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Autumn 2010 - Winter 2011 • $3 fedflyfishers.org

Conserving, Restoring & Educating Through Fly Fishing

Become a

MIDGE MAJOR Education for trout flies and fishing

COASTAL

ALERT Oil spill effects and shredded seagrass

FISHING FUN IN

TEXAS


DEPARTMENTS Meet the Board

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Just Fishing The value of FFF membership. By Phil Greenlee.

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28 33

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Letter I Am a Member Meet L. Kirk Klingensmith.

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Home Waters Fly fishing news and notes.

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Book Reviews 2010 Fly Show Recap Highlights from this summer’s event.

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FEATURES 22

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Federation of Fly Fishers 5237 U.S. Highway 89 South • P.O. Box 1688 Livingston, MT 59047 (406) 222-9369 • fax (406) 222-5823 www.fedflyfishers.org Conclave Coordinator: Jessica Atherton conclave@fedflyfishers.org

Office Assistant/Bookkeeper: Judy Snyder • bookkeeper@fedflyfishers.org Admin. Assist./Membership/ Casting Certification/ClubWire: Barbara Wuebber • fffoffice@fedflyfishers.org Assist./Presidents Club/Donations: Angie Gill • angie@fedflyfishers.org

Casting Simple cures for persistent problems. By Tom Tripi

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Fly Rod Corner The FFF, bamboo and friendship. By Al Beatty

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Photo Contest Winners from the 2010 Conclave.

46 FFF Headquarters & Fly Fishing Discovery Center

Fly Tips Fly boxes for tiny flies. By C. Boyd Pfeiffer

The Midge Life Cycle How to imitate each stage of this trout staple. By Verne Lehmberg

Woman’s Outlook Celebrating women at the 2010 Conclave. By Carol Oglesby

Small Patterns, Large Fish Midge fishing techniques for three seasons of success. By Bill Toone

Fly Box Featuring tiers from 2010 Conclave. By Verne Lehmberg

Texas Hill Country Slam A memorable trip yields three species new to the authors. By Terry and Roxanne Wilson

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Saving Our Seagrass Restoration through conservation and corporate responsibility. By Brandon Shuler

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Caulk Midge. By Scott Sanchez

Aftermath of the Oil Spill Can one enjoy fly fishing despite the devastation? By Tom Tripi

At the Vise

Fly Fishing Heritage Vienna sausages. By Jon Lyman

Cover photo: Midges are often an important part of the diet of late-season trout like the rainbow pictured here with Utah high school teacher and guide Casey Birkholz. Read on page 30 for some tips for fishing with midge patterns. Photo by Brett Colvin

Flyfisher: Magazine of the Federation of Fly Fishers

Editor-in-Chief: Bill Toone Flyfisher is published for the FFF by: Keokee Co. Publishing, Inc. P.O. Box 722, Sandpoint, ID 83864 (208) 263-3573 • fax (208) 263-4045 keokee.com • flyfishermag@keokee.com Publisher: Chris Bessler Editors: Al and Gretchen Beatty Art Director/Designer: Jackie Oldfield Designer: Laura Wahl Copy Editor: Billie Jean Plaster Advertising Director: Clint Nicholson PRINTED IN THE USA

Flyfisher is the official publication of the Federation of Fly Fishers, published two times a year and distributed by mail free to members. Send membership inquiries, fees and change of address notices to the FFF Headquarters in Livingston, Montana at the address above. Flyfisher is produced for the FFF by Keokee Co. Publishing, Inc. Address all editorial and advertising correspondence to the address at left. Contents of Flyfisher copyright © 2010 by the Federation of Fly Fishers. Written permission required to reprint articles. “FFF,” “FFF & Reel Design” and “FFF & Fish Design” are registered marks of the Federation of Fly Fishers.

Please remember to recycle this magazine and any other appropriate material.

Feature photos, clockwise from top, left: Sludge resulting from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. Photo by Joe Gorman The results af careless boaters are torn grass beds and a blown sand base in this seagrass meadow. Photo by Brandon Shuler. A close-up look at a tiny midge. Photo by Verne Lehmberg. A 12-inch Rio Grande perch. Photo by Terry and Roxanne Wilson.

C o n s e r v i nMagazine g, Resto i n gFederation a n d E d u of c aFly t i nFishers g T h r o•u g h F l y 2010 F i s h- iWinter ng ofr the Autumn 2011 Volume XLII, No. IV

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Conserving, Restoring and Educating Through Fly Fishing

Meet the FFF’s Directors and Officers Council Presidents Eastern Rocky Mountain: Pat Oglesby 970-434-3912 • pcoglesby@bresnan.net 3095 Evanston Avenue, Grand Junction, CO 81504

Ohio: David Snyder 216-256-4950 • ohiofly@hotmail.com 67 Aaron Street, Berea, OH 44017

Florida: Bill Gunn 321-773-5334 • wtgunnjr@aol.com 101 Marion Street, Indian Harbor Beach, FL 32937

Oregon: Sherry Steele 541-420-5532 • steelefly@msn.com 69077 Chestnut Place, Sisters, OR 97759

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

South Eastern: Anthony Hipps 336-249-0338 • anthony.hipps@syngenta.com 815 Maple Tree Road, Lexington, NC 27292

Great Rivers: Open Contact Chris Curran cagneycac@gmail.com

Southern: Michael E. Ames 870-578-2557 • aflycaster@sbcglobal.net 411 Normal, Harrisburg, AR 72432

Gulf Coast: Kyle Moppert 225-342-7551 • bowfin47@gmail.com 2170 Terrace Avenue, Baton Rouge, LA 70806

Southwest: Michael Schweit 818-601-9702 • msangler@earthlink.net 7933 Jellico Avenue, Northridge, CA 91325

Mid-Atlantic: Jim Porter 410-992-7776 • jim@portergroup.com 10320 Little Patuxent Parkway, Ste. 1100 Columbia, MD 21044

Washington: Carl Johnson 360-863-9889 • flyfishalso@frontier.com P.O. Box 1206, Monroe, WA 98272

North Eastern: Rodney Priddle 518-664-3509 • rodney@nycap.rr.com 1 Angle Lane, Mechanicville, NY 12118

Western Rocky Mountain: Bud Frasca 208-762-2631 • grizzking@aol.com 2699 E. Packsaddle Drive, Coeur d’Alene, ID 83815

Northern California: Anne Marie Bakker 707-721-6184 • ambconsulting@sbcglobal.net 1295 Calledel Arroyo, Sonoma, CA 95476

THE FFF COUNCILS The Federation of Fly Fishers represents the interests of fly fishers across the United States through its regional councils. Much of the FFF’s most important work is carried out through its regional councils and the fly fishing clubs in those regions. If you’re a fly fisher, stay in touch with the activities of your council – and get involved! Western Rocky Mtn Washington Southwest Southern South East Oregon Ohio North East

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Flyfisher Autumn 2010 - Winter 2011

Northern California Mid Atlantic Great Rivers Great Lakes Gulf Coast Florida Eastern Rocky Mtn


Council Presidents' Representative Tilda Runner-Evans: 970-683-8879 lewtildaevans@gmail.com 3602 “G” Road, Palisade, CO 81526

Rick Pope: 214-821-8172 rpope@airmail.net 8115 Sovereign Row, Dallas, TX 75247

Bud Frasca: 208-762-2631 grizzking@aol.com 2699 E Packsaddle Drive, Coeur d’Alene, ID 83815

Exec. Comm • Financial Development Comm. Chair • FFF Foundation President Earl Rettig: 541-330-9670 • herettig@msn.com 19928 Antler Point Drive, Bend, OR 97702

Don Gimbel: 406-222-2932 dgimbel@carret.com 22 Sunset Trail, Livingston, MT 59047

Exec. Comm • Legal Counsel Jim Schramm*: 231-869-5487 jdschramm@oceana.net P.O. Box 828, Pentwater, MI 49449

Exec. Comm • Chairman of the Board/ President • Philip Greenlee 530-356-9430 • philipgreenlee@att.net 1911 Bechelli Lane, Redding, CA 96002

Wolf Schrey: 616-648-1572 wmschrey@hotmail.com • 2141 Deer Hollow Drive S.E., Grand Rapids, MI 49508

Keith Groty: 517-290-8284 groty@msu.edu 1396 S. Palmerlee Road, Cedarville, MI 49719

Sherry Steele: 541-420-5532 steelefly@msn.com 69077 Chestnut Place, Sisters, OR 97759

Exec. Comm • Secretary Herb Kettler: 434-977-6703 herbkettler@att.net 809 Winston Terrace, Charlottesville, VA 22903

Mike Stewart: 860-653-4203 tellicofly@yahoo.com 215 Loomis Street, North Granby, CT 06060

Michael Kyle: 417-207-2053 mbkwrh@gmail.com 3278 S. Palisades Drive, Springfield, MO 65807

Greg Stumpf: 909-594-8847 gregstumpf@roadrunner.com 1825 Pepperdale Drive, Rowland Heights, CA 91748

David Lemke: 713-502-1809 dlemke@sbcglobal.net 4002 Aberdeen Way, Houston, TX 77025

Exec. Comm • Flyfisher Editor in Chief Bill Toone: 406-556-7241 • btoone@3riversdbs.net 198 Game Trail Road, Bozeman, MT 59715

Bob Long: 208-357-5353 blong@spcpro.com P.O. Box 462, Shelley, ID 83274

Robert Uselton: 870-935-5569 rob_southerncoaches@yahoo.com P.O. Box 16113, Jonesboro, AR 72403

Roger Maler: 352-293-3322 rmaler@tampabay.rr.com 3073 Gulf Winds Circle, Hernando Beach, FL 34607

Exec. Comm • Conservation Comm. Rep. Rick Williams: 208-938-9004 troutdna@cableone.net 524 West Two Rivers Drive, Eagle, ID 83616

Howard Malpass: 318-780-3739 whmalpass@hotmail.com 5825 Southern Avenue, Shreveport, LA 71106 Roger Miller: 559-226-4351 rogfly1@hotmail.com 1107 E. Fedora, Fresno, CA 93704

Exec. Comm • Treasurer Ron Winn: 321-723-3141 • ronwin@bellsouth.net 2103 South Grant Place, Melbourne, FL 32901 Carl Zarelli: 253-460-7752 carlzarelli@comcast.net 4630 Memory Lane West, University Place, WA 98466 * not a member of the BOD

Flyfisher Autumn 2010 - Winter 2011

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Conserving, Restoring and Educating Through Fly Fishing

Board of Directors & Executive Committee


Conserving, Restoring and Educating Through Fly Fishing

Just Fishing A VALUE-FOR-VALUE DECISION Membership in the Federation of Fly Fishers By Philip Greenlee, Chairman of the Board of Directors

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oday we live in a world of change filled with discussion about important topics such as global environment and world economics. Just think about it, the U.S. debt is near $13 trillion and growing! That reality is causing many Americans (including our members) to experience a lifestyle change. We in the Federation of Fly Fishers (FFF) have to understand how the new reality affects everyone while still keeping the importance of conservation and the protection of our natural resources at the forefront. From our humble beginnings more than 45 years ago we have grown from two clubs and one council to almost 12,000 members in 15 councils and 17 countries. Our motto – Conserving, Restoring and Educating Through Fly Fishing – is as important today as it ever was. I think we may have to rethink our mission as stated in the last sentence; we have to add “communicate with our membership” to the mix. Quite frankly, we don’t do as good of a job communicating with our members, as we would like to think! Speaking of membership, one other item I’ve discovered is we have people who think they are members who are not. Those people are members of an affiliate club but are not members of the FFF. Their club pays an “affiliation fee” to the FFF for each “affiliate” member, but they are not individual members themselves. Also because the club is designated “affiliate” it doesn’t have the same benefits that the second type of FFF club enjoys.

