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Page 2 OFFICERS Melody Weinhandl, President Diana Holcomb, President-elect Andrew Sauter, Vice President Casey Leary, Secretary Matt Stanton, Treasurer BOARD OF DIRECTORS Terms expire in 2011 Bob Fischer Scott Novotny Alex Rose Bill Wichers Terms expire in 2012 Spencer Amend Neil Ruebush Smokey Weinhandl Vacant Terms expire in 2013 Greg Groves Joe Meyer Will Waterbury Herb Waterman 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 next to last day 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 program available free of charge) documents. Usually, 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 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 Melody Weinhandl, President, WFC


ishing the rivers and streams of Wyoming is a wondrous thing. There is nothing so amazing as an azure sky above with the sun gently warming your back, the sounds of rushing waters as it swirls around your feet and the feel of a trout tugging on your line. This side of heaven, there are few places that compare. My husband, Smokey, and I had the pleasure of such an experience recently as we fished the Miracle Mile and brought home two rainbows that were 20" each. Those were the only ones we kept as we enjoy a meal of trout now and then. They proved to be delicious when prepared on the grill with just the right recipe. Others recently shared such an experience when fishing with Herb Waterman and Lloyd Ferguson on the Cardwell outing. Herb reported that the turnout was good, the fishing was great and the food an added bonus to an already nice day. Thanks to Herb and Lloyd for donating their time and effort in purchasing and preparing the sustenance to keep the hungry group fed. Next up on the list of places to enjoy is a trip with Neil Ruebush to LaBonte Canyon on June 12. If you haven’t signed up yet for this outing there will be another opportunity to do so at the meeting in June. LaBonte will be a great opportunity to catch rainbow and browns and is a fun and beautiful area to fish. We are focusing on membership this month and you may be contacted to update your information by board members, Andrew Sauter, who chairs that committee, or Scott Novotny. If you haven’t yet been approached, please be proactive and contact Scott at or Andrew at, and let them know of any changes to your phone number, address or e-mail address. Also, feel free to take a moment and let Scott or Andrew know if you have not yet paid your dues for the year. A few members haven't. These things are important in allowing us to keep you informed about Flycaster events in time for you to participate. The Wyoming Fly Casters recently had the pleasure of electing Spencer Amend to the board. Spencer has been a member of WFC for many years and his experience both on the water and with the organization will provide valuable input as we do our best to take care of the interests of our membership. It’s a promising day when one can enjoy the outdoors in a way that doesn’t put restrictions upon you. Time, although valuable and watched closely under most circumstances all but stands still as one takes a moment to appreciate the beauty of Wyoming while standing or drifting down her varied waterways. Admiring the beauty of a glistening trout whether it’s a rainbow, cutthroat, brookie or brown (or golden or lake...ok, the list goes on) is a rare moment of awe. The colors and patterns could only have been designed by a Master Craftsman. And we have them all at our fingertips in our lovely state. Take the time to enjoy it. As the saying goes, no one lies upon their death bed wishing they had spent more time at work. So grab a buddy and…. Happy angling,

Melody Our members are very special to us and we want to remember them in times of adversity. If you know of a member or their spouse who is ill or is recently deceased, please contact Donna Diesburg at (307) 2344278 or e-mail her at

Cover shot: Kim Levine with a Rocky Mountain whitefish from the Snake River.

Wyoming Fly Casters Monthly Newsletter

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Council holds spring TU conference in Moose The Wyoming Fly Casters, as an affiliate member of Trout Unlimited, was represented during the spring conference of the council in mid-May. The two-day meeting was held at the Murie Center, just outside of Moose. Matt Stanton and Scott Novotny represented the WFC, and Stanton, as treasurer of the WFC, presented the council with a $1000 check. The money was part of the proceeds from the raffle held during the Orvis Rendezvous for guides in early April in Casper.

Kim Levine, Scott Novotny and Matt Stanton with Kathleen Belk, the director of development at the Murie Center in Moose.

