4CFF 4th Thursday's Zoom Meetings. Guests welcome. Contact us for an invite.
SEE PROGRAM DESCRIPTIONS IN THE SECTION THAT FOLLOWS
Doug Thomas, born in Hillsboro, Oregon, graduated from WSU and worked at Allstate Insurance Company corporate management from 1987-1992 and eventually returned to Washington state and joined Bellingham Cold Storage as Special Projects Manager with multiple promotions that followed, eventually being recognized in 2016 as Business Person of the Year for Whatcom County by Business Pulse Magazine.
He is a respected member of numerous community-based organizations and is the current President of San Juan AREA Sea Life, supporter of the Boys and Girls Club. Doug is on the corporate board of directors for Cascade Natural Gas, a director on the board of the National Fisheries Institute, served the Global Cold Chain Alliance as chairman of the World Food Logistics Organization, and served as chairman of the International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses. Doug was very active serving for over 15 years on the Washington State University Board of Trustees, athletic advisory board and was elected in 2010 to serve on the WSU Board of Governors from which he retired from in September of 2017. Doug and his wife Sandy enjoy boating in the San Juan’s, Cougar athletics, spending time at their vacation home in Scottsdale AZ and visiting their daughter Lauren whenever possible ,occurrence and foraging success.
A Conservation Committee Pick
Douglas Thomas, a second generation executive, CEO, and part owner of Bellingham Cold Storage, the largest portside, full-service public refrigerated warehousing company on the West Coast, will present the proposed development of a salmon hatchery pilot project at a site on Bellingham Bay near the mouth of Whatcom Creek.
The model for this proposal is the Douglas Island Pink & Chum’s (DIPAC) Macaulay Salmon hatchery in Juneau, Alaska. DIPAC started operations in 1976 and today is one of the most successful salmon hatchery programs in the world. The Macaulay facility releases well over 138 million juvenile chum, chinook and Coho salmon, and rainbow trout each year for commercial, sport and subsistence uses. Annual returns range between 2.5-5 million harvestable adult salmon with an estimate value of $6-20 million. For more about the Macaulay facility: Macaulay Hatchery in Alaska.
His presentation will include aspects of the Alaska hatchery that have made the model so successful, why Whatcom Creek was chosen as the site for the hatchery project, how it relates to fisheries co-management between WDFW and the Puget Sound Treaty Tribes, the impact on native stocks, how it will help the southern resident Killer Whales, the stakeholders, the cost, and what the current proposed legislation (Salmon Repopulation Act, Senate Bill 6509 and House Bill 274 includes.
As a club our mission and purpose is working to protect wild fish and the habitat which sustains them and working for the betterment and preservation of angling and surrounding lands. It is in our best interest to gain knowledge and information to better understand the issues, form educated opinions and work towards our common goals. Learn more about this proposed bill and hatchery project.
August has traditionally been a club picnic. But due to Covid restriction and board approval, we will have two events.
1. A zoom presentation regarding the proposed salmon hatchery on Whatcom Creek-a Conservation Committee Find
2. A Casting SKILLS Challenge Event-
The Fly Casting Skills Challenge Program is designed for the experienced beginner caster, as well as intermediate and advanced fly fishers. It is meant to be a fun, voluntary way to study, practice and challenge oneself in a progressive fashion at one’s own pace. It allows participants to measure progress with an option of receiving documentation and recognition for doing so. Each casting challenge at the Bronze, Silver, and Gold game levels is directly applicable to increasingly difficult fishing scenarios and includes these general areas:
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Heather Hudson, Founder of United Women on the Fly, is an expert at making anglers (especially women) feel comfortable and becoming a part of the fly fishing community. Sometimes referred to as the “Middle Woman,” Heather volunteers her energy and time to connect and mentor women to become more confident on the water. Heather has dedicated her time to educate and inspire others. She is currently studying for her Casting Instructor Certification with Fly Fishers International in a study group with club members Frank Koterba and Marion Hiller, and has been teaching Fly Fishing since 2014. She’s also no stranger to being behind the camera. Heather started taking photos as a rodeo photographer with her 35mm. With over some 100 days on the water this year, it’s always a tossup between catching fish or being creative behind the camera. Her passion for conservation, getting anyone involved in fly fishing and enthusiasm to think outside the box is infectious.
