Member Matters June 2018

Member Matters

Thank you, members, for a very successful auction last month! We had a great turn out and the bidding was hot. We enjoyed the fantastic hors oeuvres and dinner from Chef Philippe Boulot and the MAC. We broke a record again with the Keith Hansen Memorial Paddle Raise collecting nearly $30,000 to split between the Steamboaters/Trout Unlimited and the North Umpqua Foundation. And we could not have done it without all the generous fly shops, guides, businesses, fly tyers, wine collectors, and members who donated items sought after by enthusiastic attendees who support the Flyfisher Foundation and the mission of the FCO! Thank you everyone!

And a tremendous thanks to our corporate donors!!

The Fly Shop Rocky Ridge Ranch Clay Hill Lodge
The Confluence Fly Shop Camp Sherman Store & Fly Dogwood Motel
The Deschutes Angler Shop Steamboat Inn
Big Y Fly Company Hal Gordon C. F. Burkheimer
River City Fly Shop Orvis Bridgeport Royal Treatment
The Portland Fly Shop Jerry Swanson – Fishhead Expeditions Beatty Group International
Northwest Fly Fishing Outfitters Ethan Nickel Outfitters


Stephen James Cary 5/6/46 – 4/28/18

Editor’s Note: The remembrance below comes from our own Mark Metzdorff, whom I have now dubbed the Club Historian as he has the memories and the heart to keep us connected to members past, present, and recently departed. He remembers winemaker Stephen Cary, who, among many other things, generously gave his fantastic Pinot Noir wine in beautifully etched bottles to raise funds at past FCO/FFF auctions. I understand that the Deschutes-etched bottle in the photo below was recently enjoyed by several FCO members. Cheers to Stephen’s skill and may his spirit find solace in glorious vineyards and peaceful spring creeks. LKH

A good friend and member of the FCO passed away recently and we wish to briefly celebrate his life and contributions.  Stephen Cary was a native Oregonian and lived a most interesting life.  He was a collegiate athlete, swimming for one of the nation’s premiere programs at Indiana University.  He received his college degree in radio and television news and served in the U. S. Navy as a naval aviation officer during the Vietnam War.  After his discharge and finding it difficult to make a living as a journalist, he returned to Oregon and hooked up with a wine distributor, spending 17 years selling wine in the Northwest and working other wine-related jobs including as sommelier at Sun River Resort.

His passion for wine grew as he began to appreciate the quality of the pinot noir wines produced in the nascent years of the modern Oregon wine industry.  He was among the founders of The Steamboat Pinot Noir Conference in 1980, an annual meeting at the Steamboat Inn on the North Umpqua River where pinot noir producers gather to share information and fellowship.  In 1985 he originated the Oregon Burgundy Challenge in New York, which established Oregon pinot noirs as the equal or better of the best French burgundies. By this time, he had formed his own company to promote a stable of the best early Oregon pinot noir producers to the nation and began teaching himself winemaking in his basement.  This lead to his hiring in as the winemaker for Yamhill Valley Vineyards, where over the past 26 years his prowess as a producer of fine pinot noirs has been well-recognized by enthusiasts and judges alike.

As an Oregonian, Stephen naturally gravitated to fishing and became an accomplished fly angler focused on trout.  He amassed an impressive collection of cane fly rods made by the best of the western rod builders, mirroring his view that Oregon wines were the equal of any in the world.  The winter down-time season in winemaking allowed him to meld his two passions, wine-making and fly fishing, in traveling to summertime in southern hemisphere wine-producing regions to fish and trade knowledge in wine craft.  He spent much time in New Zealand, one of his favorite destinations for both wine and fishing.  In December 2002, with fellow FCO member and Kiwi-phile Steve Bukieda, Stephen presented a program to the club on fishing the South Island.

Stephen, along with Yamhill Valley Vineyards, was an annual donor of his fabulous wines to conservation auctions including, on occasion, the FCO.  Patrons at these events were fortunate to quaff his products; and where the magic of pinot noir undoubtedly contributed to the festive atmosphere and further generous donations by these same patrons.

Back around the time of past President Phil Mancke, and with his efforts, magnums of Stephen’s famous “Tall Poppy” Pinot Noir Reserve in custom etched bottles were offered at several consecutive FCO auctions and fetched premium prices.  We recently opened a 1998 vintage of one of these bottles to share with some club members in remembrance of Stephen.  It was sublime, as one would expect.  As we celebrated a life ended too soon, we said thank you Stephen, for your passion for wine and fish, and for your contribution to the Flyfisher’s Club of Oregon.

Dr. Mark Metzdorff