The IFFF chapter of BC Flyfishers is a relative toddler compared to most IFFF chapters. The fledgling chapter began to form in late fall of 2013, starting with a group of anglers looking for an active and involved fly fishing club. The initial group consisted of Nick DiNunzio, John Trainor, Kurt Nelson, Gary Romanic, and Bob Bruns.
After some initial informal meetings, the group applied for chapter membership. From there, a board of directors was formed with its first board meeting held on March 15, 2014. A mission statement was crafted and the chapter name was selected along with a unique and very regional logo based on Johnny Hart’s cartoon strip, “BC”. Then came the start of monthly chapter meetings. The first chapter meeting was held on April 24, 2014, featuring an introduction by Kirk Klingensmith, President of the Twin Tier Five Rivers chapter of IFFF in the Elmira / Big Flats area of upstate NY. Following Kirk’s introduction, John Trainor gave a presentation on early season steelhead fishing on the Salmon River. By most accounts, the meeting was a huge success and had a turn-out of 41 people. From that auspicious start, the BC Flyfishers started to grow in membership, activity, and involvement.
Among the chapter’s notable accomplishments since its start in early 2014 are the following:
- Building a membership of over 50 anglers and anglers-to-be.
- A record of monthly chapter meetings with engaging speakers that ranged from local fly anglers, to well-known guides. One chapter meeting was even held “stream-side” on the West Branch of the Delaware.
- Promoting fly fishing for a variety of fish species, including smallmouth and largemouth bass, panfish, catfish, salmon, and of course, trout.
- Promoting fly casting, the true core of IFFF. The chapter ran its first fly casting clinic for beginner fly fishermen this year and had a great turn-out. The clinic included the video-recording of casting for detailed analysis. It also covered important knots and fly rod rigging.
- Promoting fly tying by holding a unique series of fly tying classes. Developed by board member John Trainor, the class consisted of 6 modules, each dedicated to the tying of a certain fly type such as a nymph or dry fly. The class was fully attended and drew quite an interest from observers.
- Mike Norton of the BC Flyfishers worked with 9 scouts from Boy Scout Troop 155 of Chenango Bridge, NY, and they will be awarded their fly fishing merit badge in late October.
- Holding regular fly fishing outings, overnight trips and floats. Trips have included an outing to the West Branch of the Delaware (with sister chapter, the Twin Tier Five Rivers (TTFR) chapter), a float trip with the TTFR chapter on the Chemung River, an overnight weekend trip to the AuSable River, a trip to the Salmon River, and numerous trips to local ponds and the warmwater rivers – the Tioughnioga, Chenango, and Susquehanna.
- Assisting with conservation projects as well as raising money to help veterans through fly fishing.
The chapter has raised the most money through fly rod raffles. These raffles have put very nice TFO fly rods, courtesy of IFFF’s membership enrollment program, into the hands of BCFF membership. A highlight in the rod raffle program has been the donation by the Cortland Line Company of one of their 100th Anniversary fly rods to the chapter. This rod, #5 of the 100 built, was customer made by Mike McFarland and is a 4 piece, 9 foot 5 weight with beautiful components. It will be raffled later in the year.
Looking ahead, the chapter leadership wants to continue its active pace and improve on its membership experience. Planned for the fall and winter are more fly tying classes – this time for intermediate level fly tiers – and a rod-building clinic. There will be more trips this fall and another casting clinic in the spring. Contact chapter President Nick DiNunzio at firstname.lastname@example.org to join or visit the chapter’s website for more information.