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News of the HAFFT
Our meetings for 2013 are well under way- let’s all get out to the last 6 meetings that we have until summer is upon us. On Monday March 25 Sheldon Seale will make a return trip to the club to tie Usual Fly variations. Sheldon calls this display "All the Usual Suspects" and it is truly an extraordinary display of the variety and usefullness of one pattern.. Sheldon is both an excellent tyer and racconteur so it should be a great night. After that we will have a tying bee on April 8 so we can bring out our snowshoe rabbit feet and practice Sheldon's flies.. Rick Crawford has offered to do a hook-sharpening demo that night as well.
Our next speaker will be on April 15 with Larry McGratton of Grand River Troutfitters, and President of Friends of the Grand River, who will present on ‘River Bass Fishing’. All the rest of the meetings, including a visit from Ian Colin James, are posted here under Meeting Dates and Agenda. The evening with Ian James will likely be the biggest turnout of the evening. Ian will be talking about "Warm Water Species and the Flys that Get Them!"
The majority of the outings for the next few months are posted on the Upcoming Activities pages. Our next trip is to Primrose Trout Farm on Saturday April 25 to do some fine pond fishing and get ready for the coming year.
Our new Treasurer is Karl Peter- thanks Karl!. Thanks also to Andre Ferron for years as a great treasurer and for the great job he did filling in. Our Membership Coordinator is Bill Judd while the Programs Coordinator is Tom McDermott – thanks Tom and Bill for stepping up.Many thanks as well to George Genyk and Rick Crawford for interim fill in.
n November 5 we had Sheldon Seale presenting on ‘Knots & Leaders for Special Situations’ after that on November 26 we will have Rob Clarke on steelhead flies for Ontario. On Dec 3 Steve May presented on Montana flyfishing which just made the winter seem even longer. All of the meetings are posted under Meeting Dates & Agenda. You can also go in and look at all the great speakers and tyers we have had over the last few years.
Make sure you bring your membership fees when you come to your first meeting. Membership fee they are unchanged for many, many years- what a bargain! If you have never been out to one of meetings it is on the house and we are glad to see you whether you want to be a member or not.
Elliot Deighton visited on Monday the 22nd of October 2012. Elliot said he was a semi-professional tyer which may be true but he is certainly a professional tying innovator. Thanks for coming out Elliot!
Our meeting on October 15th featured Rob Clarke of Clarke's Custom Flies. Rob is a club favourite a fine guide, tyer and racconteur. We had a great turnout and I understand that we have already increased our membership numbers over last year plus we had 4 new members.
If you click on the HAFFT Clothing and Gear link is working so if you want any club gear just click through and make your order.
A full roster of speakers for 2013 will be posted as soon as we are sure but if you know the HAFFT you know it is always good!
The last meeting of the winter of 2012 was Monday, May 14 and we had a "garage-sale"/swap event. To fill out the evening, we had a panel of three club experts dealing with trout, mooneye, and bass.
On Monday March 26 the talk fly tying was all about our favourite, earliest and best hatch, the Hendrickson. The General Trout Opening Day is April 28, 2012 and we are likely to have Hendricksons on some of our rivers extra early this year.
Our Spring Trout Pond trip is up in the Upcoming Activities page as is the Mooneye Night and a volunteer activity for teaching fly fishing and tying.The Pond Trip is Saturday,April 21.
Our conservation talk of the year was presented by Sylvia D'Amelio from Trout Unlimted. Sylvia updated us on all the local TU projects and filled us with hope for the restoration of the Bronte Creek at Lowville Park.
Thanks to all who helped at the Canadian Fly Fishing Forum in Hamilton in early April.
Wow, wow, wow. If you missed Monday the 13th of February you missed seeing what might be the best trout fishing in the world. Rob Heal talked about the legendary trout fishing in Argentina's Patagonia region and showed some fine photos. Beautiful trout, in spectacular scenery... like Rob said it must be like Montana was 75 years ago.
It is only about 2 months until the trout opener so Larry Mellor's tying night on Feb 27 is just in time to fill up the flyboxes. See you Monday Feb 27 at 7:30 when Larry will start tying his steelehead flies.
The Izaak Walton Fly Fishing Forum is coming up at the Hamilton Convention Center on March 31 and April 1. Looks like it will be bigger and better than ever and there will be casting lanes so you can cast those new lines and rods. Sheldon Seale,who is organizing the forum this year, will be tying at the HAFFT on April 9 so I am sure he will give us a recap.
We finished up 2011 with just a cracker of a talk on the reintroduction of Atlantic salmon to Lake Ontario. I for one had no idea of the scale of effort and planning that has gone into this project. Check out the Bring Back the Salmon website.Certainly it was a hopeful way to close out 2011 and many thanks to Chris Robinson for getting us up to date.
The HAFFT is on Facebook- just click here. Feel free to friend us and get some more news and views from HAFFT members. If you have any pictures from club outings this is a fast, fun place to put them up.
The next meeting on November 28 is Tube Flies for Steelhead with Neil Houlding one of our local Spey casting gurus. Neil will be showing simple tube flies which are deadly on the Grand and other local rivers.
On November 14 we had Richard Court talking about Kayak Fishing. There was plenty of great expertise provided by our two speakers- who knew there was so much gear associated with kayak fishing. Now I just have to figure if I want a SOT or a SINK
We had a lot of fun on Monday October 24 when Sandy, Beth and Rick regaled us with their salmon fishing experiences in Quebec and Newoundland. Great pictures and great times for sure... it made everyone understand why the Atlantic salmon is the king of fish.
