FTTU’s Banquet March 1
Inside the Outdoors, January
31, 2014

Last week, a good crowd of members and guests turned out for the Forbes Trail Chapter of TU’s monthly meeting at the Winnie Palmer Center, Latrobe, this time to share in a Fly Tier’s Roundtable. Five experts showed off their talents and even shared in how they got started.

“I learned off YouTube,” said one enthusiast. Another western angler who frequents our meetings stated, “I learned at a seminar one and one-half years ago in Washington, PA.” The third person echoed, “I learned by watching other members.”

No matter what lead each to begin their passion, it was quick to see that with just a little practice some of the smallest to largest flies lay beside each tier, from a tiny sulfur imitation to that of an average ant, both producers of trout, I was told. Nymph patterns that have worth in area waters include Pheasant Tails, Hare’s Ears and Princes.

But that is just one of just a number of events occurring in the 2014 FTTU winter schedule.

Advertised, for example, in The Latrobe Bulletin, Monday, Jan. 13, was a front page spread titled “FTTU Youth Conservation and Fly Fishing Program starts Jan. 23.” It told of the past history of the 2005 establishment of the program, that it’s open to boys and girls 12 -16, and that novices and experienced are welcome. Introducing kids to not only to fly tying but teaching fly fishing, as well, have always been a goal of FTTU.

Keeping in mind the fact that FTTU centers its goals around conservation, restoration of resources and education of youth and women, these endeavors take a great deal of funding for material costs, just for starters.

Each year, the organization holds an annual banquet and raffle to raise money to defray yearly expenses. This, the 41st Annual Banquet and Raffle, will be held Saturday, Mar. 1, at the Latrobe American Legion on Ligonier St. The cash bar opens at 5:30 p.m. This is the only fundraiser the organization has all year, so it needs everyone’s support. Tickets are $30 and are available at Ligonier Outfitters, 127 W. Main St., Ligonier, or from me. I will have a table at the Indoor Farmer’s Market located at the Cooperstown Event Center, 2541 Thomas St., Latrobe, from 11 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Tuesdays (the Center is open until 5 p.m., but because of transportation, my pick-up times vary between 4:15 and 5:30 p.m.).

They will also be available at the organization’s February meeting, Feb 19, at the Winnie Palmer Nature Center’s lower level, beginning at 7 p.m. One can purchase tickets via mail order by logging onto FTTU’s website, www.forbestrailtu.org. Click on “Banquet,” download the order form and follow instructions. Be sure to specify whether stuffed chicken breast or a stuffed pork chop dinner is preferred.

According to Scott Minster, secretary, “We will have the usual collection of great prizes for our raffles including signed and numbered framed wildlife art, fishing tackle and other items for the outdoors enthusiasts. This year, we will have rods by Orvis and Winston, a Yeti Super Cold Cooler and a $500 Visa Card,” he said.

It was recently announced by Angie DiForie, vice-president elect, that, “We are now on Facebook by logging on to www.facebook.com/ForbesTrailTroutUnlimited.” The Greensburg resident stated, “This will help to provide additional internet presence,” she said.

In conclusion, Leo Vensel, president, stated, “In the coming months, we will share with you exciting events aimed to continue our mission. Let’s get together and make great things happen. Help us get the word out. We all appreciate conservation and the protection of our natural environment. Most importantly, we have a great responsibility to pass this on to future generations in better shape than we found it,” said the professional fly fishing guide from Export.

The next scheduled monthly meeting is Wednesday, Feb. 19. It begins promptly at 7 p.m. The subject will be ‘Fishing Trip Slideshows.’ The public is invited.

- Paul J. Volkmann
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To buy my book, Off the Wall Favorites, call me at 724-539-8850.