Presidents Message

President's Message December 2015

 

I trust everyone had a very Happy celebration of Thanksgiving, and that all are preparing for a momentous Christmas season and New Year. One of my many ‘thanks’ for this season is to all of you who trusted me to lead our Chapter through an active 2014-2016 seasons. My sincere thanks to all of you who volunteered your time to complete a host of conservation projects and educational activities. Specific thanks to our former President Jim Less for starting us on a path of ‘getting things done’, to all who participated in the Family, Children’s, Women’s, Inner-City residents, and Veterans fly tying, casting, and fishing activities we completed in partnership with RIDEM/ARE and the D2DR Program, and in the conservation projects, both in the water and to improve access ways that we conducted under the auspices of RIDEM. I realize that 2016 was a ‘let-down’ for projects, but we will be working on our processes to improve obtaining the needed authorizations to gain approval for our project proposals. Lastly, I wish to thank each and every member of our Board and Committees for the work they did to keep us on track and acknowledged as an active member of our State’s conservation and fishing communities. To all our members, please continue to offer the new Board and Committee members the same level of energy and participation that you have over the past 3 years.

Many of you may be wondering what is coming for TU225 for the near-future. Here is a summary of issues and activities that we will either be continuing or initiating over the next few years:

• We will be continuing our water monitoring for URI’s Watershed Watch. In fact, one valuable lesson learned from our URIWW activity during the 2016 season was the discovery very high level of bacteria (enterrococcia) in the Falls River, which was coming downstream into the Wood River. As a result of this discovery, RIDEM Water Quality is placing the Falls River on their ‘Impaired Rivers’ list, and will be investigating the source of this bacteria soon. As a further improvement to our URIWW activity, we will be recommending that we extend our monitoring sites to the Flat and Wood Rivers to better assess the water quality in the Arcadia watershed. For those interested in the financial implication of this expansion, we are recommending we drop two of our existing sites on the Falls River, and replace those sites with one each in the Flat and Wood Rivers, so no change to our annual bill should be encountered.

• We will be continuing our partnership with the WPWA to install water temperature monitors (iButtons) in selected streams throughout southern RI (and yes, one monitor in CT). We install these iButtons in early Spring, and recover them in late Fall; WPWA reads the data from the iButtons and sends us the results. We are still learning about how best to analyze and use this data, but we are getting better at this each year. We installed 36 iButtons in various streams and rivers in 2016, and we expect the same or similar level of activity for future years.

• Select groups of members have reviewed our Strategic Plan and our Bylaws during 2016. So again, my sincere thanks to the Board, specifically Jim less and Dick Diamond, for their work on the Strategic Plan, and to Patrick ‘Buzz’ Guida and Mel Blake for their work on the Bylaws. We still have more work to do in this area but you will have a chance to approve the results soon.

• You have all heard about the HAG (Habitat Assesment Group) Report, and again, I apologize to all of you for the delays I’ve encountered with it. However, my plan is to finish it during 2017 and present the results to the Board first, and then to all of you. What happens with it then will be a decision of the Chapter members.

• We are discussing a project with the WPWA to integrate the water quality databases being separately maintained into one database so everyone can review it and become smarter about the quality of our watersheds. The scope of the project, including which watersheds and the tools needed allow individual analyses of the results, and the Chapter’s share of the cost is still under discussion. Again, we still have more work to do in this area but you will have a chance to approve the results soon.

• Lastly, we will be searching for ways to increase the youth and diversity in our Chapter. Like many TU Chapters across the Nation, TU225 is increasingly becoming a very mature organization, and we need to increase members from the 10-50 year-old range. We will be looking for avenues that gain us access to these age groups, and hopefully, we will see some younger members participating in our activities and meetings. Anyone interested in helping with this issue, please let a Board member know!

OK, that’s enough for our coming activities…this list is not complete but it gives you a flavor for what we’ve talked about without throwing out a lot of background and details, and what we will be reporting to you on in the near future.

Again, my sincere thank you to all for what you have done so much for TU225 over the past years, and for what you will be willing to do in future years. It is a pleasure to be a member of this Chapter, and has been an honor to serve as your President for the past three years. I look forward to seeing you all at our 21 December meeting/elections/gift exchange (remember, gift limit of $15)! I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a fruitful 2017!

Best wishes to all!

Ron Marafioti

Presidents message May 2016

 

President’s Message for May 2016!!