We started the new year at the Hamilton Area Flyfisher and Flytyers with Mike & Kerry Ann Scanlan talking about the sland of Eleuthera – a bonefishing paradise. Mike guides for bonefish, ties amazing salt water flies & makes a mean Goombay Smash! Thanks to Mike and Kerry for putting up with our ribbing and for giving us the skinny on skinny water fishing.
In April 2011we had Paul Castellano of Cast Adventures talking about Fishing the Niagara River. We do not always think of the Niagara as a fly fishing destination though there are plenty of steelhead and lake trout and no crowds and Paul let us in on what is happening in our biggest river.
Iin March we had Steve May showing tying techniques useful for the Full Motion Hex, Clouser Swimming Nymph, Whitlock's Near Nuff Sculpin, Bear's Cross Dresser and Burke's Aggravator.Here is Steve's Full Motion Hex from an earlier meeting.
On February 28, 2011we had Elliot Deighton on Successful Bass Flies. Many of you know Elliot and appreciate his creative abilities.
We are looking at getting some serious club gear... Click On HAFFT Logo Clothing to have a look.
OJ Macdonald, Grand River Troutfitters: gave a talk on January 10, 2011 entitled "Surf, Spey or Switch - Which rod is which???" OJs enthusiasic discussion and knowledge made the long rods seem a lot less intimidating.
All the meetings are on the "Meeting Dates and Agenda" page and we will soon have the 2011 dates ready.
In the fall we had Bill Spicer from the The New Fly Fisher talking about Fishing for Newfoundland and Labrador Atlantic Salmon. Thanks Bill!
Ian Colin James, showed us the Smack Em Spey fly & Ian's Brass Ass Nymph on October 25... it was a great time! Ian is always a ton of fun and very informative.
On Oct 4 Tys Theysmeyer, RBG Head of Conservation spoke on the Fishway and the State of Hamilton Fisheries. It was a fascinating talk about the movement of fish in and out Hamilton Harbour and Cootes Paradise as well as a summary of the state of streams in the Harbour watershed. Fascinating stuff Tys, you filled us with hope for the fisheries in the area.
We had Dan Kennaley (fly fishing editor for the Ontario Out of Doors magazine) as our guest tyer on Sept.27. Dan demonstrated the flies of Ed Hewitt, in particular, the Bivisible. There were about 18 people at the meeting, a small but determined group.
The first meeting was Monday, September 13 and the presentation was an update on the activities of Trout Unlimited by Bill Christmas.
We will be having a number of tyers and speakers come to the club this fall including Ian Colin James a real club favourite. Tys Theysmeyer the Head of Conservation at the RBG will be with us October 4 (a week earlier than our normal 2nd Monday meeting because of Thanksgiving) to talk about the state of our local fisheries. Check the Meeting Dates and Agenda Page for more info.
The first meeting of 2010 was with Ken Collins from Grand River Troutfitters and he spoke about Big Toothy Fish on the Fly. Ken came back Monday, March 22 and showed us how he tied up some of those very innovative patterns for pike, muskellunge and barracuda- thanks Kenny!
Our tying night was with Sheldon Seale on Monday, Feb 22. Unfortunately due to the storm coming in earlier that day everything was a mess and we had a poor turnout. We will have Sheldon back on April 26 soon when he will be showing his wet flies & nymphs for the Grand River. Sheldon is a very well known tyer and has been published regularly in the Canadian Fly Fisher magazine. He has tied some great flies for us before... have a look!
The speaker for February was Larry Halyk who spoke about steelhead opportunities in Ontario and in the steelhead Valhalla of central BC. Gorgeous fish, beautiful rivers and a very knowledgeable biologist giving the talk made it a real highlight for everyone. Thanks to Larry for making winter seem very, very long ;-)
The first meeting of 2010 was with Ken Collins from Grand River Troutfitters and he spoke about Big Toothy Fish on the Fly. Lots of great tips on tackle, tactics and timing- thanks Kenny. The rest of the winter schedule is posted in the Meeting Dates and Agenda page.
On Monday December 14 we closed out 2009 with a talk by Bill Spicer of the New Fly Fisher. Bill showed some of the awsome fishing to be had all over Ontario and it was very impressive- makes summer seems far away though!
Many thanks to Brian Primeau from The First Cast in Guelph for his talk about night fishing for brown trout.
The HAFFT Executive for 2009-2010
Daniel (Dan) Veysey: President
Rick Crawford: Past President & Outings Coordinator
Stuart Dewolfe: Beginner Table Guru
Michael Dmytruszko: Treasurer (Secretary)
Andre Ferron: Past Treasurer
President Elect: George Genyk
Ron Marini: Membership
Sandra (Sandy) Root: Conservation
Stan Sopranovich/Bette Moore Coffee Guru
Beth Stormont: Guest Speaker, Tyer Coord
Kevin Hudson: Library Guru
Jon Grant: Outings Coordinator
We had Joe Szymanski out to tie flies for Pennsylvania trout on Monday, October 26. Remember that this is the time to learn how to tie flies and we have Stuart DeWolfe enthusiastically running the beginner's table during tying meetings.
You will have notice that year we started on the 4th Monday in September since the 2nd Monday was often a conflict for many members. Keep checking in for updates on speakers and activities.
The details for the outings are on the Activities page.
We had a huge number of nominees for this year's Becker-Knott award which reflects all the hard work many of our members put in during the year. The big winner for 2008-2009 is Stuart DeWolfe. Stu has taken over the beginner's fly tying and done just a super job bringing along the new tyers with patience and skill. Stu has also helped on many club projects, spoken at the club and is a regular for all outings. Great job Stu!
The last meeting of the 2009 spring season was with Ian Colin James. As we have come to expect the Big Man from London provided us with a fine evening of tricks and tips for summer fishing- thanks Ian.
