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Wyoming Fly Casters Monthly Newsletter

Drag-free Drifts by WILL WATERBURY President, WFC You must lose a fly to catch a trout. ~George Herbert


ight out of the blocks I want to thank everyone who attended the banquet. While the numbers may have been down a bit there was still an excellent showing of support for the conservation aspect of the club’s mission, as evidenced by the net proceeds of the auctions and raffles. All of the members of the banquet committee deserve a big thanks for all of their exceptional work and dedication that went into producing a great banquet. As the chair Greg Groves did a marvelous job of shepherding the planning and execution of all things banquet. Co-chair Bob Fisher and Marty Robinson seemed to be the keepers of the banquet institutional knowledge (and thanks Marty for making sure there was a “basket of ladies interest” available). Scott Novotny, Spencer Amend, Andrew Sauter, Alex Rose, Casey Leary, and the rest of the crew were shameless solicitors of the incredible collection of

items and services that were available for prizes and auction. Bill Mixer volunteering his quick wit and humorous knowledge of the club was a real treat. Peg Novotny did the photography and I’m looking forward to seeing the photos on the Facebook page. Thanks to Joe Meyer for putting together the great fly plates. (Last year when I first heard about the fly plates I had images of a set of ceramic plates with flies carefully painted on them, and as I learned more about them the image changed to dinner plates with a bunch of flies somehow mounted on them). I was fortunate to see some of the process and the considerable time investment involved in making the plates before the banquet this year. Thank you to Matt Stanton (bidder extraordinaire) for keeping track of all the money that traded hands throughout the entire banquet process. Continuing the conservation and money thread: an Orvis Guide Rendezvous was in town last week. In a four way cooperative venture: Orvis, Wyoming Trout Unlimited, Wyoming Fly Casters, and the Grey Reef TU

chapter raised a little over $3000 dedicated to the ongoing riparian rehabilitation project at Bolton Creek. Orvis, Hyde Boats, Green Anchors, and a forth company (who’s name I didn’t catch) graciously donated the goodies to be raffled and WFC and Grey Reef TU sold tickets on the 19th, 20th, and 21st. The event was well attended, the food was good, and the people were great. Almost made me wish I had the time to dedicate to becoming knowledgeable enough to be a guide. I think that if George Herbert had spent any time at all fishing with me his quote might well read, “You must lose many flies to catch one trout.” If you would like to find contributions to your fly box just ask me where I have been fishing and then go search the shore behind where I was. The Monday after the general meeting I was out at Pathfinder and lost two Streamliners and a Vanilla Bugger in my first eight attempts to get the flies to where the fish were. Some days are like that. I know I have some bad casting habits to (continued on page 6)

Cover shot: A relationship that works well ... ladder bridges provide public access on private property to the Bighorn River.

OFFICERS Will Waterbury, President Vacant, President-elect Vacant, Vice President Casey Leary, Secretary Matt Stanton, Treasurer BOARD OF DIRECTORS Terms expire in 2012 Spencer Amend Scott Novotny Neil Ruebush Brent “Smokey” Weinhandl, DDS Terms expire in 2013 Greg Groves Joe Meyer Alex Rose Herb Waterman Terms expire in 2014 John Dolan Bob Fischer Jim Johnson Chris McAtee

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 To pay dues or contact the club, write to P.O. Box 2881, Casper, WY 82602. The deadline for submission of information for each issue is a week before the end 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

Brag Board

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Wyoming Fly Casters Monthly Newsletter

Banquet 2011

Wyoming Fly Casters Monthly Newsletter

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Catch & release or catch & kill? Here's some helpful tips on how to handle your fresh caught fish

“Potentially life-threatening to the fish is putting your finger(s) in their gills.�

Catch and release, or catch and kill, there's a right and a wrong way to treat fish. After all, there's no point to killing a fish if it will never make it to the dinner table. And why let a fish go if it's going to die. These are two very important questions that each and every sport angler must ask. The idea that releasing a wild creature to live another day is one of the most empowering sportfishing accomplishments an angler can experience, is still far from a majority opinion. Speaking specifically of wild salmon and steelhead stocks, there's very few river systems in were also exposed to air for 60 seconds, 30 the lower forty eight and also Alaska that seconds, and 0 seconds. Additionally, the can continue to support a "harvest" fishsurvival rates on non-exercised rainbow ery. Reduced limits, fishing restrictions, trout were used as a control for the study. and mandatory catch and release, are all Get ready, the results are surprising. precedents of our collective angling As you'd expect, the control group future and understanding the importance had a 100 percent survival rate. The rainof proper fish handling and release procebow trout that were exhaustively exerdures, is integral to the sustained health cised and not exposed to air survived at of increasingly popular fisheries. an 88 percent rate. However, the rate of Let’s look at the proper survival for fish exposed to air for 30 secetiquette for releasing onds was only 62 percent, and those Holding fish. A recent study that were held out of the water a fish out of done at Queens for 60 seconds had a mere 28 University in percent chance of living to the water for even 30 Ontario, fight another day. The seconds would be like a Canada which researchers attributed the looked at human running full speed for higher mortality among physiological fish exposed to air to a siga half an hour and then effects of brief nificant reduction of oxyair exposure in immediately being submerged gen content in the fish's in water for up to one blood. exhaustively exercised (played out) If these statistics leave you full minute. rainbow trout, is very wondering or unconvinced, consider revealing and educational the following analogy: Holding a fish out toward showing just how precarious and of the water for 60 seconds or even 30 detrimental, improper catch and releasseconds would be like a human running ing fishing can be. I will be the first to full speed for a half an hour and then say that even as a professional fishing immediately being submerged in water guide and well accomplished recreational for up to one full minute. Many of us sportfisherman, I did not know all the would not fare very well under those confacts when it comes to releasing the quarditions and if we did survive, we'd surely ry of my angling efforts. carry some ill effects, some possibly perI will attempt to share with you the manent. most scientifically substantiated informaThis study will change the pace of tion I have seen on catch and release my Kodak moment and expedite the methods. The study looked at survival time it takes me to put my catch back rates of played out rainbow trout that into the water. Ideally, keeping the fish

