National Fishing and Hunting Day

The Inland Empire Fly Fishing Club was asked to help the Boy Scouts in celebrating “National Hunting and Fishing Day” in an event held at Camp Cowles at Diamond Lake on Saturday, September 30th. IEFFC Vice President Bob Johnson took charge of our involvement and gathered seven fly tyers to demonstrate fly tying to the kids and parents in attendance.

Over 700 people attended the event and our area was consistently busy with attendees watching flies being tied. IEFFC members tying included Johnson, Bryan Harman, Lee Funkhouser, Jerry McBride, Bob Schmitt, Jerry Harms and Phil Beck.
Flies that were tied by our members were given to the kids, along with an explanation of what the flies represented and how to fish with them. We received a very good response from the kids and their parents.

Fin Clipping 2023

Fin Clipping September 26 and 27, 2023

By Jerry McBride, Conservation Chairman

Our club showed up and clipped fins again this year. Along with volunteers from the Spokane Fly Fishers we clipped the adipose fins of 50,000 trout destined to be planted in Lake Spokane (Long Lake). Avista pays for the fish as part of their mitigation for dams on the Spokane River.

Fin clipping is done to allow fishery biologists to determine the source of the fish as there is some natural reproduction in the lake.

Thanks to the IEFFC volunteers who clipped fins this year.

Tuesday, September, 26         Wednesday, September 27
Doug Brossoit                          Jerry McBride
Mark Pinch                               Bob Gersh
Skip Cavanaugh                      Phil Beck
Scott Fink
Bob Schmitt

Fall Outing

The Inland Empire Fly Fishing Club Fall outing was held on Saturday, September 16th. A healthy group of IEFFC members attacked the river from the lower end all the way up to Teepee Creek, with varied success. The best fishing seemed to be higher up, but fish were caught throughout the system.

Following the day of fishing, the group met at Steamboat for a chili feed. Bryan Harman and Bob Johnson did most of the heavy lifting and the food was excellent. There were some interesting tales told at dinner and a great time was had by all.

The surprise of the day was IEFFC member, Lee Funkhouser, getting his deer. Unfortunately, Lee is
not a hunter and he got his deer with the right front of his truck as he headed down the river road. Nobody in the truck was hurt, but the deer received severe injuries and had to be put down.

We are planning a winter outing for Rocky Ford. The weed growth has to clear out before that makes sense, but details will be sent out near the end of December and we are currently looking at January as a good time to meet.

President’s Retreat 2023

The President’s Retreat was held this year at Big Hank Campground on the upper North Fork of the Coeur D”Alene River on August 12th.  The event was well attended and we even caught fish.  The dinner was excellent and the weather cooperated, so everyone had a good time.

A lively discussion was held and many ideas were floated around regarding increasing membership contact, which has been affected by the pandemic.  Putting together a few outings and increasing the number of volunteers for projects will help, while improving our meetings with added activities will also add to the opportunities for members to interact.  Our hope is to return to pre-pandemic attendance and involvement as there is still much to do to continue to safeguard our fisheries and the sport of fly fishing.

Medical Lake Fly Casting Station

The Inland Empire Fly Fishing Club was contacted by Jefferson Elementary School teacher Melissa Pearcy in late May. She is a science teacher at Jefferson. Her classes have been raising trout in their classroom since January. They were scheduled to release the trout in Medical Lake on Tuesday, June 13th and wanted to know if we could be part of the event by hosting a fly-casting station for their students.

We were more than willing and members Bob Schmitt, Doug Brossoit, Jerry Harms and Lee Funkhouser volunteered for the event.

Melissa indicated that the fly-fishing station had been a HUGE hit with students the last 10 years. We were thrilled to give a fly-casting opportunity to over 50 students, as they appeared in groups of 10 to 12 students at a time.  It was very basic, as we only had about 20 minutes with each group, but it was also a lot of fun.

Conserve Fish While Fly Fishing – Robert Moreland

Conserve Fish While Fly Fishing

Fly fishing is a popular outdoor activity that attracts anglers from all over the world. However, the sport can have a significant impact on fish populations, and as responsible anglers, it’s our responsibility to minimize this impact. The good news is that there are plenty of things we can do to conserve fish while fly fishing. In this, we’ll explore some of the best ways to do just that.

The Importance of Fish Conservation

Fish conservation is the practice of protecting and preserving fish populations and their habitats. It is important for several reasons. First, fish play an important role in aquatic ecosystems, serving as a food source for other animals and contributing to the overall health of the ecosystem. Second, many fish species are economically valuable, supporting commercial and recreational fishing industries. Third, fish are an important source of food for humans, and the conservation of fish populations is necessary to ensure sustainable fisheries.

