Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Reflecting on 2017

A Look Back...

Well, another year is in the books!  2017 was an active year for the New Orleans Fly Fishers Club.  Many members attended our monthly meetings and listened to guest speakers presented on a wide range of topics ranging from fishing techniques, conservation, and local fishing opportunities. The club also hosted fly tying classes twice a month.  Aside from these regular club functions, here are some of the highlights from this year.

Members Approve Youth Membership
This year members voted, and passed, changes to the club's articles of incorporation that allow for those under the age of 18 membership to the club.  This is exciting news, as it will allow for more youth participation within the club!  This change is also a great opportunity for the club to further promote fly fishing within our community, and possibly use this as an opportunity to increase our club membership. 

2017 GCC Expo Participation  

The Club has been active with the Gulf Coast Council Expo since it's early years in Ocean Springs, MS, and this year was no different!  Many of our Club's knowledgeable fly tiers once again participated in the Expo as guest tiers.  These tiers help make the event truly special by sharing their passion with others who are new to the sport, or those who are interested in learning different techniques. 

2017 FFI Gulf Coast Council Education Award

It is because of our member's participation in events like the GCC Expo, City Park Big Bass Rodeo, and making demonstrations at local high schools, that the Club was also awarded the FFI Gulf Coast Council Education Award.  This is awarded to an individual or club has made outstanding contributions to passing along the art of fly fishing to others.  Our members have a broad based knowledge of all things fly fishing, and we are always willing to share that knowledge with others.  Receiving this award is a great honor, and shows our commitment to further promote fly fishing, conservation, and education within our community.

9th Annual Rio Rodeo

2017 also brought about the 9th Annual Rio Rodeo.  Despite there being a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico, attendance was still strong.  Participants were able to land quite a few fish before the rain started falling.  This year's rodeo also drew participants from Texas and Mississippi.  In recent years, the club has used the Rio Rodeo as an opportunity to give back to the community.  All proceeds raised from the 9th Annual Rio Rodeo were donated to Casting for Recovery.  This is an organization whose mission is to enhance the quality of life of women with breast cancer through a unique retreat program that combines breast cancer education and peer support with the therapeutic sport of fly fishing.  The Rio Rodeo continues to be a premier fly fishing tournament.  This upcoming Rio Rodeo will be a truly special event, as we'll be celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the Rio Rodeo!

Iron Fly 2017

For the last 3 years, the New Orleans Fly Fishers have been hosting an annual Iron Fly competition.  The Fly Tying Program Chairman selects the hooks and materials to be used in the competition.  Each pack of materials is assigned a number, to help ensure a truly blind judging of the entries.  Then the competing tiers have 15 minutes to create a fly with the provided materials.  This is a fun contest that not only helps fly tiers refine their skills, but also show off their creativity.  Upon completion of the 15 minutes, the flies are submitted with their respective numbers tagged on the flies.  The judges then rate the flies based on use of material, creativity, and technical skill.  This year's winner was Sean Gilthorpe, who received his trophy from Fly Tying Program Chair and Lifetime Member, Joe Bandera.

I would like to thank the members of the New Orleans Fly Fishers for making this club as great as it is!  You and your efforts with this club truly what makes us special!  I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and has a Happy New Year!  I hope to see you at the next meeting!

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