~ by Doug Brown
September’s Chapter meeting begins the writing of a new page for ORCTU. On September 16 we will hold Chapter Officer and Board elections. We have a full slate of candidates but nominations may be made from the floor. The Officer slate: Jess Jensen Ryan, President; Steve Hilliard, Vice President; Bob Glasscock, Treasurer; Meg Garrison, Secretary. The BOD slate is as follows: Rich Rusk, Lannie Barlow, Danny Jackson, Zee Nagao, Danielle Jensen-Ryan, & Don Thompson. The candidates on this slate have the talent and the willingness to take us a few steps forward along our mission of coldwater conservation in north Georgia and education in the Athens’ community. Following the election, which should take only a few minutes, Jimmy Harris will speak to us on fly fishing for trout in Argentina. Jimmy is a guide and owner of Unicoi Outfitters in Helen. He will also take questions about fishing in north Georgia.
There has been a request from TU’s Alan Folger to determine if ORCTU is willing to mentor wounded veterans in the Clarke Country area. There is a VA outpatient clinic at the Clarke, Madison County line. Alan suggested that we could link with the clinic. He will help set this up through the Healing Waters Project if we choose to move on this project. The program provides veterans a chance to go fishing and more important, to share in the social support and comraderie with other anglers. Any of the members of the Chapter who would like to help teach fly fishing, mentor or just take a vet fishing should contact Jess or Meg. Also: Carl Riggs, president of Blue Ridge Chapter TU is involved with a Healing Waters Project in Blue Ridge, Georgia and has asked us if we would raise $220 to buy a vet a fly rod and reel. This is not a budgeted item, and our budget is tight this year, so interested members need to make a contribution to Meg Garrison or email her with a pledge: Meggathome@aol.com Meg will collect money at September’s meeting.
These few paragraphs will be my final say as President of ORCTU. While I whole heartedly support TU’s mission and what ORCTU does to help in cold water conservation & etc; the real pleasure for me has been making many good friends and fishing partners over these past three years as vice president and president of ORCTU. We have a strong Chapter made up of good people. I hope all of us will resolve to back the new administration and Board when asked to help. At times it may seem that we accomplish little, but I have found that view to be short sighted when considering the Warnell coldwater Scholarships we fund, the classes we teach, Trout Camp and Trout in the Classroom that we support with people and money, money we offer to Casting for Recovery and Healing Waters, money we send to Georgia TU Advocacy project that provide direct lobbying for cold water watersheds for trout and other species that live in these watersheds and then there are workdays in the mountains that restore brook trout habitat, the Climate Change Committee…I have had rewarding times fishing, working, teaching, mentoring and meeting anglers and conservationist in Athens and through out the state of Georgia…but I am ready to turn the page and step down. I want to thank all of you for the help and the memories……to repeat a common angler’s farewell……I’ll simply say: ”tight lines”…& I hope to see you all on the stream.
Doug Brown, President, ORCTU