Unfortunately, fish populations are under threat from a variety of factors, including overfishing, habitat destruction, pollution, and climate change. It is essential that anglers and others who enjoy fishing take steps to conserve fish populations and their habitats.

How to Conserve Fish While Fly Fishing?

Fly fishing is a fun sport that can be enjoyed by anyone. It’s a great way to get out in nature and spend time with friends and family. But fly fishing is not just about catching fish; it is also about conserving fish and their environment. If you are a fly fisherman, it is important to know how to conserve fish while fly fishing.


Here are some tips for proper conservation:

1. Use appropriate Equipment

The first step in conserving fish while fly fishing is to use appropriate equipment. This includes using the right rod and line for the type of fish you are targeting. A rod that is too heavy can cause unnecessary stress on the fish, while a fishing line that is too light can take too long to reel in the fish, causing it to become exhausted.

It is also important to use barbless hooks, as they are less damaging to the fish and make it easier to release them unharmed. In addition, using a landing net can help reduce handling time and minimize the risk of injury to the fish.

2. Practice Proper Catch and Release Techniques

One of the most important things you can do to conserve fish while fly fishing is to practice proper catch and release techniques. This means handling fish with care, using the right equipment, and releasing them back into the water as quickly as possible. Current, are some tips for doing so:

Use barbless hooks: Barbless hooks are much easier to remove than barbed hooks, which means you can release fish more quickly and with less damage to their mouths.

Keep the fish in the water: When you land a fish, keep it in the water as much as possible. This will help to reduce stress and prevent the fish from suffocating.

Use a landing net: If you’re having trouble landing a fish, use a landing net to avoid damaging its fins or scales.

Don’t squeeze the fish: When handling a fish, avoid squeezing it or putting too much pressure on its body. This can cause internal injuries and increase the risk of mortality.

Revive the fish: Before releasing a fish, hold it gently in the water and move it back and forth to help it get oxygen. Once the fish starts swimming on its own, release it back into the water.

3. Use appropriate gear

Using the appropriate gear can make a big difference in how easy it is to handle fish and release them unharmed. Use a rod that is appropriate for the size of fish you’re targeting, and make sure your line and leader are strong enough to handle the fish without breaking. Use a landing net with a soft mesh that won’t damage the fish’s scales, and avoid using gloves or towels that can remove their protective slime coating.

Good fly-fishing gear is designed to reduce the amount of line you use to cast and retrieve your fly. A 4- or 5-weight rod can cast a fly 50 feet or more with one hand. This allows you to fish with light tippets (line weights), which don’t put as much strain on the fish and also reduce the chance that you’ll spook it when casting.

Use small flies. Smaller flies don’t scare off as many fish as large ones do, and smaller flies are less likely to get tangled in vegetation or snag on rocks.

4. Release fish quickly

When you catch a fish, it’s important to release it as quickly as possible to minimize its stress and increase its chances of survival. Avoid keeping fish out of the water for more than a few seconds, and avoid taking photos or videos that could prolong their exposure to air. If a fish seems lethargic or isn’t swimming strongly after you release it, gently hold it in the water and move it back and forth to help oxygenate its gills.

5. Fish at the Right Times

Another way to conserve fish while fly fishing is to fish at the right times. This means avoiding fishing during spawning season or when water temperatures are too high. Fishing during spawning season can disrupt the spawning process and reduce the number of offspring produced, while fishing in warm water can stress fish and increase the risk of mortality. Check with your local fishing regulations or conservation organizations to determine the best times to fish in your area.

6. Know and Follow Fishing Regulations

Fishing regulations are in place for a reason – to protect fish populations and ensure the sustainability of the sport. As responsible anglers, it’s our duty to know and follow these regulations. This means understanding things like bag limits, size limits, and fishing seasons, and making sure you’re not exceeding these limits. In some cases, regulations may prohibit fishing in certain areas or during certain times of the year. Be sure to check with your local authorities or conservation organizations to stay up-to-date on the latest regulations.

7. Avoid Using Live Bait

Using live bait can be an effective way to catch fish, but it can also have a negative impact on fish populations. Live bait can introduce non-native species into waterways, and can also spread disease or parasites. Instead, try using artificial lures or flies.

8. Respect the Environment

Fly fishing takes place in beautiful natural environments, and it is important to respect the environment and minimize your impact on it. This includes leaving no trace by packing out all your garbage and following the “leave no trace” principles.

In addition, be mindful of the fish habitat and avoid damaging it. Avoid wading in shallow areas where fish may be spawning or feeding, and be careful not to disturb any vegetation or rocks.