Chef Dave Shipek and his creation for Saturday’s dinner.

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Wyoming Fly Casters Monthly Newsletter


Tailing Loops

of the month

by Randy Stalker, Backcast editor Those who hammer their guns into plowshares will plow for those who do not. -- Unknown

SPARKLE DUN Hook: TMC 100 #14-22 Thread: 8/0 light cahill Wing: Bleached coastal deer hair or early season elk Shuck: Rusty brown Z-lon Body: Pale yellow superfine dubbing The sparkle dun is an outstandingly simple adult mayfly pattern developed by Craig Mathews of West Yellowstone, Montana. The pattern incorporates only three materials and all of them are cheap and commonly available. The Sparkle Dun was one of the first patterns to incorporate a trailing shuck. The Z-Lon shuck imitates the empty nymphal husk hanging from the back of the emerging dun and is a definite trigger for selective fish. This is a simple but highly effective fly that can be accomplished by even beginning tyers. Gather up your materials, sit down and crank out a batch of PMD sparkle duns. Then go on to tie them on Baetis colors and even red quills. The pattern will nicely imitate any mayfly just by changing the colors of the components. Stack a small clump of deer or elk hair and measure it against the hook so it is equal to one shank length. Lay the hair in with the tips pointing out over the hook eye. Bind the hair down at the seventy-five percent point. Trim the butt ends of the hair at an angle so they transition smoothly to the hook shank. Tie in a sparse clump of Z-lon at the base of the wing and wrap back over it to the bend so it sticks out the back of the hook. Dub a smooth, tapered body. Whip finish and clip the thread. Splay the wing with your fingertips so it spreads nearly 180 degrees across the front of the fly.

he smallest fish caught was still over 10 lbs. Wheatland No. 3, a reservoir which for the last few seasons has been hit by the several year drought cycle, is now swollen with water and the carp are swarming in the shallows. The wind was in full force when we arrived shortly after 10 a.m. on Friday, May 28 and the beach resembled a version of Mary Bay in Yellowstone on any given afternoon. The southern end of the body of water is shallow, and we could wade several hundred yards into its middle if we wanted. But the carp were feeding just a few yards from shore, and when we waded into the knee-deep water, the waves splashing against our thighs, the carp could almost be petted as they slowly meandered in search of a meal. Carp have poor eyesight, so we needed to place the fly directly in front of their noses, and gently twitch it. But there was no guarantee they would eat it. Wheatland No. 3 sits on a flat plateau, entirely void of rock structure or a single tree for shade. The lake also


boasted not a single other fisherman on its four-mile long stretch. Over the course of the next few hours, we hooked and landed several of these tubs (see page 5 for an example of one of them). Carp are generally regarded as trash fish, until that is, they grow to weights in the double digits. And they do put a tug on a fly rod. This was my initiation into carp fishing. I will be coming back for seconds. Has anyone considered hosting an outing at Wheatland No. 3? • Faithful readers of the Backcast should note that this issue features the final chapter of the Drift Boat Fishing 101 serial. The Dr. Harley Reno electronic book first appeared in the June 2008 issue, so it is entirely appropriate that the final installment be in the June 2010 Backcast, exactly two years later. It is hoped that the series was wellread, entertaining and informative to members of the club, and that the knowledge will be put to practical use this summer. As always, member contributions are always appreciated for the newsletter. Tight lines,


Bowfishing for carp is June program topic Bowfishing for carp is the slated feature for the June 9 general membership meeting of the WFC. The meeting begins at 7:00 p.m. at the Izaac Walton League clubhouse at Ft. Caspar. Blake Jackson guides for Crazy Rainbow Fly Fishing and Wing Shooting, and is also an avid bowhunter and bowfisherman. The program will feature information on fishing regulations specific to fishing with a bow, equipment, spotting and stalking tactics, and uses for harvested fish. • The next hosted outing is June 12 at LaBonte Canyon with Neil Ruebush as streamkeeper. Be sure to sign up and get directions at the June 9 meeting. Joe DeGraw is planning to shoulder the streamkeeper responsibilities for an at Walker Jenkins reservoir on July 17. A sign-up sheet will be circulated at the June and July general meetings. Anyone interested can sign up then or contact Joe at: or phone him at 307-258-0177.

