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Rocky Mountain Flycasters’ Annual Awards for 2012

Our chapter this year 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.

2012 awards presentations were made by President Dick Jefferies at our May Annual Meeting to the following recipients, and the nomination letters describing their contributions are displayed for each. Please feel free to express your appreciation to each of the recipients for their contributions to our chapter life and opportunities.

Outstanding Chapter Volunteer Award 2012

Paul Wehr is a long time RMF member and one of the chapter’s most active volunteers participating and supporting in arguably the widest array of chapter activities of any member. Generally, Paul has a quiet demeanor and he typically goes about his involvements under the radar.

I can't recall Paul ever missed more than one or two board or monthly meetings the past several years. Paul’s official capacity is dual, as both Chapter Treasurer and Webmaster, and in both capacities he contributes astonishing hours of behind-the-scenes work. But, it’s not just for his personal accountability in these roles that I nominate Paul. Paul is always the first, or among the first, to step forward and raise his hand to help organize or support most of RMF’s many non-Board additional events and activities, including taking an official and unofficial lead in many.

Paul coordinated our chapter’s fishing role for the CPW Outdoor Skills Event, and also volunteered at the U.S. Forest Service’s Kids Fishing Day. He also served again on the Youth Day Camp core “team” that worked 10+ hours every camp day for six days to help ensure its success...and also participated in both 2011 and 2012 for the RMF booth at the Boys & Girls Clubs “Day For Kids” Festival. He participates in Fishing Fun Trips, the Fly Swap Group, Gateway Natural Area Trail Maintenance, and the Big “T” Narrows Park and Poudre River Annual Cleanups.

Paul regularly volunteers his graphic design support to various activities to prepare the promotional flyer, and then quietly spends many hours walking Fort Collins’ streets posting them in merchants and public buildings. Likewise, without being asked, Paul is typically a step ahead of most self-initiating design of new web pages for many activities before ever being asked to do so. At monthly meetings he sells RMF caps and Poudre maps and takes it upon himself to count attendance, and he also shoots photographs there and at the activities he attends to record those events.

I believe Paul has, and continues to, clearly demonstrate his strong commitment and support to RMFs mission and also to its social fabric and overall culture, with his time, talents and energy, and has made major contributions to the chapters continued development advances.

In summary, while we have numerous members who volunteer generously, Paul Wehr stands apart from most and is a strong nominee to be recognized as RMF’s “2012

Exemplary Youth Education Award 2012

Jerry Pelis is entering his third year volunteering with RMF’s youth programs. In 2011, Jerry assisted presenting at RMF’s very first Children’s Water Festival in Greeley. In 2012 he requested to redesign RMF’s presentation to become more age-appropriate for the 4th & 5th grade audience participants. In doing so Jerry urged that we engage and partner with the Poudre Learning Center whose staff are professionals in environmental educational programs design. Jerry’s finished presentation was great fun and an effective experiential learning design, and through judicious controls he accomplished it expending only $255.03 of RMF funds.

The new presentation’s first actual use was in April 2012 and was extremely well received by the Greeley Festival management. The Greeley Festival is hosted by the Central Colorado Water Conservancy District, the City of Greeley and West Greeley Soil Conservation District and services 1,000+ youths. Jerry with his two volunteers touched 148 youngsters plus their teachers and accompanying parents in RMF’s six group presentations. RMF has been invited back in 2013 for our third consecutive participation year.

Jerry then approached Fort Collins Utilities that sponsors and manages the Fort Collins Children’s Water Festival and solicited an invitation...which was granted. The Fort Collins Festival presents to 4th graders age group that is included in the age appropriateness of our new program’s design. Jerry and his seven volunteers touched 165 students plus related teachers and parents in RMF’s seven group presentations; there was a total of 1600+ participating in the festival. The Fort Collins Festival also has invited RMF back to present again in 2013.

