The Falmouth Flats Fly Fishers club was spawned as a result of the seasonal striped bass fishing on the easily waded flats below the Falmouth, VA, bridge, where U.S. Route 1 crosses the Rappahannock River. Over the course of several years, as an increasing number of fly fishers came into contact with one another at the flats, we shared information about the stripers, the tide, moon, the river conditions and what flies to fish. We swapped stories about big ones landed, caught and released, and even told a few about the ones that got away.
Two members of this loose-knit bunch, Smith Coleman and Vince Staley, decided to start a club, to, among other things, help the ecology of the Rappahannock. They flipped a coin and Smith won the toss, so Vince became the president and Smith the VP. Vince continues as president.
FFFF was launched January 13, 1999 at an organizational meeting which drew 25 people through word of mouth advertising. Current membership now numbers more than 40.
FFFF’s early meetings featured fly tying demonstrations, equipment lectures and information about striped bass and shad. Capt. Jewell of the Virginia Marine Patrol was our first guest speaker. The membership voted for charter affiliation with the national Federation of Fly Fishers, headquartered in Bozeman, MT.
The Federation of Fly Fishers’ stated goals include Conserving, Restoring and Educating through fly fishing. FFFF’s local goals include riparian repair projects in concert with the US Army Corps of Engineers and Friends of the Rappahannock, litter cleanups, and fly tying and casting classes.