Boyer Bank balance report-
currently in our checking account we have $1539, and this evening funds received for the fly boxes raffle was $53.
Barbara won the Raffle box      --------     Robin won the Door Prize box

Secretary Dale had previously discussed with President Dave the idea of making a club purchase of 2-3 pontoon boats (shopping for the best prices) for the paid membership to have access to. It was discussed that with club fishing outing -stream fishing- was a good thing but is strung everyone out along a stream or river with little socializing, whereas -stillwater fishing- allowed member to come and go, meeting each other on the water, comparing fishing “notes” and ideas of the day’s activities. The proposal was presented to the membership this evening – all were in agreement, a vote was made and passed unanimously.
Thereafter Vice President Tom said that he had an Outcast 9’ pontoon boat that he would sale the club for $300 (a $900+ value). Dale immediately made a motion that the club buys Tom’s pontoon boat for $300. The motion was discussed ~ carried ~ voted on and passed. The 2019 club officers will now be shopping for one or two more pontoon boats in the $300 +/- price range for due paying members to use. 
Now… Let’s Go Fishing.

Heidi brought up the idea that the club create a Mentoring Program to help novice fly fishers, find a coach to get into the sport. With discussion of an outline of such a program Blogmaster Dale said he could create a listing of mentors that area wannabe fly fishers could make reference to, to gain help with their fly fishing ~ fly tying ~ where to go fishing endeavors.

Diane brought with her this evening a pair of new neoprene waders and wading boots – ladies size 7 1/2. These had been given to her, and she wished to Give them -FREE- to someone that could use them. Aimee was the lucky lady to take this wading outfit home.

Fishing Reports – Tom had recently been to Ireland fishing for Atlantic salmon. He brought back and showed us some of his flies bought there, and tonight donated a few to our fly boxes.
Brian has recently made a guided trip to the coast to fish for Sea-run Cutthroat. He reported a successful trip and ready to go again.

Tom reported that prior to his fishing trip to Ireland, he had fished the Grand Ronde River for a few days - he said he had hooked a couple of steelhead, but catching was quite slow.

PLEASE NOTE: with the very small return of steelhead this season there are a number of rivers being CLOSED to fishing for steelhead – check the most updated fishing regulations on all local river before lining up your rod, wetting your hook. Please consider Catch & Release Only if steelhead fishing this season.
11/1/2018 only 102,226 adult steelhead returning through Bonneville Dam
Our evening program was a PP presentation made by Dr. Chris Peery who is currently employed with the US Army Corp of Engineers- Walla Walla office.
For years he has studied steelhead and has his PhD. in the studies of steelhead fisheries. He has studied and advises the entire Columbia River system, with his greatest concentration on the hatchery operations of the Snake River system and that of Dworshak Dam.

Dworshak Dam and hatchery

Also discussed this evening was the ebb and flow of steelhead passage on the Columbia River system, and some of the causes for low returns, of steelhead and salmon for the past two years.

A most interesting evening spent with Dr. Peery, discussing the Salmonids of the Pacific Northwest

Dr. Chris, Thank you for your time and sharing your extensive knowledge of, and experience with our PNW steelhead fisheries.

Meeting was adjourned at 8:40.
Respectfully submitted,
Dale McKain
Club Secretary

Happy Holidays

We take a multi-Holiday Break -- our next meeting will be held at Smith's Family Restaurant on W. 9th Street in Walla Walla --
16 January 2019
6:00 pm Dinner and Social
7:00 Call-to-Order Club Business

Contact Us

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Dave Stemmer – President

Tom Craig – Vice President

Doug Coe – Treasurer

Dale McKain – Secretary - Blogmaster

Dave Stemmer  PROJECT HEALING WATERS Coordinator

Friday, November 2, 2018

"Working" with the Walla Walla Valley Trout Unlimited Chapter

It was late September that Secretary Dale opened the Walla² Fly Fishers email, and found an invitation from the newly organized Walla Walla Valley Trout Unlimited Chapter to come to their next meeting.

