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Autumn 2013 - Winter 2014 • $3


Conserving, Restoring & Educating Through Fly Fishing








Conserving Restoring • Educating The International Federation of Fly Fishers Name:_______________________________________________ Mailing Address:_ ______________________________________ ____________________________________________________ Phone: ________________ E-mail:_ _______________________ m Individuals - $35 m Senior - $25 m Youth - $15 m Family: $45 m Life: $500 m Canadians add $5 for postage m International add $10 for postage Enclose check or provide credit card information: Credit Card #__________________________Exp Date______ Authorized Signature__________________________________ Return to: International Federation of Fly Fishers _ 5237 US Highway 89 South, Suite 11, Livingston, MT 59047 SM

Join by sending in the form above or online at 406-222-9369

make a difference at the store

When you make a purchase from the IFFF online_ store, you support the sport you love and the natural resources you cherish. IFFF merchandise not only helps the cause of the IFFF financially, but clothing, decals and patches increase awareness of the organization that serves to conserve, restore and educate for the future of fly fishing. And, of course, YOU benefit from the fabulous book and DVD resources and all the_ items available at the IFFF online store. Make a purchase, make a difference. It’s a win-win situation for all.

fishing Photo courtesy, others courtesy Pat Oglesby

Anywhere fly fishers have an interest, the IFFF can and does play a role. Join others who are dedicated to the betterment of the sport of fly fishing – Join the IFFF.


Battle for Bristol Bay The campaign to stop the Pebble Mine makes some headway, but the fight continues. By Scott Hed





Smallmouth Lunkers A fisher’s database holds clues to catching the really big ones. By John Johnson. Plus: Flies for lunker smallmouth.


Autumn River Crappies


This feisty fall fish may become an annual obsession. By Terry and Roxanne Wilson


IFFF Directors and Officers Just Fishing: Hooked for Life I Am a Member Meet Dave Ford and Paul Beckmann

Home Waters Fly fishing news and notes

Below the Fabled ‘Holy Waters’ Find solitude and a great warmwater fishery on the lower Au Sable River. By Derek LeRoy

18 39

Book Reviews Fly Fishing Fair Recap Biology on the Fly Bass and bream in Florida’s Big Bend

COVER PHOTO: Intrigued by a wet fly, this bluegill sunfish was pulled from its lily pad cover for a quick photo by angler and photographer Doug Stamm ( In this issue you’ll find several articles providing pan fishing tips starting on page 34 where you’ll enjoy some fall crappie magic with Terry and Roxanne Wilson.


Focus on the Fly Historic trout flies for warmwater species

45 THIS PAGE: Coho salmon are a prized game fish in the rivers of Bristol Bay. The fight against the proposed Pebble Mine gained some ground recently. See story, page 27. Photo by Bob Bolger

C o n s e r v i nMagazine g, Resto i n gInternational a n d E d u c aFederation t i n g T h rof o uFly g h Fishers F l y F i•s hAutumn ing ofr the 2013 - Winter 2014 Volume 46, No. 2



At the Vise The Western Coachman


Fly Tips Do-It-Yourself Peacock Chenille


Fly Box Realistic flies for warmwater fish


Casting The Belgian Cast for Large Flies


Woman’s Outlook Golden Bones


Fishing Humor It’s Not Easy Being a Bad Fly Fisher.


Fly Fishing Heritage The Unexpected Fly Tier


Photo Contest Winners from the 2013 Fly Fishing Fair

Conserving, Restoring and Educating Through Fly Fishing

IFFF Directors and Officers Board of Directors & Executive Committee SM

International Federation of Conserving, Restoring, Educating Through Fly Fishing

Exec. Comm • Chairman of the Board/ President • Philip Greenlee 530-356-9430 • 1911 Bechelli Ln., Redding, CA 96002

David Diaz • 205-444-0921 2504 Chuchura Drive Birmingham, AL 35244

Exec. Comm • First Vice President Frank Johnson • 307-672-5164 11 Spring Creek Lane, Sheridan, WY, 82801

Scott Erickson • 403 752-4801 PO Box 1145 Raymond, AB T0K 2S0 Canada

Exec. Comm • Secretary • Herb Kettler 434-977-6703 • 809 Winston Ter. Charlottesville, VA 22903

Conservation Director • Glenn Erikson 917-817-9014 5440 State Highway 30, Long Flat, NY, 13756

Exec. Comm • Treasurer • Finance Committee Chair • Ron Winn 321-723-3141 • 2103 Grant Place, Melbourne, FL 32901

Don Gibbs • 303-526-9256 108 Chokecherry Rd. Golden, CO 80401

Exec. Comm. • Marvin Cash 704-759-6788 • 7155 Chameroy Court Charlotte, NC 28270

Soon Lee • 909-731-8361 2380 Sunset Curve Upland, CA 71784

IF F F H e a d q u a r t e r s

International Federation of Fly Fishers 5237 U.S. Highway 89 South, Ste.11 Livingston, MT 59047-9176 (406) 222-9369 • fax (406) 222-5823 President/CEO: Philip Greenlee • Operations Manager: Rhonda Sellers • Education Coordinator (Fair/Clubs & Councils): Jessica Atherton • Administrative Assistant (Donations/Social Media/Guides Assn/Retailers): Judy Snyder • Program Coordinator (Casting/Conservation/Museum): Holly Sandbo • Membership Coordinator: Gay Penney • Receptionist/Merchandise: Nikki Loy • Bookkeeper: Sharon Cebulla • Flyfisher

Exec. Comm. • Fly Fishing Fair Steering Committee Chair • Tilda Evans 970-683-8879 • 3602 “G” Rd., Palisade, CO 81526

Editor-in-Chief: Bill Toone

Exec. Comm. • Bud Frasca 208-762-2631 • 2699 E Packsaddle Dr. Coeur d’Alene, ID 83815

Flyfisher is published for the IFFF by: Keokee Co. Publishing, Inc. 405 Church Street, Sandpoint, ID 83864 (208) 263-3573 • fax (208) 263-4045•

Exec. Comm. – Government Relations Chair Howard Malpass • 318-780-3739 5825 Southern Ave., Shreveport, LA 71106

Publisher: Chris Bessler Editors: Al and Gretchen Beatty Art Director/Designer: Jackie Palmer Copy Editor: Billie Jean Gerke Editorial Assistant: Beth Hawkins Advertising Director: Clint Nicholson

Exec. Comm. • Legal Counsel (not a member of the BOD) •Jim Schramm 231-869-5487• P.O. Box 828, Pentwater, MI 49449

Magazine of the International Federation of Fly Fishers

Flyfisher is the official publication of the International Federation of Fly Fishers, published two times a year and distributed by mail and online free to members. Send membership inquiries, fees and change of address notices to the IFFF Headquarters in Livingston, Montana, at the address above. Flyfisher is produced for the IFFF by Keokee Co. Publishing, Inc. Address all editorial and advertising correspondence to the address at left. Contents of Flyfisher copyright © 2013 by the International Federation of Fly Fishers. Written permission required to reprint articles. “IFFF & Reel Design” is a service mark (sm) of the International Federation of Fly Fishers. The next Flyfisher editorial deadline is February 20, 2014.

PRINTED IN THE USA Please remember to recycle this magazine and any other appropriate material.


Flyfisher Autumn 2013 - Winter 2014

Exec. Comm. • IFFF Foundation President • Mike Stewart 860-653-4203 • 215 Loomis St., North Granby, CT 06060 Exec. Comm • Flyfisher Editor in Chief Bill Toone • 406-556-7241 198 Game Trail Rd., Bozeman, MT 59715 Exec. Comm. • Senior Conservation Advisor • Rick Williams 208-938-9004 • 524 West Two Rivers Dr., Eagle, ID 83616 David Barron • 608-585-2239 32491 Jaquish S Rd. Richland Center, WI 53581

David Lemke • 713-839-2572 4002 Aberdeen Way Houston, TX 77025 Bob Long • 208-520-5055 1002 Webster St. Clarkston, WA 99403 Kuni Masuda • 360-573-3310 2115 NW 116th St. Vancouver, WA 98685 Rick Pope • 214-507-8967 8105 Sovereign Row Dallas, TX 75247 Al Ritt • 303-678-9709 12492 Wasatch Rd. Longmont, CO 80504 Membership Co-Chair • Carl Ronk 909-560-6041 • 8961 Whirlaway Ct. Alta Loma, CA 91737 Museum Committee Chair • Sherry Steele 541-549-2072 • 69077 Chestnut Pl Sisters, OR 97759 Jeff Wagner • 970-481-5887 2446 Coronado Ct Sidney, NE 69162 Membership Co-Chair • Len Zickler 509-720-3228 • 328 West Jay Ave. Spokane, WA 99218

Chesapeake: Marty Laksbergs 703-282-0931 • 6718 Catskill Rd. Lorton, VA 22079

Oregon: Sherry Steele 541-420-5532 • P.O. Box 1438 Sisters, OR 97759

Eastern Rocky Mountain: Pat Oglesby 970-434-3912 • 3095 Evanston Ave. Grand Junction, CO 81504

South Eastern: Marvin S. Cash 704-759-6788 • 7155 Chameroy Ct. Charlotte, NC 28270

Florida: Tom Gadacz 727-360-8030 • 5353 Gulf Blvd. A-201 St. Petersburg, Florida 33706

Southern: Larry Wegmann 314-623-3933 • 5619 S Roanoke Ave. Springfield, MO 65810-2725

Great Lakes: Jim Schramm 231-869-5487 • P.O. Box 828 Pentwater, MI 49449

Southwest: Michael Schweit 818-601-9702 • 7933 Jellico Ave. Northridge, CA 91325

Gulf Coast: Kyle Moppert 225-343-0867 • 2170 Terrace Ave. Baton Rouge, LA 70806

Texas: Russell Husted 972-567-4155 • 3416 Jerry Ln. Arlington, TX 76017

North Eastern: Leslie Wrixon 508-733-8535 • 37 Abbott St. Beverly, MA 01915

Upper Midwest Council: Todd Heggestad 218-310-9182 • 4835 Howard Gnesen Rd., #103 Duluth, MN 55803

Northern California: Ken Brunskill 510-793-7913 • 4731 Mildred Dr. Fremont, CA 94536

Washington: Carl Johnson 425-308-6161 • P.O. Box 1206 Monroe, WA 98272

Ohio: Jim Stone 419-347-1826 • 116 West Park Dr. Shelby, OH 44875

Western Rocky Mountain: Michael L. Bantam 208-323-5560 • 11896 Cedarstone St., Boise, ID 83709

THE INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF FLY FISHERS HAS MEMBERS IN THE FOLLOWING COUNTRIES: Argentina Australia Austria Bahamas Belgium Belize Bermuda Canada Chile Croatia Denmark Finland France Germany Hungary Iceland Indonesia Ireland Israel Italy Japan Korea Latvia

Lithuania Luxembourg Malaysia Netherlands New Zealand Norway Peru Poland Romania Russia Serbia Singapore Slovenia South Korea South Africa Spain Sweden Switzerland Taiwan Ukraine United Kingdom United States


























The International Federation of Fly Fishers represents the interests of fly fishers across the United States through its regional councils. Much of the IFFF’s most important work is carried out through its regional councils and the fly fishing clubs in those regions. If you’re a fly fisher, stay in touch with the activities of your council – and get involved!











Chesapeake (PA-WV-VA-MD-DE) Eastern Rocky Mtn (WY-CO-NM-AZ) Florida Gulf Coast (LA-MS-AL) Great Lakes (MI-IN) Northern California (CA-NV-HI) North East (NY-VT-NH-ME-MA-RI-CT-NJ**) Ohio O

Oregon South East (KY-TN-NC-SC-GA-AL-FL) Southern (NE-IA-KS-MO-IL-OK-AR) Southwest (CA-NV) Texas Upper Midwest (MN-WI-IL) Washington (WA-AK) Western Rocky Mtn (UT-ID-MT-ND-SD*)

*Parts of southwestern Canada included in Western Rocky Mountain Council. **Parts of southeastern Canada included in North East Council.

Flyfisher Autumn 2013 - Winter 2014


Conserving, Restoring and Educating Through Fly Fishing

Council Presidents

Conserving, Restoring and Educating Through Fly Fishing

Just Fishing HOOKED FOR LIFE Traveling the Fly Fishing Path By Philip Greenlee, Chairman of the Board of Directors


vate Antelope also look in another direction toward elcome and thanks to all Creek Ranch hunting, whether it is for upland birds who have chosen to be located near or larger animals. For me, fall means members of the Tennant, getting out my favorite rod and going International Federation of Fly Fishers California. steelhead fishing, while in the back of (IFFF). If you are patient and particiThe ranch is my mind I am thinking about who is pate in IFFF activities, you will soon loaded with a going to win the college championship. realize the benefits of membership. steelhead Recently the International Fly Fly fishing often hooks you for the strain of large rainbows; the successful Fishing Fair was held in West rest of your life. While traveling the fly bidder will certainly enjoy that trip. Yellowstone, Montana. This year fishing path, I have encountered some The drift boat will fit on the back of turned out to be a positive event for of the best people the world has to any pickup truck, is 17 feet long and us, even though we had some light offer. For example, the other day I was only weighs 315 pounds. It is easy to snow and wind. The outdoor classes talking with a gentleman from Denver, assemble and can make your outdoor were not cancelled though, and the Colorado, who, after not being a experience much more enjoyable, so fishing was outstanding with many member of the IFFF for eight years, stay tuned for more information on people catching large trout. I was worwanted to return to the organization. when and how it will be sold. ried about our casting instructors Why? “I miss the people and the At the annual meeting of the teaching in unpredictable weather confriends you make being a member,” Board of Directors, we enjoyed a conditions. I have to take my hat off to he said. The IFFF also supports conservation presentation by a rancher them; they performed magnificently in servation and teaches fly fishing with a from the upper Klamath Basin in a challenging situation. focus on casting, fly tying, education southern Oregon. He reported on a One of our supporters, The Fly and restoration. successful project focused on saving Shop in Redding, California, made a The Federation has 16 councils the native redband rainbow trout. A major contribution by donating an that cover the entire United States. In group of ranchers came together to reinflatable drift boat to sell at a future addition we have 387 members in 44 create the natural flow of the Sprague date plus a two-night stay at their priother countries and have IFFF certified River, a tributary to the casting instructors in 17 Williamson River that countries. Join an IFFF empties into the club that will expose Klamath Lake and you to the grassroots eventually becomes the components of fly fishKlamath River in ing. Headquartered in California. The ranchLivingston, Montana, ers were aware of riverthe IFFF staff supports bank damage created membership, clubs and by their cattle. A large councils throughout the monetary donation by world. The Federation the Klamath Fish and has become the fly fishWildlife Service made ing voice of the world, the streamside restoraand its motto is “All tion possible. When finfish in all waters.” We ished with the restoramembers all have sometion, the Sprague River thing in common: We will become part of our love to be on the water. IFFF Adopt a River Fall is upon us. program. This beautiful season In August, I had can influence our time the pleasure of attendspent outdoors. We can ing a rendezvous sponchoose to go fishing for sored by the Western trout, stripers or Rocky Mountain Atlantic salmon, or say Council on a private “the heck with all of ranch near Rigby, this” and go watch our The Western Rocky Mountain Council rendezvous in August featured a fun fly casting event. Idaho. The program favorite high school or lineup included casting college game. We can


Flyfisher Autumn 2013 - Winter 2014

Conserving, Restoring and Educating Through Fly Fishing

certification, fly tying instruction, vendors, Spey casting demonstrations, and a fun fly casting event in which a drift boat on a trailer was hooked to a small quad runner. Participants were towed down a road that had hula hoops positioned at 20 casting targets. It was a tough but fun course, and one contestant came close to a perfect score by hitting 19 of the hoops. In October, I attended the Florida Council Expo at Crystal Springs, Florida. The event was well attended with 500 attendees taking classes in fly casting and tying new fly patterns. Flip Pallot and Chico Fernandez gave twoday seminars on saltwater fly fishing. These men have been partners for 50 years, having met when they were in grade school. The atmosphere and the grounds, plus the Southern plantationstyle architecture, gave the event a special ambiance. Council President Tom Gadacz and his committee hit one out of the ballpark with this great event. Over this past year the IFFF office in Livingston has been rearranging some parts of our museum collection to maximize space for new donations. They have also been planning the 2014 Fly Fishing Fair to be held in Livingston, Montana, the first week in August. It will feature some new events such as square dancing, horseback riding and horseshoe pitching, plus a new location for the President’s award dinner and auction – the beautiful Paradise Valley’s music barn – eight miles down Highway 89 South. Looking farther still down the road, the 2015 Fly Fishing Fair will be in Oregon at one of two locations. We are still in negotiations and will let you know when a final decision is made. The 2016 Fair might be in Vail, Colorado, at the same time as various world casting events. Their function could dovetail with ours, giving us the opportunity to show off our IFFF Casting Group and gain exposure for the world of fly fishing. Our future looks bright with many opportunities. I’ll keep you posted as they mature.

Put It There! Looking for a great way to promote your club? Put your name on Mill Stream’s American-made, classic boxes! Great for fundraising, membership gifts and donations. Call, email or fax us for a catalog, pricelist and club terms.



ph 603-647-4003 • fax 603-647-8097 • Can’t find Mill Stream at a shop nearby?!

Flyfisher Autumn 2013 - Winter 2014


Conserving, Restoring and Educating Through Fly Fishing

I am a Member PAUL BECKMANN Residence

Mendota Heights,


IFFF Council

Upper Midwest, current

Fly Tying Chair

Member since Joined IFFF in the early 1980s through the Lew Jewett Chapter of the IFFF in the St. Paul area, and became a life member in the early 1990s. Home waters Hay Creek near Redwing, Minnesota; Kinnickinnic River near River Falls, Wisconsin Favorite fish They are all great. Memorable fishing experience One of my favorite fly tying books is Darrel Martin’s “Fly Tying Methods” and has been since it was published

in 1987. Meeting him in person at the 2012 IFFF Conclave as his student, and learning to make hooks and furled horsehair “snoods,” was an experience of a lifetime!

Reason for being a member The IFFF has provided an avenue for me to meet new people and learn from them, to give back through teaching, and to help preserve and protect our priceless fisheries.

What others say Upper Midwest Council President Todd Heggestad tells us: Paul is passionate about fly tying. He has organized fly tying events in the Twin Cities area, and through the Upper Midwest Council is able to organize events throughout the region.

DAVE FORD Residence Fair Oaks, California IFFF Council Northern California Member since 1994 Home waters American River Favorite fish Steelhead Memorable fishing experience Wetting a line in free American trout waters after years in Germany, where all the waters are “owned.”

Reason for being a member When it came time to retire from the Army, I sought an area with fishing opportunities, and the Sacramento area became the top choice. I joined California Fly Fishers Unlimited, and have been a member for more than 30 years. I worked on the club’s study of the American River, which opened my eyes to fisheries conservation issues. That led to an appointment as the conservation vice president of the NCCFFF, then to other council positions. Now retired, I remain involved


Flyfisher Autumn 2013 - Winter 2014

in fisheries conservation and club outreach.

What others say Philip Greenlee, IFFF president and chairman of the board, said: I have known Dave Ford 20-some years. He has been a president of NCCFFF and a strong conservation supporter of the IFFF. He was and still is a person you can count on. He attends all of the meetings and has taught many people to fish and encourages them to join the IFFF. He organizes various expo events and has shared his cabin on an annual basis with IFFF members.

Does your council or club have an individual you would like to be considered for a future “I Am a Member” Profile? If so, please e-mail Bill Toone, Flyfisher Editor-in-Chief, at with your consideration. Please include a brief bio (25 to 40 words) along with the reason you feel this person exemplifies the best of the Federation of Fly Fishers.

