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Page 2 OFFICERS John Robitaille, President Joe DeGraw, President-elect Alex Rose, Vice President Tom Grogan, Secretary Ed Rate, Treasurer BOARD OF DIRECTORS Terms expire in 2009 Spencer Amend Bob Fischer Scott Novotny Richard Soffe Terms expire in 2010 John Fanto Jamie Gibson Joe Meyer Gene Theriault Terms expire in 2011 Steve Burgfechtel, M.D. Darin O’Dell Jim Sparks Bill Wichers 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 The deadline for submission of information for each issue is the last Wednesday of the month. Make contributions to the next issue by e-mailing material to the Backcast editor at, 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 message to In addition to receiving each issue of the newsletter earlier than your hard copy peers, email 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 John Robitaille, President, WFC ast week I went fishing with an old friend of mine. We've fished together since I was a small boy. Most of the time, I outfish him. Most of the time. This time, it was chilly and beginning to rain. Soon the lightning came too close; we retreated to the car for a few minutes. As I piled in the car, he looked at me with a nasty little grin. "Got any?" he asked. My stare said it all. "Not yet," I said. He giggled at me. I knew what to expect next, the old saying I've heard for years, "It’s called fishing, not catching.” He had said it numerous times in an attempt to make me feel better, although he always used it in the hunting context whenever I came home empty handed. To my surprise, he didn't say it. As soon as the rain let up, I jumped out again and suggested he try another piece of water, as I was going to try upstream a bit. That would take care of him, I thought. He walked up to me a few minutes later, smiling again. "Got another one!" he said with a smile. "Nothing for me. Can't buy a fish," I said. Now it's one thing to be schooled by your fishing partner, but to add salt to the wounds, he said, "Why don't you try this fly? It's worked for me." Ouch. So, I put my pride away and


tied the fly on; the third in the string of flies I was fishing. Still nothing. My thoughts went to my skills, my placement, my reading of the water, then the fishing gods. I'm not sure what I did, or why it happened, but after I tied on my fifteenth fly, including the one he gave me, I finally had a strike. I fought him for a time, got him in and realized it was a nice fish, about 18 inches, nice and fat. I was proud of that one. As I released him, I turned to see my partner there behind me. He stood there grinning at me. I thought he was proud of my effort and he would tell me so. Pride was swelling inside me, until he said, "Mine was bigger." "Thanks, Dad," I said. As we walked back to the car, he put his arm around me and said, "Thanks for letting me win one, son." I smiled at him and said, "It’s called fishing, not catching." In the end, it was another memory we can share; one that will be filled with the thousands of others we share. I'm sure glad he came with me, and even gladder he believes I let him win one. Hope to see you with a rod in your hand and a rod in my hand soon!

Tailing loops by Randy Stalker, Backcast editor ne of the many reasons for joining a fishing club is to actually go fishing. And the WFC offers several outings a year; in fact two are offered for this month alone. Whether you are a guest, a new member or a seasoned veteran, you are encouraged to attend a club-sponsored outing. Club members can always be counted on to help out novices, giving them tips or even a fly pattern. They might even be


willing to share, with some arm twisting, some of their favorite fishing holes. The club can always use more people to volunteer to host club-sponsored outings. To paraphrase and twist the Beatles, the friendships you take are equal to the friendships you make. Hope to see you with a bent rod this month. Tight lines,

Cover shot: Tom Grogan with one of his many Bighorn rainbows, caught on April 13.

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FISHING REPORTS From the membership The following reports were gleaned from information presented at the last meeting, as well as from published sources, and filtered from gossip, boasting, bragging, and other exaggerated claims from reliable but biased secondhand sources.

Bring your float tube to the outing at Walker Jenkins, like Bob Fischer did a few years ago.

June’s scheduled outings Two outings are scheduled for June. On June 7, the Cardwell outing is to be held, after being postponed due to inclement weather on May 24. It is located directly below Pathfinder Reservoir. It is also called Fremont Canyon. It is a pretty stretch of river, narrow and comparatively shallow, with quite a number of frisky rainbows and browns. Effective patterns include red rock worms, halfbacks, hare’s ears, scuds, leeches, pheasant tail nymphs and ridiculously small midge larvae. A chili dog cookout is to be offered in the afternoon (depending on how good the fishing is). June 21: Walker Jenkins reservoir. Take highway 220 southwest from Casper (the Alcova road), and turn left onto 487. It’s about 60 miles from Casper where a small sign on the right hand side of the road points to the reservoir. After turning left onto a dirt road, it is an easy two or three mile drive to the reservoir. It is a walk-in area, so you’ll need to tote your float tubes or pontoons to the water. A feed is usually held in the afternoon, but no streamkeeper has yet volunteered for the chore.

