Page 2 OFFICERS Alex Rose, President Melody Weinhandl, President-elect Vacant, Vice President Vacant, Secretary Ed Rate, Treasurer BOARD OF DIRECTORS Terms expire in 2010 Jamie Gibson Joe Meyer Gene Theriault Brent “Smokey” Weinhandl Terms expire in 2011 Bob Fischer Scott Novotny Bill Wichers Vacant Terms expire in 2012 Casey Leary Neil Ruebush Andrew Sauter Matt Stanton The Backcast is the monthly newsletter of the Wyoming Fly Casters, an affiliate club of the Wyoming Council of Trout Unlimited, the Nature Conservancy and the Federation of Fly Fishers. Editorial content does not necessarily reflect the views of the officers, board or members of the Wyoming Fly Casters. Annual dues are $20 for an individual, $30 for a family, or $250 for a lifetime individual membership or $450 for a lifetime family membership. Visit the club website at www.wyflycasters.org. The deadline for submission of information for each issue is the next to last day of the month. Make contributions to the next issue by e-mailing material to the Backcast editor at ChevPU57@aol.com, or call (307) 436-8774. The Backcast is available either in electronic format or through USPS snail mail. To receive each newsletter through a monthly e-mail, you must be able to open .pdf (Adobe Acrobat, a software format available free of charge) documents. Generally, each issue is roughly 1 MB in size, some are larger. Your e-mail provider may have limits on the size of attachments. In order to be added to the e-mail list, send a request to ChevPU57@aol.com. In addition to receiving each issue of the newsletter earlier than your hard copy peers, e-mail subscribers are able to print each copy in vibrant color -an added plus if the issue is rich in color photographs. By subscribing electronically, you also save the club roughly $17.40 a year in printing and postage expenses.
Wyoming Fly Casters Monthly Newsletter
Drag-free Drif ts by Alex Rose, President, WFC email@example.com "The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of that which is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope." -- Anonymous his last month, I was able to tear myself away from the computer and the latest Tiger Woods scandal updates to get in some fishing. I understand that numb fingers and frozen guides aren't for everyone. In fly fishing, there is a fine line between adventure and insanity, and that line is drawn along the icy banks of our tailwater streams during winter, when the wind chill plummets below zero. But for those willing to endure the elements, the rewards are outstanding. The pressure on Wyoming tailwater fisheries during winter is relatively light. And since trout feed throughout the year, fly fishing on our tailwaters is truly a yearround sport. • A few words about the Chistmas fly competition at our annual Christmas party. First, from what I've been told, this year's competition may go down in the history of the Wyoming Fly Casters as the most exciting and action-packed event, ever. We had eight entries, double the number that we had last year. Board member Neal Ruebush attempted to enter a fly this year that included two hooks. But I used executive privilege and scuttled his entry. I submit that Neal's entry was a very clever design: The two long streamer hooks were runners for a sled that were created from popcycle sticks. However, the rule, laid out in the Backcast, stated the following: "The only rule requirement for an entry is that it be tied on a hook." That means one, singular hook. Using more than one hook for an entry is a slippery slope. Next, we'll have folks using three hooks, four hooks, 10 hooks, and then we may end up with never ending wars, national debt, spiraling health care costs, etc. Actually, I thought about including a multi-hook entry, but declined, on
account of "the rule." I wanted my fly to include a hook, followed by two stinger hooks. I was going to name my entry, "we three kings" or "the three wise men." Perhaps I should place the issue of entering multi-hook fly entries in the annual Christmas fly competition on the agenda for the next board meeting. In order to select the top three finishes, this required a vote, which resulted in a three-way tie. The run-off vote resulted in a two-way tie, between first and second place. Finally, a third vote, by a show of hands, determined the top three winners. I barely took first place at the competition, but this isn't because of my tying skills. My entry was not that complex, and I'll admit that the second place finisher, Russ Newton, is a much better tier. The reason why I won is that, the night before the Christmas party, I was willing to venture out of the house in sub-zero weather, and drive on icy roads to Walgreen's, where I purchased a cute, white, plush bear for three bucks. The bear cradled my fly, which was impaled on a red wine cork. Although a creative fly entry is crucial in this competition, presentation certainly doesn't hurt. • I'm pleased to announce that the club's former annual "Cabin Fever Clinic" has been resurrected. In 2010, the fly fishing clinic will be held at the Casper Recreation Center on March 6, between 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. For new members unfamiliar with the clinic, activities include casting and fly tying instruction, with the goals of promoting fly fishing and the recruitment of potential members. I am currently seeking volunteers to participate in this event. If you are interested in teaching casting or fly tying, please call or e-mail me. If we have enough volunteers and publicity, I believe this year's clinic will be enjoyable, and a wonderful antidote to "cabin fever."
Cover shot: A hoppper hitches a ride on a two-weight reel on Boxelder Creek.
Wyoming Fly Casters Monthly Newsletter
New Zealand fishing is slated feature for January program The Jan. 13 program for the general membership meeting is slated to feature “Once in a Blue Moon,” a DVD shot in New Zealand. The meeting begins at 7:00 p.m. in the Izaac Walton League clubhouse. Guests are always welcome. The 38 minute video features a rare natural event. Set amongst the spectacular scenery of southern New Zealand, a fascinating tale unfolds. We follow one angler’s quest to document and unravel a childhood mystery and catch monster brown and rainbow trout. Shot in high definition, with stunning cinematography and underwater footage, the video shows what happens when massive numbers of mice jump into waters filled with enormous trout. • No outings have yet been scheduled for the balance of January, or even in February or March. But mark your calendars for the annual trek to Ft. Smith in Montana to fish the Bighorn River in early April. • The February general membership meeting is to feature Bill Wichers explaining the Moffitt Angling System. This patented catch-and-release system uses hookless flies tied on flexible synthetic cores instead of hooks -- quickly looped on or off the leader -- with a specially designed barbless circle hook at the end. When the angler sets the hook,
the flexible fly is pulled out of the fish’s mouth and the trailing circle hook is implanted into its jaw. Moffitt includes a handy hook release tool with its six, twelve and eighteen fly promo kits (ranging from $15 to $40). Other benefits to the system include the ability to fish multiple flies of differing patterns simultaneously, each looped ahead of a single circle hook. C u r r e n t l y, the available Moffitt nymph patterns include the gold-ribbed hare’s ear, pheasant tail nymph, Prince nymph and bead-head ice caddis. Three of each are included in the promo kit, along with threaders, a release tool, instructions and ten appropriately sized circle hooks. Due to the trailing circle hook, there has been some concern that the system may violate the anti-snagging laws in some states. States are lining up to approve the system, however. A wide selection of dry flies and streamers are slated or already have been added to the Moffitt system. A question intriguing many fly fishers is how the recreational fly-tier can produce patterns which will utilize the hook-less Moffitt system. This meeting is set for Feb. 10.
