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This time of year is great for winter steelhead fishing on the coast and the Clackamas and Sandy Rivers, trout fishing on the Crooked or Metolius, and for paying your 2018 dues! Everyone should have gotten their first notice by now and it would really be helpful for the club if you would send in (or pay via credit card through PayPal) your payment as soon as you can. Also, please be sure we have your correct email as we are discovering several that are not current.

On another note, this time of year is also a good time to curl up on the couch reading your favorite magazine to get ready for the coming seasons of fishing! When you are done with the magazine, remove the address label and bring it to the monthly meeting. Place it on the table outside the main dining room doors so other members can enjoy it as much as you. Please take one to enjoy!

Tight lines,
Rick Pay, Membership Chair

An Open Letter to the Flyfisher’s Club of Oregon

David Moskowitz - January 2018

It has been a great privilege to serve as the Flyfisher Foundation Board President for the past 6 years. I will not be presenting my name as a nominee for the Board during the Annual Elections on February 13.

I want to begin by thanking Dr. Curt Marr and Dr. Robert Sheley who were the FCO members who invited me to join the FCO and eventually backed my acceptance as a member of the FCO before the FCO Board. It was a curious and long process to become a FCO member – something that is now part of the history of the Club, not a monthly or quarterly tradition. It is one of many changes that have occurred in recent FCO history as this venerable organization has struggled to maintain viability amidst a changing culture and economy, social media, and even changes in our sport and literary foundations.

Fact of the matter was I had given several presentations to the FCO before I became a member, typically presenting a slide show (later a power point) on some campaign or another such as “Save the forest, Save the Fish, Save the Sagebrush” or the like. FCO members were a fairly enthusiastic and often supportive audience for conservation presentations of that type. These appearances were made easier because I knew many FCO members as homeowners on the Deschutes (my home waters) such as the Bachman-Dick crew, Jock Fewel, Bob Groves and John vonSchegell, Dale Forester and Tom Tongue. I knew other FCO members from years of conservation work, like Roger Bachman, Guido Rahr, Anne Tattam and David Moryc.

Regardless, after all those years, it seemed a natural part of the order of things that I found myself at the University Club with my blazer but not my briefcase. While I held that first wet fly-hour drink in my hand (courtesy of Curt and Robert), I must have seemed like an easy mark for John Hoopes who was the Program Chair under Janet Arenz’ early tenure.

“Hello Dave, welcome to the club. I remember when you gave a presentation a few years back. You seemed a natural. Do you know other people who might be interested in making a presentation? I have been the Program Chair for a few years and I am looking to plug a few holes in the upcoming calendar. In fact, do you want to give a presentation about your current work? In fact, I will not be here next month and perhaps you could introduce the speaker we have lined up? Actually, there is nothing to this job. You get someone to agree to present, make a reservation here and there. Piece of cake. I have the rest of the year pretty booked but there are a few details to iron out. I keep all my notes right here, and here is the backpack with the FCO lap top and video projector. You just get here a little early, set up the show and “boom” you sit back and enjoy the show. Easy Peasy. Thanks Dave, you are the new Program Chair. Let me buy you another drink.”

For about the fifth time in my life, responsibility, title, “prestige” and a whole bunch of someone else’s work landed right in my lap. Boom.

This is no complaint – I was appreciative of the opportunity to give time to the FCO – and finding interesting programs suited my professional connections and my personal passions for flyfishing and conservation. In the end, this one year volunteer gig turned into three interesting years, and thank goodness for the wonderful and hardworking Sarah Lonigro who graciously and enthusiastically took the reins from me and made her own mark on FCO Programs for three years following me.

Watching, as a new FCO member get into the swim of things, from afar like a blue heron patiently waiting for its next meal to swim into range, was Flyfisher Foundation President D. Mike Collins. If ever there was a person whom the FCO would gladly appoint “President-For-Life” it was Mike. Mike had performed rescues of the auction and filled and completed just about every duty on the list for the Club and Foundation, as he cheerfully, professionally and promptly made things happen. And while Mike did not hand over the keys to the kingdom as completely and immediately as John Hoopes had, he expertly drew me in to the Flyfisher Foundation realm. It happened so smoothly and effortlessly that I have had trouble determining exactly when I was first elected to the Foundation Board by the FCO Board.

Because of Mike’s professional organizational skills, it was pretty smooth sailing working with the Foundation. We had members with years of service to the FCO and the Foundation so our institutional memory was well preserved as I, with the incredible John Pyrch as my vice-President, took the reins and began a pretty good ride into some new territory. I am most proud of our efforts to lower administrative costs and maintain a balanced investment posture, at the same time increasing our charitable giving to worthy causes, while working to preserve the historical record and archives of both the FCO and the Foundation. I am proud of taking on the dirty work of drafting our first-ever FCO member survey after years of talking about it, and so very grateful to Janet Arenz who polished and delivered it. I urge the FCO and Foundation Boards to revisit the results and act accordingly. I am also very excited about the creation of a permanent funding source for the FCO’s literary and archival projects including a presentation on the FCO and Foundation’s history by Mark Metzdorff, a video project capturing the reflections of the FCO by some charter members about the FCO history, and finally, providing the funds necessary to plan and produce a 60th Anniversary Edition of the Creel.

None of this would have been possible without the hard work and counsel of many FCO members. Janet Arenz was the FCO’s first woman president and first president to serve multiple terms and she and Curt generously bought me many drinks as I struggled to set up the presentations each month. They are among the best FCO “ambassadors” we have! Lisa Hansen has almost singlehandedly maintained the FCO’s literary connection as editor of The Flyline. Joe and Suzette Palanuk diligently maintained the FCO’s website and answered to many masters patiently and helpfully.

I am very grateful for my Foundation Board colleagues and for their service to the FCO and Foundation. The list is not long but quite illustrious: Jerry Brown, John Eustice, Mike Collins, Dar Isensee, Tony Reser, Tom McAllister, Rick Pay, Janet Arenz, and of course, John Pyrch who along with Mike Collins were the workhorses behind everything we accomplished.

I am grateful for the chance to serve and proud of what was accomplished.

I will continue my work in wild fish and river conservation (now into my 31st year of those efforts), pursuing some of the greatest challenges we have faced yet, and thankful for your support of many of my efforts. I urge you to double-down on your support of the many excellent organizations in our region.

Hope to see you on the river.

David Moskowitz
Flyfisher Foundation President (2012-2017)
FCO Program Chair (2011 – 2013)
FCO Conservation Chair (2015 – currently)

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