NYC Trout Unlimited Meeting

Last night I attended my first NY City Trout Unlimited chapter meeting after receiving an invite from Rob Ceccarini, of Downtown Trout and Orvis fame. The meeting was very well attended, with over 20+ members/guests in the crowd, and had a few great raffles. Duncan Blair, along with other officers of the chapter, started off the meeting by giving a quick overview of upcoming events, initiatives and outings, including the annual spring weekend in the Catskills, a Marcellus Shale gas development update, and a preview of an upcoming conservation project on the Neversink.

Fantastic Guest Speakers:

Photographer and film maker Brent Taylor presented his film “Reel: A Day on the River” which will be airing in March at the International Fly Fishing Festival. This short film takes you through a day on the West Branch of the Delaware River with guides Joe Demalderis , Jim “Coz” Costolnick, and Ryan Furtakand. It is a spectacularly well made tribute to the river and I’m excited to see what Brent and team will come up with next, considering they won a 2013 F3T Filmmaker Grant (congrats!). I’ve included the trailer to Reel below, but you can see the full-length film on The Drake here.

REEL Trailer from The Fly Fishing Film Tour on Vimeo.

Guide and Author Jeff Yates of the Mianus Trout Unlimited chapter and author of the book “Fly Fishing Fairfield County: Secrets of Suburban Streams” (which can be found on his website and at select retail locations), presented a great slide show on fly fishing small streams in Western Connecticut. Jeff encouraged the NYC chapter members to take the short trip out to Connecticut and try out some of the water as several are easily accessible by train from Grand Central and, as he said, folks need to use these natural resources and further provide for their stewardship. Jeff gave a great overview of a few of the rivers in the area, such as the Mianus, the Norwalk and the Saugatuck. All of these very accessible rivers, plus many more, are detailed in his book, which I own and highly recommend. Jeff also recommended that folks take the trip out to the Mianus TU chapter meetings and check out some chapter activities, such as the Norwalk River cleanup on April 27th. Also, Jeff highlighted that you may want to check out his neighboring Nutmeg TU chapter and see what they are up to.

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All in all, it was a great chapter meeting with very impressive presentations from the guest speakers. Plus, NYC chapter meetings are held at the Orvis store in midtown, which is only a few blocks from where I work, so I will definitely be back and hope to get involved with some of the conservation efforts and initiatives this year.

Vise

My wife bought me a Peak rotary vise for Easter last year (score!). The price point of about a buck-fifty is a bargain. It holds hooks firmly, is simple to use, and you can always upgrade to smaller or larger “jaws”, depending upon the size hooks you will be working with (I think they sell a larger salt water claw and a smaller midge). Unfortunately, given the more important demands of our 3 year old and 8 month old children, I don’t have too much time for tying lately. As a result, I tend to keep my tying area immaculate – which is also due to the fact that the only space I have available for a dedicated tying area is in our guest room, which is often frequented by highly allergic family members (note the sealed, plastic storage bins). Also, for the past few nights I have been consistently breaking promises to myself to stay up late and tie a few – I just haven’t had the energy – as I have been tying on a few instead! So not a lot of opportunities to make things messy anyway…

Note, in the pictures below, a few cheap items that I bought from the local craft store (Michael’s) that help keep things organized and clean:

  1. Several plastic storage bins with lids. These came in a package of 3 for about $5 (make sure you buy the clear ones so that you can see inside without having to opening the lid).
  2. A few small “bead” storage bins, which were designed to be used for “beading” crafts, but which I use for storing hooks. These snap shut very tightly and don’t allow for the hooks to move from one cubby to the next. I picked these up for about $2 each.
  3. A large “bead” storage bin, which was also designed to be used for “beading” crafts, but which I use for storing thread spools, over-sized hooks, wire, etc. It has a bunch of different-sized smaller containers within, each with its own lid. This was one of the more expensive items, topping out at about $8.
  4. A white foam craft pad, which was only about $1. The good things about this is 1) the white color provides a good contrast for you to see your fly a little easier; 2) you can see when it gets really dirty; and 3) when that happens, I can just lift it up and dump any waste materials right into the garbage.
  5. A small basket, which I stole from my wife and hold all my tools.

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