Wyoming Fly Casters Monthly Newsletter


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Wyoming Fly Casters Monthly Newsletter

Drift boat fishing 101 Chapter 14: Hidden Bonanzas e are all aware that nature can be violent at times. Hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes, landslides, and forest fires are dramatic examples of such natural disruptions. We also realize that changes in nature are gradual and, in many ways, predictable. We structure many of our activities according to historical knowledge of nature's predictability. The tri-monthly change in seasons is a classical example. Almost every adult-especially senior citizens-has experienced cyclic changes in environmental conditions over many decades. Droughts and fluctuations in population densities of wild animals like deer, rabbits, upland game birds, and water fowl, have been witnessed by our grandparents and parents alike. More recently national news media have publicized the synchronous appearances of El Niño and La Niña.


Most of us think we understand how nature works, but few people can discern its subtleties. Nature is too kaleidoscopic in texture and temperament to display overtly its multitude of hidden secrets. Recognizing hidden secrets and untangling the mysteries of each secret is predicated on an indefinable and non-quantifiable mix of training, experimentation, and field experience. An individual who recognizes subtleties in nature has a big advantage over the person who casually indulges in outdoor activities. The perceptive one is really a detective capable of rapidly collecting facts relevant to an observation and formulating a hypothesis about the observation. If the hypothesis is marginally valid or seems shaky, additional facts are collected and the hypothesis tested and retested, if necessary, until the observation is accepted as valid or dismissed as an aberration. That whole process is fun-

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 conservation and education funds. This is the final chapter installment of Dr. Reno’s series. Drift Boat Fishing 101 has appeared in every issue of the Backcast since June 2008 -- two full years. Consult back issues for the full series, or buy the CD.

Wyoming Fly Casters Monthly Newsletter damental inductive reasoning. Interestingly enough, the same process is basic to becoming an accomplished drift boat fly fisherman, although testing generally is limited to instantaneous reaction to an observation. Retesting is often a function of future floats. In the last half of this book, I discussed and illustrated where fishes in lotic environments most often live, explained why they live where they do, and detailed some productive ways of catching fishes in a variety of habitats. The real key to repetitive success in fly fishing from a drift boat is being able to recognize the subtle environmental features that naturally concentrate fishes-a brush pile here; a hidden hump over there; a blind run along a bank; the steep drop-off just ahead; or a submerged rock wall projecting diagonally, barely visible around the bend. Each time you are afloat, you should collect as much information as possible about the kinds of habitats you are fishing; methods being used and techniques employed; climatological conditions; and productivity as a separate function of each habitat, technique, and climatological condition. Commit the information to paper as soon as possible. Never surrender this precious information to habituation, complacency, or boredom. Habituation is reserved for casting techniques only. Complacency and boredom have no place in fly fishing from a drift boat. At the risk of being redundant, the fundamental requirements governing fish behavior in stream or moving water environments are worth repeating. Fishes in lotic environments live where (1) currents bring them food, (2) expenditure of energy in maintaining position is minimal, and (3) protection is afforded from predators. Amazingly, fishing opportunity bonanzas were in plain view of every guide and fisherman who drifts past. For example, I fished the North Platte near Casper a couple of years ago, and we fished bonanzas unknown to other anglers. In fact, a number of the passersby during the initial discovery watched my companions hook and land several big rainbows -- some threatening double digits in poundage. Yet, the only recognition of our presence or commentary heard about our success was a question uttered by two guides that the three of us knew. Both asked, "Harley,