Home Waters To supp or tion, re t any IFFF con storatio servan progra m, plea or education se mak deducti ea Int’l Fed ble contributio tax n to: eration 5237 U o .S. Hwy f Fly Fishers . 89 Livingsto n, MT 5 S., Ste. 11 9047-9 176



in other states. opened an early October e-mail While EAB is the most devand read these words with astating forest pest insect to be dread: “This is a day I was hopintroduced to the United States, it ing would never happen.” Invasive is far from the only one. If they emerald ash borers (EAB) had become established, Asian longbeen discovered in Colorado. For horned beetles (ALB) will have the past decade, emerald ash bora far more serious impact. ALB ers have been devastating forests in attack many types of deciduous the eastern United States, and a trees and could have a devastatmajor effort is focused on reducing ing impact on our economy and their spread. Unfortunately, they environment. are now in the Rockies and we all Forest pests are moved in hope that wood, and we all have the potenearly The invasive emerald ash borer is doing severe You can help conserve, tial to spread the problem. The and damage to forests. restore and protect our biggest concern for anglers and effecprecious fisheries. Read the outdoor recreationists is the movement of firewood. While tive action in Colorado will red patch at the top of the many of us carry our wood when we go camping, it is time keep them contained. page to read how. for us to stop. Never move firewood with you when you go First discovered in the United camping – buy it or gather it where you burn it! States in 2002, the natural range of In addition, fly anglers can be a potent weapon in the the EAB is eastern Russia, northeffort to control pest insects. The key to combatting a forest ern China, Japan and Korea. They pest is to spot them as soon after introduction as possible. If likely came to the U.S. through the we find the insects when they are confined to a small area, transport of larval beetles in wooden we have a very good chance of eradicating them. packing or crating materials. Adults Unfortunately many people are not educated to be able to are small (about ½ inch), iridescent green properly spot and report the insects. beetles that lay their eggs on a tree. The However, fly anglers are not like other people. We newly hatched larvae burrow into the cambium spend more time looking at bugs and knowing what we see layer, where they feed on the soft wood tissues. Their than just about anyone. If you are anything like me, interestfeeding disrupts the flow of water and nutrients and typing bugs catch your attention no matter where you see them. ically kills the tree. The beetle has killed tens of millions of Since we are already looking at bugs, why not do so for a ash trees in Michigan and is rapidly having the same impact

Index of Articles Invasive Species are Devastating Our Forests . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 IFFF Foundation Is Moving Forward . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 A Birthday to Celebrate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11 Awards Announcement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11

Rosborough Fly Plates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 IFFF Museum Hosts Post-Fair Visitors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 Fly Tying Directory on IFFF Website . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13 Fly Tying Achievement Award Introduced . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13 Boys Scouts of America Recognizes IFFF Member . . . . . . . . . . .14 Obituaries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15

Flyfisher Autumn 2013 - Winter 2014


Invasive Species



Continued from page 9


good cause? The IFFF has partnered with the Invasive Species Action Network (ISAN) in an effort to teach fly anglers

The emerald ash borer is a tiny insect. Compare the size of a penny to the ash borer’s doorway into a tree. Above right, a male Asian long-horned beetle and a fly pattern designed by Al and Gretchen Beatty replicating the invasive insect.

to recognize and report potential pests. We are using fly tying demonstrations to teach about the problem and the pest. A number of the country’s best fly tiers have helped develop realistic imitations of Asian long-horned beetles, and in 2013 demonstration tiers tied the patterns at several leading fly fairs. We need your help! We are seeking tiers to conduct demonstrations in all areas of the country, and are looking for tiers willing to tie some flies to donate to the program. ISAN has developed a Fly Tiers Handbook that fully describes the program and tells you how to get involved. Find more information about the program by contacting ISAN at 406-222-7270 or e-mail

By Gretchen Beatty


he IFFF Foundation is alive and functioning. The main purpose of this article is to provide our IFFF members with a general description of their Foundation and the purposes of the various endowed accounts. The IFFF Foundation was incorporated in 1995 as a 501(c)3 public charitable foundation. All gifts to the Foundation are exempt from federal income taxes. The purpose is to have a vehicle for donors to make long-term gifts in support of IFFF objectives of conservation, restoration and education projects and programs. Only the

Terry and Roxanne Wilson Authors, speakers available for club events and shows. Slide shows, seminars, and tying demonstrations. Warmwater fly fishing. (largemouth and smallmouth bass, bluegill, and other species) • 417-777-2467


investment income earnings are used; no principal is distributed, thereby building and providing a continuing source of grant funds. This is an ideal way for you to support the IFFF in your estate planning. As of December 31, 2012, the total of all the accounts managed by the Foundation was $193,456.67 with $24,821.19 available for various grants/awards. This amount is allocated to various funds based on the designation given at the time of the donation. Each fund’s purpose is as described below. The Gary LaFontaine Scholarship Fund established the LaFontaine Aquatic Entomology Scholarship to be given to a graduate student (MS or PhD) doing a research project in aquatic entomology. The Ralph Moon Fly Fishing Discovery Fund supports our collections, museum work, library and gallery. The Scott Sanditen Youth Projects Fund earnings will be used to support youth-oriented education projects sponsored by Federation clubs. The Stanley Lloyd Conservation award is for IFFF clubs working on conservation projects related to fisheries enhance-

Flyfisher Autumn 2013 - Winter 2014

Your editors Al and Gretchen Beatty have joined Bob Wiltshire and his staff at ISAN in their battle to identify and eradicate these invasive species. We’ve committed to tie 50 ALB flies for Wiltshire to distribute as awareness educational tools. What can you do? An e-mail or phone call to Bob with your commitment or to volunteer to demonstrate tying these bugs would be a very good first step.


IFFF FOUNDATION IS MOVING FORWARD This is a rare opportunity to make a big difference by doing something we enjoy. Fly anglers and fly tiers have a unique opportunity to make a difference, and I invite you all to join the effort!

Mike Stewart from North Granby, Connecticut is an accomplished fly fisher, fly tier and the new president of the IFFF Foundation.

ment and preservation. The Virginia Buszek Perry Fly Tyers Assistance Award is a cash grant of $250 to help pay the expenses of a flytier to attend the International Fly Fishing Fair who would otherwise not be able to attend. There is a Pooled Account that is to be used for IFFF discretionary, educational, youth, conservation and Fly Fishing Discovery programs. And finally the Restricted Account that is to be used for youth education. We will provide more details about grant requirements and projects and programs in subsequent articles. Our goal is to answer your questions regarding the Foundation. Send your comments to Gretchen Beatty is a longtime Federator from Boise, Idaho. She joined the Foundation team in September 2013.

A BIRTHDAY TO CELEBRATE The Tasmanian Brown Trout


By Peter Hayes


rown trout are like panthers – they move in a deliberate and stealthy way until the prey is within striking distance. In a flash, they pounce – and in crystal-clear water you can see it all happen as they consume mayflies, caddis, damsels and dragonflies. Tasmanian fly fishers are arguably the best “polaroiders” in the world and rate it as the highest art – seeing the prey before they see you. This is when they turn the tables on the trout, and it is not the mayfly that is the prey, it’s the trout, and you (the angler) are the hunter. For fly fishers it is about presentation and speed. Being a good caster can give a definite advantage. And sight-fishing to large brown trout is not just exciting but is often the most successful method. Tasmania has what is regarded by many as the purest strain of brown trout in the world. They were not always there, though. In 1864, after several unsuccessful attempts, Tasmanians developed the technology (if you could call it that back in the mid-19th century) that enabled trout and salmon eggs to be delivered over a journey of many months, through the equator and into a different hemisphere. This method led the way for rainbow trout to be relocated from California to New Zealand, then onto Australia. Both countries have some of the best fly fishing for wild trout popu-

Lindsay Martine with a very large Australian brown trout.

lations on the planet thanks to those early Tasmanian pioneers. The first brown trout was born in Tasmanian waters on May 4, 1864. Tasmanian fly fishers have always celebrated this date with a birthday party, but 2014 is different. This is the 150th year of trout in Tasmania and great events have been planned around the state including celebrating the opening May 4, 2013, of the Australian Fly Fishing Museum at Clarendon in Tasmania. It is the only fly fishing museum in the Southern Hemisphere, and many plans are being made for its future – including a casting pool. Come and visit us any time and catch some wild brown trout in a sight-fishing environment with a dry fly. Then drink a toast to one of the purest strains of wild brown trout on the planet. Peter Hayes is an International Federation of Fly Fishers Casting Board of Governors, master casting instructor and a Tasmanian Fly Fishing Guide member. To learn more about him and his business, visit


At the request of many fellow fly tiers, Dena and Jerome Hebert created this book. It contains over 50 different fly tying techniques and step-by-step photos with instructions for tying over a dozen fly patterns. Jerome developed and used these patterns as a fly fishing guide pursuing Bass, Crappie, and large Bluegill, in 1995-2005.

Books are available at 337-330-8051


PARKWAY MOTEL Surrounded by blue-ribbon water and great hunting!

• In-room coffee • Pets accepted • Grassy BBQ area • HBO TV • Quiet location

• High-speed wireless internet • Micro/fridge in all rooms • Kitchenettes available • Two-room suites • All ground floor rooms

1124 W. Park, Livingston, MT 59047

800-727-7217 • 406-222-3840

By Don Simonson The Casting Board of Governors (CBOG) would like to remind the membership that it’s time to submit nominations for the 2014 CBOG Awards. Those awards include the Lifetime Achievement in Fly Casting Instruction, the Mel Krieger Fly Casting Instructor, Governor’s Mentoring and the Governor’s Pin. To learn more about the criteria of the awards and the nomination process, go to the IFFF website From there go to the Casting drop-down menu selec-

tion and follow History & Governance to Casting BOG Awards. The hyperlink to the form to submit your candidate is located at the bottom of the page. Please nominate your candidate before March 25, 2014, by sending the completed form to the CBOG Awards CoChair Don Simonson using the e-mail address on the form OR to the International Federation of Fly Fishers office at the provided e-mail address or U.S. Postal address. Please notice, the deadline is March 25, 2014.

Flyfisher Autumn 2013 - Winter 2014




Marriott’s Fly Fishing Fair Fullerton, California.

December 2013 First Fly Fishing Fundraising 7 Veterans Fremont, California. Lakes Council Fly Tying Expo. 7 Great Holt, Michigan.

January 2014 Idaho Fly Fishing Expo 11-12 Western Boise, Idaho, Ohio Fly Fishing Expo 18 Northern Kirkland, Ohio.

February 2014 Cincinnati Fly Fishing Show 1 Greater Loveland, Ohio. Southwest Council FlyBuy IV. Long Beach Casting 8 Club Northern California Council Hall of Fame Dinner 22 Fremont, California.

March 2014 Fly Fishing Show. Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Center. 1-2 Convention NW Fly Tyer and Fly Fishing Expo 7-9 Albany, Oregon. Council Fly Fishing School 7-9 Southern Norfolk, Arkansas. Roundup. Mountain Home, 20-22 Sowbug Arkansas. Casters Rendezvous 28-29 Fly Williamsport, Maryland.

April 2014 Council Fly Fishing School 11-13 Southern Norfolk, Arkansas. Fly Fishing Expo. Brighton, Missouri. 12 Tri-Lakes Colorado Fly Fishing Expo 12 Western Grand Junction, Colorado. Idaho Fly Tying & Fly Fishing Expo 24-26 Eastern Idaho Falls, Idaho.

May 2014 Country Fly Casters Expo 3 Cane Natchitoches, Louisiana. Fly Fishing Fair 3-4 Washington Ellensburg, Washington. Fly Casting Rendezvous. Livingston Manor, New York. 3-5 Catskill Fly Fishing Festival. Cullowhee, 16-17 Southeastern North Carolina. Salmon Fly International 17-18 Atlantic Renton, Washington. Youth Fly Fishing Camp. Pylesville, Maryland. 31,

June 2014 Council Expo. New Braunfels, Texas 12-14 Texas Lakes Council Fly Fishing School & 13-15 Great Fair. Roscommon, Michigan.

August 2014 Fly Fishing Fair 5-9 International Livingston, Montana.

IFFF CASTING INSTRUCTOR CERTIFICATION The following events offer IFFF Casting Instructor Certification. Pre-registration is required. Call 406-222-9369 to register. You must be a current IFFF member.

December 6-7 January 18 March 7-9 CI, Test #1345, Test #1402, CI, Test #1404, Asheville, NC Denver, CO Albany, OR January 17-18 January 25 March 20-22 CI, MCI (closed), CI, Test #1403, Test #1405, Test #1401, Somerset, NJ Mountain Home, Marlboro, MA AR Schedule subject to change; get current schedule and testing fees at

ROSBOROUGH FLY PLATES Gifted to the IFFF Museum By Jim Ferguson


im Ferguson, Keith Burkhart and Sherry Steele, presented a set of three fly plates to the IFFF Fly Fishing Museum as a gift from the Oregon Council during the Awards Banquet at the 2013 IFFF Fly Fishing Fair in West Yellowstone, Montana. The three plates were titled “Oregon’s 1975 Buszek Legend of Fly Tying, Polly Rosborough,” “Polly’s Tying Style” and “Polly’s Proven Killers.” The plates contained memorabilia collected by IFFF Life member Skip Hosfield of Eugene, Oregon, who had planned on framing the collection but decided after his stroke to donate the collection to the Oregon Council under the care of Ferguson. Hosfield’s original goal was to make a shadow box containing Rosborough’s vise, picture, leatherbound collector’s edition of his book, “Tying and Fishing the Fuzzy Nymphs,” correspondence between the two, and Rosborough flies that Hosfield

had purchased. Ferguson and Jim Fisher approached the Oregon Council about framing the collection to be donated to the IFFF Museum. Fisher put his engineering and woodworking skills to work and created a plan for the central plate. Using maple and alder, he milled and built the shadow box frame to include the picture, book, vise and selected flies from the book. The bottle of Rosborough’s cement was added from the John Colburn estate acquisition by Ferguson. Fisher incorporated a unique method of setting the outer frame onto the shadow box so the front could be removed and, over time, the book could be arranged to different pages. Two additional frames were constructed to hold correspondence



n October 1, 2013, the Museum Committee welcomed 22-plus visitors and offered up the grand tour of the IFFF Museum and its latest acquisitions. The Clark Skamania Fly Fishers were among the guests. They had an opportunity to see their major donation of the Fritz Gerds collection on display, and were quite pleased with the new custom shelving, cabinets and chairs that their grant funded. The visitors represented a total of 10 IFFF clubs. Below are some of the comments we received: “I was one of the Gerds’ estate committee members searching for the just right museum for Fritz’s collections, and the right recommendation was made. I am so proud of this museum, with what they did with his collection. I would recommend a visit to see this remarkable collection for all fly fishers.” –Kuni Masuda, Clark Skamania Fly Fishers “We were very impressed with the museum and the IFFF personnel with whom we spoke. The Gerds collection was extremely well presented. We look forward to a continuing working relationship with

the museum as additional enhancements are made.” –Doug and Doris Anderson, Clark Skamania Fly Fishers “The IFFF museum in Livingston, Montana, is a remarkable treasure for any fly fisher, especially for those who knew Fritz. Put it on your bucket list to see it, promote it, and support it.” –Harry and Claire Niles, Clark Skamania Fly Fishers “I was stunned at the beautiful job they had done. Glass cases were everywhere and well placed. The walls were filled with rods, framed flies, sculptures and items of every type related to fly tiers, their fishing and equipment. The details were incredible. Those giants of the past we have known or heard about were everywhere with pictures, flies, equipment and more. It is not only the displays but there is also an extensive reference library, seating and meeting area, all combined into a comfortable section surrounded by books, framed flies, sculptures with very old tying tools and equipment. We even found framed flies tied by our dear friend Mike Marchando, who passed away several years ago. “As we left I had the feeling that one

FLY TYING DIRECTORY ON IFFF WEBSITE Within the ranks of the Federation are found many of the best tying instructors and demonstration tiers in the world. As part of our effort to expand our leadership role in fly tying education, the IFFF Fly Tying Group has established a Web presence to showcase to the membership and the world our talented tying instructors and demonstration tiers.

between Hosfield and Rosborough along with flies referenced in the papers. Ferguson matted and mounted the flies. The project took more than two years to complete. “I will always remember the smile on Skip’s face when I drove the collection to his home for him to approve. Fisher and I are grateful to have been allowed to work on this project and the Oregon Council thanks Skip for his donation to the fly fishing community,” said Ferguson. Former Fly Tying Group chairperson Jim Ferguson is a long-time Federator from Salem, Oregon.

The Fly Tying Group thanks all of those tiers who have stepped forward in this initial effort to make our collective talents available to any club, group or individual interested in learning fly tying. If you, your club or group have a need to find and utilize the talents of an IFFF tying instructor or demonstration tier, look no farther than the IFFF website. Currently we have approximately 100 tiers and their tying biographies posted on the website. To see the listing, go to the home page at and click on “Find a Fly Tier” and you will arrive at a searchable database ( Locate/FlyTiers.aspx).

Find Al Ritt and many other demonstration or teaching tiers listed on the IFFF website, www.fedfly


By Frank Johnson

Are you planning an event and would like to connect with demonstration tiers? This is the place to look. Would you like to find a tying instructor to teach a class to your group? Again, “Find a Fly Tier” is the place to look. As this project continues to grow, the database will include many more tiers. The Fly Tying Group continues to seek interested educators to include in the database. If you have teaching or demo experience and would like to be included, please contact Frank Johnson, project coordinator, at bighornjohnsons@ You will be sent a questionnaire to complete and then your information will be added to the database.


could spend months not only looking through the museum and displays but helping out as well. It struck me that this museum is for our children, and their children as well. “We are very lucky to have this museum. I would recommend it to anyone, friend or family. You should take the time to stop and see it. You would not regret it.” –Morris Fruitman, Southern Oregon Fly Fishers, Rogue Fly Fishers To inquire about donating funds or museum items to support the ongoing effort for the museum, contact Sherry Steele at, 541-549-20172; cell 541-420-5532. IFFF Museum Committee Chair Sherry Steele is from Sisters, Oregon, where she dedicates much of her time to the IFFF, its museum and conservation projects.


By Al Beatty

BOG make that decision.

Any member or Governor of The IFFF Fly Tying Group the IFFF Fly Tying Group Board of Governors (FTG may nominate an IFFF BOG) elected, under the member for this award. leadership of former Nominations shall be forChairman Jim Ferguson, to warded to the Chairman of implement a new award the Fly Tying Group Board for IFFF members who are of Governors. Selection shall part of the fly tying combe by the entire FTG BOG. A munity. It is created to recsuccessful nomination shall ognize an IFFF member require a two-thirds majority whose long-term contribuvote of the FTG BOG. Upon tion to fly tying is widely recognized and respected. Please send your nomina- approval of an individual The award is for outstand- tion to Carl Ronk, the Fly for the award, the recommenTying Group chairperson. dation will be routed through ing achievement and the IFFF Awards Committee demonstrated commitment chairperson and the IFFF president, and of the person in significantly advancing must be approved by the IFFF board of the craft and art of fly tying. directors. The recipient will receive a Ferguson advised the FTG BOG in the special engraved individual plaque and annual meeting, “To preserve the have their name engraved on a master integrity and prestige of this award, it is plaque on display at the IFFF office and recommended that it be awarded judimuseum. Both the individual and masters ciously and infrequently, but it is not plaques shall be funded by the IFFF Fly intended that the frequency stipulation Tying Group. For more information visit deprive a truly deserving individual.” the Awards section of the IFFF website, Further discussion by the FTG BOG Nominations included the understanding that the of individuals for this prestigious award may be presented throughout the award may be sent to the new FTG year and also may be awarded to more BOG Chairman Carl Ronk at than one individual per year should the

Flyfisher Autumn 2013 - Winter 2014




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ifelong fly fisher, scientist, author, International Federation of Fly Fishers Life Member and Vietnam veteran Robert J. Sousa, Ph.D., has been awarded the most distinguished conservation recognition bestowed by the Boy Scouts of America (BSA): the William T. Hornaday Gold Medal. The Hornaday Gold Medal, first granted in 1914, is the oldest continuous conservation award by any organization in the United States. To date, fewer than 55 have been presented; Aldo Leopold received the second medal. Recipients must demonstrate unusual service to natural resource conservation and environmental improvement over a sustained period exceeding 20 years. Sousa, of Bristol, Rhode Island, is likely the first Rhode Islander to ever receive the Hornaday Gold Medal, which was presented to him at the recent National Boy Scout Jamboree at the Bechtel Reserve Summit in West Virginia. Sousa is a fishery biologist and certified fisheries scientist (American Fisheries Society). He retired from an extensive and productive career spanning more than 30 years with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. He was instrumental in the development of the Wallop Breaux amendments to the Sport Fish Restoration Act that provides matching grant funds to states for boating access and fisheries enhancements. He has fly fished in many countries throughout the world and holds several angling world records. Sousa is an

international subject expert in fly fishing. He has taught many thousands of Scouts to cast a fly rod, helping them catch their first fish on a fly. His passion for fishing means giving back. He has served on the board of the Future Fisherman Foundation, is a master instructor in Massachusetts Aquatic Resources Education Program, a certified angler instructor with the International Game Fish Association and is vice chair of the Fishing Committee of Boy Scouts of America. Sousa originated the Fly Fishing Merit Badge for Scouts and contributes editorially to the Fishing Merit Badge, Wildlife Management Merit Badge and Ranger Fishing Awards. He has written counselor guides for each of these awards. He leads the fly fishing venue at National Boy Scout Jamboree and has done so for the past six Jamborees. Sousa has been instrumental at enhancing fly fishing programs at the Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico, Northern Tier Canoe Base in Ely, Minnesota and the Sea Base High Adventure Camp in Florida. He initiated and taught at BSA Fishing Camp Schools throughout the country. Sousa is the author of “Learn to Fly Fish in 24 Hours” (McGraw-Hill) and “The 24 Greatest Flies You Don’t Leave Home Without” (Husking Bee Books). His goal is to simplify the lifetime sport and encourage more people to get outdoors and become responsible stewards of our woods and waters. Information from a news release by Jill Culora, publicist, Husking Bee Books.

