Past Activites

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Banquet 2014:  Our 2014 Banquet was held on April 5th and was a great time.  We had many donations.  We would like to thanks some of our donors, without you our banquet would never have been the success it turned out to be. 



Bruce Concors.docx

Bruce Concors

Wallkill River Adventures

Thruway Sporting Goods Store

Walden, N.Y.


With a son and daughter, and their families, living in Goshen, N.Y., I would take a little time out of most visits and drive up to Roscoe. Those trips were made all year round and it was during one of those visits in February a few years back that I received a welcomed surprise.

I usually stopped at Catskill Flies in Roscoe. Shop owner, Dennis Skarka, generally has a few guys sitting around talking about fishing and listening to those veterans provided a lot of valuable information. After a while I felt comfortable asking questions and getting involved in the discussions.

It was one of those dreary winter days that three of us were talking when a guy they all knew stopped by and engaged in the chit-chat. He looked vaguely familiar but I thought it was someone I might have seen before but didn’t know his name. After a while the talk changed from fly fishing to golf. Seemed we all played the game when we weren’t on a stream somewhere.  

When the conversation turned to golf courses in the N.Y. Metropolitan Area I was in my element having spent over 25 years managing courses in that region. When the guy who arrived late mentioned he played Ridgewood Country Club in Paramus, N.J. I asked who he played with. When he said he knew the course superintendent a light went on in both of us as we then realized we did know each other but hadn’t seen one another for over 20 years. 

I had been introduced to Bruce Concors by a mutual friend. Being avid golfers it didn’t take long before we started playing on a regular basis. Bruce was a good player and I decent so our matches became competitive although I am sure we found ourselves on the same side occasionally.

Bruce’s family owned and operated the Thruway Shopping Center in Walden, N.Y. The businesses consisted on a large food market and hardware and liquor stores. The complex also contained a sporting goods store that was leased by an outside company. There was also a pizzeria and restaurant within the complex. As Bruce suggests Thruway was Walmart before Walmart’s.

My wife and I shopped at the food store a few times but never went into any of the other facilities.  I knew Bruce as a golfer and business owner but never knew of his other interests and my guess is that even if he mentioned his passion for fly fishing I would have shrugged it off as I had no interest in the sport back then. That was then, this is now. What’s most interesting now is neither of us plays golf much anymore.

Bruce tells me his friend Ron’s parents had a cabin on Wanaksink Lake, Rock Hill, N.Y. where bait fishing ruled. At about six years of age Ron’s grandfather tried teaching both youngsters the art of fly fishing. Ron had no interest but Bruce was hooked telling me he often went fly fishing with Ron’s grandpa while Ron stayed at the lake. It was also then that he started tying flies having been introduced to Harry and Elsie Darbee, fly tying legends from Roscoe, N.Y. He fondly remembers the first day he got his driver’s license he drove up to the Darbee Shop and purchased a Coachman Brown Rooster Neck.

It was during high school that golf became a priority for Bruce as his game improved and he was offered a scholarship at Alfred State University. After two years he transferred to Cornell where his studied veterinary science. Although he continued playing golf it was a couple of professors with a passion for fly fishing that rekindled his interest in the sport. He was not disappointed.

It was during this period that the sporting goods store in the shopping center was going out of business. Bruce convinced his parents to let him manage the store but the decision wasn’t easy as he would have to drop out of Cornell. As they say the rest is history.

In the last two years Bruce, and brother Les, have sold the shopping center to a developer but leased back the hardware, sporting goods and liquor stores. All are being totally renovated at present. When Bruce started managing the sporting goods facility it had 3,000 sq. ft. of sales space. Under his direction it grew to 12,000 and then to 24,000 sq. ft. with a huge section reserved for fly fishing and fly tying equipment. When the present renovation is complete the store will have over 60,000 sq. ft. of sales space with an inside shooting and archery range and conference room for sporting related meetings and seminars.

Bruce also operates Wallkill River Valley Adventures, LLC. This business arranges guided float fishing trips on all Catskills Rivers, guided upland and water fowl hunting trips and cabin rentals throughout the region.