The date has been changed from the one stated in the the May board meeting minutes. During last year’s outing at Walker Jenkins, Kathy Knapp outfished everyone. She caught fish in the double figures while others were skunked. She waded a dozen yards from the bank and used a short cast of her floating line, a short leader, and a steady retrieve of her “beadheaded green fuzzy thing” to hammer the fish. It is speculated that her pattern (which unfortunately was lost when another fish broke her off) was a damsel or dragon nymph. Other patterns effective at Walker Jenkins include wooly buggers, Prince nymphs, Callibaetis imitations, halfbacks and hare’s ears. Occasionally, the fish can be observed on the surface, and sometimes they hit attractor dries like stimulators with a frenzy. A small stream runs next to the parking area, and it can be fun to fish with small dries. But the creek can be difficult, as a stealthy approach and long casts with gossamer tippet are needed. Approach the stream quietly, particularly above the bridge, and you will be rewarded with some feisty, albeit small, fish.

Speas upgrade is program subject Gordon Townsend of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department is slated to be describing thes proposed upgrades to the Dan Speas Rearing Station for the program during the June 11 general

membership meeting. The program for the July 9 general membership meeting is a conservation presentation by Nelli Williams, state coordinator for Trout Unlimited.

North Platte River: Welcome rain for most of the last week and half has resulted in cloudy or muddy conditions throughout most of the length of the river below government bridge. And the BuRec dramatically reduced flows as a result of feeder streams depositing swollen runoff into the river. The upper stretch remains fishable, barring further rains, with the red rock worm, midges and baetis nymph patterns the preferred patterns. Don’t even try to make it to the Mile, as the road is clogged with deep mud. The stretch around Glenrock has the color of a churned chocolate malt. Cardwell: The Fremont Canyon access requires only three patterns: rock worms, thread midges and beadhead hare’s ears. Try them during the June 7 outing. Fish Cardell in early June, as it becomes cloudy from Sweetwater creep by early July. Small streams are blown out from runoff. It may be weeks before they calm down, clear and become fishable. Big Horn mountain lakes and streams: Most sections are partially frozen and fishing will be spotty. Lower elevation and canyon sections are the best bets right now. Water levels are high and off-color and fishing is a tough. Fly fishermen may have luck with larger, dark colored, stonefly nymphs or small wooly buggers. Ponds and lakes: Lower elevation stillwaters are your best bet for action, as they promise active and hungry fish. To include your fishing report, send information to the Backcast editor, c/o

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Wyoming Fly Casters Monthly Newsletter


of the month

VANILLA BUGGER This is one of Mark Boname’s ( signature streamers, from the BMB family. It may imitate a baby sucker, a crawfish, or even a bait fish, but fish seem to really like it whatever it represents, striking it hard and often. It is effective on the Platte River year around, small streams in the heat of the summer and stillwaters like Alcova in December. Carp have a particular fondness for this pattern, whether in the Platte River below the Dave Johnston Power Plant, Pathfinder or Wheatland Reservoir No. 3. It deserves a place in your fly box, in a variety of sizes. Hook: Dai Rili 700 Size 2-12 Head: Cone (large for size 2-4; medium for size 6-8; small for size 10-12. Thread: 3/0 Black Tail: Tan or cream marabou Body: Cream furry foam with golden badger hackle palmered over it. TYING INSTRUCTIONS: 1. Place cone on hook. Wrap lead wire into the cone to hold it into position. 2. Start thread and bring to bend of hook, then tie in marabou tail. 3. Tie in three strands of pearl Krystal Flash on both sides of tail. 4. Tie in golden badger hackle by the tip. 5. Tie in 1/8 to 3/8 cut strip of furry foam. 6. Palmer furry foam forward and tie off. Then palmer hackle forward using only five to six turns. Tie off and whip finish. Comments: Furry foam will stretch in one direction but not the other. Experiment with the stretch to form a tapered body.

