Greg Sisson - president
Greg is our club president and has been a member of OFF since 2015. He also served four years as our outings chairman. In 2019, he began working with a web designer and built our club’s first website, updating it in 2021. During this time, Greg was also our communications director. One of Greg’s relatives gifted him a fly tying set back in 2018. Since then, he has become an ambitious fly tyer. He now ties hundreds of flies every year. Greg feels that fly tying has expanded his understanding of aquatic insects and fly fishing techniques. “It’s made me a better fisherman," he says. You'll find Greg on lakes in his Water Master Kodiak, and at campsites in his RV or tent. Omak and Chopaka are his favorite stillwater lakes. The Missouri is his favorite river. Greg keeps the flow of information moving between each committee, viewing this as his primary role as president. "The most important goal is for our members to feel welcomed and supported, regardless of their experience level,” he says. “This is a club, not a clique."
Tim Bennett - Vice President
Tim has been a member of OFF since 2016 and now serves as our club’s vice president. He learned to fly fish while on vacation in Yellowstone with family and friends in 1991. Alongside his best friend, Tim threw his first cast using "a cheap fly rod" and has been hooked since. Living in Florida until 2013, Tim has fished with a cane pole and spinning rods. In 2017, he fished in Montana with his best friend and brothers, sadly losing his lifelong best friend a year later at the age of 53. Since 2018, Tim has made an annual fly fishing trip to Montana, as well as steelhead trips to Alaska. In 2021, he closed his business and accepted a position with the City of Seattle, saying, "It's the best thing I ever did. Now I have time for my friends and fishing buddies.” Tim is currently keeping local fly shops in business by purchasing flies, but soon hopes to learn to tie his own.
Vince Portacci -Secretary
Vince has been a member of OFF since 2020 and currently serves as club secretary. He is responsible for keeping the official record of our board meetings while helping to keep the member database current. Vince also serves on the education committee where he helps contact presenters for our meetings. In his early years, Vince grew up fishing streams in Appalachia. There he learned blue lining, and still enjoys exploring off the beaten path. Today, his favorite genre of fly fishing is river fishing. He loves to Euro nymph and swing flies using two-handed rods (either for trout spey or steelhead). Vince uses a Hobie Passport 12 pedal kayak to cruise our local lakes, stripping streamers in the spring and fall. Destinations on the bucket list, near and far, include Belize, New Zealand, Pyramid Lake, Omak, and Valsassina in Italy. Vince’s favorite conservation projects include the Cedar River cleanup and moving coho fry out of their hatchery ponds.
Steve Ruppert - Communications Director
Steve is our communications director and previously served on the education committee. He leads a team of four others, sending announcements to OFF members while developing and extending our social media and online presence. Until a few years ago, Steve was primarily a bass fisherman and loved big game saltwater fishing in Maui and Cabo. His greatest prize was a 140-pound Pacific sailfish that cost him more to have mounted and shipped than the whole trip! After joining some California buddies on a fly fishing trip and being referred to as “the meat chucker,” Steve decided to try fly fishing and quickly discovered his new passion. Since then, he has also become a skilled, enthusiastic fly tyer. On stillwater, Steve fishes from a three-person Porta-Bote. He was spoiled early on by catching the tricky, fighting Pennask trout at the Douglas Lake Ranch in British Columbia. His personal bar was set even higher after catching huge Lahontan cutthroat while on the “trip of a lifetime” – a trip he now takes on an annual basis when he travels to Nevada's Pyramid Lake. Steve has checked out of cheap motels once and for all. You can find him hanging out in his custom Project M camper, mounted onto the bed of his truck.
Tom Bradish - Outings Chair
Tom joined OFF in 2018 and is currently our outings chairman. His goal is to involve "hidden" members and introduce our group to unexplored waters. Self-taught, Tom began fly fishing with his dad in the ’60s, using a Slovakian-Polish euro rod and Pflueger Medalist fly reel. In the ’70s, he attended fly tying classes with the legendary Joe Humphreys at Penn State. Tom moved to the Hood Canal area in the late ’70s where he began fishing rivers on the Olympic Peninsula for steelhead. In the ’90s, Tom was fishing from a drift boat on the Yakima and traveling to Montana, Florida, Alaska, and Idaho for adventures in those waters. This year, you’ll find Tom streamside with his new Czech Euro outfit.
Ed Kellison - Conservation Chair
Ed became involved with OFF in 2014 when fly fishing and casting classes were offered in Edmonds at the Frances Anderson Center. With heavy foot traffic on the waterfront, Ed was glad to see the casting instructor wisely decided not to allow hooks on novice lines during practice. Shortly after, Ed began participating in the club’s fly tying classes. On stillwater lakes, Ed fishes from his pontoon boat. But he also enjoys walking and wading in streams. Ed has served as OFF’s vice president and, most recently, as our club president through 2022. He is currently our conservation committee chairman. In this role, Ed is working to further involve our club in programs that benefit local waters and conservation efforts in a direct, hands-on way. When not on the water fly fishing, Ed can be found on the golf course, camping, traveling with his family, and spoiling his three grandchildren.
Bob Chaffee -Membership chair
Bob is our membership chairman. He has been associated with OFF on and off for 15 years and has seen many changes during that time. As membership chairman, Bob writes welcome letters, arranges for membership badges, and assembles the fly boxes gifted to each new member. Bob grew up in southern Montana, fishing a Herter's fiberglass fly rod. He also tied his own flies – some of which he sold to fly shops – and now enjoys helping new students learn to tie. A memorable highlight from his early years fishing was landing a 7-pound steelhead on the Stilly. Bob prefers rivers to stillwater lakes and says the Montana rivers spoiled him. These days, Bob fishes from his frameless pontoon boat, and on overnight outings by ‘roughing it’ in the nearest Holiday Inn (with free morning breakfasts). Compared to other clubs, Bob feels OFF is the most congenial and welcoming. He appreciates seeing our members help each other learn about fly fishing and get out on the water.
John Wendt - Education Co-chair
John is one of our most senior club members, originally joining OFF in 2011. He is currently our education chairman and instructor for the club’s popular fly tying classes. This role also tasks him with recruiting club members to volunteer their help and expertise each week within the classes themselves. John has served as OFF’s president and vice president. For three years, he also helped plan and book guest speakers for our club meetings. Chironomids are one of John’s favorites when fishing stillwater lakes with his pontoon boat or wade fishing rivers in Montana and Washington. Alongside several other OFF members, he also organizes an annual trip to the Douglas Lake Ranch in British Columbia. John’s favorite time to fish is when the bite is on! A goal on the horizon is to fish for salmon in Alaska on his 80th birthday in 2024.
Dave McCutchen -Education Co-chair
Dave has been a member of OFF since 2019 and currently serves on the education committee. His past responsibilities include the communications and conservation committees and administration of the Forum. He also belongs to Fly Fishers International (FFI) and the Evergreen Fly Fishing Club. At age 12, Dave began fly tying and has received the bronze award from FFI for his fly tying skills. You'll find Dave fishing from his 8-foot Spring Creek pram on stillwaters. His favorite parts of the sport are casting and retrieving. Traveling around in his RV, Dave’s top-choice stillwater fishing destinations are currently in British Columbia. Dave would like to see OFF participate in more activities with other regional fishing clubs.