Thanks as well to the Hamilton Police Association... I know we rent the hall but it is always clean and ready for us and when we order food it is first rate. We are luck to have such a great spot to meet.
We will still meet at the Hamilton Police Association Hall on Upper Wellington but our club mailing address has changed to:
Hamilton Area Fly Fishers and Tyers
We had our first casting clinic for a few years on Saturday, Jan 31. The double gym was perfect for the group which was packed in tight enough to hear Bill but not so tight as to be strangling each other with errant casts. Thanks Billy!
The next speaker will be Ken Collins of Troutfitters in Fergus talking about brown trout and bass fishing on the Grand. We will start at 7:30 on February 9, 2009. Two world class fishes on a world class river with an enthusiastic speaker... we cannot go wrong!
Members of the HAFFT receive discounts at many of the local independent fly fishing retailers. For a detailed list click here!
On January 12 at 7:30 we had club mainstays Sandy & Beth talking about Southern Alberta and the dumbest trout on the planet while Kevin & Robin presented on salmon slammin' in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.
On our December 8 2008 meeting we had our our yearly conservation night. Our speaker was Jim Bowlby an MNR assessment biologist with the Lake Ontario Management Unit and keen fly fisher. Jim provided us with a fascinating insite into the inner workings of the Great Lakes ecosystem and held up well under intense questioning.... He made me proud that I was once a biologist.
Please note that Stuart DeWolfe has laid out in detail the Beginner Fly Tying "7 Step Program" to fly tying proficiency. This will be what is followed on fly tying nights for 08-09. If you can get on with this program you will be a proficient tyer for the opening of the 2009 trout season!
On November 24. 2008 we had our first HAFFT ‘Tying Bee.’ This is a tying session where everyone ties flies. Folks brought vices, tools, and the materials needed to tie their own flies thr night. New fly tyers had materials and vices supplied. It was a success so the there are going to be five more ‘tying bees’... Jan 5, Feb 2 , Mar 2, April 6 and May 4 of 2009. Note that these are separate from our normal tying nights which will continue on their normal evenings- usually the fourth Monday of each month.
Our last meeting was Monday November 10, 2008 and our speaker was Dan Kennaley.
Many of you know Dan as the fly fishing editor for the Ontario Out of Doors magazine. Dan gave a thorough presentation of the large mayflies of Ontario. As Dan pointed out, as you get older all you can see are the big meaty flies so you might just as well focus on what you can tie on. Our new President, Rick Crawford precided over the festivities.
Remember that on Dec 22 (the 4th Monday of December) there will not be a meting since it is just too close to Christmas. We will start back up on January 12, 2009.
Monday, May 12 was the last meeting of the winter season at the HAFFT in the Spring of 2008. As many of you know our last meeting is usually the gear swap nightand many people brought out just about anything that they thought might sell.
This year we awarded the Becker-Knott Award to our very-deserving Treasurer Andy Ferron. Under Andy's close watch the club has gone from just making it to well bankrolled and able to support our conservation work and keep up a quality program of speaker- thanks Andy!
HAFFT Club Officers for 2008-2009
Past President – Bruce Wainman
President - Rick Crawford
Vice President - Dan Veysey
Treasurer - Andy Ferron (doing a great job for many years now!)
Membership – Mike Dmytruszko , Ron Marini
Conservation – Beth Stormont, Sandy Root , John
Speakers Coordination – John Sally , Bruce Wainman
Web Masters – Bruce Wainman, Tom O’Connor
Library – Kevin Hudson
Outings – Rick C, John S
Coffee / Cookies – Stan the Man.
Beginner Table – Stuart DeWolfe
Intermediate Table – Mike D.
Master Tier – Henri Lemieux
Monday, April 14th, 2008we had Ken Collins owner/operator/guide from Troutfitters in Fergus coming by for a show on Brown Trout Fishing on the Upper Grand. We saw lots of great pictures of likely spots on the Grand and some fine trout... Thanks Kenny.
On Monday March 10, 2008 we had Rob Clarke talk about "Smallmouth Bass of Lake Erie." Many of us did not know that Lake Erie has an absolute world class population of bass and many of us did not know how to access these brawny fighters.. Rob certainly showed us that there were some huge fish to be found and the general rules for chasing the them down.
Our meeting on March 24th, 2008was a bit of a mess since the banquet hall was not open. At least the Tim Horton's was open so we did manage to have Graham Coombes of SwimTrue flies share with us a few of his secrets about his new series of flies.
On Monday, April 14 year Ken Collins of Troutfitters will be talking about Brown Trout on the Upper Grand just in time for the 2008 trout season.
Neil Houlding spoke on two handed casting, two handed rods, Spey casting and Spey flies on February 11 and I am sure sales of the big rods will go up this spring after this accessible introduction to the basics of laying out 80 ft roll casts. The tying meeting was with Dimitri Ristic. This was yet another engrossing presentation of not just Dimitri's ideas about fly tying but his entire rationale for putting together his flies. Thanks again to Dimitri and Neil for chasing away the winter snows for awhile.
We had Elliot Deighton come to tie Monday, January 28 beginning at 7:00.Watching Elliot tie makes you wonder if he ever buys anything from a fly shop except hooks. Colourful hair extensions, Blo Pens, markers, Shoe Goo and expanding foam featured in his flies more than any traditional materials. Many of you will remember Elliot for his creative use of synthetics and innovative tying techniques. Here is an article on Elliot’s work from our web site.
We will have both an intermediate table and the beginner’s table running and (drum roll please) we have all brand new vices and tying equipment to test out! The big order from SuperFly has arrived and we are some excited to give the gear a ride.
