The Graveyard Shift

2019 Wrap up for South Shore Fly Casters

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Well 2019 ended up being a very rewarding fly fishing year despite the population issues for striped bass, because our efforts to get a fly fishing club going were successful.  My friend Marc initially drove the idea of getting a club established in 2018 with main goal to make a group of fly fishing friends.  It was not really successful so we revisited the idea at the end of 2018 and we decided to focus on getting more people fly fishing for striped bass as the clubs goal.  It was a lot of work, but I think my big take away is two dedicated people can build a decent social fly fishing club.  I hope more people take on the challenge of building their own clubs, because the biggest issue we have seen as a deterrent is driving distance to the meeting location.  I had four people at our last meeting personally thank the club for helping them improve their fly fishing game and one person in the club had never fly fished prior to 2019 so I consider this year a huge success.  My main goal is to get more people fly fishing and we did that ever little bit helps my favorite sport.

 

Club Milestones:

1. We have over 100 members and meeting size averaged 22 people per meeting.

2. We have pretty young demographic for a fly club with an average age of 39.  

3. We have 11 active female members which was important to me since I have a young daughter I hope to get into the sport.

4. We conducted 10 meetings including presentations from Dean Clark at Stripers Forever on conservation efforts, Joe Goodspeed at Thomas & Thomas on rod building, and Joe Cordiero on Estuary Fly Fishing strategies followed by fly tying demonstration (IF you are in a fly club you really need to book Joe Cordiero's presentation its fantastic!!).  

 

Pictures of original venue and Joe Cordiero's Presentation:

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Lessons Learned:

1. Its hard to find presenter without paying fees.  So our goal for 2020 is just have three great paid presenters spread out over the year and not try to do a presentation every meeting.  

2. Being close to a main highway helps attendance also people want to drink beer.  I had concerns about alcohol liability so we decided we need to move to a place that had a bar and was closer to the highway.  So we currently meet in the private meeting space in the brewery of Barrel House Z.  Its very close to RTE 3 highway so helps with people getting to the event and puts the liability of serving people alcohol on the bar staff. 

3. Make sure your venue has air conditioning.  The non profit estuary center had a good set up for presentations and lectures, but we found out this summer there were only three ceiling fans.  Joe Cordiero's presentation was in August and it was a tough one.  Joe earned major points for soldiering through a tough environment and delivering an awesome presentation.

4. Summer is a bad time for club meetings in New England.  We had our three best speakers June, July, and August.  June the flow of people dropped from 30+ to around 20 attendees.  July we had 15 people show up.  August for Joe's presentation arguably our best presentation content of the entire year only had 8 people attend.  September came and we were back to 20+ people again.  So in 2020 we will not run meetings in June, July, or August.  Instead we will focus on casting seminars, club fishing trips, and teaching youths like scouts the sport of fly fishing.

5. You need a website.  Social media and word of mouth works to point, but having a solid website is very important.  We just finished building ours out "South Shore Fly Casters" .com  

6. Leveraging technology to get administrative work off your plate is worth spending money on.  Online intake forms for club memberships and clothing orders, Eventbrite for club events with cover fees, and MailChimp for email communications are good examples of things that have taken a lot of heavy lifting of my co-founder and my shoulders.

 

Pictures from our September, October, and November meetings at new Venue: Barrel House Z

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The Future:

1. We plan to have social meetings January, March, and October in 2020.

2. Steve Culton @The Fisherman will be presenting his "Trout Fishing for Striped Bass" at the February Meeting.

3. Stephen Pogodzienski (AKA Pogo Pike) will be presenting on "Targeting Trophy Pike and Musky on the Fly" at the April Meeting.

4. Pat Cohen (AKA RuSuperFly) will be presenting on "Targeting Trophy Smallmouth on the Fly" and giving fly tying demonstration at the September Meeting.  

5. Summer time we plan to do some more fly casting seminars and more club fishing trips.  No meetings.

6. We plant to make a December "Sleigh Ride" to Bears Den Fly shop our Annual December event it had its inaugural run this last Saturday.

7. We are committed to conservation efforts in our local fishery and are current working with Marine Fisheries to clear impediments to herring migration on the Weir River.  The herring run and smelt run are shadow of what they once were and the club is working with state agencies to help fix this critical link in the local ecosystem.  

 

Club Members removing alders braiding the channel of Accord Brook to restore herring passage to Triphammer Pond:

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December 2019 Trip to Bear's Den:
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Member fishing pictures from 2019:

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And @Mike Oliver is named an official club member effective June 2019.  Thanks for coming fishing with me Mike!!

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Edited by The Graveyard Shift

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3 mins ago, The Graveyard Shift said:

 

Way to go bro! Wish I was closer to Boston. Never fly fished the salt but your points are great input for anyone wanting to start any kind of fishing club. I salute you, sir

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1 min ago, titleguy said:

Awesome.  Have to get my buddy in Norwell involved.

