Community Outreach

Randy Johnson
Community Outreach Chairman
home (512) 930-5039
cell (512) 695-5158
E-mail

Members of The San Gabriel Fly Fishers frequently participate with other groups to support the community and promote fly fishing. We offer assistance as instructors in casting, fly tying, knot tying, entomology, conservation, river cleanup, and other activities. The groups we work with include:

  • Reel Recovery
  • Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing
  • Casting for Recovery
  • Georgetown Parks & Recreation
  • Boy Scouts of America
  • Fly Fishers International


Past Activities

BSA fly fishing merit badge instruction, Sunday, November 15th

As most of you know, one of our Community Outreach goals this year was to help the local Boy Scout troops in Georgetown with training and instruction, to help them get ready for the annual Fly Fishing Merit Badge awards at Lake Bastrop.  We have always felt that if we can provide ongoing instruction to the local Scouts, they will be much better prepared to “pass the test&rdquol; at Lake Bastrop.

  With the valuable assistance of Mike Reed, our Boy Scout Coordinator, we now have a schedule to begin this process!  On Sunday afternoon from 1-5 PM, November 15th, we will conduct the first of our training sessions with the Scouts, at the Boy Scout Hut in San Gabriel Park.  We expect to have about 10 Scouts attend, and we need 4-6 volunteers.  We will need folks who can help with fly casting, knot tying, and fly tying.

 

Please call Randy, at (512) 930-5039, if you have questions or to ensure you get on the list. 

 

Past Activities and Events

Boy Scouts Hornaday weekend at Lost Pines Boy Scout camp, October 18-19 2014 - Kent Conner

Several San Gabriel Fly Fishers went  to Lost Pines Boy Scout Camp near Bastrop to help some scouts work on their fly fishing merit badge. The SGFF members assisted professional guide Clint Jackson, who led the classes. Al Desjardin, Kent Conner, and Jay Scheumack helped the boys in knot tying, fly tying, casting, and actual on-the-lake attempts to catch a fish with the fly that each boy had just tied.   Scouts from Houston, to The Valley, to San Antonio, to Austin, to Dallas were in attendance.  Classes consisted of 6-8 Scouts for a period of about 4 hours.  There was a lot of interest in where to get fly fishing equipment. Hopefully, we will spark the interest in these future leaders to participate in the sport we all enjoy.

Rockdale Chamber of Commerce's Hunting and Outdoor Expo, September 22, 2012 - Don Johnson

The Rockdale chamber of commerce asked the San Gabriel Fly Fishers to send somebody to their Outdoor Expo, so Richard McIntyre and I took some rods and some fly tying tools to Rockdale and set up a booth to demonstrate fly fishing. Business was pretty slow, but most of our few visitors were kids, and we enjoyed showing them how to tie a fly and letting them flail a fly rod around.

The Expo site was on the San Gabriel River downstream from Granger Lake. There was very little flow in the river, so the Corps of Engineers must have the outflow from the lake clamped down to zero.

Boy Scouts Hornaday weekend at Lost Pines Boy Scout camp, April 21 and 22, 2012 - Don Johnson

Some San Gabriel Fly Fishers went down to Lost Pines Boy Scout Camp near Bastrop to help some scouts work on their fly fishing merit badge. The SGFF contingent taught fly tying while other volunteers taught fly casting and knot tying. Richard McIntyre and I went down on Saturday, and Al Desjardin and Kent Connor took their turn on Sunday

Thank you letter from Margot Page for our support of Casting for Recovery

Did You Know This is National Volunteer Week?

That Means We Get to Thank YOU!
Volunteerism is the heart of Casting for Recovery's ability to help women who have received a breast cancer diagnosis. It requires devotion and generosity, valuable personal time, and stalwart commitment.

We are celebrating YOU this week and send our warmest appreciation for all you do for CFR!