Bill Spicer has asked if anyone will help him teach basic casting skills at the Toronto Sportsman’s Show which runs from March 12-16. Email Bill if you are interested in helping out- he tells us he does not need expert casters to help out just folks with lots of patience.
Many thanks to Jaime Overy who spoke about Stewardship Opportunities in the Hamilton area for the HAFFT. I think we will be getting back to our roots and doing some field work with the Hamilton-Halton Watershed Stewardship Program now that we know what is out there.
We had some good times with Sheldon Seale who showed up in the last meeting in November to educate us on the in and outs of parachute wings. I am sure we will all have better looking flies tied faster after that educational evening. Thanks as well to Mike D who showed the Evil Weevil at the intermediate table and the always patient Stu DeWolfe who showed the Gold Ribbed Hare's Ear at the beginner's table.
Paul Beck, piker first class, showed his famous patterns for catching old Esox on Monday, October 21. Mike D had a full table at the intermediate tyers area and, as is usual with the fall, the meetings are getting bigger. Rick Crawford spoke about the ins and outs of the trip to Cuba in March. Check out our activities page to see more.
As many of you know we meet twice a month on the 2nd and 4th Mondays at the Police Association Banquet Center.The doors open at 7:00 pm and we begin tying or talking at 7:30 pm. The meeting on Nov 12, 2007 was a great one on on fishing for pink salmon in Sault Ste. Marie with John Sally and Larry Kobetz. Who knew great fishing was so accessible?
There is a great article on fly fishing in the K-W Record featuring one of our favourite speakers and tyers, Steve May.
In fishing news we had the Mooneye Madness night on June 11 at Seneca Park in Caledonia. We had about 30 fisherman with at least two K-W Flyfishers including John Dadds. This vast number is a new record for any club outing. I can confirm that everyone had fish to cast too though the mooneye are getting a bit smarter and almost twice as large as when we started casting for them about 10 years ago.
Congratulations to Rick Crawford the winner of the Becker-Knott Award for service to the HAFFT. Rick won for his organization of the library, his help at many tying events as well as his continued organization of the fall and spring trout outings as well as the upcoming Grand River Float Trip and for being a really great guy to fish with/. Thanks Rick, we would be lost without you.
Thanks to all who helped out on the Beginner's and Kid's Fishing Evening. We had about 10 kids a pile of beginners. It was great to see all the sage advice that was handed out to a receptive audience.
On Monday, April 23 we had Henri and about 10 members tying early season trout flies (Hendricksons). It was super to see everyone out at the advanced table- Stu had a big group at the beginner’s table as well.
The Gear Swap meeting was on May 14 and was supplemented by two other activities. The folks from Grindstone Angling were there to show how to clean and maintain rods, reels and lines. Many of us never learn how to take care of our gear which leads to its over hasty demise- this was a chance learn all the tricks. We will also had Hank Nyhof performing the furled leader miracle.
Our March flytying meeting was with Rob Heal, guide for Grindstone Angling. Rob tied up some not-too-flashy, not-too-difficult patterns for the rapidly approaching steelhead season while under almost constant harassment. Thanks Rob!
The first meeting in March will featured our all-time crowd favourite Ian Colin James. Ian talked about his adventures (snake wrestling and avoiding flood stage water) while catching huge trout in Arkansas. We had just under 50 folks laughing there heads off for most of the evening.
On Monday, February 26th 2007 the weather outside was frightful but Dan Kennaley still got out to tie flies. Many of you will recognized Dan from his many articles for Ontario Out of Doors where he is the Flyfishing Editor.
In January Bill Spicer from the New Fly Fisher kept us on the edge of our collective seats talking about beautiful trout in the lakes of the Manitoba’s Parklands and as a special bonus he previewed his newest multimedia creation on nymph fishing. Here is a great article by Bill on nymping. If you were there you will remember that Bill spoke highly of Ian James’ Muncher Nymph.
Sandy Root, Beth Stormont and Jon Grant helped out at the Habitat Haldimand Outdoor Expo March 11th. The event was at the Kohler Agricultural Center and Wade Dowling was truly greatful for our volunteers as they had about 175(!) parents and kids show up between 1:00 and 4:00.
I received this interesting e-mail from Jon Grant the other day talking about a new website he encountered
“The link is www.flytyingforum.com this site has gotten bigger than any other that I have seen while surfing. They have several features that I like The best being the virtual tying classes, these classes are much like a web conference but most of the camera work is on the fly and vice instead of the face etc. There is also a rod building group and a Talk area that frequently produces thoughtful articles.”
It is winter and a fly fisherman’s thoughts turn to tying flies or going south. We can’t send you south but we do have a lot of tying going on. We have our regular tying nights (usually the 4th Monday of every month we meet) but we will be tying certain Sundays at the Girl Guides offices, located at the south-west corner of the intersection of Reid Avenue and Queenston Road in east Hamilton. (Between Parkdale Avenue and Redhill Creek). This starts when Kevin Hudson arrives around 1 and continues until 5- we bring our own materials and tools to tie flies. Several excellent tyers from the club will be there to help out intermediates and beginners.
On Monday night the 22nd of January, Henri Lemieux will show showed approximately 20 different patterns for saltwater fishing at the demonstration tyer table while the beginner’s table had Stu DeWolfe in his inaugural evening as tying teacher.
The first meeting in February was with will have Bill Spicer talking about fishing the Parklands of Manitoba for Brown trout, rainbows and tiger trout. This was a fascinating talk about an area few of us ever think about as prime trout country. It made me want to move to Winnipeg.
