Toys for Tots 2015

The November 2015 meeting is a time to share with our community.  Please bring a toy or cash donation to the meeting.  We will have a representative from the United States Marines present to collect the toys.Toys for Tots2015

The brainchild of IEFFC member Jon Allan, this is one of our very important community programs. Over the years IEFFC has donated thousands of dollars and hundreds of toys to help those less fortunate. With our emphasis on kid’s fishing, this program is a natural for us.

Try to bring toys of a $10 value or higher and remember that cash is also very vital to the program.  Your donations are appreciated.

Bayley Lake Project – 2015

On October 24th, IEFFC volunteers cleared the
inlet channel to Bayley Lake. Bayley Lake 2015

This is an ongoing program every year or so
to improve spawning access for rainbows out of the lake. The intent is
that, if they are able to spawn, they will survive and can return to the
lake and carry over to provide a few larger fish to be caught. There was
some evidence that there might even have been some reproductive success this
year which would be an added bonus.

Members who participated included Jerry McBride, Bob Schmidt, Bob Burton, Leon Buckles, Lee Funkhouser, Stephen Aspinwall, Scott Fink, and Jim Athearn. 

After the work was finished, everyone had lunch and had a great afternoon catching a few of the fish.  An added surprise was a visit to Bayley Lake by WDFW officials who thanked our club for the work we have been doing on the channel.

Bayley Lake inlet channel before

Before the work crew did the clearing

Bayley Lake inlet channel after

After the clearing was finished.

Fin Clipping Fall 2015

WDFW again contacted IEFFC to see if we could provide assistance to the Spokane Hatchery with fin clipping.  We had eleven hearty individuals show up on Wednesday, September 23rd to spend a day clipping adipose fins on microscopic fish.  If you have not had the opportunity to participate, let Jim Athearn know so he can contact you in the Spring.  It is a valuable service and a memorable experience, especially when they do not sedate those wily critters enough to keep them still.

Fin Clipping 2015

The members participating were Jerry Harms, Ivan Lines, Stephen Aspinwall, Bill Papesh, Neal Beechinor, Chet Allison, Floyd Holmes, Bob Burton, Leon Buckles, Don Perry and Scott Fink.


Thank you very much for helping.


Kids Fishing

The addition of a session for families from the Ronald McDonald House has again been a success.

On Friday we had about 20 kids and their parents.  The bus ride out and back went well for the kids and parents and every one had a great time.  Our Legacy Committee provided the funding for the bus transport of kids and family from the Ronald McDonald House to Kid’s Fishing in memory of Will Shaw.  Those members who helped out with the Friday fishing session were Jerry Harms, Neil Beechinor & Floyd Holmes.

On Saturday everything went very well with about 700 kids fishing.  Those who helped out on Saturday were Randy Shaber, Stephen Aspinwall, Dick Odell, Paul Coopwood, Ladin Langeman, Jim Athearn & Floyd Holmes. If I left someone of the list I apologize.

Thanks to everyone involved.

Swanson Lakes Wildlife Area

As many of you know, Mark Pinch and Lee Funkhouser have been attending meetings of the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife for the past few years working on the management plan for the Swanson Lakes Wildlife Area.  The plan is important to us because the area includes Z Lake, a fly fishing lake that attracts some of our members.

In the past 18 months the advisory committee has completed the management plan and we are pleased to report that the WDFW has been working with us to maintain the Z Lake fishery as is, with some minor improvements regarding directional signage.  There is access to the lake by trails, and for those needing easier access, the office at Swanson Lakes will provide a key to the gate so that one can drive to Z Lake.

I am including the proposed public schedule for the finalization of the management plan for anyone interested.    I have not fished Z Lake, but many of our members have and the reports have been good.

Public Presentation Schedule

May 11th the Swanson WLA Draft Plan will be released for SEPA and public review (30 days)

May 19th Swanson Lakes Wildlife Area Public Meeting will be held at 6PM at the WDFW Spokane                Regional Office

June 22nd – Final WAAC review of the final plan (emailed out to WAAC members)

Early July – published on the WDFW website

How to get there:

Driving to Z Lake is relatively easy.  Hiking into the lake itself from Telford Road is not as easy, but certainly doable carrying a float tube.

Driving out Highway 2 and past Davenport, you will look to take a left turn on Fictenberg Road, (approximately 42miles out of Spokane).  Travel on Fictenberg road for 7 miles and take a left on Telford Road.  Follow Telford Road for about 4 miles and then you will have to park and hike the rest of the way going due west.

Big Horn Show

IEFFC members did an outstanding job again this year at our club booth and tying theater at the Big Horn Show and everyone said they had a lot of fun.

