From the President’s Desk
I've read all the old copies of fly-fishing magazines/books that are around the house and wait patiently for the new issues to arrive, watched every fishing video I own, looked at every web site I can think of and tied a million flies. Just what I needed: more d... flies?
As I sit here and daydream, I know I should be writing the winter 2005 issue.
Hardly a day goes by in the rush of everyday life when most of us don't allow our minds to wander for a moment or two to our favorite rivers.
Winter is a time to reflect on the past season and the new season that is just around the corner. On the Grand River in the past year Friends of the Grand River (FOGR) have managed to do this:
Along with all this, board members still found time to write grant requests, reports and sit on the many different committees that have a direct effect on our river on a day-to-day basis,
And, on top of all this there is a small group of FOGR members (Conestogo River Enhancement Workgroup project) working on the Conestogo River trying their hardest to do the same for that river. Yes, we are all volunteers; no one gets paid to do this. So if you ever wondered what you get back for your membership dollars, besides the occasional newsletter, you now know.
Would this not get done without your support? Probably, but not as well, and doesn't it feel better to know you are part of FOGR success.
If you have the time and energy and want to find out how you can become involved attend the spring AGM on April 24, 2005, just before the season gets under way. Check out the door prize — a Chris Mouriopoulos landing net. See you there!
Tight Lines and Best Wishes,
Larry R. McGratton
SAGE Conservation Fundraising
The New TXL series Rod
Sage says on their web site, that “with the near weightlessness of the new Sage TXL Series rods, you can go ultra-light without worrying about rogue winds or an unexpected monster on the line.”
With its Generation 5 (G5) Technology, Sage introduced a new angle to the whole concept of lightline fly fishing
Ultra-light snake guides, a unique, round tip-top guide and a micro-stripping guide combine to make a rod perform and keep the weight down. Finish that off with more goodies — nickel-silver reel seat, Vera wood insert and cigar-style grip for traditional style with 2005 capabilities. Colour it golden olive and you have an impressive package.
The New 2500 series
What do you need in the ultimate trout reel? How about light-weight reel, a smooth, reliable drag in a large-arbour reel which is maintenance-free.
The new Sage 2500 reels have an offset 3:1 gear reduction drag system and an adjustment knob with numbers so you can get the same setting each time for similar conditions.
“Unaffected by sand, dunkings or blistering runs,” Sage says the 2500 reels' “self-lubricating drive gears and sealed graphite drag washers mean the 2500 Series reels are maintenance free.”
Add to this the fact that the 2500s are manufactured with aerospace-grade aluminum, anodized for toughness and they're about 20% lighter than same size 3000D reels.
Quiet Double Taper
Sage has developed a special line for the new TXL Series rods that will work on any light-line, high-performance rod. No ordinary double-taper line, the Quiet Double Taper has a reduced tip diameter. You can make delicate presentations with a shorter, more accurate leader and a narrowed belly assists in getting a longer cast.
Over the past five years that Sage Fly Rods of Bainbridge Island, WA , Sage's Ontario retail dealers and Bob McKenzie Agencies has supported this Raffle, FOGR has raised a total of $16,500.00.
They are supporting us, and we hope you'll join in. We have enclosed a form so you can buy SAGE Conservation Fundraising Raffle Tickets. Help us have another sell-out.•
Saturday June 4, 2005
Grand Opportunities is set for Saturday, June 4 at Belwood Lake Conservation Area.
This year's event will feature great on-river workshops with some of the best guides and instructors in Ontario .
Why not join us at Friends of the Grand's Fundraising Dinner in the evening. (Well, we intend it to be more "fun" than "fund").
Prices for tickets for this dinner is $35.00.
There will be events for the whole family, and it will be a good chance to meet other fly fishers.
Look for the famous used-equipment sale, bucket raffle, games and a women's introduction to fly-fishing course.
At our meet-the-reps corner, talk to the guys who distribute the top-line equipment.
We do need some help with this event working the registration desk, event security, selling raffle tickets, the BBQ.
Helping out is the best way to meet people, and that's what volunteering is about. Join all the other bellies around the BBQ — it's a great way to make or meet friends.
If you're coming in any way, think about spending some time helping out with some of the day's activities.
Contact Steve May (519)741-4176 or Larry McGratton for more information (519) 843-3102.•
FOGR gets MNR award
The Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) held an awards presentation BBQ at Bingeman's Park in Kitchener this past September to recognize volunteers from Waterloo and Wellington .
