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Welcome to Chicago's Own TU Chapter ...

The Elliott Donnelley chapter of Trout Unlimited (EDTU) is Chicago’s Trout Unlimited chapter. It was the first chapter outside the founding state of Michigan.

Many, if not all, of our active members are avid flyfishers. This will be apparent when you attend one of our meetings (please do!). Be prepared to see a few photos!

But you also will sense the passion we have for ensuring that the fisheries we love are restored to or maintained at their full potential. We work actively with other chapters of TU, local DNRs, land owners, and municipalities to achieve results that benefit all. We take great pride not only in the results we help to achieve but in the friendships we have built with local residents where we have been active. We raise money for conservation projects, and we lend our labor to stream restoration projects across the Midwest.

Please join us for our next meeting. Meet the committed, fun-loving members of our chapter and consider becoming an active member. Men and women from all walks of life are very welcome here!

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Meet Elliott Donnelley, Our Chapter's Namesake ...

We are very proud to have our Chapter named after Elliott Donnelley (1903-75), a conservationist and business leader who was an instrumental figure in the early development and growth of Trout Unlimited.

Elliott had boundless energy and sincere devotion to a range of civic concerns, ranging from conservation to the disadvantaged in our society. He was active in his local community, Lake Forest, where he served as mayor and as an alderman. He served on the boards of hospitals, schools, and universities, the Chicago Zoological Society, the Nature Conservancy, and others. In addition, to fly fishing, he had a passion for steam locomotives and equipment and served on the board of The La Porte County Historical Steam Society. Since the age of 25, he was involved in boy’s clubs and was later responsible for the creation of the Chicago Youth Centers.


He also was a respected leader in Chicago’s business community. He played a vital role in his family’s printing business, R. R. Donnelley and Sons, serving 20 years on the board of directors and serving as Vice Chairman.

Elliott joined Trout Unlimited in 1962. He served as a National Director and, in 1969, became President of TU. After serving his 2-year term, he was elected Chairman of the Board for another 2 years. He continued to serve on the Board until his passing in 1975. The shift of TU’s focus to advocacy was his vision. He moved TU’s headquarters from Colorado to Washington, D.C. He also pledged to fund personally the first year’s operating budget in Washington.

He was unendingly generous in his support of TU and conservation. On more than one year, his donations exceeded the amount contributed to the operating budget by membership revenue. He personally donated stream restoration funds under TU’s name. The Living Brightwater Trust, enabling stream restoration by TU chapters, is an outgrowth of his early personal initiatives.

His generosity should not disguise his belief that ultimately the success of TU is up to each of us. As he said, "Trout Unlimited is your organization, and whatever it can accomplish is up to every member.” Our Chapter is always striving to honor his memory and live up to his ideals. 

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