I hope this finds everyone enjoying a wonderful Spring 2016! After a milder-than-normal March, and then a colder-than-normal April and first 30% of May, it finally appears that the sun and comfortable temperatures are finally making their presence known. For those volunteers who have helped us during this crazy Spring by serving as co-hosts and instructors for the Dare-to-Dream (D2DR) Veterans’ Fly Tying and Fly Fishing Course and the fly tying/casting/fishing instruction for family and general public at the Carolina Trout Hatchery, and for strolling through Arcadia picking up coffee cups, beer cans, liquor bottles, and on and on during our Annual Earth Day Stream Cleanup, a sincere thank you! For those who were ‘caught by surprise’ by these early season events, please do not worry about being left out. We have plenty of opportunities for you all to support TU225 and our community by adding your feet to those already ‘on the ground’; upcoming events that will need your help include taking the role of a judge for the RI Envirothon Competition on 20 May, fly casting instructors for our Veterans at the D2DR Fly Casting/Fishing Class at Deer Creek Farm on 21 May, installation of water temperature monitors throughout the next 3-6 weeks, water condition monitoring each month through Spring-Fall, and serving as instructors for the Fly tying/casting/fishing instruction for Ladies at the Carolina Hatchery on 9 July (Children’s Day will be held on 17 Sept.).

Over the past couple of months, we have posted a couple of alerts that are important to everyone. The first was the Zika virus (actually any of the mosquito-borne diseases), which like the next alert, is much about prevention. There are a bevy of insect repellents available that effectively combat mosquitoes and other pesky and potentially harmful insects. Although likely the most effective insect repellents contain DEET, the effects of Deet on fly lines and other fishing equipment lead many folks to insect repellents that do NOT contain DEET. If you haven’t found an effective non-DEET insect repellent yet, ask any of our veteran fly anglers for their suggestions. The second alert has to do with Didymo (Didymosphenia geminata), also known as ‘Rock Snot’, which is now present in the Farmington River in CT. The majority of anglers I talk with on the River have fished the Farmington this year. From this discussions, I have both good news and bad news to report: the good news is that over half of those anglers (from CT, MA, and RI) take some preventive measure(s) to keep rock snot out of RI waters, while the bad news is only slightly over half of those anglers (from CT, MA, and RI) take some preventive measure(s) to keep rock snot out of RI waters. This is a crucial issue to all of us because the Farmington (and that is likely NOT the only river/stream within ‘casting range’ of anyone who uses RI waterways (anglers of all types, swimmers, and boaters). The “CHECK/INSPECT, CLEAN, DRY” steps addressed by many reliable references, including :

 

http://www.fish.state.pa.us/water/habitat/ans/didymo/faq_didymo.htm

 

 http://www.protectyourwaters.net/

 

http://www.cleanangling.org/

 

are minimum preventive measures recommended to help prevent the spread of Didymo/Rock Snot to our waters. In fact, one of our favorite presenters and successful fishing guide from Connecticut has made it public knowledge that he dedicates one pair of waders and wading shoes for use on the Farmington only. Now that is adopting a preventive measure 110%...thanks Steve! Now I wonder what he does to clean his lines, flies, and other gear that he uses in the Farmington…or are those in his ‘dedicated to Farmington’ locker as well? This is a very important issue for all of us who use the waters in RI. As most of you know, the Farmington is a big River, and its flows are much higher than most of the freshwater rivers and streams in RI. If the bottom of any of our rivers/streams becomes infested with rock snot, our waters don’t have the flushing rates that the Farmington has, and our waters could become subject to much bigger problems much quicker than the Farmington River is realizing. So please, stay aware of the problem, study and memorize the preventive steps for stopping the spread of Rock Snot to RI, and use those preventive steps whenever you may have come in contact with Didymo/Rock Snot! In advance, thank you for your attention to this crucial issue!

 

OK, that’s enough of the preaching to the choir for now. It’s time to enjoy fishing…and all streams are providing wonderful entertainment to all kinds of anglers. As an aside, one kayaker passed by me recently and he asked me if I was fly fishing. I replied that I was, and he asked me if that is the type of fishing where the angler kept false casting followed by more false casting until the fishing in the water saw the fly and waited for it to fall to the surface. I told him the false casting was mostly for straightening out the line, and if the angler was using dry flies, to dry the fly off. He thanked me, told me he always wanted to learn how to fly fish, and asked if it was hard to learn. I told him some short instruction would get him to the point that he could reasonably put a fly in the water, and then his excitement would build on his presentation. I also added that there are a variety of fly fishing clubs in the area from which many of those members would be more than happy to show him how to join our fly angling community…oh yes, I had to add that TU225 has a Website that may interest him. He thanked me again and paddled downstream with his kayaking buddies. So standby, you may be approached by the kayaker (name unknown to me) for some much needed instructions! Good luck on the water and ‘tight lines’ to all of you!