Margot Page
Communications Director
Casting for Recovery

Georgetown Parks and Recreation Senior Adult Adventure Program, Feb 22, 2012 - Richard McIntyre

San Gabriel Flyfishers participated in a community service project for Georgetown Parks and Recreation on 22 February 2012. The Senior Adult Adventure Program, the club members provided an introduction to flyfishing with “hands on” demonstrations in fly tying, knot tying, and flycasting. The following San Gabriel Flyfishers volunteered for this community project: Brooks Bouldin, Bob Brooks, Bob Bruner, Kent Conner, Al Desjardin, Sherman Winters, and Richard McIntyre

2011 summary

The close of the San Gabriel Fly Fishers 2011 Community Outreach Programs calendar comes with great success to all who have participated and supported the fine organizations we sponsor. The San Gabriel Fly Fishers have volunteered a total of 332 hours to Community Outreach activities this past year, at an estimated value of $7,088.00*. The spirit of caring and the generosity of all volunteers who have donated their personal time and assistance is very much appreciated. All members of the San Gabriel Fly Fishers should take special pride in sponsorship of these worthy causes. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Best fishes,
Rod Viator

*Databank USA, AARP Bulletin, December 2011, Vol. 52, No. 10, Value of Volunteers.

Reel Recovery - Joshua Creek Ranch, Boerne, TX - November 6, 7, 8, 2011

Reel Recovery sponsored a Texas Fly Fishing Retreat for Men with Cancer at Joshua Creek Ranch Ranch in Boerne, Texas on November 6-8, 2011. SGFF Club members, Bob Brooks, Bob Bruner, Brooks Bouldin, Rod Viator, and Dr. Bill Lotak, acted as a Fishing Buddy guides to the participants of this program. The program served 10-men from the area that are in treatment for, or recovering from all forms of cancer. The mission of Reel Recovery is to help men in the cancer recovery process by introducing them to the healing powers of the sport of fly-fishing, while providing a safe, supportive environment to explore their personal experiences of cancer with others who share their stories. All members of the SGFF should take pride in our sponsorship of this worthy cause.

The following letter of appreciation to club members for volunteering at the Joshua Creek Ranch Retreat was received from Stan Golub, Executive Director of Reel Recovery:

…This Texas Retreat, our third in the beautiful Hill Country, was a tremendous success, and much of that is due to you all, a wonderful team of [Fishing] “Buddies” whose patience and caring made the experience for the men truly memorable…We intend to continue to build our program in Texas, and hope we can call on you again for your generous assistance

It was our great pleasure to see you all and share this Retreat with you; your spirit and generosity were very meaningful to the men, and to all of us at Reel Recovery. The experience was so much richer because of your participation, and we are very grateful to each of you.

Be Well! Fish On!

Stan Golub
Executive Director
stan@reelrecovery.org

Georgetown Parks & Recreation, October 15, 2011 - Rod Viator

Tommy Griffis, Richard McIntyre and Rod Viator represented the San Gabriel Fly Fishers and provided casting instruction for the participants in Georgetown’s 6th Annual Texas Outdoor Family Workshop held in Booty Park. I think we have converted 4 new fly fishers at this event and I hope to see them at our future meetings.

Traci Stengle, of the Georgetown Parks and Recreation department, sent the following thank you letter to club members:

Thank you very much for supporting our Annual Outdoor Family Workshop this past weekend. I, too, believe you made 4 new fly fishermen!

The families were all really great and feedback we received was very positive. We are so grateful the San Gabriel Fly Fishers joining us every year to help make this event so special. We appreciate the expertise, enthusiasm, and patience of your members.

Please express my many thanks to all those that assisted.

Thank you again.

Traci Stengle
Special Services Superintendent
Georgetown Parks and Recreation

Lost Pines Boy Scout Camp, Bastrop TX, October 15, 2011- Don Johnson

I went down to Lost Pines Boy Scout Camp to help some scouts work on the requirements for their Fly Fishing merit badge. There was another instructor there who taught the boys knot tying, and I spent about an hour each with four groups of six boys teaching them how to tie a woolly bugger and a San Juan Worm. The other instructor and I also spent some time letting the boys try their hand at fly casting.