VETERANS FIRST FLY FISHING akY_jgoaf__jgmhg^ÛqÚk`]jko`g [gf\m[lYf\'gjhYjla[ahYl]afÛqÚk`af_ ogjck`ghk^gjgmjn]l]jYfk&@mf\j]\k g^\akYZd]\n]l]jYfk$Zgl`l`]h`qka[Yddq \akYZd]\Yf\l`gk]oal`hgklljYmeYla[ klj]kk\akgj\]j$Yj]Úf\af_h]Y[]Yf\ j]`YZadalYlagfoal`l`]N]l]jYfk>ajkl>dq >ak`af_hjg_jYe&  L`]hjg_jYegja_afYl]\oal`l`] Northern California Council of the Afl]jfYlagfYd>]\]jYlagfg^>dq>ak`]jk Yf\ak]phYf\af_ fYlagfoa\]&Hd]Yk]bgaf mkafgmjeakkagflghml n]l]jYfkÚjkl&

Our Name is Our Mission Statement TO PARTICIPATE Contact: Ken Brunskill, Chairman Veterans First Fly Fishing at

TO DONATE Mail Check to: IFFF/VFFF 5237 U.S. Hwy 89 South, Ste. 11 Livingston, MT 59047 SEE AND LIKE US ON FACEBOOK! VETERANS FIRST FLY FISHING With Veterans First Fly Fishing, units are part of their regional IFFF [gmf[adk]\m[Ylagf[gehgf]flmkaf_l`]aj -() [! +!klYlmk$afkmjYf[]Yf\lj]Ykmjq&

OBITUARIES Robert C. Bates

Donald A. Bolstad




obert C. Bates, age 83, passed away peacefully at home on October 16, 2013, in Spokane, Washington. He was born April 15, 1930, in San Francisco to Beda Marie Stone and Thomas J. Bates. Bates was a lifelong member of the IFFF where he served as editor of the “Fly of the Month” website column. He was the 2013 recipient of the Dick Nelson Fly Tying Teaching Award. Bates loved the Federation and especially enjoyed the recent International Fly Fishing Fair in West Yellowstone, Montana. Even though, in his words, “The air was a little too thin in West Yellowstone,” he enjoyed the time he spent with his Federation friends. He was a mining engineer, graduating from the University of California at Berkley in 1955. Later he received masters degrees in engineering and mathematics. At Gonzaga University he was at the forefront of the computing age and was the first student to be allowed to use FORTRAN to fulfill his foreign language degree requirements. He used his computing skills to serve the Inland Empire Fly Fishing Club and Washington Council IFFF as newsletter editor and web master. He served his country in the Korean War and was stationed in the Philippines as a survey engineer for the U.S. Army. He moved his family to Spokane in 1964 and took a position with the Bureau of Mines. He loved to ski and served as a ski instructor and the ski school director at Mount Spokane. He was a volunteer at the Little Spokane River Fish Hatchery where he guided hundreds of guests. Bates’ main passion was fly fishing. He spent many of his early years fishing alpine lakes with his family in the Colorado Rockies. His passion for fly tying was honed creating size-28 midge patterns necessary for his fishing pursuits in Colorado. He was considered one of the early pioneers of steelhead fishing in the Pacific Northwest, particularly on the Grande Ronde River. In later years he spent many days fishing Amber, Medical, Coffee Pot and Silver lakes, where he loved to test his special fly patterns. He is survived by his children, Hilary, Felicia and Eugene, daughter-in-law Leora Bates and grandchildren Forest, Madison, Sierra and Melissa. He was preceded in death by his parents and wife Dora.

onald Bolstad was born December 16, 1936, to Percy J. and Ada May Bostad in Portland, Oregon. He grew up in Seattle, graduating from Queen Anne High School and from the University of Washington. He married Iris Phillips in Wenatchee, Washington, on July 15, 1961. He spent a career in the aerospace industry as an award-winning engineer, receiving the Engineer of the Year from Lockheed Martin Corporation twice. He worked on supersonic transportation and different aspects of the space shuttle system throughout his career. Bolstad was active in his community sports program coaching his sons in football, basketball and baseball. He was president of the Slidell (Louisiana) Bantam Baseball Association in 1980. He was also an active member of the Pontchartrain Basin Fly Fishing Club, serving as

their treasurer and also organizing youth fly tying booths at local outdoor festivals. After retirement in 2002 he moved to Wenatchee, Washington, where he was active in volunteer church activities, the local symphony orchestra, Project Healing Waters, the local fly fishing club, and was on the board of directors of the Washington State Council of the International Federation of Fly Fishers. He is survived by his wife Iris; son Ted and wife Helen; son Dan and wife Lisa; grandchildren Bella, Laila, twins Reid and Gwinn; and brother Phil and wife Judy. A celebration of life service was held on Saturday, August 3, 2013, at the Wenatchee Free Methodist Church. Information provided by the Bolstad family and forwarded to us by Rob Winters, member of the Wenatchee Valley Fly Fishers.

John Bellows


ffectionately known as “Moose,” John Sherburne Bellows of Chester, Connecticut died suddenly on July 29, 2013. He was a stone mason who created beautiful stone walls and patios for his clients in the lower Connecticut River valley since starting his own business in 1986. He was an avid gardener, photographer and outdoorsman. He had a lifelong passion for fly fishing and was an outstanding fly tier. He was a past president of the Housatonic Fly Fishermen’s Association; president of the North Eastern Council (NEC) of the International Federation of Fly Fishers (IFFF), and for many years was a member of the IFFF board of directors where he held the title of vice president of membership. In addition to being a past NEC president, Bellows was one of the original organizing board members of that

council. He was a constant presence at the IFFC Conclaves as a board member and demonstration fly tier. Bellows was a past president of the Chester Land Trust and a founding member of the Chester Cigar Club. He was also an avid Yankees, Giants and UCONN Huskies fan. Before his death, he enjoyed several years of retirement while he traveled the country fishing and photographing its national parks. Bellows is survived by his loving wife and best friend Jeanne-Marie Bellows; his younger brother and his wife, Henry and Claudia Bellows; his nephew Benjamin and niece Daniela. He was preceded in death by his younger brother Benjamin Bellows. Donations in John Bellows’ memory may be made to the Chester Land Trust, P.O. Box 82 Chester, CT 06412. He will be fondly remembered by his multitude of friends across the world for his devotion to fly fishing, his fun-loving personality, and the quality of friendships he made and maintained. Information provided by Mike Stewart.

Information provided by Len Zickler.

Flyfisher Autumn 2013 - Winter 2014


Robert Baiocchi

Lory E. Watkins


ory E. Watkins passed away April 25, 2013, of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). He was born October 6, 1941, in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. Following graduation from Sturgeon Bay High School, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and was trained as a transmitter repair technician. He was based at Iraklion Air Force Station on the island of Crete, then Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane, Washington. After four years in the USAF his career as a broadcast engineer took him to WOSU-TV, KREMTV, KSPS-TV and the University of Washington. He was a Life Member of the Society of Broadcast Engineers. After his retirement, he returned to

ongtime angler and fisheries advocate Bob Baiocchi passed away Sunday, September 8, 2013, in Napa, California. Born Robert Joseph Baiocchi on March 26, 1931, to Francesco and Nellie Baiocchi of San Francisco, he attended Balboa High School, concentrating on baseball until an injury to his pitching hand ended a promising career. Following military service in Japan in 1954, he married Lois Ann Carli and was employed by Lucky stores in San Jose until 1967 when he moved their young family to Paradise. It was during his time in the Paradise area that Baiocchi’s attention turned towards fisheries advocacy. Motivated by violations in water use by PG&E, he became active in studying water rights, learning administrative law and the public trust doctrine until 1982, when his fervent activism turned professional. He retired from Lucky stores to concentrate on state fisheries and watershed protection. He focused his attention on the Sacramento, Russian, Feather, Eel, Fall, Santa Ynez, Yuba, Butte, Pit, Truckee, Navarro, Calaveras, Salinas, Mokelumne, Carmel and Napa river watersheds, as well as lakes Oroville, Davis and Eagle, among many others. Bob’s efforts were recognized by numerous groups during his career, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for “Environmental Heroism” in 2001, the Sierra Club as “Conservationist of the Year” in 1982, the Federation of Fly Fishers in 1989 for “National Conservation,” and California Trout’s “Streamkeeper Award” in 1976. He was inducted into the national Fly Fishing Hall of Fame in 1999. He is survived by four children, Joel, Christina, Teresa and Jon; and two grandchildren, Luci Grace and Justin Henry. A public celebration of his life is scheduled for next June at Lake Davis. Information edited from the Napa Valley Register.



school and graduated from the University of Washington in 1998. Life member of the International Federation of Fly Fishers, he had a lifelong passion for fly fishing and was a founding member of the Overlake Fly Fishing Club in Bellevue, Washington. He is survived by his wife, Linda Taylor Watkins, Burien, Washington; his mother, Audrie Watkins, sister Rita Hunt, and brother Dean Watkins, all of Sturgeon Bay; sister Judy Palmer, Green Bay, Wisconsin; and sister Myrna Herrbold, DePere, Wisconsin. A celebration of his life was held May 16 at Tahoma National Cemetery, Kent, Washington. Published in The Seattle Times May 11-12, 2013.

Richard B. Thompson


ick Thompson was born in Fresno, California, to Baxter and Lucy Thompson on June 1, 1924, and passed away August 25, 2013. He enlisted in the Army at the age of 17 after completing high school and served in World War II in the Philippines, receiving a Purple Heart from injuries suffered in combat. He attended San Jose State College in California where he earned his bachelor’s degree in biology and met his first wife Nelda Alstrand. They married and then moved to Seattle in 1950, where Thompson began working at the Fisheries Research Institute. They had three children, Katherine, Teresa and Calvin. Thompson then began working on his doctorate at the University of Washington, and after completing his studies worked as a fisheries biologist with the National Marine Fisheries Services and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration until retirement in 1989. He was involved with many important fisheries management laws which are still in place today. In 1982, Thompson married Betty Willard, and became a stepfather to her four children; Craig, Dave, Sharon, and Jean. A large, happy, blended family became his new life, and the yearly family campout was born, which was usually attended by every member of the siblings, step-siblings and their families. In 1991, the Thompsons left the city life in Seattle and moved to a ranch they called “R4Acres” in Ellensburg,

Flyfisher Autumn 2013 - Winter 2014

Washington. After Betty’s passing in 2007, Dick decided to downsize and moved to Yakima to be closer to his son Cal. Thompson’s favorite hobby was fly fishing. He was a past president and honorary life member of the Washington Fly Fishing Club. Over the years he developed the regionally well-known TDC fly pattern (Thompson’s Delectable Chironomid). He was an avid photographer, writer, teacher and voracious reader. He is survived by his three children; Katherine Kirsch (Stephen), Terry Foley (Chris), and Cal Thompson (Jeanne); and stepchildren, Dave Willard (Tamra), Sharon Jablinske (Steve), and Jean Blair (Scott). He leaves behind 13 grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, and a sister Mildred Williams. He was preceded in death by his first wife Nelda, second wife Betty, and his stepson Craig Willard. A memorial service was held at Canyon River Ranch along the Yakima River on Saturday, September 7, 2013. At the conclusion of the service each family member released cutthroat fingerlings into the nearby river (supplied by the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife) as a tribute to him. He will be missed. Information provided by Richard’s son, Cal Thompson.

49 Trout Streams of Southern Colorado

book for the beginning tier or the instructor looking for an instructions manual to use in a tying class.

By Mark D. Williams and W. Chad McPhail

By Eric Leiser

University of New Mexico Press, 2013 10" x 7", 120 pages, $27.95 ISBN 978-0-8263-5137-1

The authors consider themselves fortunate to have fished thousands of miles of river around the world but find themselves repeatedly returning to the waters of southern Colorado. The authors have created a fly fishing guidebook with minimal text and exceptional color photographs. Although they tried to limit themselves to 49 of their favorite locations in southern Colorado, they cheated and included 56. Many guidebooks focus on well-known waters, but the authors identify many locations not included in other books. They have also been selective in recommending flies for each stream, picking patterns that have worked for them rather than the obvious ones offered through local fly shops. The book is available at bookstores or through the University of New Mexico Press at

Step-by-Step Beginning Fly Tying By Ryan Keyes No Nonsense Fly Fishing Guidebooks, 2013 9" x 11", 80 pages, $27.95 DVD and manual ISBN 978-1892469-29-8

This book and DVD combination welcomes the new tier to the wonderful world of tying your own flies. It reviews in detail the equipment, materials, applications and process of tying flies. The step-by-step pattern tutorials were specially chosen to develop tying skills one pattern at a time. After completing the seven chosen patterns, the student will have developed the necessary skills to tie many of today’s flies regardless of the materials being used. The DVD presents the same patterns via visual and auditory tying instructions for the same patterns covered in the written word. This is an excellent

Deer Hair Sculptures By Mike George DVD, 2013, $29.95

The Book of Fly Patterns Skyhorse Publishing, 1987 and 2012 10.4" x 8.5", 368 pages, $40 ISBN 978-1-61608-389-2

Drawing on the designs and innovations of the best fly tiers past and present, the author gives us a consistent representation and interpretation of more than 1,000 classic and contemporary fly patterns. The book contains all the information needed to tie the pattern in the manner intended by its originator with professional tips for solving specific problems. Even though this is a reprint of a 1987 publication, it has a lot of information and value for anyone who can tie a simple fly (dry or wet) and wants to advance to the next level.

Your Flyfisher editors have known Mike George for years and have often encouraged him to film a DVD of his unique flared-hair tying techniques. We were pleased to learn at the recent Fly Fishing Fair in West Yellowstone that he finally did produce this superb learning tool. For those of you who don’t know him, Mike George is one of the best hair tiers we’ve ever met. We’re not the only people who think that because the judges at the Mustad Open Fly Tying Competition have awarded him the Gold Medal nine times. Yes, he really is that GOOD! This 60-minute DVD is available from the author at and is well worth the price. It receives our highest recommendation.

Tagewahnahn By Dennis Labare

The Trout Diaries

Dennis Labare, 2007 10.25" x 8.25", 216 pages, $45

By Derek Grzelewski

Tagewahnahn is the Passamaquoddy Indian name for landlocked salmon, Maine’s state fish. For many fly fishers, Grand Lake Stream’s landlocked salmon are the crown jewels of a Maine angling adventure. This historic sport fishery is the nucleus of this book and where this uniquely qualified author spent his boyhood summers learning its many secrets from his fly fishing father. Forty years later he returned to fish, study and write about the “river of his heart.” Labare approaches his subject from the scientific perspective of an accomplished biologist and stream ecologist, and as a fly fisher who now spends half of every year in close proximity to the river. You may purchase this book from the author at; he donates 25 percent of the proceeds divided equally between the Grand Lake Stream Historical Society and the Maine Council of Trout Unlimited.

Published in New Zealand by David Bateman, Ltd in 2011. Distributed in the USA by Stackpole Books, 6.5" x 9.5", 196 pages, $21.95 ISBN 978-0-8117-1091-6

After picking this book up, we had a difficult time putting it down. The author, Derek Grzelewski, uses almost 200 pages, 40 blackand-white illustrations, six maps and 34 color photographs to present his account of the year he spent dedicated to fly fishing throughout New Zealand. His account includes its high and low points and intricacies and finesse of pursuing trout in that wild country. Each month of the year is illustrated with fly sketches by artist Johnny Groome and covers aspects of fly fishing during that particular time of the year. Remember, August is in the middle of the winter in New Zealand. The author is a former fly fishing guide and founder of Wanaka Fly Fishing Academy. He lives in a cabin on the bank of the Clutha River in New Zealand. His website is

Conserving, Restoring and Educating Through Fly Fishing

Book Reviews

2013 International Fly Fishing Fair Recap

Articles and photos by Pat Oglesby









EMBER 24-28


Buszek Memorial Award ...................................Walt Holman Dick Nelson Fly Tying Teaching Award .................Bob Bates IFFF Conservation Award...................................Phil Hulbert Leopold Conservation Award ................................Bill Bakke Stanley Lloyd Conservation Award.....Dave and Emily Whitlock, Southern Council Silver King Awards ..............................................Tom Logan Federator of the Year ...........................................Carl Zarelli McKenzie Cup ....................................Grand River Fly Tyers Bob Marriott Scholarship Award...................Connor Murphy Lew Jewett Memorial Life Award .......................Buddy Price Ron Winn Will Godfrey Charles E. Brooks Memorial Life Award .........Mike Huffman Roderick Haig-Brown Award...........................James Prosek Don Harger Memorial Life Award.................John Van Dalen Arnold Gingrich Memorial Life Award.......Dorothy Schramm President’s Pins .....................................................Soon Lee Tom Gadacz John Kimura Don Simonson

COUNCIL AWARDS OF EXCELLENCE Eastern Rocky Mountain ..................................Bruce Brown Florida..................................................................Tom Logan Great Lakes......................................................Terry Greiner Gulf Coast .....................................................Russell Husted Chesapeake .......................................................Pete McCall North Eastern ................................................Patrick Grenier Northern California .......................................John Ryzanych Ohio .............................................................David Meadows Oregon .................................................................Sue Gabel Butch Minich South Eastern..........................................Johnny Chamness Southern .........................................................Chris Jackson Southwest .......................................................Chiaki Harami Texas ................................................................Jerry Hamon Bob Shirley Upper Midwest......................................................Lyth Hartz Washington ............................................................Pat Herdt Western Rocky Mountain..............................Dave Londeree

CASTING BOARD OF GOVERNORS Governors’ Pin...................................................Dave Barron Lifetime Achievement in Fly Casting................Dennis Grant Governor’s Mentoring Award.............................Philip Maher Mel Krieger Instruction Award .......................Don Simonson Pat Oglesby from Grand Junction, Colorado, is a longtime IFFF member, the official fair photographer and the author of the awards profiles. In his spare time, Pat and his lovely wife, Carol, operate and judge the yearly IFFF Photo Contest (see pages 54-55).

he Arnold Gingrich Memorial Life Dorothy Schramm receives the Award is presented to that person Arnold Gingrich Memorial Life of outstanding achievement in any of Award from Phil Greenlee. several areas that are part of, or related to, the sport and science of fly fishing. Those areas include angling writing, original fly fishing theory, conservation and environmental protection, entomology, education in the sport of fly fishing, and innovation in fly fishing techniques. Dorothy Schramm of Pentwater, Michigan, has a long history in fly fishing and says she cannot remember not fishing. As a young girl she would accompany her father on fishing outings; he told her fly fishing probably wasn’t the best way to catch fish, but it was the most fun. She has worked sports shows for Fenwick and Scientific Anglers and has taught in the Sage and Orvis fly fishing Schramm is an IFFF certified casting schools throughout the Midwest. Schramm instructor and uses her talents to teach at is the owner of Rodsmith, a custom rod many shows throughout the Great Lakes building and angling-related arts business Council; she has been an instructor at the and is considered to be one of the premier IFFF Women’s Fly Fishing Programs for sevrod builders in the Midwest. eral years. She is also a demonstration fly In 1996, she founded Flygirls of Michigan, tier for the IFFF and teaches fly tying a 100 percent IFFF club. The club was born classes. At the Great Lakes Council School out of the growing interest in women’s fly fishand Conclave, she teaches a rod-building ing. It offers beginning and intermediate workshop for both beginning and advanced weekend schools and financially supports students. conservation, youth activities, Reeling and In 1998, the IFFF presented Schramm Healing Midwest cancer retreats, Casting for with the Woman of the Year Award for her Recovery, and Becoming an Outdoors IFFF devotion and participation. In her spare Woman programs. In addition, Schramm has time, Schramm and her husband, Jim, been active in furthering the goals of the spend several months each year traveling in IFFF by being instrumental in founding five their motor home checking out the fishing clubs in the Great Lakes Council. opportunities.



cash grant in the amount of $500 is presented annually to a deserving student in undergraduate or graduate biology, or a similar field and is specializing in fishery management. Connor Murphy of Fort Collins, Colorado, has been selected to receive this grant. He is a freshman at Colorado State University, working on a degree in fisheries biology.