don't you know that you can't cast heavy flies, and hook and land large fish on those short fly rods?" I had no comment, but my companions sure had fun exercising those big fish with their short fly rods. The reality of those bonanzas has been validated several times each year since their discoveries in 2002. Imagine a riffle on the North Platte. Closer examination shows the riffle is punctuated by a stairstep series of pools, each separated by a smaller riffle. The series of five small pools in this long riffle served to concentrate fishes moving between runs. Recently, several local fishing acquaintances -- each an accomplished hunter of, not prayers, for fish -- have reported discoveries of fish bonanzas in rivers elsewhere in Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana. Most bonanzas were described as being "almost imperceptible differences" in habitats, albeit habitats apparently smaller in area and with fewer fish than the two found in the North Platte River. A few were short, narrow, box-canyon-like runs jammed in close to the bank; some were riffles that flowed into deep, slow moving water choked with debris and joined on one side by backwaters; and still others were sunken gravel humps and rocky ridges running diagonally across the current. All shared the feature of somehow concentrating fish while simultaneously fulfilling the three basic requirements of lotic fishes. Do those features sound familiar? Perhaps parts of Chapters 11 and 13 might be worth revisiting. The whole point of this closing discussion is simple: Fish bonanzas are more common in streams and rivers than perhaps heretofore realized. All you have to do to find them is hone your skills of observation. Fortunately for the rest of us, the only thing that you cannot do is file a claim on any bonanza found. Besides, metal Prince Albert tobacco cans are too scarce today, and, in some quarters, leaving one of those cans behind with a handwritten claim stuffed inside is tantamount to environmental littering! The best you can hope for is that other fly fishermen will continue overlooking your discoveries. Obviously, the odds are in your favor that fly fishermen will continue doing just that!

BE INFORMED www.wyflyca ster

ster www.wyflyca

ster www.wyflyca

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Receive each issue of the Backcast in a timely manner, without relying on the Post Awful to deliver it. Sign up for electronic delivery! Not only do you receive each issue near the end of each month, but it will feature color photographs and graphics. And you can save the club precious money and resources because printing and postage costs and the chore of stapling, stamping and stickering the monochrome hard copy are eliminated. Just drop the editor a line, requesting electronic delivery at

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Wyoming Fly Casters Monthly Newsletter

WYOMING FLY CASTERS BOARD MEETING MINUTES -- DRAFT May 19, 2010 Called to order at 7:05 p.m. All members present except Neil Ruebush and Greg Groves. Guests Dick DePaemelere and Spencer Amend. Dick DePaemelere reviewed the membership list process and how he organized the list. He provided information on memberships paid and those whose membership lapsed. The board thanked Dick for his work on the membership. Andrew Sauter reported he is presently working on membership matters and will send a last notice to those whose membership lapsed. The membership committee agreed all new members will receive a hat or inside/outside decal. The membership committee will try to keep a checklist of those who received their sign-up items. Members will have to be present at a meeting to pick up their membership item, unless they reside out of the local area. Scott Novotny reviewed the costs of WFC hats and business cards. The board approved to allocate $200 to the membership committee to use at their discretion. The secretary’s report was approved. The treasurer’s report was approved. Matt Stanton reported Ed Rate, Nancy Stichert and Matt Stanton reviewed the WFC books and commented they were well documented. No discrepancies were noted. The board approved the WFC financial books as reviewed. Matt reported he and Scott Novotny attended a TU meeting in Jackson last weekend. They went on a field trip regarding conservation projects. This included fish passage projects. He

will attempt to get information on local fish passage projects. The board approved to reimburse Matt Stanton and Scott Novotny for expenses to the TU meeting. The conservation committee will attempt to get a summary of how club money has been provided to past conservation projects. President-elect Diana Holcomb reported Joe Meyer will take a group to Walker Jenkins Reservoir on May 22 and Neal Ruebush will have an outing at LaBonte Canyon next month. Herb Waterman reported Ed Rate and Lloyd Ferguson helped him at the Cardwell outing and we had good attendance. Bill Wichers reported on the Falls Ranch land trade. He commented the proposal is for 16,000 acres deeded lands to be traded for 14,000 acres state land, making the ranch contiguous. He commented a map of the proposal is to be released in the future. One fishery involved is the MacDonald Reservoir, which would be open to public access if the proposal is approved. Overall he commented the land swap would be good for hunters and fisherman. Bill will notify the WFC of the map’s release. The board approved to accept Spencer Amend for a vacant board position. On June 26, Charlie Shedd will present a casting clinic from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Conwell Park (across from the Wyoming Medical Center) and press releases will be completed. No additional information was presented on the drift boat issue. Andrew Sauter reported to add additional names on the WFC (continued on next page)





















