“Pass on to all, who ask, what you learn here”.
The Rhody Fly Rodders Story
In 1963, anglers from various East Bay sporting clubs got together to form a unique Club dedicated to only fly fishing, and specifically in saltwater. Leading the group were Harold Gibbs and Al Brewster. They held early meetings in Al Brewster’s basement but were forced to move to larger quarters at the South Seekonk Rod & Gun Club. It was there that the Rhody Fly Rodders came into existence.
Harold Gibbs was a noted authority on fish & marine life in Narragansett Bay. His experience elevated him to the position of Director of Fish and Game for the state.
In 1965 he received an invitation from a new fishing group, The Saltwater Fly-Rodders of America, which had established headquarters in Barnegat Bay, NJ. The group was promoting fly fishing in salt water. There Harold Gibbs would rub shoulders with pioneers such as Col. Joe Bates, Joe Brooks, Charlie Waterman, Stu Apte and Cap Colvin.
Gibbs was a noted fly tier. He developed one of the first saltwater streamer patterns, the Gibbs Striper Fly. He also had memberships in several outdoor clubs and associations. Through these memberships he met Al Brewster and invited him to a meeting in New Jersey. Both were very impressed with the Saltwater Flyrodders and their achievements and goals. On their return they discussed the possibility of starting a RI/MA chapter. Unlike formats of TU, UFT, saltwater or bass fishing clubs, their focus was going to be different. The goal was a unique fishing club that offered members information and techniques in saltwater fishing.They contacted three prominent outdoor clubs and a meeting was held at Al Brewster’s house.Thirty-one prospective members attended and a petition was sent to affiliate with the Saltwater Flyrodders of America as Chapter #3. The idealism and organization still exists. It has one rule,
“Pass on to all, who ask what you learn here”.