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This second type of club is known as a charter club, or 100 percent club, and ALL of its members are also individual members of the FFF. As do all individual members, those people receive the magazine, have access to the FFF library, and enjoy participating in conservation and youth programs. In addition their charter club has the advantage of being under the organization’s 501(c)(3) nonprofit umbrella; it receives a $237 insurance premium each year; and they don’t pay the “affiliation fee” for each club member to the FFF. Membership in the Federation and membership in a charter club is truly a win-win situation for everyone involved, club and individual member alike. The FFF offers a lot of fun aspects, and I get to enjoy them right along with everyone else in the organization. That said, I also have the responsibility of the business side of the FFF, and, to be honest, things are challenging. Rising operational costs and keeping up-to-speed in the ever-changing technological environment are two of the challenges I face on your behalf each day. And keeping up with the communications within the organization is always “interesting” as well. We have more than 300 clubs in the FFF, and the councils do not always provide upto-date information regarding their clubs. All we need is current e-mail, mailing addresses and phone numbers, but much of this information is not updated on a regular basis. This often causes our office personnel to dupli-

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Flyfisher Autumn 2010 - Winter 2011

Phil Greenlee, Chairman of the Board of Directors

cate functions, miss sending information or to send it to the wrong location. We need your help in this area; let us know when information goes in the wrong direction and where it should have gone. We certainly would appreciate your input. Another concern I have is regarding individual FFF members who do not belong to a club or council. In this scenario, those members only receive a copy of Flyfisher magazine; it is often their only contact with the organization. The FFF recently started a new monthly program called E-News. E-News keeps everyone up-to-date on current matters in the FFF. All you have to do is visit the FFF website (www.fedflyfishers.org) and click on the E-News hyperlink on the left corner of the homepage. Put in your e-mail address and receive the monthly e-newsletter. Those members would be wise to also utilize the FFF website. The FFF is currently working on a new program that will provide fishing information from all of the FFF Councils. For example, let’s say you want to go steelhead fishing in the state of Washington. All you need to do is go to the “Councils and Clubs” tab on the website, then type the word “Washington” in the state section of the search engine and click the word “search.” The next screen brings you to a web page with all the clubs in the state, e-mail address for their contact person, and their website address. We hope to eventually have a fishing profile of members, but for now the contact person in the club will have to help with your fishing trip. See the importance of club contact information? We are always improving our website so that the first-time visitor will be excited about FFF programs. Our intent is to improve communications and encourage people to join us. Be sure to subscribe to the free monthly e-newsletter by providing your e-mail address at the signup button on the upper left-hand side of the home page. Thank you for your continued support and belief in the purpose of the Federation of Fly Fishers.


East Fork Lewis River, An American Tragedy In 2001, the East Fork of the Lewis River in southwest Washington was declared one of the most endangered rivers in the United States – its endangered salmon and steelhead populations at risk. This once legendary stream was “home” to the state record, a 32-pound, 12-ounce steelhead. Nine years later, in 2010, it is an American tragedy. Severe erosion, sedimentation and the breach of the aquifer during gravel mining continues to produce record-low summer flows and temperatures lethal to all aquatic life. Now is the time for the Lower Columbia Fish Recovery Board, county, state and federal officials to get serious about enforcing the Endangered Species Act. Now is the time to put aside political and personal differences and focus energy on the recovery of the East Fork of the Lewis’ endangered fish and habitat. Now is the time to put endangered fish first. Habitat restoration funds are there. The science and guidelines are there. Let’s make this an opportunity for present-day and future generations to experience a thriving river, a place where endangered salmon and steelhead spawn and thrive. Ben Dennis Vancouver, Washington

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Flyfisher Autumn 2010 - Winter 2011

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Conserving, Restoring and Educating Through Fly Fishing

Letter


Conserving, Restoring and Educating Through Fly Fishing

I Am a Member L. KIRK KLINGENSMITH

….unique ….exquisite ….exceptional ….amazing

Residence Corning, New York FFF Council Northeast Member since 1974 Homewaters Conhocton River, Genesee River, Chemung River, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario tributaries

Favorite fish The biggest, baddest predator looking for a fly – trout, bass, steelhead or carp Reason for being a member

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• Fly Rite® Insect Repellent - 87% DEET (best defense from mosquitoes that cause West Nile Virus) • Saltwater dubbing material • Metal and wood nets • Fly boxes • Dilly Wax (floatant) • Magic Sink • Stomach pumps

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I joined FFF as a teenager in western Pennsylvania. This was long before fly fishing was cool, and good information was darn scarce. FFF was a helpful guide to my largely self-taught tying and fly fishing skills. Though my old bamboo rod needed frequent repair and the heavy rubber waders nearly drowned me, my love for our sport grew with an excitement and wonder that still fuels my dreams. I have become a life member of FFF and TU. I am part of the leadership team of the Twin Tiers Five Rivers chapter. This is a great group of passionate fly fishers. Our club attracts members from as far as two hours away. Over the last decade, our seminars and academies have introduced more than 1,000 folks to fly fishing. Programs feature some of the best speakers in the region. Conservation efforts benefit local fisheries. With impending Marcellus Shale drilling in our area, the threat to our watersheds concerns us.

Memorable fishing experience Corning, New York, is blessed to be within three hours of many of the best trout, steelheading, salmon and bass fisheries within the Northeast. I truly have been blessed with some amazing fishing and great friendships. In recent times, my most memorable experiences have come from teaching others: watching a teenager nearly jump out of my canoe when his popper was ambushed by a monster bass; teaching the Montessori school sixth-grade class to cast and helping them all land their first fish; snapping a photo of a 70-yearold’s first fly-caught trout, while he quivers with excitement; coaching a

Flyfisher Autumn 2010 - Winter 2011

Cornell student to land a 15-pound carp – one of the toughest fish on a fly.

What others say Richard Naylor, former chapter treasurer and active member, said: “Kirk has been an excellent leader of our chapter for many years and has shared his knowledge with so many new fly fishers – fly casting, fly tying, rod building – as an instructor and is a great fishing buddy. He also volunteers his time to conservation projects and has been our program chairman for several years. He has now assumed the role of chapter president while still working full-time. I have no idea how he has the time or energy to accomplish this and still serve his church. I hold him in the highest esteem as do many others, and I wish him the best in the future.” Does your council or club have an individual you would like to be considered for a future “I Am a Member” Profile? If so, please e-mail Bill Toone, Flyfisher Editor-in-Chief, at btoone@3riversdbs.net with your consideration. Please include a brief bio (25 to 40 words) along with the reason you feel this person exemplifies the best of the Federation of Fly Fishers.


Home Waters To su conserv pport any FFF a educati tion, restoratio on prog n make a ram, ple or ta a x se d e du bution to : The Fe ctible contrideratio Fishers, n of F P Livingsto .O Box 1688, ly n, MT 5 9047.

THE NORTH AMERICAN STONEFLY PROJECT Help Scientists Keep Your Rivers Clean and Healthy, Plus Identify the Stoneflies in Your Home Waters

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cientists have a hard time getting around to all the rivers. They are lucky to get out on the water to sample a river once every few years, while we fly fishers visit our area waters dozens of times each year. And that is how all of you can help the scientists give you, the fly fisher, reliable data so you can be more effective while on the water. The North American Stonefly Project (www.Stonefly.us) is a combined project of the Fly Tying Group of the Federation of Fly Fishers and the Illinois Natural History Survey/University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The organization has two simple goals: help fly fishers and help scientists. The organization can help fly fishers by making the scientific knowledge of the professional plecopterans as well as the wealth of knowledge from flyfishing guides accessible to the fly fisher. The goal is to gather data about stonefly distribution and emergence on a regional or river-by-river basis, so that a fly fisher going to a particular area would know what to tie for any given time period. The website will share photographs plus tying instructions to help the angler tie a pattern that will match the natural insect on any given water and at any given time. Fly-fishing guides and local anglers can help scientists by collecting information for them; in other words, the scientific community will be using you as “citizen-scientists” to

Illustration by Bill Nelson

By David Nelson, Lauren Culler and Ed DeWalt, Ph.D.

collect data (occurrence and emergence) and specimens. The end result will be an online database that will make this information available to scientists working on stonefly identification and water quality assessment. They will be collecting insects and information from all of you to be sure of the genus (and, if possible, the species) of stoneflies in your waters. It will be your responsibility to make our collections in a scientifically rigorous manner so that the data is reliable enough that scientific papers can be written based on the collection. How you accomplish that task is outlined under the “Specimen Collecting Program” hyperlink on our website. Also, we are working to create a new type of key to stoneflies that uses the graphic and hyper-linking power of the Internet, with pictures and text at each couplet to assist in making decisions. It will be as if you had the professor at your side as you consider each couplet. Paperbased keys are difficult to use. Some have described keys as “documents written by those who don’t need them for those that can’t use them.” For more detailed information, click the “Thoughts About Online Keys” hyperlink on the site. Would you like to become part of the North American Stonefly Project team and help us catalog your waters? Interested in collecting specimens and data, plus getting to know your area waters better? Please go to the website, www.Stonefly.US, and learn how you can help. We thank you, in advance, for your participation.

Index of Articles The North American Stonefly Project . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Northwest Youth Academy a Big Success . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Snake River Dam Removal Essential to Salmon Recovery . . . .10 Wild Trout Symposium a Success . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11

FFF Events and Casting Certification Calendars . . . . . . . . . . . . .11 The Boat That Flew . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 2011 Northwest Fly Fishing Expo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13 Obituaries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14

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NORTHWEST YOUTH ACADEMY A BIG SUCCESS Photo by Mike Clancy

By Mike Clancy, WSCFFF, Academy Co-Chair

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he Washington State Council of the FFF (WSCFFF) and the Washington Council TU jointly sponsored a weeklong conservation and fly-fishing academy for 23 boys and girls, ages 12 to 16 years old. The Northwest Youth Academy was held in June 2010 at the Gwinwood Conference Center on Hicks Lake in Lacey, Washington. The event was hosted by volunteers from the South Sound Fly Fishers and the Olympia You can help conserve, Washington Trout Unlimited (TU) restore and protect our Chapter. The youth were housed in precious fisheries. Read the cabins with assigned counselors. red patch at the top of page Each applicant was required to 9 to find out how. edit an essay explaining why they wanted to attend the Academy and obtain a letter of recommendation from their school counselor or science teacher. Many of the applicants were sponsored by FFF-affiliated clubs, TU chapters of Washington state, and private donations including the FFF Foundation. The academy was split into three groups for the casting, fly tying and fishing events. The casting was conducted by FFF certified casting instructors as well as other volunteers. The conservation classes were

instructed by experts from various fishery agencies and retired professors from the University of Washington. They were held in the morning with the class exploring the contents of a local stream in the afternoon. The students were exposed to the amazing life in our streams and rivers and the importance of protecting the resources. The groups fished in a pond and various rivers around the Olympia area. Participants were rewarded with a TFO fly rod, reel and line, and Cabela’s donated 23 fly vests. This was a very rewarding event for the youth, as well as the more than 50 volunteers. The academy is a life-changing experience for our youth’s attitude about stewardship, conservation and fly fishing.