Anglers are reminded to avoid eating fish high in mercury As the summer fishing season gets into high gear, the Wyoming Department of Health and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department are reminding state residents to be mindful about mercury levels in fish they eat, including those caught in state waters. "Eating fish with high amounts of mercury can contribute to health problems, especially in children," said Timothy Ryan, environmental public health section chief with the Wyoming Department of Health. Mercury is a naturally occurring element that is distributed throughout the environment by both natural processes and human activities. "Finding mercury in fish is not unique to Wyoming and in general, fish here are low in mercury," Ryan said. "But we are recommending a cautious approach. Specifically, the agencies offer the following guidelines: Women of childbearing age, pregnant women, nursing mothers and children under 15 are advised to consume no more than two meals per week of fish low in mercury and no fish considered high in mercury. For others, the agencies advise prudent consumption of fish low in mercury and no more than one to two meals per month of fish high in mercury. Freshwater fish low in mercury include: Wyoming-caught trout and farm-raised tilapia and catfish. Freshwater fish high in mercury include: channel catfish, sauger, and walleye from Big Horn, Seminoe and Pathfinder reservoirs.

Plan now to complete the cutt-slam Sometime this year, the number of anglers who have completed Wyoming's CuttSlam program will reach the 500 milestone. To date, 479 anglers in 39 states and two foreign countries have completed requirements and have been awarded Cutt-Slam certificates. "That number is significant not only because of the effort fisheries personnel have put into improving cutthroat populations, but also significant for generating angler interest in Wyoming's only native trout and the habitats they haunt," said assistant fisheries chief Mark Fowden. The Cutt-Slam was the brainchild of late Pinedale area fisheries supervisor Ron Remmick who wanted to draw attention to Wyoming's cutthroat management program and the special needs and efforts being put in on behalf of Wyoming's cutthroat trout. Anglers are recognized for catching Wyoming's four subspecies of cutthroat trout in their native waters in Wyoming. The four subspecies are the Yellowstone, Snake River, Bonneville and Colorado River cutthroat trout. Successful anglers receive a certificate listing the name of the angler, color artwork of the four species and notation on the date and location of each catch. Started in 1996, the program continues to grow in popularity each year. In its first year, five anglers completed requirements followed by six more certificates issued in 1997. To say it has caught on is an understatement, as is evidenced with 100 certificates issued to cuttslammers in 2007. To date, the Cutt-Slam program has been featured in national fly fishing magazines and several outdoor television programs. In recognition of the milestone, the 500th angler to complete the program will receive Cutt-Slam apparel, patches and fisheries related items from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s Alternative Enterprises program. To participate in the Cutt-Slam, anglers simply need to catch each fish in its native range in Wyoming and provide a photograph of the fish along with the date of catch and water where it was caught. There is no time limit for completing the requirements. Some anglers have spread out their catches over five years while others have completed their "slam" in a few days. There is also no minimum size requirement. Over the years, qualifying photos featuring fish from six to 20 plus inches have been submitted. Releasing fish after photographing is encouraged and may be required depending on the regulation that is in effect on various cutthroat waters. Anglers are encouraged to check the fishing regulations booklet for limitations on the various waters.

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Clean your gear to stop the spread of ‘didymo’ Although Wyoming’s exposure to it is limited to the extreme northwest corner of the state, the invasive aquatic alga, Didymosphenia geminata, or “didymo,” is threatening all waters and could change them forever. The following facts about didymo was gleaned from a scholarly account written by Leah C. Elwell, conservation coordinator for the Federation of Fly Fishers in Bozeman, appearing in the autumn 2006 issue of Flyfisher. The article was provided to the Backcast by Art VanRensselaer. Fishermen, accidently, innocently, or perhaps maybe purposely, are bringing the hitchhiker with them on their gear (waders, boots or float tubes), and depositing them in a new environment to reproduce. And reproduce it will, creating a blanket of “snot” on the rocks and bottoms of waterways. Chunks of the sickening crud floats downstream. Didymo kills the aquatic insect population, and, thus, the trout no longer have dinner fare. Twenty years ago, it was rare in the U.S. and Canada. But in 1988, the first didymo bloom was observed on Vancouver Island, WA. It has spread, with most states reporting some infestation. And in 2003, the south island of New Zealand reported the first recorded didymo bloom in the southern hemisphere. Massive blooms have changed rivers like American Fork, CA; Kootenia, MT; Rapid Creek, SD; White, AR: and Deer, Calgary, Canada. But the spread of didymo can easily be combatted. Thoroughly clean your gear after visiting waters known to contain didymo. Rinse waders, boots and float tubes in a solution that kills algae cells (2 percent bleach, or 5 percent salt water or dishwasher detergent). Never transplant plants, animals or water from one body of water to another. Never dispose of fish or fish parts in any body of water. And learn what invasives are in the waters you fish.

