CT Fly Fisherman’s Association holds monthly meetings

By Lisa Stone - ReminderNews
East Hartford - posted Thu., Nov. 14, 2013
CT Fly Fisherman's Association President Bruce Rich encourages people to join in on the group’s fun. Photo by Lisa Stone.
CT Fly Fisherman's Association President Bruce Rich encourages people to join in on the group’s fun. Photo by Lisa Stone.

Connecticut Fly Fisherman's Association president Bruce Rich invites fly fishermen of all ages to join in on the group’s fun. "We welcome the general public to join us every second Wednesday of the month," said Rich. "All functions are open to everyone and it is free." On Nov. 13, the group met at Veterans’ Memorial Clubhouse for a session on southern style fly fishing.

Though this meeting seated approximately 50 people, the average attendance is 60 fishermen. "Tonight was kind of a light turnout, but the number of members varies from meeting to meeting. That is to be expected. We encourage young people and women to attend, but that doesn't seem to be the case. The average member is male and of retirement age," Rich said.

Following a social hour and a raffle, member John Springer shared his fly fishing experiences in states such as Georgia, Missouri and North Carolina. Springer prepared a slide show of his fly fishing endeavors. "I have met a lot of great people," said Springer. At Smith Creek, inside Unicoi State Park in Georgia, he learned about a green and pink fly called Y2K. "That is really popular down south. It works on hatchery fish down south, so I would imagine it would work up here," he said.

One hot spot for Springer was Raving Fork on the Cherokee Reservation in Dukes Creek, Georgia. "This place has trophy fish," said Springer. "On the second day that I was there, the river got restocked. There were thousands of fish. When I was done fishing, I got my four seconds of fame. I was asked to be a part of a commercial for the area. That was fun."

One segment of Springer's adventures was at Roaring River, Missouri. "When I went there, I took in the WWI and WWII museums. There was so much to see there," said Springer. "The state campground was unbelievable. The bathrooms were incredible and they even had WiFi available." Springer highly recommended the campground, but warned that the river "was not serious fishing." You are required to buy a permit to fish and you can only keep five fish. The state stocks 500,000 fish each year and releases them in a mile and a half area. The area is very crowded on the weekends, but come Monday morning, the locals go back to work and the river is all but deserted, he said.

On one of Springer's adventures, he hired a fishing guide. The cost was $225 for the day. Matt Champion was the young guide that showed Springer where all the fish were hanging out. In one of the fishing holes, Springer found a very large fish and became so excited that he yelled loudly and pulled the rod far too fast, snapping the line. "Don't worry, I saw everything. It wasn't your fault," said Champion. "When you were ready to set the hook, the fish turned away." Springer jokingly replied, "Kid, I'm three times your age and I'm from New York. I know BS when I hear it. That was all me. I messed up. I know it and you know it. Don't worry, you will still get your tip."

The organization does much more than just meet once a month for friendly conversation and fishing tips. Its members are very active in tasks like cleaning up waterways, teaching fishing techniques, teaching fly making and work on several conservation tasks. "We will be at Cabella's in East Hartford from 7 to 9 p.m. on Jan. 9 and each consecutive Thursday for six weeks. We will be holding a fishing class in March as well," said Rich. "We hope that we will get some young people to join the group and help with conservation issues in future. Maybe we can plant the seed in their minds to become a conservationist when they grow up."

For information on the group and its activities, visit www.ctflyfish.org.

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