Summer Solstice

Father’s Day

27 Deadline for Backcast info








WFC Board Meeting, 7 p.m.

Flag Day




LaBonte canyon outing

Regular meeting, 7 p.m.



Full moon




Wyoming Fly Casters Monthly Newsletter

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WFC TREASURER'S REPORT PERIOD (ending April 30, 2010) Date Income 04/13/10 04/13/10 04/13/10 04/13/10 04/13/10 04/16/10 04/22/10

Expenses 04/13/10 04/13/10 04/13/10 04/13/10 04/21/10 04/21/10 04/21/10 04/22/10 04/22/10 04/22/10 04/22/10

Board Minutes



Deposit-Dues Deposit-Dues $110, Advertising $50 Deposit-Dues $20, Banquet $6852 Deposit-Banquet $815 Deposit-Banquet $500 Deposit - Orvis Rendezvous Raffle Deposit-General Meeting Raffle 4/14/10 Total

$410.00 $160.00 $6,872.00 $815.00 $500.00 $2,955.00 $83.00 $11,795.00

#4029 - Izaak Walton League-April rent #4030 – Bob Fischer – Banquet Meals Deposit #4031 – Bob Fischer – Banquet Expenses Transfer to Money Market #4032 – Scott Novotny – Hats #4033 – TU Wyoming – Donation (Orvis Rendezvous) #4034 – Matt Stanton – Banquet Expenses #4035 – The Finishing Touch – Banquet Expenses #4036 – WWF – Affiliate donation #4037 – BW Insurance – Dishonesty Bond #4038 Platte River Parkway Trust – Mile Marker Sponsor

$75.00 $2,952.10 $165.88 $10,000.00 $83.98 $1,000.00 $49.61 $180.60 $50.00 $187.00 $500.00



(continued from previous page)

memorial rock will require $125 for each additional name if it is brought to the business. If the business has to complete the job on site, it will require an additional $450. Andrew will check with competitors for other bids and report to the board. Andrew recommended the board look into other options regarding the process to having your name registered on the rock. This matter was tabled. Herb Waterman reported Jack Gartside, a New York City taxi driver and well recognized fly tier who once presented the WFC to a fly tying session, died recently of lung cancer. Joe Meyer reminded the board he has numerous video tapes of well recognized fly tiers who have performed at past sport shows that anyone can review, just contact Joe Meyer. Scott Novotny reported he received positive responses from 25 surveys on the banquet and believe it was headed in the right direction. Matt Stanton met Luke Lynch in Jackson at the TU meeting and thanked the club for their support of the Government Bridge project. Matt presented to the board to review letters that were sent to Washington. The club again will be involved the Wyoming Game and Fish Expo and will renew the same booth size as last year. Matt will speak to TU and will discuss a joint effort. The board approved to allow Matt and Herb Waterman to donate extension cords to the WFC. Bill Wichers and Melody Weinhandl will not be present at next month’s board meeting. Meeting adjourned at 8:29 p.m. Casey Leary, Secretary


GOOD STUFF FOR SALE (CHEAP!) Lightly used Hodgdon fishing boots, felt soles. Size 11. $35. Eric Bowers 377-3030 • Fleece fingerless fishing gloves. Coleman two-burner stove, like new. Don Jelinek 267-7477 • Patagonia SST jacket, XL, Brand new. $175 (list $315). Scott Novotny 266-3072

WFC 06/10  
WFC 06/10  

Wyoming Fly Caster June 10 newsletter