 

Regards as always,

 

Ron

President's Message February 2016

 

Happy New Year, everybody!! The Board and I wish you the very best for 2016! I trust everyone is busy either trying to entice a wary winter trout before closing day on 29 February or tying the flies you will need for the new fishing sea- son which starts Saturday, 9 April. Oh, and don’t forget the free fishing days of 7 and 8 May for you and your friends who don’t have licenses. Although we can all put our fluorescent orange vests away until the 2016 shotgun season for deer starts, don’t forget the RI Fishing Regulations (http://www.dem.ri.gov/pubs/regs/ regs/fishwild/fish1617.pdf ) still require us to wear fluorescent orange hats (200 sq. inches) between 16 April and 31 May. I hope you all are ready to support a busy 2016 season for TU225. First, the Dare to Dream Ranch organization has scheduled their first fly tying & casting sessions for our veterans. Tying sessions will be held 6:30-8:00PM on Mondays 7, 14, 21 and 28 March at the VFW Post 449, 197 Providence St, West Warwick, RI 02893. We will need volunteers to serve as fly tying instructors, and then, as fly casting instructors for the fly fishing event that will be scheduled after Opening Day. We will do our best to get the word out promptly as the calls for volunteers start. TU225 has also submitted our list of proposed habitat improvement and restoration projects to RIDEM for approval. As soon as those projects receive approval, we will establish a schedule and send out invitations for volunteers. At this point, please accept my sincere appreciation to all of you who donated your time in support of our projects in 2015/16; the 2,000+ hours you volunteered to help provide better habitat for the trout in the Arcadia watershed. Your hard work helps our Chapter accomplish our Mission and achieve our Vision…...and TU National has noticed our successes. We have an interesting and exciting list of events coming our way over the next few months. Presentations include an overview of the “Block Island Wind Farm Project” by Grover Fugate, a TU225 member and RI’s Project Director for this gigantic program (24 February), a summary and suggestions about “Maine Brook Trout Lakes & Ponds.” by Bob Mallard (30 March), and the first presentation to TU225 that I know of by the River Herring Alliance (27 April). Tickets are now available for the TU225 Annual Banquet for 2016 which will be held at the East Greenwich Veteran Fireman’s Hall at 80 Queen Street; this event will start at 3PM on Saturday, 2 April with dinner served at 4PM. As you all know, this Banquet is the Chapter’s primary revenue generating event and the proceeds allow us to support our projects, meeting fees and Summer cookouts and other activities. Tickets can be purchased from most Board and Banquet Committee members. We hope to see many of you at this fun event! And for those who would like to network with our friends in the Northern RI Chapter TU737, their 2016 Breakfast Get-Together will be held on 19 March at the Kountry Kitchen Restaurant, 10 Smith Avenue, Greenville, RI; this event will start at 10AM. For those interested, please see Al Ball or myself. In conclusion, I am sure that many of you have heard about the organiza- tion Protect Rhode Island Brook Trout (PRIBT), their proposal, their comments interpretations of our goals and actions. Let me assure you, our members, that our actions are in compliance with and exceed the requirements that TU National has published as policy. Many of PRIBT’s derogatory comments against TU225 are based on old information or are simply not true. Our intent is to stay our course, complete our Habitat Assessment Group (HAG) efforts and then use the expanded understanding of the Arcadia Management Area we have gained from these efforts to enter into a couple of new programs. First, we are planning to enter into a long-term partnership to establish a longer term water monitoring process. Second, we hope to enlist help from some of our partners to enroll RI in the Rivers Calendar (http:// riverscalendar.drupalgardens.com/ ) and start our Rivers Calendar cataloging of the bug life in the Arcadia watershed. To accomplish these two initiatives with the least pain, we will be asking for more volunteers to support these activities. Look for more to be coming on these programs soon.