BRAG BOARD From the membership
A rainbow caught on the Wind River below Boysen Dam by Alex Rose in December, on an egg pattern.
Bylaw amendment vote set for Jan. 13 by Alex Rose Joe DeGraw resigned as president of the Wyoming Fly Casters this summer, due to his relocation to Laramie. Following his resignation, there was confusion as to which officer is supposed to become president: The vice president, or president-elect? Unfortunately, the answer to this question is vague in in the club's bylaws. So, in the interest of clarity, On Oct. 21, the board of directors voted to change the wording of the bylaws, in Article III, Section 7. This part addresses the responsibilities of the president-elect position. The current wording states: "The
president-elect shall assume the duties of president upon the completion of the elected president's term." The board voted to amend the sentence to the following: "The presidentelect shall assume the duties of president upon the completion of the elected president's term, or upon his or her death or resignation." Although the board may propose changes to the bylaws, the general membership must vote on proposed changes, in order to amend our bylaws. There will be a vote at the general membership meeting on Jan. 13 regarding the proposed change to the bylaws.
Alex Rose with two fish caught in early December on the Wind River. The upper one was around 21 to 22 inches; the lower measured 25 inches, probably between 6 and 7 lbs. Both were caught on egg patterns.
To include your fishing report, send information to the Backcast editor, c/o ChevPU57@aol.com.
Wyoming Fly Casters Monthly Newsletter
What can TU do for the WFC? When Alex Rose first posed this question to me when I was in Casper for the council meeting, I was a bit taken back. The TU mission in Wyoming is "To conserve, protect, restore, and sustain Wyoming's coldwater fisheries and their watersheds." It seemed to me that any coldwater fisheries recreation group or coldwater fisheries conservation organization would embrace this mission and want to at least pursue the common good. But, the more I thought about it, the more logical the question became. Even if we shared a common goal, why should the two organizations have anything more than an arm's length relationship? As I thought about Alex's request, it made perfect sense to explore this question from the Wyoming Council's perspective. So, that's what I will try to do. And that's what this article is, my perspective of why our two organizations should work closely together and why the Wyoming Flycasters should remain an "affiliated" chapter of Trout Unlimited. Alex further expanded on his request when he asked me "What does TU do for coldwater fisheries in Wyoming?" I will try to answer that question as well. The Wyoming Flycasters have a long history of great conservation work in the Casper area. You have completed many worthwhile projects (most of which I'm sure I'm not even aware of). I was given the opportunity to see part of that work recently when Matt Stanton, Spencer Amend and others from the WFC hosted a few of us for an afternoon of fishing at the Cardwell access. What a great conservation project to create this unique and productive fishery. No doubt, there are many other examples of your efforts. As I understand it, Trout Unlimited has had little or no contribution to most of these. So why not continue to work independently? In my estimation, the answer is that together we can accomplish so much more than we can independently and the synergy makes both of us stronger. In short, I feel that we need each other. Let me share my perspectives first on why TU needs the WFC. There are currently 104 TU members in Casper that are assigned to the Wyoming Flycasters "affiliated" chapter. This number, no doubt, could be larger with an active TU
by David Sweet, Chairman, Wyoming Council Trout Unlimited recruiting effort. These TU members need a voice and an organization to belong to where they can contribute and participate if they so choose. As council chairman, it's my responsibility to give them that opportunity. What better organization than one with the longevity and history of the WFC. Also, Wyoming TU needs the knowledge that the members of the WFC possess of the local fisheries, the watersheds, the conservation issues, and the political climate of the Casper area. We need that expertise in order to accomplish our mission on Casper area waters. And, to be honest, Wyoming TU wouldn't really be a true statewide organization if we didn't have representation in its largest city. Local representation, knowledge and influence are critical in Wyoming if
we are to plan, organize and complete conservation efforts. But, why does the WFC need Wyoming TU? The truth is, you probably don't "need" us. You've existed for many years without us and can continue for many more. However, I believe you can accomplish much more with us. Let me explain by dividing my thought into four categories. First, conservation reasons. Trout Unlimited has accomplished much around Wyoming and has positively impacted many coldwater fisheries. As examples, I would cite the efforts to preserve Yellowstone cutthroats in Yellowstone Lake from lake trout; the efforts to reduce the tremendous loss of trout to irrigation diversions around the state (rescue operations and installations of fish screens); reestablishment of native cutthroat trout all over the state but particularly on the Big Horn and Shoshone National Forests; barrier removal and habitat restoration projects throughout the state including on the Shoshone River system, the North Fork of the Tongue River, the Green River system, the Snake River system, the upper North Platte River system near Saratoga, Bear Creek in Evanston, the Popo Agie River near Lander, the Wind River, the Hoback River, the Greybull River, etc. I point these out not to boast, but to let you know that today Wyoming TU is an action oriented organization. As a council and as chapters we have been successful in planning, organizing, funding, and completing these and more projects that have made a difference for coldwater fisheries. We know how to write grants (chapters and the council received five Embrace A Stream grants and numerous other private and governmental grants in 2009) and we know where to find the money to get things done. This fall the council awarded $5,000 each to the Cody and Jackson chapters to partially fund great efforts on the lower Shoshone River and on Flat Creek. I'm aware that the WFC is reinvigorating its conservation efforts and Trout Unlimited has the knowledge,
Together we can accomplish so much more than we can independently.
Wyoming Fly Casters Monthly Newsletter resources and experience to help. Note that I say "help." TU does not dictate to any of our chapters what should be done. That is left to the local leadership to identify the most important conservation efforts. The role of Wyoming TU is to help the chapter accomplish the chapter's priorities. Second, lobbying power. Trout Unlimited now has 6 full-time, paid staff people located in Wyoming working on a variety of programs and projects at the state level. These folks work hard to help our coldwater fisheries issues such as instream flows; diversion of Wyoming's water both inside and outside the state; water hydrology and flow issues such as the WFC faces at Grey Reef; CBM issues; oil and gas leasing issues related to coldwater fisheries; protection of major critical habitat areas like the Wyoming Range or Little Mountain; major back country issues of concern to sportsmen throughout the state; major watershed issues; etc. These people can be allies and resources for the WFC's efforts. They work for all of us. Third, capacity building. Wyoming TU has employed in the past and is trying to hire a Wyoming coordinator. This position has as one of its responsibilities to help chapters recruit members, organize themselves, train leaders, and be effective. The position assists all WY chapters. This capacity building is critical for new chapters, but can also be useful for established groups like the WFC. Fourth, networking. Trout Unlimited and the Wyoming Flycasters don't accomplish their good work alone. Conservation projects require partners whether it is the local G&F office; a private landowner; a state agency; a conservation district; a federal agency like the USFS, USFWS, BLM, NPS or BOR; or another conservation group like the Nature Conservancy, NRCS, SFW, WWF, or others. Trout Unlimited has partnered with many of these groups in the recent past and has been successful in establishing good working relations. Many have been financial supporters as well. I'm certain that the WFC's also have partners, but I'm equally certain that together our ability to network would be greater than if we proceeded individually. There you have it. That's my take on "What can TU do for the WFC?" And, in return, "What can the WFC do for TU?" I sincerely hope that together we can make a difference for coldwater fisheries in Wyoming!