he Buz Buszek Memorial Award is presented annually to that person who has made significant contributions to the art of fly tying. The recipient may be either an amateur or professional who displays tying skills, creativity, innovation, and shares knowledge by teaching or publication. Achievements and contributions should promote the advancements of the art and qualification should be superior to other candidates. Walt Holman was born in Louisiana, and even though he now lives in Alabama, he loves to go back to Louisiana for fly tying demonstrations so he can enjoy Cajun food. Holman fashioned his first popper from a bottle cork and some feathers he found. He didn’t have a fly rod, but a friend generously shared his when they would go out fishing. They would take turns, one of them rowing a small skiff and the other casting. They were successful in catching fish using casting skills learned from a Field and Stream magazine article and spent many days on the water using the primitive gear. It was a big day in Holman’s life when he was able to purchase a bamboo fly rod. After high school Holman served in the U.S. Navy before attending Auburn University and playing on the football team. He earned a degree in engineering and spent most of his career working for the government in the ballistic missile program. Holman has been tying flies for more than 66 years, during which time he took the craft of fly tying to a form of art with his foil-covered balsa wood poppers. Those poppers have proven their effectiveness in both fresh and salt waters since

the early 1980s. He is a gifted and innovative fly tier who has graciously shared his skills regularly at the many state, regional and national fly tying events. Holman joined the IFFF some 30 years ago and is proud to be a member. Holman’s specialty is using his technique of foil wrapping and burnishing to create a unique pattern called a pencil popper. He has enabled thousands of tiers across the warmwater country, and beyond, to learn the skills necessary to tie these patterns. A review of current blogs and websites devoted to warmwater tiers and fly fishing quickly reflect the growth in this area. In addition to his pencil poppers, Holman’s innovative patterns include a variety of carvedbody flies. His carved frogs and divers are works of art and are in demand by collectors. His blue water tube squid has developed a reputation with saltwater anglers fishing the northern Gulf of Mexico. Not only does he tie flies, he adjusts and tunes them so they provide the action he desires. Holman is a very generous person, donating collections of his flies for fundraising purposes. They are very much in demand, and even a small box will often generate more than $100. Over the years his generosity has generated thousands of dollars for clubs and councils. In the early ’90s, Holman self-published an instruction book that contained a collection of his patterns. Included were detailed, step-by-step

instructions, with explanations and directions on how to use his technique. All proceeds from the sale of this publication were donated to his local IFFF club. He received the Southeastern Council’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011 and Fly Tier of The Year awards in 1999, 2002 and 2008. Holman’s flies have appeared in various publications such as the IFFF’s Flyfisher; Warm Water Fly Fishing; Fly Tying; “Patterns of the Masters, Vol. 6”; “FFF’s Fly Pattern Encyclopedia”; TVFF’s “Information Papers No. 1 and 2, Bugs and Poppers”; United Kingdom’s Salt Water Fly Fishing Forum; and Scientific Angler’s Fly Fishing Quarterly. He has demonstrated his fly tying techniques at numerous conclaves around the United States and has given presentations/demonstrations to many clubs in the region. Holman resides in Madison, Alabama, with his wife Gennie, both honorary lifetime members of the Tennessee Valley Fly Fishers in Huntsville. They are proud to claim they have been active members since the first year of its inception in 1983. Although he doesn’t travel to as many shows as he did when he was younger, he regularly attends a few of his favorites and is looking forward to the 2014 Fair in Livingston. Holman was surprised to learn of his nomination and is enjoying his recognition. He is proud to be a member of the Buszek Memorial Award winner’s inner circle. Congratulations to Walt Holman for a lifetime of fly tying achievement!



he Charles Brooks Memorial Life Award goes to an individual who demonstrates a deep affection for the outdoors, is an innovative fly tier, has some background in writing books or magazine articles, is a member of the IFFF, and has some history of serving at banquets, seminars or regional conclaves. The recipient should have the enthusiasm of Charles and be “a character.” Mike Huffman of Springfield, Missouri, has been actively teaching the skills of fly fishing since 1969. In 1992, along with Michael Verduin, he founded the Road Kill Round Table in Dallas, Texas. It is one of the best-known, open-group of fly tiers in the nation and still meets weekly after more than 20 years of existence. In his book, “Bassin’ with a Fly Rod,” Jack Ellis describes Huffman as an extraordinary fly tier of the Dallas School. For more than 30 years,

Huffman has blended deer hair to achieve unique colors and then sculpts the rough balls of hair into incredibly detailed sunfish, frogs and bugs. His skill is extraordinary. In 2001 and in 2006 Lefty Kreh teamed with Huffman to film the video, “Handcrafting Effective Flies.” Huffman was raised in California and trained as a student under his friend and mentor, Buz Buszek Award recipient Darwin Atkin. Twenty years ago Huffman left his beloved state of Texas and went to work for Bass Pro Shop in Springfield, Missouri. He is responsible for design, production and marketing of Bass Pro’s White River Fly Shop line of equipment. Huffman has spent his entire professional life in angling commerce including publishing, wholesale and retail fly shops, and fly fishing production design. He is currently working on a book of

his patterns and techniques. In 1992 he illustrated Jack Ellis’ book, “The Sunfishes.” Those close to Huffman know him to be a Mike Huffman, left, receives the quiet individual, Charles E. Brooks Memorial Life one who never Award from Phil Greenlee. seeks the limelight. He is a warm and wonderful friend to Federators, clubs and councils. His sharp mind and quick wit qualify him to truly be a character – unique and wonderful.

Flyfisher Autumn 2013 - Winter 2014


2013 International Fly Fishing Fair Recap

Articles and photos by Pat Oglesby



he Dick Nelson Fly Tying Teaching Award is presented to an individual who excels in teaching the art of fly tying to all skill levels. The recipient must be able to demonstrate and teach the varied skills of fly tying and be able to teach techniques developed by others and themselves, and have experience teaching in both group and individual environments. Bob Bates started his fly fishing journey in 1960. He was employed as a mining engineer and lived in Colorado where he fished the high mountain lakes. The available flies were too large and he wasn’t able to buy the small flies he needed to catch the finicky trout that inhabited the crystal clear waters. Since the fly shops didn’t stock the size 22 and size 24 flies he needed, he had no choice but to tie his own. With the help of a friend who showed him how to tie a woolly worm, and a Herter’s fly tying book, he learned how to tie. He was obsessed with fishing high mountain lakes, and finally he had the flies he needed. In 1963 Bates moved to Spokane, Washington, and continued fly tying and learned the fishing around the area. In 1980, the IFFF Conclave was held in Spokane; Bates joined the organization and has ever since held demonstration tying at five to six shows per year. During these events, Bates has had the pleasure of

meeting hundreds of people and discussing conservation, fly tying and fly fishing. This information was used for a weekly newspaper column he wrote for his hometown Outdoor Press between 1992 and 1997. Since he did his own photography, he soon learned how to effectively photograph close-ups of flies. He joined the Inland Empire Fly Fishing Club, and due to his proficiency with a computer, he soon became their newsletter editor. Bates credits Al Beatty for the opportunity to tie at the national conclaves. He is a regular at the conclaves and shows where he demonstrates his tying skills. Bates can also be found with his camera, photographing flies of his fellow tiers. He uses this information for his writing and Internet-related activities. In 2001 Bates was on the IFFF computer committee, which was searching for a person to write Fly of the Month articles for the IFFF website. Although he was reluctant to accept the challenge, Bates finally agreed to do it; 12 years later he still does a regular submission. The Fly of the Month has been used by thousands wanting to learn to tie a particular pattern. Bates has served on the National IFFF Board of Directors, the Washington State Council, the IFFF Fly Tying Board of Governors and as council newsletter edi-



he Don Harger Memorial Life Award is presented each year to an individual (or in his/her memory to a family member) who is actively engaged in, or has been actively engaged in, or is closely related to some aspect or area of fly fishing, either as a vocation or avocation. It is required this person has made some noteworthy contribution as an educator, writer, conservationist, photographer, fly tier or proponent of fly fishing rights. John Van Dalen of Midland, Michigan, has been involved with the IFFF and the Great Lakes Council (GLC) for more than 30 years. He is a master certified casting instructor and a member of the IFFF’s Casting Board of Governors. Each summer the GLC holds its Council Fly Fishing School and Conclave in Roscommom, Michigan. Van Dalen is a longtime volunteer and


chair of the casting program for the council. At the conclave he conducts fly casting instruction workshops, casting instructor continuing education workshops, and instructs classes on advanced fly casting. He has more than 40 years of casting experience and is highly respected as a casting instructor and known internationally for his abilities as an outstanding teacher. Jim Schramm, president of GLC, says, “John has been tireless in his efforts to draw more people into fly fishing and more importantly to the IFFF. He is one of those invaluable persons who steps forward and takes on tasks to get things done. His expertise in teaching and his ability to multi-task have made major contributions to the IFFF and the GLC.” Van Dalen is manager of Little Forks Outfitters, a full-service, Orvis-endorsed fly shop in Midland, Michigan.

Flyfisher Autumn 2013 - Winter 2014

Bob Bates, left, is presented with the Dick Nelson Fly Teaching Award by Jim Ferguson, center, and David Nelson.

tor. Bates has been honored with the Washington State Council Fly Tying Hall of Fame Award. Bates has the attributes of a quality fly tying instructor. His tying skills are exemplary and his passion for instructing is obvious, and he enthusiastically shares his lifelong knowledge. Editor’s note: Sadly, our good friend Bob Bates passed away October 16, 2013. See his obituary, page 15.

FEDERATOR OF THE YEAR The Federator of the Year Award is presented annually to an individual who has demonstrated unusual devotion to the IFFF, and through outstanding contributions has benefited the Federation as a national or international organization. This award is bestowed upon an individual for achievements wide in scope and not limited to local or regional activities. The award criteria require devotion and contributions to the IFFF in order to be consistent with IFFF’s objectives. Carl Zarelli was raised on a Washington state spring creek. There, he was introduced to fishing when he was 5 and got his first fly rod when he was 21. He joined the IFFF 20 years ago because he was interested in conservation and became involved with his local club, the Puget Sound Fly Fishers, serving on the conservation committee. Because of his interest in conservation, he got involved with the IFFF at the national level. In 2005, Zarelli had a friend who was preparing for the certified casting instructors exam, and this sparked his interest in casting. He studied and practiced intensely, and in 2006 he passed his certified casting instructors exam, in 2007 became a master casting instructor, and in 2012 he passed the exam



he IFFF Conservation Award is presented to individuals, groups or organizations that have made extraordinary contributions to the conservation of fisheries resources. The award could be based on a single outstanding contribution or on a continuous prominent effort promoting conservation. This year’s recipient, Phil Hulbert of Albany, New York, is chief of fisheries for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. He has been a strong supporter of its Brook Trout Heritage Program and has supported research of brook trout in the Adirondacks. He has been involved with New York State’s Trout in the Classroom program, protection of the Upper Delaware River system from water depletion, and worked with the Nature Conservancy on their research studying the best science approaches for reservoir operations in New York. In 2011, he completed work on a five-year project to survey the many smaller streams throughout the state to determine the presence, or absence, of brook trout. In an effort to help maintain genetically native populations of brook trout, he completed an egg-take for the Little Tupper strain of brook trout. Besides helping to maintain heritage genetics, the use of these fish in stocking waters is thought to provide fish that have a higher potential to thrive and spawn. He is involved in an international program to restore a naturally reproducing population of lake trout in Lake Ontario. Hulbert is also involved in rehabilitation of a self-sustaining lake trout population in the eastern basin of Lake Erie, a major thrust in New York’s Great Lakes coldwater fisheries management program. His outreach efforts include outdoor expositions, conservation field days, environmental awareness days and fishing clinics. Envirothon and

Earth Day events reached thousands of anglers, students and families throughout the region. Other outreach programs he is involved with are Western Rick Williams, left, and Glenn Erikson, right, present the Finger Lakes tribu- International IFFF Conservation Award to Phil Hulbert. taries rainbow trout sampling with local high school students, fishing-rod lending program, fishing clinics/festivals, Angler Legacy in New York, The Angler Achievements Awards Programs, and workshops and training for the New York City Parks and National Park Service. As you can see, Phil Hulbert is an activist in protecting his native brook trout and their habitat. His interest in native and wild fish has led to his interest in conservation, water management and public education. Hulbert certainly has earned this prestigious recognition by the IFFF.

of Buhr to improve his casting techniques and prepare for the examinations. Zarelli’s goal is to become the best technical caster he can be and advance the IFFF’s casting programs across the world.

to become a two-handed casting instructor. Having achieved all the casting certifications of the IFFF, Zarelli started to look at international casting certifications. In 2012 he became interested in international casting, and traveled to Ireland to study under the Association of Professional Game Angling Instructors (APGAI). This organization has the largest casting certification program in the United Kingdom and Ireland. In 2012, Zarelli passed the doublehanded test and this year in September, at the IFFF Fair in West Yellowstone, he successfully passed the single-handed test. Currently he is the only American to have passed both the European single- and two-handed tests. As you can see, Zarelli has a passion for casting and achieving casting certifications. Zarelli credits Al Buhr for having the most influence on his casting. He spent countless hours under the tutelage

When Zarelli became interested in the IFFF at the national level, it wasn’t long before he became involved in a variety of duties. He served on the board of directors for five years, one of which he served as vice president. In 2008, Zarelli volunteered to chair the Board of Directors Financial Oversight Committee, taking on the role of restructuring the IFFF’s financial situation and provide balance and thoughtful financial oversight. He spent two years on the Conclave (Fair) Steering Committee; its role is to recommend locations for the event and assist with planning. He was recently elected to serve on the Casting Board of Governors of the Casting Certification Program. Zarelli hopes the IFFF will continue to grow internationally. He feels we need to look at things differently in how we deal with conservation, education and casting as we spread around the globe. Our key to success will be viewing these projects differently than we do here, and we need to continue to add international members to the various boards of directors. He is proud the IFFF played a role in the first international conservation project located in Serbia.

In addition to being a passionate steelheader in the Northwest, Zarelli has an interest in fishing for all species. He has traveled the world fishing from South America to the wilds of the Kola Peninsula in Russia. In the early years, when Zarelli traveled to Alaska regularly to fish for salmon and rainbows, he found nearly everyone fished with general tackle, and he was one of the few that used a fly rod. Of course, today, the fly rod is commonly found around the world. He spends as much time as he can traveling to exotic locations for different species. He primarily fishes with his twohanded rod when conditions allow. Zarelli is on the pro staff for Rio, Sage, Airflow, Simms, Nautilus, Wulff Products and Shimano / G Loomis. He is owner of Merit Company in Lakewood, Washington, specializing in land development and construction of commercial and industrial buildings. He and his wife Jenean are the parents of two grown children. Zarelli feels honored to be the recipient of this award and humbly states, “My success is due to having followed the basic work ethic my father taught me – work hard.” Carl Zarelli’s dedication has made the IFFF a better organization and, based on his past accomplishments and his countless service hours, he is most deserving of the Federator of the Year Award.

2013 International Fly Fishing Fair Recap

The President of the IFFF presents pins annually to individuals who have assisted him during his term in office. These people are those who the president can depend on to be there to offer him, and the organization, assistance. President Phil Greenlee made presentations to Soon Lee from Upland, California, Tom Gadacz from Saint Petersburg, Florida, John Kimura from Alturas, California, and Don Simonson from Camano Island, Washington, for their hard work on behalf of the organization.

IFFF SILVER MERIT AWARD The Southwest Council of the IFFF is the recipient of the Silver Merit Award. The Council represents 24 clubs throughout Southern California and Nevada. This year the council is being recognized for its dedication in promoting fly fishing through education, conservation and fellowship.



he IFFF Leopold Award is presented to an individual for outstanding contributions to fisheries and land ecology. The person should have followed an adherence to the land ethic espoused and demonstrated by Aldo Leopold, Luna Leopold, A. Starker Leopold and the other family members. Recognition for the value of all ecosystem parts, not only fish and wildlife but all biotic and abiotic components, are an integral part. Bill Bakke is director of science and conservation for the Native Fish Society, the leading conservation group working to recover wild steelhead and salmon in the Pacific Northwest. Bakke is a native of Oregon and has spent his life advocating for wild fish. He grew up fly fishing rivers and streams throughout Oregon and Washington, and early on noticed a difference between hatchery steelhead and their native counterparts. He soon began studying the science behind that observation, specifically the damaging effects of hatchery fish on wild populations. He is considered the local authority on fish issues, whether it be fishing regulations, dam removal, salmon farms, hatchery controversies, drought, water quality or endangered species listings. During his career he worked for the

Columbia River Fisheries Council and the Columbia River Intertribal Fish Commission. During this time he founded several environmental groups aimed at native fish conservation including the Native Fish Society, Oregon Trout and FishCons. More than 100 of his articles on fish conservation have appeared in sporting, scientific and news journals. As an activist he has been featured on national and international media including NOVA and the BBC. He is proud of his accomplishment to establish Oregon’s first wild fish management policy. Through his efforts leading petitions, Snake River chinook, Oregon Coastal coho and Columbia River coho have been listed as endangered species. Bakke has been the recipient of many prestigious awards including: Communications Award, National Trout Unlimited 1979; Merit Award, Western Division of the American Fisheries Society 1991; Washington Trout, Conservationist of the Year Award 1995; and IFFF Lifetime Achievement Award 2004. We salute Bill Bakke for his efforts as a strong advocate for our native and wild fish populations.



he Lew Jewett Memorial Award is presented annually to those who have done one of these things: made efforts to bring more people into the sport of fly fishing and enhanced their knowledge and ability; devoted energy toward youth education; has been an innovator in equipment and techniques; has been a proven teacher; has made a contribution to the preservation and enhancement of fisheries; has made a significant contribution to organizations or has made a contribution to our biological knowledge of the sport and habitat. Three recipients were selected to receive the award. Buddy Price of Fernandina Beach, Florida, is a longtime member of the IFFF. He is an accomplished fly tier, fly tying instructor and videographer, and has documented IFFF fly tiers for more than 10 years. From his extensive travels, he has gathered countless hours of video and has posted 109 mini-documentaries about fly tying on You Tube for the world to enjoy. His video of fly tying history will be a valuable part of the IFFF history. Ron Winn resides on the central-east coast of Florida in Indian Harbor. There he targets snook, redfish, tarpon, bonefish, permit and large spotted sea trout. He is known for his use of synthetics in his fly tying and is a member of the Renzetti Pro Team. Winn is a member of the Backcountry Fly Fishing Association, a club he helped found 23 years ago. A life member for more than 25 years, Winn currently sits on the IFFF Board of Directors and


Flyfisher Autumn 2013 - Winter 2014

holds the office of treasurer. Will Godfrey of Lewiston, Idaho, learned from his father about the finer points of fly fishing. He has outfitted and guided in Idaho as well as all of the rivers in southwestern Montana and Yellowstone National Park. He has been a member and devoted supporter of the IFFF for more than 45 years and served as a director and vice president to the organization. If you have ever attended a Federation auction in the Western part of the country, there is a good chance he was the auctioneer. Check out his latest book, “Seasons of the Steelhead,” which was released in 2011.

Lew Jewett Memorial Award recipients, from left: Buddy Price, Ron Winn and Will Godfrey.



Articles and photos by Pat Oglesby



he McKenzie Cup is given annually to the IFFF club that has made the most outstanding contribution on behalf of the IFFF. The Grand River Fly Tyers (GRFT) of Grand Rapids, Michigan, was organized as an IFFF charter club in 2004 with the purpose of promoting and furthering the goals of the IFFF. Members of the organization are involved at the club, council and national levels of the Federation. The GRFT is in that elite group of Federation clubs that truly promotes the organization. GRFT activities are wide in scope; the group offers the public and their membership the opportunity to learn the sport and art of fly casting, fly tying, insect identification and related topics. Members are actively involved with youth education and hold an annual free clinic for 16 select youth. Currently they have two Salmon in the Classroom projects and plan to start a third later this year. The club holds its own show in Grand Rapids each February and also participates in other regional and council events. The club publishes a quarterly newsletter, The Fly Dressers Gazette, to keep members informed of club events. GRFT was the recipient of the Club Achievement Award from the Great Lakes Council of the IFFF for its efforts toward education and conservation. GRFT arranges destination fly fishing trips to places like Alaska, Montana and Labrador. They were successful in converting a catchand-kill camp in Labrador to a catch-and-release operation. Each year members participate in the Au Sable River cleanup and are active in Reeling and Healing Midwest, an organization dedicated to cancer programs for healing both men and women.






THE RODERICK HAIG-BROWN AWARD he Roderick Haig-Brown is an award to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to angling literature. The award is presented to an author of a book, books, or a combination of articles and books that embody the philosophy of Roderick Haig-Brown. James Prosek, writer, naturalist and artist, was born in Stamford, Connecticut, and graduated from Yale University in 1996. Prosek published his first book, “Trout: An Illustrated History,” when he was 19. The book featured 70 of his watercolor paintings of the species, subspecies and strains of trout in North America. In 1997, he wrote his second book, “Joe and Me: An Education in Fishing and Friendship.” His second trout book, published in 2005, is “Trout of the World,” a collection of 100 watercolors of native trout from Europe, Asia and North Africa. Prosek’s work has been shown at the Gerald

Peters Gallery, in both New York and Santa Fe; Meredith Long Gallery, Houston; Tanya Bonakdar Gallery in New York; the Dumbo Arts Center, Brooklyn; The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond; the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, Connecticut; and the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C. Prosek has written for The New York Times and National Geographic Magazine, and won a Peabody Award in 2003 for his documentary about traveling through England in the footsteps of Izaak Walton, the 17th-century author of “The Compleat Angler.” He cofounded a conservation initiative called World Trout in 2004 with Yvon Chouinard, the owner of Patagonia clothing company. His book, “Eels,” an exploration from New Zealand to the Sargasso of the world’s most amazing and mysterious fish, published in September 2010, was a New York Times Book Review editor’s choice, and was the subject of a

documentary for the PBS series “Nature” that aired in April 2013. His latest book, “Ocean Fishes,” is a collection of paintings of 35 Atlantic fishes, all of which were painted life-size, based on individual specimens he traveled to see. In the autumn of 2012, Prosek was awarded the Gold Medal for Distinction in Natural History. Prosek is a curatorial affiliate of the Peabody Museum of Natural History at Yale and serves on Yale Institute for Biospheric Studies board of directors.

