January/February 2019

2018 Rod Raffle Reels In $2,684!

Oak Brook Trout Unlimited would like to thank everyone who participated in our 2018 Rod Raffle which generated $2,684 toward covering our annual operating costs covering monthly meeting facility rental fees, speaker fee and/or travel expense, membership communications, our website and administrative expenses (insurance and miscellaneous fees).  We must provide Chapter funding for these programs because there are no other outside sources of funding. National Trout Unlimited membership dues are not shared with our Chapter for funding our local conservation activities, youth programs and general operating expenses.

The annual fundraiser featured 80 participants, with another 16 providing “restricted” donations to the chapter’s conservation, youth camp scholarships and endowment fund. The $4,410 gross revenue netted $2,684 after expenses. The 80 rod raffle participants was a drop off from 96 in 2017.

The first prize winner was Paul Stinsa of Glenview Heights, who selected an Orvis Recon 4wt Recon Rod and Battenkill Reel with fly line—a $648 retail value.

The second prize winner was Frank Zbyliski of Palos Heights who received a Fishpond Westwater Roll Top Duffel and Ice Storm Cooler.

The 10 Third Prize winners of a $25 Orvis Gift Card were:
Wayne Bernahl, Elmhurst
Mark Bethke, Naperville
Mike Finney, Channahon
Chris Mehuys, Chatham
Clifford Pixler, Glen Ellyn
Joe Weisenberger, Ashland, Oregon
Jim White, Oak Park
Phil Uhl, Oak Forest
Joe Vitti, Downers Grove
Frank Zbyliski, Palos Heights

Orvis Yorktown store manager Glenn Martenson (right) presents Paul Stinsa of Glenview Heights with an Orvis Recon 4wt rod and Hydros reel as the 2018 Rod Raffle first prize.
Frank Zybliski of Palos Heights was the second prize winner of Fishpond gear.

Holiday Party a Social and Financial Success!

Our December 12 Holiday Party at the Arrowhead Golf Club in Wheaton drew 57 members and guests for our annual social event and fundraiser.  The Holiday Party—which included a silent auction and bucket raffles—netted $4,052 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—Mat Wagner of The Driftless Angler.
Muskegon River—Kevin Feenstra of Feenstra Guide Service.
Northern Illinois Rivers—Mike Allen of Midwest Waters Angling Co.

Please support these guides as you make your 2019 fishing plans.  For a list of other OBTU “business partners” and past donors to our 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.

Arrowhead Golf Club was our new 2018 Holiday Party venue where 57 members and guests gathered. Tom Wilhelm kept things moving as our MC with Rod Raffle, Bucket Raffle and Silent Auction winner announcements.


Oak Brook TU Chapter Elects New Officers and Directors

The January 16, 2019 Oak Brook TU membership meeting featured the chapter’s annual election of Officers and Directors nominated by the Leadership Development and Nominating Committee.

The current Board of Directors elected the following officers to serve a term of one year in the offices as indicated below:
President:  Willie Beshire
Vice President:  Dave Carlson
Secretary:  Carol Hennessy
Treasurer: Jack Potts

Willie Beshire, formerly Vice President, has been elected as the chapter’s new President.  Dave Carlson, the chapter’s current Conservation Committee Chair, has been elected Vice President.  Dave will continue to serve as the Conservation Committee Chair.  Carol Hennessy and Jack Potts will continue to serve in their current roles as Secretary and Treasurer, respectively.

Meeting attendees formerly elected as returning Board Directors for a three-year term Jim Schmiedeskamp and John Snyder.  Jim will continue to serve as the chapter’s Communications Chair responsible for membership communications, publicity and our website.  John Snyder, who has served as the Fundraising Committee Chair the past two years, will join the Conservation Committee.

Dan LaFave was elected as a Director to complete the remaining two years of an open Director position.  Dan is currently the Illinois TU Youth Camp Director and member of the Membership Committee.