Tailing Loops by Randy Stalker, Backcast editor chevPU57@aol.com "The three-martini lunch is the epitome of American efficiency. Where else can you get an earful, a bellyful and a snootful at the same time?" -- President Gerald Ford our WFC members were enjoying Taco Tuesday at On the Border, escaping the cold November wind and ravenously attacking the chips and salsa. Naturally, the conversation turned to fishing, and the discussion narrowed and focused on areas previously unfished, either as a club or individuals. One piece of water received the most attention. So ... In the interest of spicing up the slate of outings scheduled for the spring of the new year, I propose the WFC make the first float trip in perhaps 20 years on the Bighorn River outside of Thermopolis. I admit to ignorance of this river, although I have fished (without success), the section immediately below Boysen. About 15 years ago, I paid the graft and fished the reservation stretch, also without success. The stretch I am proposing is between Wedding of the Waters and the Eighth Street bridge. To glean information on the Bighorn outside of Thermop, I phoned John Schwalbe, who, when not counseling at the Boys School in Worland, runs a fly-fishing guide service on the Bighorn. He runs Wyoming Adventures (272-6792) out of his home, and he can provide shuttle services. I learned from Schwalbe that fishing the Bighorn is a lot like fishing the Platte: dead-drifting nymph rigs through promising runs. He suggests a 12 foot leader with three flies. Because fish have a preference to sowbugs, he recommends using three size 16 or 18 sowbug imitations or Ray Charles patterns below three no. 6 shot. The lead fly should be a foot below the sinkers. Use nothing lighter than 5X tippet. Other suggested flies include familiar Platte patterns: small rock worms (to imitate midge larvae), orange eggs,
and the ubiquitous San Juan worm. But be prepared to switch tactics, however. If a BWO hatch occurs, using nymphs like pheasant tails or small Adams dries could be productive. Schwalbe said, on a good day, a fisherman should expect 60 to 80 hookups. On a slow day, he expects 20 to 40 fish should be brought to the net. When fishing the river, he says a fisherman should cover the run from bank to bank, backrowing and floating through multiple times. It is perhaps a seven mile float, which should take eight to 10 hours. One big difference between fishing the Platte and the Bighorn, however, is the ability to drop anchor and wade indiscriminately. Schwalbe says landowners don’t mind fishermen wading the river, as long as they do not intrude on the banks. And in town, most of the surrounding property is owned by the municipality. “I have been fishing this river for 20 years, and never, never have I had an issue with the landowner,” he said. I am planning to fish the Bighorn in early April. The wife and kids can soak in the hot springs of the Star Plunge while I, hopefully, tire my arm from fighting jumbo rainbows and browns. In early April, Schwalbe says the fish are in pre-spawn mode and should be really aggressive predators. April is the prime time to fish the river because in just a few weeks, the irrigation season begins and flows from Boysen turn the river into a raging torrent. Schwalbe says perhaps 10,000 cfs of water could be rampaging through town in May through June. Since Boysen is already full of water, the releases may begin early. Schwalbe says when fishing a run, the fly-tosser should (just as on the Platte) set the hook at every hesitation of the indicator. Sometimes it may be the bottom, but most of the time it is a fish. Many fishermen are just unaware that a hungry rainbow mouthed and then spit out the fly. “If you’re not hooking up on every (continued on page 11)
Wyoming Fly Casters Monthly Newsletter
of the month
BARR’S EMERGER Hook: TMC 2487 or 2488 (H) #16-24 Thread: 8/0 iron dun Tail: Brown spade hackle fibers Abdomen: Olive brown superfine dubbing Wingcase: Dark dun spade hackle fibers Thorax: Grey muskrat or beaver dubbing Legs: Leftover tips of wingcase fibers Here is a dynamite emerging nymph which imitates both Baetis mayflies and midges. It rivals the pheasant tail nymph as a good choice to match the small mayfly nymphs in the North Platte River. It is another of the creations of John Barr, father of the Copper John and Slumpbuster. The idea behind this pattern, according to Barr, was to imitate the adult insect creeping out of the nymphal shuck. Originally he tied this pattern to match pale morning duns after a day on Nelson's Spring Creek. The original pattern was tied on a dry fly hook (TMC 101) and intended to be fished dry to rising fish. The pattern presented here is the wet version, meant to be fished below the surface, anywhere from stream bottom to an inch under the surface. This is also the color variation designed to match the common blue wing olive hatches we see out west on a regular basis. I would say that the wet BWO version is the most popular variation, and is the one I fish most often. I typically fish the Barr Emerger as I would any nymph; down along the bottom with a splitshot on the leader and an indicator above, or as a point fly in the hopper/copper/dropper system. There is no reason not to have some of these in your box.
Winners of the annual Christmas fly contest for 2009, from left, were Joe Meyer, third, “Santa Claw;” Russ Newton, second, “Hooked on Frosty;” and first, Alex Rose, “Polar Express.” This year’s contest attracted a record number of entries.
Banquet committee seeks raffle items The spring banquet committee is seeking items to be raffled off at the April banquet. Examples of items: An antique bamboo fly rod, fly tying equipment, float tubes, and boxes of flies. If you have
something of value to donate that would make a nice raffle item and raise money for the club, please contact Joe Meyer, 235-1316. The banquet is slated for April 3.
2010 membership fees due It's that time again! If you haven't yet renewed your club membership for 2010, now is the time! Individual membership is $20, and a family membership is $30. Memberships can be paid at our general meetings. Please see our treasurer, Ed Rate, or mail a check to: Wyoming Fly Casters, P.O. Box 2881, Casper, WY 82602.