SNAKE RIVER DAM REMOVAL ESSENTIAL TO SALMON RECOVERY By Will Atlas

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or much of the 20th century, government policy was to tame, control and utilize every possible river to the benefit of agriculture, transportation and energy generation. Unfortunately, in many instances, hastily constructed dams did not include adequate fish passage and, as a result, many historic spawning runs have been lost. Even after the effects of dams became apparent, government agencies pursued a pro-dam agenda. During the 1960s and ’70s, some of the most egregious dams in our history were constructed, often at the cost

Terry and Roxanne

Wilson Authors, speakers available for club events and shows. Slide shows, seminars, and tying demonstrations. Warmwater fly fishing. (largemouth and smallmouth bass, bluegill, and other species)

terrywil@windstream.net • 417-777-2467

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of the locally adapted, wild salmonids. Despite these tremendous losses, even massive concrete structures have a life expectancy. Aging dams coupled with increasing societal pressure to recover wild salmon have resulted in a major push to remove outdated dams. Over the last decade, the dam removal movement has gained traction. Many dams have been removed or are now slated for removal. Among the most important dam removal projects to occur to date have been on the Rogue River, where three main-stem dams have been removed, freeing the Rogue for 157 miles. Other significant dam removal projects have been completed on the Sandy River and Hood River in Oregon, and on the Wind River in Washington. Next year major main-stem dams will be removed on the White Salmon and Elwha rivers, restoring access to nearly 90 miles of historic spawning grounds. Now, with momentum building, a broad coalition of groups are taking a hard look at the Snake River dams, which currently slow downstream passage for Endangered Species Act (ESA)-listed chinook salmon, sockeye and steelhead. The four lower Snake

Flyfisher Autumn 2010 - Winter 2011

dams were built during the last echo of America’s dam-building boom. Opponents of dam removal argue that the dams and the barges, which use their locks, provide the only affordable shipping option for farmers in Eastern Washington, Oregon and Idaho. Economists, however, are less convinced by these arguments. Surely the millions of dollars being spent on “mitigation” could be used to improve existing rail infrastructure, which would make the dams even more obsolete. Despite the clearly harmful impacts of the Snake River dams, Washington’s senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray have refused to add their voices to the call to remove the dams. Indeed, some believe that the two senators have actively sought to obstruct any momentum towards dam removal. This is startling considering the fact that both came into office with strong environmental messages. Removal of the dams is essential to the recovery of wild salmon in the Snake River. We need action by Washington’s senators; it’s time that Washingtonians and their politicians stand up for what’s right rather than what is politically expedient.


WILD TROUT SYMPOSIUM A SUCCESS

C ALENDAR

Tenth Meeting Well-Attended

F F F 2 0 1 0 - 2 0 11 E V E N T S By Marty Seldon December 2010 Photo courtesy of Marty Seldon

Marty Seldon conferred the Aldo Starker Leopold Wild Trout Medal to Tom Pero of Wild River Press.

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onservation Chairs Chuck Hammerstad and Mike Brinkley from the San Jose, California, FFF Club, Flycasters, Inc., joined Marty Seldon at the Wild Trout Symposium September 27-30, 2010, in West Yellowstone, Montana. Seldon was master of ceremonies of the Awards Luncheon and has been on the Symposium Organizing Committee in various positions since 1979. Of the 43 papers and 30 posters presented, one of them was presented by FFF Conservation Committee Chairman Rick Williams, on the restoration of a sustainable cutthroat fishery on J.R. Simplot Company’s Meade Peak Ranch located on the Idaho/Wyoming border. The project includes livestock management and riparian stream restoration that is a model for Yellowstone cutthroat trout sustainability. Roger Bloom, head of California’s Heritage and Wild Trout Program, made a presentation on the landing efficiency of barbed versus barbless hooks. There was a lot of emphasis on climate change, a number of papers on Canadian fisheries, and subjects that ranged from a brown trout project on a tributary of the Danube River in Serbia, to marble trout projects in Slovenia, to diversity of trout in Mexico’s Sierra Madre Mountains. More than 200 fishing conservationists and fishery professionals joined together to not only get the latest in fishery status and restoration techniques but to network in an informal atmosphere. At the Symposium Post Mortem Meeting September 30, Mike Brinkley, treasurer of the Northern California

Council Federation of Fly Fishers, was elected as Wild Trout Symposium Treasurer. Brinkley recently retired as a senior scientist with Thermo Scientific/Duke Scientific Industries and now lives in Eugene, Oregon. The next Wild Trout Symposium is being planned for 2013. Visit www.wildtroutsymposium.com for more information. Marty Seldon is an FFF senior adviser, was chairman of the FFF International Relations Committee, and later chairman of FFF International Activities. He was previously FFF vice president of Conservation and the conservation editor of Angler Magazine. He has written extensively on catch-and-release fishing and fisheries conservation. Seldon has been on the Organizing Committee of the International Wild Trout Symposium since 1979 and is a recipient of the symposium’s Aldo Starker Leopold Wild Trout Medal for outstanding long-term service to the cold water resource.

Great Lakes Council - Fly Tying Expo 4 FFF www.FFFGLC.org

February 2011 International Custom Rod 26-27 Building Expo High Point, NC. www.ICRBE.com

March 2011 Oregon Council - NW Fly Tyer 12-13 and Fly Fishing Expo www.NWExpo.com

2011 FFF C ASTING INSTRUCTOR CERTIFIC ATION *Schedule subject to change – see most current schedule with details at www.fedflyfishers.org The following events offer FFF Casting Instructor Certification. Pre-registration is required. Call 406-222-9369 to register. There is a $50 fee for Certified Instructor (CI) Testing and $100 fee for Master Instructor (MA) Testing plus a $50 fee if you pass; for Two-Handed Casting Instructor (THCI) there is a $100 test fee plus $50 pass fee. You must also be a current FFF member.

January 14-15, 2011, CI, MI Test #1102 Marlborough, Massachusetts

January 21-22, 2011, CI, MI Test #1101 Somerset, New Jersey

Identify60+and Learn How to Catch Fish Species of the Columbia Basin IIff yyou’re ou o u on a quest for fish and the places p pl lac aces ces they live, Fishes of the Columbia Basin Basi Ba asin siin is an indispensable guide. “Dennis “De De D en Dauble has created a guidebook not n ot only for anglers but for anyone who wants wan wa a to peer into the liquid soul of the Interior.” tthe Ä?VX` C^hWZi! Vji]dg d[

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Ordering Info - Price: $16.50 plus shipping - Online at KeokeeBooks.com - By phone with Visa or MasterCard (or prepay with check)

Flyfisher Autumn 2010 - Winter 2011

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THE BOAT THAT FLEW Boat Built for Project Healing Waters Receives Damage By Dean Childs

Montana

TROUT FISHING ONLY 2 Days Beaverhead & 2 Days Bitterroot

Rainbows • Browns • Cutthroat Brook • Dolly Varden Includes: 5 Nights Lodging $2 One ,400 Guided and Boat Daily or Streamside Lunch Angl Two ers Airport Shuttle Bill Abbot ~ 800-363-2408

32 Years Experience - Montana Guide #76

AQUARIUM CHILLERS for

Trout & Salmon Incubation

Simple, Efficient, Tested Reliable Used Successfully Nationwide in “Trout in the Classroom” Programs For price and details contact:

Glacier Corporation 1021 Fuller Street • Santa Anna, CA 92701 714-557-2826 • www.glaciercorp.com Discounts given to Schools, FFF & TU Chapters

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and the FFF Conclave in West Yellowstone, Montana. Olympic Peninsula Fly Fisher (OPFF) Vice President Dean Childs had taken the completed boat to the show to share the results with members attending the event. Everyone Chuck Tye, the Northwest Regional Coordinator of Project Healing was impressed Waters, takes the “storm boat” for its first ride on the water – one with the detail, week after a tornado-propelled flight at the Conclave in West evident hard Yellowstone, Montana. Tye proclaimed: “She is one of us now; she work, and dedicahas been wounded.” tion of the 39 members are pleased to have been members who worked on the project. part of a project to help toward As often happens, everything can that end. change in a heartbeat, and that is Dean Childs is vice president of the Olympic exactly what happened on the last day Peninsula Fly Fishers, past owner of Wasatch of the show. In a short time, an averAngling Products (fly-tying tools) and major age Montana rainstorm turned into a coordinator on the boat-building project. mini-tornado or microburst. The strong winds picked up the boat and trailer, sailed both across the lawn and slammed them into the concrete. BOAT BUILDERS The boat received signifiEli Berry Ben Kim CPT cant damage. The seats were Tim Berry Bill Kindler torn out, the hull was damRobert Brown Al Lee aged, and the bow was sepaKen Campbell Nancy Messmer rated. Things didn’t look Mary Campbell Roy Morris good for the boat, which had Matt Caster (Staff Sgt.) Jonathan Patton yet to be in the water. Not Bob Charters Dan Pearson accepting the setback, OPFF Dean Childs Sharon Prosser club members got back to Diana Childs Cliff Schleusner work immediately and made Jesse Cothern (Staff Sgt.) Rick Shadforth the needed repairs so that the Al Gallacci Phil Shire boat would be ready for the John Gort Erik Simpson launch on September 4. Mark Hannah Bob Staehler They were successful and Gary Haubold Chuck Tye (Lt. Col.) the boat was as good as new Troy Herridge David Wegener by that time. Chuck Tye from Joe Hudon Gabe Wegener PHW said it best in this quote Paul Huston (Master Sgt.) Chuck Whitney Ashley Hutton Glenn Wiggins from the Sequim Gazette Shelby Hutton (Washington): “We can’t sell it, because she’s one of us CONTRIBUTING SUPPLIERS now. It’s a fitting thing that a Ancient Auto Works (Clear Coat) wounded boat will help Custom Canvas by Stephany (Travel Cover) wounded veterans.” Greywolf Fly Fishers (Oars and Travel Cover) Healing Those Who Stan Marquette (Trailer) Serve is the motto of the McClanahan Lumber (Wood) PHW, and the OPFF club