To learn more about Board positions and other volunteer opportunities, please contact Lisa Gilmore, Leadership Development and Nominating Committee Chair or the appropriate Officer or Director listed in the 2019 OBTU Board Contacts List 


Oak Brook TU Chapter 2018 Financial Report

The highlights of the Oak Brook TU Chapter’s 2018 Finance Report follow:

$31,036 was raised in the chapter’s 2018 fiscal year (October 1, 2017 to September 30, 2018) through the following sources per the Revenue chart below:
—  Spring Solicitation, Annual Rod Raffle, Holiday Party Fundraiser and Meeting Raffles.
—  Contributions from individuals, corporations and foundations.
—  Investment and interest income.

$23,057 in expenses were incurred across the following consolidated categories per the chart below.
—  $15,701 for conservation, youth education and membership programs.
—  $5,326 for fundraising costs including printing, mailing and prize expenses.
—  $2,303 for general administrative expenses which includes accounting software, email services, website support costs, and miscellaneous printing/mailing costs.

The Chapter ended the 2018 fiscal year with net income of $7,979.  See the detailed 2018 Financial Report_Newsletter.

The Oak Brook TU Endowment Fund ended the 2018 fiscal year with $35,642.  The objective of the Oak Brook TU Endowment Fund is to provide long-term funding of key chapter conservation initiatives through the fund’s investment earnings. The Endowment Fund principal is permanently restricted to generate earnings for future chapter conservation initiative.  The fund is invested with Vanguard.  For questions about the Oak Brook TU Endowment Fund, please contact Fred Hodge (630.267.9643).

February 20 Meeting Speaker:  Guide Abe Downs on Fly Fishing Wisconsin’s North Woods for Smallmouth, Pike and Muskie

Abe Downs will speak on fly fishing Wisconsin’s northern waters for smallmouth bass, northern pike and muskie. The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Oak Brook Recreation Center Central Park West Building.  Guests are welcome.

Abe Downs, owner of Great Northern Fly Fishing, is an Orvis endorsed guide, serving both experienced and novice fly fishers.  Located in the heart of Wisconsin in Stevens Point, Great Northern Fly Fishing specializes in guided fly fishing trips on northern Wisconsin rivers.  Anglers can choose between McKenzie drift boat and wade fishing on the beautiful and historic Wisconsin River and surrounding waters. Stevens Point is a 4.5-hour drive from Chicago.

For more information, visit the Northern Fly Fishing website.

Great Northern Fly Fishing serves both experienced and novice fly fishers in pursuit of smallmouth bass, northern pike and muskie.


The 2019 TU Upper Midwest Regional is Coming to Illinois

The Trout Unlimited national organization is excited to be bringing the 2019 TU Upper Midwest Regional Rendezvous to Illinois. Save the date and plan to attend the conference in Zion, Illinois on March 29-31.

Designed specifically for TU volunteers, TU’s regional rendezvous is an occasion to be inspired and learn from the work of your fellow volunteers and TU staff across the region.

Featuring a mix of workshops, round-table discussions, and networking opportunities and, of course, steelhead fishing, the Upper Midwest Regional Rendezvous is a great way to meet people who share your passion for conservation and learn from each other tips, tactics and ideas to take home and make your own chapter or council stronger!

The cost of the rendezvous will be $125 for the full weekend, with options to attend for just one day, as well as other options for joining parts of the event.

See the TU Upper Midwest Rendevous website for more details including the three-day agenda.

Meet Willie Beshire

By Jim Schmiedeskamp

Starting with this newsletter issue, I will be profiling various members of the Oak Brook TU Chapter as a way to for our membership to get to know each other better.  With the election of our 2019 Officers at our January 16 annual meeting, I thought I’d start with our new President—Willie Beshire.

Willie became involved in Oak Brook TU after retiring as a teacher at Wheaton Warrenville South High School where he taught various math courses for 10 years.  Teaching became a second career after working for 27 years as a management consultant for two global consulting firms, including Accenture (formerly Andersen Consulting).  His last consulting location was Australia where he worked for nine years.

