Capt. Nick Angelo
Capt. Dan Bumgarner
Capt. Frank Bourgeois
Offshore Hernando County
Capt. Bryon Chamberlin
Capt. Dave Chouinard
Capt. Pat Damico
Capt. Dave Dant
Sarasota Bay area
Capt. Rick Grassett
Sarasota Bay, Charlotte Harbor, Tampa Bay
Capt. Pete Greenan
Boca Grande, Everglades
Capt. Paul Hawkins
Capt. Ray Markham
Sarasota and Tampa Bay
Capt. Russ Shirley
Capt. Wayne Simmons
Tampa Bay Area
Capt. Steve Soults
Nature Coast Area
Capt. Jason Stock
Welcome to Suncoast Fly Fishers' Web Site. We invite you to check out our newsletter and Web site to get a feel for our programs, outings, and events. Visit a meeting to let us get to know each other better. Guests are always welcome to our meetings and outings. Please take a moment to give us your feedback about yourself and our club by completing our online survey.
From the pages of the International Federation of Fly Fishers:
Greenlee visits Suncoast Fly Fishers
Philip Greenlee, president of the International Federation of Fly Fishers (IFFF), addressed Suncoast Fly Fishers March 23 as the St. Petersburg-Clearwater fly fishing club held its 10th annual "Hog Roast" fundraising dinner.
Greenlee praised Suncoast Fly Fishers for programs teaching fly fishing and fly tying to young anglers and scouts, as well as to recovering military veterans through IFFF's Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing program. He spoke of the importance of supporting IFFF conservation goals and outlined the IFFF certification program for fly casting instructors. Greenlee noted that Suncoast Fly Fishers club has several IFFF Certified Master Casting Instructors who regularly hold casting instruction.
Suncoast Fly Fishers held its silent auction fundraising dinner at the new Florida Gulf Coast Center for Fishing and Interactive Museum, a 33,000-square foot facility in Largo, Florida, spotlighting the rich history and a more-active future of angling on the Florida Gulf Coast.
Before the dinner, Greenlee toured the fishing center with founder and chief executive Jim Simons and Suncoast Fly Fishers President Thomas Gadacz, also president of the Florida Council of the IFFF. (The photo, at top, shows Greenlee and Gadacz outside the entrance.) A major purpose of Greenlee's visit was to see a newly designed wall-sized display of images and artwork celebrating saltwater fly fishing, a project which IFFF helped fund. Suncoast Fly Fishers is a Charter Club of the International Federation of Fly Fishers. Suncoast Fly Fishers, with 130 active members, is one of Florida's largest fly fishing clubs.
The new Florida Gulf Coast fishing center actively supports fishing clubs in the St. Petersburg-Clearwater area and hosts summer youth fishing camps. Local artists decorate museum walls with historical fishing photos and artwork. More than 4,000 students will visit the center on field trips each school year. The center also hosts a pancake breakfast and open market on Saturday mornings.
Suncoast Fly Fishers was founded in 1992 by a group of St. Petersburg fly anglers which later included Carl Hanson, known for creating the Bendback Minnow fly and by Don Coleman, author of Wading the Saltwater Flats with a Fly Rod.
Members meet for professional presentations, fly-tying and fly-casting sessions monthly at Walter Fuller Recreation Center in St. Petersburg. The clubs holds a fly fishing and picnic outing on Saturdays following each meeting. Suncoast Fly Fishers also sponsors outreach programs teaching fly-tying, casting and rod building through Project Healing Water Fly Fishing (PHWFF).
For more information, visit the websites of the Suncoast Fly Fishers, International Federation of Fly Fishers, and the Florida Gulf Coast Center for Fishing and Interactive Museum.
And our own President Tom Gadacz
- President of the Florida Council
Thomas R. Gadacz, M.D., was born and raised in South Bend, Indiana. He graduated from University of Notre Dame and did a surgical residency at the University of Chicago and University of California, San Francisco. Gadacz served two years in the U.S. Navy, with a year in Vietnam as a Marine Battalion Surgeon. He was a faculty member in the Department of Surgery at Johns Hopkins and became Professor and Chairman of Surgery at the Medical College of Georgia. Gadacz is retired and lives in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Tie - A - Thon
May 16th General Meeting
Just a reminder, the May meeting is our semi-annual Fly Tie-A-Thon. Bring your vice and supplies and join your peers tying that special fly that you enjoy and find productive. Share ideas with your friends and maybe learn a new pattern or idea that will help you tie better.
Pizza and soft drinks will be provided during the meeting
A few pictures from the Everglades weekend
How can fly fishing clubs increase their membership and keep members interested in the club? There are multiple ways such as having interesting programs, outings and banquets. One of the events that have been very good for the Suncoast Fly Fishers is casting clinics. These started before I was a member of the club and have developed into a well-organized event that is a highlight of our activities. The only catch to attend the two per annum clinics is membership in IFFF. Or you can pay $50 or join IFFF. Everyone joins. Below is the write up of our most recent event and several comments from members.
Tom Gadacz, President, Suncoast Fly Fishers
Suncoast Fly Fishers hosts another Casting Clinic for IFFF members
Maximo Park, St. Petersburg, was the location of a full day of fly casting Saturday, March 16. Some members of Tampa Bay Fly Fishing Club joined SFFC for a casting clinic that takes place every spring and fall at no cost to IFFF members. Participants who did not belong to IFFF joined that day. Pat Damico, MCI, who has given these programs since 2007 asked MCI Dayle Mazzarella to be the lead instructor for this event. Dayle applies many years of teaching and coaching skills to his approach to teaching fly fishing. They were joined by TBFFC members John Hand, MCI, Leigh West, and Steve Parker as they coached almost 30 participants through a well prepared program designed to improve everyone's casting skills whether beginner or advanced. All areas of casting were covered as well as a series of events at the end of the day designed to apply these skills to some casting challenges similar to the Big Gun Shootout competition held every November sponsored by the Tampa Club. After a great lunch and fellowship, smaller groups benefited from individual instruction in areas such as line mending, quick casts, change of direction casts, casting in the wind, accuracy and distance. This was an outstanding example of how our members can continue to benefit and increase their fly fishing skills under the watchful eye of good instructors.