Imagine that you had three-four weeks to find fishing holes in northern Idaho and you ask yourself where might you go, well Heather Hudson has a great fishing plan based on her knowledge and experience flies fishing there.
Heather Hodson @northwestflygril
Dr. Rick Williams is a fisheries ecologist and Research Associate in the Department of Biology at The College of Idaho.
Rick Williams is a fisheries ecologist and Research Associate in the Department of Biology at The College of Idaho. His research and consulting activities focus on the conservation of native steelhead, redband, and cutthroat trout in western North America.
Rick has been active in Columbia River salmon recovery issues since 1987. Rick and colleagues published a book on Pacific salmon recovery (Return to the River 2006) that describes the century-long decline of Columbia River salmon and steelhead and proposes a new salmon recovery (Return to the River 2006) approach to their restoration.
Rick is a Life member of Fly Fishers International (FFI) and Trout Unlimited (TU). He serves as the Senior Conservation Advisor for FFI and is a certified Master Casting Instructor (1998) and a Two-Hand (Spey) Casting Instructor (2007). Rick is also active in Scouting, serving as Eagle Advisor in a Boise troop, as the Western Region Conservation Representative, and as a member of the National Hornaday Committee and National Conservation Task Force.
Rick and his family (Shauna, 20-year old Christopher, and a black Labrador) live in Eagle, Idaho. Family interests include hiking, river rafting, and trout fishing in the summer, steelhead fishing and bird hunting in the fall, and skiing and bonefishing in the winter months. shop in Boise, Idaho, where he teaches single- and double-hand fly-casting, and hosts international fly-fishing expeditions.
He has contributed to over 60 publications.
Traditionally, December's meeting is a members and guest Christmas Party. Bellingham Golf and Country Club is hosting dining-in events such as ours beginning in December. The club has reserved December 17th to celebrate our first in-person event since Covid restrictions began.
Save the date: December 17.
A valuable offering of the club is the utilization of renowned professional expert speakers presenting at the monthly club meetings is an opportunity for learning. Each meeting features an in-depth presentation on fishing locations, specific skills-fishing, fly tying, casting- the latest scientific research and findings, work of organizations protecting and restoring fish habitats, knowledge shared by expert guides, fishing adventures, or an element of interest to the general membership. Past speakers have included professional guides, conservation experts, research scientists, conservation organizations, fishing destination planners, and state and non-governmental organizations such as Washington Fish & Wildlife, Trout Unlimited, and Whatcom Land Trusty, Western Rivers Conservancy, Wild Rivers Conservancy, and Wild Steelhead Coalition.
Grace Freeman is a master’s candidate in the Marine and Estuarine Biology Program at Western Washington University. While working on a bachelor’s in biology and environmental studies from St. Olaf College in Minnesota, she spent summers working as a camp counselor and backcountry guide across the western mountain states and in Maine. After graduation, Grace held a variety of field and research tech positions before returning to a role in environmental education and academia. Today, she continues to mentor students as the lab manager for the Marine Mammal Ecology Lab at WWU. Within the work of the lab, Grace’s research focuses on the foraging ecology of harbor seals and their predation on Pacific salmon in Whatcom Creek in Bellingham. She hopes to develop this work into actionable science that can have a positive effect on the co-management of two highly iconic and protected species.
A Conservation Committee PickProgram details: The relatively recent decline in salmon stocks in the Salish Sea have pushed some to search for reasons and call for conservation of the iconic and economically valuable species. One form of this management occurs in the form of culling campaigns. Modern culling campaigns have operated under the assumption that all predators of a given species are equally likely to impact their prey population. Put another way, managers assume that those individuals who visit a site more often will consume a larger proportion of prey items than those who visit less frequently. I examined the hypothesis that visitation rate can explain foraging success and, as such, is an appropriate indicator of the impact of an individual predator. To address this hypothesis, I used a long-term dataset to estimate salmon occurrence, identify individual harbor seals, and describe harbor seal occurrence and foraging success. harbor seals (Phoca vitulina)Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.)