Casting for Recovery - Joshua Creek Ranch, April 16, 2011 - Rod Viator

The San Gabriel Fly Fishers again this year sponsored a participant at the Casting For Recovery retreat held on April 16, 2011, at Joshua Creek Ranch in Boerne. Club members Ken Kahanek, Greg Welander, Mike Howard and Rod Viator acted as River Helpers to the participants of the retreat. Casting For Recovery provides retreats for women who are breast cancer survivors and those who are undergoing treatment for cancer. “Retreats incorporate counseling, educational services, and the trained facilitators that staff each retreat, including a psycho-social therapist, a health care professional, as well as fly-fishing instructors and river helpers.” All of us in the SGFF should take pride in our support of this worthy cause.

Margot Page has sent us a letter thanking volunteers for their efforts, Susan Gaetz has sent us a letter describing the event, and Candy Bullion, who we sponsored for this event at Joshua Creek, has sent us a thank you letter.

Boy Scouts of America, Lost Pines Camp, April 16, 2011 - Don Johnson

I went down to Lost Pines Boy Scout Camp on Lake Basatrop to help some scouts work on their Fly Fishing merit badge. I used the club's rods and knot demonstration kit to let the boys have some hand's on practice on fly casting and knot tying.

Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, April 2011 - Rod Viator

SGFF Club members Pete Dossing and Sherman Winters, and PHWFF Coordinator for Fort Hood, Bill Adams, have been assisting soldiers of the Warrior Transition Brigade build their own custom fly rods. Pete is also Vice President of Laguna Custom Rods and has volunteered his manufacturing facility and technicians to assist the soldiers in the finishing phase of their custom fly rods. While the fly rod building project was for a national PHWFF competition, the soldiers who participated did not want to part with their custom handmade rods immediately. Some soldiers preferred to get them to the water for fishing after the epoxy dried on the wrappings! Fly tying, casting practice, rod building, and knot tying workshops are held on a monthly basis at Fort Hood. Many thanks to all SGFF Club volunteers who donate their valuable time to help our soldiers at these events. Your efforts are deeply appreciated. For further information, please contact Rod by telephone at 512.244.3190 or email rjviator@gmail.com to volunteer as an instructor for this worthy cause.

Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing - Rod Viator

SGFF Club members Rod Viator, Bob Brooks and Sherman Winters met with Bill Adams, Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing (PHWFF) Coordinator, for a fly tying workshop on December 16th, at the Fort Hood installation. “The Project’s program provides basic fly fishing, fly casting, and fly tying classes and clinics for wounded and injured personnel ranging from beginners to those with prior fly fishing and tying experience who are adapting their skills to their new abilities.” Several cadre of the WTB (Warrior Transition Brigade) along with their soldiers participated in this event. More information about this event and previous clinics can be viewed PHWFF web pages. There will be another fly tying workshop at Fort Hood on Thursday, January 13, 2011, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for those interested in attending and participating. For further information, please contact Rod by telephone at 512.244.3190 or email rjviator@gmail.com to volunteer as an instructor for this worthy cause.

Reel Recovery Retreat, November 7-9, 2010 - Rod Viator

Reel Recovery sponsored a Texas Fly Fishing Retreat for Men with Cancer at Joshua Creek Ranch in Boerne, Texas on November 7-9, 2010. The Reel Recovery program is a national non-profit organization serving men with cancer. SGFF Club member, Rod Viator, acted as a Fishing Buddy guide to the participants of this program. The program served 11-men from the area that are in treatment for, or recovering from all forms of cancer. The mission of Reel Recovery is to help men in the cancer recovery process by introducing them to the healing powers of the sport of fly-fishing, while providing a safe, supportive environment to explore their personal experiences of cancer with others who share their stories. All members of the SGFF should take pride in supporting and funding this worthy cause.