Flyfisher Autumn 2010 - Winter 2011

BUILDERS AND SUPPLIERS

Photo by Dean Childs

I

n early September, the Olympic Peninsula Fly Fisher’s hard work came to a successful conclusion when a beautiful, 15-foot, Rangeleystyle fishing boat was launched on Lake Crescent in Olympic National Park near Port Angeles, Washington. After more than 800 donated hours of work over a six-month time frame, club members donated the handmade cedar boat to Project Healing Waters (PHW). The northwest regional coordinator for PHW, Chuck Tye, had the pleasure of taking the boat on its maiden voyage. You might think this would be the end of the story with the PHW organization sharing the boat with the many wounded veterans they service from the Joint Base Lewis-McChord area. In fact, this is what happened on that September day; however, getting the boat to Lake Crescent was more than just hooking up the trailer and taking it to the water. To tell the complete story we have to turn the clock back to late August


2011 NORTHWEST FLY FISHING EXPO

GOT ELECTRONS? Digital Flyfisher on Tap for April 2011

By Mary Ann Dozer and Lou Verdugo

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he 2011 Northwest Fly Tyer & Fly Fishing Expo is slated March 11-12 at the Linn County Expo Center in Albany, Oregon. After having been a flytier event for more than 20 years, the expo was expanded five years ago to focus on the total fly fisher. Since then, the expo has evolved into a two-day event with more than 90 classes and drawing 2,000-plus attendees. Now heralded as the “largest flytying event west of the Mississippi,” the Northwest Fly Fishing Expo is still coordinated by volunteers from Oregon flyfishing clubs. Surrounding flytiers are more than 50 fly-fishing industry vendor booths, including entrepreneur booths, where small start-up companies introduce their innovative new products or businesses. Casting is a featured event:

A 70-foot casting pond is set up on the main floor, NW Fly Tyer Expo 2011 where certified casting instructors give demonstrations each hour; Spey casters have an outdoor casting pond for practice and instruction; and “The Casting Doctor” offers private tune-up lessons. Hourly raffles allow attendees to win prizes donated by attending vendors and companies throughout the fly-fishing industry. The expo concludes with a banquet Saturday evening featuring a live auction. All proceeds benefit education and conservation efforts in Oregon. Learn more, sign up for classes or purchase banquet tickets at www.NWExpo.com.

C

oming in 2011, Flyfisher magazine is going green – the digital way. Beginning with the Spring-Summer 2011 Flyfisher, published in April, FFF members can elect to receive the magazine digitally only. That means, those who sign up will receive each issue of the magazine via the Internet rather than a printed copy in the mail. The benefits, said Editor in Chief Bill Toone, is that the FFF will save printing and postage costs while taking a step to reduce the environmental impact of producing the print magazine. The digital Flyfisher is viewable just the same as the magazine in your hands – except on your computer screen. To see a sample right now – and sign up to receive digital-only magazines if you like what you see – go to www.flyfishermagazine.com. Signups will also be available through the main FFF website at www.fedflyfishers.org, with frequent reminders via the FFF’s monthly E-News newsletter.

The Secret to successful fishing:

go where the fish are.

Good advice if your business is looking for customers, too

-S`ÄZOLY THNHaPUL PZ [OL VMÄJP VMÄJPHS PHS W\ISPJH[PVU VM [OL -LKLYH[PVU -LKLYH[PVU VM -S` --PZOLYZ PZOLYZ · [OL TVZ[ JVTTP[ JVTTP[[LK [[LK HUK LU[O\ZPHZ[PJ NYV\W VM Å` ÄZOLYZ PU [OL UH[PVU @ @V\Y V\Y V HK HK]LY[PZPUN ]LY[PZPUN L TLZZHNL PU -S`ÄZOLY ^PSS IL ZLLU I I` `  --- TLTILYZZ LHJ LHJO O PZZ\L (UK UV[ VUS` PZ P[ [OL TVZ[ [HYNL[LK ]]LOPJSL LOPJSL MVY THYR THYRL[PUN L[PUN `V\Y `V\Y WYVK\J[Z VY ZLY]PJLZ P[ PZ HSZV [OL TVZ[ JVZ[LMMLJ[P JVZ[LMMLJ[P]L ]L ^P[O ^PP[O HK]LY[PZPUN HK]LY[PZPUN YH[LZ YH[LZ ^LSS ILSV^ ILSV^ [OVZLL VM [OL MVYWYVÄ[ MVYYWYVÄ[ ÄZOPUN THNHaPULZ THNHaPU ULZ *VU[HJ[! :JV[[ 11VOUZVU VOUZVU -S`ÄZOLY ZHSLZ ZHSLZ THUHNLY 7OVUL!  L_[  ‹ Å` Å`ÄZOLYTHN'RLVRLLJVT `ÄZOLYTHN'RLVRLLJVT -S`ÄZOLY PZ W\ISPZOLK MVY [OL --- I I` `2 2LVRLL LVR RLL H TLKPH HUK THYRL[PUN JVTWHU JVTWHU` ` :LL TVYL HIV\[ V\Y W\ISPZOPUN KLZPNU HUK > >LI LI ZLY]PJLZZ H[ ^^^RLVRLLJVT ^^^RLVRLLJVT

Flyfisher Autumn 2010 - Winter 2011

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We hold the future ...

OBITUARIES

and then let them go.

C

Here’s what Joan Wulff has to say about the Federation of Fly Fishers: “The FFF has been an important

Clifford Edmund Adams lifford Edmund Adams, 92, of Eugene, Oregon, died of agerelated causes on May 16, 2010. He was born November 25, 1917 to Robert and Lillian (Sager) Adams in Edmond, Kansas. A chemistry major in college, Cliff left to join the Army Air Force in September 1940. In the service, Cliff operated radio equipment on B24 aircraft in flight; he also manned guns in combat over Italy. When Cliff separated from the Army in July 1945, he settled in the Lane County, Oregon, area. Clifford married Yvonne Martha “Johnnie” Roberts on August 22, 1942, in Fort Smith, Arkansas. She preceded him in death on October 21, 1982. He was employed as a purchasing agent and in his spare time he pursued many hobbies including photography and fly fishing. He was a longtime member of the Federation of Fly Fishers and was active at the club, council and national level. He was well-known for his ability to organize a great auction/raffle. He is survived by his children,

James Edmund Adams, Beverley Jean Moore, Michael Allen Adams and Gail Karen Ellerbe; sisters Doris (Adams) Mizell and Arlene (Adams) Foss; eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. A grandson, Michael Edmund Adams, preceded him in death in 1995. Information provided by the Eugene (Oregon) Register-Guard from its online archive dated May 22, 2010.

part of my life since 1967. I’m pleased to see its role become more defined – that of educating men,

Fred B. Stevenson

women and children to further both

F

the enjoyment and conservation aspects of this wonderful sport.”

Make the FFF a part of your life, too.

the

F EDERATION OF

F LY F ISHERS P.O. Box 1688, Livingston, MT 59047

406-222-9369

www.FedFlyFishers.org

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red B. Stevenson, 87, of Huntsville, Alabama, passed away on June 22, 2010. He was born and raised in Ardmore, Tennessee, then moved to Huntsville, where he has been a lifelong resident. He was a sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II and a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Signal Corps in the Korean War and served in Luzon, Philippine Islands, South Pacific, Solomon Islands, New Guinea, Mindanao, Japan and Korea. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with the “V” and Oak Leaf Cluster

Flyfisher Autumn 2010 - Winter 2011

from the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. He graduated from the University of Alabama with a degree in electrical engineering, then entered the civil service at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville in July 1955, retiring in May 1978. He was an avid photographer, fly fisher, flytier and was well-known for his custom-built fly rods. He was very active in the Federation of Fly Fishers in various officer roles. His sage advice was always welcome. He is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Patty and Curtiss Baldwin; a sister, Doris Secrest; granddaughters, Christen Cannon and Courtney Baldwin; great-granddaughter, Morgyn Cannon; great-grandson, Ethan Layhew; nephew, Jim Mullins and wife Lynette; several nieces, nephews, great-nieces and greatnephews; and a long list of lifetime friends This information was provided in part by the Huntsville (Alabama) Times, originally published on June 24, 2010.


Book Reviews Atlantic Salmon Flies By Richard R. Twarog Frank Amato Publications, 2006 7" x 5", 30 pages, $12.95 ISBN 1-57188-393-2

This great little book’s subtitle says it all, “Postcards from River Past.” It is a collection of 30 beautiful classic Atlantic salmon flies tied by worldfamous fly dresser Tim Trexler. The art director and photographer, Richard Twarog, is equally well-known on a Hollywood movie set as he is on a Pacific Northwest trout stream. To say this book is exquisite would be a gross understatement. It is the best postcard book of beautifully tied and photographed flies we have ever seen. Every flytier or photographer of fly patterns should have one of these books just to know what the ultimate goal really looks like!

Tying Hair Wing Flies (Second Edition) By Al & Gretchen Beatty BT’s Publications, 2010 5.5" x 8.5", 128 pages, $18.50

The authors combine more than 50 years of fly-tying experience to bring the reader 13 of the best hair wing dry flies the American West has to offer for the fly fisher who’s looking for a great trout angling experience. The book is structured so the tier can learn to use a material, then apply that same information on the next fly – plus learn a new skill or application. The concept of building new skills on previously learned skills is applied throughout the book. The tier starts with an Elk Hair Caddis in the first tying chapter and ends with an Enchanted Royal Double Wing in the last. Along the way, the student learns about Wulff, Humpy, Trude and Parachutes patterns. Use this book to become an accomplished hair wing flytier.

Fly Casting: A Systematic Approach By Sheila M. Hassan Cast90.com (publisher), 2009 8.5" x 11", 246 pages, $24.95

Over the years there have been many how-to books written on fly casting. While the mechanics have generally stayed consistent from book to book, the words and examples used to teach them have changed. It is the words, as well as the visual and physical analogies used, that create the value of one how-to book over another – or even the need to read more than one casting instruction book, for that matter. Any good casting instructor knows that a method or description that connects with one student may not always connect with another. Various approaches are necessary to good teaching, learning and understanding – hence, the need for different books on the same subject. It is in this regard that “Fly Casting: A Systematic Approach” should be welcomed to the list of casting instruction books to read. The author, Sheila Hassan, is chief instructor at the Wulff School of Fly Fishing, and is clearly influenced (not a bad thing) by Joan Wulff both in style and teaching methods. As such, having Wulff’s teachings filtered through the author’s own approach and interpretation is undoubtedly a helpful tool, in my opinion, for those trying to improve their cast or even be a better teacher. I found new ways to approach my teaching and understanding after reading the book. Reviewed by Editor-In-Chief Bill Toone

Rope Dubbing (DVD) By Don Ordes Fantasy Fly Co. with Wild Bunch Video, 2009 FantasyFlies.com, $39.95

In this great 60-minute DVD, flytying instructor Don Ordes leads the student through 24 tying sequences covering his rope dubbing technique.

