January/February 2018

Rod Raffle Reels In $3,473!

Orvis store manager Glenn Martenson presents Willie Beshire with the second prize Orvis Mirage III reel.

Oak Brook Trout Unlimited would like to thank everyone who participated in our 2017 Rod Raffle and especially Ron Barch who donated the $1,000 Lee Wuff model bamboo fly rod as the first prize, which was won by TU lifetime member Jim O’Grady of Wheaton.

The second prize winner was Willie Beshire also of Wheaton who received an Orvis Mirage III reel with line—a $650 retail value. There were 10 third prize winners of Orvis $25 gift cards.

The annual fundraiser featured 96 participants, up from 82 in 2016. The $3,473 revenue included $1,320 in “directed” donations for youth education, youth camp scholarships, conservation and the OBTU endowment fund.

2018 Women’s Fly Fishing Weekend—April 19-22

Oak Brook TU is hosting a “Women’s Fly Fishing Weekend” Thursday, April 19, through Sunday, April 22, at the scenic Living Waters Camp in the Wisconsin Driftless Area.

Participants will learn about fly fishing equipment, knot tying, entomology, and casting while enjoying plenty of hands-on fishing experience. Attendees will be paired with mentors in a 2:1 ratio for optimum instruction. Meals will be provided.

A $275 fee covers all expenses including cabin accommodations and meals and is open to OBTU members, spouses and friends.

See the 2018 OBTU Women’s Weekend Flyer for more details including the event schedule or contact Carol Hennessy via email: CLhennessy84@gmail.com


Holiday Party a Social and Financial Success!

Geri Meyer, a professional guide with The Driftless Angler and owner of the Athena & Artemis Women’s Fly Shop, will be one of the instructors at the Oak Brook TU Women’s Fly Fishing Weekend.

Our December 13 Holiday Party at the D.O.C. Wine Bar in Lombard drew 47 members and guests for our annual social event and fundraiser.  The Holiday Party—which included a silent auction and bucket raffles—netted $4,134 after expenses.

Special thanks to the following guides who donated one-day trips for two anglers:
Dowagiac River—Jay Anglin of Anglin Outdoors.
Driftless Area—Dave Barron.
Kankakee River—Will Winans of Big River Fly Fishing.
Muskegon River—Kevin Feenstra of Feenstra Guide Service.
Pere Marquette River—Jeff Hubbard of Outfitters North.
Sheboygan River/Kohler Property—Matt Brush.

Please support these guides as you make your 2087 fishing plans.  For a list of other OBTU “business partners” and past donors to the Holiday Party and monthly raffles, please see our website “Business Partners” page in the “About Us” section.

Your donations to our annual rod raffle and holiday party event help fund our Chapter’s general operating expenses for the year for monthly meetings, speakers, and various conservation and youth education activities.





Fred Hodge and Ed Michael Honored For Service

Rick Rowe and Bill Thoms discuss their next silent auction guide trip bid at the Holiday Party.

At the December 13 Holiday Party, Fred Hodge and Ed Michael were recognized for their military service by the Quilts of Valor Foundation (QOVF) with the presentation of specially hand-made quilts created my Myra Coddens, a QOVF volunteer and member of the Gary Borger TU chapter

The mission of the Quilts of Valor Foundation is to cover service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing “Quilts of Valor.” Since the foundation’s 2003 inception, over 177,100 quilts have been awarded. Fred flew with the Air Force from 1956–1959 and then became a commercial pilot, flying for United Airlines. The Boeing 727 he flew regularly to Alaska in on display at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry.  Fred’s quilt features a pattern called “Dilbert’s Glory” and incorporates fabric featuring military airplanes. Ed served in the Marines from 1966–1970.  His quilt is from a pattern called “A Tribute to Yoda.”  Fabrics in both quilts reflect Ed and Fred’s love of fly fishing and were made by Myra Coddens, a volunteer with QOVF.  We thank Ed Michael and Fred Hodge for their service to our country.


Fred Hodge and Ed Michael were recognized for their military service by the Quilts of Valor Foundation.

