Club Still Active? YES!!
This is a question we have been getting some lately. Yes we are still active and even with the past year been doing anything we can to provide opportunities to meet or do things as a club. Of course there was a period of time where that wasn’t happening in person, so we found tools and learned to do things online. We started using Facebook as that tool because we had an account and it was free. We know that doesn’t work for everyone but it was the best option at the time for us and FB continued to make changes to it where it could work for most people. We struggled some figuring out technical issues, mainly sound quality. We purchased some equipment to improve it, kept playing and researching were we did improve it. Of course we are a fly fishing group, not a media company so have our limits. We did monthly meetings using FB live which by has gotten to the point people without FB could join. We even did fly tying monthly using FB rooms, but this isn’t as flexible and was only available to members who were on FB.
We have started meeting in person again, but having to be flexible. We have always meet at the Great Plains Nature Center for our monthly meetings because they have a great auditorium for presentations and classes rooms to do other activities in. To be able to do that they have a staff member working to open and close the building since it is after hours for them. Right now they are working to build up their staff, so we are not meeting in the building because at this time it is just hard for them to staff it just for us. They do have an outdoor covered shelter with picnic tables we can reserve and have used that for one meeting already. Then in July we meet at a private sandpit to go fishing and had a member available to show how to tie a pattern and answer questions people have about fly fishing.
We have over a 120 members for 2021 and still growing. We are getting together as a club to fish through at the year, plus have members planning short day or even weekend trips around Kansas that they are inviting other members to join them. We are still doing monthly meetings, but because of the issues mentioned some of those are not coming together as far in advance as normal. We are trying to get that info on the website and the clubs Facebook page as soon as we can.
Some plans in the works for the rest of 2021. We are working on another fishing outing to a private sandpit next month. Have our annual banquet scheduled at a different private sandpit in Sept. We are working with Backcountry Hunters and Anglers to bring the IF4 film tour to Wichita for I believe the first time. We are trying to work out the dates, but looks like it will be in Aug. I am hopeful the club can do it’s annual fall trip to Roaring River.
We also started a fun challenge we are calling the Kansas Fly Fishing Challenge last year. Just put together a list of species that can be caught in Kansas and created levels members try to achieve by catching different species on the list with a fly rod. That has been fun for members who decide to participate and a great learning experience because it can get you out of your comfort zone and out trying new things and places.
Members of the club are setup on an email distribution we have to keep them up to date on things going on and volunteer opportunities throughout the year. We also have a private Facebook group just for members. This group is very active and where members are planning their local trips together. Aslo a great place to share pictures and ask questions.