It is a method of adding any kind of dubbing to any sized fly and making certain the proportion are always correct. We have been tying flies for more than 50 years and found new fly tying information throughout the DVD. Ordes’ presentation has something for flytiers at all skill levels - whether it’s learning how to adjust the dubbing noodle to fit various hook sizes, furling a dubbed body, or adding hackle to a fly. We certainly enjoyed the time spent reviewing this DVD, and have confidence you will enjoy and learn from it as well. Reviewed by Editors Al and Gretchen Beatty

Gentlemen Preferred Dry Flies By William C. Black University of New Mexico Press, 2010 6" x 9", 302 pages, $19.95 ISBN 978-0-8263-4795-4

There is evidence that men have been fooling fish with fake flies for more than 700 years, possibly much longer, going back to China, Macedonia and Rome. “In Gentlemen Preferred Dry Flies,” William Black explores the development of the dry fly, resulting dry fly “purism,” and the evolution of the subsurface nymph. Gathering the stories of numerous fly fishing pioneers, Black traces how the conflict between the proponents of the two forms evolved first in England, where the dry fly is still regarded as the more sophisticated technique, and then was transported to the less stilted American angling community where the two forms eventually began to blend. While both techniques are now equally fascinating to fly fishers, the debate between those who prefer dry flies to wet continues to this day. This interesting book is available from the publisher at katm@unm.edu or 505-277-3291.

Flyfisher Autumn 2010 - Winter 2011

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The National Fly Fishing Fair & Conclave 2010 Recap

Articles and photos by Pat Oglesby

FLY FISHING FAIR & CONCLAVE 2010 A Return to West Yellowstone By Al and Gretchen Beatty

D

AWARD Ambassador Award Ambassador Award Arnold Gingrich Memorial Life Award Buszek Memorial Award Conservation Award Don Harger Award Federator of the Year Award Lee Wulff Award Leopold Award Lew Jewett Life Memorial Award Lew Jewett Life Memorial Award Robert Mariott Scholarship Award

RECIPIENT Dan McCrimmon Denise Maxwell Les Johnson Scott Sanchez Bill Redman Carl Johnson Phil Greenlee Mike Michalak Robert Hunter Bill Gammel Earl Stanek Audrey Djunaedi

COUNCIL AWARDS OF EXCELLENCE Eastern Rocky Mountain Council John Rammell Gulf Coast Council Brooks Bouldin North Eastern Council Leslie Wrixon Ohio Council Paul Blanch Oregon Council Sherry Steele South Eastern Council Mike Arnold Southern Council Lawrence Murphy South West Council Ray Bianco South West Council Aquabonita Flyfishers Washington Council Larry Gibbs

uring the week of August 24-28, 2010, the Federation of Fly Fishers (FFF) returned to another time in its history when they celebrated their National Fly Fishing Fair and Conclave in West Yellowstone, Montana, at the Union Pacific Dining Hall. The weeklong event was well-attended by avid fly fishers, tiers and casters from many corners of the world including the United States, Canada, Great Britain and Ireland just to name a few. Workshops presented by top-name instructors started Tuesday, August 24 and continued throughout the week; classes were conducted on the water, in the event center or at the Holiday Inn. The main event hall opened Thursday, August 26 with vendors and demonstration flytiers entertaining the visiting public inside the building, while skilled casting instructors were busy every day at the casting pond located behind the event center. Attendees enjoyed pleasantly cool weather during the show as rain showers moved in and out of the area throughout the week. The fishing in the Yellowstone area was great for those who could spare time from the show. However, many attendees at the event never made it to the water as they remained focused on the continual flow of knowledge coming from the many experts who willingly gave their time to educate the public in the finer aspects of fly casting and fly tying. The book-signing booth was a BT’s photo popular area with a number of recognized authors signing and selling books. Gretchen and Al Beatty, Rene and Bonnie Harrop, Mike Lawson, Darrel Martin, Craig Mathews and Rhea Topping were in attendance. Outside the building, personalities such as Charles and Alex Jardine, Bob Jacklin, Bruce Richards and many other great casters shared their skills at the fly-casting pond. Every year the Fly Fishing Fair (Conclave) offers a wide variety of raffle and silent or live auction items. This year was no different, with stunning items too numerous to mention. They included fly plates, drift boats, flies by name tiers, flyfishing equipment of every kind and on-the-water trips to exotic locations. Veteran actor William Devane discusses dry-fly The event was enjoyed by everyone tactics with Nate Brumley from Dry Fly Innovations, a Conclave vendor. and was quite successful financially for the FFF. Speaking of those attending the show, you never know who you will meet at an FFF function – this year was no exception. On Friday, veteran Hollywood actor William Devane took a break from fishing the Madison River near his vacation home and spent several hours wandering through the Fly Fishing Fair. He seemed to really enjoy himself. If you missed this event, don’t make the same mistake next year. The 2011 Conclave will be somewhere in the West – probably in Livingston or West Yellowstone, Montana. Keep an eye on the FFF website (www.fedflyfishers.org) or the E-Newsletter for an announcement of the actual date and time. Wherever it may be located, we will all look forward to seeing you there!


LES JOHNSON WINS ARNOLD GINGRICH MEMORIAL LIFE AWARD

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he Arnold Gingrich Memorial Life Award is presented to persons of outstanding achievement in any of the several areas that are part of, or related to, the sport and science of fly fishing. In the Pacific Northwest, Les Johnson is well known as an author, conservationist, environmentalist and an expert on native wild trout. He is considered the guru of fishing for cutthroat trout along the coast of Oregon and Washington near his home in Redmond, Washington. He was one of the pioneers in fishing for these trout. He spent a large part of his life learning about these fish, their habits, when and how they feed, and how to catch them with a fly. He is highly respected by those who know this gentle and kind man. Johnson’s interest in the coastal cutthroat trout led him to author and co-author two books on fishing for coastal cutthroats and salmon. He authored “How to Fish for Sea-Run

Cutthroat Trout” and “Fly Fishing for Coastal Cutthroat Trout: Flies, Techniques, Conservation.” With Bruce Ferguson and Pat Trotter, he co-authored “Fly Fishing for Pacific Salmon,” and the update “Fly Fishing for Pacific Salmon II.” Johnson is active in the Washington Fly Fishing Club, the Northwest Fly Anglers and the Washington Council of the FFF. He has a passion for protection of the environment and practicing conservation. As a member of the Save Our Wild Steelhead organization, he made presentations to raise awareness of the threat to wild steelhead. His interest and concern motivated him to travel throughout the state to attend Washington Division of Fish and

Wildlife hearings, where he testified on behalf of the wild fish. In Washington and Oregon, Johnson is considered a celebrity author and is highly respected for his passion of protecting wild trout and their habitat. He once had the pleasure of meeting Arnold Gingrich - thus making this award an extra special gift to him.

ROBERT HUNTER HONORED WITH LEOPOLD AWARD

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he FFF Leopold Award is presented to an individual for outstanding contributions to fisheries and land ecology. Robert Hunter of Eagle Point, Oregon, exemplifies the criteria established for this prestigious award. Although FFF membership is not a requirement, Hunter has been an active member for more than 30 years. He grew up in Michigan and developed a love for nature at an early age during family outings to fish Canadian lakes. As a teen, Hunter developed a passion for tying flies and fly fishing the storied rivers of Michigan. Along the way he developed a strong conservation ethic while earning an undergraduate degree in zoology at the University of Michigan. After obtaining a J.D. degree in law, he did legal research that stopped the construction of the Tellico Dam. After graduating from law school, he moved to Oregon and soon joined the Rogue Flyfishers and became involved with the FFF. In 1990 he was

awarded his club’s Dick Ruff Award for outstanding conservation. Hunter became a leading spokesman in Oregon for protecting salmon and steelhead habitat, and through his efforts numerous streams and rivers have adequate flows to protect fisheries. He has been successful in preventing construction of dams that impede fish migration as well as removal of in-stream structures. With the removal of the Gold Ram Dam, the Rogue River now runs free for 157 miles and much of the credit goes to Hunter. Robert Hunter saw a need to have an organization to secure water rights to restore stream flows. He is one of the founders of the Oregon Water

Trust, an organization that used a market approach to acquire old water rights and transfer those rights back to the stream. His conservation accomplishments go on and on, as does the list of awards he has received. Robert Hunter has dedicated his life to the land ethic espoused by Aldo Leopold.

Flyfisher Autumn 2010 - Winter 2011

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The National Fly Fishing Fair & Conclave 2010 Recap

Articles and photos by Pat Oglesby

SCOTT SANCHEZ RECEIVES BUZ BUSZEK MEMORIAL AWARD

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he Buz Buszek Memorial Award is presented annually to a person who has made significant contributions to the art of fly tying. The recipient may be either an amateur or a professional who displays tying skills, creativity, innovation and shares knowledge by teaching or publication. Consideration is given for tying skill, creativity or innovation, and sharing knowledge by teaching or publication. At the age of 12, Scott Sanchez taught himself to tie flies using a borrowed vise that belonged to a relative. He studied all the books he could find on fly tying at his local library in Salt Lake City. Materials came from “road kill” and whatever animals or birds he could acquire, along with threads and yarns from his mother’s sewing box. Although Sanchez grew up in a fishing family, they weren’t fly fishers. He wanted to learn to fly fish, so he used his spinning rod and attached a

Herter’s level-wind bait casting reel wound with level fly line. He learned to cast by observing Lee Wulff doing a casting demonstration at a sporting goods store in Salt Lake City. He was immediately “hooked” and clearly remembers catching his first fly-caught fish on a Mormon Girl fly pattern. At age 14, Sanchez began instructing an adult fly-tying class through the local community school. During this time he used a copy of Jack Dennis’ “Western Trout Fly Tying Manual” and was able to hone his tying skills and learn more about Western trout patterns. While tying commercially during junior high school, Sanchez became interested in Wyoming’s Yellowstone Park/Jackson area through a teacher who spent summers there working as a ranger. Various trips and a job offer took him to Jackson, where he landed a position working at Jack Dennis Sports.

Sanchez tied commercially for Jack Dennis Sports, as well as completed custom orders for other customers. He has been involved with the Jackson One Fly from its inception and was in demand for tying flies, such as his double bunny flies that won the contest in 1992. He is still in demand by the contestants to supply them with his unique patterns. While working for Dennis, Sanchez was fortunate to meet many well-known tiers and fly-fishing celebrities during their visits to the store. In his recent book, “The Never-Ending Stream,” he pays tribute to the tiers whom he met and was influenced by. In 1994, Sanchez left Jackson and moved to Austin, Texas, where his wife was attending graduate school. In addition to tying flies commercially and teaching fly-tying classes for the Austin Angler, he enjoyed a multitude of warmwater fishing opportunities.

