Rocky Mountain Flycasters
Your local Trout Unlimited Chapter
Rocky Mountain Flycasters is a local chapter of the national (Trout Unlimited) and state organization (Colorado Trout Unlimited) sharing the same purpose and goals. We currently have over 800 members in the Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, and Windsor area. Let us know where you live and we can direct you to a chapter close to where you reside.
You may contact a board member through our Board of Directors page or we can be reached by mail at:Coy Wiley
President, Rocky Mountain Flycasters
5401 Stone Creek Circle
Loveland, CO 80538
Treasurer, Rocky Mountain Flycasters
2409 Winter Park Street
Loveland, CO 80538
When and Where do we meet?
General Meetings are usually held the third Wednesday of each month from September through May. Please see our Calendar for upcoming meeting dates. General Meetings usually gather at the Fort Collins Senior Center at about 6:30 p.m. with the meeting starting at 7:00 p.m. The Fort Collins Senior Center is located at 1200 Raintree Drive off Shields Avenue between Prospect and Drake.
Board Meetings are normally at 7:00 p.m. on the second Wednesday of the month. The board meetings precede the General meeting by one week. The Board meeting is open to all members. Check with a Board Member to find out where the meeting is being held as we are evaluating a new meeting location.
You do not need to be a member of Rocky Mountain Flycasters or Trout Unlimited to attend our local chapter meetings. We encourage you to join and be counted as an individual interested in cold-water resources and fly-fishing, but come to a few meetings before you make up your mind.
What do we do?
Meetings begin with a brief social gathering and fly tying demonstrations. The official general meeting at 7:00 PM includes brief RMF business, a presentation by a speaker followed by a raffle. The speaker is generally a professional guide or destination representative who discusses a specific fishing destination, techniques, and the ecology of a given area. The raffle offers exciting fly fishing equipment and accessories—and your raffle participation helps to defray the costs of the room rental. You can purchase raffle tickets for a variety of fishing related items. Fly tying, usually before the meeting starts, allows you to ask questions and learn the finer points of tying and what patterns work locally. We also have board meetings where we discuss chapter goals, projects and specific items of business.
Do we do projects?
Yes, indeed. We are currently involved in educational, community outreach, and restoration projects. Our major restoration project is the Eagle's Nest Open Space. We clean up the Narrows State Wildlife area, sections of the Poudre River as well as other areas each year. We also sponsor two scholarships. See the activities section for more details.
How do I get more information?
Your best and most immediate source is our web site. You can find out who the speaker is at the next meeting, chapter activities, and local environmental and fishing news. We are at www.rockymtnflycasters.org. You can also contact a board member listed on our board page.
Please see our membership page for information about joining Trout Unlimited and Rocky Mountain Flycasters.
Rocky Mountain Flycasters Bylaws
Our bylaws have recently been updated and revised. Please review the recently adopted 2011 Bylaws.
Rocky Mountain Flycasters’ Awards
Our chapter has instituted a series of Recognition Awards for chapter volunteers and a community service organization or individual. Each year in January nominations are submitted for the preceding year by chapter members, and recipients are determined by an Awards Selection Committee. The complete Awards Policy and Procedure can be viewed on our website. Award presentations are made at the May Annual Meeting, and it is not mandatory that every award category be presented every year.
Member award categories are:
- Exemplary Conservation Volunteer,
- Exemplary Chapter Function,
- Project or Activity Leadership Award,
- Exemplary Youth Education Award,
- Exemplary Youth Member Award,
- Outstanding Chapter Volunteer Award.
Community award categories are:
- Exemplary Guide/Outfitter Award
- Coldwater Resource Conservation Award.
Trout Unlimited & Rocky Mountain Flycasters
Trout Unlimited’s mission is to conserve, protect and restore North America’s trout and salmon fisheries and their watersheds.
TU accomplishes this mission on local, state and national levels with an extensive and dedicated volunteer network. TU’s national office, based just outside of Washington, D.C., and its regional offices employ professionals who testify before Congress, publish a quarterly magazine, intervene in federal legal proceedings, and work with the organization’s 142,000 volunteers in 450 chapters nationwide to keep them active and involved in conservation issues.
Rocky Mountain Flycasters Chapter History
Formation of the Rocky Mountain Flycasters Chapter of Trout UnlimitedLee Evans, Past President
Sometime in the late 1970’s a group of anglers from northern Colorado started a Federation of Fly Fishers (FFF) club and Eric Pettine was president. Shortly thereafter, a Trout Unlimited chapter was formed and Mark Vaugh was president. Eric Pettine reports that it was decided to put the two clubs together and form a chapter of Trout Unlimited/FFF called Northern Colorado Anglers. This new club was able to keep the number 010, indicating we were the tenth TU chapter in the nation.
This chapter “was active for a few years, but then lapsed into inactivity. Realizing the importance of having an active chapter, several old and new members cooperated to re-activate the chapter as Rocky Mountain Flycasters.” (This is a direct quote from the minutes of the first public meeting of Rocky Mountain Flycasters, dated May 25, 1983.)
In a letter dated June 6, 1983, Robert L Herbst, Executive Director of Trout Unlimited, writes: “It gives me considerable pleasure to inform you that the Trout Unlimited Executive Committee, in session on June 4, approved the Rocky Mountain Flycasters Chapter's request for a charter.”
CEO Herbst went on to write: “We are very pleased that the formerly inactive Northern Colorado Anglers Chapter has been completely reorganized and infused with new life.”
The officers of the new chapter were recorded in the first minutes as Pat Beauchamp, President; Vance Vorndam, Vice President/Program Chair; Tom Christian, Secretary/Treasurer; Kevin Burkhardt, Newsletter Editor; Mike Davis, Membership Chair/Publicity Director; and Dan Neill, Stream Reconstruction.