Ryan Smith, brings a background of a degree in biology, and has worked in publishing and conservation along with guiding fly anglers for over a decade. Since he can remember, fly fishing and appreciating the outdoors has been a way of life. Growing up in Oregon and a few years in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming prepared him for our challenging Puget Sound fishing.
Currently, he is the managing owner of The Avid Angler fly shop in Seattle near Kenmore, WA. And on a rare day off, one will find Ryan combing the Puget Sound beaches, chasing steelhead, cutthroat, and searching for the next great piece of holding water. Ryan is also a FFI Certified Casting Instructor, which gives him the knowledge about fishing and casting on our saltwater beaches, about ways to increase casting distance and creating casting power into the wind, so reaching our cruising sea-run quarry is more likely than not. Ryan Smith will present “Fly Fishing on the Puget Sound," for cutthroat and salmon from the beach or in a boat. A Q&A session will follow his presentation.
When most anglers think GT fishing they typically envision Christmas Island or maybe the Seychelles and yet, nestled along the Red Sea exists another phenomenal location, the Nubian Flats off the coast of Sudan. Accessible only by live aboard boat, this destination is untouched by the angling community and you feel it everyday out on the water as fishing brings you that much closer surreal moments between you, water and the natural world! Explore an incredibly remote, unique, and lesser-known flats fishery, wade fish beautiful flats and sight-fish to a variety of exotic species including triggerfish and giant trevally, enjoy staying on a comfortable live-aboard ship anchored in the Red Sea, andExperience true adventure travel through third-world Sudan, Red Sea
Dave McCoy was introduced to fishing by his father, and together experienced and enjoyed life in the outdoors. He quickly discovered the thrill of having a fish on, and was always in awe of those surroundings. Growing up in the Eugene, Oregon area, his stomping grounds were and remain legendary namesakes; Crane Prairie Reservoir and Hosmer Lakes, the Deschutes River, McKenzie and Umpqua Rivers, just to name a few. He has been in the fly fishing industry in one form or another for over 21 years, and is now professionally and relentlessly striving to surpass expectations everywhere, using his expertise and energy among various organizations: Patagonia, Thomas and Thomas, Nautilus, Costa and AMFF Ambassador, Rajeff Sports Pro Staff Member, Keepemwet Fishing Ambassador and Swiftwater Rescue Technician. In addition he possesses an eye as a Photographer. He posts his work on Instagram and Facebook. Dave is also a writer. You can visit Emerald Water website and read the blog he authors about his fishing adventures. Here he highlights of a trip to the Nubian Flats in Sudan and Oman. Dave is also a FFI Certified Casting Instructor. He claims he is nothing in his pursuits without his wife Natalie and daughter Nessa who constantly remind him why he is so inspired, without saying a word.
Be an Archer With Your Cast: How Accuracy Catches You More FishBe it trout, redfish, bonefish or carp, improving your casting accuracy will improve your catch rate. Topics include: understanding loop shape, rod tip path, casting arc, and fly line trajectory. Learn how to point your loop to your target for dead on accuracy. Molly will talk live, share video, and answer questions during the program. The more questions, the better! This will be fun, so I hope you will join in.
