Fly fishing club celebrates 40th anniversary of breakthrough

Check out old photos of fly fishing and you'll see it: a couple of guys by the water casting their lines. After all, it was a man's sport. Forty years ago a group of people in Bellevue changed all that.

Bruce Farr demonstrates fly fishing.

Check out old photos of fly fishing and you’ll see it: a couple of guys by the water casting their lines. After all, it was a man’s sport. Forty years ago a group of people in Bellevue changed all that.

The Overlake Fly Fishing Club was formed in 1974 with two objectives: create a fly fishing club to serve the Bellevue area and to accept women as members.

At that time, and for decades later, a few local clubs would not allow women as members. But, with its open door policy, OFFC quickly grew in membership and popularity. Today, the geographical area the club serves has expanded to include members from Bremerton to Snoqualmie and Lakewood to Lynnwood with the majority of members coming from Bellevue, Redmond and Mercer Island. And, as the name says, is  a “fly fishing club” with organized club fishing outings from Alaska to Mexico and Montana, and to the lakes and rivers of the Olympic Peninsula.

“Our club is energetic and benefits every level of fly fisherman,” said club President Bruce Farr. “Whether you are a beginner who wants to learn fly fishing, an advanced fly fisherman that wants to enhance skills or expert who can share skills and techniques with others, you will find being an OFFC member an awesome experience.”

Farr says the club still maintains the same open door policy and it attracts both local and national fly-fishing legends who frequent the club’s monthly meetings, offering presentations. In addition, the monthly dinner meetings feature a raffle that always includes a fly rod and noted guest speakers and guides are on hand with presentations ranging from specialized techniques to fly fishing locations.

The club’s Oct. 28 meeting will feature Phil Rowley, a famous author and expert still water fisherman. Everyone is welcome to attend, but Farr notes that Rowley “really packs them in” and the event likely will sold out. (Those wishing to attend can RSVP by sending an email to president@offc.org.)

The club meets the fourth Tuesday of the month at the Redmond VFW Lodge, 4330 148th Ave. N.E.  Annual membership dues are $55 single, $65 family. More information is available at www.offc.org for details and membership forms.

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