******************************************************************************

President’s Message April 2015

 

I hope this note finds everyone anxious for Opening Day on 11 April…yes, I said April, and hopefully Spring is here to stay this time.  I presume everyone will be able to cast a mile after all the shoveling we all were burdened with over the past 3-4 months.  For those who volunteered to organize this year’s Annual Banquet, I extend my sincere thanks for all your efforts…it was a wonderful experience and success…truly a fantastic way to start the new calendar year.  This year’s Banquet Committee consisted of Dick Diamond as Chair, Al Ball, Rich Benson, Jay Boyer, Chris Grenon, Joe Grenon, Jim Less, myself, Tom O'Connell, Bob Orpin, Jeff Perry, and Jim Rubovits.  When you see these volunteers, please thank them for the wonderful job they did this year for the Banquet.  In addition, I extend my sincere appreciation to all the organizations and individuals who donated to our raffles and auctions this year, and a special thanks to Jack and Pat Jennings, and their able-bodied guide Gene Bates through the inventory at the reliable fishing emporium of the late Joe Carr, who is probably looking down at us overly anxious fly tiers and anglers and wishing us all ‘happy fishing!’  Thank you also to our auctioneer-without-equal, Bobby Greco…thank you, Bob!  And lastly, congratulations and thank you to the winner of the 2014 Lawson Cary, Jr. Award as our Conservationist of the Year, Denise Poyer of the WPWA.

Our lists of projects and activities, which also will require a goodly number of volunteers, is following the lead from the Banquet as well…April (Kid’s Day at Addieville on the 18th, Stream Cleanup on the 25th), May (the TU Regional Meeting on the 29-31st (fishing on Friday the 29th),  June (Women’s Fly Tying/Casting/Fishing Day at the Carolina Hatchery on the 27th), September (Children’s Fly Tying/Casting/Fishing Day at the Carolina Hatchery on the 12th, and the TU National meeting in Scranton, Pa on the 16th).  And we’ve just started filling out this schedule…more to follow.  Our April meeting will focus on our efforts with the URIWW, the WPWA, and a short synopsis of our HAG’s findings for 2014; this meeting will be our inside meeting until September.  The May meeting will be our first streamside meeting for 2015, and we will be tying flies to suit the June hatches.  Hopefully we all will be deeply engrossed in our mandatory therapy sessions on the water as we chase the Hex hatch, the Caddis and Hendrickson hatches, and on and on throughout the 2014/15 fishing season.

I would like to leave you with this thought as you reorganize your fly boxes, clean your lines, lube your reels, and all the other things you do in preparation for opening day and Spring 2015 – "Three-fourths of the Earth's surface is water, and one-fourth is land. It is quite clear that the good Lord intended us to spend triple the amount of time fishing as taking care of the lawn." [by Chuck Clark]!  Best wishes and tight lines!  Ron

 

******************************************************************************************************************

 

President’s Message – February 2015

 

Happy New Year to all!  Like some of you, I purchased a copy of The Old Farmer’s 2015 Almanac, and I am glad to report that the “D” word is not in the forecast for Rhode Island and surrounding area.  After a forecast of a cold and snowy Winter, the Almanac forecasts a hot and dry Summer coming up; the details of this Summer forecast include temperatures slightly above average and precipitation an inch or two below average.  We’ve been there before, and this leads me to believe that both we and the trout we protect will survive to fight another day.

Before the year starts, I’d like to revisit and summarize an issue that is important to each of us.  In 2011, TU’s National Leadership Council passed this policy statement – “…the NLC is opposed to Chapters or Councils stocking of non-native hatchery trout on top of native trout populations”.  Soon after this, representatives of TU225 asked our most reliable fish biologists if there were any native trout (particularly Brook Trout) in the 2-mile stretch of the Wood River between its formation at the confluence and the area known as Cut Tree.  The answer we received was ‘no, but if we still have native Brookies, they would most likely be in the headwaters’.  A short time after that, the then-President of the NLC ‘advised’ TU225 that we should stop actively stocking non-native trout in the subject section of the Wood.  Based on these inputs, and following the TU Policy Guidance Flowchart, the Board decided to enter into a 3-year program labeled the Habitat Assessment Group (HAG) with the purpose of assessing the habitat in this section of the Wood, particularly to assess if the habitat can reasonably support a population of native Brook Trout.  We are in the process of conducting that study now, and are scheduled to complete it in 2016.  In Year 1 (2013-14) we established key thresholds, and found water temperatures that exceeded the applicable threshold, increasing temperatures, and decreasing dissolved oxygen.  We have just completed Year 2 of that study, and it no surprise to anyone after the drought we suffered that water flow was terribly low all Summer and Fall in 2014, and the flow continues to be well below the its mean now.  We are waiting for the water quality data from WPWA and URIWW to complete our study for 2014-2015.  At the end of this study, we will assess what we have found concerning the fish habitat and decide how to move forward at that point.

