2006 Schedule of Events:
May 10. NCC-TU Monthly Membership Meeting; Jeff Kelble, regional fly and light tackle smallmouth guide out of Boyce
Friday-Sunday, May 19-21: NCC-TU Annual Rapidan Outing, Rapidan River, Wolftown, VA. Contact Irene Petrlik, (301) 625-9225.
Friday, May 26: Big Hunting Creek, near Thurmont, MD. Contact Alfredo Suescum, firstname.lastname@example.org.June 4. Father-Child casting clinic. In preparation for a Father-Child outing on Fathers Day, during National Fishing & Boating Month. Place and time TBD. For more information, and to register, please write: email@example.com.
June 18th. Father-Child outing. Special for Father's Day! Place and time still TBD. For more information, to register, please write: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Latter half of July (date TBD): Gunpowder River, Baltimore County, MD. Contact George Gaines, email@example.com.
July 22. TU Camper Reunion Outing. Special outing for past participants in the TU Conservation and Fishing Camp. For more information, please write: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thursday, September 14: Yellow Breeches, Boiling Springs, PA. Contact Irene Petrlik, (301) 625-9225.
For updates, and more details, please go to the Outings page on our web site, at www.ncc-tu.org.
The President's Forward
Summer Break. Our next Chapter Meeting, on May 10, marks the end of another program year, until October of 2006. We’ve had a great set of activities since last October, thanks to our Program Chair and past President, Frank Smith, and thanks to many other volunteers, too numerous to mention individually. Our new crew of newsletter editors, Andrew Janssen and Tom Mann, have put together informative and entertaining editions of Riffles, our chapter newsletter. This edition of Riffles is also the last until next October.
Outings Report: Project Healing Waters at Morgan Runby Alfredo Suescum
Project Healings Waters (PHW, www.projecthealingwaters.org) was inspired by the nationally acclaimed “Casting for Recovery” program for cancer survivors. The Project is a joint activity initiated by the National Capital Chapter of Trout Unlimited (NCC-TU) and the Mid Atlantic Council of the Federation of Fly Fishers (MAC- FF), with the support of individual members in the national capital region.
offers wounded military personnel from
Morgan Run outing participants met at the
After a brief round of introductions and orientation, the group split up and downstream, to fish, and enjoy the beautiful weather. Several of the participants were beginners and had only had casting instruction. For many, this was the first real opportunity to cast a line and present a fly to real fish.
The trout, beautiful, plentiful, and hungry, thanks to a generous stocking by DNR, were no pushovers. Still, a few were caught and landed, and it seems everyone was skillful enough able to entice a few fish to their flies.
Flows were solid, though a little low despite the recent rains. The water was clear and cold. The hatches for the day seemed to be a mix of black caddis #18, yellow craneflies #18, and a few blue quills #18. Ants and beetles, midge nymphs and caddis pupa rounded out the bugs popular among the fish that day.
After a stream-side lunch, and a rest, the troops regrouped, and headed out to tease and catch more trout. By , it was time for the group shot and departure, despite the continued ripples of rising fish. I believe everyone was thoroughly satisfied and pleased by the experience. This volunteer, for one, was honored and proud to be able to support PHW in the company of such dedicated, enjoyable, and enthusiastic group. PHW has a full agenda for the next several weeks, but all I can say is “Let’s do it again, folks!” Thanks for the opportunity!
Outings Report: Impromptu Shad Outing
By Mark Binsted
The annual NCC-TU shad outing took place on May 3rd at Fletcher's Cove. Recent catches made the group hopeful that American shad would strike willingly on the incoming tide that morning. We were not disappointed. Member Sandy Burk was able to squeeze in a hour with the group and promptly landed a beautiful roe American on a double shad dart rig. It was one of those days when spinning tackle excelled, at least initially. The hits were deep and very soft. The wind kicked up and made fly fishing difficult.