Dale contacted their chapter President Angela Williams and asked for details, and thereafter began making plans to attend the October 4th meeting – this was the Chapter’s sixth organizational meeting.

At this meeting Dale was asked if he thought the Walla² Fly Fishers would like to share our knowledge of fly fishing with this TU group. Dale says “YES”, as many TU organizations are made up of fly fishers, and in many cases the local fly fishing club and the TU chapter are one and the same, or work very closely with each other in their pursuit of enhancing wild cold water fisheries. Dale was then asked if he could coordinate with the Walla² Fly Fishers to have a fly tying evening with the membership of the Walla Walla Valley Trout Unlimited Chapter at their next meeting on November 1st? Dale checked his schedule and made an email announcement to the Walla² Fly Fishers of this event to take place, and for all to participate that would like to, whether a TU member or not. Dale was also asked if he could come up with 15-20 fly tying station tools and materials to tye some fly for that evening. Fortunately Walla² Fly Fisher Diane (a fly tying instructor) has 20 fly tying kits on hand, and Dale was able to borrow these kits for the evening of November 1st. Thank you Diane.
So the evening of November 1st club members Dale and Heidi (a TU member as well) met with the TU Chapter at the Walla Walla Eagles club for a most enjoyable evening of fly tying.

"A Picture is worth a Thousand Words"; so these pictures will tell the story of our evening as the group ties Woolly Bugger flies-- plain and bead headed

Heidi helping all

Dale trying to show how to

Again our fascination with the art and science of fly fishing - how to tye flies and catch fish with what we have created has brought this group together to share in a most enjoyable evening.

Report by -
Dale McKain

Walla² Fly Fishers next meeting will be held at Smith's Family Restaurant on W. 9th Street in Walla Walla on Wednesday
14 November 2018
6:00 pm Dinner and Social
7:00 Call-to-Order Club Business

Tight lines and good fishing

Walla² Fly Fishers

Sunday, October 21, 2018

October - a Great time to be chasing Rainbows

It was the last week of September that club’s secretary, Dale sent out an APB-email to all members saying “Let’s Go Fishin” Anthony Lake the weekend of October 13th or 14th.  We had two YEA replies.
As Saturday the 
13th  approached the weather forecast made a turn for the worst at the 7100 feet elevation, so there were second thought about fishing the 13th.
The weekend of the 13th was cancelled due to 6" of fresh snowfall and cold, that came over the Elkhorns on Wednesday the 10th.

Weather photo reports confirmed 6" of fresh snowfall midweek 

Our attention was given to the weekend of the 20th.
Again an APB-email was sent to all club members announcing the change of plans and asking again who wants to go fishing - Anthony Lake. Again there were two replies saying YEA, with a few others saying they could not make the 20th trip.

Knowing there would be residual snow around the lake and that the daytime temperature would not rise above freezing until mid-morning, Brian, Dale and Dale's Buddy were in no hurry to head for the hills on the 20th  so as to allow everything above 1000' to thaw out for the day. Many days this time of year the highway crossing over Tollgate can be frosty, rather hazardous.
Moon phase was perfect for afternoon catching
Morning temperature at Stateline - WW / M-F
Reaching the Elkhorn Range we found the weather to be beautiful as forecasted. 
The air was clear and there was still a bit of residual snow on the ground around the lake from last week's snowfall. 

It was a full sunshine day - shirt sleeve weather - with very few people on the water, and no one was wearing a coat or jacket. 
Brian was on the lake first, working the usual Honeyhole, when Dale launched his boat and with his first cast using an intermediate sink line - Fish ON! The first hook-up of the day was immediately given an invitation to dinner, a 14" rainbow - the smallest catch of the day.

