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.