We lost a local advocate and passionate fly fisher this week. Joe Mitchell, one of the founding members of SJRVFF passed away this week. Joe’s passion was anything fly fishing, any fish, anywhere and especially cold water streams. Pictured here, he spent a long time talking with Kevin, an active/wounded military personnel brought out to our Tie-a-thon by Project Healing Waters from Walter Reed Hospital for support of our Tie-a-thon back in 2011. Joe’s enthusiasm for conservation and spreading the love of fly fishing went unmatched. Joe will be greatly missed by fish and fly fishers alike.I have some great memories of running into Joe and his brother-in-law, Karl Glander, on the Au Sable and the Muskegon, and Joe coming down to Leeper in later years to “kibitz” Marshall and me. Always pleasant and fun.
-John Carr He was a friend to every member of the club, and often the face of the club. He was always interested in what John (P) was doing, especially after he started at Rutgers. A sad day, passing of the guard.
-Tim PoteMy oldest son helped work on the first Dowagiac creek stream project back in 1988 when he was 9 years old. Over the years Joe would always ask about him and how he was doing, where he was working, and the last few years how his own children were doing. I guess Anthony made an impression on him that day that lasted Joe’s lifetime. Somewhere I have a picture of Joe and Anthony spreading straw on the Russ Forest lunker structure. Joe was all about kids, trout, and the SJRVFF. He will be greatly missed…… -Eric Wroblewski He was the first person I met in regards to the club at an expo downtown in South Bend many years ago. He was doing a demo on Lunker structures. I would see him many times at Dodd park sitting on a bench, always willing to share his wisdom, particularly about Striper fishing on the east coast which he said were his early home waters. I have a close friend in Mass. that I do that with and his advise was as always right on. Great guy and a big loss. -Jim Gibson Not everyone knows that Joe was an Adjunct Professor of Biology at Valparaiso University. He and I co-taught a river restoration course for several summers. Here we are with our first class. We only attracted a few students then because we “camped out” at the Conservation Club and at Dick Hall’s for two weeks. Most kids didn’t want that degree of involvement, but a few did. Of course, Joe and I loved it! -Grayson Davis