Meeting for fall of 2006 included Bill Christmas on October 23 and Steve May (Searching for Silver in Steelhead Mecca: British Columbia's Skeena River System) on November 13. Our tying meetings included Joe Penich on November 27 who tied a simple and not too time-consuming married wing salmon fly.
Many thanks to Rob Heal of Grindstone Angling for talking about small stream tactics for rainbow trout in September. Who knew he could speak so well without any visual aids!
Sunday July 23 was the Bass Bonanza trip on the Grand River at Paris. I think we had nearly 20 folks covering the river. Thanks a lot to Rick for setting this up.
I hope everyone had as much fun on the Bass Bonanaza trip as we did at Mooneye Madness. Here is a trip report from Ron Marini followed by pictures from John Sally.
Another successful outing for HAFFT for our annual Mooneye Madness. I personally have never seen so many members out. I lost count at 23 because I couldn't see far enough upriver to notice Bill Christmas fishing by the island at the west end of Seneca Park. Well done to one and all.
I noted your mentoring and chatting with one of our young protégés, Ian downriver from my location. Over the course of the evening you managed to make your way upstream to trade quips with various members in true Presidential fashion. You managed to put down the rises on half the river as you sloshed from position to position, but I didn't hear any complaints when a few of us retired to Hortons in Caledonia to do a post event review.
The best catch I heard of was from Kevin Hudson who managed to fool a dozen mooneye with his patterns.
Not being a dry fly purist like some of the more erudite members of the club, I fished an emerger and managed to trick 8 mooneye over the course of the evening. From the chatter and banter I felt everyone had a thoroughly enjoyable time, whether or not they were catching.
The weather gods were smiling on the membership with a cool, pleasant, sunny evening, with the river running at less than 40 cms. And the hatches were prolific and I am sure some of us with larger mouths had to keep them tightly lipped or risk sucking in a dancing caddis or a hatching size 14 Light Cahill.
Thanks to one and all for making the effort at making the 2006 Mooneye Madness one of the highlights of our club year. The night couldn't have been any better. See you all and more next year.
The last meeting of the year was Monday, May 8. At this meeting club cofounder and long time contributor to the club Harold Becker was presented with a lifetime membership to the HAFFT and a certificate commemorating the event. Way to go Harold! Bruce Wainman received the Becker-Knott award from none other than Harold Becker.
The club spring outing to Spring Valley Trout Farm in New Dundee was a great success. The HAFFT members who went reported a really nice pond and tons of trout just dieing for a fly.
The last fly tying meeting of the year will featured Henri Lemieux tying flies for the spring. Henri tied the Dark Hendrickson, Dancing Caddis and Triple Threat. The recipes are posted.
Many thanks for everyone who helped out at the Spring Fishing Show and the Izaak Walton Forum. I know our work is always appreciated at these events and it is a great chance to meet prospective club members.
We had a great session on fascinating places that club members have visited in the last year on March 27. John Sally talked about the Spey River in Scotland, Larry Kobetz spoke on Cuba and Florida, Chris Mouriopoulos showed video and slides of western Canada and Peter George talked about Lake Guri in Venezuela. We had 54 members out to what many said was the best meeting of the year. Many thanks to our great speakers!
I have updated my distribution list for the club but that may mean I have added people who don’t want to be on the list and lost folks who do want to be on the list. If you do not want to receive these emails please respond to me directly. If you know people who want to be on the list but are not then send me their email addresses.
The meeting on February 13, was on “Brook Trout Fishing in Newfoundland” Ken and Sue Robins. Everyone seemed to enjoy the adventures and misadventures of Ken and Sue chasing the elusive mud trout of Newfoundland.
The meeting on February 27 was "Winter Steelheading with a two-hand rod" with Rick Whorwood. Rick will be running Spey casting clinics this spring and we will circulate a list for members to sign up at the meetings. If you are interested and would like to email Rick directly, click here.
Big news for Bill Spicer - the OLN network has picked up the fishing show he works on and it will start be broadcast Saturdays at 9:30 am and then again at 11:30 am.
The tying meeting in January was with Sheldon Seale. Sheldon talked about flies for bass and showed off a number of great patterns including his favourite, the Lake Erie Perch. Here is a link to the patterns Sheldon tied. Remember that almost all of the old patterns tied at the club can be found in the Fly Index.
Thanks to Paul Beck and Rick Crawford for wowing the crowd (43 people on January 9) on pike and bass fishing respectively. We hope everyone picked up at least few pointers on the those most cooperative species of fish.
As is our tradition at the HAFFT, the last talk before Christmas was about conservation work. We were really fortunate to have both Warren Yerex, Supervisor of Aquatic Resources at the GRCA, and Steve May, Grand River Fisheries Management Plan Coordinator, speaking to us this Monday night at 7:30 PM at our new meeting place. Steve and Warren updated us on the fisheries management of the Grand River and Steve provided us with a lot of really useful information for fishing the Upper Grand.
We also had all of the HAFFT signature gear out for sizes and ordering. We ordered enough to get the bulk discount on printing so the prices will be exactly what was written on the forms. We hope to have the gear back to club members for the first meeting in January (the 9th) or the second meeting on January 23. Remember that we need cash or cheques for the gear when you come to pick it up.
Our first meeting at the Association Hall was with World Champion Fly Tyer Joe Penich. We had a great evening with Joe who was, as always, full of new tricks and innovative patterns. We have a great new spot- many of the members were surprised to find that this new location was a lot more posh than anyplace we have met before.
On Nov. 28, 2005 we were fortunate to have Roy De Giusti speak about Hatches of the Upper Credit. Roy is an artist and contributor to the Ontario Out of Doors magazine as well as a long time fly fisherman.