submerged in the water while you take pictures will help tremendously toward making sure the fish doesn't eventually go belly up. Some other important methods for handling fish you intend to release include touching the fish as little as possible, not squeezing the fish, and never putting your fingers inside the fish's gills. The more you handle a fish and run your hand(s) along its sides, the more that fish is likely to be depleted of its protective slime layer, thus increasing its risk of fungal infection and decreasing its ability to gracefully cut through the water. I like to run my hand along the leader to the fish's mouth and grasp the hook firmly until I can pinch it with a pair of pliers, using the weight of the fish to pull it loose. A lot of times (unless the hook is in an awkward position) I don't even touch the fish at all. When you hold a fish by squeezing it in the palm of your hand, you are not only removing its protective slime, but also possibly injuring its internal organs. Equally important and potentially life-threatening to the fish is putting your finger(s) in their gills. A fish's gills are among their most fragile and crucial organs. Evolution has provided them protective gill plates to prevent anything from entering or piercing this fragile area. But unknowing anglers will routinely use this gill plate to hold their catch and although this is fine when you intend to keep the fish, it's a bad deal if a release is planned.

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Wyoming Fly Casters Monthly Newsletter


GOOD STUFF FOR SALE Patagonia SST jacket, XL, Brand new. $175 (list $315). Scott Novotny 266-3072 • 2003 low profile Hyde drift boat G-4 bottom; deluxe trailer and spare tire; bow storage; front/rear storage; tempress seat and adjustable foot brace; rower's compartment; oarlocks; passenger knee Brace; 9 ft cataract oars; side anchor system with 30 lb. spike anchor; aqualon cover and tie down strap. Garaged, only 3-4 trips. Excellent condition. $6200 Jim Hoag 265-2254 • Drift Boat - '97 Hyde (pre dove tail) With all the stuff you would expect AND an extra front seat with storage. $3500.00 Andrew Sauter 307-265-3932

President’s message (continued from page 2) break and much to learn about our chosen sport. We have been fortunate to have some new members join who want to be and, it seems, stay actively involved. For many of us the primary motivation to join was the prospect of having access to folks with a lot more knowledge about fly-fishing. I am asking you to consider what aspects of fishing you would be willing to teach to some one else, and also what you would like to learn more about. At the May general meeting we’ll be passing around a sign-up sheet and hopefully be able to pair up some interested parties this summer. I would love to learn how to manage a drift boat, so if a brave soul would like to tackle the North Platte in a rental boat, I’m game. We welcomed three new board members; John Dolan is back on the board and recent members to the club, and new to the board, Chris McAtee and Jim Johnson. New member Jack Ruffner has stepped up and volunteered to be the club Historian. He will soon start work on the history of the club. It looks like his first project will be to organize as much of the club’s scattered paper history as we have. If any one has material they think could/should be included let Jack know We have no idea what path this project might take, though it feels like it has the potential to become

something larger and it would be great to have another member or two teaming up with Jack. (This is not an idle request give it some thought please.) At the last board meeting we spent time discussing outings. Unfortunately I will be working every weekend from before Memorial Day through after Labor Day. Alas, I will miss every one this summer but I hope that many of you will partake in them and enjoy the camaraderie that is a big part of their appeal. Should you sign up for an outing, and I hope you do, please honor the commitment and respect the effort that the streamkeeper puts into making the outing great for all attendees. I really wish I could attend one; I have seen the looks of contentment on people’s faces as they recall their experiences on past outings. A last note, I apologize for not having the adopt-a-highway clean up scheduled by the last meeting. It slipped through the calendar. The clean-up is scheduled for Saturday, May 7. Send me an email or give me a call if you can help (503-3497595). I figure we can meet at the Robertson Road boat ramp at 9:00 a.m. and carpool. As an afterward perhaps we can do some fishing or have a bowl of chili at the Sunset. See you May 11, if not before. Here’s to calm winds and hungry fish.