A personal letter of gratitude for volunteering at the Retreat was received from Stan Golub, Executive Director of Reel Recovery:

[The] Texas Retreat, our second in the beautiful Hill Country, was a tremendous success, and much of that is due to you all, a wonderful team of “Buddies” whose patience and caring made the experience for the men truly memorable. ..

We intend to continue to build our program in Texas, and hope we can call on you again for your generous assistance. In that vein, if any of you wish to be more involved in the planning and fund raising aspects of the program, please contact Warren [Wolf] or Stan [Golub]; we would warmly welcome your participation.

It was our great pleasure to meet you all and share this Retreat with you; your spirit and generosity were very meaningful to the men, and to all of us at Reel Recovery. The experience was so much richer because of your participation, and we are very grateful to each of you.

Be Well! Fish On!
Stan
Executive Director
Reel Recovery

Georgetown Outdoor Family Workshop, October 16, 2010 - Rod Viator

Brooks Bolton, Richard McIntyre and Rod Viator represented the San Gabriel Fly Fishers and provided casting instruction for the participants in Georgetown’s 5th Annual Texas Outdoor Family Workshop held in Booty Park.

After the event Traci Stengle, of the Georgetown Parks and Recreation department, sent the following thank you letter.

Just wanted to say a big THANK YOU! for volunteering with Georgetown’s 5th Annual Texas Outdoor Family Event. We really appreciate your time and energy to work with the families that attending the fly fishing sessions this year. Feedback was great. Only suggestion was to maybe add water. :) Once again, we certainly appreciate the support from San Gabriel Fly Fishing Club each year.

Thanks so much!

Traci Stengle
Special Services Superintendent
Georgetown Parks and Recreation

Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, August 15, 2010 - Rod Viator

The Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing program provides basic fly fishing, fly casting, and fly tying classes and clinics for wounded and injured soldiers ranging from beginners to those with prior fly fishing and tying experience who are adapting their skills to their new abilities. PHWFF Coordinator for Fort Hood, Bill Adams (badams@centex.net), sponsors workshops at Fort Hood on the second and fourth Thursday of every month. For further information, please contact Rod Viator by telephone at 512.244.3190 or e-mail rjviator@gmail.com to volunteer as an instructor for our troops.

The U.S. Army’s home page, http://www.army.mil, has an article about the Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing program.

Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, July 29, 2010 - Rod Viator

SGFF Club members Rod Viator, Tommy Griffis and Bob Brooks volunteered their time and met with Bill Adams, Project Healing Waters Program Coordinator for Fort Hood, for a fly tying workshop on July 29th, at the Fort Hood installation. Bill Menefee and Lloyd Fason of the Jack Sparks Central Texas Flyrodders of Waco joined the team of instructors to assist with demonstrations in fly tying for 10-soldiers. All SGFF members should take special pride in our support of this very worthy cause for our soldiers. To find out How You Can Help, please go to this link at Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing. There will be another fly tying workshop at Fort Hood on Thursday, August 12, 2010, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For those members interested in attending and participating, please contact Rod by telephone at 512.244.3190 or email rjviator@gmail.com for specifics.

Ms. Gloria Montgomery holds the copyright for these photographs, they are used here by permission.

Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, July 15, 2010

The San Gabriel Fly Fishing Club Board of Director's and members, by unanimous decision, volunteered Sherman Winters to act as Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing - Coordinator to represent the club at PHWFF area events and functions. While Sherman is away for the summer doing field research and collecting valuable data (fishing) in Colorado , Rod Viator will act as PHWFF - Liaison to Bill Adams at Fort Hood, Texas. There will be fly tying and rope tying workshop at Fort Hood on Thursday, July 15, 2010, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for those interested in attending and participating. For further information, please contact Rod by telephone at 512.244.3190 or email rjviator@gmail.com for specifics. In addition, Chris Johnson of Living Waters Fly Fishing Shop has placed a PHWFF Donation Basket in his shop for those wanting to make contributions in the form of fly tying materials for our soldiers. Chris started the donation off with over 1,500 hooks! of various sizes to be used in the flying tying clinics. Mr. Bruce Olson of Umpqua Feather Merchants has donated 5-Metz neck packages to PHWFF Fort Hood program. Mr. John Sherry of the J.E. Sherry Co. Inc. has donated Fishersman's Ultimate Knot Guide as training aids for PHWFF workshops. Many thanks to all!