We have to keep in mind that much of the Wood River Valley was decimated by fire in the mid-1950’s.  That single event lead to the formation of the Arcadia Management Area (AMA) of today as a multi-user park managed by RIDEM.  We, as fly anglers, share this resource with a host of other users, including spin fishers, bait casters, hunters, hikers, canoeists and kayakers, campers, and more.  Another interesting point is that we, the fly anglers, represent a small percentage of the users of this cherished resource.

As many of you have heard from me before, the strength of each TU Chapter is in its volunteers, groups comprised of members, friends, and partners.  This applies to our Chapter specifically, because we always have a list of work projects that need to be done.  Some of the issues addressed by many of our projects include:

  • Periodic clean-ups to remove discarded materials and items from ‘upstream’.
  • Monitoring and reporting water quality e.g. clarity, temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, etc
  • Planning and completing projects that improve habitat and access to minimize the detrimental effects of erosion, sedimentation. blockages, beaver dams, and the like.
  • Preserving forest cover and access
  • Maintaining and strengthening relationships with our partners and associated organizations, particularly RIDEM, WPWA, UFTRI, WRFFC, AMC, etc.
  • Introducing new users and the next generation of users to the sport of flyfishing and the fishing resources offer us hours and hours of both satisfaction and frustration.

And by virtue of this volunteer work and other planned commitments, the members of TU225 contribute to the successful management of the AMA and many Southern New England’s coldwater fisheries.

Many of you also know that the review process that enables us to accomplish our habitat and access improvements in Rhode Island require approval of our regulators at RIDEM.  Therefore we all work hard to establish and maintain a respectful and productive relationship with RIDEM and our key partners, like the WPWA, URI, and more. 

In the meantime, TU225 members and guests continue to volunteer for activities and projects that support our Vision and Mission.  As Lawson Cary, Jr., wrote when he penned the Case Study for the Wood River in TU’s The New England Brook Trout: Protecting a Fish, Restoring a Region:

The persistence of the Wood River is a tribute to the effective combination of volunteer commitment and state-sponsored conservation programs. The Wood remains Rhode Island’s premier trout stream in spite of the multiple challenges of population growth, sprawl and urbanization...”.

I look forward to working with you as our schedule for activities and projects gets underway for 2015.  The Annual Banquet on 28 March at the East Greenwich Veterans Firemen’s Hall provides us an excellent way to start this year together…a product of volunteer work, one of the best ways we have to network with the many other TU225 members and guests, our partners and associates, and a way to get that ‘necessary’ new fishing equipment, tying materials, and flies from a cast of outstanding donors.  I hope to see you all there.  Best wishes for a Happy Spring 2015!

 

Ron Marafioti

 

******************************************************************************************************************

 

Prez Note – Dec 2014

The Board and I wish all our members, partners, and friends the very best for a wonderful Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Looking back on 2014, our Chapter has been blessed that we have had the wherewithal to accomplish our planned activities, including our first Family Day in a long time, and numerous habitat improvement and access projects.  Thanks to our monthly raffles, the efforts of last year’s Banquet Committee that resulted in a fantastic Banquet, and the support for the Chapter shown by our members and friends, we have had the necessary cash to finance our planned initiatives and actions.  Another important strength of our Chapter is our volunteer force – those members and friends who show up at every project, cut and haul wood, clear brush, and on and on…the work never ceases, even for volunteers! 

What’s ahead for 2015?  Need I say…much of the same!  Our 2015 Banquet Committee has started the planning process and is meeting on a monthly schedule to provide us another banner Banquet…so please keep your schedule for 28 March open…the event starts on that Saturday at 3PM at the East Greenwich Veterans Fireman’s Hall.  Our stream monitoring activity with URI will continue, additional work with the WPWA will be scheduled, a list of habitat improvement and access projects will be developed for completion, one (maybe 2) Parents Day will be organized, and, oh yes, some fishing trips will be arranged.  And oh, by the way, it looks like TU’s Northeast Regional Meeting will be held in Providence 30-31 May; at this point we have no idea what that means for our Chapter, but as soon as we receive some useful advice and guidance, we will let you know.  There…that may not be an exhaustive list of planned activities, but it is one he__ of a start.