Wyoming Fly Casters Monthly Newsletter
Salmon eggs collected from New Fork Lakes For most anglers, fishing for salmon conjures up images of Alaska or other parts of the Pacific Northwest, but thanks to the efforts of fish managers with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, the Cowboy State can be added to the list of states offering salmon fishing. Kokanee salmon is the name given to the land-locked version of sockeye salmon, and these prized game fish can be found in a handful of Wyoming's deep cold water lakes. Flaming Gorge Reservoir is probably the state's most popular kokanee fishery but they are also found in other lakes in various parts of the state including New Fork, Fremont, Boulder, Middle Piney, Fontenelle, High Savory and Lake Hattie. While there is some natural reproduction that takes place in these waters it is not nearly enough to sustain populations, so each year the Wyoming Game and Fish Department collected eggs so that young fish can be hatched, reared and transplanted back into these waters. The primary brood source for kokanee eggs can be found at New Fork Lakes north of Pinedale. In August each year, the department's spawning crew installs a fish trap across the inlet of New Fork Lake. During trapping operations, crews capture and handle a thousand fish or more and obtain between 500,000 to one million eggs. The spawning operation usually lasts from four to six weeks with actual spawning being conducted anywhere from once a week to almost daily during peak spawn. Winged fences across the creek guide fish into a cage trap. Males and females are handled separately with eggs being collected from each female and milt, or sperm, being collected from the males. The two are combined in bowls on the spot to ensure proper fertilization of the eggs. Almost daily, depending on the catch, eggs are transported to one of the department's fish hatcheries, usually Auburn Hatchery in Star Valley. There the eggs are hatched and reared until the following summer when they will be stocked as fingerlings, approximately a
M Y F LY B OX . . . S C O O P S T A L K E R three-inch fish. Every June, some 20,000 young kokanee are stocked at the inlet of New Fork Lakes to ensure they will continue to return there to spawn. For most of their life, kokanee salmon are a bright silver color typical of most salmonids, but when they reach mature spawning age they become a brilliant red and develop the characteristic hooked jaw and humped back. Spawning age for females is typically 3-4 years old and 2-3 years old for males. Outside the spawning period, kokanee are very sporting and good to eat. During spawning, they do not eat and actually start to absorb their internal organs in order to survive and their meat does not taste as
good. A good sized kokanee salmon might be 20 inches or more. The state record kokanee was caught in Flaming Gorge last June. It weighed 6.26 lbs and was nearly 25-inches long. Most anglers will find success trolling for suspended schools of fish in the spring and summer months. As with all the Pacific salmon, they die after spawning. Conversely, trout survive spawning and spawn each year for several years. To this day New Fork Lakes continues to be an important part of the Game and Fish Department's fish culture program serving as the primary egg source for all the other kokanee populations in the state.
Wyoming Fly Casters Monthly Newsletter
STREAMSIDE CHEF by Daren Bulow
Golden trout fish tacos Golden trout can be found in isolated lakes in the west. Getting to the lakes and catching golden trout is only half the fun. Eating them is the best part of the trip. Since getting to the most lakes with them requires a hike. Fish taco ingredients are light to carry and don’t weigh down your back pack. Here is my recipe for the light traveler. Ingredients 8 fish fillets 8 tortillas 8 single serve packets or dunk cups 8 single serve salt and pepper packets 8 sheets of 8 by 16 inch sheets of non-stick aluminum foil Preparation Put the fillets on the non-stick foil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap the fillets in the non-stick sheets throw them in the coals or in a pan cook for 5 minutes flipping them after 2.5 minutes. Cook the tortillas in a pan until then slightly brown and flip to brown the other side. Once done, take your single serve packet and put them on the tortillas for flavoring. I take a variety along and mix and match the single serve packets. Heinz has the following flavors: tartar, horseradish sauce, mustard, honey mustard, Dijon mustard, spicy brown mustard, Tabasco chipotle sauce, taco sauce, chopped onions. You can also choose from there dunk cups from Heinz to give you even more variety. Heinz offers the following in dunk cups: sweet n’ sour sauce, seafood cocktail sauce, barbecue sauce, ranch dressing, Heinz salsa, marinara sauce, blue cheese. You can combine packets for great flavoring. I personally like chipotle mixed with sweet n’ sour or marinara mixed with blue cheese.
CONSERVATION CORNER by Matt Stanton, chairman Recently, I was approached by Al Conder from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department to see if the WFC would be willing to offer our support for a project the department is working toward. The proposal is an erosion control plan for Bolton Creek. For those of you like myself that didn't know, Bolton Creek is a tributary to the North Platte River upstream from government bridge and has been identified as a major contributor to fine silting in the North Platte. The WGFD plan should decrease bank erosion in Bolton Creek during heavy rains and improve re-vegetation in the drainage over time. At the Dec. 16 meeting the board unanimously approved writing a letter of support for the project and will discuss potential monetary support at future meetings. Look for additional information at the Jan. 13 general meeting. • You've heard me talk a lot over the last six months about developing a conservation agenda for the Wyoming Fly Casters. Conservation Committee members have had many opportunities to contribute to this process in one way or another and now it's your turn, the WFC general membership. Since this agenda is intended to be the conservation road map as the club moves forward and will bear the Wyoming Fly Casters name, I think it is of utmost importance that every member have his or her voice heard. So, I pose this question to you Backcast reader: In your opinion what are the pressing conservation or improvement issues for fish and their habitat in Central Wyoming? If you haven't done so already please e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call (258-9915) me to have your voice heard.
Bring your camera along on your next fishing trip, and use it to document your catch and release fish. Then send the digital image to the WFC newsletter editor for consideration of inclusion in the next issue. Contributions are always welcome. Who knows ... maybe your photo will be the next month’s cover.
BRAG BOARD From the membership
Joe Meyer with two mid-December fish: a 20 in. rainbow from above Grey Reef and a 21 in. brown from Alcova.
Nominations being sought for officers, board positions The annual election for Wyoming Fly Casters officers and board members will occur at the general meeting on Mar. 10. If you are interested in pursuing a board member or officer position (president-elect, vice president, treasurer, or secretary), please contact Alex Rose to have your name included on the ballet. If you want to help lead the most active fly fishing club in the state, or for more information, contact Rose, by e-mail, email@example.com, or by cell phone, 828/467-3789.
