Chapter History

The Iroquois Chapter of Trout Unlimited officially began in the Central New York region in 1969 under the guidance of several local sportsmen.

At that time, the National Headquarters of Trout Unlimited was located  in Michigan and shortly thereafter moved to  Denver.  The Assistant  Director of T.U. National was John Wood.  Mr. Wood asked Frank Vadala, owner of Vad’s Sport Shop in Syracuse, N.Y., if he could gather a group together and start a chapter in the Central N. Y. region.  There were a handful who stepped up to the plate and began this chapter.

The  first officers were:   Les Gillette, President;   Joe Sadowski, VP;  Frank Vadala, Sec/Treas,; “Bud” Radigan, Gene White, Marv Goodfriend, Art Paolotti, Fred Noetcher and Tom Coe.

The first formal meeting was held on July 15, 1969.  At that time or shortly after, other chapters began in N. Y.  They were the Seth Green (Rochester) ;  Mohawk Valley ( Utica ) and the Upper Susquehanna Chapters.

The Iroquois Chapter was almost going to be called the “Tight Lines” Chapter, but the concensus was the name of Iroquois best suited the region. In 1970, Les Gillette & Frank Vadala initiated the first Annual Northeast Trout Forum. People from different states attended and it was a popular venue for years to come. Due to its many activities and achievements during the first few years

Iroquois was the first chapter to receive the Gold Trout Award (the highest chapter award) from TU National.

The Chapter has the honor of having three of its early members  hold office as National Directors: Les Gillette, Frank Vadala and Zane McFadden. Frank Vadala also held the office of TU’s N.E. Vice President.

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