The catching was off and on during the midday, but sitting on the lake covered with sunshine, was a most comfortable, enjoyable way to pass the day, very relaxing. 
This weighted BS Spl hooked all of Dale's catches for the day
In the bright part of the afternoon Dale had several strikes and two more hookups; a 16" rainbow and a 18" rainbow - Brian was getting no action fishing with a floating line and various flies.
At some point in the mid-afternoon Dale hooked up to a much larger triploid rainbow and battled the fish for several minutes. Using his 2-wt. SPL rod, Dale compared this fight to that of a Grande Ronde River steelhead for time and endurance. A battle to the end... with a long line release of probably a 20"-22" stocked triploid. This year this size fish was not uncommon at Anthony Lake, with the lake having been stocked well with large, fat triploid rainbow trout prior to July 4th .

At this point Dale oared over to check on Brian's action, and learned he had still hooked up to no fish. 

Dale went on to catch his creel limit of 5 nice triploid rainbows for the day, while having had 3 other hookups that never made it to his net. It made for a great day of fishing ~ catching Rainbows.
With cold toes we fished the balance of the day until the sun set behind the trees and the air at 7100' elevation began to chill quickly, soon becoming as cold as the water on our feet.

Having packed the boats in the pickup, strapped them down, Dale reminded Brian that we would need to stop before getting on I-84 to tighten the tie down strap.
Coming off the mountain, it was a beautiful evening filled with golden trees all the way back to the valley with its deer ~ elk grazing alfalfa fields. Looking back at the Elkhorns after the sun had set, made a nice polishing touch to finish this day of fishing.
We covered the day's catch with cold mountain lake water to travel well, so when we returned to Milton-Freewater basecamp Dale proceeded to clean the fish caught and gave Brian two to take home for he and his wife's dinner.

The remainder were put in a brine solution to hold until they could find their way to the water-bath smoker on Sunday.

Fat triploid rainbows are almost as nice as summer steelhead, when coming off the smoker.

OH Yeah, just a reminder - when fishing high altitude lakes, be sure you make one or two stops to secure your watercraft as you descend in elevation. Failure to do so may have you finding your floatation craft being blown off of your vehicle and dragged around by the nearest FedEx semi-truck.
This boat will never float again - dammit.

Anthony Lake is a USFS fee area

Once in a Lifetime Fee for a Senior Pass
A Daily Fee for all others

Report by -
Dale McKain

Tight lines and good fishing -

Walla² Fly Fishers

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Looking at a Broader Picture and Audience

With the absence of Pres. Dave, VP Tom, it was Secretary Dale that called the meeting to order tonight at 7:10.

Before leaving town, Pres. Dave had told Dale that he was working on a program for this evening with an individual from the Walla Walla’s division of the Army Corp of Engineers (USACE). When it appeared this did not develop we moved on without.
Treasurer Doug was not present this evening, therefore we have no Treasurer’s report.

Tonight we had 9 members and 3 guests present.

Dale started the meeting by saying that he had hoped there would be more members present, including those club members that helped with June's Fly Fishing Workshop at Whitman College. He is still holding $200 dollars in his name for the time and effort that club members put into that project and he want to make contributions to some non-profits before the end of the year. 

There has been mentioned several 501-c organizations to consider, Project Healing Waters Fly FishingWalla Walla Christian Aid CenterCasting for Recover, and we would like to have a club vote, participation by all, to make this decision agreeable for all. Dale needs to get these fund donated before December 31, so we will need to finalize this business at November's meeting.