Wyoming Fly Casters Monthly Newsletter
Powder River: its fishes and research The glance you get from the I-90 bridge of the Powder River's bronze water doesn't generate many thoughts of fish, let alone a thriving fish community. "Too thick to drink, too thin to plow," goes the legendary saying attributed to early homesteaders. Little did the homesteaders realize that the "too thick" reference could almost apply to the abundance of many of the fish species in the river, particularly little fish, like chubs, dace minnows and shiners. That fact was re-established with extensive surveys from 2004-2006 of the river by Wyoming Game and Fish Department biologists and a University of Wyoming student onsite researching her master's thesis during the summers of 2007 and 2008. Wyoming Game and Fish Department fish biologists feared that the discharge water from all the coal bed methane drilling in the drainage might increase and stabilize flows. That could result in the flow and habitat being manipulated, enabling smallmouth bass to establish and ravage the little natives, not to mention making way for carp to further their presence. So the surveys were launched and folks in chest waders pulled seines, set nets, dumped the contents into tubs and counted and identified over 185,000 fish. Those detailed statistics again confirmed the Powder River hosts the greatest assemblage of native fish - with 19 species representing five families - in the state. With the composition of the massive catch, the biologists don't believe the small quantity of gas-drilling discharge reaching the river prior to 2008 was having a negative effect on the natives. UW master's degree candidate Anna Senecal and her technicians handled an additional 15,000 fish and reaffirmed the Powder River habitat continues to be hospitable to the natives and exotic impacts are minimal. However, study results do indicate that native fish require a full range of natural flow conditions to thrive. Senecal and the Game and Fish extend their thanks to the many landowners and energy companies opening their gates so the river could be studied. But both projects did notice the near absence of a species of greatest conservation need - the sturgeon chub. The department surveys tallied only three and
Senecal four. In the mid-1990s, another UW student researching his doctorate on the river's fish community commonly found the sturgeon chub. It's not known for sure why the decline, but the chub is doing well downstream in the Yellowstone River. The chub's affection for big rivers could have discouraged it from visiting the Powder in its former numbers during drought this decade. In addition to generally being turbid, the Powder is also pretty saline but those are not the only inconveniences these fish overcome. When rain is scarce in summer, the Powder can be reduced to intermittent pools and water temperatures can reach 95 degrees. The fish are then very vulnerable to mink, raccoons, herons and kingfishers, but a thunderstorm eventually arrives reconnecting the pools if not unleashing a torrent down the winding river. Some of the little fish are programmed to spawn when the river rises and their semi-buoyant eggs are swept downstream to repopulate the system. Perhaps this trickle-to-tsuna-
mi cycle is an apt application of the “Powder River Let 'er Buck” rally cry familiar to Wyomingites. Then with the return of winter, flows are squeezed down to a comparative dribble and the water can chill down to 34 degrees. "These fish not only maintain under these extreme flows, they thrive," Senecal said. "They exemplify the harshness of their environment and they stay healthy enough to keep on repopulating in the face of tough conditions." "The ecological stability of the Powder is in essence its natural instability," says Gordon Edwards, Game and Fish native fish biologist. The department isn't the only agency interested in the unique ecosystem. Along with the U.S. Geological Survey and both the Wyoming and Montana departments of environmental quality, the agencies make up the Aquatic Task Group. The final product of the group is a 140-page comprehensive scientific booklet detailing many ecological aspects of the Powder River Basin.
"These fish not only maintain under these extreme flows, they thrive."
Lyin’ and Tyin’ clinics return The next one is Jan. 16 at 9 a.m.
The Lyin' and Tyin' clinics will be held this year at the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. The next session for this season is Jan. 16. The clinics will be held between 9:00 to noon. Other dates include: Feb. 13 and Mar. 13. For new members not familiar with these clinics, they provide an excellent opportunity for tiers of all skill levels to socialize while tying flies. The sessions are also a great opportunity for beginning fly tiers to learn from the experienced tiers, and to get one-on-one tips and instruction regarding the art of tying. New members or beginning tiers simply show up with a vice and materials, and the pros will show, step-by-step, how to tie bugs.
Wyoming Fly Casters Monthly Newsletter
BRAG BOARD From the membership John Dolan with a male steelhead and a chum (aka “dog”) salmon from the Skeena River in November. The fish were caught on a pink MOAL (Mother Of All Leeches) with a 9-1/2 foot 8 weight Sage RPL+ custom wrapped by Mark Boname in 1997 named "Old Bushmills."
LIBRARY CORNER by Spencer Amend Some members may not be aware of the WFC DVD/video library. Through the efforts of board members Bill Wichers and Bob Fischer, with a bit of help from yours truly, members have available a host of DVD titles sure to expand your knowledge and skills. The library is maintained and videos can be checked out at the Ugly Bug. Please check out only one video at a time, and return them promptly. OK: these videos might not immediately make you able to fish a dry fly like Bill Mixer, catch fish anywhere like Joe Meyer, cast into the wind like Marty Robinson, or sniff out the big ones like Alex Rose, but I’m betting they will add enjoyment to your fishing and put more fish on your lines. Partly as a reminder, and partly to try and stimulate your use of the library, for the next several months I’ll be reviewing a “video of the month.” I hope it will encourage you to take up systematic pursuit of additional knowledge; I know it will be beneficial for me. Tight Lines! Streamer Fishing for Trophy Trout, with Kelly Galloup. 2004. 120 minutes. I was attracted to this video because I wanted to learn how to fish streamers more effectively. It was not exactly what I expected – mainly because I didn’t read the subtitle carefully. This video is for the person who is the fly-fishing equivalent of a Boone and Crockett trophy deer or elk hunter. Something that, probably, most of us are not. Kelly makes no bones about it in the later portions of the video: he isn’t just out to catch fish; he is out to catch those top predators in the system – those fish having essentially no natural enemies capable of doing them harm. Fish in the 25+ inch range. As he puts it, he is after the big browns (and rainbows) that are the grizzly bears of their streams. The focus of this video is on flowing water; I had hoped to learn things that would help me fish Alcova more successfully this winter (and I have gotten a few ideas) but the focus is on fishing streams like the Madison or the Au Sable. All that said, let’s look at some of what Kelly says. Big fish eat big meals; they don’t eat small insects. The smallest streamer he uses is about 2.5 inches long. Big fish feed two hours before and after sunrise and sunset. They rest the remainder of the day. Therefore when most of us are fishing for them, they will not be in feeding lies. They will be in holding water. Big fish rest over soft substrates in soft water. As someone seeking to take the really big fish, we must startle them out of their resting mode and trigger their instinct to attack. Kelly suggests that short shanked
hooks give more hook-ups than the typical long shanked streamer hooks. He likes Clouser minnows and articulated hooks. Big fish swallow their meals head first. He likes sculpin patterns and retrieves with lots of motion, changing the retrieve pattern to make the fly look injured. The deep water holds of big fish are not necessarily close to structure. Big predators hold in slow, soft water where they can have an escape route to slip into the current. Look for color breaks, lower current, and ledges. He rigs for fishing streamers with a full sinking line, and a very short leader (18 inches of 20 lb. test, followed by 18 inches of 16 lb. test). He uses non-weighted flies and likes flies that flutter. He uses a St. Croix Legend rod and a large arbor reel. He fishes every 2-3 feet of the bank, and likes best to be fishing from the middle of the stream to the bank. The jerk-strip retrieve is an important part of his system, to animate the flies. He casts slightly up and across the current and does not dead drift streamers. He lets the current put a slight belly in the line and begins to strip aggressively, snapping the rod tip as he strips. He keeps the rod tip low. When fighting a big fish, keep your hands inside an imaginary square about the size of the strike zone on a baseball player. Do not wave the rod around when fighting a big fish. Wade fishing gives a better chance to thoroughly cover a specific piece of water than does a boat (although a boat gives greater access to more fish). When wading, fish the close, soft water first (before wading through it). Make a maximum of two casts per spot. Cast every 2-3 feet. Using this approach, he fishes about 25 yards of holding water in 5 minutes. He wades downstream, using 6-8 inch strips to go with his rod jerks. With this approach, he is fishing about 18 inches deep – not trying to get his flies down into the deep holes, but rather having the fish come up and make strikes he can usually see. This is trophy hunting. Use the current to help keep tension on the line. Fish the foam line where two currents meet. Fish the edges of shadows on the water. As to flies, he thinks color is more important than fly design. He uses sculpins, leeches, crayfish, and attractors (some articulated and some with cone heads). He has a system of changing colors every 10 minutes or so: white, black, tan, olive, yellow, chartreuse. He ends the video with a speech about whether one is serious about catching only big trout. It comes across as a challenge, I think, that many of us will probably not totally engage. Nonetheless, and despite the fact that it takes 2 hours to view this video, I’ll be trying some of his suggestions some of the time.
