LES CHICK MEMORIAL TROPHY
First awarded in 1973. Awarded for excellence in presentation of fly fishing equipment. Awarded to the member who in the opinion of the judges, displays the best example of fly fishing equipment or accessories.
ARTHUR SMITH FLY TYING TROPHY
Arthur Smith from the Southern Fly Fishers donated this trophy in 1984. Award presented to the novice fly tier who in the opinion of the judges shows the necessary skills in presentation and accuracy in tying the nominated flies.
The novice tiers will be required to select any four of the flies that have been featured in the newsletter including the fly tying nights. They will be judged on their strict adherence to the standard patterns.
First presented in 1995, award presented to the advanced fly tier who in the opinion of the judges shows the necessary skills in presentation and accuracy in tying the nominated flies.
Experienced tiers will be required to be more interpretative and creative with patterns. They will select four of the flies featured in the newsletter plus a creation (however radical) of choice. Judging in this will be based on form, function and the creative use of materials.
Allan Semmler Trophy for Excellence in Photography
First presented in 2011, award to the member who supplies the best fly-fishing photograph in the opinion of the judges. The photograph will have been taken in the preceding fishing season.
History on Greenwell’s annual awards
The Norm Crago
Norm was a newsagent in Tallangatta and a keen fly fisher. He was one of the foundation members joining in the first few meetings of 1972.
Norm was a traditional fly fisher, one of the “old school” who wore his Henry Bucks shirt and a woolen tie whenever he fished.
He loved fishing small streams with his Hardy Deluxe cane rod until he lost it by driving away after fishing a stream. You see he put the rod on top of his car then forgot to place it in the car. He replaced that rod with a Hardy Perfection.
Favourite flies were Dr. Wark, Royal Coachman and Wickhams Fancy. The latter also a firm favourite of another old Greenwell’s member, Barney Banbrook.
Norm a member for only two years before he passed away, his son (also an ex-member) Bob Crago, wanted his father’s name to be remembered as a fly fisher and approached the then committee to determine the best way to perpetuate his memory.
In those early days the club had no awards and it was agreed to award annually the “Norm Crago Trophy” to the person or persons who in the opinion of the committee had done the most to further the aims and ideals of Greenwells Club.
The Les Chick Memorial Trophy
I had the enviable pleasure of being taught the rudiments of fly-fishing by Les, one of nature’s gentlemen and a fly caster par excellence.
In the days before Greenwells Club there was a loose band of fly fishers who frequented the “poachers” shack at Kiandra. One of these was les Chick.
If you wanted a caster to put a fly as delicately as a feather in a given spot, Les was the man to do it. Picking up his 9’6” Southam Cane rod he would consistently put a fly exactly where it should be.
One thing I remember vividly was his habit of shaking you from a sleeping bag first thing in the morning with a “heart starter” which he called his Gut Scraper, a vile glass of brandy and port wine, muscat or left over red wine, whichever was handiest. How we lasted the day still bewilders me.
The Chick family owns a weekend shack at Redbank on the Kiewa River, Les’s daughter Roma Richards gave the club permission to use the shack which we did frequently.
Regrettably Les died following the ingestion of poison which he had been using to spray his fruit trees.
I took it upon myself to contact Roma and ask if the club could be given something from his fly-fishing gear which we would then use to create an award to remember him. Roma gave the club one of Les’s reels.
The award is given to a club member who presents the most outstanding item of fly-fishing equipment made by himself at the annual dinner.
The Arthur Smith Trophy
Arthur Smith was a long serving member of Southern Fly Fishers in Melbourne. One of the hardest working persons for the cause of fly-fishing and fly tying I had the privilege of knowing.
Arthur rarely missed a Greenwell’s Dinner, usually bringing one of his inventions or alternatively something for the raffle table.
I can remember him winning a fly rod at one of the dinners and promptly passing it to the youngest member of the club.
He made beautiful landing nets (a la snowshoe style), dubbing tools and a device for improving reception of radios in poor signal areas. Truly a remarkable man.
His house caught fire one time, for he had left the large magnifying glass (which hovered over his fly-tying vice) and the afternoon sun focussed the sun’s rays on his desk. Instant ignition!
In order to remember Arthur, the club began a trophy to encourage learner flytyers to pursue the art.
Once a member has won the Arthur Smith Trophy they are no longer regarded as novices and must enter the senior fly-tying event.
By Les Hawkins