The Impact of Fly Fishing on Fish Populations

Fly fishing can have both positive and negative impacts on fish populations. On the positive side, fly fishing can be a selective and sustainable method of fishing that minimizes harm to fish populations. Unlike traditional fishing methods that use bait, which can be ingested by fish and cause harm, fly fishing uses artificial flies that are designed to imitate natural prey. This makes it more likely that only the targeted fish will take the bait, reducing the chance of bycatch or unintentional harm to other fish species.

However, fly fishing can also have negative impacts on fish populations if not done responsibly. One of the most significant impacts of fly fishing is overfishing. If too many fish are caught in a particular area, it can lead to a decline in fish populations and a decrease in biodiversity. Fly fishing can also disturb fish habitats and cause damage to aquatic vegetation, which can have negative impacts on fish populations.

Fly fishing has long been considered a peaceful and sustainable pastime, but it is not without its environmental impact. The practice of wading in streams can disturb the fragile ecosystem and the use of lead-based fishing tackle can pose a danger to wildlife. Additionally, the release of non-native fish species can threaten local aquatic populations. Fly fishing enthusiasts can take steps to minimize their impact by using environmentally friendly tackle, practicing catch and release techniques, and respecting the natural habitat. By being mindful of the impact of their hobby, fly fishermen can help preserve the delicate balance of our natural world.

The Benefits of Sustainable Fly Fishing for the Environment and Local Communities

Fly fishing is a popular sport enjoyed by many people around the world. It involves the use of artificial flies that are designed to imitate the movements and behaviors of fish prey. However, like many other forms of recreational activity, fly fishing can have a negative impact on the environment and local communities if not done sustainably. In recent years, sustainable fly fishing practices have gained popularity among anglers and conservationists alike, and for good reason. In this, we will explore the benefits of sustainable fly fishing for the environment and local communities.

1. What is Sustainable Fly Fishing?

Sustainable fly fishing is an approach to angling that prioritizes the health and well-being of fish populations, their habitats, and the ecosystems that support them. This means using catch-and-release methods that minimize harm to fish, choosing gear and tackle that are less damaging to the environment, and adhering to regulations and guidelines set by local authorities and conservation organizations.

By adopting sustainable fly fishing practices, anglers can help preserve fish populations, protect the quality of waterways and surrounding habitats, and support the livelihoods of local communities that rely on these resources. Let’s take a closer look at some of the benefits of sustainable fly fishing.

2. Preserving Fish Populations

One of the most important benefits of sustainable fly fishing is its role in preserving fish populations. Catch-and-release methods that are used in sustainable fly fishing help ensure that fish are returned to their natural habitats unharmed. This not only protects the fish themselves but also helps maintain healthy fish populations that can support future generations of anglers.

Additionally, sustainable fly fishing practices can help prevent overfishing, which can have devastating effects on fish populations and the ecosystems they inhabit. By adhering to catch limits and fishing regulations, anglers can help maintain sustainable fish populations and preserve the delicate balance of aquatic ecosystems.

3. Protecting Waterways and Surrounding Habitats

Another significant benefit of sustainable fly fishing is its impact on waterways and surrounding habitats. Fly fishing gear that is designed to minimize environmental impact can help protect the quality of waterways and reduce the risk of pollution. For example, using biodegradable fishing line and lead-free weights can reduce the amount of harmful chemicals and debris that enter waterways.

Furthermore, sustainable fly fishing practices can help protect the habitats that support fish populations. By avoiding sensitive spawning areas and respecting riparian zones (the area of land bordering a body of water), anglers can help maintain the health and biodiversity of these ecosystems.

4. Supporting Local Communities

Finally, sustainable fly fishing can benefit local communities that rely on natural resources such as fish and waterways for their livelihoods. By promoting sustainable practices, fly fishing can help support the long-term economic well-being of these communities.

In many areas, fly fishing is a significant source of tourism revenue. By practicing sustainable fly fishing and promoting responsible angling practices, anglers can help ensure that these resources remain available for future generations of visitors and residents alike. Additionally, fly fishing can provide economic opportunities for local businesses, such as fishing guides, outfitters, and lodges.

Future of Fish Conservation in Fly Fishing and Beyond

In the face of these challenges, fish conservation has become a priority for many organizations and individuals. Governments, non-profits, businesses, and fishing clubs like the Inland Empire Fly Fishing Club are working together to develop strategies for protecting fish populations and ensuring the sustainability of the world’s fisheries.