Flyfisher Autumn 2013 - Winter 2014




2013 International Fly Fishing Fair Recap

Articles and photos by Pat Oglesby






Flyfisher Autumn 2013 - Winter 2014

his award is for a completed or planned project that is fishery related to conservation, enhancement and preservation. Dave and Emily Whitlock have been tireless in their conservation efforts to support the Southern Council of the IFFF. Through their work with the Whitlock-Vibert Box (WVB), they have made tremendous contributions toward assisting in the re-establishment of salmonid fisheries around the world. One of Dave Whitlock’s most notable contributions to wild trout management and preservation is the Whitlock-Vibert Box System – a unique and efficient instream salmonid egg incubator and nursery devise. He spent seven years researching and developing this system, and wrote and illustrated an instructional text: “The IFFF WhitlockVibert Box Handbook.” Today, under the sponsorship of the IFFF, this Whitlock-Vibert Box program is used throughout the world for introduction or enhancement of wild trout, char and salmon stocks. The IFFF sells the boxes via the website Dave Whitlock has received the IFFF James E. Henshall Award for his work in warmwater fishing and conservation, and the IFFF’s Ambassador Award for the promotion of fly fishing and conservation. In 1996 he was inducted into the Arkansas Game & Fish Hall of Fame and was given the Lifetime Contribution Award in 1997 from the National American Fly Tackle Trade Association. Emily Whitlock has been an avid outdoorswoman most of her life. Born in Arkansas Dave and Emily Whitlock, recipients of Stanley Lloyd and raised in Colorado, she Conservation Award along with the Southern Council, learned to fish when she was shown with Tony Spezio, center. 7 years old. Along with her two brothers she learned early in her life to love the outdoors. She has degrees in botany and biology and is a conservationist in the true sense, willing to work for preservation of the natural world. Honored as Woman of the Year by the Federation of Fly Fishers Southern Council, she has also received conservation awards from the Sierra Club and Wildlife Federation. Emily and Dave Whitlock combined their talents in 1991 and have lectured, instructed and fished together around the United States and abroad. A unique fly fishing team, they are devoted to the world of fly fishing and conservation. They live near Tahlequah in the lovely Ozark Mountains of northeastern Oklahoma.

MEL KRIEGER FLY CASTING INSTRUCTORS AWARD The Mel Krieger Fly Casting Instruction Award is presented by the Casting Board of Governors in recognition of those who have made significant contributions to the IFFF Casting Instructor Certification Program, have dedicated themselves to fly casting instruction, and have shared their knowledge with others. Don Simonson of Camano Island, Washington, exemplifies the selfless dedication and enthusiasm that is appropriate for the Mel Krieger Fly Casting Instructors Award, named in honor of the late Mel Krieger (a founder of the program). Simonson’s tireless devotion to fly casting and to the Casting Instructor Certification Program is demonstrated by his continual work for many years with the Washington Council of the IFFF, the Casting Board of Governors and the Federation.


he IFFF Silver King Award is presented to an individual who has made extraordinary contributions to the sport of saltwater angling over an extended period of time. The individual must be an educator, conservationist, innovator, writer or speaker, or an expert in the sport. Tom Logan of Tallahassee, Florida, is a certified wildlife biologist who makes his living as a private environmental consultant. Logan retired last March after working 47 years in research, recovery and management of primarily threatened and endangered wildlife species. Since 1979, he held the position of bureau chief of wildlife research with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The focus was primarily on the higher-profile endangered and threatened species that occur in Florida. Logan has been involved with the Florida Council of the IFFF in a leadership capacity for many years. Currently he is the first vice president and conservation vice president of Glenn Erikson, left, presents the Silver King the Florida Council. Award to Tom Logan. Logan is a regular participant at conclaves and shows, demonstrating fly tying and teaching workshops. His exemplary work for the IFFF has included the promotion of saltwater fly fishing. He is the lead coordinator between IFFF’s Florida Council and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. He is responsible for recent approval of a regulation change making tarpon and bonefish catch and release only in fisheries throughout Florida’s state and federal waters. The tarpon bag limit is now eliminated, except for a single tarpon when the angler is in possession of a tag allowing take for an International Game and Fish Association record. Both fish are now officially designated as catchand-release species. Logan is owner/operator of North Florida Fly-fishing Adventures and School, dedicated to providing and teaching activities that enhance and support the fly fishing experience for anglers who fish with the artificial fly. The school recognizes that conservation of our wetland and fishery resources is fundamental to our present and future angling experiences as fly fishers. Logan is a life member of the IFFF, a member of the Fly Tying Group Board of Governors, a member of the IFFF Casting Group, and is a certified fly casting instructor. He is a published author, a member of the Whiting Farms Pro Team, and has taught fly tying locally, regionally and at IFFF Fairs.




The Casting Board of Governors awards pins in recognition of continued support for the Casting Instructor Certification Program in areas of administration, committee involvement or program implementation. The 2013 Governors’ Pin was awarded to Dave Barron of Richland Center, Wisconsin. He started fly fishing in 1959, joined the IFFF in 1980, and has been a working guide in Alaska, Missouri, Arkansas and Wisconsin since 1989. Barron has been teaching fly fishing and casting since 1984 and has been the chair of the Casting Instructor Certification Program testing committee since 2012. During the five years he managed the casting education program, he developed workshops, clinics and programs that are now a strong attraction for the annual show. He increased the number and variety of programs and was able to attract more instructors.

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT FLY CASTING INSTRUCTION AWARD The Lifetime Achievement in Fly Casting Instruction Award is given by the IFFF Casting Board of Governors in recognition of those who have made significant contributions to the art of fly casting instruction. Dennis Grant of Brookfield, Nova Scotia, Canada, is owner of the Atlantic Fly Fishing School established in 1993. He operates the school along with his wife Verlie. Grant has been a member of the IFFF Casting Board of Governors since 1998 and is a certified master casting instructor and a two-handed casting instructor. He has taught fly casting for more than 25 years and conducts classes, seminars and clinics across both Canada and the United States. He is a regular at the sports shows in Canada and the United States, where he demonstrates fly casting. In addition to demonstrations, he provides instruction on one- and two-handed casting from the basic to advanced instruction. He also offers coaching to those interested in testing for certification. In 1999, Grant was appointed to a committee to establish a Spey instructor certification. The committee struggled because Spey techniques were still alien to most of the Casting Board of Governors. Finally in 2004, the two-handed casting instructor certification was initiated. Grant has been an important ambassador representing the international component of the IFFF Casting Program.

David Diaz (right) presents the Mel Krieger Fly Casting Instructors Award to Don Simonson.

During the past 12 years Simonson has taught fly casting to over 500 students. Simonson’s presence teaching fly casting is a hallmark of Pacific Northwest regional events. He has the ability to teach students of all abilities and is particularly effective instructing those new to the sport. He is a patient and nurturing instructor and mentor. He has a special quality to be a motivator of students and quickly gains their respect. He has been involved with the Casting Board

of Governors since 2006. During that time he has served on the various committees including Continuing Education, Strategic Planning, the Examiner Effectiveness Work Group, and the Awards Committee. Carl Johnson, President of the Washington State Council says, “Don works tirelessly for the IFFF Casting Instructor Certification Program within the Council and has been a wonderful asset.” Simonson is a Life Member of the IFFF and has been teaching fly casting for 40 years.

Flyfisher Autumn 2013 - Winter 2014



he Governor’s Mentoring Award goes to an IFFF member, or members, for long and continued support of the Casting Instructor Certification Program through mentoring. Mentoring involves sharing casting knowledge voluntarily with individuals, groups or clubs to perfect members’ casting skills. Mentoring also includes assisting and preparing members toward IFFF instructor certifications through PHOTO FROM MAHER WEBSITE (FISHHUNT WITH PHILIP MAHER) casting sessions to further improve the candidate’s casting knowledge and skills. Mentoring helps advance the program by educating and recruiting members into the instructor ranks as well and advancing casting instructors to more advanced certifications. Philip Maher, formerly of Ireland, now residing in Radium Hot Springs, British Columbia, Canada, has been a dedicated IFFF member for many years and exemplifies the kind of person described in the Mentoring Award criteria. He is a tireless ambassador for the IFFF and helped organize a successful casting event in Ireland last year that focused on continuing education and testing at all certification levels. Maher received his master casting instructor certification in 2007, followed by his two-handed casting certification a few years later. He is a very active instructor and guide, presenting clinics throughout Ireland and southern British Columbia. He is a tireless promoter of the IFFF and the Casting Instructor Certification Program and exemplifies the value of solid casting mechanics. Students blossom under Maher’s guidance due to his enthusiasm and confidence. In March 2013 Maher and John Symonds co-authored “Flycasting Skills: for beginner and expert.” It is written in a simple, clear style and is noteworthy for integrating casting mechanics across single-handed and two-handed casting. It includes international casts such as the traditional Scottish Spey cast, the Skagit cast, the Galway cast and the Scandinavian shooting head technique. Rick Williams of the Casting Board of Governors says, “I will probably never in my lifetime encounter another individual like Philip who possesses the drive, passion, inspiration and commitment to fly fishing and fly casting instruction, who selflessly gives his own time promoting fly fishing instruction internationally.”




Thank you to the generous sponsors of the IFFF International Fly Fishing Fair!




Major Sponsors Mike Michalak and his partner Brad Jackson opened The Fly Shop® in 1978. After their modest start Brad left the business in 1987 to move into the world of stocks and bonds. With a little help from the bank and a lot of hard work, The Fly Shop® is proudly celebrating over 30 years of being in business. Check out The Fly Shop’s catalog at Carrileufu Valley Lodge is based in the small town of Cholila in central Patagonia, the southernmost part of Argentina. From Cholila we can take you quickly to the best lakes and rivers for fly fishing, in areas where you will see lots of fish and wildlife but very few people besides your fishing group. Find out more at Established in 1985, Black Canyon Anglers is the largest and most experienced fly fishing outfitter on the Gunnison River. We specialize in wilderness float fishing, walk-and-wade fly fishing and classic whitewater rafting adventures. Black Canyon Anglers offers the only fishing lodge on the Gunnison River – located on a working farm. Knowledgeable guides, quality equipment and attention to detail are hallmarks of a BCA experience. Read more at Cabela’s, the World’s Foremost Outfitter of hunting, fishing and outdoor gear, was born somewhat inadvertently in 1961 when Dick Cabela came up with a plan to sell fishing flies he purchased while at a furniture show in Chicago. Upon returning home to Chappell, Nebraska, Dick ran a classified ad in the Casper, Wyoming, newspaper reading: “12 hand-tied flies for $1.” It generated one response. Read the rest of the story at

The Town of

West Yellowstone

The International Federation of Fly Fishers wishes to extend our heart-felt thanks to the Town of West Yellowstone, the West Yellowstone Chamber of Commerce and the businesses of West Yellowstone for their support and hospitality during the Fair. West Yellowstone is a premier location for our event and we look forward to visiting you again. For more information about West Yellowstone visit

Thanks to all those who contributed to our auctions. We appreciate your donations!

EMBER 24-28

Jacklin’s Fly Shop Food Roundup Bullwinkle’s Westmart Building Center Great Lakes Council of the IFFF Southwest Council of the IFFF Bar N Ranch Market Place First Security Bank Florida Council of the IFFF Frank Amato Publications Executive Mail Services Running Bear Pancake House Westech Forms & Documents, Inc Quesenberry Insurance Agency Once in a Blue Moon Antiques Yellowstone Basin Bank Canyon Street Grill Casting for Recovery Alpine Fly’s & Photos Big Horn Trout Shop

The Bristol Bay Campaign Makes Some Headway but the Fight Continues PHOTO BY SCOTT HED. TOP PHOTO BY TOSH BROWN

Southwest Alaska’s Bristol Bay region is dominated by water. Deemed an angler’s paradise, fly fishers aren’t the only ones fishing in Bristol Bay.

By Scott Hed


he International Federation of Fly Fishers has been engaged in the battle to protect the world’s most productive wild salmon fishery and sport fishing destination of global renown in Bristol Bay, Alaska, for many years. The IFFF, councils, clubs and individual members have weighed in with federal decision-makers about the threats Bristol Bay faces from proposed large-scale mining development. Many an IFFF member has visited this fabled region and enjoyed some of his or her finest days on the water hooked up with a mighty salmon, an elegant grayling, or some of the biggest wild rainbows and char swimming anywhere in the world. Flyfisher Autumn 2013 - Winter 2014




The lengthy fight against the proposed Pebble Mine project in the Bristol Bay region of southwest Alaska experienced a significant shift in the landscape in mid-September. U.K.-based Anglo American decided to abandon its share in the Pebble Limited Partnership, the group proposing to build the mine. After several years and $541 million invested, Anglo determined that it would pursue projects with the “highest value and lowest risks.” So, taking a $300 million write-down to walk away empty-handed, Anglo leaves the Pebble project back in the hands of its soon-to-be-former partner Northern Dynasty Minerals – the junior mining company with no history of ever mining anything but the investment community. Northern Dynasty is vowing to soldier on and carry the Pebble project into the permitting stage. The company is also actively seeking one or more new partners to shoulder the financial burden that Anglo decided wasn’t worth the bother. Simply put, Northern Dynasty does not have the resources to build a mine in Bristol Bay. With Mitsubishi divesting from the project a few years ago and Anglo making the same determination in September, it begs the question: What’s next? Any major player in the global mining industry must consider the possibility that Pebble will never make it out of the planning stage. Aside from the massive capital expenditures that the project would require, there is also the intense opposition that has formed to defend Bristol Bay and the world’s most productive wild salmon fishery. The fly fishing community is an integral piece of an extremely diverse roster of players in this campaign. It’s likely most every maker of fly gear found in your arsenal is engaged in the




Today, Bristol Bay remains a beautiful oasis. But the proposed Pebble Mine threatens the Bristol Bay fishery, worth an estimated $1.5 billion annually and supporting 14,000 jobs. Among the prized game fish in the rivers of Bristol Bay are large rainbow and char like the ones shown here, some of the world’s largest runs of wild sockeye salmon, as seen bottom of opposite page, and coho salmon such as the beauty gracing the contents page.

effort to protect Bristol Bay. The sporting community is working alongside Alaskan Indians of the region, the commercial fishing industry, chefs and restaurants, socially responsible investment firms, jewelers, religious groups and environmental groups as well. The breadth and depth of the opposition to Pebble Mine is impressive indeed. Potential Pebble investors must also contend with the clear science showing that large scale hard rock mining and the Bristol Bay fishery simply don’t mix. Earlier in 2013, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its revised draft Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment (view the report at The assessment indicated that even in a best-case scenario where no major catastrophic event occurred, development of a large mine in the headwaters region of the Nushagak and Kvichak rivers would result in significant detrimental impacts to waters and all that depend on them. The public comment response to the watershed assessment was staggering: More than 650,000 people asked EPA to use its authority under the Clean Water Act to protect Bristol Bay. Astoundingly, 84 percent of Alaskans who commented were in favor of EPA taking positive action for Bristol Bay’s waters and renewable resources – an incredible show of support from a state that usually falls on the side of resource extraction and is not typically a fan of federal intervention. Amazingly, 98 percent of the comments originating from the Bristol Bay region asked EPA to protect their land, waters, fish and way of life. In the face of all the money spent by Pebble

to attempt to win local favor, Bristol Bay is saying “Thanks, but no thanks.” Even with these recent positive developments, the fight to protect Bristol Bay is far from over. Although Anglo will soon be gone, the valuable minerals still remain buried under the rolling tundra on the northwest side of Lake Iliamna. As long as this remains the case, Bristol Bay and its prolific fishery will not be safe until we convince the EPA to place protective measures on the area. EPA has stated it intends to release the final Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment by the end of the year. After two rounds of public comment and two rounds of peer review by a panel of independently selected expert scientists, the report should serve as the basis for EPA making a stand in favor of clean water, fish, a native culture, 14,000 jobs and the $1.5 billion annual economic driver that is the Bristol Bay fishery. It will be up to the fly fishing community to continue its strong support of this campaign. President Obama and the EPA have a chance to protect this one-of-a-kind resource. When they do, it will serve as a conservation victory for fisheries that will go down as one of the biggest in history. And for that, we and future generations of anglers will be thankful. To stay informed with the latest news and happenings with the Bristol Bay campaign, visit or follow Save Bristol Bay on Facebook. Scott Hed is director of the Sportsman’s Alliance for Alaska (

Flyfisher Autumn 2013 - Winter 2014


Smallmouth Lunkers

A fly fisher’s database holds clues to catching the really big ones

Story and photos by John Johnson

It is mid-July, 6:30 p.m. and my fishing companion, Baxter – an English springer spaniel – and I are fishing Michigan’s Pine River. The river is a little high and the water clarity is about two feet. I have been fishing a size 4 BN Zonker for about an hour and have caught six smallmouth bass, none of them large. I fished several pools that in the past had produced big fish without success. WE ARE GETTING A LITTLE FRUSTRATED.


Flyfisher Autumn 2013 - Winter 2014


e come to a long shaded pool and I start fishing the head of the pool with the small streamer and still no luck. The pool has a slight outside bend, so I drop the bluntnose minnow streamer about a foot from it in about 2 feet of water. A big fish hits the fly and makes a quick run to the bank to hide in some submerged logs. By putting a major bend in my rod, I am able to pull it away from the bank. It makes a run under the canoe and then heads for the middle of the pool. After a quick, tough fight, it surfaces and I land the 20-inch

lunker. We fish two more hours and catch a 16-incher and four smaller beauties before stopping for the evening. Last year in July I had not caught a single bass longer than 18 inches over a several week timeframe, and I was getting very frustrated. At that time I asked myself, If I am so interested in catching these lunker smallmouth, why am I not using my extensive, fishing-results database to see if I could identify “big-fish conditions” to help me in my quest? I proceeded to review my data and split it into 15- to 17-inch (large bass) and 18- to 20-inch (lunker bass) fish. After analyzing the data, I found several interesting differences between the conditions that seemed to produce large bass and the next level up – lunker bass. I set out to see if I could better predict the potential size of fish based on those conditions. Following are some of my observations that may give you ideas on catching lunker smallmouth bass in your area. Read on if I have your attention.

Temperature Water temperature is an important variable in determining the feeding activity of lunker bass. My data shows that for large (15- to 17-inch) and lunker (18- to 20-inch) bass, there is no significant variation in the catch rates

for temperatures from 40 degrees to 80 degrees. However, the catch rates for medium and small bass increase as the water temperature rises. The fall feeding binge in deep water tends to skew the lunker temperature relationship somewhat, so let’s focus on a more realistic chart for just the summer months. Catch rates increase with temperature during the summer for large, medium and small bass. Lunker bass are different and show a decreasing catch rate with increasing temperature. This discovery explained a possibility to me of my difficulty in catching lunker smallmouth during the hot days of summer.

Smaller fish catch rates go up in the afternoon while lunker rates stay about the same throughout the day.

Time of Day One decision you will need to make is the best time of day to fish. The general consensus is that evening and after dark is the best time for big fish. It turns out that this is only partially true. My chart shows that lunker smallmouth can be caught anytime during the day with a slight drop in the afternoon. In contrast the best time to catch large (but smaller) bass is later in the day. The smaller fish tend to feed more aggressively in the afternoon when the lunkers are not so active.

Poppers and Deer Hair Frogs are the more effective surface flies. The Sparkle Grub and BN Zonker are the most effective wet flies.

Time of Year Lunker bass can be caught at the highest rates in the summer when

The summer lunker catch rates go down with increasing temperatures while catch rates of smaller fish go up.

The author and Baxter fish a streamer in prime lunker habitat. Fishing the deep side of a shaded pool can be very productive.

High-gradient sections of river are the best place to fish on a summer afternoon. The lower sections are better in the morning and evenings. Graphs by John Johnson

Flyfisher Autumn 2013 - Winter 2014


Lunker smallmouth catch rates peak in August and then again in the late fall.

This lunker was caught in Michigan’s Pine River in July.

Dark chartreuse and gray are better surface fly colors while olive and white are better for wet flies.

they are feeding on minnows in shallow sections of the rivers and in the fall when they enter deep sections of rivers to spend the winter. Large bass can be caught all through the seasons at about the same rate. Summer is the best time to catch medium and small bass.

Where to Fish and Time of Day

Lunker smallmouth tend to prefer larger flies. Larger hooks are better because smaller fish have less chance of being hooked on them.

Another decision you have to face is which river to fish. Rather than talking about specific rivers, let us generalize into two types of rivers: high-gradient (fast and shallow) and low-gradient (slow and deep) rivers. During the summer, high-gradient sections of the rivers provide the best fishing for lunker smallmouth. This result may be due to the large number of plants in the shallow, fast sections of the river that result in high dissolved oxygen levels, or it may be due to the large number of minnows available for food; I’m not sure which is the case. For the low-gradient river sections, the best fishing will be in the morning and evening.

Fly Selection

A large fish puts a deep bend in a 6-weight rod while Baxter looks on.


I think the fly you select should depend on several factors, such as time of year, time of day, river gradient, weather and water clarity. Over the last 50 years, I have recorded all of the data on the flies I use in a logbook and then entered that information into a spreadsheet that has more than 2,400 entries in it, spanning hundreds of fly patterns. This fly-pattern information resulted in

Flyfisher Autumn 2013 - Winter 2014

more than 900 large to lunker smallmouth caught during that timeframe. Each year I have used spreadsheetsummarization pivot tables to analyze the data and determine which were the best patterns, colors and sizes. I split my pattern data information into two groups – surface and wet style patterns. I found the Popper and the Deer Hair Frog have the highest surface fly catch rates while the Sparkle Grub and the BN Minnow have the highest wet fly catch rates. The Lead-eyed Woolly Bugger is best in the early spring and late fall, and the Sparkle Grub will catch fish at any time of year but is best in August and September. The Deer Hair Frog and Popper are productive from early spring through early fall. The hopper is best in August and September when that bug is prevalent on the water.