Jerry has now identified a third Children’s Water Festival in Loveland that is managed by the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District, has approached them and described RMF’s program and has received a verbal confirmation that RMF is an invitee to present at the 2013 Loveland Children’s Water Festival. Specific age group and total student participation information will be included in the invitation packet.

Jerry also volunteered in 2012 with the Youth Day Camp as a fly tying instructor and field fishing instructional mentor, and was an RMF fishing volunteer at the CPW Outdoor Skills Event. He has also participated in 2011 and 2012 tying flies at RMF’s booth at the Boys & Girl’s Clubs “Day For Kids” Festival, and in 2012 built an attractive rod rack for such booth purposes to avoid damaging rod/reel units.

I believe Jerry’s personal commitment, outstanding program innovations, number of youths he has helped expose to fishing interest, chapter volunteerism involvement and community impact on behalf of RMF qualify him as a strong nominee, and it is with great pleasure that I nominate Jerry Pelis to receive the “2012 RMF EXEMPLARY YOUTH EDUCATION” award.

Exemplary Youth Member Award 2012

The word “exemplary” is ideally applicable to Jake Ruthven’s overall demeanor, and also his activities and actions regarding RMF, and also his overall interest in all activities and educational opportunities related to gaining knowledge and experience about trout and fishing and the ecology foundations that support these interests.

Jake is a junior at Fossil Ridge High School, enrolled entirely in advanced placement and college level coursework. As an elective he is also enrolled in a college credit Wildlife, Forestry, and Natural Resources class at Front Range Community College. Jake is a diligent student and maintains mostly “A” and a few “B” grades, and plans to go on to college as a Marine Biology career major. Outside of school Jake seeks and takes advantage of every opportunity that will provide him more exposure to his interests.

Jake attended RMF’s initial Youth Day Camp in 2010 and was an outstanding participant. He has since volunteered at the 2011 Camp helping with casting and fly tying, and the 2012 Camp as a youth mentor intern at both the Upper Poudre stretch and RMNP river
fishing activities. In 2012 he also tied several dozen flies for use by the campers.

In 2011, Jake attended the Colorado TU residential Youth Camp. Staff at that camp have confirmed that he had very positive interactions with the other campers and staff as well as being an attentive and enthusiastic participant in all activities.

Jake has been a leader in the Fossil Ridge High School fly fishing club for two years, and this year was a strong advocate speaking with the administration to persuasively convince them that the club should be permitted to continue. In 2010 & 2011, he also tied flies for the RMF booth at the Boys & Girls Clubs “Day For Kids” Festival, and was scheduled again in 2012 but was pre-empted by a family obligation that developed.

During the past two years Jake has achieved substantial recognition for his angling capability. He has been invited as a guest fly tier at both the annual National Fly Fishing Show and the International Sportsmen’s Exposition, as well as at the West Denver TU Chapter’s Fly Tying Expo (largest TU fly tying event in Colorado), our RMF Fly Tying Expo, and at several fly shops including Charlies Fly Box, Elkhorn, and the Laughing Grizzly. During this past summer Jake also has worked for Elkhorn guiding several guest trips to RMNP, Sylvan Dale Ranch and the Big “T". Jake’s tying expertise is reinforced by the fact that his fly tying article and pattern were published in the Winter issue of the Fly Fusion Magazine.

Jake always has a ready smile and a voracious appetite for anything fishing related. He has readily and willingly represented RMF and is a sterling youth face representing our chapter publically. Again the word “exemplary” is applicable. If there is a face that we would want to be the face of and spokesman for our RMF’s youth programs, it’s Jake Ruthven! It is with great excitement that I nominate Jake Ruthven to receive the “2012 RMF EXEMPLARY YOUTH MEMBER” award.

If you know of someone who you think deserves some recognition for the work they have done to further the TU mission and Rocky Mountain Flycasters’ pursuit of that mission, please see our awards page and submit your nominations to the RMF secretary.

Last updated on 18 Jul, 2013