2023 Speaker Series

JOHN SHANER at 10:00 a.m., a national known speaker and fly fishing educator will be giving a presentation on fishing the Beaverkill. “The Beaverkill: The Story of a River, Its Fishing, People, Hatches, and History”  Along with tips for fishing the Beaverkill/Willowemoc system in New York State.  The Beaverkill, is a tributary of the East Branch Delaware River, a main tributary of the Delaware River, approximately 44 miles long, in the U.S. state of New York.

John has been fly fishing for as long as he can remember. He caught his first trout on a fly he tied himself in 1965. He grew up in the Finger Lakes region of New York and was fishing the Catskill Rivers as soon as he could drive. Over the years John have fished for trout extensively across the US and has made several trips to England to fish the famous Chalk Streams and other rivers. He has been in the fly fishing business since 1985 and have managed fly shops, guided, and worked as a sales representative for Orvis, Cortland Line, and since 2008 with Hardy. Currently, he holds the position of Eastern Regional Fly Fishing Manager for Pure Fishing, the parent company of Hardy, Fenwick, and Hodgman.  His interest in fly tying goes back to boyhood. He is mostly self-taught but has studied many techniques over the years and have a special interest in reproducing traditional patterns. The Catskill style of dry flies was my first love, but in the past 15 years his focus has been on British wet flies. He also like to experiment with new patterns, but is a bit of a traditionalist in his use of materials and seldom incorporate synthetics into his flies, preferring natural silk, fur, and feathers. John has a special fascination for “Spiders” (Americans call them “Soft Hackles”), and enjoy tying and fishing these simple, elegant, and deadly flies. His other passion is collecting tackle and angling books. His “library” (which is getting out of hand!) is primarily devoted to books detailing the development of flies and tying techniques. John is a member of The Anglers’ Club of New York, The Flyfishers’ Club of London, The Theodore Gordon Fly Fishers, and The DeBruce Fly Fishing Club. Currently, he lives in southern New York State, just a few minutes from the Beaverkill and West Branch of the Delaware.


MARC ARONER at 11:00 a.m., The genesis of the Spinoza Rod Company dates to 1973, when, on the advice of friends, Marc Aroner walked into the Thomas & Thomas Rod Company in Greenfield, Massachusetts hoping to find someone who could repair his recently broken fiberglass fly rod. There he met bamboo rod makers Tom Maxwell and Tom Dorsey and found himself mesmerized by their craft. He returned often in the months that followed, culminating with the signing of an apprentice contract early that fall. He has been making bamboo fly rods professionally ever since.  After several decades, Marc produced his first prototype “Spinoza” – a model designed in the fashion of early bamboo makers. The response was fantastic, so not only did Marc agree to continue making them, but he also decided to introduce them as his flagship model. And so the Spinoza Rod Company was born, the product of four decades of classic rod building experience with a renewed emphasis on the craftsmanship from bamboo’s early golden era.

Marc’s presentation will be an hour of “story telling” on his experiences over the past 50 years of being a professional rod maker and what it takes to run a successful business in the fly-fishing industry.


BRYAN DONOWAY at 12 p.m., owner and operator of Flys in Disguise provides professional fly-fishing instruction and guided fly-fishing trips along the banks of the Gunpowder River in Northern Baltimore County located in Central Maryland.  The Gunpowder River watershed consists of several tributaries that provide cold clean water as well as Prettyboy Reservoir that supplies municipal water to Baltimore County and Baltimore City.  Being a tailwater system, the Gunpowder River offers a unique fly fishing experience only short drive from Baltimore and DC metro regions.

Bryan’s presentation will focus on tips and tactics used for catching trout on the Gunpowder River. He will discuss access, regulations, seasons and identifying seasonal hatches of insects and the flies that are used to imitate them while trying to fool wary trout in the cold waters of the Gunpowder.


Capt. Chris Karwacki at 1:00 p.m., Chesapeake on the Fly is a full saltwater fly fishing and light tackle guide service that runs charters on Tangier/Pocomoke Sounds and the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.  We specialize in shallow water angling on pristine grass flats, tidal creeks, and marshes.

Chris is a third-generation angler who has spent his entire life fishing the Chesapeake and the coastal bays of Maryland and Virginia. During the mid-90s he began fishing Tangier and Pocomoke Sounds almost exclusively in order to pursue the speckled trout and striped bass that thrive in the surrounding islands, marshes, and grass flats of the region.   To Chris, there is nothing more rewarding than providing a high-quality experience for his anglers.  Whether it is a first ever caught fish, or catching a trophy fish on the fly rod, anglers tend to fall in love with fishing in this beautiful and remote region of the Chesapeake Bay.

Join Chris and learn more about saltwater fishing on the fly!

BRIAN SHUMAKER at 2:00 p.m. is the owner of Susquehanna River Guides, specializing in fly-fishing for smallmouth bass on the Susquehanna River that runs through Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The Susquehanna River is a fertile limestone river and home to one of the best smallmouth fisheries in the East. This majestic river is rich in food, with rock ledges and wide shallow riffles laden with nymphs, crayfish and other foods. This environment ensures prolific hatches and rapid growth rates and holds the promise of thrilling smallmouth fishing!

Off the river, Brian is active with various organizations, including Smallmouth Alliance and Trout Unlimited, and has been a guest speaker for many local and regional organizations. Publications such as Fly Fish America have covered Susquehanna River Guides, as well as regional newspapers and publications.

This is a can’t miss presentation for those of you that love to fish for smallies!






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