Activity update, July 19, 2010 - Rod Viator

SGFF Club members Rod Viator and Bob Brooks met with Bill Adams, PHWFF Coordinator at Fort Hood, for a fly tying workshop on July 15th, at the Fort Hood installation. “The Project’s program provides basic fly fishing, fly casting, fly tying and rod building classes and clinics for wounded and injured personnel ranging from beginners to those with prior fly fishing and tying experience who are adapting their skills to their new abilities.” Several cadre of the WTB (Warrior Transition Brigade) along with their soldiers participated in this event. On June 29th, fly rods and reels were awarded to two soldiers who started with the PHWFF program, to see them on their way home after earning their medical discharge orders. More information about this event and previous clinics can be viewed on Bill’s PHWFF web pages at Fort Hood Heroes: Tying Flies for Hot Fishing in Texas! There will be another fly tying workshop at Fort Hood on Thursday, July 29, 2010, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for those interested in attending and participating. For further information, please contact Rod by telephone at 512.244.3190 or email rjviator@gmail.com for specifics.

Casting For Recovery. April 16-18, 2010 - Randy Johnson

Note from the President

As you know, the membership of the SGFF voted this year to make a $1,000 donation to the Texas Casting For Recovery (CFR) program, and to make a donation each year, pending annual approval of the membership. This program provides retreats for women who are breast cancer survivors, and our annual donation is targeted to sponsor a Williamson County woman to the South Texas retreat at the Joshua Creek Ranch in Boerne. This year we sponsored Mona Williams, the wife of Bob Williams, one of our members. In addition, two of our members, Mike Howard and Ken Kahanek, volunteered as fishing guides for the retreat this year.

As a result of our donation, and the work of Mike and Ken, we received two thank you letters from CFR, and a very nice thank you card from Mona. The links to each of these are below. One of the letters included the following:

"Your funding support and willingness to share your love of fly-fishing with the women attending our retreats means a great deal to us."

All of us in the SGFF should take pride in our support of this worthy cause.

Links (pdf): Letters, Card

Fly Fishing education at Lost Pines Boy Scout Camp, Aprii 17-18, 2010 - Don Johnson

Several of our members went down to Lost Pines Boy Scout Camp near Bastrop over the week end to help the scouts work on their fly fishing merit badge. Pete Dossing and Richard Garlick where there Saturday morning, Bob Brooks and myself on Saturday afternoon, and Bruce Wilks and Tim Nickels covered the Sunday morning session. In each of the three sessions, lasting between three and four hours, we helped a different group of about fifteen scouts work on the requirements for their fly fishing merit badge. At the beginning of each session we showed the scouts how to rig up a fly rod and reel, demonstrating the knots to tie the backing to the reel arbor, to tie the backing to the fly line, to tie the leader to the fly line, to tie the tippet to the leader, and to tie the tippet to the hook. Then we went out onto the lawn to let the boys use our club rods to try their hand at fly casting (it is not often you get to see six open loops in the air at the same time!). Finally we took the boys down to the lake for a few minutes each on the water, practicing stripping and hook setting.

The threatening weather held off enough to allow all sessions to be completed, and the boys seemed to be interested in fly fishing.

