April 03, 2013
Phillip Greenlee speaking at the Suncoast Fly Fishers Fund Raising Dinner.
Largo, Florida -- Philip Greenlee, president of the International Federation of Fly Fishers (IFFF) addressed Suncoast Fly Fishers Saturday, March 23, as the St. Petersburg-Clearwater fly-fishing club held its tenth annual "Hog Roast" fund-raising dinner.
Greenlee praised Suncoast Fly Fishers for programs teaching fly-fishing and fly-tying to young anglers and scouts as well as to recovering military veterans through the Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing program. He spoke of the importance of supporting IFFF conservation goals and outlined the IFFF certification program for fly-casting instructors. Greenlee noted that Suncoast Fly Fishers club has several IFFF Certified Master Casting Instructors who regularly hold casting instruction.
Suncoast Fly Fishers held its silent auction fund raising dinner at the new Florida Gulf Coast Center for Fishing and Interactive Museum, a 33,000-square foot facility (at 12211 Walsingham Road, Largo, FL) spotlighting the rich history and a more-active future of angling on the Florida Gulf Coast.
Before the dinner, Greenlee toured the fishing center with founder and chief executive Jim Simons and Suncoast Fly Fishers President Thomas Gadacz, also president of the Florida Council of the IFFF. A major purpose of Greenlee's visit was to see a newly designed wall-sized display of images and artwork celebrating saltwater fly-fishing, a project which IFFF helped fund. Suncoast Fly Fishers is a Charter Club of the International Federation of Fly Fishers. Suncoast Fly Fishers, with 145 active members, is one of Florida's largest fly-fishing clubs.
The new Florida Gulf Coast fishing center actively supports fishing clubs in the St. Petersburg-Clearwater area and hosts summer youth fishing camps. Local artists decorate museum walls with historical fishing photos and artwork. More than 4,000-students will visit the center on field trips each school year. The center also hosts a pancake breakfast and open market on Saturday mornings.
Suncoast Fly Fishers was founded in 1992 by a group of St. Petersburg fly anglers and later included Carl Hansen, known for creating the "Bendback Minnow" fly and Don Coleman, author of Wading the Saltwater Flats with a Fly Rod.
Members meet for professional presentations, fly-tying and fly-casting sessions on the third Thursday of each month (except December) at Walter Fuller Recreation Center in St. Petersburg. The clubs holds a fly-fishing and picnic outing on Saturdays following each meeting. Suncoast Fly Fishers also sponsors outreach programs teaching fly-tying, casting and rod building through Project Healing Water Fly Fishing (PHWFF).
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