President’s Message for 2006

Happy New Year! Hope we will have a great fishing season this year.

Start the New Year by visiting fly fishing shows, where we will have our booth: The W orld of Fly Fishing at Danbury, CT from Friday, January 6 - Sunday, January 8; and the Fly Fishing Show, Somerset, NJ from Friday, January 27 - Sunday January 29 . If you can assist at the table, please contact me at misakoflyfish@hotmail.com.

This year, World Fly Fishing of Japan (WFFJ) is planning to adapt the Willowemoc Creek to maintain the water quality and to save the wild trout. We are setting up a special committee for this project. Please join this committee.

The first fly tying clinic will be held from 6:45 p.m. on Tues day, January 17, 2006 at Urban Anglers in Manhattan. We are planning to do it again in late March and April. In May 2006 we will start a casting clinic in Central Park. If you have any preferred date for the clinics, please let me know.

An “Anglers Reunion” will be held at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, March 31, 2006 at the Rockland House on Route 206 in Roscoe, New York. This will be followed by the opening day ceremony at Junction Pool on the morning of April 1. Join us to celebrate opening day of the new season.

Project Access, which involves creating easy access for handicapped fishers, will be held on Saturday, April 29, 2006. There may be additional sites along Willowemoc Creek, where work will be done. We will meet in front of Iron Bridge at the Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum (CFFCM) at 9:00 a.m. to start the work.

Remember, on Friday and Saturday, June 2 and 3, during the famous Coffin Fly spinner fall, the second annual Clearwater Junction, a special fly tying event to raise money for the Theodore Gordon Flyfishers conservation fund, will be held again at Kings Catering in Livingston Manor, N.Y. This event will take place from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.; entrance fee is by donation. Over 50 world class fly tyers will demonstrate fly tying of all styles and disciplines, and help you with anything you might add to you r tying skills. All ages are welcome, including children who can have a free fly tying lesson. Lunch will be served. It promises to be fun for all. If, you would like to participate as a fly tyer, please contact me. T his event is followed by the Theodore Gordon Flyfishers (TGF) Conservation Dinner.

If you haven't already made it to the CFFCM to see the Flies of New Zealand collection, I strongly urge you to do so. This collection will be on display only for a short time and is an amazing collection of very special flies. Most Saturday afternoons this winter, from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., CFFCM is hosting informal get together, where fly tiers are welcome to drop by and tie a few or to tell some tales. Bring your vise, tools and materials and have a ball. Also, there is a fly tiers' demonstration from 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. every Saturday from April to October at CFFCM.

This spring the JazzMark Gallery in Roscoe, New York, will be taking on a new look and approach to the art of fly tying and the presentation thereof. WFFJ members and their friends are welcome to visit and to learn about flies and fly tying. The JazzMark Gallery is open year round and is located at 94 Yorktown Road, just two minutes or less off the Quickway, Rt. 17. Call ahead in case, 607-498-9944, or just come by.

In spring, WFFJ will plant trees on the banks of the tributaries. In fall it will work on opening the mouth of the tributaries of Willowemoc Creek, the Beaverkill and Delaware Rivers. It will join TGF and the Upper Delaware TU. I will inform you of the dates later.

There will be a Connetquot trip in spring and in early November. I am putting out the call for a s how of hands, so to speak, as king club members if they would like to participate in a club outing in the Croton watershed. It will be most likely on the East and/or West Branches of the Croton River or any of the other trout streams in the area. If any club member would like to suggest a club outing destination, please do so.

WFFJ received some beautiful flies from Mr. Cleve C. Speer, who has been tying flies for 75 years. If you are interested in fishing with his flies and report your result to him by letter, please let me know.

The 26th Annual World Fly Fishing Championship and Conservation Symposium will be held in Portugal as a part of World Fishing Championships from September 9 -17, 2006. For the third time, our members, Professor and Mrs. Kirk will join Team Japan as our honored guests.

Since we are an affiliate club of the Federation Of Fly Fishers (FFF) , I will e-mail the FFF club wire to you. If you do not want to receive it by e-mail, please let me know. FFF has a couple of interesting educational and conservation programs. We will be able to learn from them and work more effectively on fly fishing educational and conservation related matters.

Entering the second half of the decade, your continuing support is appreciated. Please welcome our new members and encourage your fishing buddies to join.

  Bright fishing,
  Misako Ishimura,
  President

Oh, Shenandoah!

We ask one time or another who is the best fisherman who ever lived on earth. I have a perfect answer to it: It is Jesus Christ! He can walk on water and locate fish without any problems. How about us? We continue to wonder how to fish better and often times, the outcome of fishing depends on the mercy of nature. What a fragile creature we are! However, for an assurance, God has created an exceptional place. In the heart of northern Virginia, just a few hours drive from the beltway of the nation's capital, there is a Valhalla for nature-loving fly fishermen.

Shenandoah National Park, which spans 300-square miles on the Blue Ridge Mountains and is completely protected by artificial fishing only, is in the area where legendary Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee roamed during the civil war. Wildlife abounds in the park. Reaching most of good fishing spots requires several miles of modest hiking, often at the 1000 feet elevation. Productive fly fishing is almost always possible even in weekends during the park's peak visitor season. This is good news for weekend fishermen like me. And you can fish almost throughout the year except a few months in winter!

A typical fly fishing day for me starts by parking my car on the Skyline Drive, which runs on the spine of the Blue Ridge Mountains. I walk down a hiking trail to one of my favorite creeks while taking pictures of beautiful mountain views and watching birds.

This is territory for short, packable 3Wt travel rods, but I do not have any problem using a 5Wt, 8- foot rod. The creek's width averages around 10 feet with a rocky high gradient. Particularly during summer, it is a challenge to cast under the overgrown vegetation and into low water levels. Forget about using the San Juan Worm or the Green Snake--you are living on the East Coast. This is a place for a stealth approach with short accurate cast. I want to say thank you to Professor Joe Humphrey for revealing his techniques for this situation.

I have been focusing on this Appalachian type of fishing for now; it really has a southern charm about it. Also, this fishing reminds me of my youth in Hokkaido, Japan, where I was born and raised. Of course, you only catch Eastern brook trout native to this soil, thanks to native trout reproduction policy, with no stocking of the national parks. Although harvesting is allowed in most of the park's creeks, we all know that we should stick to catch and release to protect this fly fishing gem in the South.

Usually, the fish in this area are not so selective, and most of eastern dry fly patterns and standard nymphs will work. The dry fly fishing season starts with Quill Gordons as I saw in the Catskills, and ends with midges. I found that fish are exclusively a terrestrial eater in several creeks among many in the park, but I still cannot find an answer to why this is so. If you fish this park, please honor its fishing history by using a local fly pattern called Mr. Rapidan, which was developed by the famous Harry Murray. Also, you know that President Hoover built his vacation-fishing hut along the Rapidan River in the park in the early twentieth century.

What a rich history this park has! Do I still miss the spring spawning rainbow run of the Esopus Creek in the Catskills, the summer fishing of the mighty Ausable River in the Adirondacks, or late fall fishing in the Delaware River along Highway 17? Do I still remember that I lived in New York for seven years? Well, it really doesn't matter; I just like this fishing for now.

  Gracia Naturaleza,

  WFFJ new member