PHILIP GREENLEE NAMED 2010 FEDERATOR OF THE YEAR

T

he Federator of the Year Award is presented annually to an individual who has demonstrated unusual devotion to the FFF and, through outstanding contributions, has benefited the Federation as a national or international organization. This award is bestowed upon an individual for achievements wide in scope and not limited to local or regional activities. The criteria require devotion and contributions to the FFF in order to be consistent with FFF’s objectives. Philip Greenlee grew up in rural California and was fortunate to have a father who introduced him to the outdoors at an early age. At around age 8, he recalls witnessing the huge salmon and steelhead runs that occurred near his home on the Trinity River, and that is what sparked his interest in fishing. His first fly rod was a metal, telescopic rod with an inexpensive level-wind reel, but it allowed him to catch his first fish – a crappie, on a fly. And he still has that nondescript fly in his collection. He discovered a fly shop within bicycle riding distance of his house, so he spent much his free time “hanging out” at the shop, listening and learning about fly fishing and fly tying. He became interested in fly tying during his later high school years after taking a trip with a friend to Hot Creek. After missing two huge brown trout on a mosquito pattern, he realized large fish would actually take a fly. As life progressed, he realized how much he enjoyed the total fly fishing experience.

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Flyfisher Autumn 2010 - Winter 2011

Greenlee received a Bachelor of Science degree in finance from Cal Poly University in Pomona, California. His working career took him around California, where he was employed by various mortgage companies, lending institutions and real estate developments. His professional career ended with retirement in 2004 when he left Premier West Bank in Redding, California. Greenlee has a lifelong history of community service with membership in the Sacramento Rotary Club and continuing to serve on the Sacramento YMCA Board. Greenlee co-founded Carmichael Presbyterian School and sits on the board as chairman. Upon retirement, Greenlee took over management of Mel Krieger’s Fly Fishing School for The Fly Shop in his hometown. He currently teaches fly fishing at Shasta Community College in Redding. Greenlee has a 42-year history of being involved with the Federation since first joining in 1968. He joined the FFF as a result of his friendship with Steve Raymond. Raymond, a Federation member, was conducting a study on sea-run cutthroats, and Greenlee was impressed with this conservation effort. His service with the FFF includes serving as president of Northwest Fly Anglers in Seattle, Washington, in 1974 and president of California Fly Fishers in Sacramento in 1999 and 2000. He is past president of the Northern California Council of the FFF, having served in 2003 and 2004. During his presidency of the NCC, he came up with


After Barbara graduated with a teaching degree, they moved back north to Livingston, Montana, in 1996 due to a job offer as national sales manager for Dan Bailey’s. The con-

clave was held in Livingston the following year and Sanchez was encouraged by his employer, John Bailey, to participate as a demonstration tier. He accepted the honor and also conducted a fly-tying workshop that year. With a vast inventory of fly-fishing programs, he soon was in demand to share them at conclaves. Since then he has been a featured tier and workshop presenter at many local, regional, national and international events. In 1994, Sanchez received the Peter Crosby Memorial Sportsmanship Award from the Jackson Hole One Fly. In 2007, he was the recipient of the FFF Arnold Gingrich Memorial Life Award. In addition to his fly-tying achievements, Sanchez is an accomplished photographer and writer. His work has appeared in most of the popular flyfishing magazines in the United States

the idea of a fly-fishing event and started the Festival of Fly Fishing. He chaired the event for three years, has served as treasurer, and is currently the membership chair. Greenlee is an FFF certified casting instructor and was recipient of the Ambassador Award in 2007. Greenlee feels we need to be role models to young fly fishers and teach them about fly fishing. He feels conservation is education and we need to put more emphasis on conservation. He would like the Federation to become more involved with conservation efforts. Last year the Federation found itself without a leader. Greenlee felt he was qualified, as he had spent his entire career in the financial business, part of which was managing people. Since he was retired, he felt he had the time and offered his services. He immediately assumed the duties of president and chairman of the board and is proud the Federation is now run as a business. He spends each day conducting FFF business remotely from home, and every five weeks he travels to Livingston to spend a week in the main office. Philip Greenlee is deeply humbled and gracious to be the recipient of the Federator of the Year Award, the highest honor of the FFF. He is proud to have his name included with others who also have received the award.

and Japan. His work reflects superior tying skills, creativity, knowledge, generosity and innovation. He is a member of the Scott Fly Rod Pro Staff, Whiting Farms Pro Staff and is the former fly-tying editor for Fly Fisherman magazine. In addition to “The Never-Ending Stream,” Sanchez has authored two other books: “A New Generation of Trout Flies” and “Introduction to Salt Water Fly Tying,” both displaying his unique talent and ingenuity. Scott Sanchez now resides in Jackson, Wyoming, with his wife and 13-year-old son, Thibaud, and works as fly-fishing manager for Jack Dennis Sports. He is a strong supporter of the FFF, which is evident in his generosity to further the goals of the Federation. He feels humbled to join the list of previous Buszek Award recipients and would like to thank his mentor, Jack Dennis, for his support.

CONSERVATION AWARD GOES TO BILL REDMAN

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he Conservation Award is presented to individuals, groups or organizations that have made extraordinary contributions to the conservation of our fisheries resources. Bill Redman of Mercer Island, Washington has been a member of the FFF Steelhead Committee for 15 years and has been the active chairperson for 10 of those years. During his time at the helm he has worked diligently to educate the public on conservation and management of wild salmonids in the Pacific Northwest. Redman has a special interest in protecting the Columbia Basin, removal of the dams on the Snake River, and is considered an expert on Columbia/Snake River management. Under Redman’s leadership, the organization has been involved in a number of lawsuits including the successful challenge to the 2008 Columbia River Biological Opinion. That effort culminated with a ruling that the 2008 Biological Opinion as proposed by the Bush Administration was illegal and failed to ensure the recovery of wild salmon and steelhead in the Columbia Basin. Redman is responsible for expanding the FFF Steelhead Committee journal – The Osprey – into much more than a print newsletter. He is directly responsible for growing the publication, thus elevating its visibility and influence. Today, even though Redman has stepped down as chairperson of The Osprey, he will remain an active member of the editorial staff. Flyfisher Autumn 2010 - Winter 2011

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The National Fly Fishing Fair & Conclave 2010 Recap

Articles and photos by Pat Oglesby

GAMMEL, STANEK ACCEPT LEW JEWETT MEMORIAL LIFE AWARD

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Photo courtesy of Bill Gammel

his year the Lew Jewett Memorial Life Award is presented to two individuals who have promoted the sport of fly fishing through distinguished efforts to draw more people into the sport, and/or enhance the knowledge and ability of the fly fisher. Bill Gammel of Baytown, Texas,

grew up fishing with his father around the Gulf Coast area near his home. His father, Jay, was a college professor, so they had time in the summer for a monthlong annual fly fishing trip through Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana. Bill’s interest in fly casting and fly fishing instruction started at an early age, eventually conducting

classes for the Texas Fly Fishers by the time he was 15. Bill and Jay wrote the book “Essentials of Fly Casting” in 1990 and donated the rights to the FFF. Bill believes he was the first person to pass the FFF Casting Certification test during the 1992 Conclave in Calgary. Gammel was attending a casting workshop led by Mel Krieger, and Krieger took Gammel from the audience and administered the test there in front of the class. Gammel moved from his basic certification classification directly to the Casting Board of Governors. Bill is proud of his accomplishment in chairing the committee that established the Two-Handed Casting Certification and to be associated with the Casting Certification Program. During the mid-1940s, Earl A. Stanek caught his first trout from a Minnesota spring creek, sparking an interest in fly tying. He developed his skills to the point where he was able to put himself through college tying

commercially for 35 cents per dozen. After a stint in the U.S. Navy, Stanek worked for 3M as an engineer and designed the System Two fly reel. During his career with 3M, the company purchased the Phillipson Fly Rod Company of Denver. Stanek’s job was relocating it and establishing a plant to manufacture glass and graphite rods for 3M. In 1996, Stanek joined the FFF and started sharing his skills at fly-tying demonstrations for local clubs. His reputation grew, and he was eventually invited to tie at a conclave. Although Stanek ties traditional patterns, he is known for his unique patterns and use of non-traditional materials. Due to the uniqueness of his flies, they became popular and in demand at auctions and fundraisers. Each year Stanek creates three shadow boxes he calls “Living Fly Plates,” which are mounted flies on a background of sky and flowing water. They are incredible works of art and have raised more than $14,000 for the Sowbug Roundup, Southern Council Conclave and the FFF Conclaves. When Earl Stanek isn’t tying flies, he can be found fishing the White River near his home in Cotter, Arkansas.

CARL JOHNSON EARNS DON HARGER MEMORIAL LIFE AWARD

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he Don Harger Memorial Life Award is presented each year to an individual who is currently, or was previously, actively engaged in or closely related to some aspect of fly fishing. Carl Johnson joined the FFF in the ’70s while living in the high mountains of Colorado, where he fished for wild brown trout. Johnson’s career in the mining industry took him around the West, and he eventually retired in Monroe, Washington, where he currently lives. He joined the Evergreen Fly Fishers in Everett, Washington, and immediately became an active member. One of his first duties was to represent his club at the Washington State Council. This led him to assuming the duties of council treasurer, and then he

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accepted the presidency and is currently in his second term. Johnson originated the very successful Washington Fly Fishing Fair in Ellensburg, Washington. The annual fundraiser quickly grew and is now the premier fly fishing and fly-tying event within the state. He has been success-

Flyfisher Autumn 2010 - Winter 2011

ful in uniting the clubs in the state, creating excitement and interest within the council. He annually puts around 8,000 miles on his vehicle while traveling on council business. Since Carl Johnson took over leadership of the Council, membership and participation has increased. The first conclave Johnson attended was in 2004 in West Yellowstone, Montana, and he has since attended them all. He can be found around the event volunteering, tying flies and selling merchandise from the FFF booth. He is a member of the President’s Club and an FFF Life Member. The members of the Washington State Council are proud to have Carl Johnson as their president.


MIKE MICHALAK RECIPIENT OF LEE WULFF AWARD he Lee Wulff Award is presented to recognize the business side of fly fishing. The recipient has shown outstanding innovation in the industry and has shown outstanding stewardship for water and fisheries resources. Mike Michalak, owner of The Fly Shop in Redding, California, is a fourth-generation Californian who has transformed his passion for fly fishing into a successful business model for the fly fishing industry. Michalak was the founding president of North Coast Fly Fishers (NCFF) and has been the recipient of numerous awards from that organization, as well as from other conservation and environmental groups. He has served on the board of the Sacramento River Preservation Trust and on the board for the Shasta Cascade Wonderland Association. The Fly Shop is a platinum sponsor for Cal Trout and a strong supporter, both financially and with staff, of the NCFF Conclave when it is held in Redding.

In March of this year, he was inducted into the Northern California Council of the FFF Hall of Fame. Michalak has been a steadfast and reliable supporter of his local club for more than 30 years. Each year he provides scholarships to several young anglers so they can attend The Fly Shop Kids Camp, a weeklong summer camp that introduces kids to fly fishing and the outdoors. Michalak has worked closely with local governmental agencies and organized a team of fisheries biologists and wetland specialists to transform his Antelope Creek Ranch into one of the most ambitious stream, meadow, wetland restoration and enhancement projects in Northern California. More than two miles of this stream have undergone significant restoration changes. The Fly Shop offers anglers the opportunity to travel with them to fishing destinations around the world. They have an inventory of the best fishing lodges available, some in the

Photo courtesy of the Fly Shop

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most remote locations on the planet. Don’t we all refer to our local fly shop as “the fly shop?” We do, but there is only one that can legally use that name, and that is Mike Michalak’s The Fly Shop.