Wyoming Fly Casters Monthly Newsletter
Tailing Loops (continued from page 5) drift, something’s wrong,” he said. The fish can be subtle on the take, or they can be really aggressive. Be prepared for either. Following the controversy associated with last spring’s outing on the Bighorn River outside of Ft. Smith, MT, I’ll be staying closer to home this year. And the club will not be subsidizing any part of this fishing weekend, whether it is a sanctioned outing or an invitational one. • While on the subject of outings, here is the annual list of candidates for the new year. Volunteers are always needed and welcomed to assume the responsibilities as streamkeepers to organize the activity, publicize it, arrange for a cookout (if desired) and provide insight into tactics and techniques. Outings in 2009 were generally poorly attended (as I remember, the Bighorn attracted the most interest; perhaps 20 stayed at Cottonwood Camp). In an effort to improve the patronage at club-sponsored events, club members are being requested to pick an outing and host it. Here are a few ideas: January, February and March: Although these have a reputation for being miserable months, the weather can also be markedly nice on occasion. It’s hard to plan ahead, but the river can be quite productive -- just ask those who complete the “catch a fish a month” program every year. April: The traditional Big Horn River weekend (either in Wyoming or Montana), and the Cardwell access. May: Opening day on the Firehole River. Local streams may be blown out from runoff, but the river in Yellowstone is usually in prime spring dry fly condition. Bring your PMD imitations. June: Deer Creek, Platte River float, Walker-Jenkins, Snowy Range, Toltec or Walker Jenkins float tubing. July: Middle Fork of the Powder River, North Fork of the Tongue River, Yellowstone, Snowy Range, Muddy Guard. August: Ten Sleep, Snake River, Grey’s River (for a cutt-slam), Snowy Range. The Tongue is actually a better fishery in August than in July.
September: Platte River float (Glenrock stretch), a tradition although last year’s was a bust due to the lack of boats. The 2010 version will be revised to encourage pontoons and float tubes as well as drift boats. October: Flycasters access at Speas, or another trip to Cardwell. November and December: Miracle Mile, and night fishing at Grey Reef. These are only suggestions. If you have an idea for an outing, organize it, announce it at the club meeting, provide some publicity (including directions and fly patterns), and arrange for a meal if desired or appropriate. • As this is the first issue of the Backcast of the new year, it is perhaps in order for the editor to comment on his fishing destinations for 2010 -whether the club sanctions them or not. This could be considered as a list of New Year’s Resolutions. As I write this at 8:00 p.m. on Dec. 29, I hear the strains of the theme from The Twilight Zone echoing in my mind. Funny, I hear this same music every time I walk in the eastside Walmart, wondering if I suddenly and inexplicably made a left turn into Mexico. The first trip eagerly anticipated is the Firehole. It opens the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, and the park is usually devoid of the traffic congestion with plagues the roads during the next three months. Sure, it is expensive to enter the park and pay the number of fees, but there is just something special about fishing the Firehole at Oye Caliente Bend with all the thermal features forming a beautiful backdrop. It’s perfect water for my little medium action 3 weight, a double taper line, and size 16 and 18 comparaduns. That’s it for Yellowstone for the year. I won’t be returning in July for opening day on the Yellowstone River, or even to float tube the lake, something I used to do for years. The lake trout have sadly decimated the oncenumerous cutthroat. Next, in late July, is a trip west of Cody to the North Fork of the Shoshone. Runoff should have tapered off by then. I’ll bring the family and camp in the Scamp in the grizzly bear habitat. Trout and whitefish. A perfect trip for a weekend. In August, I look forward to fishing the Snake River outside of Jackson again. Two years ago, my bride gave me a guided fishing trip on the Snake for a
Page 11 Christmas present. We had a ball, catching beautiful Snake River ‘cutts on large, gaudy, foam dry flies. Now I know the river, how to fish it, and where the boat ramps are. And yes, Sarah will be encouraged to accompany me, even though she knows about as much about the mechanics of fly casting as she does about synchronizers on a manual transmission. The dreams of fishing New Zealand or Patagonia remain on hold, pending a knock on the door from the Publisher’s Clearing House prize crew, but I do look forward to the traditional club outings, particularly Ten Sleep and Tongue. I also would like to get my float tube wet this summer sampling stillwaters. I haven’t cast my 5 weight on a lake or pond, from my Buck’s Bag, in several years and I miss the fun of being towed and spun by seasoned whoppers I am lucky to hook once in a while. • Thanks for nuthin’ Santa. When I looked under the tree, once again, on Christmas morning, I didn’t find a Scott bamboo rod, an Abel reel, a pair of hip waders, or anything from Fishpond or Patagonia. Tsk, tsk . . . Oh, that’s right, the post awful suspended the practice of forwarding letters to Santa this year, attributing it to budgetary constraints. • In closing, as a result of a few complaints about the “year in review” slide show presented during the Christmas party, I would invite anyone with thicker skin than me to assume this project for 2010. I have enjoyed putting the show together for eight years, but perhaps it is time for new blood and new ideas.
FREE To good home Collection of Fly Fisherman magazines, from 1977 to the present. Chronologically assembled in binders, with copies of table of contents pages featured at the front. If interested, call Herb Waterman at 235-5638.