Again, the Board and I wish you all the very best for Happy Holidays and a fruitful 2015!  Regards to all, Ron

 

******************************************************************************************************************

President’s Message for November 2014

Now that the Halloween festivities are over and we are marching towards the annual Thanksgiving feast with Family and friends, we also should be at the ready to welcome the arrival of cooler air and water temperatures, Fall rain showers (and yes, maybe an early snow shower), and the raking of leaves before we replace the mowing of lawns with shoveling of snow and ice.  Have fun adjusting your clothing recipes to the annual Winter adventure.

This has been a busy and interesting year for our Chapter as well.  We have completed a number of stream cleaning and habitat improvement projects, the second year of the Habitat Assessment Group’s (HAG) monitoring activities are nearing completion, and we have retrieved nearly all of the temperature monitors/iButtons that we installed last Spring to support WPWA’s project on water temperatures in Rhode Island streams.  Linking the HAG activities with this year’s WPWA project, 2014 was a year that provided us with other-than-expected results.  While 2013 provided us with plenty of rain and high water temperatures during the Summer/early Fall months, 2014 provided us with little rain, low water temperatures, and very low stream flows during the same time period.  One thing is for sure…the integrity of the aquifer feeding the upper Wood River is intact and operating properly, because it was virtually the only source of new water in the upper Wood for this Summer, and it provided the major life support for our stocked and wild fish.  At the same time, the River experienced some historical slow stream flows, providing serious challenges to survival for the fish populations.  However, our fish, newly introduced or basically resident, have survived, and although catch-rates may be low, these fish are still there, cautiously waiting and watching so they can feed on a fly or offer the ‘thrill of the catch’ to our anxious anglers.

We recently held a Family Day at the Check Station to offer fly tying and fly casting opportunities to parents and children of the local community. This was an interesting and successful experiment that will lead to additional similar activities in the Spring.  I call this ‘interesting’ because, in addition to watching the children learn to cast a fly, we also had many members casting flies and challenging each other to ‘hit a target’.  It was a fun day, complete with networking, glad-handing, meeting new and familiar friends, and sharing some vittles and drink.  Thank you to the volunteers who made this activity an enjoyable reality.

We are all looking forward to hearing about Bugs and Smelt- Favorite Flies and Streamside Musingsfrom Rick Little. the founder and owner of www.shadcreekflies.com who resides in NH.  After this meeting on Wednesday, 19 November, we will tie some flies together at the 17 December meeting after we conclude this year’s election process.  So what do you have to look forward to at the early 2015 meetings?  Take a look:

2015 Meeting Date @ Elks Lodge

Presenter (Topic)

28 January

Still working on this one!

25 February

Grover Fugate (Climate Change)

25 March

Michael Brucato (Soft Hackle Wet Fly Fishing

 

 

These milestone events in the first quarter of 2015 will be followed by the Chapter’s Annual Banquet on 28 March; this fantastic event will take place again at the East Greenwich Veterans Firemans Hall.

I hope everyone is wearing the required 200 square inches of “solid daylight fluorescent orange clothing” (usually a cap) while fishing Rhode Island’s rivers and streams.  Please keep in mind that we have to wear 500 square inches of “solid daylight fluorescent orange clothing” (Usually a cap and full vest that covers the front and back of the wearer) between 6-21 December and 26 December 2014-2 January 2015 in Zones 1 and 2 (basically West and Central Rhode Island, or all of the State except Prudence – Patience Island, and Block Island) for deer season (shotgun).

I would like to conclude this message by wishing you all a very Happy Holiday Season…first in celebrating the traditional Thanksgiving feast on 27 November, then a very Merry Christmas on 25 December, followed by the joyous arrival of New Year 2015!  Looking forward to seeing you on the water in 2015...stay dry and warm!!

 

******************************************************************************************************************

 

President’s Message for September 2014

 

 

Now that Summer 2014 is behind us, I hope you all are enjoying the advent of Fall!  But  I must say, I like the old days…when the hot humid days were in Summer, mostly August, and the air temperature drops about 10-degF on Labor Day.  This year’s weather pattern seems to have reversed that historical trend.  That is not the only condition that is surprising us this year.  As most of you know, we encountered some very high and unhealthy (for the fish) water temperatures last year at this point in time.  This year, water temperature in the Wood River has been great (below 65-degF consistently until lately), but the flow in the Wood has been well below the threshold to support a healthy population of Brook Trout.  Although the Brookies and the stocked trout seem to be hanging in there, you can still see more-than-desired dead fish on the bottom of the stream.  Especially at this time of year, when you catch one or more of our Wood River trout, please return them to the water quickly after you take your hook with the pinched barb out of his/her jaw…or if the fish was hungry and swallows your fly, don’t waste time trying to get you fly back…cut the tippet as close to the fly as possible and return the fish safely to the stream.