AMBASSADOR AWARDS BESTOWED ON MAXWELL, McCRIMMON

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he Ambassador Award is presented annually to the fly fisher who meets certain high standards of sportsmanship, fishing skill and streamside etiquette in taking and conserving game fish on an international basis. This year the honor is bestowed on two individuals, Denise Maxwell and Dan McCrimmon. Denise Maxwell of Coquitlam, British Columbia, has a history of service to the FFF Casting Instructor Certification Program (CICP), representing a long-standing and extraordinary devotion to the organization. She became a certified casting instructor in 1997, appointed to the Casting Board of Governors (CBOG) shortly thereafter in 1998, and became a certified two-handed casting instructor in 2007. Maxwell’s service includes holding the position of editor of the Loop Newsletter for eight years, managing the CICP website, and serving on the Two-Handed Casting Instructor

Committee. With this award, Denise Maxwell is recognized for her long and selfless contribution to the FFF and the CICP. Dan McCrimmon has always been determined to contribute to the CICP. He chaired the Board of Governors’ International Committee duties with vigor and was able to build relationships with multiple associations of casting instructors from around the world. He used the position to recruit new

members for the CICP far beyond the boundaries of North America. Previous efforts in this program had failed, but through perseverance he rebuilt the CICP’s image and expanded its reach across the world. Through McCrimmon’s work, the CICP now has members on the CBOG in Italy, Japan, Denmark and the Netherlands. British Columbia’s Dan McCrimmon is truly an ambassador for the FFF and the CICP.

Flyfisher Autumn 2010 - Winter 2011

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Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

The Aftermath in the Gulf Coast

By Tom Tripi

The root of the problem, floating globs of congealed oil. This glob is from the Orange Beach area along the Alabama-Florida Gulf Coast. Photo by Joe Gorman

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Flyfisher Autumn 2010 - Winter 2011

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he Deepwater Horizon disaster and its gushing oil has added to the existing problems on the Louisiana coast– a stressed and shrinking marsh and wetlands (a yearly loss of approximately 13 square miles) and the large “dead zone” (approximately 7,000 square miles of low-oxygen content) that lays offshore in the Gulf of Mexico. The long-term effects on the environment, the aquatic life, the petrochemical industry, the local and national economy, the fishing industry, and recreational activities are not clear. The leaked oil is not the thick, heavy crude carried by the Exxon Valdez but, instead, is a higher-quality, light crude that is easier to burn off, to mitigate via dispersants and to evaporate more quickly. It also seems to be more susceptible to dispersion by the warm waters of the Gulf, and that may minimize the positives of its easier elimination. The available information and opinions regarding the spill and its effects continue to grow and change, making it difficult for those in charge and those affected to make intelligent decisions on what to do next and how to plan for the future. For example, there have been, as of mid-October, multiple tropical systems in the Gulf that affected the recovery process; more reassuring comments from geologists and British Petroleum


(BP); more doom and gloom from local politicians who stress the need for additional money and resources for cleanup; and the heartrending, dead-wildlife photography. Nevertheless, there also have been more stories about quality redfish and speckled trout fishing than I have heard in years! The great post-Katrina fishing as reported in the Spring-Summer 2010 Flyfisher (“The Katrina Effect, page 21) definitely continues. In August, BP announced that the static kill process to shut down the leaking well apparently worked. The entire news industry is now addressing how stopping the leak affects everything. Media reports say that 75 percent of the spill has, all of a sudden, dissipated. It’s interesting that no one discussed that factor until the well was capped. It appears that each side of the issue had its own agenda. Regardless of one’s position, a huge amount of interrelated data exists in relation to our “problem.” The disaster has been extensively covered in the press. My opinion is that some news outlets have covered it to a greater or lesser degree depending on what political agenda was on the table that day. Washington wants this problem over ASAP and out of the headlines. The locals want their jobs back. Of course, many of our readers want to be able to fish again. The greatest economic impact for our area will probably

be the continuation of a moratorium on deep-water drilling put into effect just after the spill. Its consequences will affect a greater sector of the regional economy – if not nationally – than just the losses in the fishing industry. The recovery process should continue and not let up. Approximately four weeks into the disaster, I started to hear firsthand reports from friends who pursued blue water fishing – the long-liners, meat fishermen, and the tuna and red snapper types. The Gulf was still open in areas for fishing. An appraiser I know pursued big tuna every weekend (he even paid for my data with tuna steaks!). His first post-disaster venture into the deep blue cost him most of his rigging and a few reels because of a thick, unseen tarry mess that hovered just under the water’s surface. He said that his fishing was basically over for the season and, he hoped, not longer than that. Little has been reported on the effects of this problem on sport fishing. Basically, most fish flee areas of oily contamination as it advances, and most apparently have. There have been only a few reports of major fish kills. However, bottom dwellers, i.e., littoral zone marine life such as crabs, snails and other shellfish, especially oysters, generally can’t move fast enough or at all and have been severely impacted in some areas. It is estimated that it will

Oil boom waiting for deployment to one of the major channels connecting the Gulf with Lake Pontchartrain, a stopgap measure to stop the contamination of Lake Pontchartrain; so far unneeded.

take approximately three years for littoral species to recover, and researchers believe they will. But there are other problems. A redfish addict who fishes every weekend told me that he and others had to give up trying to launch due to all of the “Boats of Opportunity.” Boats of Opportunity are those of local fishermen who contracted themselves and their boats to help with the cleanup. Their traffic at boat launches and on nearby highways has really created quite a traffic jam. Offshore captains who ran charter operations are now contractors for BP or the U.S. Coast Guard. Each captain is assigned a “flotilla” of about six smaller boats. They are rigged to pull containment booms, vacuums and the like in the open water and along the edges of the marsh. Another problem is the approximately 140,000 gallons of chemical dispersants used daily to mitigate leaking oil. These are considered as poisonous to wildlife as the oil, causing environmentalists to be greatly concerned. Of course, no one seems to be worried about the estimated 150,000 gallons of similar chemical products, or pollutants that empty into the Gulf every day from the Mississippi River. And those are the same chemicals feeding our infamous “dead zone.” As for the marsh, yes, some areas have been affected, some permanently.

Small gold spoons were the flies of choice during this mid-June redfish trip at the peak of oil contamination. Chuck Ives (holding a great 10-pound red) and Honore Aschaffenburg reported that oil slicks were only a few miles away. Photo by Capt. Rich Waldner

Photo by Tom Tripi

Flyfisher Autumn 2010 - Winter 2011

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Photo by Chuck Ives

Dead areas will eventually erode away, joining the hundreds of square miles recently lost due to hurricanes and subsidence. However, some lightly oiled marsh has already started to revive with second growth, surprising everyone, especially the press. In reality, the marsh that has been severely affected is small in comparison to the unaffected areas. Over the years, I have witnessed firsthand marshy areas that have been affected by oil contamination. Oily sheens, tar balls and the like have been naturally occurring in the Gulf and environs long before man came on the scene. According to a report at http://e360.yale.edu/content/feature. msp?id=2302 as much as 690,000 barrels of oil seep into Gulf waters naturally each year. It leaks from the ocean bottom, shallow bays and, in some cases, even up through the soil. Most oiled marsh (barring future hurricanes) is located along the immediate shorelines facing open bays and lakes just off the Gulf. Although severely oiled marsh is dead, its contaminating oil is continuing to seep back into adjacent water. Then the wind and tides will move it and, unfortunately, the oil will affect previously untouched areas. One marshy area where oil was removed and declared clean is suddenly in the headlines. It seems that a coastal zone manager was making a final inspection when he stepped on a crab hole and oil gushed out. They’re still trying to remedy that dilemma. These types of problems are, thankfully, limited to small areas. They are located along the open bays once directly exposed to concentrated surface oil pushed inland by constant wave action. Very little oil has penetrated interior marsh areas away from shorelines. Only 1

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Honore Aschaffenburg holds an early morning red. Light tackle, a small gold spoon and clear, glass smooth water.

a few hundred acres of marsh have been permanently damaged, according to some reports. That loss is far less than the approximately 13 square miles of marsh/wetlands lost to subsidence each year in southern Louisiana. This is not to say that contamination farther inland will not occur, because it could, in a heartbeat. Even a small storm could easily move a 6-foot storm surge over the marsh and move oil inland for miles. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen. Now, let’s review some good news. First, the great majority of inland marsh is alive and well. Second, although in July shrimping was being written off for the season, amazingly the shrimp season reopened on schedule. That availability of shrimp means there will probably be adequate feedstock for the big speckled trout that return in the fall as well as for my weekly shrimp po’boy. (No one I know has stopped eating seafood caught in local waters. In fact, we probably eat more!) Third, big redfish are available for the taking. They are numerous, the water is clean and clear, and, if you can take the heat, they’re hitting small gold spoon flies. Fourth, recreational fishing opened in mid-October in 95 percent of the areas that were previously restricted to “no kill fishing only.” Number four is important! Fishing reports on various sports2

Flyfisher Autumn 2010 - Winter 2011

men blogs concerning the redfish or speckled trout “run” indicate “They’re baaaack!” Captains are returning to guiding, and their trip reports have been fantastic, both for inside and even some offshore waters. Yes, minor issues concerning an oily sheen here and there do occur. But in reality, oily sheens have been around since before I can remember. That is the nature of our location – an active petroleum production area. The most productive areas for fishing are interior ponds and canals and, now, along the front beaches, such as on Grand Isle. Grand Isle is a seven-milelong barrier island facing the Gulf, south of New Orleans. It offers any type of fishing one can imagine. Grand Isle is home to the Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo, the oldest fishing tournament in the United States. My first large fish was taken in the surf on Grand Isle, a 3-foot sawfish caught on a 16-foot cane pole. Now, however, Grand Isle is the location of one of my more recent fly fishing pursuits, Spey casting in the surf. The Grand Isle surf contains many game fish including bluefish, big ladyfish and mackerel, and especially specks as fat as your leg. A few reds are always around just to keep you on your toes. And all of them love to take flies, especially anything that sparkles in chartreuse and silver or gold. I enjoy Spey casting in the surf, as it allows for long, sweeping casts along and between breakers and the extra length of the rod – mine is a 15-foot 11-weight – helps keep line off the water for mending. When not using a Spey rod, a 9-foot 8-weight with a sturdy saltwater reel and plenty of backing is 3