Wyoming Fly Casters Monthly Newsletter The following article is an excerpt from the electronic book, Hunt - Donâ€™t Pray - for Fish, Techniques and Strategies for Fly Fishing from a Drift Boat, written by Harley W. Reno, Ph.D., a friend of the Wyoming Fly Casters and occasional program presentor. The entire content is copyrighted by the author, and is used here with his permission. The CD is available for purchase through the Federation of Fly Fishers, and 80 percent of the $25 cost of each CD is being donated by the author back to the federation for its conservation and education funds. In the coming months, other chapters of Dr. Renoâ€™s book are to be featured in the Backcast.
Drift boat fishing 101 Chapter 12: A Model of Community Organization efore discussing strategies and techniques for fishing various habitats, perhaps I should spend some time summarizing trophic relationships in streams. Fishermen, in general, and trout fishermen, in particular, seldom realize that predators in any stream represent the fewest number of species and fewest numbers of individuals in the aquatic system. The reason for that is simple: a predatory species throughout its life cycle eats everything that eats something else. As a result, a tremendous number of producers or plant species, and probably an equal number of consumer or animal species, are needed to support one species of trout, bass, or any other predatory fishes in a stream. The biological system of any stream can be illustrated simply as a pyramid, not too unlike those of ancient Egypt. The only difference between the biopyramid of a stream ecosystem and the Great Pyramid of Egypt is that the biopyramid has many more layers of structural units stacked one on top of another and many times more structural pieces per layer. Therefore, the biopyramid is many, many times wider at its base and almost immeasurable in height. That makes illustrating the biopyramid almost impos-
sible and virtually incomprehensible. Nevertheless, an Egyptian pyramid can be used to illustrate superficially a stream ecosystem. Each layer of stones in an Egyptian pyramid is analogous to a species of organism, with each layer being energetically dependent upon its predecessor for support, maintenance, growth, and diversity, as well as for total growth of the pyramid upward. Certain groups of stones in a layer of the Egyptian pyramid are alike and seem to work together, as, for example, the exposed stones along the outside face of the pyramid. Groups of like stones are analogous to populations of individuals within a species, and, as in the pyramid, no two populations of organisms in a layer are exactly alike in kinds, numbers, sizes, and functions. The foundation layer of the biopyramid is composed of microscopic and macroscopic species of plants, which change solar energy into the bioenergy of tissue. Ultimately, plant tissue is changed into animal flesh as the first layer of consumers or animals feeds on the thick foundation layer of plants. In turn, consumers in the first layer-mostly protozoa and multicellular plankters-are eaten by consumers in the next layer, which, in turn, are eaten by the next group, up to
consumers or predators in the top level. Simply stated, plants are eaten by all higher levels of consumers. An elementary way of looking at the biopyramid is to equate the first-level consumers with protozoa and other microscopic creatures. The second level of consumers would include worms, rotifers, and all other animals that filter planktonic and microscopic plants and animals from the water. The third level of consumers would include insects, crustaceans, and newly hatched fishes. The top level of consumers would include fishes. Obviously, in any situation where one level of organisms eats another, there cannot be equal numbers of predatory species and individuals per species from layer to layer. If there were, the second layer of predators would eat all the organisms in the first layer-and there would be nothing left to eat, period! Plants would be the only organisms left. And plants rarely eat plants. In order for a stone pyramid to stand and endure, there must be fewer and fewer stones in layers from foundation to apex. Thus, predatory fishes like trout, bass, and Walleye are always few in species and fewest in numbers of individuals per species. Indeed, fishes comprise the fewest creatures in the aquatic ecosystem and constitute a
biopyramid in and of themselves. I think it is both ironic and understandable that the topmost layer of consumers is the focus of each fly fisherman. There are precious few species of fishes in any stream, with game fishes being the fewest of all in both numbers of species and numbers of individuals per species. Is it surprising at all that game fishes are themselves organized into a biopyramid? In the brown trout, for example, the bottom layer of its population is composed of young of the year. Their numbers are countless and mixed with like numbers of the young of other species of fish predators. The "soup of young fishes" feeds mostly on microorganisms-both plant and animal. The next layer of fishes is composed of individuals larger in size, but fewer in number. Their survival and growth comes at the expense of smaller fishes in the bottom layer and consumption of microinvertebrates like aquatic insects and crustaceans. Yes, cannibalism is a normal event in the energetics of a fish population. In the brown trout, the next layer in the biopyramid is composed of those individuals that survived to the second year. Those individuals are large enough to be caught on a fly. Most often individual fish range in size from 7 to perhaps 12 inches, depending on environmental circumstances. Although the fly fisherman may think those individuals are numerous to the point of being pests, their numbers are but a tiny fraction of the numbers a few months earlier. The next layer of the biopyramid of the predator is composed of those individuals that survived an additional twoperhaps three-years. Those individuals are considerably larger-13 to maybe 16 or 17 inches in length under ideal circumstances-and they are far fewer in numbers. To the fly fisherman, those are fun fish to catch. But not everyone is so fortunate to find such nice fish. Well, the story could be prolonged. By now, you know that the larger the game fish becomes, the fewer individuals there are in a stream, and the harder it is to find and catch the big fish, especially a trophy. Nevertheless, all sizes of individuals of each game fish exist in a stream. All the fly fisherman has to do is decide which part of the population he or she wants to catch and focus on doing what is needed to catch individuals of that layer or size range. The fly fisherman generally opts to catch fish between 10 and 15 inches in total length because that size range of
Wyoming Fly Casters Monthly Newsletter
trout has the greatest number of catchable fish in the population. The habitat that most often supports and concentrates that size range of individuals is a riffle. The best strategy for catching fishes in a riffle is wading during the warm months of the year. The most productive technique is drifting a small dry fly during the afternoon, when cumulus clouds frequently cast large shadows across riffles. Is it surprising that focusing on the 10- to 15-inch size range of trout most often coincides with the time of year when fly fishermen schedule family outings and have precious little time to experience the wonderment of fly fishing? Is it surprising that most of that size range of trout are caught on tiny flies? Is it surprising that some fly fishermen equate fly fishing with small flies and trout only? Is it clear why some fly fishermen learn how to cast and manipulate dog-gnat size flies only? And is it surprising that some fly fishermen never learn how to cast and fish larger flies, go after larger fish, diversify to other species of fish, and fish at other times of the year? I know of no other hunting sportindeed, fly-fishing is a hunting sport!