Fishing, Community, Conservation

Those three words define what it means to be an FFI member.

Despite two years of pandemic most of us have figured out safe ways to gather outdoors and fish. And pandemic didn’t halt the

ability of affiliated clubs to sustain conservation efforts and for Washington FFI members to raise a substantial share of funds to

conserve the Ebsen Fishing Access site on the Grande Ronde in Eastern Washington. Now many clubs are joining a separate

campaign to raise funds to acquire the Yakima River Ranch on the river of the same name in Central Washington.

What’s been missing from the core list of FFI values is community. Now, we’re turning that around too.

The Washington State Council of FFI will resume in-person events with a Casting Fair Aug. 13 at Lake Ballinger Park in the

Mountlake Terrace neighborhood of Seattle. The day-long event will offer a walk-in casting clinic, a skills development course

and four detailed classes in specific casting skills taught by FFI certified instructors. In addition, FFI will host some of the best

fly tiers in the Pacific Northwest in a rotating series of tying sessions that will go on inside the Lakeview Room at the Mountlake

Terrace Senior Center at the site. There also will be information and programs for FFI’s Women Connect, FFI Youth Programs

and displays by Project Healing Waters that serves disabled veterans. To keep us all on our toes, we will have a coffee truck on

the site in the morning and a taco truck for lunch and refreshments in the afternoon.

With the exception of the detailed classes in specific casting skills, the program will be free. Want help solving that annoying

tailing loop problem you’ve got? Want to figure out the double-haul or develop a better roll cast? We’ll offer help on Aug. 13 at

Lake Ballinger. Bring your questions to the walk-in clinic and spend time with a Certified FFI Casting Instructor. The process

will be simple. Bring your own rod. Stop at the registration desk when you arrive and describe what you want to learn, or the

problem you want to address. You will be matched with an instructor either individually or in groups of 2 or 3 to work on the

skill.

There may be a brief wait for time slot with an instructor. If so, head to the casting skills development area where you can do a

series of drills, cast to targets or do a variety of other skills challenges. Bring a buddy and make a day of it. Better yet, bring your

whole club and make a day of it.

For the best experience, register for one of the four detailed classes in specific casting skills. Those 90-minute sessions – two in

the morning and two in the afternoon – will provide you with the concise instruction that FFI is known for. Classes will be

delivered by Certified FFI Casting Instructors. Our Summer newsletter will contain a complete list of classes and instructors who

will join us for the day. The fee for each class will be $35 per person. Attendance will be limited. Our summer newsletter will

include links to register online and reserve your spot.

Other that those classes, the day is free to FFI members and the public. Gather your friends and fellow club members and join us.

We look forward to seeing you.

Awards

Elsewhere in this edition of Covering the Drift, there is a story on the new online nomination process for the Washington State

Council’s annual awards. Special thanks to Washington FFI Director and Webmaster Sam Matalone who thought the council

needed a simpler method to nominate colleagues for awards and encourage members to participate. Rather than just talk about

the problem, he fixed it. The result is a simple online form that describes our awards and allows members to fill out submit

nominations online. I encourage you to do that today.

Members affiliated with Washington FFI are engaged in education, conservation and environmental stewardship statewide. Since

the formation of Washington FFI in the 1960s our members and affiliated clubs have played an invaluable role in conserving and

protecting countless acres of stream and river bank. We bring people together in the vigorous defense of ecosystems and

committed efforts to share the best in fly tying, casting and fishing skills. You and your colleagues are the engine that drives that

and FFI awards are a way to say thanks and invite deeper commitment. Please, take a minute today to review the awards and

nominate your friends for there hard work.

Thank you.