Wow! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone and all you hold dear. I hope you got all those fly fishing, fly-tying, casting, wading and outdoorsy things you wanted for the holiday.
I first want to thank each and every one of you for your extraordinary support and participation in Santa Cruz Fly Fishing. I’m sure our founders, way back in 1977, would never have envisioned the fullness of our mission – “To Promote, Educate and Enjoy the sport of Fly-Fishing”. It might surprise you that many of our original founders are still members of this club. Yes, over 45 years. So if you’re new – think of the possibilities!!
As I begin my 5th year as President, this is unprecedented to say the least. But we’ve been dealing a lot with that word these last couple of years. When I first joined the club in 1992, I was a young enthusiastic, infected person. I had the bug badly. I’d take my fly-rod to work with me and practice casting in the park near my work more than a few days a week. I was tying the ugliest most unproportioned flies, but they were catching some fish, and I was getting better. All of this long before the internet, YouTube, cell phones, … Crazy to think of that. When I was Conservation Chair from 93-96, I typed letters and faxed them to hundreds of people, as I began my stead to change the mindset of in our anadromous fisheries because, even as fly-anglers, we were all still hurting too many fish and we needed to show the world that the anglers were going to be the people who saved the Coho and Steelhead. (Side note: – Keep your fish wet! In the water. With today’s cameras and our insatiable desire to get good photos of fish, it is clear that we are all keeping fish out of the water way too long – for that photo or video clip of a lifetime which is likely the next reason fish mortality could be on the rise. True! Keep the fish in the water.)
In ’96 I accepted my first run at being President and loved it. I suppose this is because, like today, I wasn’t alone. I had the most awesome support from the membership and most importantly, the board, who today, also do more to support these efforts than I could ever imagine.
When I was President the first time, I took on the mantra that every idea was a good idea. While we might not take on everyone of them, considering every idea gave birth to even more ideas that we put to work. It let you share your own thoughts and wishes and enabled us to take that which you felt as a good thing, mold it, refine it, give you ownership and make it happen. Like recently when Steve and Kevin did that pre-Christmas camping trip at New Brighton. Turns out that was a blast and will be something we do again – and might be something we can do in combination with a surfperch fish-out in the Spring or Summer! Or some of us who are looking for someone to resurrect the Pack Fish-out – where you get on a horse for a few hours, ride to remote mountain lakes and/or streams, stay a few days and pack out later.
I wasn’t always a member. After those first 12 years, my children, my job and building my home took over. Emily was competing all over the world and Tommy liked bikes, so we started riding together and I started racing. Yep – went from fly-fishing president to mountain bike racer. Then Tommy started racing and I was helping coach the team – which in mountain bike racing, means you ride as hard, or harder than these teenagers. Some of you remember when Tommy and Emily were tiny little tots running around the Grange during club meetings!!
All too soon, Emily was on her own and Tommy was now focusing on cars. Mona would always ask me if I’d heard from anyone at the “fly club”, or if I was going to a meeting. I’d always say that was a good idea, or that I was bummed because I just missed the meeting. I would still get Christmas cards from John and Elaine, John and Pat, and Kathy Powers – every year. Those tugged at my heart strings. Oh – I was still fly fishing every year – still going to Kennedy Meadows, but my mountain bike took me on the San Lorenzo trails more than my fly-rod did.
Finally, that September 2017 meeting came around and all the stars aligned. I was back.
I could not be more grateful for all of you. Many of you know exactly who you are and how we pulled together so much fun around fly-fishing, teaching, conservation, and more. Some of you have just joined and haven’t yet experienced the activities we do in the community and with other agencies such as the Coastal Watershed Council, Monterey Bay Salmon & Trout Project, the Kids Day at the Fair Grounds, our Public Day at Quail Hollow Ranch; Confab, fun with the Patagonia Store… Hang in there. We’ll be back to doing all of this and you’re not going to believe how much fun and how rewarding it is to share what you love with someone else.
As things get back to normal, and they will, our club meetings will be even more special, and we’ll still be able to engage those around the world – yes – really? Yes, Santa Cruz Fly Fishing club members who live in other places in our world, but support the work we do to – what? “Promote, Educate and Enjoy the Sport of Fly-Fishing”.
Our January meeting will be taking place at the Santa Cruz Sherriff’s Posse Hall on Ocean Street Extension the 5th of this month. It is our annual club slide show, where your photos are the show for this month. We will be having a Barbeque, with snacks and beverages, a super nice raffle, AND a swap meet. Many of us will be there early, so if you want to help in any way, please reach out to Kevin Murdock or myself between now and the end of this week!! Please RSVP through the form in the meeting article or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Happy New Year Santa Cruz Fly Fishing Club!!
Posted on December 27th, 2021