Fall and 2020 Winter Speaker Line Up
November 20, 7:00-9:00 p.m.
Speaker: Nicole Watson, Ph.D Student, Michigan State University, on “Michigan’s Grayling Reintroduction”.
Location: Oak Brook Recreation Center Central Park West Building. Guests are welcome.
January 15, 7:00-9:00 pm
Speaker: Jay Allen, Yellowstone Backbacking Guide, on: “Fly Fishing Yellowstone”
Location: Oak Recreation Center Main Building, Canterberry Room.
Save the Date: Holiday Party Fundraiser and Rod Raffle Drawing December 11
Mark your calendar now for our annual Holiday Party Fundraiser and Rod Raffle drawing scheduled Wednesday, December 11, from 7-9:30 p.m. at the Arrowhead Golf Club in Wheaton.
This year’s event features a new location. In addition to the Rod Raffle drawing, a silent auction will feature Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin guide trips; Fishpond and Simms fly fishing gear; plus plenty of bucket raffle items including wine, spirits, and craft beer baskets in addition to other great prizes.
Tickets to the event will cost $50 apiece and cover appetizers, desserts and your choice of wine, beer, cocktails or soft drinks. Tickets will be available for sale at our November 20 chapter meeting and at the door on December 11 via check, cash and credit card.
Participants in the Annual Rod Raffle do not need to attend the Holiday Party to be eligible for winning one of 12 great prizes.
We need your RSVP before December 1 for planning. Spouses and guests are invited! Email Jim Dickens with your RSVP(s): email@example.com
Youth Fly Fishing Classes Complete 15th Year
By Marvin Strauch
This year has been a very successful year for the Youth Fly Fishing program at Oak Brook TU. We’ve now been doing the program for 15 years! As in the past couple years, we offered monthly classes from May through September conducted at the Sagawau Environmental Education Center of the Cook County Forest Preserves near Lemont. Actual outdoor fly rod casting instruction and fishing took place at nearby Horsetail Lake. Classes typically ran from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The classes cover a basic discussion of fly tackle—rods, reels lines and leaders—and the different types of flies to imitate different foods. There were sections on knot tying, outdoor safety, and fly tying. Each participant tied two flies (a foam beetle and a soft hackle wet fly). After a lunch break, each class left Camp Sagawau and headed to a Forest Preserve lake for fly casting instruction and plenty of fishing. All of these activities provided a hands-on taste of the sport of fly fishing.
Apparently, someone posted our 2019 youth program flyer on a Chicago Boy Scouts of America merit badge Facebook page and for a week in March, my phone and computer just lit up. In order to respond to the demand, we added a second class in August, for a total of 6 classes. We taught 84 boys and girls to fly fish, and I’m confident that many of these young people will enjoy their new sport, and hopefully remember the nice folks at Trout Unlimited and our conservation concern for coldwater fisheries.
Also, as in recent years, we not only had participants from our south and west suburban areas along with the city of Chicago, but young people came from Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa and Missouri. In addition, I had very good conversations with folks looking to establish a Youth Fly Fishing program in downstate Illinois, in northern Michigan, and in Iowa. I wish them success.
Of course, this program could not exist with the enthusiastic support of our membership volunteers. We had 26 volunteers helping. Many of these volunteers not only acted as fishing mentors, but also presenting one or more of the programs segments. My thanks go out to: Miguel and Mirella Alvarez, Ted Bernhard, Wally Bock, Willie Beshire, Steve Carlson, Art Cottrell, Lisa Gilmore, Carol Hennessy, Fred Hodge, Ken Krueger, Dan LaFave, Mike Lesiak, Dave Lunardini, Dale MacDonald, Phil McCluskey, Max Odena, Greg Prosen, Brian Ross, Mitch Schwarz, Bill Thoms, Tom Wilhelm, Phil Young, Stan Zarnowiecki, and Frank Zbylski.
We are already beginning to plan for next year, and hopefully the program will continue to grow. While we have been pleased by the response we get from Boy Scouts each year, we would like to reach out to those young people who are just interested in fly fishing, or in coldwater conservation.
And of course, we can always use more volunteers, as it takes 8-10 volunteers to conduct each class day. Please consider volunteering for next year and join in on the fun of passing your knowledge of fly fishing and the conservation mission of TU to another generation.
Education Chair – OBTU
International Guides Now on Website
In addition to “Preferred Guides” listed on the Oak Brook TU website’s 18 Midwest fishing pages, we have now included guides who offer international fly fishing trips from Alaska to Argentina. Several of these guides are currently Preferred Guides located in the Midwest who offer special seasonal trips to locations like British Columbia and Patagonia by Mat Wagner of Wisconsin’s Driftless Angler fly shop. Other listed guides specialize in trips like Javier Guevara of Ecuador Fly Fishing Tours (Central and South America) and Ouzel International Expeditions (Alaska and Kamchatka, Russia).
See the Business Partners page on the chapter’s website for all international destinations.
Member Profile: Meet Phil Young
Phil Young has been a member of the Oak Brook Chapter of Trout Unlimited for 17 years and is easily recognized by his distinguished mustache. He’s one of the folks that many of us know from our monthly membership meetings as a regular attendee and long-time chapter “Librarian” of our extensive fly fishing DVD and video collection which he has managed for five years.
Phil served as a Board member from 2007 through 2010, and has held a number of other roles in the chapter. He has also been an active conservation and youth education volunteer.
Phil has been a real driver of the OBTU youth education effort which he was instrumental in starting 15 years ago. According to our current Youth Education Chair Marvin Strauch, it was Phil who stood up at a membership meeting in 2005 asked why we didn’t do anything for kids. He immediately got involved by developing our chapter’s youth fly fishing classes, and three years later helped launch the Illinois Council of Trout Unlimited summer youth camp, which just concluded its 12 successful year. Phil has also been a “Trout in the Classroom” program volunteer. In 2011, Phil was recognized with Trout Unlimited’s national Youth Education Award and proudly feels the Oak Brook chapter’s youth education outreach programs are the best in the country. Phil says if he ever retires from his current job as a Professional Land Surveyor, he’d like to participate in the annual Illinois TU summer camp as a mentor.
Phil has been married for 49 years. He and his wife Marlys have two adult sons.
|Hometown: Durant, Iowa
Current home: Bristol, Illinois
How long as a TU member: 17 years
Introduction to fly fishing: I had a fly fishing uncle who introduced my Dad and me to fly fishing in
northeastern Iowa when I was a teenager. However, I did not get serious about fly fishing until I graduated
from the University of Iowa where I majored in geology.
Favorite fishing holes: I have fly fished from the Boundary Waters of northern Minnesota to the Florida Keys
and south Texas and many places in between. I love them all, but my favorite freshwater spots are farm ponds
with bass and bluegills and my favorite saltwater spots are the Everglades and Florida Bay.
This Issue’s “Fishtoon”