President’s Letter

Greetings Oak Brook TU members and friends:

I would like to begin this month’s letter by reminding you of our new calendar on our “obtu.org” website.  This tool should become your “go to” location for the details of upcoming events and opportunities to participate in OBTU.  Just to make sure you have experienced the new capability, here check out our “Calendar” web page by going to the “12-Month Calendar” link.  You can view all meetings and events by month. Individual events feature detailed information including Google map locations.  While the new calendar will serve as our central repository of all scheduled upcoming events, OBTU will also continue to send out electronic bimonthly newsletters and “e-blast” announcements.

I would like to recognize Jim Schmiedeskamp, OBTU Communications Chair, for his leadership in delivering our new calendar as well as all of our chapter’s technology-based communications capabilities. For the past several years, Jim has been the driving force in developing our advanced website capability as well as more recently helping OBTU enter the world of social media through successful Facebook and Instagram initiatives.  Well done Jim!

On another subject, I’m pleased to report that our chapter’s September 27-29 Wisconsin “Driftless Area” Fly Fishing Outing was enjoyed by the 12 people who attended. The group included a good mix of new and old colleagues. Everyone quickly bonded and had a wonderful time.

Despite challenging weather and water conditions, the group had fly fishing success on a number of Driftless Area streams including the West Fork of the Kickapoo, the Timber Coulee, Weister Creek, Camp Creek, North Branch of the Bad Axe, Reed’s Creek and the Little LaCrosse.  We split up into small fishing teams with experienced mentors. Teams and locations were rotated so that everyone had ample opportunity to explore the various streams and creeks.

The lodging at “Nature Nooks Retreat” on the West Fork of the Kickapoo near Viroqua provided an excellent base for our operations.  The “Retreat” provided a great atmosphere for our group outing.  We enjoyed striking views of the West Fork’s river valley from our front porch.  The “Kinship Place” conference facility provided a place for congregating, socializing and more than a little story telling.    Blue ribbon fly fishing was only a short walk away.

Everyone raved about Saturday night dinner and two breakfasts prepared by OBTU member Bob Hutchinson (who doubles as a banker in his spare time).  The group feasted on Bob’s “penne pasta drizzled with four-meat ragout”, “chorizo and taco egg bake”, and other delicacies.   While Bob was willing to share the intricacies of using a pheasant tail nymph to bring trout from a deep run to hand, I regret to inform that the details of Bob’s recipes shall forever remain a mystery.

Participants gained appreciation of some of the key conservation challenges in the Driftless Area.   Weister Creek stream restoration work (partially funded by OBTU) was in good repair despite the region’s recent high-water events.  Accomplishments of the Trout Unlimited Driftless Area Restoration Effort (TUDARE) were evident at many of our fishing locations. Also apparent was the significant erosion damage from recent high-water events highlighting the need for continued habitat improvement efforts.

In summary, the group shared many blessings:  fellowship of old and new friends; appreciation of the “Driftless Area’s version of the great outdoors; a passion for the sport of fly fishing for wild stream trout; escape from our daily pressures; and so much more.  In the immortal words of William Shakespeare: “Parting was such sweet sorrow”.  Stay tuned for 2020 outings!

On another note, please plan to attend our annual Holiday Party Fundraiser on Wednesday, December 11, 7-9:30 p.m., at the Arrowhead Golf Club in Wheaton for our year-end social get-together.  See the related article and save the date on your calendar!

Hope to see you there.

Willie Beshire
President, Oak Brook Trout Unlimited Chapter
M: 630-200-2532  E: wbeshire@aol.com

Participants in the chapter’s September 27-29 Driftless Area fly fishing weekend.