M Y F LY B OX Clarke Turner is a spaghetti and meatballs kind of guy, hence the San Juan worms, eggs and scuds on the right side of his box. But he is equally effective with his old standby, a small pheasant tail nymph, eigher regular or bead-headed, which dominate the other side of his tailwater box.

Free Fishing Day is set by the G&F commission for June 7 The 2003 Wyoming Legislature approved the creation of an annual Wyoming Free Fishing Day, to be designated by the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission, as part of the National Fishing and Boating Week. The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission has declared June 7, 2008 and June 6, 2009 Free Fishing Days to coincide with the beginning of the National Fishing and Boating week. Residents and nonresidents may fish Wyoming waters (excluding Wind River Indian Reservation and Yellowstone National Park, which are not regulated by the State of Wyoming) without a fishing license or conservation stamp. Saturday, June 7 also the date for the Wyoming Fly Casters’ outing at the Cardwell access.

Activities chairman and banquet ideas are being sought by prez We need a chairman for the activities committee. Activities such as tying classes, rod building, net building, and community fly fishing classes or what ever else you might be interested in putting together would be included. If you are interested, please contact John Robitaille. • The banquet committee is interested in hearing ideas for next year. If you have ideas that you believe would make the banquet better, let us know. You can email ideas to John Robitaille at

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Wyoming Fly Casters Monthly Newsletter

Boysen Reservoir Combat fishing in the Bay of Pigs by Alex Rose Vice President, WFC “… the desire to try, to cast once more and once more again, is never quenched, for there is always that chance that one more cast will carry him beyond skill and luck and bring him untarnished magic.” -- Harry Middleton, “The Earth is Enough: Growing up in a World of Fly Fishing, Trout, and Old Men” he night before my fishing trip to Boysen Reservoir, I asked my wife to set the alarm clock for 5:45 a.m. I am normally dead to the world at this hour. And sometimes, I don’t hear the monotonous, electronic squawks of the hateful alarm clock. So I asked Erin to wake me by telling me something sweet. I asked her to say a word that would jar me into consciousness. “Just say, ‘trout,’” I said. I then mocked the beeps of the alarm: “trout … trout … trout … trout….” Erin took my joke one step further. She began mimicking the alarm’s chime: “rainbow … brown … cutthroat … golden.” I was so proud that my pretty wife knew not just one, but four trout species. She looked up at me and smiled. “See, I do pay attention,” she said. The next morning, I made haste in my drive to Boysen Reservoir. I was hoping to catch very large rainbows that were trying to spawn in the shallow water near the Brannon boat ramp. Of course, these trout can’t spawn at this location, but instincts and lust goad them on. This provides anglers the opportunity to fish for large, aggressive, spawning trout, guilt free. A good friend of mine, a game warden with Wyoming Game and Fish, told me that large numbers of huge fish attempt to spawn in this area. And if you time it just right, the fishing is incredible. He said that during the spring, the game wardens name the boat ramp “the Bay of Pigs,” and I just love catching swimming livestock.


Rose elbowed his way into the crowds and whipped three Greenies before landing this 21-inch Jenny Craig rainbow.

Soon after arriving at the boat ramp, I walked down to the water and began fishing, using a large, bead head pine squirrel leech, but I stripped it like a streamer. I immediately hooked and landed my first fish, a 20-inch rainbow, a “Jenny Craig.” Soon, I hooked my second fish, and my rod doubled over and jerked as my reel screamed. I now interrupt this story to thank club member Jamie Gibson for introducing me to the pine squirrel leech fly pattern during a Lyin’ and Tyin’ session on a cold January morning. Anyhow, while playing my second fish, an excited angler approached and asked what I was using. While I released my fish, he stood about 10 feet away and began casting to the exact spot where I had been fishing.

