Tuesday Evening Tie-Alongs And Special Guest Presenters
Every Tuesday, our meeting features either a group tie-along or a special presentation/demonstration from a guest presenter. Our presenters often include accomplished fly Tyers, guides, scientists and other assorted experts.
Past presenters have included Bob Clouser, April Volkey, Pat Cohen, Dennis Potter, Gunnar Brammer, Bill Scherer and many more.
On occasion, we will even offer the opportunity to participate in small-group tying lessons with our guest presenters for a small fee.
One of the highlights of the year is the DRiFT annual auction. This is our single most important fund-raiser of the year. Proceeds significantly fund our major conservation, restoration and education initiatives throughout the year.
The DRiFT Auction is an event you don't want to miss. We have new and used fly rods, fly fishing and tying equipment, guide trips, and so much more. Check our calendar for the date of this year's auction!
Club Fishing Trips
DRiFT Annual Steelhead Outing, Pere Marquette River - Barothy's Lodge
Stay at the main lodge at Barothy's Lodge in Walhalla Michigan on the Pere Marquette River. Fish the Pere Marquette, Manistee River and Little Manistee River for 4 days chasing steelhead, rainbow and brown trout. This is a wonderful trip that fills up every year.
DRiFT Annual Trout Outing, White River - Cotter, AR
Fish the magnificent White River, Northfork River and Spring River! Based at Rainbow Drive Resort in Cotter Arkansas, we fish hard during this week-long trip at these great tailwater fisheries. Our accomodations are first class as is the fishing. Bring your pontoon boat and get away from the crowds and find your special water.
Yearly Special Trips
From the Driftless Region of Wisconsin to the Big Horn River in Montana, DRiFT sponsors a variety of different trips from year to year.
In addition to the trips listed above, many DRiFT members find the time to fish at other locations in the Midwest. Please note that the above trips are open to DRiFT Members only. Become a DRiFT member today and begin enjoying these trips!
For questions, contact Bob Charles, the DRiFT Membership Director using our Contact Form.
Annual Pizza Parties
Twice a year we throw a free Pizza Party for members to enjoy and socialize. In addition to the great food and camaraderie, we feature a fly exchange and offer awesome door prizes.
DRiFT attends shows to bring our mission of conservation and education through fly fishing to the people. We teach families how to tie flys, demonstrate the fascinating world of entomology and share the values of catch and release. We meet new people, make new friends and raise money for our valuable programs. If you are interested in learning more about our Trade Show Programs, please contact our Shows Director, Mark Agresta, by using our Contact Form.
The Early Show - Oakbrook, IL
DRiFT is a primary sponsor of this daylong fest promotes that all aspects of fly fishing and fly tying -- hosted by the Illinois Smallmouth Alliance. With expertise of local clubs, guides & shops we present the chance to learn about all aspects of the sport. From novice to expert, bass to trout, carp to steelhead, we will share the best of fly fishing, all with a Midwest focus.
Chicagoland Fishing, Travel & Outdoor Show - Shaumburg, IL
DRiFT is a featured presenter at the Chicagoland Fishing, Travel & Outdoor Show --one of the premier shows in the country. We teach kids to tie flies and there's often a line four-deep to participate. We also have university-grade microscopes available to see aquatic insects up close and personal, explained by our resident entomologists.
Reverence. In a word that's how DRiFT feels about our waters. So whether it's the trickle of a stream, the rush of a run, a ripple on the surface of a lake or pond, we feel compelled to work tirelessly to ensure we leave our waterways in a better way then we found them.
DRiFT is involved in many conservation programs and projects that promote both better fly fishing and a better environment. We are always looking for partners in our conservation efforts, like many of those discussed below. For more information, get in touch with our Conservation Director, John Dyers, by using our Contact Form.
Annual River Clean-Ups
In association with the DuPage County Forest Preserve, DRiFT hosts regular clean-up events of our local streams.
Fox River Water Quality Monitoring
Several times a year, DRiFT members monitor the water quality of the Fox River in the Western Suburbs of Chicago. The group monitors the river and its macroinvertibrate population at a specific time, location and procedure each year to produce trend data. This data is then sent to the Friends Of The Fox River who disseminates the information to the Environmental Protection Agency and Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
DRiFT believes the more people learn about Fly Tying and Fly Fishing the more likely they are to care about keeping our waters clean, our fish plentiful and our ecosystems healthy. We are involved in a wide variety of educational endeavors from casting clinics to fly tying. From bamboo rod making to aquatic entomology classes.