Remember that the HAFFT have a new place to meet- the Hamilton Police Association Banquet Center on 555 Upper Wellington St.The new hall is a bit hard to find since the sign is dark and the road is dark. Just remember that it is basically on the southeast corner of Queensdale and Upper Wellington and you will be all right.
The club outing this fall to Cold Springs was a real success particularly given the weather on October 23. Everyone got fish and the weather, though it threatened to get bad, never amounted to more than a few showers. Many thanks to Rick Crawford for setting this up.
The first meeting of the year was just great. Bill Spicer came to give a talk on nymphing- just in time for the fall steelhead runs. Thanks Bill for the great talk and the contributions to the library.
This summer the club taught fly tying for the kids at the Dunville Fishing Derby. Ron Marini provides us with this great report.
True to tradition our club was represented at the Dunnville Kids' Fishing Derby held on the Grand River on Saturday, July 9, 2005. Despite news earlier in the year that the event was cancelled, you notified us in the late spring that the event was back on and we were invited to teach kids how to tie flies. Although many members advised that they couldn't attend due to work commitments or vacations, Henri Lemieux, Robin Bennett and myself were there on behalf of the club.
Unlike previous years where we saw sustained activity as soon as the vices were affixed to the picnic table, this year action was sporadic from 7:45 am until about 11. And then the proverbial flood gates opened with kids lining up for their chance at the vice. The three of us didn't have a single minute of rest until the last child left the picnic table at 1:30. Then it was off to the restaurant for a richly deserved cholesterol-laden lunch.
The kids were a pleasure to work with and they sure gave us a chuckle with the "oohs" and "ahhs" as a brightly-coloured hackle was wound around a hook shank. If there was a downside, it is when kids are left-handed and we have to reverse techniques to accommodate them. Believe it or not I got three left-handed kids in a row!
Robin is a patient instructor while Henri's kids, as one would expect, turned out perfect woolly buggers under his watchful eye. And the Dunnville newspaper was there taking pictures and getting names, meaning the event has real community significance so it was so nice to be able to lend a hand.
We all agreed that it was a fun, rewarding and tiring day.
Bravo to Ron, Henri and Robin.
The last club event for the HAFFT was the Mooneye Night on June 13 from 6 PM until dark. Here is a report from Becker-Knott award winner, Ron Marini:
"Report on Mooneye Madness for June 13, 2005
We arrived around 6:30 and our cheerleader was there to inspire and advise, although he declined to venture forth into the water. I'm talking about the presence of Harold Becker. In fact, he opined that with the stain of the river, a size 16 black soft hackle would do the trick. More about that later.
All told, I counted about 11 hardy souls from the club gracing the breadth of the river. Even Ian, our youngest member from Caledonia made it out.
The mooneye were rising by the time we finished gearing up and having our social chats. Occasional rises, nothing consistent. Since I am entomologically challenged, what I think I saw popping out of the surface were size 14 Light Cahills or Pale Evening Duns, you get my drift-a pale yellow mayfly with cream wings. Also we were cursed with flea-like blue winged olives that seemed to love to nestle within the hairs of my arms.
After changing a number of flies, I went with Harold's suggestion and tied on a size 16 Peacock and Brown and promptly caught two fish. Their bite did a number on the frail peacock herl so I tied on a BWO emerger and caught a couple more over the next hour, but couldn't buy a strike after 8:30 PM.
We got off the water at 9:15 and repaired to Hortons to argue, tell stories and lots of lies.
It was a good evening of companionship, laughs and fishing. And the best part was that it was totally unexpected as we thought the river would be a chocolate milkshake, but it was still at a fishable level and only stained.
See everyone next year. And thanks to Harold for his suggestion, it certainly made my night a fun time.
We have already had two rounds of logo redesign and modification and the favourite logos have been posted for comment once again. We will likely go with whatever folks decide and put together a few demo pieces of clothing for the first meeting in September so we can work out sizing and that sort of thing. Click here to see the logos and send in your comments.
We have awarded the Becker-Knott award for 2003-2004 to Kevin Hudson and 2004-2005 to Ron Marini. Ron and Kevin have contributed a tremendous amount of effort and expertise in teaching fly tying at the beginner table as well at many events for kids in the area. There constant good humour and enthusiasm made them great choices for the Becker-Knott award.
The last meeting of the year went as planned with a short talk on conservation efforts at the club and the future plans for conservation from Sandy Root and Beth Stormont. A usual the gear swap ended up with folks leaving with about as much stuff as they came with but it was different than what they arrived with.
Ian Colin James, was our speaker in April and, as expected, the evening was big success full of good humour and vigorous debate. Don't forget that the biggest bass caught on the Grand River on a Ian James fly will win you a fly line.
We taught kids fly tying at the Izaak Walton Forum in Burlington. Thanks to Henri Lemieux, Kevin Hudson, Rick Crawford and Ron Marini for holding down the fort.
George Genyk provided us with a highly entertaining talk about his many years of salmon fishing in both Labrador and Quebec. The transformation of George's casting (for the better) and hair (for the worse) made for a lot of comments among the 40 or so members in attendance. Great job George!
In February Steve May provided us with a terrific talk last week on bass fishing on the Grand and Saugeen rivers. The meeting turned into a bit of a multimedia extravaganza because Steve had put together a couple of videos of his fishing exploits. I was happy that so many risked the ire of their partners by coming out on Valentine’s Day- I was even happier to see a few brought along their partners for the evening.
Steve May came out again to tie flies January which was a great follow-up to his bass fishing talk. Click here for a list of the flies, their pictures and detailed tying instructions.