I was furious. If I wanted to fish elbow to elbow with folks, I’d just drive down the road, to Grey Reef. He began making obligatory small talk, and mentioned he was from Golden, Colo. “Well, that figures, “ I said to myself. It was the Bay of Pigs invasion. When I told him I was from Casper, he asked if I ever fished at Grey Reef. “No, I don’t fish at Grey Reef during the spring, because crowds from Colorado ruin the fishing,” I said, before throwing down the gauntlet. “They will just walk right up and FISH RIGHT NEXT TO YOU.” He gave a nervous laugh, and then told me that fishing at Boysen Reservoir during the spring was “combat fishing.” I’m not sure what he meant by “combat,” but I wasn’t seeking a fight. Besides, I had left my guns at home. The fishing slowed down for the next hour. But then an angler near the boat ramp caught a large rainbow, and

Wyoming Fly Casters Monthly Newsletter anglers quickly lined up next to him and started casting lines. I started to walk by the boat ramp when two anglers asked if I wanted to join them. Although I’m not accustomed to fishing in close quarters, I thought it wouldn’t hurt to investigate. As soon as I approached the water, I could see why anglers had lined up along the bank: Pods of very large trout were cruising in shallow water. The trout were so thick that an angler from Thermopolis referred to the dark shadows in the water as “clouds.” The fisherman from Thermopolis, the combat angler from Colorado, who turned out to be a nice guy, and myself rapidly began catching fish. We stood about eight feet from each other and proceeded to catch and release about 75 trout in three hours. I’ve never witnessed anything like it. They were all very large fish, easily averaging 20 inches, and most of them an inch or two larger. Fly selection was irrelevant: The aggressive rainbows hammered nymphs, streamers, midges, anything. They gnawed on my pheasant tail nymph until it resembled a tangle of dark thread behind a gold bead, and then continued to attack it. “It’s like Christmas,” I told a nearby fisherman. “No, it’s better than Christmas,” he said. “At Christmas, you get a bunch of (crap) you don’t want. Here, you know what you’re getting.” He then began to rattle off unwanted Christmas presents like toaster ovens and socks, but I wasn’t paying attention, because my eyes were mesmerized by my strike indicator, and my senses were transfixed and keen to the large trout clouds cruising the shore. By the end of the day, I had landed about 30 fish approximately 20 inches or larger. I was exhausted, sun burned and dehydrated. However, I was happy and satisfied, and left the water with the pleasant feeling that I had caught more than enough fish. This is a feeling that happens so rarely. Even after a good day’s fishing, I usually unstring my rod with a slight gnawing in my gut, that insatiable desire to catch fish, that hesitation and reluctance to leave trout water. And it’s that very drive that keeps me returning for more. It was epic fishing, the stuff of dreams, or what Harry Middleton would call “untarnished magic.”

