High Sierra Fly Casters group does more than just fish
Members of the High Sierra Flycasters do more than just fish.
The group’s mission is to promote fly fishing and and encourage and support proper management of all fisheries in the Carson Valley area, whether the fishing is predominantly fished with flies or otherwise, says spokesperson Rosemarie Middendorf.
To achieve these goals, Middendorf said, the group encourages families to fish and attend club activities together. The club offers a wide variety of activities designed to help people learn about the sport of fly fishing.
The High Sierra Fly Fishers is the R-C’s Featured Community Organization of the Month for March.
During numerous “fish outs,” beginners new to fly fishing are helped by more experienced members. At meetings and special events, well-known fly-tyers show off their craft.
Guest speakers talk about and demonstrate the art of fly-tying at the group’s biggest special event, the Fly Fishing Festival, held every year. The 1998 festival is set for April 19 at the Carson Valley Inn.
Also on tap at the festival are casting demonstrations with hands-on sessions for people new to the sport. Booths offer equipment for the fly fisher – expert and novice.
The club meets once a month and usually presents programs to help new members learn about fly fishing. Experienced fishers tell “their secrets,” Middendorf said, and offer suggestions.
Experienced fishers will talk about the best spots to fish. A monthly newsletter makes members aware of future activities.
“In 1995,” Middendorf said, “High Sierra Fly Casters members were encouraged to volunteer for fly-tying and casting demonstrations at the annual Kids Fishing Derby, which is held at Lampe Park in Gardnerville. Many members continued to support this event. Though it appears they no longer have demonstrations, help is needed in assisting youngsters with fishing.”
The group has helped to maintain stream beds and restrict fishing to catch and release in certain areas.
“Approximately 15 people participated in a project at Art Hall’s place on the West Carson,” Middendorf said. “The crew constructed about 2,200 feet of electric fence to keep cattle out of the stream.”
A group of members helped Friends of Hope Valley with fence building to protect the meadows, planting willows, cleaning up trash and doing other enhancement projects, Members also helped improve access for the handicapped on old Highway 88 in Hope Valley.
Middendorf said the group led the charge to maintain the entire Rosaschi Ranch section of the West Walker River as a catch and release stream, and assisted the U.S. Forest Service, which manages the Rosaschi Ranch, in getting the irrigation system back in order after the New Year’s flood on 1997.
The High Sierra Fly Casters joined Cal Trout and Northern California Council of Fly Fishermen, under the guidance of California Department of Fish and Game, in restoring the fishery habitat at Pickel Meadow, a scenic meadow on the West Fork of the Carson River. Crews of 10 to 12 people participated in the months of March, April, June and August of last year.
“Every year we assist both the California Department of Fish and Game and the Nevada Division of Wildlife with shocking surveys, to determine the number of fish per mile residing in the Elbow area and one stretch of the East Walker River on the Rosaschi Ranch,” Middendorf said.
The group helps with similar surveys on the East Carson River near Gardnerville, the Carson in Carson City and Dayton, the East Walker and the West Walker.
The club has also helped NDOW with planting brown trout fingerlings in the East Fork of the Carson River.
The High Sierra Fly Casters was formed in January 1991 by Judy Warren and Gabe Chavarin of Alpine County and Mike and Sue Solgat and Bud Perkins of Gardnerville. The first two years saw a modest growth to about 15 active members.
In 1993, the group joined Conway Ranch, a private catch and release operation on the East Walker River at a very reasonable rate, Middendorf said, resulting in a dramatic increase in membership.
The club is a non-profit, family-oriented group where men, women and children are all welcome.
The club’s 1998 officers are President Gene Young, Vice President Susan Oakwood, Recording Secretary Don Stockman, Corresponding Secretary Dick Hubbard, Treasurer Mike Donovan, Past President Jack Kowalski and Special Advisor Judy Warren.
The board of directors is completed by Kirk Chiapella, Mike Coleman, Kitty Hopper, Barry Jobe, Dan Kaffer, Rosemarie Middendorf, Pam Reide, Dave Stultz, Mike Turnipseed, Jim Woods and Gene Zimmerman.
About 180 members are involved with the group. New members may make an application at the Angler’s Edge in Minden or by mailing a request to High Sierra Fly Casters, P.O. Box 3121, Gardnerville 89410. Cost is $20 per family or $10 for individuals under 16.
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