On April 11th members of St. Joseph River Valley Fly Fishers, a Federation of Fly Fishers associate club; members of Kalamazoo Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited and many others, will come together for the Ninth Annual Tie-a-thon to tie flies for Flyin’ Heroes, of Muskegon, MI.
In nine years, fly tyers have donated over 65,000 flies to various good causes such as Flyin’ Heroes who use fly fishing for education or therapy.
About the Recipient
Flyin’ Heroes is a program that utilizes the sport of fly fishing to promote therapeutic growth and rehabilitation of U.S. military veterans.The goal of Flyin’ Heroes is to create memorable fly fishing experiences that unlock the healing power of the water and foster lasting relationships.
Participants of Flyin’ Heroes will experience a unique guided float trip down the Pere Marquette River, Muskegon River and/or the White River located in West Michigan. Each participant will be instructed on the basic techniques of fly and/or light tackle for trout and other game species.
Fishing is simply the tool that allows us to connect with our local community of veterans. We focus on the importance of creating lasting relationships and life long memories on the river.
Flyin’ Heroes utilizes individualized personal trips, which are used to empower and inspire veterans to make positive gains towards mental health and living productive, fulfilling lives.
Harnessing the power of the river, giving thanks to all who have served. For more information, check out www.flyinheroes.org.
What is the Tie-a-thon
The premise of the Tie-a-thon is like an old fashion barn raisin’ several tyers tie as many flies as they can to donate to the cause. Joining forces again this year to tie flies are members of: St. Joseph River Valley Fly Fishers; Kalamazoo Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited; The Brotherhood of the Jungle Cock; Reel Women, Reel Men of Indianapolis; Grand Rapids Fly Tyers; Flygirls of Michigan; Anglers of the Au Sable; Little Elkhart Chapter of Trout Unlimited, Duneland Fly Fishers and many more individuals from all over the country.
A bunch of tiers come together to tie 100 flies each on a Saturday and at the end of the day, we try our very best to surpass our previous all-time high of 13,300 flies raised at one Tie-a-thon.
If you are interested, pick just one pattern to tie, buy a box of 100 hooks, the materials and get tying! To get you there on that Saturday, Chef Terry Wittorp will have a spectacular lunch for all the tyers – which is worth at least 200 flies, but we will give you a break. Everyone is welcome, but please let us know so we can plan for lunch.
Also, so you’re not too bored just tying, we will have a guest tyer every other hour show off his or her special pattern. We will have a video system set up to make it easy to see from your tying station. The Tie-a-thon will last from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.
If you are not a fast tyer and can’t complete your 100 flies in that time, this is a good time to get a jump on your flies. We would certainly take more than 100 from anyone if they are ambitious and want to tie flies in advance. You don’t have to be an expert tyer to donate flies. Many first time fly tyers have participated; this gives you a chance to become very good tying at least one fly. If you need help learning a pattern; contact me, Tim Scott, and I will be happy to give you a lesson.
As in the past, the Elkhart Conservation Club has graciously donated the use of their main building for the 2014 Tie-a-thon.
The previous eight Tie-a-thons distributed over 65,100 flies to the following groups: The youth camp of the Kalamazoo Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited, the youth camp for the Brotherhood of the Junglecock, Reel and Heal of Toledo, Casting for Recovery of Indiana, Project Healing Waters, Casting for Recovery, National Fishing Program, Warriors and Quiet Waters of Montana.
Pick a pattern, tie it up and donate to the Tie-a-thon!
These are the flies we ask you to tie: (tie 100 flies of one pattern)
Ant 18 – 20
Beetles 18 – 14
Blue Wing Olive Emerger 18 – 22
Caddis Nymph 16 – 18
Clouser’s Minnow 8
Cone-Head white rabbit leaches 4-6
Elk Hair Caddis 14 – 16
Griffith Gnat 20 – 22
Hare’s Ear 12 – 14
Mickey Finn 8
Nuke Eggs 10 – 4
Pheasant Tail 14 – 16
Soft Hackle 14 – 16
Woolly Bugger 10
Zoo Cougar 4
Any questions, contact
Tim Scott Terry Wittorp
For directions, search Elkhart Conservation Club, 55515 Riviera Dr, Elkhart, IN 46514
If you cannot make the Tie-a-thon, please mail flies to: Tim Scott – 711 Forest Ave. South Bend, IN 46616.
To see more on previous Tie-a-thon recipients, visit sjrvff.com or kvctu.org or Tie-a-thon on Facebook.