Sharing WI Leadership Across TU — Across Gender Lines

About Bill Thorne; National Leadership Council, Women's Initiative Chair

Growing up in Evansville, my fly fishing career had humble beginnings, chasing blue gill with poppers in farm ponds. Fresh out of school and armed with an old fiberglass rod with a Martin auto wind reel in the mid 70’s, I fished a bunch of no name creeks for trout while riding a Harley through the Colorado Rockies.


Fast forward to the Beaver tail waters of Northwest Arkansas in the early 90’s and you would find me with  my trusty 3-weight and an inexpensive spring and pawl reel, fishing for rainbows. This all led to my current obsession and early retirement to pursue the lofty title of “Trout bum”.


As John Gierach once wrote, you can’t be a true “trout bum” until you quit a good job to pursue your passion. Having done that, I now live on the White River and work at Dally’s Ozark Fly Fisher. I spend as much time as possible nymphing the White and North Fork rivers while wade fishing or throwing big streamers to trophy browns out of my drift boat.


You may also find me fishing for smallmouth and carp on Crooked Creek or in the fall chasing Redfish down in the Louisiana marsh.


Once you get passionate about fishing it seems you really start paying attention to where the fish
live. Our nation’s water; rivers and streams, cold and warm. It is impossible to do this without thinking about how to protect, restore and conserve this valuable resource.


This very thing has led me to years of involvement in Trout Unlimited, first as an energetic volunteer and then as an officer. I served two years as president of the Arkansas Chapter in N.W. Arkansas and three years as president of the Arkansas White River Chapter, in Mountain Home, Arkansas. I followed that with two terms as the Arkansas Council Chair and now represent Arkansas on the National Leadership Council.


This story is a page from the Februray, 2016 Women's Initiative newsletter, which you can read here.Womens_Initiative_Newsletter_Feb_2016 (002).pdf

The Women’s Initiative Workgroup is part of the National Leadership Council of TU.  It was started in 2011 to help promote more women membership in TU.  All NLC represantatives are term limited.  Kerri Russell, NLC  WI Chair,  was term limited this past fall. Bill Thorne, a new NLC rep from Arkansas agreed to Co-Chair the WI Workgroup with Kerri until a woman NLC representative will come on board. Thank you Bill for stepping up and keeping the NLC WI moving forward!