Will shoot you a DM with the email for the club.  Have him shoot us an email and happy to get him involved.  We try to keep events low or no cost.  The presentations we charge a cover fee or you can pay an annual fee and it covers all three presentations at a discount.  We came out of pocket a bit to get the club running this year and are hoping to break even running it in 2020.  The meeting location is very close to Norwell and the beer/food is quite good too.

 

For any people 22 or under that express interest in the club I personally pay their club dues so they get member benefits because I want there to be no impediments to getting more young people fly fishing. 

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Congratulations, Dan, that's a terrific job. Not an easy accomplishment. You should be proud. I'm really looking forward to the February presentation!

 

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Steve Culton

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10 mins ago, Drew C. said:

Very cool to see. 
 

I wish there was a good fly club in my general area.

Drew I felt the same way for years.  Meeting Marc in late 2017 was the catalyst for me deciding to do something about it.  Its definitely too much for one person to take on.  My hope is more people will start doing it around the coast and country its our best bet at keeping the sport bringing in new blood.

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Dan,

 

Thank you. Very proud to be a member.

 

 It was a great adventure driving up from the Mid Cape to meet outside your home at midnight. Quite challenging as by then I was already sleep deprived . The photo more than confirms that. Not a pretty sight. It was fascinating visiting some of your inland marks and listening to your detailed account of what happens and when especially with regard to the Herring. The very early morn pit stop at a garage for coffee and simple eats. Then the journey to our actual marks skipping through marshy territory. We were unlucky in that the big bite had happened the previous night but we got fish on your giant flies. The humbling lesson on the first fast water mark where I struggled in the dark to cast these heavy flies. Wasted valuable opportunity that you could have used better. It was also a hard lesson in necessary subterfuge. No lights.

What you have achieved with your partner in setting up your club is more than remarkable. I have to take my hat off to you. Wonderful achievement of which you both can be very proud of.

 

mike

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12 mins ago, Mike Oliver said:

Dan,

 

Thank you. Very proud to be a member.

 

 It was a great adventure driving up from the Mid Cape to meet outside your home at midnight. Quite challenging as by then I was already sleep deprived . The photo more than confirms that. Not a pretty sight. It was fascinating visiting some of your inland marks and listening to your detailed account of what happens and when especially with regard to the Herring. The very early morn pit stop at a garage for coffee and simple eats. Then the journey to our actual marks skipping through marshy territory. We were unlucky in that the big bite had happened the previous night but we got fish on your giant flies. The humbling lesson on the first fast water mark where I struggled in the dark to cast these heavy flies. Wasted valuable opportunity that you could have used better. It was also a hard lesson in necessary subterfuge. No lights.

What you have achieved with your partner in setting up your club is more than remarkable. I have to take my hat off to you. Wonderful achievement of which you both can be very proud of.

 

mike

Mike you out fished me and I was glad you got the nicest fish of our outing after all that driving.  We should have got a picture of it instead of that little bugger.  I alway put my guests on the prime lie and you capitalized nicely when the sun came up!

 

I am planning a steelhead trip November 2020 that will be very inexpensive.  Will shoot you a DM with the details.  a great opportunity if your interested!

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Dan

 

You put me on the prime lies which was very generous. All I had to do was somehow get those giant flies of yours to them.

The real skill is understanding and knowledge. Never met anyone with the exception of slip n slide who has it down so well.

Dan my life is upside down right now with my Mom seriously ill so all trips outside of the UK are on the back burner.  Thanks for the offer.

 

Mike

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24 mins ago, Mike Oliver said:

Dan

 

You put me on the prime lies which was very generous. All I had to do was somehow get those giant flies of yours to them.

The real skill is understanding and knowledge. Never met anyone with the exception of slip n slide who has it down so well.

Dan my life is upside down right now with my Mom seriously ill so all trips outside of the UK are on the back burner.  Thanks for the offer.

 

Mike

Sad to hear best of luck with that tough situation.  Another year then!

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59 mins ago, Mike Oliver said:

Dan

 

You put me on the prime lies which was very generous. All I had to do was somehow get those giant flies of yours to them.

The real skill is understanding and knowledge. Never met anyone with the exception of slip n slide who has it down so well.

Dan my life is upside down right now with my Mom seriously ill so all trips outside of the UK are on the back burner.  Thanks for the offer.

 

Mike

Sorry to hear that Mike. Hang in there.

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Missed the Bear's Den outing.... bummer but I had to work Saturday.   Hoping to make the February meeting to catch up with Steve.    Like your new meeting place as much easier for me to get to.

 

HT

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7 mins ago, HillTop said:

Missed the Bear's Den outing.... bummer but I had to work Saturday.   Hoping to make the February meeting to catch up with Steve.    Like your new meeting place as much easier for me to get to.

 

HT

Transit time was the number one cited reason people miss meetings so we put a premium on being near highway.  Glad to hear its helpful in getting you to attend it means it was a good move!

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