Fly fishing education at Boy Scout camp Tahuaya, September 16, 2009 - Kent Conner

Area Boy Scout leaders gathered again this weekend at Camp Tahuaya for a series of short classes designed to familiarize the leaders with outdoor activities related to scouting merit badges. The scout leaders were organized into four groups with about twelve people per group. On Sunday the groups rotated through four teaching stations (kayaking, canoeing, mountain biking, and fly fishing), spending about ninety minutes at each station. Al Desjardin and Kent Conner, representing the San Gabriel Fly Fishers, were there on Sunday to man the fly fishing station and give an introduction to fly fishing. During the first portion of the class we discussed the difference in fly casting and either bait or spin casting. Then Al gave a quick explanation and demonstration of fly casting. The San Gabriel Fly Fishing club provided six rods to use for practice. Most of the class session was spent practicing their casting technique. We had people who had never picked up a fly rod to some fairly adept at casting. After casting for about an hour, we had a question and answer period. Most of the questions were about the cost to start fly fishing.

The scout leaders enjoyed the classes and were generous with thanks for our help. Several people said they plan on taking up fly fishing as a hobby. The function leader said the feed back from the participants was very positive. They appreciated getting to do something right away rather than listening to someone talk for twenty to thirty minutes as they had been doing all weekend

We had several people express an interest in possibly joining our club. I also got a contact with a local Boy Scout Troop which will need some help in teaching Fly Fishing in order for the boys to earn a merit badge

Fly Casting Education with Georgetown's 2008 Outdoor Family Workshop - Al Desjardin

Texas Parks and Wildlife and the City of Georgetown Parks and Recreation hosted the third annual Texas Outdoor Family Workshop. Located in parkland near the Challenge Course off of Booty Road, the workshop offered families the opportunity to learn about a variety of outdoor activities from camping to kayaking. Two San Gabriel Flyfishers - Al Desjardin and George Kurhajec - provided a beginners session on fly fishing to several families. The weather was great and a good time was had by all.



Fly Casting Education with Georgetown's 2007 Outdoor Family Workshop - Keith Lovin

The City of Georgetown held its Outdoor Family Workshop on Saturday, September 22. They requested someone to provide instruction in fly casting. Bob Brooks, Tommy Griffiths, and I volunteered. The workshop is a two day program designed to give families an opportunity to learn various outdoor activities including such things as a ropes course, wildlife identification, recognition of animal tracks, shooting, survival techniques, fly casting, etc.

The clinic was held at Booty's Road Park Pavilion just downstream from the dam at Lake Georgetown. We offered two hour and a half sessions and instructed a total of 13 students ranging in age from about ten years to young adults. We enjoyed having excellent students all of whom seemed eager to learn the delights of casting a weightless fly with the grace and elegance that a nine foot graphite rod makes possible.

Fly fishing education at Boy Scout camp Tahuaya, September 16, 2007 - Don Johnson

Area Boy Scout leaders gathered this weekend at Camp Tahuaya for a series of short classes designed to familiarize the leaders with outdoor activities related to scouting merit badges. The scout leaders were organized into four groups with about twelve people per group. On Sunday the groups rotated through four teaching stations (kayaking, canoeing, mountain biking, and fly fishing), spending about ninety minutes at each station. Brooks Bouldin and Don Johnson, representing the San Gabriel Fly Fishers, were there on Sunday to man the fly fishing station and give an introduction to fly fishing. During the first portion of the class Brooks and Don gave a description of flies, lines, leaders, rods, and reels and then gave pointers to books and web sites that provide further information. Then Brooks gave a demonstration of fly casting. The Boy Scouts had provided some rigged fly rods and Books and Don brought a few of their own, and, after Brooks’ demonstration, each of the leaders took a rod out onto the lawn to try their hand at casting. Brooks and Don circulated trying to give at least a few minutes of one-on-one help to the novice casters.

The scout leaders enjoyed the classes and were generous with thanks for our help. We didn’t turn out any expert double hauling fly casters, but several people said they plan a deeper investigation into fly fishing as a potential hobby. Some folks were from the Georgetown area and said they might show up at a future meeting of the San Gabriel Fly Fishers.