When Bruce is not at one of his stores ( most of his time is spent in the sporting goods operation ) or arranging fishing and, or, hunting trips you can generally find him enjoying his passion on one of the Catskill Rivers. The first time I fished with Bruce it didn’t take long to realize his knowledge of the rivers, their insect hatches and the places to fish were second to none. I’ve floated the West Branch of the Delaware and waded the Neversink with him a few times and each trip saw us start and finish at different locations depending on the hatches. I’ve even put him to a real challenge asking to help improve my casting ability. He’s still working on that. There might be some things that just can’t be fixed.

Bruce is also an avid and creative fly tier. Not only can you find his creations at his store but on line at the Pacific Fly Group at: Under products go to flies, then “Flies designed by Bruce Concors”. Take a look. You’ll find some really neat examples of his work.

I encourage anyone going to the Catskills to stop in Walden and visit Thruway Sporting Goods and its outstanding fly fishing section. And it’s not out of the way at all. If you’re on Rt. 84 take exit #8 / Rt. 52 ( two exits after the Hudson River crossing near Newburgh ) toward Walden. After you’ve toured the store ask for directions to Rt. 17K which will connect with RT. 17. Get on going west and head to the Catskills. When you stop please ask for Bruce and say thanks for supporting TU 225 and our 2014 banquet. Bruce provided us with the use of a cabin on the East Branch of the Upper Delaware River just below the town of Downsville. And if you’re looking for a guided trip, a place to stay or some fly fishing equipment contact Bruce at: (845) 401-1807. You will not be disappointed.




Rob Lewis

NYS Licensed Fly Fishing Guide

28 Sussex Road

Carmel, N.Y. 10512

Rob became familiar with the Catskills as a youngster during family camping trips to the region. He actually found a way to make pocket change by collecting Hellgrammites and Stoneflies and selling them to a bait store in Callicoon on the Delaware River.

Like most of us his early experiences in fishing were with a spin rod. He got his first fly rod when he was 11 years old and as they say “ the rest is history”.

Rob’s family lived in Yonkers, N.Y. but much of his Dad’s electrical contracting business took him to upstate Binghamton.  Rob would accompany his father during these trips on Rt. 17 that dissected the lower Catskill Region. Knowing many of the fly shop and business owners in, and around, Roscoe Rob convinced his Dad to let him fish during the day and pick him up on the way home in the evening. It wasn’t long before those day trips became over nighter’s with Rob sleeping in his tent so he could be on the water before sunrise and after nightfall. It was during these trips that his love for the sport grew and became influenced by the local fly fishing dignitaries including Lee and Joan Wulff and Mary Dette Clark. Rob suggests other influences were provided by Larry Kennedy from the Bedford Sportsmen’s Club and Jack Cartside who preached “making things simple”.

Rob moved out west for a few years living in Missoula, Montana where he worked with local fly fishing shops as a guide. He returns to that same area almost every summer with pre-arranged trips with regular clients from the NYC area. He also arranges fly fishing trip throughout the world in locations like: Chile, Argentina and Ireland.

Rob’s got three simple rules for people learning to fly fish. #1. Keep your eyes open and mouth closed #2. Apply what you’ve learned  #3. Perfect what you’ve learned. These sound like pretty good life lessons to me.

Rob guides on all the Catskill Rivers but concentrates his float trips on the West Branch and Main Stem of the Delaware during late spring, summer and early fall. He also sells specialized fly tying materials through his online business at Robs Realistic Materials:  He is also an extremely creative fly tier displaying his talents every year at the Bears Den Show in Taunton, MA. See for yourself at next years show on Saturday, February 22, 2015. You can also find Rob’s flies on line at the Pacific Fly Group at: Under products go to flies, then “Flies designed by Rob Lewis”. Take a look. You’ll find some really neat examples of his work.

 We thank Rob for supporting our Annual Banquet by providing a float trip. Peter Nilsen won the bid on that trip and we’ll give a full report on that experience very soon.   

If you’ll be in the Catskills and want to experience a great day on one of the regions famous rivers, with one of the areas very best guides, give Rob a call at: (845) 519-7925. You will not be disappointed.




