The Stonefly Society Of The Wasatch History
In many respects, the history of The Stonefly Society of the Wasatch is a
history of fly fishing in Utah. In 1977, a group of concerned anglers
and conservationists began holding random meetings at the original Angler's
Inn on Highland Drive. This group consisted of Jim Talley, Dave McCormick,
Lee Bishop, Joe Shaw, Gean Snow, and Bill Hayes. They met for approximately
six months before deciding to hold regular public meetings and apply for
membership with both Trout Unlimited and the Federation of Fly Fishers.
The Stonefly Society of the Wasatch was accepted as a chapter of the
Federation of Fly Fishers in 1978 and subsequently accepted as a chapter of
Trout Unlimited later that same year.
Jim Talley served as the first President, Joe Shaw as the Vice President,
Lee Bishop as the Secretary/Treasurer, and Dave McCormick was the first
member of the club. The club grew rapidly during the first year and exceeded
100 members within two years. Jim Talley said, "the club was small enough to
effectively plan for and participate in numerous membership activities and
events, yet big enough to get things done in the fisheries conservation arena.
A great sense of camaraderie and fellowship was evident during those early years".
The Stonefly Society has always been focused on direct conservation efforts and
projects. Our first project was to help design and build fence stiles in the
Wanship area of the Weber River so anglers could access the river over the
existing barbwire fence without damaging themselves or the property. As a result,
strong relationships were formed with the Division of Wildlife Resources that
continue to the present day.
The first stream rehabilitation activities occurred on tributaries to Strawberry
Reservoir with dramatic and almost immediate results. There were several sites
exhibiting badly eroded banks and debris that blocked the river almost totally in
places, forcing the water out of itís natural channel. Several volunteer workdays
were organized and tremendous response came from members and concerned individuals.
The debris was removed and the eroded banks were reinforced which provided cover
for the fish and allowed the current to flow within its channel. Accumulated silt
was flushed out and the gravel became exposed providing habitat for aquatic insects
and spawning sites for trout.
Our first fund-raising dinner and auction was held several years after the inception
of the Society and has become an annual event. It has always been the major source
of funding for the Society's conservation work. The Society continues to grow each
year. It is the oldest continually active chapter in Utah and also one of the largest
in the state. We urge you to join the Society if you live in the Salt Lake City area
and are interested in preserving our beautiful wild fisheries.
Meet The Board