DRWTU member Jim Dowd donated a raft to MA Division of Fish and Wildlife. The raft was modified and enhanced through donations by other TU chapters and the MA/RI council of TU to be used for surveying fish on rivers including the Deerfield. Read about it in the attached article here:
What follows are President Kevin Parsons’s comments about the award:
That is right. Our Chapter has been selected by TU National to receive the 2018 Golden Trout award. This prestigious award is awarded annually to the Chapter which has “taken innovative and thoughtful approaches to build and expand community and advance TU’s conservation mission”. Of the 420 Chapters, DRWTU is being recognized by TU as its top Chapter for 2018.
It was only 8 years ago when we started our Chapter. Jeremy McGeorge called me and said we needed to get the Deerfield Chapter up and going as it had been defunct for a number of years. I agreed. We started the process of forming our Chapter in October, 2008. The rest is history.
At first we had no idea what we were doing. Most of us never were part of a TU Chapter. Some like me joined TU for this purpose. Then in a few months we were dealing with Hurricane Irene devestation to our watershed. We started with a small group of volunteers doing river cleanup on the North, restoration projects on the Chickley and South, and otherwise found our way figuring out what a TU Chapter was about. A couple years later we began dealing with a FERC relicensing process with no experience or knowledge of what this meant. From the start we recognized the importance of having relationships with other similarly minded conservation organizations, other Chapters, TU MA/RI Council, and State and Federal Agencies, and legislators. We knew early on with limited resources and small membership that to be effective we had to foster working relationships and partnerships with others who shared in our mission to make our watershed better.
Undoubtedly our spawning study has made a dramatic difference. This project was typical of who we are. We knew we had to prove spawning in the main stem. Despite beliefs to the contrary, and FERC repeated denials of MF&W and our requests for spawning studies, we decided we would just do it. And we had no idea how to do it or pay for it! In a couple months we figured it out, got out on the water….and then…wow. Now things are happening.
Our watershed is better as a result of all this rewarding hard work. To now be recognized by TU National is humbling and exciting at the same time. From a bunch of folks who got together just 8 years ago with hardly any idea of what it meant to be a TU Chapter, we have done well. And it is our members that have made the difference. We roll up our sleeves, figure it out, ask for help from others, and we just get it done. Yankee ingenuity and work ethic perhaps.
VP Mike Vito and I will be going to the TU Annual meeting in Redding, California on September 21 to receive this award. We are very excited to be appearing on behalf of our little Chapter that is making a huge difference.
The Jim Gariepy Memorial Fly Fishing Tournament was a big success. Held over the weekend of June 2 & 3, 2018, we had 23 participants. The weather was beautiful – almost to good for the fishing. Everyone had a great time with great food and pleasant company.
The first place overall champ was young Jacob Gilbert, who also took first in the Junior Single Fly category. In the Competitive Angling event, Eddie Esposito took the honors with Nikos Marmaras in second place. The Senior Single Fly medal was awarded to Richard Quinn, who accomplished this feat at the ripe age of 79.
Co-Coordinator Horace Taft Ferguson cooked breakfast on the opening day of the tournament, and that was a big hit.
Volunteers who generously devoted many hours to the event included:
- Randy Prostak
- William Obear
- Tomas Black
- Sheila Kelliher
- Dan Sachs
- Jason Hooper
- Kevin Kaminski
- Sean Bresnihan
Thanks to sponsors who donated prizes for the raffle:
- OverWatch Outpost
- Swift River Fly Fishing (Rick Tofier)
- The Deerfield Fly Shop
- Berkshire Brewing Company (Sheila Kelliher)
- Pheasant Tail Tours (Brian Lynch)
- Walt Geryk, The Spey Doctor
- Fish Tale Fabricators (Eric Halloran)
- Costa Sunglasses
Thanks to Margie Carlson and the other members of Pepe’s family for being there and special thanks to Margie for for helping with the raffle.
And, of course, thanks to Jim ‘Pepe’ Gariepy for leading our chapter, organizing this event in the past, and inspiring many of us to live life passionately and fully.
This year, the TU Chapter voted to change the name of the Single Fly event to honor former president Jim ‘Pepe’ Gariepy who passed away in December. Jim was a powerful force in our chapter and he took responsibility to organize the Single Fly event over the past four years. Last year he was part of the winning team.
This year the event will be held on June 2 and 3 to coincide with free fishing weekend (no license required) in Massachusetts. Even if you do not consider yourself a ‘competitive’ fly fisher, you should consider entering the event for several reasons:
- The single fly aspect of the event removes the ever present impulse to change flies. The impulse can be channeled into trying new ways to present your fly and exploring new locations on the Deerfield. Your fly fishing skills will be challenged to improve if you actively participate in this event.
- Guaranteed low flows on the Deerfield (weather permitting).
- Comraderie: There will be an opening breakfast Saturday and a closing cookout Sunday where you can share your love of fly fishing with like-minded individuals from all over.
- Raffle Prizes: we have already received pledges of rods, reels and other equipment and services from the Swift River Fly Fishing, Deerfield Fly Shop, Overwatch Outpost, Fish Tale Fabricators and more to come. Everyone who enters the tournament gets one raffle ticket as part of their entry fee.
If you do consider yourself a ‘competitive’ fly fisher, the chapter is putting together a parallel competition on Sunday. As part of the effort to honor Jim Gariepy, the chapter is integrating a new format for a more formal ‘tournament’ for the four top contenders in Saturday’s portion of the Single Fly. These four will compete in two sessions on ‘beats’ on Sunday, while all other participants continue with the Single Fly. Watch this space for more information about this exciting development.