Joe Carr

Carr’s Rod & Gun

423 North Road

Hope, R.I. 02831

Joe Carr is someone who needs no introduction to most TU 225 members and fly fisherman in Rhode Island having owned and operated Carr’s Rod & Gun Shop in Hope for almost 30 years. A business his father started in 1957. Although Joe helped his father in the shop in his younger days a three year stint in the Army and a sales position with a large pipe / fittings / valves manufacture kept him away from the family business until his Dad’s health failed and Joe returned to run the business. Obviously he’s never looked back.

As the store’s name would indicate original inventories included guns, archery and all types of conventional fishing equipment. Joe directed the majority of his attention to fly fishing about 15 years ago. A decision he never regretted.

As a youngster Joe loved fly fishing and remembers having a fly rod in his hands at a very early age. Health issues have restricted his ability to get out on a stream but he really enjoys talking to his customers about the sport and supplying them with the equipment they need to be successful. And as most of his customers will agree if you can’t find it in Joe’s shop, or he can’t get it for you, you probably don’t need it.

Joe carries a wide range of fly fishing equipment and fly tying supplies. You will find reels from the major manufacturers and rod from Scott’s, TFO, Ross and Echo which Joe suggests is his biggest seller. His inventory of fly tying materials and equipment is second to none.

I remember my first visit to Joe Carr’s. Seeing how small the building looked from the outside I wondered what type of inventory was carried inside. Was I ever surprised to find everything I was looking for on that, and subsequent, visits. Joe is a master at organizing and arranging his inventory. I’ve been in much larger fly fishing stores that don’t carry nearly as much as you’ll find in Joe Carr’s. I encourage anyone who’s looking for quality fly fishing equipment and, or, fly tying supplies to visit the store in Hope, R.I. You will not be disappointed.

Joe has been a regular supporter of Narragansett Trout Unlimited and our annual banquet. This year he donated a beautiful 2/3 wt. Cortland Diamond Glass Fly Rod. Thank you Joe for your continued support of our chapter and its members.




John Mello

John started fly fishing almost 70 years ago when he accompanied his dad on trips to the local streams including the Wood. He recalls in the late 40’s the Navy having a facility near the present Check Station location. John tells us he got his first decent fly rod when he got out of the Army in 1959 but his most cherished possession is a bamboo rod his father gave him which he still has today.

After the Army John went to work for Raytheon as a technical writer, a position he held for 33 years before retiring a few years ago. While on the job he attended Roger Williams University where he received a BS in Business and an AS in Electrical Engineering.

John loved to be outdoors fishing and hunting. He became interested in taxidermy when he realized how much it would cost to have any of his trophies mounted. He took a correspondence course and became a talented taxidermist which developed his interest in carving. Most of his early carving work was with decoys ( over 500 completed to date ) but larger birds and fish are where his interests lay now.

His ability as a carver has gained him wide spread recognition. He entered the Carving World Championships in 1981 in Ocean City, Maryland and had participated every year up until a few years ago. During that time his presentations have garnered 16 Third Place and 12 Second Place finishes with his crowning moment coming in 2012 when his entry won First Place.  

John’s talents didn’t stop with bird and fish carvings. He has built nine boats ranging in size from a 10’ Dingy to a 23’ power cruiser. He’s also made 65 World War II fighter planes ranging in scale 1”= 48”, a replica of a Hawkins Rifle and a number of Kentucky Rifles and many pistols and in his spare time built almost all the furniture in his home.

You’ll often find John on the Wood fly fishing with flies ties by non-other them himself. Whether it’s bird or fish carvings, boats, planes, furniture or flies John’s work is impeccable. Most impressive about this gentleman is he’s more than willing to share any of his experiences and tips with anyone who might ask for advice or needs a little assistance.

As a regular at TU 225 meetings John is always behind the grill at our summer Streamside Cookouts or talking about fly fishing and interacting with guest speakers when our schedule takes us indoors at the Coventry Elks Club from September through April. But it’s his signature “handle bar mustache” and wonderful carvings that makes him the recognizable chapter member he has become.

We want to thank John for his continued support and donation to our 2014 Banquet. His hand carved Wood Duck Feather Brooch was well received and bid on aggressively in the verbal auction at this year’s event.



This list will continue to be added too as time goes on, unfortunately we cannot get it all done at once.  If you do not see your name here look back in a bit.  And remember, if you are not here in this list your donations were all appreciated and we are most thankful for your generosity.