Consider it a ritual of spring. The Al Hazzard chapter of Trout Unlimited holds its banquet every year on the cusp of the opening day of trout season. For many, it has become an event to welcome in the fishing year, re-unite with old fishing friends, exchange stories, and talk about the upcoming season. But the event is much more than a chance for celebration of our great sport.
The Al Hazzard Annual Banquet is in its 42nd year. The main purpose of the event is to raise money for the chapter's conservation activities and projects. Without the proceeds of the banquet, the chapter would be able to do little more than hold a monthly meeting. But with the proceeds, the chapter is able to conduct such events as 'Trout in the Classroom', local stream improvements, stream / river clean-ups, and much more.
The event will be held at the Kalurah Shrine Center, 625 Dickson Street, in Endicott on Saturday, March 29th. Doors open at 4:30 pm, with a cash bar available as well as appetizers. Besides mingling and checking out the various prizes, those in attendance can watch Henry Ramsay, fly fishing instructor, guide, photographer, and author of “Matching Major Eastern Hatches, New Patterns for Selective Trout”, demonstrate his expert fly tying skills while tying local favorite fly patterns.
There are plenty of prizes:
- Door prize - usually a nice piece of fly fishing gear.
- The now famous bucket prizes including dozens of member tied flies, custom made salmon fly, handmade bamboo small stream fly rod, a Czech nymphing rod, Adirondack furniture, spinning rods, fly reels, Delaware River float trips, and piscatorial art.
- The Wheelbarrow of Cheer
- The grand prize Camping Package which includes tent, canoe, and much more!
Besides happy hour and appetizers, a buffet dinner will be served.
So how much does this all cost? Tickets are $30 each and for attendees 15 and under, the ticket price is reduced to $25. Ticket purchases can be made at the Timber Creek Sportsman Shop on 3204 Watson Boulevard in Endwell. One can also purchase tickets by contacting Gene Drobny at 607-754-5439, or during one of the upcoming monthly chapter meetings.
And for those who plan on attending with a group, there are special incentives. Reserve a table of 8 tickets in your name in January and get a chance to win a pair of Orvis waders. Reserve a table of 8 tickets in your name in February and get a chance to win an Orvis fly reel.
See you at the banquet!