Sunday, September 23, 2012

33rd Annual Banquet more important than ever

Bitterroot Trout Unlimited Conserve, protect, and restore Montana's world-class coldwater fisheries and their watersheds. The banquet is the only fundraiser BRTU does to help them run programs fulfill their mission and run programs for young people in the valley who are interested in trout, fishing and conservation. Read about one remarkable young lady and see how you can help BRTU continue their great work.

Minica Bromley is the daughter of Jack and Bromley Casbara. Minica has attended the Trout Unlimited Summer Camp at Georgetown Lake for the last 3 years. She got her start in our Bitterroot Buggers Youth Program.

Minica entered the following essay in a National TU contest, and won an Honorable Mention! Bromley has graciously given me permission to share Minica’s wonderful essay. This is the kind of difference that BRTU is making with our valley’s kids.

You can help us keep supporting our youth with programs like the Buggers. It’s easy. Just come to the Friday, September 28 BRTU banquet.  Your support makes it possible, and we can’t do it without you!

September 28 Banquet

Premiums and donations for the 33rd annual BRTU banquet are really starting to roll in! Paintings, watercolors, photographs, pottery, gourmet dinners, fishing trips, tackle, clothing, backpacking gear, oriental rugs and much much more. This will be a banquet to remember.

The banquet will start at 5:00 pm on Friday, September 28 at the Bitterroot River Inn. Tickets ($50 a person) can be purchased or reserved now at Fishaus Tackle (363-6158,; Western Flies & Guides (363-9099,; and Osprey Outfitters. You don’t have to be a TU member to attend.
Banquet premiums include float trips, tackle, clothing , backpacking gear, art, pottery, photographs, gourmet dinners, fine wines and much, much more. There will be live and silent auction, door prizes, drawings and awards.  I have attached the list of Live Auction items so you can get an idea of some of the unique and extraordinary premiums. 

For more information, to make a donation, or to help out, contact Marshall Bloom (363-3485,, Cassie Buhl (381-4589, ,or Greg Chester (363-0033,
. You do not need to be a TU member to attend.
Reprinted by permission, all rights reserved
ESSAY BY Minica Casbara

Trout Unlimited summer camp is the best activity for a kid to
experience over summer vacation. I know because it has been the
highlight of my past three summers. My first summer was
sponsored by the Bitterroot Buggers Fly Tying program. I was
very excited to be selected to attend, especially because my
brother, home from college at the time, was asked to be a
counselor. This meant I could spend some fun time with my older
brother traveling to camp and fishing. The camp was held at Camp
Watanopa, on Georgetown Lake in Western Montana. Georgetown
Lake is a beautiful, shallow, man-made lake in the Pintlar
mountain range built in the 1800’s as a reservoir to supply water
for the Anaconda Mining Company.

The camp was almost a week long, and every day we learned
something new. The guides would take the campers out as early in
the morning or as late at night as one wanted to. Interesting
speakers were invited to the camp to discuss how they worked to
protect fish and to keep our waters from being contaminated. One
of the most memorable experiences was that everyone had the
opportunity to fish a private creek full of small cutthroat, rainbow,
and brook trout. One night, there was a HUGE hailstorm. Golf
balls were pounding people out by the campfire and we all played
in the hail until it finally forced everyone inside. I had never seen
anything like it. I learned so much my first year. I didn’t catch
many fish but I still had a blast.

One of the counselors, who happened to be my brother’s age,
traveled from Maine where his family are lobster fisherman. I
thought it was neat that someone came from the other side of the
country to help the campers and give advice. He stayed at our
house after the camp, so we showed him some of our favorite
fishing spots and he taught us some of his techniques.
The second year of camp I was excited to be able to go back,
this time without my brother, just on my own. I was determined to
catch more fish. My fishing had improved with the advice of the
previous guides. And under the patience of the new ones, I caught
seven trout! The flies I learned to tie that summer even won a blue
ribbon at our county fair. The year before, the instructors and
campers all visited a fish hatchery, which was one of the coolest
parts of the camp. This year we had the once in a lifetime
opportunity to learn how to sex the fish. We helped sort them by
gender then carefully tossed them into the proper holding pond so
they could be shipped out to help restock streams.

The third year, I told my parents TU camp was the only
summer camp I wanted to attend. A few of the students that year
were invited to fish the west fork of the private creek we fished the
first two years. That was the jackpot location. I caught at least ten
trout within the time we were there fishing. This past year we had
almost as many volunteer guides and chaperones as campers.
There must have been almost 40 people there. That shows how
dedicated the directors of the camp are, and how knowledgeable
and kind the guides are with the campers. I don’t think they just
come for the fantastic food (which ranged from chicken alfredo to
cream puffs with homemade huckleberry ice cream on the side.)

TU camp is not only about fly-fishing. It is about making
connections with kids from different states, sitting around the
campfire at night talking while burning through bags of
marshmallows, learning new skills and how to be guardians of the
environment, and appreciating the beauty of the outdoors and how
devoted so many people are to protecting nature. This coming
summer I would like to volunteer at our camp and help teach what
I have learned over the years so the tradition of this great
experience can continue for future campers.