The Fly Fisher of the Year Award is given annually to a member who has done the most in the past year to promote fly fishing in general and specifically, Northern Kentucky Fly Fishers. Members of the board of directors submit nominations to the president and then past presidents vote on the nominees. An individual can only receive this award once. This year the award was given to Kerry Premec at the November 2nd NKFF Banquet.
Although Kerry Premec is relatively new to fly fishing and to NKFF, she has quickly distinguished herself as one of the finest fly fishers in the club and one of our most notable and dependable volunteers and ambassadors.
Kerry has served her role as Director of Women’s Outreach with superb organizational skills, dedication, creativity and relentless enthusiasm. This is a hard job because we know that recruiting more women to the sport in this market will not come quickly. Therefore, it would be easy to become frustrated and discouraged. But that is simply not in Kerry’s nature. She has tackled tough jobs before and she brings this tenacity with her in reaching out to women. With her leadership, participation by women will continue to grow.
Kerry’s recruitment of participants to the casting clinics with Susan Thrasher has served as an example to all members and especially the Board of Directors what it means to be a dedicated volunteer. Her attention to every detail makes participants feel welcome, relaxed and ready to learn and have fun. And with Kerry, participants come away with smiles from ear to ear. She is able to accomplish this while holding down a high pressure engineering job at P&G.
At our monthly meetings, Kerry makes it part of her mission to approach new members and first timers and is one of the finest welcome ambassadors in the club. Her outgoing personality exudes the kind of leadership that we need at this time of growth. She also maintains these contacts outside of the meeting and this will surely have an impact on the retention of new members. When Kerry gets up in front of one of our monthly meetings to make an announcement, she grabs people’s attention and her style makes them take note. She is a great club ambassador.
Kerry is also always bubbling with visionary suggestions. She contributes to Board meetings with creative, thought provoking and forward thinking ideas. She contributes ideas for the website, the newsletter, new places to fish, new approaches to our routines and brand-new fun things to do.
While being a good fly fisher is not what Fly Fisher of the Year is all about, in Kerry’s case her skills are worth noting.
From the first time I saw her learning nymphing from Ed Heeg on the Nantahala in North Carolina, Kerry has advanced more quickly that anyone I have ever met. She has learned to fish for trout, steelhead, bass and panfish and other species like a pro.
Kerry and her husband Rich fish nearly every week of the year and we can all learn from her approach to fishing. She is patient, listens to the experts, reads the water, practices and while steadfast in her approach, she is at the same time subtle in her assertiveness. What shows is her enthusiasm and there is no ego to be found.
Kerry is a great a great teacher. Those who have fished with her, both men and women alike, are astonished by her positive energy and skill level. I have personally witnessed Kerry’s teaching style with new members and it is constructive and positively oriented. People who experience a teaching moment with Kerry come away feeling good about themselves and wanting to fish again and again.
Kerry’s enthusiasm, her creativity, her participation, her follow through and her production make her the ideal selection for Fly Fisher of the Year.
Congratulations Kerry Premec. You make us proud.