Chapter Meetings

The Deerfield River Watershed TU Chapter 349

Note: Due to Covid our meetings are either outside or virtual until further notice.  Meetings are usually on the third Thursday of each month at the Eagles Club in the upstairs reception room. The address is 52 State St. Shelburne Falls, MA 01370. Fly tying begins at 5:30. The chapter meeting begins at 6:30 PM.  Guest speakers follow the meeting (Usually 7:30).

Next Meeting

September 19, 2020 On the river meeting at Pelham Brook – a brief meeting will be followed by Rock Rolling.  The confluence of Pelham Brook  with the Deerfield suffered extensive damage in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene.  Last year volunteers from our chapter opened a channel to provide thermal refuge for trout only to have the work undone by a strong storm within a few weeks.  The permit has been extended so that we can redo the project.  Afterwards a few of us will proceed to Avery Brook to breach a small weir.

Upcoming Meetings

October 29, 2020 Virtual Meeting over Zoom; Guest Speaker Tim Flagler will address an exciting trend in fly fishing for trout – Trout Spey.  

Past Meetings

February 22, 2020 Annual Meeting at Champney’s – Deerfield Inn – Guest Speaker Ted Castro-Santos will talk about the ongoing Trout Telemetry Study on the Deerfield.

December 19, 2019 Nominations and Election for the Board of Directors; Guest Speaker:   DRWTU President Ex Officio Kevin Parsons spoke and presented slides about destination fly fishing.

October 17,2019 Guest Speaker: Ted Castro-Santos gave a fascinating presentation On the Impact of Dams on Anadromous Fish.

September 19, 2019 Guest Speaker:   Allison Roy Topic: Restoring Coldwater Taxa Through Dam Removal Dr. Roy is Unit Leader of Fisheries for the U.S. Geological Survey’s Massachusetts Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit.  She is also Research Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental Conservation at the University of Massachusetts Amherst where she supervises student-led research projects and teaches classes in Research Concepts and Aquatic Ecology. Her research broadly revolves around characterizing anthropogenic impacts on aquatic ecosystems and identifying conservation strategies for effectively protecting and restoring watersheds. Her current research includes: effects of winter drawdowns on lakes and downstream ecosystems, propagating endangered freshwater mussels for restoration, factors influencing juvenile river herring production and emigration, and effects of dam removal on stream ecosystems (which she spoke about at the DRWTU meeting).

June 20, 2019 Fly Casting Rendezvous – Jim Dowd Certified fly Casting Instructor  with Fly Fishers International  instructed participants to improve their casting and offered challenges to test abilities – open to the public.

June 1&2, 2019 Jim Gariepy Memorial Fly Fishing Tournament and Single Fly Event; MA/RI Council Caddis Fly Weekend

May 16, 2019 Guest Speaker:  Steven Mattocks Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife Biologist Steven Mattocks will highlight the region’s history of dams and how they have impacted diadromous fish populations in New England. Mattocks will focus on the history of dams in New England and their impacts on sportfish and recreational fishing, such as American Shad in the Connecticut River.  In addition, Theodore Castro-Santos, a research ecologist at the USGS Silvio Conte Anadromous Fish Research Facility in Turners Falls, will give a brief demonstration of the radio telemetry equipment chapter members and volunteers will be using this fall to track the movements of wild trout throughout the upper Deerfield

April 18, 2019 Guest Speaker:  Knot Experts among our members  In lieu of a speaker for April we held a knot tying workshop.

March 21, 2019 Guest Speaker:  Bob Gancarz  Bob gave a fantastic presentation called Big Trout Eat Tiny Flies.

January 17, 2019 Guest Speaker: Michael Hayden USGS Silvio Conte Lab talked about how fisheries biologist use scales and otolith to determine the age of fish. He also discussed how age effects Young of Year Brook Trout populations.

December 20, 2018 Guest Speaker: Ken Sprankle Project Leader for the Connecticut River Fisheries Office talked about migratory fish management, restoration, and assessment in the Connecticut River Basin.