MNR singled out FOGR as a group for one such certificate.
MNR area supervisor Mitch Wilson presented President Larry McGratton with the award and mentioned specifically our positive efforts and attitude relating to the Beatty Dam.
The recognition prompted coverage in The Record (Kitchener-Waterloo's paper of record) and the local papers in Fergus/Elora and Wellington county.•
And President Larry gets his own award
At a meeting of the (big breath) Grand River Fishery Management Plan Implementation Committee last summer, Larry was personally recognized with a certificate from the staff of MNR and the Grand River Conservation Authority.
Larry sits on the Implementation Committee as well as the Belwood Tailwater Fishery Plan committee. Once again, more committee time than fishing time, although with Larry we may not be able to say that.
The Belwood Tailwater Plan is wrapped up to all intents and purposes, and Larry will serve on the implementation committee for that plan. There are also openings for FOGR members to get involved with that committee as well.•
The following is a letter from Grand River Troutfitters, a long-time supporter of FOGR
Club Membership Incentives
“In the past, Grand River Troutfitters Ltd. has offered a 10-per-cent sales discount off materials, hooks, gadgets and flies for those with current memberships in Ontario fly-fishing clubs, for example, Izaak Walton Fly Fishers, Forest City Fly fishers, Friends of the Grand River , K-W Flyfishers, Hamilton Fly Tyers, Winter Hatches, etc.
“In the beginning, Ken Collins (Ken) believed this was a good idea, a way of promoting his business and participation in the sport of fly fishing, and providing an additional membership benefit for club members. However, watching this carefully now for the past few years Ken has noticed no real appreciation – on the club's part – of why customers received this discount.
“Ken believes wholeheartedly that the future success of fly-fishing in Ontario is largely dependent on the strength and participation of clubs and their members.
“His proposal is to discontinue all present club discount arrangements and put in place a system that will reward clubs and allow members to participate in a reward scheme that helps the club.
“Ken would like to run this for a few years and then look at the results.
“Here is how it will work. At the till will be a columned ledger with pages dedicated to each club. Ken's staff will ask at the end of each sale transaction if there is any group affiliation or club the customer would like to receive credit for that total sale amount. Semi-annually or quarterly, Ken will add these page totals and give three per cent of the sales total to the club specified by customers in the form of Troutfitters gift certificates.
“Ken anticipates the gift certificate will be used for club raffles, meeting door prizes or purchasing fly-tying supplies. Ken believes meeting attendance and club funding for projects can be enhanced, with the result that our fly-fishing clubs will become stronger.”
Signed: Ken Collins
If you buy products in Ken's store in Fergus, and would like the sales to be listed as standing to FOGR's credit, we will be able to use those credits towards prizes of product or gift certificates at future events. A 10-per-cent discount will no longer be available as a club benefit.•
Free bucket raffle tickets
As an appreciation, each member that volunteers for a project this spring will receive three free bucket raffle tickets for each project that they volunteer for.
The tickets can be used at Grand Opportunities in June. Just think — now you have an opportunity to increase your chances of winning that bucket prize when you put your volunteer tickets along with the tickets you purchase the day of Grand Opportunities. •
Come join us. Find out what FOGR has planned for 2005.
Free Door Prize: Hand crafted landing net by Chris Mouriopoulos
Take a look at the river with only one week till opening of Trout Season.
Is it buggers, nymphs or dries to start the season?
Wellington Terrace Home for the Aged
Cuthbert St above Colbourne Street , Elora
(by the water tower)
Sunday, April 24, 2005
2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Have you got some time to volunteer?
This is the place to sign up for that project you want to get involved in.
For more info call Larry at 519-843-3102
Thanks to the financial abilities of the FOGR executives (yeah, right) and by having dedicated volunteers who provide their professional abilities pro bono to better the natural resources of the Grand River watershed and valley (that's more like it), we are able to pass on the savings to you by keeping the 2005 membership dues the same as in past years. Your 2005 FOGR Membership is due by April 30, 2005.
SAGE Conservation Rod Draw
The draw will be held again this year, so if you purchase a rod draw ticket with your membership you will receive $5.00 off the price of your 2005 Membership.
We got feedback. A blast is more like it. Due to numerous members' requests, we will go back to issuing individual membership cards. Not issuing cards was an economy measure that backfired on us. Sorry!
Membership Renewal Form/Sage Rod Draw Ticket Forms are available online and enclosed in the paper newsletter. If you need more information contact President Larry McGratton at (519) 843-3102.•
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