Another change this year is that September is usually the time for the consistent terrestrial hatches to bloom.  Well, as most everyone knows, terrestrials have been working well for over a month…all trout have been rising to ants, beetles, inchworms, caterpillars, hoppers, and more.  If you are fishing your favorite Adams, Mosquito, or Quill, and a healthy breeze starts to sway the neighboring trees, try to identify what is dropping in the water to attract the arrival of increasing rises, and ‘match the hatch’.  Oh, and if you are walking down a trail or wading up or downstream, and you see some of those long, skinny chartreuse or tan inchworms shimmying down towards the water, watch and listen, and if you hear/see a ‘slurp’, you know what to do…good luck and tight lines!! 

Our presentation on 24 September will be about trout fishing in the stream in the MA Cape.  Ron Lasko is an avid fly angler, artist, and author.   If any of you already have his informative and entertaining book A Tale of Two Rivers, bring it and Ron will gladly sign it for you; he will also have books and artwork to sell.  Have a great Fall 2014!  On October 4th, bring you children or neighbor who wants to learn to fly fish to our Parents’ Day at the Check Station on the Wood.  Some food, drink, discussion, and fishing will be available…see our posts on our Website and Facebook pages.  And then on 29 October, come to the membership meeting to get some expert advice and counsel on the safety aspects of fishing from Chris and Joe Grenon…this will be a timely reminder of proven safety practices and concerns that you probably practices all through warm weather fishing, and will definitely have to keep in mind as the months of cold weather fishing approach.  Hope to see you all at our meetings or in our work parties for our projects and activities.  Best wishes to all for a wonderful Fall 2014! 

Ron Marafioti

 

******************************************************************************************************************

 

 

President's Message for July 2014

 

 

As we transition from Spring to Summer, I hope everyone has good memories of catching Trout during the Spring up’n’down 
stream flows, fighting Stripers during the 2014 cinder worm hatch, and enjoying the search for any of the variety of fresh and 
saltwater fish in Southern New England.   This has been a busy Spring for TU225 – we have finished installing our iButtons 
assigned to us by the WPWA, we have entered or 20th year of monitoring temperatures, dissolved oxygen, and collected 
samples for chlorophyll and bacteria for URI’s Watershed Watch Program.  Momentarily, we will start conducting our surveys 
of the culverts in the Big River watershed; this program is sponsored by the Natural Resources Conservation Service of the 
U. S. Department of Agriculture.  As soon as we receive approval from RIDEM, we will be seeking volunteers for our projects 
and habitat improvements, so please keep your ears open and a few free hours in your busy schedules so you can help us 
out as the work requires.  The newest addition to our new Website is the Lost and Found utility.  At the present time, we only 
have one entry, but it is an important one unless there is a new way of fishing going on that does not require the tip section of 
your fly rod.  Check out this entry on http://narragansett.tu.org/narragansett/tu225-lost-and-found .  We also recently added 
some guidelines for fishing etiquette and safety to our Website – these are meant as guidelines for both experienced and 
novice anglers, despite the type of fishing equipment being used - see http://narragansett.tu.org/narragansett/about .  
We are also getting ready to start our Fall-Spring indoor meeting regime, and this year we start out in September with a 
presentation by Ron Lasko, fly angler, artist, and author of A Tale of Two Rivers.  We are also trying to recruit some super 
presenters for the ensuing months, but I don’t want to spoil the surprise too early for the upcoming indoor season…more later 
on these events.  In the meantime, enjoy Summer 2014, tight lines, and please watch for announcements asking for 
volunteers…we will need as many as we can attract as soon as our planned projects gets approved and the culvert study 
kicks into second gear.  Tight lines all!!  Ron Marafioti

 

******************************************************************************************************************

 

 

President’s Message for April 2014

 

 