Fly Color The next decision is what color of fly to use; I hope my information might help you make that decision. My data shows that dark chartreuse is an effective color for both Poppers and Deer Hair Frogs. Gray and bright chartreuse are also good colors for other surface flies. Brown and olive are the best colors for wet flies, while chartreuse and white are also effective but less so than the other two colors. In spite of the popularity of black-colored wet flies, I don’t have much luck with this color, and that result is documented throughout my database.


American Hopper

Fly Size The old rule, big flies for big fish, is true for lunker smallmouth but not for large smallmouth. They do not seem to show a preference for pattern size. The medium bass prefer flies tied on medium size 4 hooks to large or small hooks. The smaller hook sizes work better for smaller fish. Besides being more effective for large fish, the big hooks tend to keep smaller, unwanted fish off, so you may want to tie most of your lunker patterns on larger hooks.

Fishing Strategy My basic objective is to catch one or two big smallmouth on every two- to three-hour fishing outing. To accomplish this goal, I try to put my fly over as many large fish as possible. A typical trip would last about three hours and would cover three miles of river. In order to deal with the car shuttle need, we usually jog from our take-out point back to the upstream launch point. These jogs eliminate the need for a shuttle service and also provide a pleasant way to get some needed exercise. I also try to find locations where there are few if no other fishermen. To reach these fish I utilize a 16-foot, 60-pound Royalex canoe. It is agile enough to cover a mile of river in about 15 minutes, moving easily through the shallow, less-productive sections.

Final Thoughts To be successful at anything requires effort, and fishing for lunker smallmouth is no exception. It starts by understanding the environment, learning to cast well and using the right flies. If you are willing to find rivers that are not fished much and cover a lot of water, the odds of catching these large fish are high. And you may not have to travel far; I catch almost all of my large fish within 10 miles of my home. If your local river is heavily fished and you only wade a few hundred yards from the access point, you will probably catch small fish. If, on the other hand, you move farther from the access point either by walking or using watercraft of some type, your catch rate will dramatically improve. If you use some of the ideas I present here, then you, too, may enjoy catching lunker bass. The important thing is that you get out on the river and enjoy this great sport. John Johnson is a licensed guide and certified casting instructor who lives in Midland, Michigan. He will soon release three DVDs that go into detail on fly tying and fishing for smallmouth. Find more information at, or e-mail the author at

Cork Popper

Deerhair Frog

Flies for Lunker Smallmouth DEERHAIR FROG


Forrest Kaiser originally tied this fly in the 1930s. I started fishing and tying this fly in the late ’50s. It is an effective fly for both largemouth bass and smallmouth bass in all but the coldest temperatures in either clear or muddy water. It is an excellent fly for evening, after-dark conditions. It is fished by short twitches of the rod tip and then stripping to eliminate slack. When the frog is fished properly, it makes a subtle, natural gurgling sound. Recent data shows that it is nearly twice as effective as the poppers that make a more artificial splashing sound.

This fly was first tied by Will Ryan and also by Lefty Kreh (the Cactus Grub). It has an enticing jigging motion that fish can’t resist. When fished near the bank, it quickly drops into the water column where most of the larger smallmouth feed. It has been my go-to fly for more than 15 years. It will catch fish in almost all water conditions and time of day. The fly can be used in shallow water with small 1/40-ounce eyes and in deep water with 1/20ounce eyes. It is generally retrieved with fast, six-inch strips. It is heavy enough that if the stripping is interrupted it will often snag on the bottom.

CORK AND BALSA POPPERS These flies have been in use for more than a hundred years and are suitable for the same conditions as the deerhair frog. They have the advantage of longer flotation when compared to the deerhair frog that tends to waterlog after a few hours.

THE AMERICAN GRASSHOPPER This fly was developed to match the large American grasshopper. The fly has two things going for it. First of all, it has a flat face like a popper that allows it to produce a realistic, subtle commotion similar to a real struggling grasshopper. It is also realistic enough that it will take selective fish that often take a close look at this fly. It is very effective in bright sun and clear water. It is fished by using short pauses in the retrieve followed by short twitches of the rod tip. Line is stripped to keep slack to a minimum.

BN ZONKER This fly is one of my bright belly Zonker patterns that make use of ice dubbing and other flashy materials to duplicate the bluntnose minnows that are found in huge numbers in my local, high-gradient rivers. This is a well-balanced fly that casts easily and still sinks down about a foot into the water. It is particularly effective in clear, shallow water with miles of aquatic plant beds. It is retrieved across current with rapid, six-inch strips.

LEAD-EYED WOOLLY BUGGER This rabbit fly, with the funny name, was first tied by Tom Schumuecker of Wapsi Fly Inc. and was the first fly to make use of dumbbell eyes. This fly is usually fished using a sinking-tip line in low-gradient rivers in the fall and the spring. It is retrieved with slow, six-inch strips.

LARGE BASS WET FLIES Lead-eyed Woolly Bugger

BN Zonker

Flyfisher Autumn 2013 - Winter Sparkle Grub 2014 [33]

Autumn River Crappies Feisty fall fish may become an annual obsession

Story and photos by Terry and Roxanne Wilson


he journey to a past glory hole is nearly always shrouded in uncertainty. Most notably, it’s much farther than you had remembered. You’re sure it’s just over the next rise, but three hills farther no familiar landmark has come into view. Could you have taken the wrong turn back at the stone barn? No, you would never forget the location of such a memorable catch despite it having been at least a decade ago. By now that pastoral stream might be reduced to nothing more than a mud hole or, perish the thought, paved to become a parking lot with condos. Ultimately all those apprehensive thoughts evaporate as the rusted iron bridge with its precarious wooden plank flooring emerges beneath a canopy of vividly colored hardwoods. In autumn the lower section of the river, less than two miles from the reservoir, hosts larger migrant specimens of several species. Their mission is to gorge on the river’s bounty before returning to the depths of the lake for winter. Largemouth bass, bluegills and crappie forage for minnows and feed on the abundant aquatic insects. It’s possible to catch a mixed bag of species, particularly in early autumn, but later in the season it’s not very likely. Bluegills enter the river and depart first. The bass are followed by crappies that stay in the river longest. By the time crappies dominate the scene, the only mixed bag will likely be migrant crappie and the river population of various other species. Generally, the river residents will be smaller than the migratory populations because their lives are more arduous due to the continually moving water. After slipping into waders we walked a couple hundred yards downstream to cross a shallow shoal before proceeding another quarter mile. Deadfalls had been mashed against the clay bank by flood waters. We waded into position and began dead-drifting a fly we call “Brim Reaper” at the edge of the entanglement of branches. The first drift was intercepted by an ill-tempered, 13-inch slab, and the 3-weight’s tip danced rhythmically in response to the fish’s attempts to reach the safety of submerged branches. In an action-packed 90 minutes, 22 crappies measuring 10 to 13 inches were wrestled from the sluggish current before chilling darkness descended upon the river. For fun autumn crappie, river fishing just upstream from reservoirs ranks high on our list. This is due, in part, to the fact that during this time of cooling water, lakes are subjected to a period of turbulence. It’s called the “fall turnover.” Colder air temperatures cool the upper layer of lake water and cause it to become heavier than the other layers and sink. This becomes a stressful time for the fish population, and inducing them to bite is difficult. Moving into the rivers makes sense for the fish and therefore for the angler, too. 34

Flyfisher Autumn 2013 - Winter 2014

Another reason for our attraction to autumn river crappies is that often they’re feeding on subaquatic insect life, and that translates into a perfect situation for our 3-weight rods. A soft action rod, 5X tippets, size 10 to 12 flies and big crappies is surely a match made in heaven. Anyone that would denigrate the fighting ability of crappies in this setting just hasn’t had the opportunity to enjoy the experience. River crappie trips often involve shallow-water presentations, but there are times that deeper holes must be explored as well. It’s always a good idea to carry two reel spools, one loaded with floating and the other with either sinking-tip or full-sinking line. Recently we found that intermediate lines handle the deep-water structure fishing even better. Lines designed to sink as slowly as 1 to 2 inches per second will get the fly deep enough yet keep the fly above bottom entanglements. They are also perfect for windy conditions. Wind that causes a chop on the water’s surface allows slack and consequently loss of direct contact with the fly. Intermediate lines eliminate that problem. If a deep drift is desired, cast up and across. Slow current will enable the angler to stay in control of the fly and still achieve a dead drift. Another option is the attachment of a strike indicator above the fly. This is especially helpful in avoiding snags. Remember, the crappie’s eyes are located near the top of its head, enabling them to feed above their position. There are times when casting down and across the current without a strike indicator will induce more strikes. This presentation allows the fly to acquire drag and simulate the natural insect’s rise to the surface. Observation of a hatch in progress with few fish rises may indicate that the down and across presentation is in order. Creating a fly box for autumn crappie in rivers is pretty simple. We utilize only three fly patterns, but we do carry two different colors of each. Best results are usually forthcoming while using a size 10 nymph with a very buggy appearance. It’s not necessary that the fly imitate a particular subaquatic insect, but a stark silhouette and a bit of action will attract the most crappie interest. A dark-colored fly, such as black, brown or olive, will get the most interest in stained water while a lighter colored nymph, either tan or possibly yellow, is best in clear water. This big buggy nymph can be fished with great confidence as it has produced consistent results

over many seasons. There are times when a mayfly hatch is visible yet fish rises are few. This may be because the crappies are taking the nymphs as they leave the bottom and capture them before they reach the surface. If that’s the case, a size 12 mayfly nymph will entice more action. Once again, it’s not necessary to match the specific insect but replicating the silhouette is one of the keys to its success. Natural mayfly nymphs in various shades of brown or tan will get a positive response in relatively clear water, but if darkened waters slow the action, try a mayfly nymph tied in blue. Blue may seem an odd color for a nymph. Certainly there’s nothing like it in the natural world, but they are more visible to the crappies in stained water and have a proven success record for us under those conditions. When the crappies seek a more substantial meal, a streamer is the wise choice; use a size small enough to replicate the minnow population that exists in the river. A size 10

marabou streamer with the wing being no longer than one and a half times the length of the hook shank will provide the enticing action necessary to induce strikes. A dark pattern such as one with an olive wing and copper body is especially productive in stained water, while a white wing and silver body becomes more visible in clear water. A down and across presentation on a slack line will allow the minnow imitation to reach the desired depth before imparting short, erratic strips. Autumn is a wonderful season to be outdoors. The colors are vibrant, the air crisp and that old flannel shirt feels just right again. Adding a lightweight rod to chase these feisty species and their pursuit during this time of year may become an annual obsession. Terry and Roxanne Wilson of Bolivar, Missouri, are longtime Flyfisher contributors focusing on warmwater fly fishing. For more articles, tips and tricks, or to schedule them to speak at your club, visit their website at or e-mail them at

Flyfisher Autumn 2013 - Winter 2014


Below the fabled ‘Holy Waters’

Find solitude and a great warmwater fishery on the Au Sable River

By Derek LeRoy Photos by Gabriela LeRoy

Ask any fisher about the Au Sable River in Michigan’s northern Lower Peninsula and you can count on being told that it is considered one of the best trout fisheries east of the Rockies. It has been designated a blue ribbon trout stream by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and is often known locally as the “Holy Water.”


he Au Sable has been featured in many books and fishing magazines for years and is considered to be one of the 50 best places to fish in the United States. The “Holy Waters” of the Au Sable are those upstream from U.S. Forest Service (USFS) 4001 Bridge on Au Sable River Road (also known as Federal Route 4001) near Glennie, Michigan, but what about the waters below the bridge? Books, magazines, friends, guides and Internet search engines could easily have you believe that after 60 miles of river starting in Fredrick, the river simply ends at the 4001 Bridge. Even the river maps that you purchase from area fly shops will end at the 4001 Bridge as if the water just flows off the end of the earth. Of course, we know the water doesn’t drop off of the earth. Right? What you may not know is that there is another 60-plus miles of the Au Sable River from USFS 4001 Bridge downstream to Oscoda where it enters Lake Huron. The 4001 Bridge might be considered the end of the trout water, but it is just the beginning of the warmwater, fraternal twin of the upper river. It has the same high water quality and natural beauty, but the lower Au Sable supports different species of fish like smallmouth bass, Northern pike, bluegill, crappie, walleye, perch and steelhead. Even though the species mentioned in the last sentence may not be as high on the want-to-catch list of many anglers, I really enjoy having any one of them at the end of my line. Best of all I don’t

The 4001 Bridge might be considered the end of the trout water, but it is just the beginning of the warmwater.

have to put up with the crowds often encountered in the famous trout water upstream of the 4001 Bridge.

4001 Bridge Alcona Dam Loud Dam Cooke Dam

Gear and Flies

Five Channels Before we discuss the different Foote Dam Dam parts of the lower river, where to gain access and how to approach catching the fish in each section, let’s spend a few moments reviewing equipment. A 7- or 8-weight fly rod is perfect for this section of the Au Sable. I like to use a full-sinking line with a 1- to 4-foot 1X leader, but I could also use a floating line with an 8-foot sink tip if that were my preference. Streamers are a great way to tease the fish into action using The author enjoys using his kayak to fish Cooke retrieves that may vary from lowDam Pond near Lumberman’s Monument. and-slow to strip-as-fast-as-youBelow, a couple of the author’s favorite streamers. can methods. When possible, I bring two rods and rig one with a weighted streamer such as a Woolly Bugger or Matuka Sculpin to fish the many deep bends in the river; on the other rod I attach a nymph like a Hellgrammite or a heavily weighted EZY Crayfish. The river can be waded in spots, but the best way to fish it is with a float tube or kayak/canoe. Both Matuka Sculpin have advantages. A craft like a Woolly Bugger kayak will allow you to cover more water and to paddle back fish between the 4001 Bridge and the pond. The pond has upstream to re-fish a productive section, while a float tube will many shallows and flats with cover and structure for fish. Both allow you to hold your position in the gentler current, to the river section above the pond and the pond itself can be maneuver with your flippers or to navigate to shallow water to floated easily by float tube, canoe or kayak. The most prostand in the tube while making a presentation or tying on a fly. ductive areas for the fly fisher are at the north end of the Now let’s take a look at the river section by section to pond as the river enters it and at the south end near the dam. give you an idea of what’s available and how you might consider approaching each.

USFS 4001 Bridge to Alcona Dam

Alcona Dam to Loud Dam and Five Channels Dam

As the Au Sable River passes the 4001 Bridge, the water conditions change as the water flows for two miles into the Alcona Dam Pond. The Alcona Dam Pond is a 975-acre impoundment about three miles west of the town of Glennie, Michigan. It is roughly 3.2 miles long and half a mile wide. The majority of the land surrounding the pond is privately owned with a large parcel within the county’s Alcona Park with a campground and three boat ramps. Fishing is excellent for smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, pike and assorted pan-

After the Alcona Dam, the Au Sable transforms back into a river for the next 12 miles as it makes its way to Loud Dam Pond. This section of the river has excellent fly fishing for smallmouth bass with a few walleye and trout mixed in to provide variety. The river picks up cool water from Hoppy Creek, the South Branch River, Smith Creek and Stewart Creek. A few sections can be fished by wading, but I prefer to float the river. Access is easy at the Alcona Dam off Bamfield Road or on Au Sable River Road for the first two Flyfisher Autumn 201 3 - Winter 2014


Lake Huron



the boat ramp and the Saw Mill Point campground. Foote Dam Pond starts below Cooke Dam Pond and is basically the second part of one continuous body of water. The first mile and a half is river-type environment before it opens into a true sense of an impoundment. Cooke Dam Pond sees much more recreational watercraft than the other impoundments due to the easy access for the 525-site, Old Orchard Campground and the nearby roadside park.

Foote Dam to Lake Huron The best section of the river, this is my favorite part! Below Foote Dam, the Au Sable is free from barriers as it wanders downstream on its way to Lake Huron. This is where the smallmouth bass fishing graduates from “good” to “excellent.” From the boardwalk along the south side of the river below Foote Dam, you can see bass quietly holding The author with a nice-sized smallmouth bass taken from his favorite area of the Au Sable River. behind the structure and in eddies close to the water’s edge. miles below the dam. After the first two miles, access is betIt is possible to cautiously wade some sections of the river for ter on the west side of the river from Michaud Road, the first half a mile below the dam, but I’ve found a kayak Curtisville Road or Pinkys Drive. Farther downstream, access gives me much better and safer fishing opportunities. This secto Loud Dam is on the east side of the impoundment off Loud tion of the river is full of structure with sunken logs, deep Dam Road. Riparian lands between Alcona and Loud Ponds pools and riffles; in other words, everything you could ever are managed by the USFS as a quiet area with motorized vehiwant for great smallmouth bass, streamer fishing. Access to cle access to the river being prohibited. As a result, this reach this section is available below the Foote Dam, the Rea Road provides a special wilderness setting that is unique to Lower boat launch, the High Banks overlook on River Road and the Peninsula rivers. The water depth is about 10 feet in the river Whirlpool boat ramp. The first two winding miles of the river channel along the south side of the pond and less than 6 feet – from Foote Dam to High Banks overlook – can easily be outside the river channel. I prefer using a sinking line throughcovered in a two- to four-hour float trip. Luckily, it’s only a out this section of the river. 1.25-mile walk back to the parking lot to get your vehicle. For Five Channels Dam Pond begins immediately below a longer float I recommend taking your watercraft out at the Loud Dam. This three-mile impoundment requires fast-sinking Whirlpool boat ramp, but you will need a ride to retrieve line to fish due to the 20- to 30-foot depths along the river your vehicle. Because I prefer the section directly below channel gradually getting shallower into the 10-foot-deep Foote Dam, I have not spent much time farther downriver range nearer the shoreline. near Lake Huron, but it is a beautiful area with many fishing opportunities. Is the lower 60 miles of the Au Sable River as good of Cooke Dam Pond and Foote Dam angling waters as the famous upper section? Only you can Pond make that call, and for each person that decision would be very personal. For me I’ll take the quiet solitude and great Both of these 8-mile-long impoundments have similar qualiwarmwater fishing on the lower river every time. Maybe after ties. The upper sections of the pond have a river-like setting reading this article I’ll see you there, or I can wave from my before opening up to a lake and bay area. I use a sinking line kayak as you drive by on your way to deal with the crowds to target bays, inlets, points of land, islands and the edges of on the upper river. weed beds along the shoreline, keeping to areas where the water is less than 10 feet deep. Access points to the Cooke Derek and Gabriela LeRoy are from Canton, Michigan, where they operate Dam Pond are at the dam or below the Five Channels Dam, their business, LeRoy Fly Tying Supply.