Dale as the sole founding club member, having signed the by-laws of our organization, and still attending all meetings, brought to this group's attention, that twice in the past couple of weeks it has been brought to his attention that clubs/organizations fade away, when they become stale without a flow of new perspectives, and leadership. Having thought much about these discussions, Dale brought to the group tonight... that maybe the time has come to fall back on the club’s by-laws dealing with club officer’s 2-year term limits.  Dale said that he did not in anyway, wish to diminish the time, effort, the FIVE (5) years of services that Dave and Tom have contributed to the leadership of our club, but maybe the time has come for change. So that our club does not go by the way of other organizations...we need consider a change from the routine of having our monthly club activity being comprised of a meeting for dinner, light discussions, and the occasional fishing guide's input of their business for our programs; from one year to the next. The club has come to a time that we need leadership to build membership, and community interaction. With our fly fishing knowledge, and fly tying projects, we should make ourselves more visible outside the Smith's Family Restaurant walls.  We have lost this vision and purpose that we once had in establishing the Walla² Fly FishersDale suggested that we consider the nominations of interested individual to create a new slate of club officers at November’s meeting. Anyone that is interested in helping the group grow with direction and community outreach in mind, we ask that you let it be known - please email <>. This discussion should continue in November with a vote taking place in January 2019, to bring in the new year, with new direction and vitality.
This evening Dale also brought forward the idea, and asked "Ladies, please consider stepping up, grab the reins and help with directing our club." Without a doubt, women make excellent fly fishers, fly tiers, group~network organizers. Dale pointed out that if women were leading the community awareness charge; it would demonstrate to all fishers of the Walla² area that Walla² Fly Fishers is not a group of “good ole boys” with fly rods in hand, but that we are a gender neutral recreational group for all the interested public to participate, enjoy in the art and science of fly fishing, and our club activities. We have a lot of potential for growth and fly fishing fun, in our Walla² area.

After that discussion, our meeting this evening became a round table discussion of the current status of steelhead and salmon returns to the water of the Pacific Northwest. Without a program member of the USACE being present, we were fortunate by having John Oberhelman (club member and employee of USACE) present this evening. He gave us a lot of insight in what the Corp / BPA is doing at the dams for fisheries, the condition of our PNW fishery, and the expense of it all. 
2018 Steelhead run -very low- is less than a THIRD of the 10-year average

Thank you John for sharing with us your wealth of knowledge, and your enlightening us this evening concerning the USACE~BPA network, and our PNW fisheries.

This evening we had a visit with Angela Williams. Angela is currently the President and in the process of organizing the Walla Walla Valley Trout Unlimited Chapter. She mentioned that in many areas across the USA, many TU and local fly fishing clubs worked hand-n-hand on projects to improve fishery habitat and fishing opportunities. It is also true that in many communities TU and the local fly fishing club are one and the same. TU National is a funding source for many stream - fishery improvement projects. Angela said she would like to see if our organizations could co-mingle to improve the coldwater fisheries of SE Washington ~ NE Oregon. She also mentioned her hopes that our club would help the membership of this newly formed TU organization learn to become fly fishers. 
October was this new TU chapter sixth meeting. Their next will be held:

Thursday, November 1, 6:30-8:00 pm.
Location: Aerie Room, Eagles Club, Walla Walla

FYI -- Founded in Michigan in 1959, Trout Unlimited today is a national non-profit organization with about 300,000 members and supporters dedicated to conserving, protecting and restoring North America's coldwater fisheries and their watersheds.
Brian Wolcott of the Walla Walla Basin Watershed Council was also sharing with us this evening, and he spoke of the work that the Council has been doing to help improve the streamside habitat of the Walla Walla River, particularly in the Milton-Freewater area, and the river's tributaries.

After Angela addressing our group, we entered a Round Table discussion of current fishing trip across WA and OR, that different individual had made lately. Some good info for those in attendance was shared.
Dale mentioned that Tis the Season for an abundance of October Caddis to be hatching~hovering over lower elevation streams and rivers of our area, and that the mid-Walla Walla River was at a perfect flow to be fishing Orange Stimulators~October Caddis dry flies imitation for wild trout hookups.
Tight lines and Good fishing

We did not present a fly box for door prize or auction this evening.
Dale called the meeting adjourned at 8:45.

Our next meeting will be held at Smith's Family Restaurant on W. 9th Street in Walla Walla on Wednesday
14 November 2018
6:00 pm Dinner and Social
7:00 Call-to-Order Club Business

Respectfully submitted,
Dale McKain
Club Secretary

Contact Us

~ Follow Us on Facebook ~

Dave Stemmer – President

Tom Craig – Vice President

Doug Coe – Treasurer

Dale McKain – Secretary - Blogmaster

Dave Stemmer  PROJECT HEALING WATERS Coordinator