Education / Past Monthly Meetings

Feb 10th Meeting: Tom Benzing – South Holston River


Well known for its feisty browns, the South Holston should be on every
VA anglers list of destinations to fish.


Thomas R. Benzing, PhD.

Tom Benzing is a professor in the Department of Integrated Science and Technology at James Madison University. Tom earned his PhD in crop and soil science/environmental toxicology from Michigan State University and he has worked as a research scientist for the South River Science Team and for the Shenandoah River Fish Kill Task Force. His research interests include: water quality of rivers and streams, soil and water chemistry, nutrient management for sustainability, and trout conservation and habitat restoration. Tom is a past president of the Massanutten Trout Unlimited chapter and currently serves as the faculty advisor for Madison Flyfishers. Tom is an avid fly fisherman and he regularly guides the Madison flyfishing club two outings on the South Holston River. His presentation in February is titled “Fly Fishing the South Holston River.


More Upcoming Speakers:

MARCH 10TH 2015 • TUESDAY – Colby Trow

Colby and his brother Brian opened Mossy Creek Outfitters together in 2003. He started guiding and instructing in Virginia in 1999 and fishing almost every day of the year since 2003. When he is not fishing, he’s at the vise tying flies for anything that swims. He started tying flies for local Virginia fly shops at age 13 and was featured at many fly fishing trade shows through his teen years. Although he is based in the Shenandoah Valley, Colby has always had salt in his blood. When he isn’t hosting a trip in the Bahamas or Belize chasing bones, snappers, sharks, and cudas with a fly, he is out with his pal Captain Tommy Mattioli chasing stripers and big drum on the Chesapeake Bay. Colby’s presentation will be on fly fishing for Marlin and bone fish.


APRIL 14TH 2015 • TUESDAY – William Heresniak

William Heresniak from Eastern Trophies Fly Fishing offers year-round guide services on select waters in Maryland and Virginia. William targets large fish on his guided trips and ties flies for trophy trout, smallmouth bass, and musky. He is known for his creative streamer patterns. William’s presentation will focus on fishing the North Branch of the Potomac River and include a fly tying demonstration of patterns that are known to catch trophy fish in these waters.


MAY 12TH 2015 • TUESDAY – Jeff Greendyk

Jeff Greendyk grew up in central Virginia. He started fly fishing at the tender age of 10 and kayak fishing at 16 fishing the upper James River near Richmond. Soon he started exploring many of the rivers and lakes of Virginia kayaking and fishing every opportunity he had. While completing his degree in Biology at Old Dominion University, Jeff found the joys in exploring the bays and rivers of the lower and middle Chesapeake Bay. Now finding himself in Charlottesville he is using everything he has learned in the last 16 years to fish the James and Shenandoah Rivers.  Jeff currently is the Fishing manager of the Orvis Company store in Charlottesville Va. The topic of Jeff’s talk will be “Kayak Fishing.”


SEPTEMBER 8TH, 2015 • TUESDAY – Dan Downey

Dan Downey is a professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at James Madison University. Dan is a native of the Shenandoah Valley and attended Madison College before earning his PhD in analytical and nuclear chemistry from Louisiana State University. Dan’s primary research interest is environmental chemistry. He has worked closely with Virginia’s Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and the U.S. Forest Service to document the acid rain threat to the region’s mountain streams, and more importantly, propose solutions to protect these watersheds. Dan has been recognized by Trout Unlimited, the U.S. Forest Service and the Izaak Walton League for his many contributions to maintaining water quality and improving habitat for native fish species. Dan is a past president of MTU. His presentation is titled “Water Chemistry of North Branch Simpson Creek and the Rich Hole Wilderness Fire.”


OCTOBER 13TH, 2015 • TUESDAY – Charles Kraft

Charles A. Kraft Jr. has been designing flies and guiding since 1959. Chuck’s flies were originally designed after lures and pork baits, and after trying to use rabbit and deer hide, he resorted to synthetic materials so that these flies were not only durable, but imitated the action of the prey species very well. His patterns not only work for bass and trout, but also for Saltwater species too, and are used all over the world. Chuck’s fly patterns include the Kraft Kreelex, the CK baitfish and the Kraft Clawdads. The Clawdad represents a crawfish and is extremely effective on large rainbow and brown trout and smallmouth bass. Kreelex and baitfish are both deadly imitations of forage fish.  The Kreelex has worked on huge browns and rainbows from Chilean Patagonia to cutthroat on the Elk in BC, and many places in between including Virginia brook trout. Chuck will demonstrate how to tie several of his most successful patterns and give tips on how they should be fished.


Directions to Keezletown Ruritan (location of Member Monthly Meetings) Harrisonburg VA

  1. Take 33 East toward Penn Laird/Massanutten
  2. At the stoplight at the intersection of 33 East and Indian Trail Rd, turn left onto Indian Trail Rd. Turning right will put you on Cross Keys Road.
  3. Take Indian Trail Rd (rt 620) past Chad Ln. The club is on your right just past Stella St.

Here is a link to Google Maps to chart your own directions.