I want to thank all who participated as well as Barbara Mazzarella who helped Dayle set up and take down his unique casting aids that made this such a wonderful event.
Alan Sewell and Richard Oldenski SFFC members provided coffee, donuts and lunch to the group.
Pat Damico, MCI
The review sheets completed by participants say it all. A few examples:
"Got my SFF membership back 10 fold"
"Wow, what an amazing collection of instructors"
"With the exception of Conclave, this is the best instruction ever"
"This was fantastic, could not be better"
"Good for all levels, I did not feel out of place being a beginner"
"Individual hands on was excellent"
EXTRA EXTRA EXTRA
IFFF President Phil Greenlee Attends SFF Annual Hog Roast and Silent Auction. We are delighted that President Phil Greenlee, president of our International Federation of Fly Fishers (IFFF) will be attending our annual event. IFFF formerly FFF (Federation of Fly Fishers) has become an international organization with many members in Europe and Asia. This is our parent organization and offers many benefits to Charter clubs such as ours. Phil will give us some first-hand insights about IFFF. Some of the benefits include liability insurance, the TFO rod program for recruiting new members and the certification of fly casting instructors. IFFF supports conservation and youth programs. Phil and IFFF have financially supported the fly fishing exhibit you will see at the Florida Gulf Coast Fishing Center and Interactive Museum. This is your chance to meet the President of IFFF.
In addition, Jim Simons, President of the Florida Gulf Coast Fishing Center and Interactive Museum will be telling us about the center and his vision for getting kids interested in fishing. Jim is a real asset to Florida fishing and supports several Pinellas County School fishing clubs. He has allowed us to display the fly fishing exhibit in the museum.
In the March issue you will find the program for our 10th Annual Hog Roast and Silent auction. Not only will we have some spectacular items for auction and bucket raffles but a program of SFF activities in 2012. You can be proud of your club and we have done some amazing things. Your support of these programs has made all of this possible. Make your reservations at the meeting on March 21 or call us so we can plan for the number of meals. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or Paul Sequira at email@example.com.
If you tie it the Fish will come!
Layne Smith set a new standard for SFF fly tying classes as he completed his recent class. His students included Frank Moss, Woody Miller, Bill AuCoin, Alan Sewell, Ken Hofmeister, Kirk Burton, George Hasletine, Dan Bumgarner, and Dave McKay.
We thought we knew how to tie flies and signed up for a tune-up. What a surprise! First, we got a list of materials (from Peccary to Badger hair). Then, we got a list of resources and web sites. Enver Hysni put together a package of materials for each tier as a convenience for us. John and Mark Craig made a conference room available at their business.
Smitty enlisted the photographic aid of Paul Sequira to compile a magnificent color manual showing the flies we would be tying, and step by step instructions for the process.
Flies included: My Glass Minnow, Deadhead Minnow, Redfish Merlot, Golden Eyed Shrimp, Summer’s Tide, Mangrove Snook Fly, Tarpon Toad, and Cockroach. All are killer patterns proven productive in our West Coast waters.
Don Coleman observed that there were two kinds of fly tiers: engineers and poets. They both produced flies using different approaches. Smitty is clearly the engineer with step-by-step attention to detail and sequence. His feedback was always kind but specific: “nice fly but have you ever seen gills in front of the eyes on a minnow?” We found that sequence matters as we untied in order to tie it right.
Laughter was a hallmark of this class as we teased and tormented each other. When Dr. Frank Moss dropped his vise, we said we would not want anyone that clumsy operating on us. Smitty went far beyond our expectations in supplying the right materials and hooks for each fly. We not only saw the step demonstrated; but, we also saw the tips and techniques that made his flies “presentation” quality as opposed to “fish ready.”
To be Florida's leading fly-fishing club, helping members have more fun fly-casting, fly-fishing, and fly-tying. We strive to gain new knowledge and/or skill at every meeting and event.
Meeting Member Needs: Suncoast Fly Fishers, Inc. will continuously seek to understand and meet the personal and practical needs of members. A key to attracting and retaining members is to meet or exceed their needs.
Constant Improvement: We believe we can always improve the way we tie, cast, fish, and educate. We are committed to continually improving how we function as we benchmark with other groups. We solicit improvement ideas for our processes, services, and ourselves. We are committed to preserving our waters and marine resources. We keep searching for more productive ways to enjoy our sport.
Friendliness: SFF strives to be a friendly, inclusive, and unpretentious group of fly-fishers who have fun learning and fishing together. New members will find themselves welcomed, respected, invited, and needed.
Monthly outings alternate between salt and fresh water. Monthly programs feature a wide range of topics that help us fish, tie, and cast better. Casting clinics, fly-tying workshops, and rod building classes build member skills. “Booster Shots” for casting and tying are offered from 6:30-7:00 before the meetings.
As a Federation of Fly Fishers charter club, we fish with and learn from other FFF clubs. Education and conservation of marine resources are priorities for us.
Feel free to contact us with your questions, comments, or concerns.
President, Suncoast Fly Fishers