Big Horn Sportsmen’s Show a Big Success
If you didn’t have a chance to make it to the Big Horn Show this year and to see all of our members ”in action” teaching the kids to tie flies, you missed a lot of fun. Everyone did a fantastic job and all the kids and parents really appreciated their efforts. Our new booth location proved successful at attracting a lot more attention and our volunteers responded with a great effort to entertain and teach our young visitors. This was our best show ever thanks to their efforts. Not only did the kids have a good time but a lot of our guys said they enjoyed the opportunity to spend time with other club members getting to know them better. It especially was nice to see a lot of returning kids, some who have been back for several years now and never seem to get enough.
Club members who participated this year were: Bob Schmitt, Lee Funkhouser, Jon Bowne, Lowell Tveit, Gordon Olson, Rick Ripley, Leonard Gross, Dan Lobb, Stephen Aspinwall, Randy Shaber, Skip Cavanaugh, Bob Johnson, Jerry McBride, Neal Beechinor, Phil Beck, Bryan Harman, Bruce Morgan, David Lohman, Larry Ray. Ray Kranches, Leon Buckles and Jim Athearn. A special thanks to Phil, Lowell, Larry and Leon for helping me set up and take down the booth and to Bill Papesh and Tom May for supplying all the hats we were able to give the kids.
We’ll be back same time, same place next year so please mark your calendars.
The Kids Fishing Days will be at the Clear Lake’s Fairchild Air
Force Base Recreational Area this year on May 5th and 6th.
The special Ronald McDonald House session of kids fishing will be on Friday May 5th from about 2:30 pm until 5:00 pm. We will again be transporting the families to attend.
The main Kids Fishing will be on Saturday May 6th from 8:00 am to about 4:00 pm.
Volunteers for the Ronald McDonald House should show up at the RMH by 1:30 pm
Volunteers for the Kids fishing on Saturday should show up by 7:30 am and Randy Osborne will tell us what is to go on for the day.
There will be rod building on Wednesday the 19th of April at the Inland Northwest Wildlife Council from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm.
The volunteers who show up on Saturday may come and leave at any time as we realize that not every one can spend a whole day. We do appreciate everyone’s participation in this great event.
Our annual Toys For Tots meeting was again very successful, bringing in a number of toys and donations to support this extremely important program. The IEFFC members responded to the community needs by filling up two large containers with toys while also supplying hundreds of dollars in monetary donations.
The representatives from the Marines were able to transport the toys from the meeting and the support of our club will help to provide a number of children with a brighter Christmas.
Thanks to all of you who donated toys and cash. Your support is special.
Eight hardy volunteers tackled the Bayley Lake inlet channel again this year.
We cleaned out the channel between Potter’s Pond and Bayley Lake that gets overgrown with grass and weeds every summer, repaired some of the overflow weirs, and placed more spawning gravel. Whether we get any production from trout spawning in the channel is uncertain but it does provide mature trout a place to spawn
and possibly survive another year to provide larger fish for the anglers. Fishing in the afternoon started slow but picked up and they were really healthy, strong fish. Thanks to Jerry McBride, Bob Schmidt, Bruce Morgan, Stephen Aspinwall, Bill Papesh, Phil Beck, Bill Herrington, and Jim Athearn for all their hard work.
Those in attendance from our Club were Stephen Aspinwall, Dan Lobb, Floyd Holmes, Leon Buckles, Chet Allison, Phil Beck, Jon Bowne, Ward Buckingham, Bob Harley, Tom Hoag, and Bob Johnson. We were joined by a group from the Spokane Fly Fishers and several Fish Hatchery employees plus Chris Donley, Regional Fisheries Manager, WDFW.
We started at 8 AM and most worked until 3 PM with the Hatchery guys furnishing us pulled pork sandwiches, chips and potato salad for lunch. There were about 60,000 triploid rainbows to clip for the Avista financed planting into Lake Spokane. It was a great activity for a near Fall day. The setup that we used was built with minimal cost by the Hatchery guys. Fish were dipped from the rearing pond into a central holding tank that ran about 20 feet in length. On each side of this central shallow tank was another aluminum trough that held a fish anesthesia to make the fish stop moving. The small dipping nets with fish were placed in the anesthesia water and we pulled each fish from the net so we could then clip their adipose fins and placed them in a plastic rain gutter on each side that took the fish to another rearing pond to recover. It was a very well designed working area.
On Friday May 6th, Bill Papesh and Jerry Harms met at the Ronald McDonald House and rode out to Clear Lake with 15 youngsters who were hoping to catch a big trout. The largest fish caught was 24″and all of the youngsters who accompanied Bill and Jerry caught fish and had a good time. There were 3 youngsters who were unable to attend because of chemo and radiation treatments.
