SCOPE President’s Message

I hope this finds everyone enjoying the holiday spirit and finding time to get out and enjoy the woods, waters, fields, and streams. It’s a fast-paced time of year, but still one I enjoy and look forward to.

We’ve had a flurry of SCOPE activity regarding the 2024 Conference site. Pat Robertson and I are working one targeted area and Jim Mize and Phillip Hunt are working another. Progress has been favorable. 

Teaming up this way, we’re hoping to generate interest in a conference site for the next couple of years, instead of just 2024. Jim and Phillip have reached out to the Lake Hartwell Country tourism folks and have a meeting set for after the holidays to discuss options in that area. 

Pat and I met with Jenny Parrish, Director of the Olde English District Tourism group, last week and had a positive discussion. 

The Olde English District is huge, and encompasses everything from Rock Hill/York area and cross-country through Camden/Lugoff and beyond. The area extends to the Broad River to the west, likely a different stretch of that river than we enjoyed recently at our Lake Murray Conference. It goes east beyond the Catawba River, and includes lakes Wylie (SC portion) Wateree, and Fishing Creek. Some of the Catawba River areas are ideal for outdoor opportunities other than just fishing. Ms. Parrish seems wide open to helping us explore and tap into the many media opportunities in this area.

We’re planning to hopefully move forward in Jan., and factor in the response from Hartwell tourism folks. Ms. Parrish was genuinely excited about the possibilities of working with, and hosting, SCOPE. If we do go to this area, we’ll likely HQ in Chester, but that’s close to Rock Hill and central to the Olde English District, and should enable us to explore the natural resource opportunities in the area. 

We still have plenty of ‘stuff’ to do before we can make a final plan, but we’ve got a good start. 

Not many members have sent Tricia their “Views,” or “Media Reach” info (see Nov. 2023 President’s Message), so please help us with that. Some have sent them to me at my email, and that’s fine, too. I can say for certainty that even using the older, estimated “Views” number for SCOPE collectively was eye-opening (in a good way) for Jenny Parrish at Olde English District tourism. And Board members feel comfortable that the old estimate is a rather conservative figure. If you have any questions, just email me at

Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays to all SCOPE members, families, and friends. And for that matter… to everyone, everywhere.

Terry Madewell, Co-President 2023/2024 

Almost a fly-fishing story

I had gone to Santee Cooper in early June with the intention of catching bluegill on my fly rod. Fishing with Kevin Davis out of Blacks Camp, I had no doubts my host would put me on fish. My objective was to fish spawning beds in a few feet of water with a popper and wet-fly dropper.

I feel obligated to digress here and mention my passion for catching bluegill on their spawning beds. I don’t need to keep them other than the occasional mess, but a bluegill is just a fun fish to catch. They smack flies like they are tasting them, almost licking their lips, and then those panfish fight with a passion that belies their size.

In short, during spring and early summer, I often drive past trout streams to get to a good bluegill pond. Among my bad habits, this one can hardly be held against me.

As is typically my dilemma, I was a week early on the spawn and the fish were mostly in deep water still. Kevin managed to find some fish for me I could reach in shallow water with these flies, but the challenge had been issued by my finny friends so I was determined to try again with flies that could go deep.

Through the summer I tied weighted versions of bugs that catch bluegill. Clousers with oversized barbells and nymphs with enough weight to drop like cannonballs filled my fly box. I leaned slightly to one side when I put the box in my pocket.

Then, I rigged my fly rod with a longer leader and fluorocarbon tippet, thinking that I could still get by with a floating line. In ten feet of water, my line tip might work like a strike indicator when I got a bite.

Pedro looked at my fly rod and asked, “What do you plan to do with that?”

The next chance I got to chase deepwater bluegill came during our South Carolina Outdoor Press Association conference at Santee Cooper. This one was held in October and I expected the bluegill to be deep, most likely around brush. We had lined up plenty of guides to get our media members on the lake, so I was confident of getting a ride in a panfishing boat. I guessed wrong.

As it turns out, I was assigned to chase catfish with Captain John Smith, who goes by “Pedro.” He never said how he got his nickname, but I’m guessing the Pocahontas jokes got old. As I stepped onto his boat, he took one look at my fly rod and said, “What do you plan to do with that?”

You can read the rest of this award-winning story, written by Jim Mize, by clicking here to visit