Single Fly rules (for all participants Saturday and most participants Sunday)
- Catch and release with barbless hooks and safe handling practices for caught fish.
- Participants are limited to three exact copies of one fly for Saturday and three exact copies of one different fly for Sunday.
- Participants follow the honor system for scoring fish – tape measures will be supplied. Your team mate will be asked to confirm your tally.
- Tournament hours to be announced.
- Single barbless hook, no chemical scents.
- Follow all MA fishing regulations.
- Fishing from watercraft prohibited.
This is a fun event and many other fisher folk will be out for the weekend. Please be respectful of others by maintaining reasonable space (30-50 feet) between anglers and practicing proper etiquette on the river.
7:00 AM Set-up; Pre-Registered Participants may obtain tournament materials
8:00 AM Single Fly Saturday Officially begins
8:00 – 9:00 AM Breakfast
8:00 – 11:00 AM Registration open
9:00 AM Spey Day (Also at the Zoar Picnic Grounds) begins
9:00 PM Single Fly Saturday Officially Ends
9:00 – 10:00 PM Submit tallies for the day to enter Competitive Event
5:00 AM Single Fly Sunday begins
8:00 AM Four Anglers meet at Shunpike to prepare for Competitive Event
8:30 – 11:30 AM Competitive Anglers’ Session 1 at four beats
11:30 – 1:00 PM Competitive Anglers break for lunch
1:00 – 4:00 PM Competitive Anglers’s Session 2 at four beats
4:30 PM Single Fly Sunday Officially ends
5:00 Closing Cookout at Zoar Picnic Grounds
5:15 PM Deadline for submission of Single Fly Tally Sheets (at Zoar Picnic Grounds)
5:45 PM Awards and Honorable Mentions; Raffle
6:00 PM Closing and clean-up
TU Members: $25.00
Special for Non-Members One Year TU Membership: $17.50 (Entry & Membership $42.50)
DRWTU will be hosting an event called Flies, Pies, and Lies on Saturday, February 10, 2018 from10AM to 4PM at the Shelburne Falls Eagles Club, 52 State Street; Shelburne Falls.
Join us for fly tying, friendship and storytelling (truthful, of course).
The admission price of $20.00 includes lunch (pizza pie) and entry into a raffle for a door prize. Cash bar is available.
Although not required, please consider donating your creations to the club for future fund-raising efforts.
For more information contact Sean Bresnahan at 413-374-8824 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Deerfield River Single Fly Tournament will be held June 3 & 4, 2017. $35.00 includes entry fee, raffle, and Sunday evening cookout! All proceeds benefit the Chapter’s ongoing conservation efforts. Register on the day of the event from 6:30 AM till Noon at the Zoar Picnic Ground or pre-register at the Deerfield Fly Shop or Overwatch Outpost.
You must be twelve years or older to enter. Anyone under 18 years of age must have an adult partner or adult supervisor present. The weekend coincides with Massachusetts Free Fishing Weekend, so no license is required. Participants must have basic fly fishing, wading, and river decorum skills. You are responsible for your own safety and must complete and return the enclosed liability waiver to participate.
This is a fly fishing only event. Each entrant must choose three flies of one specific pattern and hook size to be used throughout the tournament. Your three flies are the only flies that can be used during the event. No glow bugs, egg imitations, silicone, rubber-bodied, or scented flies are allowed.
Leaders must be at least 6 feet long. Split shot, applied non-lead or tungsten products may be used. Sinking lines, sinking leaders, sinking tippets, and weighted flies are acceptable.
The entry fee is $35. Participants 15 years old and younger are free. This is a fundraiser for our chapter. All proceeds go towards supporting our ongoing conservation efforts. You may pre-register at the Deerfield Fly Shop or Overwatch Outpost in Charlemont. You may register in person at Zoar Picnic grounds Saturday or Sunday morning. You must sign in to participate as your package will contain items essential to your participation in the event. All entrants must fill out and sign a liability waiver. If your waiver is not on hand with the director you are not entered in the event.
You can fish Saturday from 7 am to 9 pm and Sunday from 5:30 am to 5 pm. Your recorded fishing log must be returned to Zoar picnic ground by 6 pm on Sunday. Awards and prizes will be awarded at 7pm.
You can pair up with anyone you wish. Entrants under 18 years of age must have an adult partner. If you do not have a partner you may enter into the singles pool.
This event is run on the Honors system.
Our chapter wants this to be a relaxing weekend of fishing. Our emphasis is on camaraderie rather than competition. We hope you take the time to visit the other organizations at Zoar over the weekend and get to know others in our community.
The competition is limited to the Deerfield River from Fife Brook dam to the Connecticut River. Keep in mind that areas outside of the catch and release areas are also often very productive.
Local members will be available to help participants unfamiliar with the area with your choice of fly selection and locations to fish.
Catch and release only – be nice to the fish.
On Saturday, June 3, Walt Geryk will host Spey Day at the Zoar Picnic Ground to benefit Reel Recovery. Watch this space for updates and more detail on these exciting events.
On May 13, 2017, the Conway Sportsman’s club will host their annual fishing derby for youth ages 14 and under at Carlton Robert’s Pond at 40 Bray Road in Buckland. The club is asking our members to support a fly fishing instructional component immediately following the derby. They are Looking for volunteers to teach basic fly fishing technique or to provide trout flies. The introduction to fly fishing is scheduled for 11:00 AM, following the actual derby which runs from 9:00 – 11:00. This would be a great way to engage area youth in fly fishing. If interested, please call or email Don Siegel or Bruce Van Iderstine. Don is at (413) 369-4077 email@example.com and Bruce is at (413) 625-9246.
Click the following link for more information: Conway Sportsman’s Youth Fishing Derby