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Wyoming’s waters to be fully stocked this summer Good news for Wyoming anglers. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department announced that waters scheduled to be stocked in 2008 should receive at least 90 percent of the original numbers requested despite finding whirling disease earlier this year at the Ten Sleep Fish Hatchery. Fish culture personnel from all ten Game and Fish hatcheries and fish rearing stations were able to reallocate fish requests and adjust upcoming egg numbers to cover the majority of shortages. “We were able to meet the vast majority of stocking requests by adjusting the present inventories at the other eight hatcheries, reducing existing numbers requested and adding fish into the system from spring eggs,” explained Steve Sharon, fish culture supervisor for the department. Schedules were also adjusted for 2009 because Ten Sleep Hatchery will continue to be out of production until sources of the contamination can be eliminated. Although tests are ongoing to confirm the cause of the infection at the Ten Sleep Fish Hatchery, it is believed that surface water from nearby Ten Sleep Creek or Leigh Creek contaminated the hatchery water supply. Sentinel fish, a small number of fish used to detect the disease, have been placed at each of the four different spring sources used by the hatchery to determine which is infected with surface water. The sentinels will continue to be tested throughout the year to better understand contamination sources and direct remediation plans. Once the source of infection is determined, protection of the hatchery’s water supplies will be the highest priority. Removing disease threats is extremely important to protect the Yellowstone cutthroat brood stock and bring the important egg incubation and fish rearing capacity at Ten Sleep back on line. The department has asked the State Building Commission to consider funding a capital facility proposal to renovate Ten Sleep Hatchery by July 2011. Outside of maintaining the Yellowstone cutthroat brood stock and limited egg incubation, all fish production has been suspended at Ten Sleep until a full assessment is completed. Fish from Ten Sleep had been transferred to Wigwam Rearing Station, Boulder Rearing Station and Tillett Springs Rearing Station. In all, a total of 477,500 fish of all sizes, totaling 21,500 pounds, were removed from production and euthanized at these facilities. The majority of these fish were small fingerlings and fish that were to be grown and stocked in 2009. "Clearly, the department will continue to make adjustments for future stocking," said Sharon. "Ten Sleep Hatchery plays a critical part in the overall hatchery system. The department cannot completely meet all anticipated requested numbers, sizes and types of trout for future fishing opportunities until the facility can be brought back into production." Wigwam Rearing Station, which is located three miles west of Ten Sleep, was the hardest hit facility, with all of the fish lots transferred from Ten Sleep testing positive for the parasite. Limited production and stocking has resumed at Wigwam after intensive sampling for the parasite was completed. One spring water source, with possible exposure to stream water, has been separated from the facility as a precaution to be evaluated with sentinel fish over the next year. Until that supply is fully evaluated, full production will not be resumed at Wigwam. The Colorado River cutthroat brood stock population and one cutthroat lot transferred from another hatchery were certified pathogen free at Wigwam. Whirling disease was first detected in Wyoming in 1987. Since then, the parasite has expanded through natural means into all major trout drainages. The Game and Fish has been proactive in protecting hatchery water sources to eliminate the potential for disease introduction. “Wyoming Game and Fish hatcheries have not knowingly stocked any positive fish, checking for the parasite through either biannual or annual inspections,” said Sharon. “It is our standing to be part of the solution, not part of the problem when concerning whirling disease or any other fish health issues.”

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Wyoming Fly Casters Monthly Newsletter

A course in drift boat fishing The following article is an excerpt from the electronic book, Hunt - Don’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 conservations and education funds. In the coming months, other chapters of Dr. Reno’s book are to be featured in the Backcast. Before you get in a drift boat, it’s a good idea to learn how to be a succesful fly fisher.

Chapter 1: Introduction once heard a professor in a graduate management class muse, "All life is a crap shoot, the odds of winning or losing being no more predictable than the roll of a pair of dice." He continued, "Every decision made in life is based upon odds, the odds of winning or losing, the balance between winning and losing being a function of the availability and utility of information." Fortunately, most of us gather as much information as possible before making decisions. Consequently, we make more good decisions than costly ones during the course of our lives. Success in fly fishing from a drift boat is nothing more than collecting information and using it to make good decisions about how to fish, what to fish, and where to fish. Fly fishermen manage the "how to fish" aspect of decision making pretty well. A small percentage of them ask locals "what to fish" and "where to fish," and, based upon the advice they get, manage to catch fish during most outings. But few ever really learn how to apply "what to fish" and "where to fish" to new or changing situations. As a result, they embark unequipped to fish a variety of habitats, let alone fish new habitats, respond to sudden changes in environmental conditions, or recognize changes in fish behavior. Knowing "where to fish" is the key to repeated success in fly fishing from a drift boat. The fly fisherman who knows where to fish is a hunter capable of catching fish under almost any environmental circumstance, in any river, anywhere. Why? Most environmental requirements and physical needs of streamdwelling fishes are alike or remarkably similar. Lessons learned in hunting for fish in one stream have applicability in most streams. Remember, in stream environments, fishes are governed equally by three requirements. First, they always are found where currents bring them food. Second, they live in places where expenditure of energy in maintaining position is minimal. And third, they live in places that afford them protection from pred-