On Saturday, May 7th, Bill Papesh, Jim Athearn, Randy Shaber, Dick Odell, and Paul Coopwood showed up at Clear Lake to help with the Kids Fishing Day. This year about 850 to 900 kids showed up for the event and there were a lot of fish caught.
Paul Coopwood also had his two grandsons, Connis and Ryan Ehring, and their mother Beth help-ing out with various jobs. Paul said that Connis was going to use the event as part of his eagle scout merit badge project.
My thanks go to all those who helped out with the two fish outs and I hope that I did not miss any one.
A big thanks to all of the IEFFC Volunteers who participated in the Big Horn show this year.
It was a tremendous effort by our club members and everyone seemed to have fun. Although there appeared to be a lot smaller crowd this year, the responses from the people that were there were very positive. We had quite a few kids return for more tying and there were even several adults who sat down for a quick lesson. Most of our young “regulars” were back and it is really nice to see that they have kept up their interest. We gave out more tying kits this year and the winner of our special raffle kit was Abigail Inui. She was very pleased as her younger sister had received one of our starter kits last year and they have been sharing that one. Now she has her own.
Club volunteers this year were Harry Calhoun, Bob Schmitt, Bob Johnson, Gordon Olson, Bruce Morgan, Stephen Aspinwall, Ray Kranches, Bob Burton, Neal Beechinor, Bill Papesh, Phil Beck, Lowell Tveit, Skip Cavanaugh, Bob Harley, Jason Mulligan, Larry Ray, Al Cunningham, Bryan Harman, and Jim Athearn.
Special thanks to Leon – not only did he provide the tables and chairs for the club booth but he was there every day, all day helping out. Everything ran more smoothly because of him. Several guys pulled extra shifts either by design or to help fill in for some late cancellations – thank you Gordon, Leonard, Bill and Phil. All the kids loved the hats Bill brought for them to hook their newly-tied flies on.
We will be back next year so please save some time to come back and join us again or at least plan to go out to the show, visit our booth and share a few stories. Dates are: March 16 through 19, 2017.
THIS YEARS KIDS FISHING DAY WILL BE ON MAY 7TH AT THE FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE RECREATION AREA AT CLEAR LAKE. The Ronald McDonald house Kid Fishing will be on Friday May 6th from 2:00 pm until about 5:00 pm.
There will be a sign up sheet on the tables at the April meeting.
If you volunteer for Saturday, May 7th, you should be at the lake by 7:30 am for the orientation meeting.
If you sign up for the Ronald Mc Donald house fishing you should be at the house no later than 1:20pm for the bus ride out.
There will be Rod assembly on Wednesday, April 6th, from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. We hope to get all the rods assembled on that night. This will take place at the wildlife council bldg. at 6116 north Market St about one block south of Francis Ave on the east side of Market Street.
All volunteers are welcome and they can work whatever hours fit in their schedule.
Please volunteer and come out to help as more people helping makes it easer for everyone.
Our 2015 IEFFC Fly Fisherman of the Year moved to the Spokane area in fall of 2004 after retiring from the Corps of Engineers in Portland, Oregon. Jim Athearn joined the IEFFC in 2005, sponsored by Harry Calhoun and Pat Kendall, in an effort to meet people in the area sharing an interest in fly fishing and to learn from their wealth of knowledge about local lakes and rivers.
Over the years Jim has developed many great new friendships and found lots of new fishing partners among the IEFFC members. He enjoys participating in a variety of IEFFC activities and has become a bright star in the club as our Projects Chairman. In that position he has expanded our role in the annual Big Horn Sports Show and we now are a go to booth for each Spring show.
Jims interest in fishing started early, trout fishing with his father at Lucky Peak Reservoir near Boise, Idaho and fishing the Clark Fork and Little Blackfoot Rivers near Deer Lodge, Montana. Some of his later endeavors include fishing for catfish and tilapia in Ethiopia (sometimes all night) and salmon and trout fishing in streams around Juneau, Alaska. Jims’ fishing interests have been varied, including lakes, streams, and ocean fishing, but he has become more focused since he learned to tie flies and now mainly targets trout. Though that is his emphasis, his most memorable fly fishing experience was landing a large tarpon on a 14 WT fly rod during a trip to Costa Rica a year ago. Jim says he has much to learn, particularly in the areas of salt water game fishing and spey casting.
Jims early interest in fish carried over to his college education, which included a BS in
Fisheries Science at Oregon State University and MS in Fishery Management at the University of Idaho, and to his professional career. He spent various amounts of time in fish-related work with the Peace Corps, California Fish and Game, commercial fishing, Corps of Engineers, and Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission. Now well-established in retirement Jim enjoys more time for fishing, golfing and travel.
Jim is a well rounded fly fisherman, who has given unselfishly of his time and expertise to the IEFFC, and is a very deserving IEFFC Fly Fisherman of the Year for 2015.