Responses from the kids, and adults as well, were very positive.  We had quite a few kids return to learn more about tying.  Some have been returning for several years.  There were even some kids who brought in flies to show us.  They tied these after they left the show last year using the kits we gave them.  They also brought us photos of the fish they caught using the flies.  Kudos to our club members who have volunteered over the years at the show and inspired them.  We gave out more tying kits this year and the winner of our special raffle kit was Chloe Nichols.  We even won third place this year among non-profit organizations for our booth appearance (and smiling faces).   Volunteers at the tying theater included Father David Kuttner, Gordon Olson, Leonard Gross, Mark Pinch, Jason Mulligan and Leon Buckles.  Harry Calhoun, Neal Beechinor, Bruce Morgan, Ray Kranches, Stephen Aspinwall, Hugh Evans, Rick Ripley, Don Perry, Bill McElroy, Bob Johnson, Bill Papesh, Tom May, Larry Ray, Leon Buckles, Skip Cavanaugh, Frank Faha and Jim Athearn.  The members demonstrated tying techniques and gave lessons to more future fly tyers and anglers.  Special thanks to Rick Ripley, Skip Cavanaugh, Frank Faha and Bill Papesh for helping with booth set-up and take-down and particularly to Leon Buckles for helping with everything all during the show.

We will be back next year so please save some time to come out and join us as a volunteer or to learn from our erudite members:  March 17 through 20, 2016.

Jim Athearn assists a young tyer

Jim Athearn assists a young tyer

Rocky Ford Bridge

Anglers are getting the run around at Rocky Ford Creek, a fly-fishing holy water north of Moses Lake. The issue:  Lack of money to fix the lower footbridge.

Since wading is prohibited at the desert spring creek, anglers have only one way to cross the stream — the upper bridge. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has closed the lower Rocky Ford Creek footbridge for safety reasons.  Chad Jackson, district fisheries biologist in Ephrata explains: During the spring of 2013, WDFW engineers inspected the lower RFC footbridge and due to public safety concerns and liability instructed Region 2 Lands Division staff to close the footbridge to public use.  Bank erosion along the eastern and western shorelines has caused the footbridge approaches to fail and compromised the wooden piers the footbridge rests on.

Essentially, it’s at risk of tipping or collapsing.  Unfortunately, there is no quick or easy fix to the footbridge to safely re-open it for public use.  WDFW will need to replace, and possible relocated, the existing footbridge.  Early cost estimates to replace the footbridge range between $100,00 to $160,000 and covers permitting, materials, engineering, and labor.

WDFW has requested capital funds (legislatively appropriated) and applied for grants through the Recreation and Conservation Office.  To date, funding attempts have been unsuccessful.  However, WDFW will continue to look for funds to replace the footbridge. In the meantime, anglers wanting to fish from the east shoreline of RFC will need to cross at the upper footbridge and hike downstream.

Note: Neal has contacted Eastern Washington’s legislators urging them to support funding the construction.  Sending personal communications to your legislator will help us to get this project off the ground.

Toys For Tots

Marine Sergeant Bryson Subert and Marine Sergeant Tyler Kirk

Marine Sergeant Bryson Subert and Marine Sergeant Tyler Kirk

The Toys for Tots meeting was again a great success with donations of over 100 toys and cash contributions of  almost $600.00.

It is a great feeling that we again can provide some assistance to the United States Marines in helping these area children have a better Christmas.

Thank you for your donations!!

Attending our meeting were Marine Sergeant Bryson Subert and Marine Sergeant Tyler Kirk.  We appreciate their service to our country and are appreciative of the time they give to this special program.

Bayley Lake Restoration

BayleyIEFFC Work Party at Bayley Lake:  On  October 9th, seven members of the IEFFC continued what has been a long-standing (over 30 years) club project to maintain the inlet channel at Bayley Lake.

Jerry McBride, Floyd Holmes, Bob Anderson, Stephen Aspinwall, Bill Papish, Don Perry and Jim Athearn spent several hours removing grass, weeds and tree limbs from the channel.  They then placed gravel by the weirs to refresh the spawning area.  While it is uncertain just how much trout production occurs from the channel, it is believed that by providing a place for mature rainbows to spawn there is an increased survival in large fish that contribute to a higher quality fishery in the lake.  Jerry, Bob, Floyd and Don stayed after the work party to exercise a few of those trout.

Fin Clipping -Fall

On September, 23rd, 2014, IEFFC again visited the Spokane Fish Hatchery to do some fin clipping.

IEFFC members Jerry Harms, Keith Kuester, Floyd Holmes, Ivan Lines, Bruce Morgan, Ray Kranches, Tom Hoag, Lee Funkhouser and Jim Athearn volunteered to assist Spokane Fish Hatchery in a fin clipping operation.

About 23,000 small, rainbow triploids were clipped as part of a 10-year program for Long Lake.  These fish were small (2 – 4”) which made the job a little more challenging than in previous events.

Fin Clipping at the Spokane Hatchery

Fin Clipping at the Spokane Hatchery


Thank you to everyone who participated.