It turns out that Matt patiently sat where we left him and worked the full outgoing tide. He played around with ways to get the line to sink better, settling on a mending technique borrowed from trout fishing. Having few shad flies, Matt used the smallest white dart Fletcher's sells, the one popular with crappie fishermen. By the end of the day he landed thirteen American shad, some nice roes among them. As he returned the reel he said, in his twenty-year-old monotone, "trout don't pull as hard." Now he's the one that's hooked.
We're going to make Matt join the Chapter before we let him come back.
Shad Alert!May brings the peak of shad season to local rivers, and continued NCC-TU Shad Alerts by email. Subscribe to the Shad Alerts at email@example.com. Send us your report from any local stream and we'll get the word out, and perhaps pass on some tips as well.
License to Fish
NCC-TU is now an agent for DC fishing license sales! Get your DC fishing license at our next regular monthly meeting (May 10th), and be ready for the shad run. For information, firstname.lastname@example.org.
NCC-TU needs you! Open
Board, Officer, and Volunteer Positions
Have you been wondering how you might become more involved in Chapter activities? NCC-TU is always in need of volunteers for various ongoing functions. Here are a few specific suggestions:
1. Become an Officer or Board Member. Help guide NCC-TU's programs. We are always looking for new leaders, and are drawing up the nominations list for our next election in October 2006. If you would like to be considered, or suggest a name, please write us at email@example.com.
2. Become our Program Chair. Frank Smith, past NCC-TU President and current Program Chair, is leaving this position at the beginning of this summer. We need someone to organize our speakers schedule for the regular Members' meetings and the Annual National Capital Angling Show. Frank has already set up a tentative schedule for most of the next program year, would be happy for an apprentice, or help you with his Rolodex and introductions.
3. We need a new Webmaster. Keep up our presence in cyber-space. Gene Gaines, our champion cyber-meister, is also moving on. We plan to roll out a new look later this summer, and need a volunteer to maintain our website and e-mailings. Will train!
4. Work with our kids as the Stream Team Coordinator. This involves organizing and coordinating First Cast, and Trout in the Classroom programs. This is a great opportunity to become involved with our local schools, and grooming our next generation of cold-water conservationists.
5. Lead an
teach a clinic. We have several outings planned for
this year, but we
need new blood! We have a Father’s day outing
planned; how about
organizing the Mother’s Day outing? Or a casting
clinic? Or a
fly-tying clinic? No experience is necessary, and we can help
you with set
up, gear, and materials. Trust me, you can’t go
wrong. People are
always happy when they learn that little something extra, even if you
learned it five minutes before they did.
To sign up, learn more, or to be added to our electronic mailing list, please write us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You are also encouraged to attend our regular Chapter meetings every second Wednesday of the following months: October, November, January, February, April, and May.
Time to Think Terrestrials
By Tom Mann
Spring has sprung, and the terrestrial insects that trout and other game fish eat are well into their lifecycles that will end by the frosts that herald winter's return. Foremost among these bugs are ants, beetles, grasshoppers, crickets, bees, and inchworms. Most major mayfly hatches will be over by early summer, and in the eastern half of the US, aquatic insects become less important, while terrestrial insects grow larger and more tempting.
Flies of the Month: The Fur Ant and the Green Weenie
By Tom Mann
These are two easy-to-tie terrestrial flies, and they catch fish. The efficacy of ants is well known, despite their virtual invisibility to the angler. As discussed below, adding features to make the fly easier to spot can be the ticket to successful ant fishing. I was skeptical about the green weenie until a June trip two years ago with PA guide Don Bastian on the Little Juniata. It was tough fishing during the bright afternoons, and the green weenie saved the day for me. The key to tying a good green weenie is using very fine chenille for the body material.
The Fur Ant
Body: dubbing spun in the shape of an ant--a larger, oval-shaped abdomen, a narrow thorax with only tying thread, and a smaller, rounder head next to the eye
Hackle: one or two sparse turns of a small hackle attached at the thorax to match the dubbing; the hackle may be tied parachute style when using a post for visibility
Optional Wing or Post: small hackle tips or bright polyester for visibility
The Green Weenie
Body: fine chartreuse chenille body, tightly wound, showing the kind of segmentation seen on an inchworm
Optional: black or gold bead head, thread or short hackle to emphasize segmentation.