November 15, 2018 Guest Speaker: Eric Halloran, local guide and DRWTU Secretary, addressed the topic Swinging Wet Flies for Salmon and Trout.

October 18, 2018 Guest Speaker: Leutenant Cameron Davis, MA Environmental Police spoke about deterring fish poaching on the Deerfield River.

September 27, 2018  Neal Hagstrom, Senior Fisheries Biologist for the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection discussed the Farmington River’s Survivor Strain Brown Trout Program.

June 21, 2018 Casting Rendezvous: Jim Dowd, Certified Casting Instructor IFF

May 17, 2018 Guest Speaker: Walt Geryk, The Spey Doctor, talked about fly casting and fly fishing strategies including single hand switch and spey; rod weights; lines heads and tips; as well as flies and presentation.

April 19, 2018 Guest Speaker: Andrew MaddenWestern Director of MA Division of Fisheries and Wildlife will discuss Deerfield Watershed related projects and other priorities for MA F&W. Come join us and give him a warm welcome!  We will also be discussing results from the Trout Spawning Study.

March 15, 2018 The scheduled appearance of guest speaker Leutenant Cameron Davis of the Massachusetts Environmental Police had to be postponed due to illness.  The meeting centered around FERC Relicensing of the Fife Brook Dam Project.

January 18, 2018 Guest speaker: Dr. Ben Letcher, US Geological Survey S.O. Conte Anadromous Fish Research Center and Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental Conservation UMass-Amherst.

Click here to read more about Dr. Letcher’s presentation…

December 21, 2017 Mike Cole talked about ground-breaking results from phase 1 of the DRWTU spawning survey.  Volunteers from the chapter played an essential role in the identification of 101 redds, of which more than a third had viable eggs.

November 16, 2017 Guest Speakers: Andy and Sascha Clark Danylchuk discussed the Science of Catch and Release. Andy Danylchuck is associate professor of Fish Conservation at UMASS. Sascha Clark Danylchuk is the science liaison for the Keep ‘em Wet campaign. Their presentation was about the do’s and don’ts for safe handling and release of fish.

May 18, 2017 Guest Speaker: Erin Rodgers PhD, Western New England Project Coordinator for Trout Unlimited, will be talking about upcoming projects for this Spring and Summer. Michael Vito, TU Chapter 349 board member will speak briefly about the current anti-poaching bill, which the Chapter is endorsing. He will provide a history and synopsis, and then use that as an example to illustrate the legislative process.

  • Jun 15, 2017 Instructor: Jim Dowd, certified casting instructor for Fly Fishers International, will provide hands-on streamside casting instruction.
  • Jul (Gone Fishin)
  • Aug (Gone Fishin)
  • Sep 21, 2017
  • Oct 19, 2017
  • Feb 11, 2017 ( Sat – Annual Meeting)
  • Mar 16, 2017   Guest Speaker:  Environmental Police Lt. Cameron Davis will be the guest speaker at our March meeting. Environmental Police Officers serving in the inland regions are responsible for enforcing a wide variety of laws and regulations including the statutes regarding hunting, fishing, trapping, boating, and off-highway vehicles. Inland officers also investigate cases of illegal waste disposal, wetlands violations, and assist in search and rescue efforts. Officers patrol in cruisers, four-wheel-drive vehicles, boats, off-road vehicles, on foot, and in aircraft when necessary. Inland officers pay particular attention to state forests, parks, wildlife management areas, boat access sites and heavily-used public waterways such as major rivers and great ponds. He will talk about Environmental Police operations and how TU members and outdoor enthusiasts can help report fish & game scofflaws, as well as other incidents that might be harmful to our natural resources.    
  • Apr 20, 2017    Guest Speaker:   Andrew Madden is the District Supervisor for the Massachusetts Department of Fisheries & Wildlife Western Regional Office. Located in Dalton, Madden has charge of all Fish & Wildlife operations and programs that includes most of the Deerfield River Valley. Madden is an excellent source for local information on  a number of wildlife topics, fish stocking  and pheasant stocking locations, as well as wildlife viewing areas located throughout the region.