SWTU Ice Breaker 2016 Recap

     This past weekend I spent my Saturday at the Southern Wisconsin Chapter of Trout Unlimited's 33rd Annual Ice Breaker event.  This was my first time to attend this wonderful gathering of fly fishing enthusiasts and it didn't disappoint.  The energy in the building upon arrival was amazing.  Everybody was hustling about and setting up tables, organizing rooms, and swapping fish stories.  Once I figured out where I was supposed to be setup (I was teaching in the Stream Explorers Program) I made my way out to the main gathering area.
     The Ice Breaker marked the first time I have personally donated raffle items to an event.  On behalf of ShoreboundHero.com I donated two packages.  The first was an 8 weight Orvis Encounter combo and a collection of my hand tied carp flies.  The second item was a half day guided carp on the fly trip around the Madison area.  If you're thinking it was a strange choice to donate fly carp'in gear to a trout event you might be right.  However, the prizes got a lot of attention and were very well received.  They also turned out to be the only "big rod" prizes and I was told by more than a few anglers that it was nice to see something offered that wasn't just for the driftless area.
Henry teaching fly tying.
     As I mentioned earlier I was signed up to help out with the Stream Explorers Program.  This is a great program that caters specifically to the kids in attendance.  The Stream Explorers taught fly rod rigging (that was me), fly tying, casting, entomology, and even had a coloring station.  It was a great chance to meet the next generation of anglers.  I took this opportunity to teach the kids other ways that people catch trout.  I showed them how to setup spinning rods, Tenkara rods, and even did a little primer on how to pursue big brown trout through the ice on Lake Michigan.  The kids had an absolute blast and since Trout Unlimited kept the stations moving all the kids were engaged in what they were learning.  Although I'm guessing the great prizes in the youth raffle didn't hurt either.
     The speaker for this event was none other than everybody's favorite globe trotting trout bum Jeff Currier.  He was giving multiple presentations and did some of his wonderful sharpie art on a Cliff Fly Box that he donated to the raffle.  Getting to meet Jeff was the whole reason I decided to attend this event to begin with and I will have more on that in a future post.  In the mean time you can keep up with Jeff and all his angling adventures here.
     The 2016 SWTU Ice Breaker Event was a big hit with local fly anglers and proved to be a wonderful way to spend a cold Wisconsin Saturday.  I met so many new people and was shown what Trout Unlimited is really all about.  These members truly care about the waters they fish and the communities they fish in.  With a real passion for the outdoors and a dedication to the anglers of tomorrow the Southern Wisconsin Chapter of Trout Unlimited is a driving force in the Midwest fly fishing scene.  For more information on the SWTU chapter follow the link here.  Then make plans to attend next years Ice Breaker Event, I know I'll be there.
     Tight Lines.

1 comment:

  1. Nice roll up! The carp fishing trip prize generated a lot excitement and the winner was stoked. Carp on the fly's future as a rapidly growing sportfishing niche was a big topic of discussion that evening at dinner, too. Thank you for your great contribution to the event!