Happy New Year! I am excited about 2019 and this association. I want to begin by thanking all of you for giving me an opportunity to help the board and all members grow our association at a time when fly fishing is becoming more popular.
I was introduced to fly fishing in Vermont in 2001 while on vacation. I was hooked immediately. I spent a lot of time on the water since childhood but I did not do a lot of fishing. The learning curve has been steep for me. Between 2001 and 2013 I spent a lot of time thinking about fly fishing. I read as much as I could about it. I bought gear when it was on sale. I practiced casting, but not enough. When I finally went fly fishing for the first time it was both exhilarating and frustrating.
Work had taken over my life. I allowed that to happen because my life was not what I had hoped it to be. Work became a refuge. That is a common problem for attorneys like me who spend too much time working not realizing that it can be counter productive. I kept telling myself I needed to work less and to find more time for relaxation.
In 2013 I began making the changes necessary to find balance in my life. Fly fishing is an important part of my plan. Becoming more involved in this association will allow me to become a better angler. It is only fair that I give back to this group of enthusiastic anglers that have welcomed me and generously shared their expertise.
One of our association’s primary goals in 2019 is to increase membership with an emphasis on bringing in younger anglers that are just discovering fly fishing. The long term viability of this association depends on it. The same thing can be said for our environment. Younger anglers are some of the best stewards out there and we need their help to sustain both. Please think of someone that you can mentor and invite them to join us. We will all benefit.
Another goal in 2019 is to improve our workshops to include not only fly tying but also knot tying, casting and any other area the members of the association would like to include. We really need the help of the association members to make this goal a realization. If you have a particular area of expertise and would be willing to share your knowledge we would like you to volunteer to lead a workshop. We hope to include a casting clinic in our annual picnic and gear fly tying to our upcoming trips and outings.
Thank you to all of the members that assisted in the planning, preparation and presentation of our 2018 holiday party. If you were unable to attend you missed a great time! The food and entertainment were first class. A special thank you goes to our host, Donna Gabor, who invited us to celebrate at Viera East’s Resident’s Center. I am already looking forward to next year’s celebration and hope that more members will be able to attend.
The members of the association that have upgraded our website deserve a round of applause. Board members, Keith Braun, past president, Dave Harbour, and others worked tirelessly to make changes that will improve our website and make it more user friendly. Keith is still fine tuning things so you can expect even more improvements.
Keith will be offering a website training session at our next workshop for all members so be sure to attend and get the most out the site. The website is the first thing that people see when they want to learn about our association. I am confident that if we all learn how to contribute to the site it will help establish our association as the premier fly-fishing association in the State. As a business owner the value of the effort these members put in is worth thousands. Please offer them congratulations and help where you can.
My very first fly-fishing trip was with this month’s speaker, Capt. Rick Worman. I bought my first fly rod from Capt. Worman and I convinced him to throw in a casting lesson. He probably wanted to give me a refund after our first outing. I can attest to the fact that he is probably the most patient guide in the State.
Capt. Worman has extensive knowledge and experience in the Indian River Lagoon. He is a pleasure to fish with because he knows where the fish are and he enjoys guiding. He does not hesitate to share his skills if you are a novice. His enthusiasm is contagious. Rick is also a great Dad. His children are accomplished anglers and fly tyers. If you have children or grandchildren that want to learn how to fly fish hire Capt. Rick for the day. He is a fabulous teacher. He captivated the audience with his tips for catching snook, black drum, redfish and trout.
In case you haven’t heard the 2019 Fly Fishing Film Tour will be at the Oaks Theater in Melbourne on February 24, 2019. Visit Harry Goode’s Outdoor Shop in Melbourne to buy tickets or go online to flyfilmtour.com. The event always sells out wherever it goes. Tickets are $25.00. The films start at 4:00 PM. There is an intermission which will include beverages and finger food prepared by Hemmingway’s, a restaurant at the Oaks Shopping Plaza which is very good. The food and beverages are included in the price of admission.
We all know it is important to support local businesses like Harry Goode’s Outdoor Shop and our other sponsors. What we would do without our local fly shops? I have spent a lot of time getting advice from Rich and his staff at Harry Goode’s over the years. If you want to test a fly rod Rich is always willing to let you do so. If you want a package of bead eyes you can walk out with them and not have to worry about spending a $20.00 minimum and wait a week for them to arrive.
Rich’s 18-year-old daughter is battling Leukemia. He works long hours to support his family and care for them. He needs our support now more than ever. Rich is an important part of our community and our association can assist him through this difficult time by shopping local. Rich also appreciates the company when people come to visit the store to talk about fishing and fishing gear. If you need gear or fly tying materials please consider making a purchase from your neighbor and fellow enthusiast, our friend and sponsor, Rich, and Harry Goode’s Outdoor Shop. If you are in the area stop by to say hello.
Last but not least, I want to thank our past president, Dave Harbour. He has done a remarkable job as our president and he deserves our gratitude. It is very intimidating to follow in his footsteps. He has assured the board that he will assist me and the association whenever possible. I will try very hard not to take advantage of him but he has set a very high bar.
If we all work together we will continue to enjoy the success that Dave and the rest of your board has brought to this association. I want you to know that I welcome all advice and constructive criticism with the goal being making this association something we can all be proud of for years to come. I thank you and look forward to working with all of you.
Stephen M. Moon, Esq.