Happy New Year! I hope all of you had a beautiful Christmas with family and friends, AND there was something “fly-fishing” under the tree. I love this time of year as some of my most favorite gear came either on my birthday or Christmas. It’s also when I have a little extra time to get up in the morning, grab my coffee and binge watch Steelhead videos, swingin flies with a two-handed rod these days.
I’m looking forward to seeing all of you at the January meeting at the Grange. You can arrive as early as 6:ish – if you want to hang out, help set up or get some last minute raffle tickets.
We have something new we’re going to be doing. Instead of one speaker, we are going to have five club members who will be telling us their story of their favorite fly-fishing experience; sharing with us how you can do the same. And plenty of time for questions, bring your notebooks for new places to go.
For many of you, the Annual Dinner has been one of the most fun experiences we’ve had together these last 45 years. This will be a lot of fun. If you haven’t ever been to one, don’t miss it. In fact, do what most of us will be doing, sign up to help, show up at 9 ish to have coffee and pastries with us, help set up, and then either stay, or come back for the fun and festivities.
Please make sure to buy your tickets On-Line, or at the January and February meetings. It will be an early event – 1:00 to 5:30 with food being available between 1-3. Installation of Board members, the John Steele Award, a few more “awards”, followed by the raffle.
Fly-Tying / Casting / Instagram and Fishouts
Keep a watchful eye on the Newsletter, website and the club email for all of the resources your membership comes with. The fly-tying classes are growing and you can watch for additional fly-tying opportunities as we organize some more or less informal fly-tying get togethers.
Weather permitting we’ll be having a casting class on the 28th – and maybe we can actually do that casting down by the boardwalk on the San Lorenzo. Stay tuned.
Jerry and company have been doing a great job growing SCFF coolness with the Instagram page that also publishes to the Newsletter. If you have any photos you’d like to share, get them to Jerry and you’ll soon see them on Instagram and our Website.
Super grateful for all the new help we have but we still need more – Facilities, Vice President, and more. If you’re interested in playing a greater role within the club, do seek out your committee chairs, me or anyone else – we’d love to have you. Thank you, Justin Ice, for recently jumping on board for Fish-Outs. There are going to be some fun new places to go together in 2023.
It’s Been a Treat
At this writing, we’re waiting or another portion of rain to fill the San Lorenzo and all her sister rivers in Central California so we can do a little steelhead fishing afterward. It is also my last President’s Message. I’m not the only one who has been leading the club for the last 5 years. So, while being President for five years was unprecedented, I was not alone in that work. I am beyond grateful for the rest of the Board and Committee chairs who also did not abandon the club when Covid forced us to do things considerably different. While we’re still working out a few bugs in some of the changes we made to keep our combined efforts going, these changes were really fantastic. Other clubs suffered, so we put together a President’s meeting every month to share ideas with the other NCFFI clubs so we could all survive and thrive. I could not have done this without the sincere and committed efforts of the Board. I would be writing a twenty-five-page book here, simply to cover my gratitude to everyone who helped SCFF over these last five years. I could also not have done this without the kind support of you, our member ship.
I will continue to teach the casting class and stay on the board, because I just love seeing where this club is growing and what a terrific resource it is for you, our members – our family. Today, thirty five dollars a year ($60 for a family – of which I’ve paid all these years), isn’t much considering the value of the friendships, family, fun, laughter, and more that comes with this club. You can’t get that with a magazine subscription, or a membership at any other organization you might belong to.
When I first joined the club in 1992, I was a 30-year-old kid. Elaine still calls me kid. Back then, I jumped in and served as Conservation Chair, President, and Program Chair. It was the most fun I’ve had doing anything. We made a difference. I left for a few years to raise my children, build a home, and do a little bike racing. But you know nearly every month, Mona would always ask me who I heard from at the club, was there a meeting, … When 2017 came around and the kids were now doing a lot on their own, the house was done and things were in a rhythm, I jumped right back and have enjoyed every bit of it.
Thank you all for being so kind to me, encouraging and downright uplifting. I dare say any President of any country couldn’t wish for a better approval rating.
I’m excited about the next generation that is coming to the club. That was the goal from the beginning – to take Santa Cruz Fly Fishing into the 21st Century and build it for the next forty years. Your board is going to continue improving. I am very excited at what Scott Kitayama has in store and I’ll be there to help or stay out of the way. I plan to fish a bit more, too.
Thank you. Thank you. I would never have done this without your encouragement, your love for fly-fishing, the environment and all that lives and breaths in the outdoors we want to be so great again.
Happy New Year! Tom
Posted on December 27th, 2022