ators. Those requirements are absolutes. If you learn to recognize places that simultaneously fulfill those requirements, you can always find fishes. Yes, indeed, the behaviors of fishes are predictable in some ways. When fishes are found in places that do not simultaneously fulfill those requirements, they are usually there because fortuitous feeding opportunities outweigh the risks. If the availability of food decreases to the point that more energy would be used in maintaining position than is gained from consumption, fishes relocate to places that are not as energetically expensive. Or, if predation increases to the point where more energy is expended in eluding predators than is gained from consuming available food, fishes likewise move to safer surroundings. Interestingly enough, bigger fishes are among the first to capitalize on the sudden availability of food, the first to abandon an energy-expensive habitat when the availability of food diminishes, and the first to take shelter when environmental hazards increase. I suspect that such flexibility in bigger fishes is partly the result of some degree of learning. They generally have lived longer, likely have fed upon a wider variety and sizerange of food organisms, and have survived repeated encounters with predators and social despots. Therefore, it is not surprising that big fish are faster to take advantage of feeding opportunities, more likely to abandon losing propositions, and quicker to retreat in the face of increasing risk. Why do we as superior beings not conduct our personal, social, and financial affairs with similar simplicity? Learning to hunt, instead of praying, for fish is pretty simple, being dependent on three acquired skills. First, the fly fisherman in a drift boat must recognize habitats and anticipate structural changes in habitats as the boat meanders downstream. Second, he or she must focus on fishing only those places in each habitat that most likely hold or concentrate fishes. Finally, the fisherman must be disciplined enough to ignore those places that harbor few or no fish. Repetitive success is a reflection of learning and applying those skills, as well as being properly outfitted to fish all habi-

Wyoming Fly Casters Monthly Newsletter tats and the entire water column of each habitat. Asking for divine intervention is of little help. This book provides the novice, advanced, and professional fly fisherman alike with tools and insights that can enhance each fishing experience from a drift boat. The information is general enough to apply to almost any species of fish living in moving waters anywhere on the North American continent. Indeed, most of the time the word "trout" easily can be replaced with the name of another riverine game fish without appreciably compromising facts about fly-fishing techniques and/or strategies. In other words, all fishes living in streams are controlled by the same physical and biological requirements. As a result, the techniques for catching stream fishes from a boat are nearly identical. The book acknowledges the popularity of wade fishing. Indeed, wade fishing is the most effective way to fish streams too small to float with a boat. Moreover, wade fishing is the best strategy for fishing riffles, even those riffles accessible only by boat. In fact, some wade fishermen opt to use the drift boat as a transport vehicle, floating from riffle to riffle and fishing as many riffles as possible in a given day. But, in the process of floating between riffles, the fisherman passes many habitats that harbor just as many fish, and often larger fish. Why not broaden the experience of stream fishing by learning to recognize and fish other habitats as well? When the fly fisherman is in a drift boat, the water remains relatively constant with respect to the boat, but the habitat is always changing, whereas, when the fly fisherman is wading, the

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The world’s biggest fly box is the side carpet of a car door. However, how are you going to stuff this box into your vest when you arrive at the stream?

water is always moving, but the habitat remains constant with respect to the fisherman. That distinction is so important that occasionally it is repeated, when emphasizing specific environmental requirements, offering suggestions about selecting and using equipment, and discussing or explaining fishing strategies.

Volunteers needed for G&F’s Expo The Wyoming Hunting and Fishing Expo will be the week after Labor Day and will be held on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. This is a change from previous Expos that were held on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has asked for help with fly tying, casting and a booth. We will be asking for volunteers to help, so please watch for a sign up sheet at the next general meeting.

New to the club? Need a fishing buddy? Here’s two to give a call Most people join our club to learn where to fish and to improve their fishing technique. If we are to keep members active, experienced members of the club need to be available to give lessons on technique or fishing location information. To that end, Joe Meyer and Daren Bulow would like you to know that they are available to help and they are encouraging other members to add their names to this list so that new members can call someone for help. Call Joe at 235-1316 or Daren at 247-2578.

Remind WFC members of approaching events, through timely e-mail postings Do you have trouble remembering when there are WFC functions? Have you ever forgotten a function and then remembered about it when it was over? Scott Novotny is undertaking a reminder program for club activities, etc. He requests that members send him an e-mail so that he can have your e-mail address and then he will send out a timely reminder by e-mail of any activities. He promised that your e-mail address would only be used for the purpose of sending the reminder. Send your e-mail to Scott Novotny at

Committee seeks to recuit new WFC club members Interested in seeing the club grow? Alex Rose, the vice president of the WFC, is recruiting members for this important committee. If you are interested in seeing the Wyoming Flycasters grow, or if you have any ideas to recruit new members, please contact him at He can also reached by his cellphone at 828/467-3789.

Membership cards Membership cards may be picked up at the general membership meeting.

FOR SALE Patagonia SST Jacket, XL Brand new $240 (List $315) Contact G. Scott Novotny 266-3072

Page 10

Wyoming Fly Casters Monthly Newsletter










7 Cardwell outing







WFC General Membership Meeting, 7 p.m.





