Laughing and Learning with SaddleBrooke Fly Fishers

Left to right: Larry Boyd and Dean Umemoto

Left to right: Chris Crum and Clark Simonds

Linda Lyon

A great time was had by all at the SaddleBrooke Fly Fishers (SBFF) fall dinner at the SaddleBrooke One Activities Center at the end of October. President Dean Umemoto and his wife Karen prepared very special pork and chicken tacos with all the fixings, as well as margaritas to wash it all down. Social Chair Larry Peters organized the event, and other board members and volunteers pitched in to bring it all together. Our club members also brought an amazing array of wonderful potluck dishes to round out the meal, and none of the over 50 attendees left hungry.

The focus of the evening was to get back together after the summer, to share adventure-filled stories, and tell tall fish tales. To that end, members brought photos of their favorite catches, places, or stories to share with others at their tables.

During the event, attendees could bid on the silent auction of fly fishing equipment graciously donated by Barbara Williams. Mike Maslowski had the winning bid on a sweet Orvis Super Fine Touch 4 weight with a Ross Reel and extra spool. We also gave two gift certificates to Tucson’s only fly fishing shop, Dry Creek Outfitters, and a fly rod, reel, and case (again, donated by Barbara) as door prizes.

Then, in early November, the SBFF offered a three-plus hour course as one of the many fixed-price events sold at the Oracle Schools Foundation Spring Fling. Six donors purchased spots in the class to help raise funds for the work of the foundation, which has contributed greatly to Mountain Vista Elementary School’s success, including its recently improved AZ Department of Education grade of “B”.

SBFF instructors included board members John Woolmington, Dean Umemoto, Clark Simonds, and Linda Lyon. The course, which covered methods of fly fishing, required equipment, basic entomology (bugs), essential knots, wading safety, and catch and release for fish survivability, was enjoyable for both the students and the instructors. Instructors also took the students outside for casting practice. One of the students, Chris Crum, said, “We had such fun yesterday! Thank you for the wonderfully thorough, but friendly presentation.”

This isn’t the first time the SBFF has held fly fishing instruction. We have a formal mentoring program to teach new fly fishers how to enjoy the sport, even if they don’t yet have any equipment. So, if fly fishing has been on your bucket list, please reach out to us at [email protected].

Our meetings are normally held on the fourth Monday of each month at 4 p.m. in the Catalina Room next to the Mesquite Grill at SaddleBrooke TWO.

For more information about the club in the meantime, please email us at [email protected].