Flyfisher Autumn 2013 - Winter 2014


In Florida's Big Bend Story and photos by Tom Logan


lorida hosts approximately 7 million acres of natural wetlands that comprise natural lakes, marshes, rivers and streams. The Big Bend area near my home in Tallahassee supports no shortage of these diverse aquatic systems. This is due, in part, to the peninsular geology of Florida, its rainfall and the fact that the state extends into an ocean environment. Many natural lakes ranging in size from a few to thousands of acres are scattered throughout the Florida Big Bend. Lake Talquin constructed on the Ochlockonee River in 1927 for hydroelectric power is the only manmade impoundment near Tallahassee. The Suwannee and Apalachicola are the two larger rivers of note; however, unique to the area are the many streams that flow from springs

Early morning fog on Lake Hall.

and seeps into the Gulf of Mexico. Each of these numerous streams is uniquely individual in both environment and fish. The growing season is long in these biologically rich systems, supporting fisheries and fly fishing opportunities that are as diverse as the systems themselves. Local anglers typically use live bait (crickets and worms) to catch their share of fish in these warmwater fisheries; however, it may surprise you to learn many of the flies that have caught trout around the world for hundreds of years are remarkably effective patterns for taking southern bream and bass. A little knowledge of the biological factors that govern the lives of these fish, their growth and reproduction may suggest why. The lakes and streams of the area do have similarities because they are of the same geographic region and rainfall. But factors that include size, depth, bottom shape and whether they’re tidally influenced by the Gulf of Mexico’s waters do affect the abundance and diversity of plant and animal life these systems support. The bream species that live in the natural lakes predominantly include bluegill and flyers (the locals call them flyer bream) with warmouth and shellcrackers occasionally included in the mix. They also support an abundance of largemouth bass. All of these species are members of the sunfish family Centrarchidae. The species of bream typical in the stream systems are the spotted and redbreast sunfish with an occasional bluegill taken from deeper waters. The spotted sunfish is locally called a “stumpknocker”

Flyfisher Autumn 2013 - Winter 2014


Conserving, Restoring and Educating Through Fly Fishing

Biology on the Fly

Conserving, Restoring and Educating Through Fly Fishing

Biology on the Fly because they often hold near stumps and knees of the cypress trees that dominate the forest edge along these flowing streams. These forest edge dwellers are voracious little fighters on the fly. Although largemouth bass do occur in these streams, most interesting is the fact that locally distinct species of black bass (Suwannee, shoal and Choctaw) occur somewhat exclusively in the respective stream systems where apparently they evolved over time. This likely is because many of these relatively short streams originate distinctly from unique water sources in the Florida Panhandle and terminate at the Gulf with little or no natural opportunity for fish to interact between systems. Any interaction that has occurred is most likely due to fishermen carrying and releasing live fish from one system into another. Obviously, water temperatures and clarity are important to the fish that are endemic to each of these systems. Temperatures in the lakes around Tallahassee do cool during the temperate winter months. The bream and bass spend more time in the depths during this period and are not as responsive to the ways I prefer to fish for them. Interestingly though, most of our small panhandle streams or rivers are heavily influenced by the springs that feed them. The spring waters come out of the ground relatively warm throughout the year and some of these streams never cool below 65 degrees, even in the winter. Therefore, the fish and the foods they eat remain active and are fishable throughout the year. I’ve fished and caught stumpknockers in the Wacissa River during winter as though it was summer in their world, while the air temperature was freezing around me and ice formed in the guides on my rod. Another interesting wintertime characteristic of these streams that flow directly into the Gulf is that saltwater species, such as redfish and sea trout, leave the cooler waters of the Gulf to winter upstream in these warmwater refuges, providing some unique fishing opportunities. Catching bream and bass from under the overhanging willows and cypress on the patterns I’ll discuss later, while your fishing partner takes sea trout from the deeper middle of the stream, makes for a mixed and interesting day of fishing. It also is important to note that these systems are tidally influenced for miles upstream, and the fish respond accordingly. I find the best time to fish them is often during the last couple hours of a rising tide. The water remains fresh because the rising tide only holds back the

Lake Miccosukee has a lot of fish cover that makes landing one a challenge. The bluegill grow large, as seen above, and are fun to catch. The Miccosukee Flyer, above right, is another beautiful fish found here. Both were caught on a White Wulff. Notice the emerald speckling on the warmouth’s body, below right. The black crappie, below left, was caught on a Western Coachman.

support abundant and diverse plant communities likewise will support insect populations of high numbers as food for fish. Aquatic insects are especially important in the diets of fish, and the mayflies and caddisflies are just as important to the fish species in Florida as they are to

The author tested several trout flies in the waters of Florida’s Big Bend. The use of these flies in a warmwater setting was very successful. See the flies on page 44. trout in Rocky Mountain streams. The fact that mayflies and caddisflies are important food items for fish in Florida may be a surprising but true fact. More than 80 species of mayflies and 200 species of caddisflies have been documented to live in Florida waters, but we seldom see them emerging as dramatically here as is typical of Western waters. This probably is because our wetland systems are vast, our growing seasons are long, and the ecological need to emerge in a hurried way is not necessary for insect survival in our temperate climate. It is more typical in the Tallahassee area to see a tiny Baetis occasionally rise as a single individual rather than a heavy hatch often encountered on Western waters. A few exceptions exist that include two larger species of mayflies, the willow fly (Hexagenia limbata) and a large white mayfly (Tortopsis puella). Both do emerge in impressive numbers at specific times during the summer months. The Hexagenia hatches at first light continuing through morning while the Tortopsis emerges at the very last light of day, usually to have bred and died by next morning. Both species are burrowers in their immature forms and are quite large in the adult stage with body lengths alone that can exceed one inch. Presenting a White Wulff or a Wacissa Moth when the adults are emerging can be very productive. The Hexagenia typically emerge in still waters along the shorelines while the Tortopsis hatch where the water is moving and clay banks are present for burrowing. So how does all this apply to our fly selection and the way we fish them for bream and bass in the Big Bend area? Clearly, we could do as many local anglers would and fish a cricket, a minnow or a Mepps Spinner and catch plenty of fish. We also could fish a pop-

Flyfisher Autumn 2013 - Winter 2014


Conserving, Restoring and Educating Through Fly Fishing

Area map by Andrew Sutherland

freshwater flow causing levels to rise, and it is during the last hours of a rising tide that feeding habitat and food availability are optimum. The plant communities in these aquatic systems are another key to their fish abundance and the diversity they support. We as fishermen generally understand that plants and other structure provide habitat where fish hide from predators and feed, and where young fish survive to eventually become breeders. Those of us who have ever fished over a bream bed also know that sunfish require shallow sandy or gravely bottoms for spawning in open areas of vegetation. Just as plants provide habitat for fish, plant communities are perhaps even more important as habitat for the natural foods fish depend upon for survival, growth and reproduction. Freshwater fish generally eat aquatic insects, small crustaceans, macroinvertebrates and smaller fish throughout the world. This is as true for a brown trout in an Irish stream or a golden trout in the Sierras as for a bluegill in the Florida Big Bend. Many species of aquatic insects are specific to the plant species, woody structure or bottom type they occupy just as are the many species of birds and mammals that occur where we find them in the different cover types. Those of us who hunt or watch birds learn where to look for certain species and where not to look because we have some understanding of their habitat relationships. This also applies to aquatic insects; so, wetland systems that

Conserving, Restoring and Educating Through Fly Fishing

Biology on the Fly ping bug effectively with a fly rod. But we tend to think more biologically when fishing for trout, so why wouldn’t we do the same for bream and bass? We approach a trout stream and analyze where a fish is likely to be holding. The next logical thing is to tie on a fly that we anticipate will mimic the natural insect the fish is waiting to eat. Logic would suggest a similar approach could be productive for warmwater fish, and I can assure you that it is in fact true. During my career as a professional wildlife biologist, I thought of this as a biological approach to fly fishing regardless of whether fishing for cold or warmwater species. I always think of water along with the plants and structure under the surface as fish habitat. I then cast my fly where I think a big bluegill probably is waiting for an easy meal. But the flies I fish stem from an understanding of predator-prey relationships. All animals must eat to survive and to successfully reproduce. While some are grazers and others predators, game fish around the world generally are predators, which means they eat other vertebrate and invertebrate animals to survive. The importance of this to fly selection is that there are two criteria important to predator survival. Their prey must be abundant enough for a fish to not expend more energy foraging than it consumes in calories. When you apply this concept to the most abundant and available forms of aquatic insects, it is the emerging and adult insect life forms on the water’s surface that most fulfill these two criteria. Whether we think about it in this context or not, this is why we fish the popular dry-fly patterns. Of course, we must not overlook the fact that it is exciting catching a fish on a surface fly. Even though a dry fly might be more exciting, it is the historic wet-fly patterns that are even more effective because they so well mimic the perfect prey form that is essential to fish survival. Today few fly fishers tie or fish the old-style, wet patterns, but I can assure you that I catch my share of the Big Bend bream and bass on those oldies but goodies.

The Lower Wacissa is an angler’s paradise.

My favorite patterns include the Irish Invicta, Fiery Brown, Green Peter, the Welsh Coch-a-bon-ddu, Iron Blue Dun, Partridge and Orange, Western Coachman and Old Gray Mare. Have a look at these classic flies in Verne Lehmberg’s “Focus on the Fly” on page 44. I think a 400-year-old pattern like a Patridge and Orange is a perfect imitation of an abundant and available prey form rising in the open water column as are the others I just mentioned. In addition, modern-day flies like the White Wulff and Talquin Sedge are good surface patterns while the Wacissa Streamer is a fly on which I take many largemouth, Suwannee and other species of black bass. Lakes Jackson, Hall, Iamonia, Carr and Talquin are all good fly fishing venues in the Tallahassee area. But my favorite is Lake Miccosukee just to the east of Tallahassee. Miccosukee is a natural lake named after the American Indian tribe of the Seminole Nation that once occupied the area. The lake is shallow and highly organic with floating islands, and much of its surface is covered with the large

The Saint Marks River is just one of many “stream” fishing opportunities in Florida’s Big Bend. This Saint Marks River stumpknocker, or spotted sunfish, above left, is a real beauty, while the Swannee bass is built for speed and is a strong fighter.

Above, this Lake Talquin largemouth bass liked the looks of a Western Coachman. The author shows us how to tie the Western Coachman in “At the Vise,” on page 45. Left, the Wacissa Moth is one of the author’s favorite on-the-surface patterns. See other fly patterns mentioned in this article on the following page in “Focus on the Fly.”

used on lakes except the natural movement of the current provides most of the movement of the fly. I’ve fished other similar dry and wet patterns with success, but the patterns I mention above are those that seem to best satisfy the biological criteria I describe. Weighted nymph patterns that sink deeper will be taken when fish are staying deep, and small poppers are always productive for bream, as are larger surface patterns for bass. But I enjoy fishing the patterns I do, and perhaps most importantly I have confidence that I’ll catch fish when I use them. There also is something satisfying about catching a big, copper-headed bluegill on a pattern that was designed several hundred years ago for taking trout in another part of the world. So, add a little biological perspective to your fly fishing for warmwater species, and give some of the historic patterns a try. Logic would suggest that if they’re still around after 400 years, they must catch fish. I can testify they definitely do! Tom Logan is a certified wildlife biologist who recently retired and lives in Tallahassee, Florida. He enjoys tying and teaching the classic trout patterns but has a special interest in tying the historic and modern soft hackles and other wet patterns. He fishes those patterns for southern bream and black bass in his home waters, as well as for trout in the Smoky Mountains, Sierras and other streams of the West. You may contact him at or check his website at

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Conserving, Restoring and Educating Through Fly Fishing

leaves of water lilies the locals call “bonnets.” Lake Miccosukee is typical of the many natural lakes in Florida. It is rich with aquatic life, and fly fishing can be spectacular. Fishing on Miccosukee and other similar area lakes is most productive during the early and late hours of the day, but my preference is to be on the lake before first light in the morning. I usually arrive to launch my Gheenoe (slender boat similar to a canoe) in the dark, but I can still find my way to the lily pads where I’ll make my first cast. The air is still, warm and so saturated that breathing feels akin to swallowing warm milk. The only sounds are pig frogs visiting with one another, an occasional alligator taking a big bowfin and a bluegill sucking an insect off the surface. That is a good sound and the birds that will begin singing soon only add to symphony. Although I fish all the patterns I’ve mentioned, it’s difficult for me not to start with my favorite, a Western Coachman. I make my first cast to the edge of a lily at the first hint of light and I let the fly sit on the surface for a few seconds. I twitch it a bit and if it hasn’t disappeared down the mouth of a bream, I start retrieving it as a dry until it eventually sinks. From that point I strip it slowly until finally lifting it as an emerger rising to the surface while starting my backcast. Often a fish will nail the fly while I am lifting it to the surface. The combination surface/subsurface presentation gives me a better perspective for how fish are responding to the fly on any given day. They do seem to take the fly more on the surface on some days and subsurface on other days. I generally fish all patterns the way I describe for the Western Coachman; however, I fish the White Wulff only dry on the surface, and if fish appear to be taking the Western Coachman mostly on the surface, I will add floatant as needed to keep it on the surface. I fish the Talquin Sedge and Coch-a-bon-ddu with just a little floatant in the wing to keep them slightly below but still in the surface film. The Old Gray Mare is fished identically to the Western Coachman, but I fish wet patterns like the Invicta and Fiery Brown by stripping them purposefully under the surface and then lifting them as an emerger. The Wacissa Streamer is stripped to imitate a bait fish swimming laterally under the surface. I often fish soft hackles like the Partridge and Orange by themselves or as a dropper under a Western Coachman. I typically let a soft hackle sink a few feet when fished as a single fly and then lift it as an emerger to entice a take. Each pattern is presented on our streams similar to the manner

Conserving, Restoring and Educating Through Fly Fishing

Focus on the Fly Photo essay by Verne Lehmberg


om Logan, a professional biologist on the IFFF Conservation Committee, is known for his casting and fly tying skills. He has experimented with using trout flies such as the White Wulff, Western Coachman, and old European fly patterns for warmwater fish in Florida. These flies have an interesting history. Lee Wulff’s durable White Wulff was made in 1929 to imitate the large coffin flies on the Au Sable. Irish tier Michael Rogain developed the Fiery Brown salmon fly in the early 1800s. Its fiery color depended on his using ass’s urine to degrease the feathers before dyeing. The Coch-a-bon-ddu represents a red and black beetle, the garden chamfer, found in Wales. The Partridge and Orange is a traditional English trout and grayling fly, dating back at least 400 years. Logan successfully fishes these patterns and his own designs for warmwater fish here in the United States. He describes how to fish these flies and their biology starting on page 38.

White Wulff Lee Wulff

Verne Lehmberg from Dayton, Texas, is a longtime Federation member and an excellent photographer. Also see his “Fly Box” on page 47.

Partridge and Orange North Country of England Fiery Brown Ireland

Old Grey Mare Buz Buszek Talquin Sedge Tom Logan

Invicta Ireland

Coch-a-bon-ddu Wales Wacissa Tom Logan

Western Coachman Buz Buszek


Flyfisher Autumn 2013 - Winter 2014

THE WESTERN COACHMAN By Tom Logan. Photos by Max Birnkammer


he Western Coachman is without question my favorite fly pattern. I never go on a fishing trip without a few size 14s in my fly box. It has produced bream and black bass; five species of trout; black crappie; and even golden shiners, chain pickerel and bowfins. Although the Western is not as old historically as some of the other patterns, I find it’s not without some significance. The Western Coachman was designed by fly shop owner Buz Buszek (the gentleman the IFFF award was named for) of Visalia, California, in either 1939 or 1940, originally as a local pattern for taking Sierra rainbow and brown trout in the Kings River. He patterned the Western Coachman after the wet version of the Orvis Company’s Royal Coachman, which was designed in 1878. The various Coachman designs, including the Royal Wulff, Royal Stimulator and others, are all ancestors of the earlier original Coachman that was designed in the 1830s by the driver or coachman for the royal family of England. Not only was the first of these patterns named after the coachman, but the color of brown hackle used in the pattern also is referred to as coachman brown.

Buszek first used white African impala hair for the wing in the fly. He eventually had difficulty getting enough of the impala hair and changed to calf tail hair acquired from local dairies. This source of material proved less than dependable, and he eventually settled on white hair from the side of mule deer as the wing. He marketed the pattern through his fly shop, and around 1949 the pattern received a boost in popularity when the Pacific Coast Olive Company purchased 2,000 Western Coachman flies to use in a company promotion. They offered a coupon with purchase of olives that could be mailed in to receive one of Buszek’s Western Coachman flies in a special metal box. He later began providing the pattern to the Orvis Company to carry in their inventory of fly patterns. Today the most reliable source of the Western Coachman is at your own vise, so read on to learn the secrets of tying this great pattern. Tom Logan lives in Tallahassee, Florida, where he enjoys tying and teaching the classic trout patterns. He has a special interest in tying the historic and modern soft hackles and other wet patterns. You may contact him at or check his website at



MATERIAL S Hook: Daiichi 1550, #10-16 Thread: Black Danville’s 6/0 or Gudebrod 8/0 Tail: Golden pheasant tippet Rib: Fine gold wire Body: Peacock herl with fine gold wire rib Wing: White deer hair Hackle: Coachman brown rooster neck or hen saddle feather Head: Black thread



Tie on a tail of golden pheasant tippets that is as long as the hook shank. At the end of the shank wrap one turn of thread under and behind the tail to tilt it up slightly as illustrated in the photograph.

Tie thread in with a jam knot behind the hook eye and wrap to midpoint of the shank, while constructing a flat thread base. Tie gold wire on the bottom side of shank to later use as a rib.



Tie several peacock herls on bottom side of shank at rear tie-in point and wrap forward to approximately the 75 percent point on shank. Wrap the herls forward to meet the thread, tie them off and trim the waste ends. Wrap gold wire rib forward using five turns (winding in same direction as herl), tie it off and trim the excess to finish the body. Wrap the thread forward to the 25 percent point and leave it there for the next step.

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Conserving, Restoring and Educating Through Fly Fishing

At the Vise

Conserving, Restoring and Educating Through Fly Fishing

At the Vise Continued from page 45



Completed Western Coachman

Strip the waste fibers from the base of a hackle step and tie it to the hook in front of the body. Wrap several turns of hackle, tie it off and trim the waste. Be sure to leave room for the wing in the next step.



FLY TIPS Do-It-Yourself Peacock Chenille Article and photos by Kelly G. Glissmeyer

O Stack a wing of white deer hair and tie it to the shank in front of the hackle wraps. Once complete, the wings should be long enough to reach the end of the hook bend. Trim the waste ends, then bind them in place with several thread turns.



Wrap a thread head, apply a whip-finish and trim the thread from the hook. Apply a coat of head cement to finish the fly.


Flyfisher Autumn 2013 - Winter 2014

ne of the most popular materials in fly tying is peacock herl. Something about that iridescent, bluegreen color drives fish wild and it has become a staple for most fly tiers. Patterns such as current versions of the Pheasant-tail Nymph, Griffith’s Gnat, Renegade and many others come to mind. One of my favorite patterns for warmwater species such as bluegill is the Shop-Vac nymph developed by Craig Matthews of Blue Ribbon Flies in West Yellowstone, Montana ( Although developed for trout, this little fly is a bluegill magnet and has become one of my favorite bluegill flies. I like to tie Matthews’ pattern with an added peacock herl collar as a thorax. I call it the “Improved Shop Vac.” One of the downfalls of peacock is that it is not very durable. Often fly tiers will twist the herl around their tying thread in order to strengthen it when wrapped on the fly; I have taken this one step further. After binding down two or three stems of herl, pull your thread down next to the herl. Using good hackle pliers, clip the herl and thread together near the herl stems. Now take your thread back up and secure it to the hook. Next, twist the hackle pliers counter-clockwise until you have a nicelooking peacock chenille rope. Wrap your herl as needed and tie it off. This method makes your herl almost bombproof and makes for an impressive looking finished fly.

Photo essay by Verne Lehmberg


Beetle Frank Bowman Madison, Wisconsin

hese flies are ordinarily used for warmwater species. Largemouth and smallmouth bass all take small sunfish, minnows and crawfish. Grace Liu and Fred Hannie’s realistic crawfish patterns are most effective fished near the bottom. Deerhair and hardbody poppers provide topwater sound and attractive water movment to entice the bass to strike. Seeing them grab the popper is a memorable event for any fly rodder. Warmwater panfish find smaller beetle, spider and bug imitations fit thier mouths. Dale Wilkinston’s Psychedelic Spider’s color is like nothing in nature, but looks buggy to the fish. Water boatman are true bugs that live in shallow water, as they must return to the surface for an air bubble. The realistic Water Boatman by John Newbury has a shine that looks like trapped air. Letting a Water Boatman fly sink to the bottom and then retriving it to the surface mimics the action of the real ones. Also see Lehmberg's "Focus on the Fly" on page 44.

Psychedelic Spider Dale Wilkinson Dallas, Texas

Crawfish Grace Liu Dallas, Texas

Crawfish Fred Hannie Lake Charles, Louisiana

Deerhair Popper Billy Munn Bridgeport, Texas

Deerhair Sunfish Michael George Olthe, Kansas

Big Dog Frog John Maddux Hewitt, Texas

Cinco Ranch Candy Frank Budd Katy, Texas Ganzo Minnow Jonathan Gonzalez Houston, Texas

Japanese Beetle Sean Miltby Longwood, Florida

Two of the many water boatman species that inhabit both warm and cold shallow lakes and slow-moving streams in North America.

Water Boatman John Newbury Chewelah, Washington

Conserving, Restoring and Educating Through Fly Fishing

Fly Box

Conserving, Restoring and Educating Through Fly Fishing



Photo by Tom Tripi

the air for a moment, waiting for me ong, long ago, in a galaxy far, to begin some kind of forward motion. far way (I believe it was the I stopped wondering what I should to Black River System in the do next, but then started a slow forWestern Adirondacks), I was trying to ward cast. Wrong … what a mess! cast streamers across fast-moving water Then I repeated the process without to bedding smallmouth bass. My flies stopping. I swept the rod around sidewere 4-inch-long, full-dressed hair-wing armed behind me, with no stops, then versions of Carrie Stevens’ famous came forward in one continuous circustreamers for trout. As you might lar motion. The line sailed out over 60 guess, the operative word was “trying.” feet, even picking up excess line at my I wasn’t good at “distance casting”; 50 feet. Wow! I thought I had invented a feet was a long cast for me. I couldn’t new cast! cross the river, so I missed out on the About that time I received a castbass, but I was determined not to let it ing book from a monthly book club. happen again. Of course I soon learned that my new That was 45 years ago. I wanted cast already existed; it was called The to learn more, but at that time there Belgian Cast. But I kept refining my were no casting instructors in the area. perception of how that cast should The local population was almost all work, at least for me. I could now add military, me included, living on or weight to the fly and distance to my near the former Camp Drum Military cast. Today it’s one of my “go to” casts Reservation. But there were fish and game clubs around every corner. One local club had a resident “Ol’ Codger” who occasionally put a fly reel on a long spinning rod and fly fished for salmon. By today’s standards he wasn’t a fly caster, but he could deliver a fly accurately. His advice added two ingredients to my quest to improve my casting: Take your time and use a slower-action rod. My “slow” rod was a 9-foot Montague bamboo. It had backbone and flexed deep, almost into the cork. I started thrashing it with a 7-weight, double-taper line and a big streamer (sans the hook). And thrashing is exactly what I did, picking up and backcasting at every angle and direction possible, all with exquisitely poor timing. I was a classic study in how to cast poorly by repeating multiple errors! One afternoon I was fishing, but mostly practice casting, for big bass that were hitting low-flying dragonflies. I was using a large deer hair popper. The wind from Top, deer hair poppers and a “muddler” perch on an my left was driving the cast to the 11-weight rod. The muddler is 9 inches, and the popside, so I tried sidearm casting. For pers, 5 to 7 inches. Above, casting big flies in predatorsome strange reason the line and filled waters can be rewarding. This guy wanted the the fly suddenly swung around author’s 5-inch-long black leech. The rod is an 8½-foot behind me and hung suspended in 7-weight.