A number of us helped out at the Spring Fishing Show. Paul Beck and Henri Lemieux and I represented the club at the Fly Tyers Showcase. I was pretty jealous when both Paul and Henri sold flies to the assembled hordes. Henri in particular was selling them hot of the vise.
Our major role at the SFS was helping at the kid’s tying area for the Ontario Get Outdoors Program. John French, Sandy Root, Beth Stormont, Kevin Hudson and Robin Bennett helped out. Thanks loads everyone who helped out! Here is a brief report from Ron Marini:
Kevin Hudson Robin Bennett and I attended the kids' tying event on Sunday afternoon from about 1 until 5. We were kept busy throughout the afternoon. And most of the kids were involved in the Get Outdoors program where we had to sign their event report card. Personally, I found it a great afternoon of grateful kids, happy parents and a good camaraderie with the other tyers around the table. It is a rewarding way to give back to the sport which has meant so much to all of us in some way or another.
Our first meeting was January 10, 2005 and we had a super time. I know I say that a lot but we really did. We started with Ted Knott and Cape Cod and moved to Larry Kobetz's and John Sally's adventures in the south and ended with a very professional presentation by Ken Collins from Troutfitters .
There has been a very welcome change in the regulations on the Credit River. For the Credit River and tributaries - upstream of Old Baseline Road, Town of Caledon, Regional Municipality of Peel: Rainbow trout, brook trout and brown trout catch and possession limit of zero (0). Artificial lures with a single-pointed barbless hook must be used. No live organic bait allowed. The official version of the new regulations is on the MNR website. Thanks to John French for letting us know.
Our speaker in December was Silvia D'Amelio from Trout Unlimited. She gave a great presentation complete with data and big fish illustrating her fascinating work on coaster brook trout in Lake Superior.
All the flies tied at the club in the last few years are now posted in an archive. The archive has the name of the pattern the recipe if we have it and the tyer. If you are dieing to remember how to tie the Shineabou Shiner or anything else then click here.
On a sad note Poul Jorgensen has passed on. Poul was the originator of many fly patterns and a noted professional tyer. A nice tribute to Poul can be found here at the Virtual Flyshop.
Our fly tying meeting on Monday Nov. 22 was a bit of a mess because of some miscommunication between el Presidente and Steve May. Henri Lemieux stepped in a tied some of the Thunder Creek series of flies with material he found from the beginner's table and the group's accumulation of belly button lint. We will feature Steve May in the New Year.
Dan Kennaley was our main speaker on Monday, November 8. Dan took us on a virtual tour of Algonquin Park and the mysterious Devil's Lake which shows up on no topographical map. We switched gears after that and we had a short talk about fly fishing in Cuba by Jack Bramm and Filippo Invernizzi of the Avalon Fishing and Diving Center in Jardines de la Reina in Cuba. What an evening of contrasts- we went from freezing in Algonquin Park catching brook trout to the latin heat of Cuba and permit the size of a manhole cover.
The 2nd tying meeting of the year occurred on Monday, October 25. Joe Penich one of the leading tyers in Canada came out and wowed the assembled multitude with his accurate and innovative tying. Pictures of Joe's flies have now been posted.
Henri Lemieux club veteran and master tyer showed his soft hackle flies on September 27. We had a full table with Henry and two full tables of beginners for a total of almost 30 folks tying flies; this is one of the busiest fly tying meetings I have ever seen. I was really encouraged to see some of our teenage members out and tying really great flies.
The first meeting of the new club year of 2004 was a big success with about 40 folks in attendance. Bill Spicer got the crowd fired up steelheading this fall. The whole schedule until January 2005 is posted as is the tentative 2005 winter-spring schedule.
We agreed to do a fly tying clinic at the Millfest in Caledonia on July 31. We had John French, Ron Marini, Henri Lemieux and Kevin Hudson help out- it got a bit crowded in the tent even without the kids who came to tie flies. Thanks guys for helping out. I think we might have recruited a few new members and we definitely made some friends.
Here are event reports from the Dunnville Derby and the Bassmasters Trip 2004 as provided by Ron Marini.
Dunnville- We were well represented at Dunnville on Saturday, July 10. There were four members from the club-Kevin Hudson, Robin Bennett, Joe Boirier and his son Joey and me. We tied from 7:30 am until 2 PM with brief team relays to eat and the washroom. From 12 until 2 it was non-stop instruction with kids lining up for their turn at the vice. It was thrilling, but exhausting. Both Joe and I caught a few zzz's as soon as we got home. It was hectic but rewarding
Bassmasters-The next day it was off to Paris for the Bassmasters. There were about 9 attending- the Down to Earth Team from the Conservation Authority, Brian Duxbury and his son Sebastian who works at the Franklin Club doing aquaculture work, Kevin, Joe, Robin, Rick and me. Rick did stunningly well, landing three fish all about 3 pounds. The rest of us got small stuff. By 1 the heat had driven us off the water but a good time was had.
The HAFFT was well represented at the Fun Fly fishing competition in early June at the Grand Opportunities Forum. Beth Stormont and Sandy Root from team Down 2 Earth competed as did Bruce Wainman and Ian Martin in the Scientific Tanglers. Have a look at the photo album from Grand Opportunities if you need a laugh.
The Kids Fly Fishing Evening occurred on April 26. We had a great evening that involved basic fly tying, knot tying and some indoor casting. It might have been the most successful outreach project we have ever done. We had about 30 beginners show up to learn a few things about fly fishing and I think they managed to do it. It was a great surprise to have Cable 14 show up and take a bit of video of the group. Special thanks to Ron Marini and Henri Lemieux for setting up the fly tying area, Rick Crawford to setting up the knot tying area and to all those who helped out with such vigour and good humour. Thanks also to Paul Beck for helping with the knot tying, John Sally for helping with casting, Kevin Hudson for helping with the tying area, Stan the man for helping with treats and Robin Bennett for getting the “worms in mud” for the kids.