February 21 Speaker Duke Welter to Provide Driftless Area Conservation and Fishing Insights

Spearheaded by Trout Unlimited, the Driftless Area Restoration Effort is a locally driven effort to protect, restore, and enhance rivers and streams for fish and other aquatic life throughout the four-state Driftless Area.

TU’s Driftless Area Restoration Effort, (TUDARE) is an initiative Duke Welter helped found back in 2003. As TUDARE’s Outreach Coordinator, Duke travels the four-state region regularly, getting the word out about the great trout waters in the unglaciated area.  He fishes with reporters, with policy makers, with students, with teachers, with project volunteers, and on his days off he fishes where projects might help, and where they already have helped produce healthy fisheries.

Duke Welter has been active in conservation advocacy and watershed restoration for two decades, working on groundwater protection, protecting rivers from mining impacts and harmful small dams, wetland and river restoration and regional watershed issues.   Before he went to work for TU in 2010, he served as vice-chair of its National Board of Trustees and as chair of its National Leadership Council, the grassroots leadership body of TU. Duke has worked for over 30 years on Wisconsin and national resource issues including mining, small dam removals, watershed restoration, groundwater and wetland protection, access, public lands and funding for natural resource management.  For his conservation work he was recognized by the River Alliance of Wisconsin as a “River Champion of the Decade” in 2003, by Trout Unlimited as its “National Conservation Volunteer of the Year” in 2002, and with TU’s highest award for volunteer leadership in 2011.


March 21 Speaker Mark Luttenton to Review Au Sable Trout Movements

The Driftless Area Restoration Effort is a locally driven effort to protect, restore, and enhance rivers and streams for fish and other aquatic life throughout the four-state Driftless Area.

Mark Luttenton will present his findings from a large-scale study of trout movement and habitat use in Michigan’s Au Sable River. Using radio telemetry, Mark’s group tracked more than 50 trout over two years to determine their daily and seasonal movements, and what types of habitat trout prefer.

Mark is the Associate Dean of the Graduate School, professor of biology, and research associate at the Annis Water Resources Institute, Grand Valley State University in Michigan. During his nearly 30 years at GVSU, he has conducted research on fish, aquatic insects, clams, zooplankton, phytoplankton, and benthic algae. His research has included examining the impacts of invasive species (e.g. New Zealand mud snails), community metabolism, stream food webs, salmonid population genetics, juvenile steelhead survival in the Muskegon River, trout movement, and aquatic fungi as a source of compounds to control pediatric cancer.

Mark Luttenton will present his findings from a large-scale study of trout movement and habitat use in Michigan’s Au Sable River using radio telemetry.

Youth Fly Fishing Class Instructors Needed

The Youth Fly Fishing program is conducted one Saturday per month from May through September. The program is available to boys and girls 11 through 18 years old— and is free of charge. Successful completion of the class meets all the requirements of the Boy Scouts of America Fly Fishing Merit Badge.  We limit the class to 15 young people, and typically have a staff of 10 OBTU volunteers per class.

Our volunteer needs are twofold:
Presenters – members willing to present one of the class sections on basic fly tackle and flies; knots; fly tying; fly rod casting; outdoor safety; fishing regulations and etiquette; conservation and the message of Trout Unlimited.
Mentors – members willing to help the young people as they tie knots, tie flies, learn to cast, and fish.

We welcome new volunteers, especially those relatively new to fly fishing to be part of this program.  Don’t worry about your skill level; we can help you brush up on your nail knot, or roll cast.  What we need is an enthusiastic staff of volunteers willing to help newcomers to fly fishing.

Each year, we conduct a “Train the Trainers” Day near the end of winter.  The program allows us to:

  • Present an overview of the program to any new volunteers.
  • Discuss any particular skills needed for the program sections.
  • Review the previous year’s program with an eye towards any improvements that can be made.
  • We will also cover plans for our 2018 “Trout in the Classroom” program which will also require volunteers.