Why is casting accuracy important you might ask?"A friend, Chad McCormick, once related an anecdote to me that serves as a perfect illustration of this attitude. Chad was fishing the lower Bighorn with fly shop owner George Anderson a few seasons back, and it was Bighorn fishing at its best: little yellow stoneflies were skittering all over the surface, and the fish were keyed into both hatching insects and returning egg layers. With lots of bugs and lots of rising fish, if the angler put the fly on target, the result was a hookup with another 15 to 20 inch fish.At least that’s how it worked for George and Chad. They noticed another angler fishing the riffle just upstream, making cast after cast, changing flies frequently, conspicuous because he wasn’t catching a thing. All the while, he was forced to watch the anglers below him hook and land and release a considerable pile of fish.Finally, after several more fly changes, this fisherman couldn’t stand it any more. “What are you guys catchin’ ’em on?”, he yelled.George’s unexpected (but painfully honest) comeback: “Accuracy.”1
Molly Semenik was born and raised in Michigan. She fondly recalls the day when, at the age of fourteen, her father presented her with his prized Orvis bamboo rod. When Semenik moved to Utah in 1979, she brought the rod along and spent the next several years fly fishing in western fresh water. She eventually ventured into saltwater angling.A career in fly fishing started with her move to Montana in 2000. By the following year, Semenik accomplished three major goals: 1). become a Federation of Fly Fishers certified fly-casting instructor, 2.) receive her Montana guide license, and 3.) foundTie the Knot Fly Fishing which she did in 2001. Tie the Knot included guided fly fishing on the Yellowstone River and local spring creeks, but now her focus is on fly casting instruction with single and double handed rods, using Zoom technology and in-person instruction, and fly-fishing destination trips for women. Molly specializes in introducing women to the sport in a fun, professional, and encouraging way; she believes that “when a woman can tie her own knot, she has started down the path of independence.”Not willing to simply rely on her earlier accomplishments, Semenik became a Federation of Fly Fishers master fly-casting instructor in 2006, co-founded the Yellowstone Fly Fishing School with Matt Wilhelm in 2006, and two years later became a certified outfitter in the state of Montana. She was elected to the Casting Board of Governors of the Federation of Fly Fishers in 2010, where she and he colleagues developed a Casting Instructor program. She annually teaches over 400 students throughout the United States through school, shops, clubs, and shows. My husband and I now live in Birch Bay, Washington where I not only fish for trout but have added salmon and steelhead and Dungeness crab to the mix.We are privileged to have Molly as a member of the 4th Corner Fly Fishers.
Read the website at MidCurrent about Accuracy:1Oswald, Brant. "Fly Casting: The Importance of Casting Accuracy." Part 1. MidCurrent, January 22, 2014. https://midcurrent.com/techniques/the-importance-of-casting-accuracy/.Part 1: https://midcurrent.com/techniques/the-importance-of-casting-accuracy/Part 2: Mechanics of Accuracy: https://midcurrent.com/techniques/the-mechanics-of-accurate-casting/
James Garrettson asks, " Have you ever gone fishing and felt you didn't have the Tough days on the water?" A Guides Approach to the Water is a deep dive into the daily decisions a full time guide makes to insure clients have a great day on the water. Thinking "trout first" and understanding correlations between trout behavior and river conditions are the foundations of a successful day on the water. Many anglers get pigeonholed into thinking "fly first", when they should fish with their mind before tying on the fly or choosing a rig. A Guides Approach to the Water covers trout biology, understanding river conditions and a meat and potatoes approach to insect life. It is not the fly but the understanding of the trout and their environment that makes for successful days on the water. James Garrettson is a full time guide based out of Northern New Mexico. He was quickly consumed by fly fishing after receiving a copy of the Curtis Creek Manifesto at age 10. At 14 years old, James' passion for fly fishing landed him a job at Orvis Tysons Corner, store #55 (making him the youngest employee in the company). After cutting his teeth on brookies in Shenandoah National Park and striped bass in the Long Island sound, James expanded his boundaries to chase fish around the East Coast, The Pacific NorthWest, Costa Rica, Bosnia, and the Rockies. James currently guides on the San Juan, Chama, and Conejos rivers. James is an Echo Pro Team member and an Ambassador for Fulling Mill.Visit the website at www.abouttrout.com. Check out the video presentations, blogs, and more to find out the wealth of knowledge James has to share. We are in for a treat.