Flag Day


WFC Board Meeting, 7 p.m.

Father’s Day






20 Summer Solstice


21 Walker Jenkins outing



Deadline for Backcast info



Wyoming Fly Casters Board Meeting May 21st, 2008 The meeting was called to order by the president. Motion with second and pass was called to accept minutes from the last meeting. Motion with second and pass was called to accept expense report from last meeting. Motion with second and pass was called for reimbursement for the Big Horn Outing. Committee Chairs: The board would like to formally announce they are looking for committee chairs to head the following committees: Conservation Committee Banquet Committee If you are interested in heading any of these committees, or would like more information, please contact John Robitaille. Old News: On May 24, we will be having our annual outing at Cardwell with Randy Stalker and Don Jelnick as stream keepers. On June 7, President-elect Joe DeGraw has chosen the monthly outing to take place at Walker Jenkins Lake. Spawning Project:

The Wyoming Game and Fish has asked the WFC to help implement a number of spawning beds in the Cardwell Access area. Last year the WGF introduced 50 new tagged fish, and as of last month only four remained. They determined that the area is self-sustained and the best method would be to add spawning beds. The WFC has agreed to provide 100 man hours toward this project. New News: The Wyoming Game and Fish will be hosting the Wyoming Game and Fish Expo on Thursday, September 4 through Saturday, September 6. Do to the exposure the Wyoming Fly Casters received during previous expos, a motion to donate $1000 to the 2008 expo was second and passed. In addition, the Wyoming Fly Casters is seeking volunteers to help teach fly tying and casting during the three days of the expo with all supplies being furnished. If you are interested please contact president John Robitaille. The Wyoming Fly Casters is excited to announce the club's fly fishing library was reinstated with a motion, second and pass. Additionally, a motion to spend $500 to develop a modern library of practical DVD's to help all members of the club was second and passed. Further discussion of this library will be done at the next general election. These minutes have been submitted by T. Grogan.

Wyoming Fly Casters Monthly Newsletter

Page 11

Treasurer’s Report for April 2008 Income Date 4/7/2008 4/7/2008 4/10/2008 4/17/2008

Expenses Check # #3872 #3873 #3874 #3875 #3876 #3878 #3879 #3880 #3881 #3882 #3883 #3884 #3885



deposit - Banquet - 3,357.97, cash adv. Ck # 3872 - 100.00 deposit - dues - 60.00, Banquet Meals - 2,135.00 deposit - dues - Big Horn Outing - 715.00, Spec Raffle - 15.00, Raffle 4/9/08 - 134.00 deposit - dues - 25.00, Big Horn Outiing - 55.00

3,457.97 2,195.00

Total Income


Description Cash - Banquet Izaak Walton League - Rent April 08 B W Insurance - Dishonesty Bond Ins. U. S. Postmaster - Office Postage Stamps U. S. Plattre River Fly Shop - 4/9 Raffle Wyo. Stationery - Banquet Raffle Tickets Cottonwood Camp - Big Horn Outing Ramada Inn - Banquet Meals Kinkos - March Backcast Lloyd Ferquson - Food - Big Horn Outing Don Jelinek - Food - Big Horn Outing Ed Rate - Food Big Horn Outing Marvin Nolte - Banquet Awards April Bank Charges Total Expenses

Amount (100.00) (75.00) 170.10) (16.40) (120.00) (22.05) (427.80) (2,848.77) (75.65) (65.00) (192.00) (112.00) (262.50) (7.95) (4,511.62)

** ** ** **

864.00 80.00

Checking Account 4/1/2008 4/30/2009

Balance Income Expenses Balance

4,450.61 6,596.97 (4,511.62) $6,535.96

Money Market Account 4/1/2008 4/30/2008 4/30/2008

Balance-(WFC Funds) Balance (PRE Funds) Interest Income Balance

18,286.89 1,216.44 35.24 $19,538.57

Recapitulation Checking Account $6,535.96 Money Market $18,188.86 PRE Funds - Reserved $1,216.44 4/30/2008

Total Out of Pocket cost to Club - 66.80 Balance pd by Participants

$25,941.26 **

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.

WFC 06/08  
WFC 06/08 by John Robitaille, President, WFC by Randy Stalker, Backcasteditor Hope to see you with a rod in your hand and a rod i...