Member Matters – Club Cohesion During a Pandemic

yellow sallie

Yellow sallie by Rick Hafele


For nearly 60 years, the Flyfishers’ Club of Oregon has provided members with a means to connect, learn, make new friends, share fishing adventures, adjust to societal changes, help support Oregon’s fish and their rivers, teach and inspire, celebrate fly fishing’s literary heritage, and further scientific study in fisheries. In less than 3 months, the lights appear to have dimmed for our Club. We’ve had our monthly meetings and fishing trips canceled. The annual auction was canceled. Most of us have stayed home rather than risk a trip or travel to rural areas that may not want us to visit yet. Our Program leaders, Mike Radakovich and Ross Beatty have struggled to re-tool our programs in the age of social distancing. And your newsletter editor’s email is devoid of submissions so far this month 🙁

Keeping the Connections

Thankfully, we have had folks step up to provide some bright spots to keep the Club engaged. In April, Jim Cox of Western Rivers Conservancy offered a beautiful and informative Zoom meeting featuring the rivers that WRC has worked to “save.” The presentation is still available to you here with the password – 8A^p7YtP. Member Rob Peterson has linked us up with his California-based Long Beach Casting Club for their Wednesday Fly Tying Webinars. Some members have kindly submitted photos and fishing reports on their fishing escapes that are posted in the Flyline. And President Jim Hillis sends us links to exciting videos that give us a vicarious dose of the fishing experiences we crave in a time of #stayhomestaysafe. And it looks like we will have a virtual meeting this month, thanks to Josh Linn at Royal Treatment Fly Fishing. We need to keep this momentum going for our members and for the sustenance of our historic Club.

When Will We Meet Again?

We are not sure when monthly meetings will resume at the University Club. There are obvious logistic issues, guidelines, and personal decisions that will influence the format and attendance in meetings once they do resume. We will be guided by the re-opening phase for Multnomah County and University Club policies. You can follow what  Oregon’s phases of re-opening mean by going to the Governor’s COVID-19 resources page.  Stay tuned to the Club website and your Flyline to keep informed on Club events. The latest updates will be under Club News, Meeting Notices, and in Member Matters. Please know that your health and safety are the highest priority for Club leaders.

How Can You Help the Club?

Please contact Program Chair Mike Radokovich with your ideas on virtual meetings, outdoor activities, or other ideas to maintain our Club connections. Reach out to leaders in the fly fishing community to see if they are willing to present to us via Zoom or other online media. Think about creative ways you have connected with colleagues or family members. Could some of these methods be applied to our Club – like a Zoom meeting with an expert showing us how to perfect a casting technique – or a round robin  reading from a favorite fly fishing author? How about putting a reminder in your phone on the 2nd Tuesday of the month to read the Flyline? Finally and most importantly, follow the Oregon Health Authority Guidelines and the Governor’s Phase current restrictions for the county in which you reside.

Please stay safe and stay involved. The Flyfishers’ Club of Oregon is your Club. Your energy and love of the sport are the heart of the Club.

Miss you all!

Lisa Hansen

Hat Creek, CA – Memories of fishing one year ago