Proposed fishing, watercraft and license regulations are subject of G&F meetings Protect our environment

Inspect - Clean - Dry Take the Clean Angling Pledge

Changing the trout limit to allow up to six trout of any size in lakes and reservoirs and allowing a general limit of 16 brook trout of any size highlight some of the proposed fishing regulation changes to be discussed at public information gathering meetings across Wyoming the first two weeks of May. Proposed changes for watercraft and license issuance regulations will also be presented. Fishing regulation changes approved by the Game and Fish Commission will go into effect for the 2012-2013 regulation period. Other proposed regulations include establishing a general stream limit of three trout, of which only one can be over 16 inches. It should be noted that proposals will include exceptions to

the general limit for certain waters in different drainages. Various regulation adjustments will create a separate category for lake trout removing them from the general trout limit. In addition, there are proposals to change regulations in certain waters where native cutthroat trout are present and also proposals for changes in regulations involving fishing contests. The Casper meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the Casper G&F office on Energy Lane. Comments on fishing regulations can be mailed to Wyoming Game and Fish Department, Attn: Fishing Regulations, 5400 Bishop Blvd. Cheyenne WY 82006. The deadline for comments is June 6.

Wyoming Fly Casters Monthly Newsletter

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WYOMING FLY CASTERS BOARD MEETING MINUTES, April 20, 2011 Called to order, 7:02 p.m. Greg Groves, Bob Fischer excused, Scott Novotny and Jim Johnson absent. Also present Andrew Sauter. Andrew Sauter reported after speaking to Bob Fischer, they agreed to ask the board to allow Andrew Sauter to fill the first year of Bob Fischer’s 3 year board position and Bob would serve the remaining two. The motion was carried and approved. The secretary’s report was approved. Matt Stanton presented the treasurer’s report and was approved. A motion was made that prior to all board meetings the treasurer, president and any other board member would review the clubs financial statements prior to each board meeting, carried and approved. Discussion was held making note that organizing the club shed appears needed to prevent duplicate purchases. Matt Stanton reported Natrona County Weed and Pest, with five other counties, are involved in the Russian Olive Task Force. They are seeking support, not to eradicate, but to thin Russian Olives. No money is being sought. A motion was carried and approved that WFC lend support to the Natrona County Weed and Pest. WFC will seek a possible program from the Natrona County Weed and Pest regarding this matter. The Government Bridge project is on hold and no report on the Speas project. It was reported the WFC Foundation paid $5,000+/- for the Bolton Creek project to the WGFD. John Dolan reported a possible project for WFC would be to assist with boat ramps and camp grounds on Trappers Route. Matt will contact Eve Bennett at the BLM to explore this matter further and report back to the board. The board discussed some options for the Bill Ryan Memorial such as a bench on the Platte River Parkway or a potential pond at Speas. No further action taken

and further discussion to be held. Joe Meyer will be having a Fishing-with-Joe sometime in the near future. Randy Stalker might have a float tube outing in the future. Andrew Sauter will have a North Tongue River outing in July, date TBD, and Matt Stanton will be the streamkeeper for the Ten Sleep outing on August 12, 13 & 14. Casey Leary will be the streamkeeper for the Robinder outing at the Miracle Mile on Oct. 15. Joe Meyer asked the board to spend up to $50 for food which is provided on his fishing trip he donated at the banquet, motion carried and approved. Casey Leary volunteered to manage the membership list. Jack Ruffner volunteered to become the club historian. Discussion was held regarding a procedural historian for the club to assist the board by having some form of notes that indicate prior motions approved as the board often cannot remember what motions have been previously approved. Casey will present some more information at the next board meeting. Discussion was held regarding open positions, the matter was tabled. Joe Meyer reported two vises were purchased for $60 and the club now has 6 working vises for members to use. Discussion was held regarding contacting members who have not renewed their dues. Numerous members volunteered to call members to remind them their dues are now past due. Matt Stanton reported the WGFD Expo is set for September. The board approved to donate $1,000 to the WGFD Expo. Matt reported the Platte River Parkway notified the club that to continue to have our WFC mile marker on the Parkway we have to renew our dues. The board approved to provide at least $500 to the Platte River Parkway for mile marker renewal. Meeting adjourned 8:33 p.m.

MAY Club Calendar SUNDAY 1








SATURDAY 7 Adopt-a-highway clean-up







24 Deadline for Backcast info

Palm Sunday




30 Memorial Day








WFC Board Meeting, 7 p.m.

Full moon



Regular meeting, 7 p.m.

Mothers Day





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 05/11  

The Wyoming Fly Casters club was formed in 1974. The membership currently consists of approximately 160 members. The WFC was organized by a...

WFC 05/11  

The Wyoming Fly Casters club was formed in 1974. The membership currently consists of approximately 160 members. The WFC was organized by a...