The May Bulletin from the Secretary.
With Andrew’s retirement from the post of secretary we now face a new chapter in the future of the Leeds Branch, albeit with Andrew still around as your new Chairman. I have agreed to take on the role of secretary for two years.
We all know we are facing difficult economic times and this is having repercussions everywhere, including attendance at our branch meetings. Latterly, Andrew and I have been discussing the structure of our branch program.
I do not believe that the future of this branch lies as a purely fly tying club. There are some totally dedicated fly tyers in our branch but some members just like to come on a Wednesday evening and chat about fly tying or fishing, or the ways of the world. In my view they are just as valuable to the branch as the dedicated fly tyer who wants to tie ever more challenging patterns.
My second point is an obvious one. We are all getting older and we need to recruit more beginners to the branch meetings. Some may just wish to learn to tie their own flies under the misapprehension that they will save money! Those amongst us who have tied flies for any length of time know that idea to be optimistic to say the least. Nevertheless, it is my belief that teaching beginners to tie flies has to be a priority from now on and we need members to help with recruitment and assisting beginners.
A recruiting drive will be set in motion during the summer to try and attract about a dozen for next October. There is no doubt in my mind that any fly tying course run by this branch represents fantastic value for money so please do your best to promote it.
The course is being planned and prepared at the moment and will be in place, ready to go, at the start of the tying season. It will include basic techniques and the tying of a few river patterns and a few reservoir patterns and will be taught by a group of experienced fly tyers working together.
A limited range of materials will be available, free of charge, to those signed up for the course. Volunteers will be needed to operate the camera. Please let the secretary know if you wish to help with this task.
The Intermediate tyers.
This group includes those who do not need guidance on the basic techniques but who would value assistance with novel techniques and new and unfamiliar patterns.
Jerry Lee has agreed to run a course for this group which will be interspersed with the opportunity, on some weeks, to use our DVD recordings as a resource. Members will be able to tie flies previously demonstrated by guest speakers or to just tie the flies they would like to fish with in the future, hopefully with some mutual assistance from within the group.
The Advance Class/Classic Salmon tyers
There are some who have the ability and wish to learn very difficult/advanced techniques or to tie classic salmon patterns. The session last year with Jim Brown was very successful and I hope Jim will be persuaded to repeat it. It could be for a small group or a much larger group.
In the light of our need for assistance with the first two groups it should probably be put on hold until after Christmas. Watch this space.
If you can persuade a friend to come along to our meetings either as a beginner or as an experienced fly tyer it would make a significant difference to the branch. Even if they just come to the guest nights to listen to the experts.