Willie’s first OBTU volunteer role was as an Illinois TU Council Summer Youth Camp mentor in 2014 which grew into the Camp Director position in 2015.  He has been the Camp Director through 2018.  With his new responsibilities as Chapter President, Willie has turned over the Camp Director reins to Dan LaFave.  As Camp Director, Willie has traveled the Chicago area visiting other TU chapters, attending various fishing and outdoor shows, and staffing special year-round events at Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops promoting the camp and its educational benefits for 13-18 young men and women.  Besides the Illinois TU Council Camp Director position,  Willie became more involved in the OBTU Chapter overseeing our membership meeting content as the Meeting Programs Committee Chairman in 2016.  He became the chapter’s Vice President in 2017, a role he served through the end of 2018.

Like many OBTU volunteers, getting involved has provided many post-career benefits. “My experience at OBTU has exceeded my own expectations in many ways,” says Willie. “I look forward to continue developing new friendships and working with the OBTU team to optimize our collective experience.  Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any ideas for improving our chapter.  Also, let me know if you would like to get more involved.”

Hometown:  Medina, Ohio
Current home: Wheaton, IL
How long as a TU member: 7 years
Introduction to fly fishing:  About 15 years ago by friends who were leading the Fly Fishing Field Studies course at the College of DuPage (COD).  Later became an “Adjunct Instructor” assisting with the COD program.
Favorite “fishing hole”:  Too many to count!  Any good trout stream in the Driftless Area.  The Muskegon River is a great place to chase steelhead.  And the Au Sable River, the home of the IL Youth Camp and birth place of TU, is a sentimental favorite.
Email:  wbeshire@aol.com

Oak Brook TU President Willie Beshire with a Muskegon River spring steelhead.

Orvis Yorktown Offers Free February Introductory Fly Tying Workshops

Saturdays 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.
February 2 through February 23

Learn the basics of fly tying for free at Orvis Fly Tying 101! During this two-hour class you will learn essential fly tying techniques and leave having tied your first fly.

As a thank you for taking the class, you will receive special offers on fly tying materials, accessories, and kits. Classes will be offered through Saturday, February 23. 8 students per class, and registration is required.  Fly tying equipment and materials are provided.

View the Orvis Yorktown website event calendar for upcoming dates and to sign up on their website. Participants must register online.  Contact the store directly for any questions.

Orvis Yorktown
306 Yorktown Center
Lombard, IL 60148
Phone: 630-932-6573
Email:  retail-yorktownstr042@orvis.com

Sign up for free introductory fly tying workshops on Saturdays from 9-11 a.m. in February.

Volunteer for our May 4 “Adopt-a-Stream” Naperville Project

Come out for the Oak Brook TU spring 2019 DuPage River Cleanup Day—9 a.m. to 12 noon!   Bring your river shoes or waders and join us for a morning of removing debris and litter along the West Branch of the DuPage River from Gartner Road to 75th Street in Naperville. This event is part of the DuPage County “Adopt-A-Stream” program to help keep local water resources clean.

Volunteers will meet at 9 a.m. at Pioneer Park which is located at 1212 S. Washington Street in Naperville.  Lunch will follow at a downtown Naperville restaurant TBD for interested members.

Gloves, trash pokers, garbage bags, water and technical support will be provided. For more information and/or to sign up please contact:
Chris Pierson—chris.pierson.630@gmail.com; 630-470-8183
Dave Carlson— dmcarlson@hotmail.com; 312-953-6759

Naperville’s Pioneer Park will be the meeting location for the May 4 Adopt-a-Stream project.

Follow Oak Brook TU Via Facebook and Instagram

If you have a Facebook account, help spread our chapter’s news, meeting information and volunteer activities by visiting our Facebook page and “Follow” and “Like” our page as well as individual posts and share our information with Facebook friends.

Also feel free to post your own photos from personal fishing trips and Oak Brook TU activities you participate in.

Connect to our Facebook page here.

You can check out our new Instagram account and follow it for fly fishing information from Oak Brook TU and news from other TU chapters, our business partners, our preferred guides, fly fishing gear companies and other conservation organizations.

Follow Oak Brook TU on Instagram for chapter and fly fishing news and great photos.