One approach to fish conservation that has gained popularity in recent years is fly fishing. Fly fishing is a type of angling that uses a lightweight lure, known as a fly, to catch fish. Fly fishing is often practiced in rivers and streams, which are critical habitats for fish populations.

Fly fishing has a number of advantages when it comes to fish conservation. For one, it is a catch-and-release sport, which means that fish are released back into the water unharmed after they have been caught. This helps to protect fish populations and maintain biodiversity.

Another advantage of fly fishing is that it can be practiced in a sustainable way. Fly fishers often use barbless hooks, which make it easier to release fish without harming them. They also typically use light tackle, which reduces the impact on the fish and the environment.

In addition to fly fishing, there are a number of other strategies that can be used to protect fish populations. These include:

Habitat Restoration: One of the most effective ways to protect fish populations is to restore their natural habitats. This can involve removing dams or other obstacles that prevent fish from reaching their spawning grounds, or restoring wetlands and other critical habitats.

Fisheries Management: Governments can implement regulations that limit fishing in certain areas or restrict the number of fish that can be caught. Ensuring the health and sustainability of fish populations is aided by this approach.

Pollution Control: Pollution can have a devastating impact on fish populations, so it is important to implement strategies for controlling pollution. This might involve reducing the amount of runoff from farms and industrial sites, or cleaning up polluted waterways.

Education: Educating the public about the importance of fish conservation is also critical. This can involve teaching people about the impact of overfishing and pollution, as well as providing information about sustainable fishing practices.

The Role of Technology

Technology is also playing an increasingly important role in fish conservation. Advances in tracking technology, for example, have made it possible to monitor fish populations more closely and gather data on their movements and behavior.

Satellite tagging, for example, can be used to track the movements of individual fish over long distances. This can provide valuable information about migration patterns and help researchers understand how fish populations are responding to environmental changes.

Another technology that is being used in fish conservation is DNA analysis. By analyzing the DNA of fish populations, researchers can determine the genetic diversity of a population and identify areas where conservation efforts may be needed.


In conclusion, it is evident that fly fishing is a popular pastime enjoyed by millions of people around the world. However, it is crucial to ensure that we are not compromising the natural environment and the aquatic life in our pursuit of this hobby. Conservation of fish populations should be a top priority for all fly fishers, as the sustainability of our natural ecosystems depends on it.

By adopting responsible fishing practices, such as catch-and-release techniques, anglers can minimize their impact on fish populations while still enjoying the sport. It is also important to use appropriate gear, such as barbless hooks and landing nets, to ensure that the fish are not injured during the catch-and-release process. Furthermore, anglers should be aware of fishing regulations and adhere to them strictly to prevent overfishing and preserve the balance of aquatic ecosystems.

In addition to individual efforts, it is vital to support conservation initiatives and organizations that work towards the protection of fish populations and their habitats. These organizations play a critical role in advocating for sustainable fishing practices, conducting research, and educating the public on the importance of conservation.

In summary, fly fishing can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it should not come at the expense of our natural environment. As responsible anglers, we must prioritize the conservation of fish populations to ensure that future generations can enjoy this hobby and the beauty of our natural world.


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Fin Clipping 2022

Members of the region’s FFI clubs Spokane Fly Fishers and your
Inland Empire Fly Fishing Club volunteered at the Spokane Hatchery for a fin clipping extravaganza on September 27 and 28. Clipped adipose fins mark fish as hatchery raised, thus helping anglers and researchers identify hatchery raised fish for harvest and survey reasons.

Fresh fingerlings are put in the center trough. Each clipper has a net,
and grabs a few of the fish, transferring them to the outer troughs,
which contain an anesthetic. Once the fish settle down, the clipper
grabs one of the little fish, and clips off the adipose with a scissor.
Once clipped, the fish is put into fresh water in the small outside
trough, where flow transports the fish into a large hatchery pond.
They revive quickly.

The table style of the processing area promotes a great deal of story-
telling and sharing of experiences, along with sage angling ad-
vice…..most of it good!

All that, coffee, donuts, and pizza for lunch. Beautiful weather, good
work, and great companions.
IEFFC Volunteers for this years’ effort are: Bill Papesh, Jim Athearn,
Skip Cavanaugh, Bob Schmitt, Guy Gregory, Dan Lobb, Phil Beck,
Tim Davis, and Steve Boharski.

Jim and Skip win the Silver Snipper award for volunteering for 2 days! 2!

