Posted in Events

Get Your Picnic Tickets Now!

Deadline for picnic ticket sales is fast approaching. Last day for ticket sales is June 14, all tickets must be sold in advance.

Members, don’t forget to send in you ticket order form, but you don’t have to be a member to attend, you can download a ticket order form from the Summer Picnic page on this website.

Join us for a day of fun and camaraderie and to celebrate the chapter’s accomplishments in 2024.

Tickets are only $15.00 for adults and $5.00 for kids 12 and under. You can’t beat that for a gourmet meal, drinks, cake and more.

Alcoholic beverages are BYOB but no glass containers.

Posted in Events Fishing Trout Trail

Laurel Highlands Trout Trail Poker Run

Announcing the first annual Laurel Highlands Trout Trail Poker Run!

Here’s how it works:

  • Fly-Fish all 10 of the top ten Laurel Highlands Trout Trail streams
  • Take a photo of participants at each of the Top Ten Stream signs and submit the photos to us at info@trouttrailtu.org
  • Participants submitting all ten photos will be included in a drawing for the prizes
  • Adult prize is a Douglas ERA fly rod with Cheeky Preload 375 reel with line and backing
  • Youth prize is a Echo Gecko youth outfit with rod, reel and line ready to fish 
  • Registration fees are $20 for adults and $5 for youth 15 and under

Visit the Laurel Highlands Trout Trail website laurelhighlandstrouttrail.org for all the details and locations of the LHTT top ten streams and signs.

  • The Poker Run goes from April 6th to July 31
  • Photo submission deadline is August 7, 2024

Download the Flyer: Poker Run Flyer

Download the Rules and Registration Form: Poker Run Rules and Registration

Posted in Events Meetings

Spring Events Rescheduled

Loyalhanna Creek High Water
Area streams have receded some since a high water mark on Wednesday April 3rd, but Loyalhanna Creek runs bank full in the DHALO section in Ligonier on April 4

Steady rain and a soaked parking area at the Nimick Center forced us to cancel the April meeting scheduled for April 3rd, and with it the “Slide Show ‘n Tell” program. We have decided to reschedule the “Slide Show ‘n Tell” for the May meeting on Wednesday, May 1 and push the swap meet/flea market to Wednesday, June 5. Both of these events will be held at the Nimick Education Center in Ligonier. Check back for details on the swap meet/flea market.

Prospects For Opening Day?
Local streams were running fast and extremely high earlier this week, but have begun to recede. Be careful wading strong currents if you venture out on opening day.

Posted in Events Veterans

FTTU Presents Member’s Vietnam War Experience

Vets
Monty chatting with other vets after his program

On March 13, Monty Murty, past president of FTTU, put on a presentation covering his on-the-ground experiences as an infantry army commander in Vietnam in 1968, the deadliest year of the war.

The event, held at the Westmoreland Conservation District barn, was attended by 64 veterans and guests.

So what does this have to do with Trout Unlimited anyway?

Trout Unlimited started a “Service Partnership Program” many years ago to teach military veterans and first responders to fly fish as a means to heal the body and soul.  This has been a time-proven, effective healing technique.  Forbes Trail has held five fishing events beginning in 2018.  Veterans and first responders are invited to attend the event this fall at the Kingston Veterans Sportsmen Club, east of Latrobe, on Saturday, October 5th from 9AM to 3PM.  The event is free and fishing equipment, lunch and mentors will be provided.  Preregistration is required.  Details and registration instructions will be provided here on our web site in the spring. 

Proclamation
Monty accepts a proclamation honoring him from Westmoreland County Commissioner and TU member Douglas Chew
PA House Award
State Representative Eric Nelson presented an award to Monty from Rep. Leslie Rossi and himself
Posted in Events Veterans

Veteran's and First Responder's Fishing Day Registration Now Open

Our Veteran’s Fishing Day date has been announced for Saturday, September 16, 2023 and registration is now open. This year, we are opening the event to First Responders as well.

You must register to participate.

To register, go to the Veteran’s and First Responders Fishing Day page, fill out and submit the form. We will email you with confirmation.

Posted in Events Youth Education

FTTU Assists with 2023 Envirothon

Forbes Trail Chapter of Trout Unlimited was invited to participate in this year’s Westmoreland County Envirothon at Twin Lakes Park in Hempfield Township.  Westmoreland Conservation District organizes the annual event and seeks local businesses to help sponsor it.  One hundred and twenty-five students were tested on their knowledge of Current Issues, Aquatics, Forestry, Wildlife and Soils.  Trout Unlimited provided a separate station where students learned to cast a fly rod and tie a trout bug pattern called a Green Weenie, designed by a former Forbes Trail tying instructor Ken Igo.  

Groups of 20-25 students spent 30 minutes at each of the stations being tested on what they’ve learned in each of the subjects.  Some school districts provided up to three teams.  Each team consisted of five students who would collaborate on the tests.  TU teaches coldwater conservation, fly tying and fly casting in schools, to scout groups and to adults on a regular basis.  They even take classes of students on local fly fishing field trips.  

The Envirothon is quite different.  It’s like speed dating where instructors have just 30 minutes to teach a very concentrated lesson on either tying or casting.  A group of ten students would sit at a table with a vice, tools and materials and follow along as an instructor explained the tying process step-by-step.  Most of the students produced a final product that any trout would chase.

Another group of ten would watch a casting demonstration by experienced castors, then grab a fly rod and try to emulate the instructors.  The students were taught the “back cast” and “roll cast”, the two most common casts used on trout streams.  Students eventually learned the hand placement on the rod, line control and the arm rhythm to where they could hit their target…most of the time.  For many of the students, this was their first exposure to fly tying and casting, which was TU’s intent…plant a seed and watch it grow.