We work with kids, war veterans, community groups -- anyone who has a curiosity and the desire to learn. Check out some of the DRiFT education initiatives and get involved!
Bass In The Class
One of our benchmark youth education events in coordination with the DuPage County Forest Preserve. DRiFT purchases bass fingerlings for school children to raise in their classrooms. Once the bass have been growing for six to ten weeks, we supervise their release into local waterways. It's a great way for our kids to connect with nature and become future stewards of our environment.
Trout Unlimited Youth Conservation and Fly Fishing School
We provide financial support to help Trout Unlimited instill the values of conservation in the children of today. We find that when kids understand the value of our natural resources, the become the biggest advocates for a better tomorrow.
Take 'em to School
Fishing clubs are springing up all over the country. DRiFT sends our volunteers to Lemont High School in Chicago's SW suburbs to provide instruction in both fly tying and fly casting. At the end of the session, we take the kids out and let them put their new skills to the test.
Free Fly Casting Instruction/Education
During warm weather months, DRiFT offers free fly casting clinics on Saturdays in Batavia, IL. Everyone is welcome to learn from our Fly Fishers International Master Certified casters.
Dr. Arthur G. Mazzier a founding member of DRiFT, passed away on December 27, 2021. Art was a visionary in conservation through fly fishing and fishing in general. Through his passion, and compassion, for those who have sacrificed so much for our country, he has lead DRiFT in it’s election to provide a Veteran’s Program to local Veterans. And, Art was a proud Marine Corps Veteran.
The DRiFT Veteran’s Outreach Program works with the Central Blind Rehabilitation Center at the Edward Hines, Jr., Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Maywood, Illinois. The Project purpose is to assist Veterans who become temporary residents at the hospital. While staying at the hospital they are assisted in adapting to full or partial vision lose and the use of technology designed to assist them. It is our hope that these Vets will use and enjoy the skills they learn as lifelong recreation.
In addition, throughout the summer months, weather permitting, DRiFT takes the Veterans on fishing outings to ponds in the local area that provide easy for all.
Here, in Art's own words, are DRiFT's dreams for the program:
"While fly fishing and tying have wonderful recreational value, the mission of our program is to aid the occupational and physical therapy staffs at VA hospitals in the physical and emotional recovery of our Vets. Our commitment through DRiFT is to hold a program once monthly at the Hines Medical Veterans Hospital in Hines, IL. Our volunteers spend at least six hours each month traveling to the hospital and teaching. We have 5 to 15 volunteers for each program. All equipment and materials are donated by DRiFT and our members. It took a year to organize and introduce this program, and the members of DRiFT have been volunteering for over two years. The DRiFT Veteran’s Outreach Program is an amazingly and important endeavor. Your support -- whether time, talent or funding -- is greatly needed and appreciated!"
Arthur G. Mazzier DRiFT Director Emeritus
If you are interested in learning more about this program, please contact our DRiFT program chairman, Gene Kazmark, by using our Contact Form.
It’s too much of a cliché to say that youth is the hope of our sport and our planet. So instead of talking about the importance of the next generation, DRiFT engages and shares our love of fishing and conservation with today’s youth to carry the torch for us.
As soon as the Fly Fishing Merit Badge was established in 2002, DRiFT recognized the importance of getting involved and has been actively supporting scouts in earning the Fly Fishing Merit Badge. DRiFT has fly tying tools, materials, and rods & reels dedicated to our youth program along with individuals to teach fly fishing.
We have developed a working relationship with local Boy Scout of America council, districts, and units and have created a program that is consistent, productive and achievable.
If you are interested in participating in our Fly Fishing Merit Badge Program, please contact our BSA Scout Coordinator, Bob Charles, by using our Contact Form.
Help Advocate Fly Fishing Causes Around The World
We like to think of Fly Fishers International (FFI) as the guardian of our sport and an unabashed advocate of the conservation, restoration and education initiatives that affect us all. The FFI is the one organization in the world that can look at our challenges on a global scale and still reach down to make a difference on the local level.
Since its founding in the 1960's, the FFI has become the glue to scores of regional and local clubs around the globe. They have been the initiator, motivator and facilitator of innumerable initiatives from endangered specie protection to legal advocacy.
DRiFT strongly encourages all of our members to join the FFI. We have also had members sit on the prestigious Certification for Casting Board of Governors, of which only eight individuals sit.
DRiFT will continue to advocate on behalf of the FFI, and your support will further ensure a strong voice for the future of our sport.