2019 Illinois TU Youth Fly Fishing and Conservation Camp Seeking Applicants

The 12th annual edition of the Illinois Council of Trout Unlimited Youth Conservation and Fly Fishing camp is scheduled July 21-26, 2019 at the RAM Conference Center in Roscommon, Michigan.

The 2019 camp delivers a rigorous introduction to the sport of fly fishing on the famed Au Sable River in Michigan while also developing the next generation of cold water conservation advocates.  An experienced Trout Unlimited mentor team will conduct fly fishing instruction and guide twelve 13- to 18-year-old campers through prime time morning and evening trout fishing sessions on several sections of the Au Sable River.  Throughout the mid-day periods, field trips include an electro-shock survey of the local trout population, entomology surveys to capture and identify aquatic insect life, a stream improvement project to enhance trout habitat, a trout dissection with anatomy lesson, and explorations of the natural environment and its history.

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

The camp cost includes round-trip transportation from Chicago, lodging, meals and 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 detailed information, including an application, please visit the Youth Camp web page for more information and application.

2018 Illinois Trout Unlimited Youth Conservation and Fly Fishing Camp Participants and Mentors


OBTU Among Top 5 Trout Unlimited Instagram Accounts in Followers

Since its launch last November, Oak Brook TU’s Instagram account has over 700 followers ranking #5 among TU’s 52 Instagram accounts according to Chris Pierson, who created and manages our photo sharing social media channel.

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, as well as our business partners and 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.

New Sponsor and Business Partners

Oak Brook TU is pleased to announce the addition of a new “Valued Sponsor” and two new “Business Partners.”

Rush Creek Distilling of Harvard, Illinois is our latest Valued Sponsor who is donating their craft-made whiskey, vodka and gin products in support of our 2019 fundraising programs. Rush Creek Distilling’s inspiration comes from founders and brothers Mark and Todd Stricker who proudly craft their distilled spirits with no shortcuts using nearby pure spring water, select local grains and uncompromising craftmanship.

Offering live music, craft cocktails, tastings and tours. You can get there by car en route to a Driftless Area fishing trip. Visit their website for more information.

Visit Rush Creek Distilling, in Harvard, Illinois for live music, craft cocktails, tastings and a tour.

Two New Business Partners

Trails & Tides is a downtown Naperville retail store featuring Southern Tide and Patagonia apparel and accessories for men, women, boys and girls. Visit their website for more information.

Sandhill Coffee debuts as another new business partner.  Founded by Phil Wingo, his vision is to provide a premium coffee that makes connections to others and the environment. As a proud member of 1% for the Planet, Sandhill Cofee will donate 1% of its yearly revenue to an environmental non-profit.  It is currently available at Casey’s Foods and DuPage Fly Fishing in Naperville, and Gene’s Sausage and Deli in Chicago.

Learn more about their small batch sustainable specialty coffees by visiting the Sandhill Coffee website.
Sandhill Coffee is a premium specialty coffee available at Casey’s Foods and DuPage Fly Fishing in Naperville, and Gene’s Sausage and Deli in Chicago.


Librarian’s Corner

By Phil Young
Providence (Confluence Films) 70m / DVD
In 2003, two South Africans began a fly fishing guide service and searched for fishing sites along the east coast of Africa. They found a relatively untouched fishery in the Seychelles Islands and soon wondered how they were going to handle their increasing number of clients. Then in 2009, Somali pirates invaded the area and the local government closed the area to tourism and fishing. This DVD is the story of what they found when the area was opened in 2015 and they returned to the flats of the Seychelles. Providence is an exciting fly fishing adventure story that is so beautifully filmed that my wife sat with me and watched it from beginning to end. You will enjoy it too.
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.
Providence (Confluence Films) 70m / DVD now available throught the Oak Brook TU chapter library.

Award-winning Wildlife Photography Exhibits on Display in Chicago

The Notebaert Nature Museum in Lincoln Park is showcasing Thomas Mangelsen’s award-winning wildlife photography through June 2. Named “A Life in the Wild,” the noted wildlife photographer’s work will features 40 large-scale prints. Admission is $9 for adults and $7 for seniors. For more information visit the museum’s website  for hours and additional information.

The Field Museum is now featuring a “Wildlife Photographer of the Year” exhibit through January 12, 2020. The exhibit–with over 100 mostly large images–was produced by the Natural History Museum in London. Started in 1965, this is the longest-running nature photography competition in the world and involved 45,000 submissions from 95 countries. Visit the Field Museum’s website for hours and additional information.

The Notebaert Nature Museum in Lincoln Park is showcasing Thomas Mangelsen’s award-winning wildlife photography through June 2.



Labrador Also a Home to Trophy Pike

At the April 17 membership meeting, speaker Carl Hueter his shared his success catching trophy brook trout in Labrador, Canada’s most eastern province.
He also described the abundance of large northern pike in the region’s many lakes that connect the streams and rivers where brook trout reside. For more information on Labrador’s trophy northern pike, see the DUN Magazine 2018 Fall issue story.
DUN Magazine is currently offering one-year subscriptions for $40.00 which is 50% off their newsstand price.

Learn about Labrador trophy pike in an online story published by DUN Magazine.

“Our Planet” Debuts New Series on Netflix

Sir David Attenborough narrates this new eight-part series that explores the unique wonders of the natural world. Produced in partnership with the World Wildlife Fund, “Out Planet” uses a combination of stunning photography and technology to present Earth’s remaining wilderness areas and their animal inhabitants.
The project took four years to complete, with more than 600 crew members filming in 50 countries across the world to showcase the diversity that exists among habitats, from the remote Arctic wilderness to the jungles of South America.
The series made its debut April 5.  For a special preview and one month free membership, visit the Netflix “Our Planet” page.

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.