Medical Lake Sign Project – By Jerry McBride

They say that it takes a village to raise a child. Well, it doesn’t take a village to put some new signs up, but it
did take the efforts of two governmental organizations, two fly clubs and quite a few people.
Need / Concept
During a Zoom program presentation to our club Jolynn Beauchene, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Officer mentioned the need for a sign at the Medical Lake City Park that spelled out fishing rules for Medical Lake. The sign would be placed at the park on the southwest end of the lake. She had come up with a sign concept that was more pictorial and thought it would be more effective.
City of Medical Lake
Scott Duncan, Facilities Manager for the City of Medical Lake was a strong supporter of placing the sign in
the park and coordinated the schedule and determined the location of the sign.
Budget for Sign
Spokane Fly Fishers partnered with the IEFFC and contributed half of the cost of the sign.
Creation of Sign
Jolynn emailed the graphics for the sign to me and I forwarded them along with some verbiage to IEFFC
member Lee Funkhouser who put the graphics and verbiage together for a 48” wide by 42” high sign in digital form. I then forwarded this to National Barricade & Sign Co. that produced the sign

Frame for Sign and Assembly of Sign
After the steel was acquired for the frame, IEFFC club member Bob Johnson took the lower cross member
piece into the machine shop of his former employer and notched out the ends so the cross member would fit
into the frame. I took the frame pieces to the home shop of IEFFC club member Floyd Holmes who welded
and painted the frame. Floyd and I then pop riveted the sign into the frame.
Installation of the Sign
On July 12, 2022 a team consisting of two members from the Spokane Fly Fishers (Ken Moore and Chet
Allison) and two from the IEFFC ( Phil Beck and Jerry McBride) installed the sign.
Due to the generous donation by the Spokane Fly Fishers there was enough money left in the Projects budget
to “resheet” the other two signs at Medical Lake with the new version of the sign. The signs were pulled out
of the frames and taken to National Barricade to be resheeted. To resheet a sign, a new sign is printed on
plastic film and applied over the old sign. This allows the reuse of the aluminum backing plate saving about
$100 per sign. Phil Beck and Jerry McBride repainted the sign frames and installed the new resheeted signs
August 1.
At the end of the day there is a totally new sign at the Medical Lake city park plus updated signs with the
current pictorial style at the boat launch and at the north end of the lake. Hopefully the new signs will improve compliance with the Select Gear fishing rules. The signs are there because of the efforts of two governmental organizations, two fly clubs and a whole lot of people.

Kid’s Fishing 2022

Kid’s fishing this past May was a great time for the youngsters. We had a small gathering on Friday, May 6th, as the weather did not look as if it would be cooperating. It turned out better than expected and the kid’s from the Ronald McDonald House caught some very big fish. Special thanks to Jerry Harms, Bob Schmitt, Jake Nelson, and Bryan Harman, who were there to assist chaiman Floyd Holmes in making sure the kid’s had a good time.

On Saturday Bryan Harman, Stephen Aspinwall, and Jim Athearn helped Floyd to assist the 700 kid’s who attended the open session. Again a special thanks to those club members. The fishing was very good and lots of big fish were caught.

Big Horn Show 2022

What a great group of volunteers we had at the sports show!

Volunteers are what makes our club strong and viable and we all owe a big thanks to Bob Johnson, Bruce Morgan, Denny Carson, Skip Cavanaugh, Stephen Aspinwall, Dick Avery, Bob Burton, Dan Lobb, Keith Kuester, Guy Gregory, Bill Papesh, Jake Nelson, Chet Allison, Jon Bowne, and Bob Schmitt for being hosts, sharing their knowledge and expertise about our
great sport of fly fishing and about all the wonderful conservation and education activities our club has and continues to provide in the region. I think everyone they talked to left very impressed with our club and our members.

Jerry Harms, Lee Funkhouser, Jerry McBride, Gordon Olson, Bryan Harman, Phil Beck, and Leonard Gross were our demonstration fly tyers and their tying skills impressed everyone who passed by. They tied some amazing flies that will be in the Christmas raffle next December.

Bob Johnson put together 3 boxes of flies donated by Bryan Harman, Jerry McBride, Phil Beck, Chet Allison and Jim Athearn for a raffle. Denny Carson donated one of his beautiful fly boxes for this and it caught everyone’s eye. The raffle made about $140 for the club.

Since we were trying to minimize exposure of our members during these crazy pandemic uncertainties, Leon Buckles came up with the idea for our booth design featuring our club and highlighting all of our past and present conservation and education activities. He and Lee provided the photos we used. Extra thanks to Leon and Phil for helping with booth setup and to Bob S, Stephen, Phil and John for helping tear everything down. What took about 3 ½ hours to assemble was down and in Phil’s truck in under 45 minutes.

Again, thank you all very much for making this another successful show