Is Spring here yet?  After this Winter we have all endured, let’s hope so.  April is a wonderful month for TU225.  Fishing season opens in RI and CT at nearly the same time, our habitat improvement projects start in earnest, the mood amongst our anglers changes from anxiety to satisfaction, and we realize quickly how busy our agendas become as we add hours of recreational fishing to our already busy schedules.  Remember, fishing is supposed to be FUN!  One of the issues that is new for us this year is that, after concluding a busy year of data taking, report writing, and making our report a little better one-step at a time, we finally have a Report from our Habitat Assessment Group (HAG) for our results from 2013, and we are posting that Report on our Website.  It is there primarily for our members and partners so that they can see what we found in our favorite local watershed.  This Report is intended to be a first step in assessing our fish habitat, and create a baseline upon which we will develop trends for the first year’s data.  I also would like to mention that because this Report is in the public domain, we may also become targets for misinterpretations and misuses of parts of this Report…but that is not a bad thing.  In fact, it will help support our intent in forming the HAG and developing this and ensuing Reports so that we all will learn more about our fisheries and be able to make better fact-based decisions as we do our “due diligence” on the applicability of the TU stocking policy and other issues concerning our local fisheries as our Chapter moves forward.  We thank our partners and associates who offered constructive comments and facts to help make this Report a useful and educational tool to make us all informed anglers.  In the meantime, enjoy this wonderful month and all it brings to us after the brutal Winter that has passed.  I hope you all have a new batch of flies, sharp hooks, and clean line to start the season.  I hope to see you all at the Annual Banquet on 5 April and on the freshwater streams starting 12 April and on the saltwater shorelines as soon as the Stripers show up.  Have wonderful April!

 

******************************************************************************************************************

 

President’s Message for February 2014

 

 

Well, I have heard of March coming in as a lion, but it seems February 2014 decided to take on that roll this year. Like most of you, I am a little tired of two things right now: 1) shoveling snow every 3-4 days, and 2) watching my fishing gear collect dust. Since we only have to the end of this month to enjoy fishing our favorite trout waters, I hope Mother Nature offers us some breaks in between cold fronts, and just as important, I hope our friends in neighboring States are well prepared for the annual RI invasion of their favorite trout waters for the 6 weeks starting 1 March. Reportedly there are still plenty of feisty trout in the Wood River, and I hope we all get a chance to check that out before the approaching break in the RI freshwater fishing season. Your Annual Banquet Committee continues to put the plans together for a wonderful Annual Banquet on 5 April. Besides the excellent buffet dinner, numerous auctions and raffles will make new fishing gear, guided fishing trips, signature and locally-tied proven flies, a hand-crafted rod, case, and net from Jay Boyer, a canoe from Dave Miles, books, artwork, jewelry, gift cards, and much more available to all attendees. This year's Banquet will provide much more value than the $30-ticket costs. But before the Banquet, Steve Culton will provide all members who attend the 26 February meeting with his expert advice and counsel on wet fly fishing. Steve is an entertaining and very informative presenter, fly angler, guide and fly tier, and his presentation will likely provide some new tactics and techniques that may help you improve your catch rates through all seasons of the year. So stay warm and safe, and I hope to see all of you at the membership meeting on 26 February as well as at the Annual Banquet on 5 April. Tight lines! Ron Marafioti

 

******************************************************************************************************************

 

 

President’s Message for January 2014

 

 

Happy New Year!! I hope all of you have had the chance to celebrate the arrival of 2014 appropriately. I also hope that, despite the ‘polar vortex’s’ and a few flurries here and there, that none of you are suffering from the “shack nasties” (a Benson term from a 2012 Long Cast). Your new Board is now in place, and I must tell you that, from the Board’s perspective, this is an exciting time of year, because we spend most of our time discussing and planning the events, presentations, projects, and the like that will be scheduled throughout the rest of 2014. Most of the discussions this month have been about presentations (I hope you all will be at the Elk’s on the 29th to ‘learn’ something about steelheading from the Grenon brothers), and, of course, the Banquet on 5 April. The Board still needs two super-talented volunteers to serve as Secretary and Treasurer, so please consider serving TU225 in one of those positions and let me know at January meeting. Everyone will have plenty of opportunities over the next year to serve in volunteer capacities…from helping with conservation and stream restoration projects, cleanups, tutoring, teaching, and on and on…more on all that in upcoming months. On the fishing scene, we haven’t had any 400cfs days this December and January, and the Wood River has been fishing well for some. The gates are now closed, so more walking is involved if you plan on fishing the remote holes…200 square inches of orange are now required as well. Wishing the best to all of you for a happy and healthy 2014!

 

******************************************************************************************************************

 

 Give a man a fish and he has food for a day; teach him how to fish and you 
can get rid of him for the entire weekend.  ~Zenna Schaffer

 

       

Visit our Facebook Page