Envirothon_1
Instructors Milt Claney and Joe Bilotta teach how to tie the Green Weenie.
Envirothon_2
Casting instructors Jim Litrun and Ron Rodgers explain the techniques of the back cast.
Posted in Events

50th Anniversary Celebration

Award Presentation
Presentation of Proclamation from Westmoreland County Commissioners. L-R: Banquet MC Rod Cross, Commissioner Doug Chew, President Larry Myers, Banquet Chair Monty Murty

The Forbes Trail Chapter of Trout Unlimited celebrated its 50th anniversary on March 18th at Ferrante’s Lakeview in Greensburg with 200 guests in attendance.  The Chapter was formed in 1973 in response to the devastation caused by Hurricane Anges the summer before.  The storm damaged much of Ligonier driving the waters of Loyalhanna Creek over its banks and destroying everything in its path.  The creek was left looking essentially like a lifeless canal.

Local sportsmen and businessmen chartered a new chapter of Trout Unlimited to work with the PA Fish Commission, Penn DOT and the Army Corps of Engineers to redesign the creek into the premier trout stream that it is today.  The section of stream running through Ligonier is designated Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only (DHALO) and also a PA Select Stream which qualifies it to receive more and larger trout.  It is included as one of the top 10 streams in the Trout Unlimited Laurel Highlands Trout Trail www.laurelhighlandstrouttrail.org  A true success story for the region!

Many of the Chapter’s original leaders and members, captured in the news clippings, slideshow and photos on display at the event, shared stories of their stream remediation work and the beginning of their education and outreach programs.  Guest speaker, Alan Stansbury, was a close friend of one of the early leaders, Don Robb, and spoke of how Don helped fuel the interest in fly fishing in the region.  Don operated a tackle shop in downtown Ligonier where he built custom bamboo fly rods and tied flies for local anglers, some who traveled worldwide pursuing trout and salmon.  

Westmoreland County Commissioners issued a proclamation to the Chapter for their service in the community and for protecting coldwater fisheries.  Commissioner Doug Chew attended the event and presented the award.  Monty Murty, past president for the Chapter, was Chair of the Banquet Committee and Board Director, Rod Cross served as Master of Ceremonies.

Forbes Trail is one of 49 chapters in PA and has over 500 members.  About 50 active members teach coldwater conservation, fly tying and fly casting in local schools.  They sponsor an annual clinic for disabled military veterans to teach them to fly fish as a means to heal the body and Soul.  And 40 volunteers recently completed a two-year study to develop a Cold Water Conservation Plan for Linn Run.

Len Lichvar
PA Trout Unlimited Council President Lenny Lichvar applauds Chapter’s accomplishments
Alan Stansbury
Guest speaker Alan Stansbury shares early history of Forbes Trail Chapter
Banquet Crowd
Some of the crowd of 200
Posted in Events

Banquet Ticket Sales Now Closed

FTTU 50th Logo

We have officially ended banquet ticket sales. Our ticket count has been submitted to Lakeview and we can sell no more.

Tickets are not sold at the door.

Thanks to all who have purchased tickets, we have exceeded our goal of 175. See you March 18!

Posted in Events Meetings

Special Guest Speaker at March Meeting

River Boots Book

Former Pennsylvania Waterways Conservation Officer and Outdoors writer Bob Steiner will be our special guest at the chapter’s March meeting on Wednesday, March 1st at 6:00 pm at the Nimick Center in Ligonier.

Bob is the author of “River Boots, A Fish Warden’s Tales of Pennsylvania Fish and Game Law Enforcement”.

From Amazon: RIVER BOOTS is a career synopsis, a training manual, a history book and one conservation officer’s slightly twisted view of a quarter century in the business. It is a sometimes “belly laughing” look at a profession that can turn deadly serious in a second and can leave tears running down your face from laughter a few minutes later.
The 253 stories in RIVER BOOTS were written for fishermen, hunters, boaters, conservation officers and their deputies, all law enforcement officers and anyone that has an interest in the outdoors.
For conservation officers it is a textbook, with the how-tos and the how-not-tos, the whys and the why-nots. For conservation agency folks, it is a bit of nostalgia with a smirk. Other law enforcement officers will see a little deadly serious, perhaps lifesaving thinking, coupled with a “Barney Miller” attitude. Folks considering a job in the agencies will get an on-the-spot look at what they are asking for and will come away eagerly awaiting their turn to join in.
The license-buying hunter, fisherman or boater will get a firsthand look at how their license fees are spent for the good of the sport, the environment and the fish and game resources. Sorry, no statistics or charts included. You will laugh at the scofflaws and the conservation officers alike. Mostly, like reading “Notes from the Stream” or “Field Notes” produced by our fish and game agencies, you will grin and laugh and ponder.
To answer the question, the RIVER BOOTS were green 10-inch leather boots the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission issued with those snazzy green-and-brown uniforms we wore. They leaked.

Bob will have autographed  books for sale.

Posted in Events

Cabin Fever - February 26, 2023

The 22nd Annual Cabin Fever Expo, sponsored and run by the Penn’s Woods West Chapter of Trout Unlimited, will be held on Sunday February 26th at the Doubletree by Hilton Pittsburgh – Cranberry in Warrendale, PA.

The Cabin Fever Expo has:

  • Nationally known speakers to draw many attendees to the show
  • Over 500 free parking spaces – no paid parking for exhibitors or customers.
  • Over 11,000 square feet of unobstructed space on one floor. A diagram of the 2023 Expo layout can be found on our website to help you determine potential booth locations
  • Regionally known for its quality which drives word-of-mouth advertising in addition to our other promotional efforts
Cabin Fever Flyer