-in which the participant has the freedom to decide which size of quarry he or she wants to pursue and can equip himself or herself with the best equipment and learned techniques to catch the intended size of fish. If you want lots of fish, focus on small fish. Any kind of equipment fished in any manner will work. If you want middle-sized fish, wade a riffle and cast dry flies. Happiness and satisfaction lie in catching a few tens of those on the best of days. If you want to catch a trophy, however, another approach is implied, namely (1) being equipped with heavier tackle and using flies that imitate small fishes, large, aquatic insects, or crustaceans like crayfish; (2) being prepared and skilled enough to maneuver heavier equipment and cast big, heavy flies for long periods of time into habitats best suited to harbor a trophy; and (3) being equipped with patience and humility enough to accept defeat more often than success. The best habitats for trophies obviously are those that provide the trophy with concealment, maintenance of position with ease, and a constant supply of food. If you do not hook or catch a trophy, do not be discouraged. Be satisfied with the opportunity of having tried. Be proud of what you accomplished knowing that many fly fishermen have never tried, let alone mastered, such an approach. Take pride in having experienced what only a small
group of elite fly casters experience. And nurture the confidence that, sooner or later, the trophy will be hooked. If a trophy is hooked, please understand that few are ever muscled from habitats that grow trophies. No trophy ever gets to be one by constantly exposing itself to the many dangers lurking in the water and above the surface. Think about that for a moment. In the process of growing and surviving from fry to trophy, smaller fish are always forced by larger fish to occupy margins of habitats, places like shallows and surfaces in riffles, runs, and pools where exposure to uncertainties lurking above and denizens hiding behind every obstacle and stalking depths below are a matter of fact. Those are the places of highest risk, and those are the places where the chances of survival for a small fish are lowest. As a small fish grows, it progressively becomes more competitive, inching closer with each increment of growth to occupancy of more favorable parts of a habitat. But always the smaller fish is at risk and forced to take risks. Only the trophy enjoys minimum risk. The memory of hooking a trophy will be burned into your mind for a lifetime and relived countless times for your benefit and the enjoyment of companions, friends, and successors. If you are lucky enough to land the trophy, take lots of photographs, but return the prize to the water so that another fly fisherman can enjoy the same trophy tomorrow. Fishes at the apex of the biopyramid are too few, too hard to grow, and too valuable to kill and hang on the wall of a den. They are needed for maintenance and continuation of the population. A simple photograph is a cheaper, faster, and better way of preserving the triumph. A photograph captures the expression, excitement, costume, environmental setting, and, frequently, the fly and equipment used in that supreme conquest. If the fly fisherman wants to experience catching all sizes of fish, he or she should be equipped and prepared to fish all habitats of a stream. Success begins with having the proper mix of tackle, recognizing changes in habitats, being skilled at using a variety of casting techniques, and possessing enough mental strength and personal discipline to avoid fishing the same places the same way time after time, after time. If you thirst for new, fly-fishing experiences and challenges, the following chapter on strategies is worth reading and rereading-and studying and restudying.
Wyoming Fly Casters Monthly Newsletter
WFC TREASURER'S REPORT PERIOD ENDING 11/30/09 INCOME Date Nov 13 Nov 30
EXPENSES Nov 9 Nov 11 Nov 11 Nov 13 Nov 30
Vendor/Item Deposit - Raffle 11/11 - 105.00, Xmas Party - 160.00 Backcast Ad 25.00 Void Ck # 3991 - Izaak Walton - Rent July/Aug
Amount $330.00 $150.00
#4014 - Izaak Walton Rent Nov 09 #4015 - Joe Meyer - Materials Fly plate #4016 - Don Jelinek - Meeting Refreshments #4017- Ugly Bug Fly Shop - Raffle - 11/11/09 Bank Service Charge
$75.00 $10.85 $16.89 $87.60 $3.00
$193.34 All Funds Transferred to Reliant Federal Credit Union
WYOMING FLY CASTERS BOARD MEETING MINUTES -- DRAFT Dec. 16, 2009 The Meeting was called to order by President Alex Rose at 7:00 p.m.. All members were present except for Jamie Gibson and Gene Theriault, both excused. Charlie Shedd and Frank Comiskey were guests. Mr. Comiskey, a certified teacher trainer of the National Fly Fishing in Schools Program presented the board with information regarding the Learn How to Fly Fish School – The School of Fly Fishing. The program is a two week curriculum to instruct children in the sixth through twelfth grades, fly fishing skills, such as casting, knot tying, fish identification, entomology, stream ecology, etc. Mr. Comiskey is trying to obtain sponsors to get the program into Wyoming schools by fall 2010. The initial set up cost is $3,000 and the cost to replace/repair any broken rods. The board will take this into consideration and review at a later time. Mr. Comiskey was given the suggestion to speak to the educator at the local Wyoming Game and Fish office. The treasurer’s report was approved. Ed Rate reported all WFC funds have been transferred to Reliant Federal Credit Union due to low interest earnings at the prior financial institution. Money has been transferred to CDs and a money market account. Ed reported the interest we are earning is significantly better than previously. The secretary’s report was approved. Matt Stanton reported the Conservation Committee is going to survey the general membership for ideas and suggestions for projects. Al Condor of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department is seeking funding for Bolton Creek Riparian Restoration Initiative. The project is to restore riparian communities within the Bolton Creek watershed.
This project will reduce the sediment loading into the North Platte River. The board approved the club send a letter to Al Condor supporting this project. The board will ask Al Condor to speak to the board in the future to provide additional information about this project and possible financial support from WFC. Spencer Amend resigned as secretary for various reasons. Casey Leary will fill the position for the remainder of his term and the board approved. The president thanked the Weinhandls for their promotion of the banquet with the posters they created. More than eighteen new members attended the program. Board members were pleased with the caterer. New business: Melody Weinhandl will present a new budget to the board in January 2010 and the board can contact her with suggestions. The board discussed about having drinks at the general meetings. Andrew Sauter volunteered to be the club’s refreshment attendant at future meetings. The club will attempt to promote recycling at the next Christmas party. Elections will be held in March and board members will be contacting members seeking nominations for o fficers and board positions. Scott Novotny will send an e-mail notification to members in January 2010. Melody Weinhandl reported January’s program will be Scott Novotny presenting his “Once in a Blue Moon” video of brown trout in New Zealand, approximately 35 minutes. The polar bear outing will be held Jan. 1, 2010 and we were reminded to purchase new fishing licenses. Bill Wichers will present a program in February on the hookless fly system by Moffitt. The meeting was adjourned at 8:23 pm.
Wyoming Fly Casters Monthly Newsletter
New Year’s Day Polar Bear outing
9 Denver fly fishing show
Regular meeting, 7 p.m.
16 Lyin’ and Tyin’ clinic
WFC Board Meeting, 7 p.m.
Deadline for Backcast info
Regular Meeting, 7 p.m.
14 Valentine’s Day
WFC Board Meeting, 7 p.m.
Lyin’ and Tyin’ clinic
Deadline for Backcast info
Wyoming Fly Casters P.O. Box 2881 Casper, WY 82602
The mission of the Wyoming Fly Casters is to promote and enhance the sport of fly fishing and the conservation of fish and their habitat.