The fly may be tied with or without a loop of chenille for the tail. I prefer it without the the loop, but mine is a
TU Conservation & Fishing Camp
Building on its very successful first year in 2005, the TU Conservation & Fishing Camp for high school students is actively recruiting young men and women to attend its June 25 – 30, 2006, session to be held again at Graves’ Mountain Lodge in Syria, Virginia. The Camp offers an exciting week of hands-on, action packed fun for high school students in the Lodge’s beautiful mountain stream environment adjacent to Shenandoah National Park. Interested Campers will gain the knowledge and skills that will help them become responsible and successful anglers, and informed and motivated conservationists.
The Camp is a joint effort of the Trout Unlimited state councils and local chapters of Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, and DC.
If you know an interested student currently in the 8th through 11th grade, or have contacts with youth groups, we need your help to encourage youths who would benefit from this experience to apply to attend the Camp. Information about the Camp, including how to apply to attend, is available at www.tucamp.org. Camper slots are filling up fast. Apply soon to attend the 2006 Camp. The all-inclusive fee to attend the six-day, five-night Camp is $450. All needed equipment and gear is furnished to campers who do not have their own, and partial and full scholarships are available for campers who need financial assistance to be able to attend.
The Camp also is seeking financial donations, and volunteers to help with advance planning and organizing, as well as on-site staff during the Camp. We especially need ghillies to assist the campers when they go fishing. For additional information, to make a donation, or to volunteer to help, contact George Gaines at email@example.com or (202) 363-0437, or Paul Kearney at firstname.lastname@example.org or (540) 229-0563.
NCC-TU Chapter Assessment
When you pay your annual dues to National Trout Unlimited (TU), you automatically pay your annual dues to be a member of a local TU chapter. However, the income that the National Capital Chapter receives from National TU memberships does not cover the total costs of operating the chapter. Therefore, we annually assess our members $15 to provide the funds necessary to operate our chapter, and to enhance angling experiences for our members. We need your annual assessment for 2005-2006, which was due September 15, 2005.
While the Chapter operates solely with volunteers, the other key ingredient is obtaining adequate funding support. Annual assessments enable us to communicate through our Website, www.ncc-tu.org, distribute Riffles our electronic chapter newsletter, and by email notices. Assessment fees help to cover the rising costs of offering monthly programs on fishing adventures and techniques, and on stream conservation. They enable us to develop and provide fly fishing and fly tying classes, to offer conservation and fishing education programs for youth, and to organize outings to local hot fishing spots. Your assessments provide seed funds for our major annual fundraiser, the National Capital Angling Show, and they enhance our conservation and education grant-making capability.
Last year, we made over $8,000 in grants to such organizations as the Beaver Creek (MD) Watershed Association, the Anacostia (MD-DC) Watershed Society, TU Back the Brookie Campaign, the Whirling Disease Foundation, and the Falling Spring (PA) Greenway. We supported the founding of the TU Conservation and Fishing Camp (VA-MD-DC-WV, see www.tucamp.org), and sponsored two area youth for a week at the camp during its first summer.
Your $15 assessment for Chapter year 2005-2006 was due September 15, 2005. Please mail the form below with a check payable to “NCC-TU” to:
Chapter of Trout Unlimited
of TROUT UNLIMITED
Please provide the following information to insure proper credit for your payment:
City _________________________________ State ______________ Zipcode _____________________
NCC-TU communicates by email. Please provide your preferred email address: _______________________
Despite the importance of the hatch, under more "artificial" conditions, which include many of our closer waters such as Morgan Run, the Patuxent, Big Hunting Creek, and Beaver Creek, you may have better luck fishing generic flies. A good prospecting fly is an Adams, an elk hair caddis, or a Royal Wulff, with a midge pupa trailer about 15 inches below the dry fly. It is also a good idea to search with a small Woolly Bugger (size 10 or 12), or its variant, Jay Sheppard's Patuxent Special.
Capital Chapter of Trout Unlimited