Two Brothers Artisan Brewing Latest OBTU Business Partner 

Two Brothers Artisan Brewing of Warrenville has become OBTU’s newest business partner.

Twenty-one years ago, brothers Jim and Jason Ebel followed their passion for craft beer when they founded Two Brothers Brewing Company.  Since then, Two Brothers has helped revolutionize the Chicago craft beer scene with a passion for creating high-quality, well-balanced beers that push the boundaries of flavor and innovation.

A Chicago craft beer pioneer, Two Brothers has been instrumental in introducing and popularizing a number of beer styles to the area, including German Hefeweizens, French Country Ales and Sours.  Currently, Two Brothers boasts an extensive lineup, featuring seven year-rounds, nine seasonals and a number of artisan beers released throughout the year.

Two Brothers beers can be purchased at most Binny’s locations as well as at its three Chicago western suburb restaurants: the Taphouse in Warrenville, the Craftsman in downtown Naperville, and the Roundhouse in Aurora.

Visit the Two Brothers website for more information on its craft beers and area restaurants.

Two Brothers artisan beers are available at Binny’s locations in Chicagoland and at its three western suburb restaurants.

The Librarian’s Corner

By Phil Young

Urban Warfare:  In Pursuit of the Poor Man’s Bonefish (BT Productions) 40m / DVD
Okay.  Fly fishing for common carp is fun and the fish are readily available almost everywhere in Illinois.  But, contrary to the above title, they are more like redfish than bonefish.  This is not a “how to” DVD, but a look at pursuing a tough, technically challenging, selective feeder that can put you into your backing.  Try it.  You will like it.

Wet Fly Ways with Davy Wotton (Cascade Mediaworks, LLC / 2005) 120m / DVD
You and I both enjoy swinging wet flies down and across a stream.  But, in this DVD, Davy Wotton demonstrates the traditional method of presenting a cast of three wet flies.  Learn how to choose the proper flies, tie the knots and correct dropper lengths, and cast this rig to every quadrant of the stream.  Davy Wotton will help you to rediscover this lost art.

These DVDs, 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.


Smithsonian Channel Debuts “America’s Mississippi”

It begins at Minnesota’s Lake Itasca and ends in the Gulf of Mexico. From north to south, the mighty Mississippi River is a 2,300-mile marvel and America’s lifeline to the world.  Follow the river as it carves its path from the northern headwaters to the nation’s heartland to the southern bayou.  Discover how the Mississippi operates as an engine of commerce, and see how its wildlife thrive in and above its rushing waters and along its lush, green banks.

The three-part series on the Smithsonian Channel features 60-minute segments as follows:

“The Headwaters” traces the birth of the Mississippi River at Minnesota’s Lake Itasca through the Driftless Area of Wisconsin and Iowa.

“The Heartland” covers the Mississippi River from the confluence of the Missouri River into the heart of America and witness life under water, in the skies, and along its banks.

“The Bayou” follows the Mississippi River into the Deep South, through Cajun country, and finally the Gulf of Mexico.

Also available for viewing on the Smithsonian Channel is a three-part series on Yellowstone Park.  Of special interest is the “Mystery in Yellowstone” episode which traces the decline in the Park’s elk population from 20,000 to 5,000 over the last decade due to the introduction of invasive lake trout in Yellowstone Lake.  It’s a very interesting biologist investigation connecting natural predators like wolves and grizzly bears to the declining elk population and the role Yellowstone Lake’s lake trout played in the elk decline.

Visit the Smithsonian Channel website for viewing dates and times for both programs.


Dun Magazine Now Offering 50% off One-Year Subscription

Dun Magazine is no ordinary fly fishing publication.  This quarterly publication is a work of art perfect for both reading and display on your coffee table.  Published by OBTU business partner and friend Jen Ripple, Dun Magazine is over-sized to showcase the stunning photography inside.

Priced at $20.00 per issue at retail, Dun Magazine is now accepting one-year subscriptions for $40.00.  Visit the Dun Magazine website for more information and to have it delivered to your front door.

A Dun Magazine subscription for four quarterly issues is now available at 50% savings.