The bylaws list the original board of directors as Richard Bauer, Rocky Bloskas, William Connaughton, Jr., Mikael Davis, James Schmehl, James Shook, Robert Trossen, and Michael Herbst with James Ferguson listed as the Initial Incorporator.
Rocky Mountain Flycasters chapter is now in its 30th year and will celebrate its 30th anniversary at a meeting this spring. RMF has grown and increased its activities over the years with the help of the following Presidents:
- Pat Beauchamp '83, '84, '85, '86
- Steve Goto '87, '88
- Cy Sampson '89
- Jim Ferguson '90, '91, '92
- Bruce Biggi '93, '94
- Rick Bauer '95, '96
- Tom Post '97, '98
- Greg Sheets '99, '00, '01
- Paul Fromme '02, '03, '04
- Ken Eis '05, '06
- Greg Evans '07, '08
- Lee Evans '09, '10, '11
- Dick Jefferies '12, '15
- Wil Huett '16
The original meeting of Rocky Mountain Flycasters showed 37 anglers in attendance, including Eric Pettine, Rick Takahashi, and Louis Swift. Also in attendance almost every month was Dr. Robert Behnke. Over the first 5-7 years, the chapter membership grew from 37 members to over 400. Monthly meetings moved from a room in the Poudre Valley REA at College and Harmony to various locations, finally settling in a banquet room in the hotel now known as the Fort Collins Hilton. Our first Christmas party was held in the Grange Hall in Bellvue!!
Some of the early stream improvement projects include check dams on the Little South Fork of the Poudre along the picnic ground section below Pingree Park. Those check dams are still in place and working their magic, even after 30 years of fires, floods, and pestilence.
The chapter also instigated, funded, and—with involvement from Corps of Engineers and the DOW—designed and placed structure in the Big Thompson River at Big Elk Meadows. This section below the dam now has the best biomass in the river and is enjoyed by many anglers every day. In 1989, under the presidency of Cy Sampson, our chapter played a leading role in the construction of the handicapped access to the river. (Editor’s note: Unfortunately, this entire structure was washed away during the floods of September 2013.) We also worked hard to get a Catch and Release designation on the Big Thompson from Estes Park downstream to the Waltonia Bridge. Our volunteers placed all the signs indicating that it was a catch and release area. We held many river clean-ups on both the Big Thompson and the Poudre.
Our chapter now counts upwards of 1000 members and continues to sustain, restore, reconnect and protect the rivers and their watersheds. The RMF Chapter is one of the finest chapters of Trout Unlimited, thanks to the support of thousands of local members, hundreds of board members, thirteen presidents, Colorado TU, and of course, national Trout Unlimited. We perhaps face our biggest challenges ever as we work to restore our home waters after the recent devastating fires and floods.
July 2009 marked the 50th anniversary of TU’s founding, on the banks of the Au Sable River near Grayling, Michigan. The 16 fishermen who gathered at the home of George Griffith were united by their love of trout fishing, and by their growing disgust with the state’s practice of stocking its waters with “cookie cutter trout”-catchable-sized hatchery fish. Convinced that Michigan’s trout streams could turn out a far superior fish if left to their own devices, the anglers formed a new organization: Trout, Unlimited (the comma was dropped a few years later).
From the beginning, TU was guided by the principle that if we “take care of the fish, then the fishing will take care of itself.” And that principle was grounded in science. “One of our most important objectives is to develop programs and recommendations based on the very best information and thinking available,” said TU’s first president, Dr. Casey E. Westell Jr. “In all matters of trout management, we want to know that we are substantially correct, both morally and biologically.”
In 1962-63, TU prepared its first policy statement on wild trout, and persuaded the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to discard “put-and-take” trout stocking and start managing for wild trout and healthy habitat. On the heels of that success, anglers quickly founded TU chapters in Illinois, Wisconsin, New York, and Pennsylvania.
TU won its first national campaign in 1965: Stopping the construction of the Reichle dam on Montana’s Big Hole River. Five years later, TU helped secure a ban on high-seas fishing for Atlantic salmon. And in 1971, TU took legal action to protect the last free-flowing stretch of the Little Tennessee River. Perhaps one of the most significant early applications of the Endangered Species Act, the action stopped the Tellico dam, but only temporarily: An eleventh-hour congressional appropriations rider later doomed TU’s victory.TU’s recent accomplishments include:
- Securing permanent protection of 140,000 acres in California's Sierra Nevada in the Pacific Gas & Electric bankruptcy settlement.
- Negotiating a water deal that permanently sets aside 10,000 acre-feet of water in Montana's Bitterroot River.
- Employing cutting-edge technology like thermal infrared imagery to direct abandoned mine remediation work in Pennsylvania's Kettle Creek watershed.
- Advocating successfully for trout-friendly operation of five dams on the Housatonic River.
- Uniting TU members in five states in a broad-based, multi-partner effort to restore brook trout in the Southern Appalachian mountains.
- Leading a landmark effort to restore fishable Atlantic salmon runs on Maine's Penobscot River.
- Coordinating the Trout in the Classroom program, which teaches children in more than 100 schools about the importance of healthy aquatic ecosystems.
- Mobilizing hunters and anglers to ensure responsible use and lasting protection of the nation's public lands.
- Launching a watershed-scale conservation effort in the 24,000-square-mile Driftless region of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois
Driven by a powerful and dedicated grassroots network, TU is meeting the challenges of coldwater conservation and protecting our rivers and fisheries for generations to come.
Trout Unlimited Bylaws
The national Trout Unlimited official bylaws are available in PDF format. Download to read (160 KB). This may be read with any PDF reader. The best known one is Acrobat Reader free from Adobe. You may also use Preview, included in Macintosh OS X, and there are several PDF readers for Linux.