Skip Morris is among the most prolific fly-fishing and fly-tying authors alive—his name is known to anglers around the world as a noted fly fishing author and speaker. Over the many years that Skip Morris has fished and written about fly fishing he's uncovered many nuggets of information that have helped him and others to catch more fish. Whether it's trout, bass or panfish Skip has something to share that will improve your odds. Listen to this podcast and up your game!Fly Fishing Tips for Trout, Bass and PanfishHe has written twenty-one books on fly fishing and tying, including the established standard beginning fly tier’s volume Fly Tying Made Clear and Simple, and The Art of Tying the Bass Fly, Morris & Chan on Fly Fishing Trout Lakes (with lake-fishing guru Brian Chan), Concise Handbook of Fly Tying, and Fly Fisher’s Guide to Western River Hatches. His videos and DVD’s range from instruction for tying nymphs, to tying bass flies, to tying and fishing flies for sea-run cutthroat trout.Skip has published over 300 articles on fly fishing and tying in magazines from Fly Fisherman to American Angler. For three years he was among the hosts of the “Fly-Fish Television Magazine” show.As a speaker and clinician, Skip is well-known as an entertaining, concise, and knowledgeable presenter, with a sly sense of humor and an easygoing manner that draws in the audience. As our presenter for February, Skip will do a fly tying demonstration for us during his zoom presentation.He lives with his wife, Carol, amid the rivers and lakes and saltwater beaches of Washington State's wild and magnificent Olympic Peninsula.You may have heard him as a presenter at the a recent Lynnwood Fly Fishing Show.Find out more about Skip Morris:http://www.skip-morris-fly-tying.com
Over the years Gary Bulla has explored unique and pristine fly fishing waters and shares his fishing adventures. These include fly fishing the California surf, kayak fly fishing expeditions to the islands of Southern Baja, mothership trips to Belize for tarpon and bonefish, and guiding anglers with his trained family of captains on the Sea of Cortez in Baja Sur, Mexico.In the last four years he has also hosted trips to Amazonia. His zoom presentation “Angling the Amazon'' will take us through the capital city of Manaus in central Brazil and onto a mother- ship traveling the waters of the largest river system on the planet. He will cover two tributaries of the central Amazon which he visited on separate expeditions, the Rio Negro and the Uyetama Reserve. His first trip was exploratory on an old wooden mothership. Through intense experimentation he and Michael Williams of Nomadic Waters helped train the native guides on fly fishing strategies that led them to become believers in the power of the fly in the jungle waters.Gary will share his discoveries, including a brief geological history of the area, the warmth of the native Amazonians, the stunning biodiversity of the diverse habitats in the jungle’s ecosystems, the rhythm and camaraderie of life on a mothership, and the tackle and techniques for wrestling the dazzling variety of fish in the vast Amazon forest. As you will discover, Brazil should definitely be on every fly fisher’s bucket list. Please join Gary for a colorful trip through a very biodiverse and mysterious part of the world.Gary will share his discoveries with the club, including tackle and techniques for the dazzling variety of fish south of the border. As you will see, Baja should definitely be on every fly fisher’s bucket list.
Contact Gary about his guided trips to Baja, the Amazon, and beyond at https://garybulla.com
The term 'fair weather fisherman' exists for a reason. Few but the hardiest of souls want to venture out when the weather is nasty and the likelihood of getting cold and wet far surpasses the possibility of catching a fish. For those plagued by cabin fever the need to stay continuously connected to their passion, staying home is not an option and there are numerous fishing opportunities and fishing related activities to get you through the winter doldrums. His program will be in two parts.Scott Willison, 4CFF member and owner of the Confluence Fly Shop will first work you through some of the better local winter fly fishing opportunities from whitefish on the Nooksack River to rainbow trout at Lone Lake and beyond. Most of the opportunities are fairly close to home at primed for spending a few hours on the water during the warmer part of the day. The second part of the presentation will discuss planning, prepping and organizing during the off season. Scott's ultimate goal is to be able to grab a bag and go for whatever fishing opportunity rears its head. He'll walk you through some of his strategies for keeping 35 year's-worth of gear semi-orderly ready to fish as well as how to set yourself up for success throughout the spring, summer and fall seasons.