CCF Spotlight – Jim Greene; Waterwisp Business Owner, CCF member, TU Volunteer
Favorite place to fish –
Montana, specifically the Missouri River tailwater below Holter Dam: spending early June searching for rising brown trout.
Most memorable fishing experience-
Watching his wife land a twenty five inch trout on a size 18 pheasant tail and 5x tippet. Twenty plus years fishing at that hole and he's never caught anything like that fish.
Olive-Bodied Adams: Waterwisp was the first company to tie this fly. It's his go to fly anytime he's fishing on a stream for the first time. The smaller sizes imitate a variety of Mayflies.
Jim Greene's first impression of a conservation minded angler came while on the Beaverkill with his fly-fishing mentor, Jim Deren, owner of the fly shop Anglers Roost in New York City. "He kept an empty Sucrets can in his pocket when we fished… he would smoke like a chimney the whole time we were out there", recounts Jim, "and he would carry out every cigarette butt in that can". This experience made an impact on Jim; he still carries the sense of "leave no trace" with him wherever he fishes, and Jim has fished many waters, from India to East Africa, to Sri Lanka and Alaska. His real passion for conservation came from visiting one of his favorite fishing spots in Kashmir, India 8 years after his last visit. Polluted from over-development, farming, and deforestation, the water was unfishable and the area was an eyesore. In that moment, Jim realized that he wanted to protect streams and rivers from exactly this type of ruination.
On his return to the US, he settled in the Washington, DC area and joined the Potomac-Patuxent chapter of TU to learn where to fish locally. Some years later he attended a flyfishing trade show and met Joan and Art Stoliar, who spoke passionately about the Trout In the Classroom (TIC) program they had founded in New York through the Theodore Gordon Flyfishers. While Jim had always been an active volunteer, Trout in the Classroom grabbed his attention in a way that no other project had as a way to promote the future of both conservation and trout fishing. With the backing of his TU chapter and an Embrace-A-Stream grant from TU National, Jim started TIC in three Maryland schools. Since then he has worked with local TU chapters to expand TIC to 33 schools in Maryland and the District of Columbia. Last spring, TIC students released 1800 rainbows into local watersheds. As part of the program, Jim and other volunteers accompany youth to local rivers and streams to release the trout they have been raising throughout the winter and spring months. While at the stream, volunteers work with kids to test the health of the water, check the stream flow and learn what bugs live in the watershed. The volunteers at many release programs include both a fly tier and a flycasting instructor. When students bring over a bug they have found, the fly-tier creates a replica for the student to fish with. The amazement on the kids' faces as the fly-tier uses feathers, hook and thread to recreate a nymph to perfection also motivates the volunteers. And the kids are excited at the opportunity to practice flycasting, usually for the first time.
As a business owner, grandparent, father and husband, Jim admits it's difficult to find time for all of his activities. But, when it comes to volunteering he says, "It's like cardio. You build it into your routine and you do it". And for those projects Jim can't find time to help with, he joined the CCF. To Jim, contributing to the CCF is a way of supporting some of TU's most important projects. As part of the CCF, Jim says, "I can have something to look to and say I was able to help".
Since Jim's mother first taught him to cast in the 1930's, he has fished on five continents. When asked his favorite place to fish, Jim replied "Although I've enjoyed fishing in more than a dozen countries, I'm convinced that, overall, the US still has the best trout fishing in the world and we owe it to present and future generations to do what it takes to keep it that way."