Guides Give Back
DSR Guides Volunteer: Community Fishing Experiences
Fishermen are well known for creatively finding new reasons to pursue their favorite pastime. This summer, a few of our local DSR guides have added a community spin to that goal by sharing time and talents with the US military, and at Spey Nation, an annual event dedicated to the sport of spey fishing, held last month in Altmar.
Licensed Fishing Guides Troy Creasy, Tom Burke and John Kopy share their love of fishing as volunteers with the Wounded Warriors and Volunteer Guides for Veterans program.
For the past three years, each captain has provided a day long experience aboard their boat for military vets and family members. This year, 20 veterans participated in the annual Fathers’ Day event, accompanied by family members and friends. “Most of these veterans have had tough tours of duty in Afghanistan or Iraq,” said Tom Burke of Cold Steel Fishing Guides when asked why he and the others provide this service. “Volunteer Guides for Veterans is a national, grass roots organization that exists just to show appreciation to our military for their service.”
The onboard fishing experience is focused on trolling for salmon, trout and small mouth bass, which leaves plenty of time to talk and connect with one another. “Some of the best moments aren’t actually catching fish,” said Burke, who didn’t serve in the military. “A few of our captains are vets, but whether we served or not, we all value the sacrifice made by these guys, and we want them to know that."
To the east of Lake Ontario in Altmar, NY, licensed guide Jay Peck, of Jay Peck Guides, is like most fishing guides. He’s been an angler most of his life, and knows as much about fly fishing and how to catch nearly every fish species available as anyone.
In the mid-90’s, Peck was introduced to spey fishing, a unique style of fly fishing originated in Scotland in the mid-1800s. The cast and type of rod originated so anglers could successfully cast on a large river. Spey casting typically uses larger, heavier rods and requires two hands. Peck adopted the style for much of his fishing because “it causes less strain on the arm and wrist and is easier to master”.
Jay volunteered to teach a seminar on spey casting to attendees of the 2015 Spey Nation event, held in late June in Altmar. More than 50 enthusiastic anglers attended the seminar where they learned spey language and technique in ‘on-the-water ‘demonstrations. “I love to teach,” said Peck about his choice to volunteer at Spey Nation.
“I love this organization because they are independent, giving all proceeds to not- for-profit groups that support great fishing, like the Atlantic Salmon Federation and Fish Creek Atlantic Salmon Club.
The Douglaston Salmon Run supports volunteer efforts of DSR certified fishing guides through an incentive program begun in 2015. We’d like to say ‘thanks!’ to all guide’s for their efforts.