Here is a copy of the Hamilton Spectator article about our club and fishing in the area from Thursday April 22, 2004. You can also see the article in its original format as an Adobe reader file by clicking here. If you do not have the Adobe Reader click here for the free download. Many thanks to the Hamilton Spectator for allowing us to post the article to our website and to John Kernaghan for writing the article.
There is a new article on the web pages. Elliott Deighton, who amazed us with his original foam creations in January, has written an article on fishing for bass and has given us detailed instructions on how to tie his foam flies.
The first club outing of the year for 2004 went really well given we had all types of weather known to meteorology. Some of the keaners were already out at 8:30AM when I got there and a few came right around noon when I left. All in all about 12 club members were there. The early fishers were driven in to the club house by torrential rain at about 10 AM but managed to shoot some pool and plan out the summer. Larry Cryderman captured us in all our beauty right here if you click on April 18. We had pretty good luck for the most part and many thanks to Rainbow Ranch for having us up and offering rain cheques to those who had to leave when the rain and lightning got to be too much.
Our last meeting was March 8 when a group of six speakers from the club talked about their experiences Fishing the West. Most of the speakers confined themselves to the regions around the Alberta/BC border. We learned a lot about the Bow, Livingstone, Crowsnest and Elk Rivers though Larry Kobetz dug us out of the "rut" we were in and talked about pacific salmon fishing on the Campbell River in BC. Doug Soule talked about fishing the achingly beautiful Maligne Lake as well as rivers in southwest Alberta. The speakers came equipped with slides, maps, books, and years of experience so it was an interesting night from start to finish. Thanks to our speakers, Chris Mouriopoulos, Paul Beck, Larry Kobetz, Doug Soule, and Joe Syzmanksi.
We had a great meeting on the second Monday night in January 2004 with Jim Wenger. After one of the smallest meetings of the year two weeks ago because of the snow, we had a crowd of 43. Jim did not disappoint anyone, that is for sure. It looks as if there may be even more Canadians chasing stripers and bluefish in the coming year. Thanks Jim, you're a great speaker and take a fine picture too.
Elliot Deighton is one innovative fly tyer. Elliot showed us some truly original ways to use closed-cell foam for flies and entertained us with his years of experience in fly fishing. Elliot even allowed some of us to try to tie along but there were so many original moves it was a challenge. The flies and his article on fishing for bass are posted.
Only the brave made it out on Monday, January 26. The fifteen or so of us were treated to a very informative session with Sheldon Seale who demonstrated the many uses of Snowshoe Rabbit hair in tying. He has also written us an article and attached a picture about the use of the mighty snowshoe rabbit foot.
The club has agreed to sponsor a garbage kiosk on the Grand River and thus support Friends of the Grand River (FOGR). Have a look at the snazzy new FOGR site if you are wondering what that conservation group has been doing and is planning for the summer. You can find the announcement about the Grand Opportunities Forum at this site.
On January 12, 2004 we had a talk by Len Yust from Trout Unlimited. Len filled us in on the new chapters of TU, how they function and his plans for TU in Ontario. Thanks Len. If you are interested in TU contact Len or go to the Trout Unlimited web site.
We are still looking for the winner of the Adriano Manocchia framed artwork. If you have a green ticket with the 03539976 you win!
Paul Beck and Bruce Wainman talked about pike and musky fishing in Ontario on December 8, 2003. We had a great turn out for the last meeting of the year 2003.
The fly tying meeting in November featured Henri Lemieux tying Fan Wing Green Drake and an Isonychia Mayfly Nymph. Though I couldn't manage the fly due to general incompetence we did have a great time. Thanks Henri! That meeting was the last fly tying meeting until January when we will have Sheldon Seale teaches us the way of the snowshoe hare.
Our first meeting in November 2003 was with Steve May guide for Grand River Troutfitters and also now the with the MNR. We all learned some great lessons about steelheading and tying flies for steelhead. Thanks Steve!
The hard work of Rick Crawford has produced our first library list. We have an absolutely great library which is too large to bring out to every meeting. If you go to the list you will notice that all the books and videos are carefully categorized. Just let Rick know what you want and he can bring it to the meeting with the other selections he normally brings out.
We had a great display of Pike Flies tied by Paul Beck on October 27, 2003. Paul tied the Pike Leech and a Yak Attack. Too few members brought out vises I would say- is a lot more fun if everyone brings a vise and ties along. The pictures are posted in the archive of fly tying.
The second meeting of the fall of 2003 featured local master fly tier Joe Penich. Joe tied a beautiful stonefly, a marabou Spey fly and a Joe's Niagara Streamer. Joe is part of the prostaff at Grindstone Angling. Only about half the normal group made it out since the weather was rough and the 403 was closed. Those of us who made it out learned a lot from Joe about both steelhead flies and where to fish for steelhead. I have made up a page with Joe's flies including the tying instructions.
On July 1 (Canada Day, 2003) Henri Lemieux and John French tied woolly worms with the children at the Frank H. Sherman complex along with Mike Warrian and others of Trout Unlimited. Bill and Kathy Spicer gave casting instructions. I have posted a few pictures.
July 5 2003 at the Dunnville Fishing Derby, Kevin Hudson, Ron Marini and John French taught some of almost 700 children fishing at the derby to tie woolly worms. The participants caught 20 different species of fish and a turtle.
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Email: the Hamilton Area Fly Fishers and Tyers