This year, we will conduct the Train the Trainers Day on:

Saturday, February 24th
10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Camp Sagawau
12545 11th Street
Lemont, IL  (Near the intersection of Kingery Highway and Archer Avenue)

Whether you are new to TU and interested in finding out more about the Youth Education program, or a seasoned veteran, please contact Marvin Strauch and sign up for the Train the Trainer day.

Marvin Strauch
Youth Education Chair
Oak Brook Chapter Trout Unlimited


Illinois TU Youth Camp Announced: July 22-27, 2018

The Oak Brook chapter of Trout Unlimited—serving Chicago’s western and south suburbs—is offering free introductory one-day youth fly fishing classes. The program is open to boys and girls 11 years and older.
Camp fly fishing instruction includes fly casting, fly tying, knots, basic entomology and what fish eat, reading the water, safe wading techniques, catch and release, and other outdoors and fly fishing related skills.

The 11th edition of the Illinois Council of Trout Unlimited Youth Conservation and Fly Fishing camp is scheduled July 22-27, 2018 at the RAM Conference Center in Roscommon, Michigan.

The 2018 camp mission is to develop the next generation of coldwater conservation advocates while also providing a rigorous introduction to the sport of fly fishing on the famed Au Sable River in Michigan.  An experienced Trout Unlimited mentor team will instruct and guide 13- to 18-year-old participants through primetime morning and evening fishing sessions to help them develop a range of fly fishing related skills.   In addition, an abundance of “hands on” active learning opportunities will be conducted during the mid-day periods to explore the geology, biology, conservation initiatives, and history of the Au Sable watershed.

The camp is designed to be an intense experience that makes a significant impact on youth,” said Willie Beshire, Oak Brook Trout Unlimited board member and camp director.  “Campers will learn more about conservation and fly fishing in a week than most of us learn in a lifetime. It is an enjoyable and educational experience.”

The camp mentors and instructors will be comprised of Trout Unlimited members from Illinois, along with biologists from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Michigan State University, Western Michigan University and a private cold water conservation company.

The camp cost includes round-trip transportation from Chicago, lodging, meals and all required fishing and wading equipment.  The tuition fee is $575 (comprised of a $75 deposit at the time of application plus a $500 remaining balance due one month before camp).  Sponsorship is available for campers with financial need.

For more information, including an application please visit the Oak Brook Trout Unlimited website (obtu.org), or contact Willie Beshire, Illinois Council of Trout Unlimited Youth Camp Director (wbeshire@aol.com; 630-200-2532).

2018 Officers and New Board Directors Elected

At the Oak Brook TU January 17 membership meeting, two new Board Directors were elected by attending members: Bob Borhauer and Lisa Gilmore. All current Officers were re-elected by the chapter’s Board of Directors.
Bob Borhauer has been serving as the chapter’s Membership Committee Chair since joining the Board last year to complete a departing Director’s term. Lisa Gilmore joins the Board after serving in a number of chapter volunteer roles in recent years.
The following Officers were re-elected to serve a term of one year in the offices as indicated:
President — Dave Lunardini
Vice President — Willie Beshire
Secretary —  Carol Hennessy
Treasurer — Jack Potts

The Librarian’s Corner

by Phil Young

Strategies That Catch Trout (James Marsh / 2006) 1hr 20m / DVD

To some of us, identifying those bugs in the air and choosing the right fly for the end of your tippet is sometimes a difficult task. And what if there is no hatch? If you are a beginning fly fisher, this DVD is for you.

Strategies That Catch Trout  covers how to choose the right fly under varying conditions on different streams at various times of the fishing season.  It explains how to match the hatch, fishing when there is no hatch and when to use attractor flies.  The use and adjustment of hatch chart information is discussed, as well as how local weather conditions affect the timing and occurrence of hatches. Feeding locations along banks, riffles, runs, pocket water, eddies and seams are shown along with the presentations that enable you to get your fly in front of the fish.  This is a great DVD for the beginning fly fisher who is still trying to figure out what bug to use and where to cast it.

This DVD, as well as others in the chapter’s library, are available for check out at chapter meetings. If you are holding any of the chapter’s other videos, please return them when you are finished so that others may view them.