Photo by Jeff Sympson


Flyfisher Autumn 2013 - Winter 2014

for the large flies I occasionally use. I also found that some of my “line tugging” was called a double haul, but that’s another story. Early on, I used a bamboo rod for casting large flies. When bamboo and glass were “replaced” with graphite, I slowly converted to its sleek design and faster action. As time went on, that “faster action” design was replaced with progressively faster and stiffer action rods. The old “fasteraction graphite” was now considered slow. But those slow graphite rods were just right for my style of almost “slow motion” casting. My big flies were sometimes 9 inches long, tied from spun deer hair. They were light, wind-resistant flies that big fish loved. When I finally mastered the ability to cast large flies, I used my newfound skill on Lake Ontario and Lake Champlain chasing large pike. My favorite big fly was a large Muddler Minnow tied on a double 4/0 hook. It consisted of two spliced hook shanks that totaled 4 inches. They swim better and are more aerodynamic than classic poppers. They also attract a lot of attention, especially at dawn and sunset. I’ve used that fly successfully in just about every fishing environment including brackish and salt water. Large predators seem to go crazy over it. So how does one cast large flies? First, as far as I’m concerned, there are two types of large flies. One type includes the big, lightweight flies just described. The others are true heavyweights that are large in size with big lead eyes. Breathe easy because today I’m concentrating on casting big, light flies only. Recently I was standing in my canoe, gliding down the center of a brackish water bayou. The wind was using me as a sail while pushing the canoe at an easy pace for casting along the shoreline. The water teemed with just about anything that swims in Louisiana, but I was looking for big alligator gar. My rod of choice was an old-gener-

Photos by Jenny Pelc

A great-looking, wide loop leads to a 50-foot cast, an ideal loop for large flies.

ation graphite with a 10-weight, double-taper line. The leader was short (under 8 feet), ending with 18 inches of 0.019-inch hard mono. The fly was similar to the “Muddler” as pictured. Presentation and accuracy were not necessary because a big gar is an opportunistic feeder that charges just about anything that falls in the water, especially at night. An occasional “splat” as a big fly hits the water sometimes attracts those predators – sometimes an alligator, as well. I would start a typical cast by taking up all slack line between the rod and the fly. When necessary, I execute a roll cast pickup and follow with an immediate pickup and full backcast. The cast actually starts with the rod in a low, sidearm position, pointing at the

fly, and then executes a pull or “hauling” tug with the line hand as the rod begins its “circular progress” to the rear. I complete the backcast by first slowly increasing rod speed while raising the casting arm to increase the lines’ altitude. To complete the backcast, I continue a sweeping motion until the rod extends back, pointing about 45 degrees above the horizon. As the fly goes back, I allow it to proceed just a bit longer, “almost going out of circular motion” and stopping for a split second. I’m now changing from a “Belgian mode” to a standard forward cast. Just as the line circles back and I perceive a loading “feel” in my line hand, I begin to move the rod forward – pointing in the direction of the target area, finishing a standard

forward cast. I like to keep my loops wide in this cast, thus avoiding tailing loops if a bulky fly dips too low. Nowadays, I’ve aged into a slow, deliberate caster. My distance is a result of learned timing, not strength. My big flies are slightly smaller – no need to overpower the rod or my aching shoulders. And the words of that Ol’ Codger about slowing down were among the first of a list of life moments for me that helped define how I would pursue the art of fly fishing over time. It’s something everyone should think about. Master Casting Instructor Tom Tripi is from Folsom, Louisiana, where he uses a fly rod and canoe to pursue his favorite fish, teaches casting to students of all ages, and studies astronomy in his spare time.

Flyfisher Autumn 2013 - Winter 2014


Conserving, Restoring and Educating Through Fly Fishing

The beginning of a wide, sweeping Belgian arc, a large popper is just starting to “skitter” across the surface of the pond.

GOLDEN BONES By Carol Oglesby Photo by Carol Oglesby

Conserving, Restoring and Educating Through Fly Fishing

Woman’s Outlook zaak Walton referred to carp as the “Queen of Rivers” with a chapter of “The Compleat A ngler” offered to its praise. “The Carp is the Queen of Rivers: a stately, good and very su btle fish. The Carp, if he have water-room and good feed, will grow to a very great bigness and length, I have heard, to be much above a yard long. He is a very su btle fish, and hard to be caught. If you will fish for a Carp, yo u must put o n a very large measure of patience, especially to fish for a River-Carp.”


Nancy Burdette displays a beefy northern Colorado carp.

Methinks some angler in the distant past had occasion to boast about his ability to wrangle carp for the dinner plate; then catching a fish could be the difference between going hungry or not. Today, catching them is more of an “experience” and fly fishing for carp is becoming an acceptable, yet not-quite-revered-by-all angling adventure. I should preface that by saying not revered in America, because around the world carp is considered a No. 1 sport fish. No longer considered a novelty here in the United States, the fun of carping has been touted for years by some recognized anglers like Dave Whitlock. A New York Times article dated February 12, 2012, called “Carp Gain as a Fly-Fishing Favorite” by Chris Santella, gave carp fishing an angling


boost – from the redneck backwaters to the boardrooms of corporate execs. In the 1990s, my husband, Pat, and I were introduced to the joy of carpin’ by our friend Brad Befus. Along with co-authors Barry Reynolds and John Berryman, Befus wrote the classic how-to book “Carp on the Fly, A Flyfishing Guide,” published by Spring Creek Press in 1997. Today, the newest book on the subject is “Orvis Guide to Fly Fishing for Carp” by Kirk Deeter, published by Stonefly Press. It was recently introduced to the public at the 2013 combined spin and fly casting show in Las Vegas this past July. I’m no expert on the subject; I just know that catching a carp on a fly rod is a hoot. My first excursion for them was with the Befus family during a weekend in Colorado, on a lake

Flyfisher Autumn 2013 - Winter 2014

near the Sand Dunes National Park. I was told the lake structure would be like wading the saltwater flats for bonefish. It was true; it had a hard, sandy bottom and the lake was shallow. We could easily walk across the reservoir without fear of drowning. The carp on this lake are either quite willing to take a fly or are totally off, so after a four-hour drive we had our fingers crossed that the rascals would be obliging and willing to play. When we arrived and rigged up our rods, we noted the inlet to the lake was full of carp, so we assumed it would be a productive day. Befus reminded us to walk very slowly while sneaking along the bank, and to step quietly into the water lest we spook the wary fish. I hung back and watched as Befus waded soundlessly ahead of me

my balance, I whirled around and saw a flash of gold motoring away from the area – unaware of my pounding heart and quaking legs. Bent on revenge, I watched the hulk in the distance slowly turn and circle back my way. Armed with a 7weight rod and one of Befus’ flies, a cone-headed Squirrely Minnow, between the thumb and forefinger of my left hand, I waited and waited until I saw the fish start to feed with its head burrowed in the lake bottom and the tail pointing up. Applying Befus’ technique, I casted the heavy fly toward “the zone,” waited breathlessly while allowing it to sink and made two water-moving strips. Pow! I set the hook and palmed the reel. The bruiser took off, the reel zinged and whacked my knuckles HARD! Seems that was one thing Befus forgot to tell me. Sadly, it took two rounds of the same punishing exercise before I learned to keep my left hand free of the reel. To say I was hooked on carp is an understatement. One of the fish I caught that day was a rather rare mirror carp, exhibiting very few scales. We were lucky that day as the hogs were in the sty and eager to feast at the slop bowl. Last March at the 15th Annual Western Colorado Fly Fishing Expo

I’m no expert on the subject; I just know that catching a carp on a fly rod is a hoot. creature as it sped toward the center of the lake. It made two solid runs, eventually exposing the backing on my reel before Befus netted the hefty fish. After this introduction and excited to experience the “run of the gold” again, I stood quietly watching for nervous water – a positive indicator of active fish. While squinting toward the horizon into the water to concentrate on finding fish, I suddenly felt a solid thump on the back of my calves, nearly sending me reeling face-first into the murky water. As I regained

Carp fight!

Conserving, Restoring and Educating Through Fly Fishing

like a long-legged stealthy heron. He whispered directions: “School moving right, 3 o’clock. Don’t cast into the school, you’ll spook them all. Pick one moving away from the school and cast the fly in front of it. Carp tailing 40 feet ahead at 11 o’clock.” A well-aimed cast, three seconds to let the Clouser sink to the carp’s level, two strips to get its attention, then a flash and a yank on the line. A hook set launched a tug-o-war with the

in Grand Junction, one of our faithful supporters donated a guided carp-fishing trip for the auction. My friend Nancy Burdette and I were the successful bidders. In July, we arranged to take the trip and were pleasantly surprised to find our guide had a fullfledged, saltwater-type flats boat to pole us around the perimeter of the lake. Carp love hot weather, so it was a perfect day for the float. Armed with several trusty Squirrely Minnows – an order tied by Tyler Befus, Brad’s son – we were set for the day with plenty of icy cold water in the Yeti cooler. I had primed Burdette for the trip with tales of our excursion with Befus in previous years. Never having experienced a carp run, she was not disappointed. Taking turns “on the deck” of the boat, Burdette was first up. The guide provided direction similar to those offered on any saltwater trip: “Be ready, carp cruising at 80 feet, 2 o’clock, take the shot.” For her first time chasing the golden ghost, Burdette was the carp queen for the day, landing a darkly colored carp, a mirror carp and the biggest fish of the trip. She was hooked! In this low and warmwater year, carping has provided me a great way to get a “tug fix” in the scorching summer heat. I think carp are challenging and rewarding. If you have not tried them, then think about giving the golden bones a cast. Be prepared for sight-fishing, accurate casting and one heck of a lot of fun! Carol Oglesby from Grand Junction, Colorado, is a regular contributor to Flyfisher on female fly fishers’ interests. You may contact her at

Photo by Pat Oglesby

Photo by Carole Oglesby

The author releases a southern Colorado common carp.


Conserving, Restoring and Educating Through Fly Fishing

Fishing Humor By Jason Duncan


t best, I am a mediocre fly fisher. Let’s call it what it is: I am a bad fly fisher. I am also a New York City stay-at-home dad of a 2year-old daughter, so come the weekend I’m ready for a break. And how do I take my break? I take my break fly fishing an hour’s drive upstate. A trout expert, I am not. But three casts into this last season, I had my first-ever rainbow in the net. A trout fisherman, I now was. That’s about where my success ended. Since then I might as well have been stomping around in the water swinging at fish with an aluminum baseball bat. I’ve been fishing my inaugural trout season in the tailwaters of the New York Croton River Watershed. And there are fish there because I’ve seen them through polarized lenses. I can see the fish as my flies go bumping along past them without a second glance (“patterns” they’re called, right?), including my ugly black Woolly Buggers and orange-tipped Woolly Buggers and tungsten-tipped green Woolly Buggers. These are all

backswing. And how can I possibly go fishing and ignore my life when I’m hung up every six or eight seconds? As I read in “The Little Red Book of Fly Fishing” by Kirk Deeter and Charlie Meyers, getting hung up is fine as long as it’s in front of you. Casting in nice spots around low-hanging limbs and downed trees and half-submerged boulders where fish are typically to be found, an angler, any angler, will occasionally find him/herself hung up. But to get hung up behind you? Well, that’s unforgiveable. Nearly all the times I’m hung up are of the unforgiveable sort. Learning from my mistakes must, in the end, almost assuredly make me a better bad fly fisher, right? In fact, being a bad fly fisher then has made me an infinitely better bad fly fisher now. A bad fly fisherman isn’t necessarily a stupid fly fisher. He’s just bad. If I were a stupid fly fisher, I’d just throw rocks at the damn fish. But really, is there anything more relaxing than spending 35 minutes untangling three flies in a row out of

Ready to start catching fish, you discover you’ve run your line on the wrong side of the reel housing. Well, a smart guy would just go home. flies that the guys at my midtown Manhattan fly shop refer to as “attorney’s flies.” I’m fishing with something called “attorney’s flies?” I can’t say I’m exactly in love with the sound of that. In fact, when discussing my fly fishing woes with Flyfisher Editor Al Beatty, he suggested I try a certain cross-stream casting technique with a PMD. “OK, Al. Sounds great. Will do. What the hell’s a PMD?” If I were a golfer I’d lose twelve balls, hit a 147, and then brag about how I didn’t knock anybody’s teeth out with my


the same damn tree, or spending twoand-a-half hours retying improved clinch knots only to have every last one break after applying normal pressure? (Thread, loop, loop, loop, back through, spit, tighten, pull, snap! Expletive! Repeat the process followed with tighten, pull, snap! Louder expletive! It’s enough to make you want to learn a new knot.) Or spending seven straight minutes delicately pulling down a branch out in the middle of a rapidly moving stream, determined not to lose that expensive attorney’s fly? Right at the crucial moment when the branch is bent to the breaking point,

Flyfisher Autumn 2013 - Winter 2014

Clinch knots are easy. Yeah, right!

pop! That $3 purple Woolly Bugger tumbles off the line and disappears below the water’s surface? Expletive! Expletive! Expletive! And wind knots are inevitable; they are just a hazard of the sport. Right? But when you’re getting them in July while still at the car? And then down at the water, waded in and ready to start catching fish, you discover you’ve run your line on the wrong side of the reel housing? Well, a smart guy would just go home. Turns out I’m not a smart guy and it’s a good thing, too. I landed a rainbow keeper on my second cast. Admittedly getting himself caught by this guy, he had to have been an astonishingly stupid fish. And the one I lost on a PMD (that’s right, Al, a PMD!) 10 minutes later was even bigger. So, is fly fishing my passion? Do I think about it all the time? Do I read about it constantly? Do I practice learning how to cast left-handed after the toddler goes to bed? Do I dream about catching fish? Yes. And that dream is always the same. I’m hooked into some angry monster, some kind of trophy fish, and I fight him, I let him run, I reel him back in, I let him run again, and, in the end, I almost get him in hand. And, always, he spits the hook just an arm’s length away. Wait … I don’t even catch fish in my subconscious? Jason Duncan is a humorist and the owner of a willfully disobedient Welsh terrier. As the stayat-home dad of an incorrigible 2-year-old, he writes picture books during naptime that he tries to sell after bedtime. He lives with his family in New York City. Editor’s note: If you would like to read more of Jason Duncan’s plight learning to fly fish, let us know via e-mail at



n September 2011, my wife and I stopped by Independence, Missouri, on our way home from the IFFF Fair. While visiting with my 87-year-old mother, she wanted to know more about the trout flies I import and sell through Brothers Flies, USA. While showing the flies to her, she told me a story I had never heard before. In 1941 at the age of 17, she moved to Denver, Colorado, and stayed with her cousin for several months. While living there they both worked at the Wright & McGill Company tying their famous Wiltless Wing Trout Flies. At the time, the company was a leader in hiring women, minorities and disabled workers. This revelation was a real surprise for me. My mother has always loved fishing,

introducing the sport to my brother and me. But I never thought she knew anything about fly fishing – much less that she made a living tying flies. During our visit she surprised me by saying, “I think I can still do that.” She wanted to give tying flies another try. So I gave her the extra tools I had and an assortment of materials to get her started. After a class at a local fly shop, I bought her a fly tying book. She began reading it immediately and wouldn’t put it down. Thus began the re-emergence of my mother as an avid fly tier. During the next year the employees at the Bass Pro fly fishing department, George Mann and Jim Kissane, “adopted” her into their classes. They patiently helped her through the begin-

Photo by BTs Photography

Edith Warren proves she can still catch a fish. Inset images, clockwise from top: Edith Warren’s trout was a nice fish and fun to catch. During the next year, Bass Pro fly fishing department employees George Mann and Jim Kissane “adopted” Edith Warren into their classes. Edith Warren’s Humming Bird is a real beauty.

ner and intermediate level classes, teaching her again the proper use of the tools, materials and the best techniques. They were surprised at her nimble fingers and how quickly she picked up the tying process. She regularly sent me pictures of her flies, including a hummingbird. In May 2012, I was back in Independence for a Mother’s Day visit and was able to see all of her handiwork. I was quite impressed by what an 88-year-old fly tier can do. I had some business at Bennett Springs and talked her into making the two-day trip with me to visit the fly shops. She loved visiting the fly shops, looking at their bins of flies and discussing them with the staff, but she hated the long hours in the car. Later that week we went fishing and used her flies. I set her up on one of the handicap access piers with a lawn chair, a fly rod with an indicator, and one of her flies dangling below. Helping her with the fly rod, we managed to hook and land a couple of fish and had several other hits that she wasn’t quite fast enough to hook. We didn’t catch a lot of fish, but we got some action and pictures. During our time on the water she talked to all the anglers nearby about what they were using – always asking if they tied their own flies. After a good three hours, the sun was getting higher, our shade was gone, and she was getting hot and tired. So we packed up and made for the nearest air-conditioned restaurant for a hamburger before heading home. What a good time we had together. It rekindled long-forgotten memories of us fishing when I was growing up. I will long remember and cherish that time on the water with the one who gave me life and raised me to love fishing. Also, it was just fun to be with an unexpected fly tier I had known all my life. Texas author and IFFF member Ted Warren is fairly certain his mother would be excited to receive some samples of your favorite flies, used tying books, magazines or excess material. They can be sent to Edith Warren, 3928 Circle Drive, Independence, Missouri 64054.

Photos by by Ted Warren

Flyfisher Autumn 2013 - Winter 2014


Conserving, Restoring and Educating Through Fly Fishing

Fly Fishing Heritage

2013 Photo Contest Winners By Pat Oglesby FLY ANGLERS IN THEIR ELEMENT 1st: “Will’s First Fish” by Stu Hastie of Hastings, New Zealand. Location: North Island, New Zealand 2nd: “Casting into Glass” by Greg McCrimmon of Arvada, Colorado Location: Trappers Lake, Colorado 3rd: “Streamside Team Work” by Michael DeVillier of Lincolnton, North Carolina. Location: Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina INTERNATIONAL FLY FISHING EXPERIENCES 1st: “Surveying Secret Creek” by Stu Hastie of Hastings, New Zealand. Location: South Island, New Zealand 2nd: “Stalking the Edge” by Stu Hastie of Hastings, New Zealand. Location: South Island, New Zealand 3rd: “Eat It” by Stu Hastie of Hastings, New Zealand Location: North Island, New Zealand NATIVE FISH OF NORTH AMERICA 1st: “Pure Colorado Gold” by Greg McCrimmon of Arvada, Colorado. Location: Trappers Lake, Colorado NATURALS AND THEIR IMITATIONS 1st: “Golden Mayfly” by Stu Hastie, of Hastings, New Zealand Location: North Island, New Zealand 2nd: “Stuck in the Shuck” by Stu Hastie of Hastings, New Zealand. Location: South Island, New Zealand DIGITAL CONSERVATION 1st: “Fish Passage V-Screens, Sorting Things Out for More Life” by Sherry Steele of Sisters, Oregon Location: Pelton Round Butte Dam, Deschutes River Fish Passage, Madras, Oregon PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD “Will’s First Fish” by Stu Hastie of Hastings, New Zealand. Location: North Island, New Zealand

“Pure Colorado Gold” by Greg McCrimmon

GRAND PRIZE JUDGE’S CHOICE “Will’s First Fish” by Stu Hastie of Hastings, New Zealand. Location: North Island, New Zealand “Stalking the Edge” by Stu Hastie

“Will’s First Fish” by Stu Hastie

“Surveying Secret Creek” by Stu Hastie

“Golden Mayfly” by Stu Hastie

“Casting into Glass” by Greg McCrimmon

“Stuck in the Shuck” by Stu Hastie

“Fish Passage V-Screens, Sorting Things Out for More Life” by Sherry Steele

International Federation of Fly Fishers SM

5237 U.S. Highway 89 South, Ste. 11 Livingston, MT 59047-9176

Non-Profit Organization U.S. Postage


Post Falls, ID Permit No. 32

Flyfisher Fall 2013-Winter 2014  

Battle for Bristol Bay, the campaign to stop the Pebble Mine by Scott Hed • Smallmouth Lunkers, clues for catching the really big ones by Jo...

Flyfisher Fall 2013-Winter 2014  

Battle for Bristol Bay, the campaign to stop the Pebble Mine by Scott Hed • Smallmouth Lunkers, clues for catching the really big ones by Jo...