TU Ladies Hook Into Fall Trout
Lady anglers from Penn’s Woods West and Forbes Trail Chapters of Trout Unlimited took advantage of the beautiful weather this past Saturday to do some fall trout fishing. The leaf colors were almost as magnificent as those on the hefty brook trout landed by Tara Easter. What made it extra special was Tara spent the day fishing with her mother, Bonnie Robinson who happens to be chair of the Membership Committee for Forbes Trail. The two TU chapters regularly partner on activities and events involving our lady members since sometimes neither chapter can round up a critical mass on its own. Through its Diversity Committees, TU works to create programs for entire families and community members who may not get many opportunities to try their hand at fly fishing. Penn’s Woods West organized this event and reach out to surrounding chapters. For once both the weather and trout cooperated!
FTTU Hosts Stream Girls Event
The Penn’s Woods West and Forbes Trail Chapters of Trout Unlimited were pleased to team-up and bring the STREAM Girls program back to western Pennsylvania after a several year hiatus due to the pandemic. STREAM Girls is an outdoor Watershed experience for middle school aged girls that employs STEM-based education (science, technology, engineering and math), recreation and arts to explore a local stream.
Participants explored Mill Creek at the Loyalhanna Watershed Association farm in Ligonier over a two day period making connections to their home waters as scientists, artists and anglers. Numerous volunteers shared their expertise in subjects including collecting flow data, sampling macroinvertebrates, fly tying and fly casting. Girls received certificates of completion and those that are Girls Scouts qualified for a conservation patch. The program wrapped up with all the participants successfully catching fish on fly rods at Donegal Lake! Every individual is a citizen of their watershed, and through this program we’re helping to build an appreciation for conservation and the environment in the next generation.
Sub-freezing temperatures and nearly a foot of snow didn’t stop lady fly tyers from getting together to practice their craft on Sunday afternoon, February 6. Ladies from the area, including members of Forbes Trail, Penn’s Woods West and Mountain Laurel Chapters, met at PA Fly Co fly tackle shop on Rt. 31 east of Mount Pleasant to practice some new patterns. The ladies started with the “green weenie’, a somewhat controversial, but very effective pattern. Other patterns they mastered were the zebra midge, mop fly and single egg.
Husband and wife team, Tim and Angie Schultheis, organized the event in an effort to introduce more ladies to fly-tying and start building a small group to tie and fish together. Angie is Forbes Trail’s Diversity Committee Chair, and serves on the Board of Directors. She has been collaborating with Amidea Daniel, PA TU’s Women/Diversity Initiative Chair and Judy Sittler, PA TU’s Youth Education Chair, as well as Penn’s Woods West’s Diversity Committee for two years to formalize and grow the group of fishers. Husband, Tim, was one of the first Forbes Trail youth members to learn fly-tying in 1995 from the Chapter founders, even before they had a formal Youth Education Program. “We want to reach out and help mentor others so they can experience the fun our entire family enjoys fishing and fly-tying” noted Angie.
Joslyn from Berlin, PA, brought her own tying kit given to her by her kids as a Christmas gift. Joslyn has fly fished, but now wants to learn the art of tying. She has taken online tutorials provided by Amidea and has practiced on local streams including Wills Creek in Somerset County.
Mandy is from Pittsburgh and has fished with the Penn’s Woods West ladies on the Loyalhanna Creek in Ligonier, as well as other area streams. Now she wants to learn to tie and brought her i-pad to take scrupulous notes while mentors provide step-by-step instructions. She too has taken advantage of online tutorials including Forbes Trail’s Facebook.
Doug Yocabet owns and manages the recently opened fly shop on top of 3-mile hill. Doug has offered his classroom to many fly-tying groups in an effort to get more kids and adults into the sport of fly-fishing and art of tying. As Doug shares…”Tying is an activity many of us enjoy, especially during winter months. I enjoy interacting with the students and seeing them master the eye-hand coordination needed for this art. I like seeing the expression on their faces when they finish their first masterpiece! It’s rewarding!”
Trout Unlimited Chapters are always trying to introduce new students to the art of fly fishing and fly tying. Learning the art helps gain an appreciation for the need to become ambassadors for coldwater fisheries where we practice our sport. Reaching out to ladies and young students encourages entire families to become involved with fly fishing as well as stream conservation projects.
Please check back on Forbes Trail’s Facebook page or our web site at www.forbestrailtu.org for more planned events. Students do not have to be a TU member to participate. And those who join the activities will find plenty of skill and willing mentors
FTTU’s monthly meeting for April will be held on Wednesday, April 3, 2019 at the Nimick Family Education Center in Ligonier. This month we have a special guest – Kylie Hogan.
Kylie is a recent graduate of Pitt Johnstown and is currently a science teacher at Conemaugh Valley Sr/Jr High Schools. She will be doing a slide show/video presentation on her experiences in TU’s 5 Rivers Odyssey. In this program she spent a month exploring southern Alaska fishing for five species of wild Pacific salmon and learning about conservation issues there.
Note that this meeting will be starting at 7:00 pm instead of 6:00.
See you there!
A Ladies Day fly tying crash course was held on Saturday, March 23, 2019 at the Westmoreland Conservation District Barn in Greensburg. Nine ladies participated and we had enough FTTU volunteer mentors for one on one instruction.
All the basics that provide a good foundation in fly tying were covered. Thread control, materials, hooks, knots and the relationship between trout stream organisms and the flies that imitate them.
We also went over an intro to TU and our conservation mission and catch and release ethic.
In all we tied 6 different patterns from the entry level green weenie to the intermediate wooley bugger. All the ladies caught on quickly and did a great job on their flies.
The event was co-sponsored by FTTU and Miss Mayfly -fly fishing gear made exclusively for women – missmayfly.com
A one-day beginner’s fly tying class for women will be offered on Saturday, March 23, 2019 at the Westmoreland Conservation District Barn in Greensburg.
This program is co-sponsored by FTTU and Miss May Fly. FTTU volunteers will be the instructors.
Here are the details.
• Location: Westmoreland Conservation District Barn – 218 Donohoe Road, Greensburg
• Date: Saturday, March 23, 2019
• Time: 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
• Lunch: Provided by FTTU (pizza, chips, water)
• Participants: Up to 20 Women on a First Come First Served Basis
• Cost: FREE No Fees or Charges
• Equipment, Tools and Materials will be Provided by FTTU
• Registration is handled by Miss Mayfly through Social Media. Click Here to Register.
Spots are filling up fast, so get registered today!