Sunday, September 29, 2013

Bill Wills Wins TU Distinguished Service Award

With the financial assistance of the VA Council and many members, Bill Wills and I recently travelled to Wisconsin so that he could accept the national TU Distinguished Service Award.

Friday, we had to catch a flight at 6:30 am so I picked up Bill at 4:30 am to catch the early flight to Chicago.

After getting to Chicago, we rented a car and drove approximately 3 hours to Middleton Wisconsin.  Thanks to a generous donation from Bill Campbell, we checked into the Middleton Marriott.  Also we had arranged with Bill's nephew Jimmy (from Cortlandt NY) to meet us at the hotel as a surprise!  Boy, was he ever!

We were a little surprised that there were not any booths or vendors at the national meeting, but there was this one raffle for a James Prosek print if you could guess how many Swedish Fish were in the picture frame.  

After catching up with nephew Jimmy, we cleaned up, dressed up, and headed to the award banquet at the Death's Door distillery in Middleton.

The fish fry dinner was very nice and it was great to hear about all the awards for the great work TU volunteers are doing all across the country.  In addition to Bill's award for Distinguished Service, best newsletter was won by a TU Chapter in Winchester VA!  I have some copies of the newsletter I will email out to local TU members...

Here's Bill and Jimmy at Death's Door...

Bill gave a great speech followed by rousing applause.  Of course he said he didn't know why he would be singled out for any award - such is Bill's humble way.

Bill and his award...

At the after-hours mixer hosted by the local WI TU chapters, Bill was quite the celebrity and everyone was congratulating him and telling him how inspirational he was.

For some reason, Bill was especially popular with the ladies.... 

We had a nice breakfast listening to a panel discussion by the national council about branding issues, membership, projects, and fundraising.  I can tell you, even attending the annual meeting for 1 of the 3 days made me psyched to be a member of TU and made me committed to doing more.

If you're not already a member of TU, please join.  If you are a member, please renew.  TU is a great organization full of dedicated and passionate volunteers that make our environment and our fishing experiences better.


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Lynnhaven River Report 9/19/13

I had a nice time on the Lynnhaven River today.  It started off with a killer sunrise.

As the sun rose, the pink hue faded and was replaced by orange and gold.

Nothin' happening at the osprey pole flat so I tried a few places and finally found a feeding fish that I could cast to.  This 22" drum took a 1/0 black beauty and fought HARD! 

More feeding activity and I was hoping for another drum, but landed a small flounder instead.  Same black beauty fly.

Not a ton of action, but fun exploring and one quality fish!  I'll take it.


Sunday, September 8, 2013


On a Sunday, I chose to commune with God through nature and that meant a day of fishing with my good friend David and with the expert Captain Chris Newsome of Bay Fly Fishing and Light Tackle Charters (   

Chris picked us up at the Cobbs Creek Marina for a day on the Piankatank River.

The sunrise greeted us as we left the docks at 6:30 am.

First order of business was to catch some peanut bunker (menhaden) that Chris uses to confirm predator fish are in the vicinity and also to whip them into a feeding frenzy.  Hunting bait as the sun rises...

Bingo !

"Chesapeake Gold"

The first dock we pulled up to yielded many schoolie stripers.  They charged, wheeled around, and slashed at the live bunker looking for an escape route.  Sadistic? Probably.  But it was fun watching the bunker go airborne to escape the marauding stripers.  Those that headed into open water instead of the stripers' lair under the dock were hunted by hungry specks.

Here's one of the nicer stripers fooled by one of David's flies.

David "representin" the local TU Chapter...

In addition to the stripers, we caught one pretty speck, a flounder, and bluefish.  Then it was time to restock the pantry.  

A school of hapless menhaden...

Chris is an expert with the cast net.

A good haul...

 Dead man walking...

On to a new dock and more hungry schoolies.  David caught the nice bluefish.  

We were hoping to find some redfish and Chris did not disappoint.  For his size, this red fought like a bulldog!  

Telling us the fish were not leader shy, Chris had us using 20 lb. tippet so we could horse the fish out of the pilings.  Good advice!  I lost at least one nice fish as it took me in to the pilings and tore off the thick leader on a razor sharp barnacle or oyster.

The highlight of the day came right at the end.  Little blues and schoolie stripers were busting all over this flat as Chris kept the action going with flights of bunker.  Amid the dinks, David tied into this trophy speckled trout.  Due to its size, at first we thought it was a striper or large blue, but Chris knew better!  This pig filled up the net and some!

WOW!  What a great day.  Thank you David!  Thank you Captain Chris!  The beautiful clear waters of the Piankatank River were a welcome respite from the murky Lynnhaven River (as much as I love my home water).  

Quality fish, quality friends. Done.

September Trout Unlimited Meeting

Got together with the fellas from the Bill Wills SE Virginia Chapter of TU this past week  to tie flies, recap summer activities with the Healing Waters program at the Portsmouth Naval Hospital, discuss a stream adoption program, and plan for our fall trip.

Here, member Bill Campbell leads the group through the steps for tying a bass popper. 

Our collaboration with Project Healing Waters will continue with Bill getting even more involved state-wide in the organization.

We also are polling the membership on a destination for a fall trip.  The Back River in VA and Seneca Creek in WV were two favorite contenders.  Stay tuned....

It was a fun meeting.  Thanks to all who participated to make it a good night!