Tiny Golden Gems for the Louisiana Marsh By Tom Tripi

my primary tackle. To be successful, you should not be able to see your first cast, as it is still too dark in the early morning. My last cast of the morning is around 8:30, unless I’m into a school of trout. Most casting is in knee-deep water. Unfortunately, due to its almost seven miles of beaches, Grand Isle was basically ground zero for wave-driven oil contamination. Due to cleanup efforts, the beaches are now as clean as I have ever seen them, and almost all of the beaches are now open. Interior bays and lakes evidently produced great catches of redfish and black drum all summer; however, the public was not allowed access even though there was no oiling in most of those areas. One woman who runs a part-time charter service stated that she and her family were not allowed to even drive to their summer home on the bayou, much less run their boats. Others who found openings in the “blockades” were running out every weekend. Case in point: Chuck Ives and his friend Honore Aschaffenburg, two of the area’s avid fly fishers, found such an area and, in spite of the oil, had a great summer chasing bull reds with fly rods. According to reports from their guide, Capt. Rich Waldner (www.fishwithrich. com), the big reds never stopped biting. (He’ll probably tell you they haven’t stopped biting for 25 years). Waldner was one of the first guides in the area to specialize in fly fishing and is now one of the more experienced. These fly fishers love skinny water and sightcasting to tailing reds. “Their” water is nearly always crystal clear and filled with reds, although it’s located only a few miles from major, oil-contaminated areas in the coastal marsh of St. Bernard Parish. Their flies of choice

Clean, clear, skinny water. A 7-weight rod with a long, light leader. A one-man kayak. Now all we need are a few reds! And, oil or no oil (or even hurricane), that hasn’t been a problem in the southern Louisiana marsh. The fly of choice with little exception is the gold spoon, apparently the smaller the better. Tiny gold spoons are easy to cast even for inexperienced casters. These lightweight flies flutter slowly down the water column, giving reds both time to see the fly and when attracted, time to strike. The trick is allowing the fly to wobble just above the nutrient-rich sand and mud that form our quiet, marshy flats. And that lightweight leader imparts added action during retrieves, making the spoon come alive for hungry reds.

Periodic updates will be posted on www. tomtripi.com under Resume and Articles. Questions on where to go or what to use are welcomed through the author’s website.

There are as many variations of spoon flies as there are flytiers. Following is a basic recipe for a popular spoon along with a photo showing how varied spoon flies can be. If you have questions, please contact me via my website: www.tomtripi.com.

Master Casting Instructor Tom Tripi is from Folsom, Louisiana, where he uses a fly rod and canoe to pursue his favorite fish, teaches casting to students of all ages, and studies astronomy in his spare time.

Editor’s note: Tom Tripi deserves a special thank you for reporting on a most difficult situation in the Gulf of Mexico and its shoreline and marshlands. The oil spill story is far from over, and its effects will last much longer than the time the news media covers it.

Ferris’ Gold Spoon Mike Ferris, New Orleans HOOK: Stainless, sizes 4-8 MATERIALS: Fine, bright copper wire, 5/0 red nylon tying thread; 5 Minute® Epoxy; fine gold glitter, head varnish and toothpicks

Opposite, from left: 1) Typical oiled marsh located inland from the Gulf on the north shoreline of Bay Long. Contamination only extended into the marsh a few yards. This area will probably regenerate next year; 2) In the marshes of South Louisiana, more than a dozen producing wellheads are located in a great habitat for reds and specks; 3) Inland marsh near Grand Isle. According to a nearby fisherman, this marsh was lightly oiled about a month prior to the taking of this photograph. Some marsh was affected but will regenerate; 4) This marsh grass seems to be thriving in spite of a light sheen; 5) Grand Isle beaches now appear to be clean. Three fishermen on the right were crabbing; one on the left was fishing for specks; a shrimp trawler was working the shoreline; and the platform in the distance was still producing oil.

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INSTRUCTIONS: Wrap thread one-third down the curve of the hook shank. Hold 8 inches of copper wire perpendicular to the bend in the hook and tie the middle of the copper wire onto the bend of the hook. Evenly wrap remaining shank of hook with red thread to just behind eye. Place the barrel of a pencil adjacent to hook and wrap copper wire outside the pencil, looping the wire around to just behind the eye of the hook. Repeat on other side of hook, forming an open teardrop or delta shape when completed. The form/shape should bend slightly down the bend of hook and be parallel to slightly below the shank of the hook on each side. Photos by Tom Tripi

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are small gold spoons fished just under the surface. This is an ever-changing, neverending story; no one can even guess how it will end. A trip to Grand Isle in August confirmed that progress with the cleanup was definitely being made. Locals were still reporting a smell of oil in the air at times, and I saw very light sheens in the marsh just off the island; however, none of this appeared to be bothering fishing activities.

Tie in wire behind eye of hook, forming a neat head. Knot and varnish wrap. Mix 5 Minute® Epoxy and let stand for two minutes or until it begins to harden; using the toothpick, drop epoxy into/on form, then smooth and flatten, filling the form. Immediately rotate the fly so the epoxy does not run (one minute +/-); sprinkle gold glitter on the tacky epoxy, then apply a fresh thin coating of epoxy over gold glitter, rotate until dry. Variations include edging the epoxy with red or chartreuse nail polish, placing black dots on one side, or coloring each side of the tear differently. Next, tie the spoon on a leader and then start thinking about those redfish!

Flyfisher Autumn 2010 - Winter 2011

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Seagrass Combining Saving Our

Corporate Responsibility and Conservation Story and photos by Brandon Shuler

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enny Wright is one of those guys you may get an e-mail from at 5 in the afternoon asking you for a favor or at 3:30 in the morning with a brilliant idea. He is unassuming and soft-spoken, and seemingly shy, but don’t let his veritable shyness fool you. No, behind those eyes is a man hell-bent on saving the seagrasses that provide an environment for some of the fly fisher’s favorite species – snook, tarpon, snapper, grouper, redfish and speckled trout. Wright’s official title at Seagrass Recovery is executive vice president of sales and marketing. The organization’s goal is to recover lost seagrasses in our bays and estuaries, and it was founded in 1995 by Jim Anderson, a sod farmer and nurseryman. The birth of Seagrass Recovery was one of those moments where necessity was the mother of invention. Basically, Anderson was tired of blocked access to his favorite fishing holes and waterskiing bays due to closures brought upon by damaged seagrass beds. So, he did something about it: He created a number of patented inventions and services to provide coastal communities a cost-efficient means for replanting and restoring damaged seagrass meadows. Seagrass recovery is generally a long and elegant way of saying, “We’re resodding the bay’s floor.” As one can imagine, resodding destroyed seagrass is a messy, wet proposition and just the kind of project many FFF clubs would find of interest. But Wright, the “idea man,” wanted to make sure his remediation crews weren’t out in the water

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in beat-up T-shirts and uncoordinated attire. No, he wanted his crews to be recognized by boaters and law enforcement, to stick out from the rest. Enter serendipity and the phone call that started a movement. Scott Welch is the global corporate relations manager for Columbia Sportswear. One of his duties is to manage the professional corporate groups Columbia sponsors. Basically, the company outfits groups that fit within the dynamics of eco-responsibility. One example is the overnight outfitting of the entire volunteer group responsible for cleaning up the recent Haiti earthquake disaster. Late in 2009 Columbia management was searching for a way to give back to the communities that support the company by wearing its sporting goods. Since Columbia outfits almost every type of outdoor endeavor possible, finding the one line of clothing that would best fit a need was daunting. Then one sunny, Florida afternoon Wright picked up the phone to thank Welch and Columbia for its corporate sponsorship of Seagrass Recovery. Of course Welch, back on the West Coast in rainy Oregon, was pleased to hear from Wright because giving back to the outdoors is a longtime corporate goal for Columbia. Columbia’s leaders think that

Flyfisher Autumn 2010 - Winter 2011

Seagrass Recovery’s Kenny Wright prepares seagrass to begin the long process of gridding a blown-out prop scar.


“giving back” is so important, that their employees may volunteer up to 16 hours a year to an organization of their choice and the company will match that employee involvement up to $1,000 a year. Company management has instilled a sense of frugality and corporate conscience into the workforce and this pays off for us – the recreational angler and the Federation of Fly Fishers. On Columbia’s webpage on Seagrass (www.columbia.com/seagrass), Tim Boyle, president and CEO of Columbia Sportswear Company, is quoted as saying: “Columbia Sportswear is proud to partner with The Ocean Foundation’s SeaGrass Grow Campaign to help raise awareness and protect our seagrass habitat before it’s too late. Columbia is all about helping our consumers enjoy the Greater Outdoors, and healthy seagrass is the foundation of healthy fisheries and aquatic ecosystems. We look forward to educating the public about this important conservation issue.” To expand the SeaGrass Grow campaign, Columbia and Seagrass Recovery teamed with The Ocean Foundation to act as the clearinghouse for any proceeds earned by the project. The Ocean Foundation is essentially a nonprofit organization that helps fund large-scale projects in communities that may not be able to fund remediation or conservation efforts. The Ocean Foundation’s mission is to support, strengthen and promote organizations like the FFF that are dedicated to reversing the trend of destruction of ocean environments around the world. Our motto to “Conserve, Restore and Educate Through Fly Fishing” fits hand-in-hand with their slogan: “Tell Us What You Want To Do For The Ocean, We Will Take Care Of The Rest.” The Ocean Foundation works with a number of conservation groups, in-

For acres and acres of prop scars, it takes a thousands hands. Here is how grassroots, no pun intended, efforts begin.

cluding the FFF, to improve the health of all ocean species globally. The funds are raised through individuals, private foundations, corporate donors and governments. It meets its mission through five lines of business: Fiscal Sponsorship Fund services, Field of Interest grant making funds, green Resort Partnerships, Committee and Donor Advised Funds, and Consulting services. So, how does Columbia blend with other corporate sponsors? Enter two more organizations that have bought into the visions of Wright and Welch: Bass Pro Shops and Academy Sporting Goods. “We wanted to start a program that touched on a multipointed effort,” Welch said. “Essentially we wanted to build a campaign that incorporated a grassroots effort and a strong educational component.” What Columbia created was a version of its Performance Fishing Gear (PFG) line that gives back to the community by donating a portion of the proceeds of the sale to the SeaGrass Grow Fund held by The Ocean Foundation. The shirts that are sold in Bass Pro Shops and Academy Sporting Goods feature a distinctive seagrass logo and are part of the PFG line. Also in September, Columbia launched another line of shirts with distinctive artwork depicting coastal species in

their natural, seagrass habitat. In addition to a shirt, supporters get a sticker to place on their boat or car to show solidarity with the program and promote the organization to other users. The educational component of the campaign falls in line with FFF goals and was started in September when Columbia sponsored a group of high-profile users to get out and educate boaters on ways to avoid damaging seagrass meadows. The “educators” – captains, writers and outdoor personalities – espoused proper boat handling skills and the reasons why we should protect our seagrasses. Consider the environmental commitment of Columbia’s leaders that is redefining the message of corporate responsibility. The effort to restore lost seagrass habitats from irresponsible boating, man-made disasters or lack of nutrients comes at no better time than now with the long-term effects of the Deepwater Horizon BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico still to be seen. Healthy seagrass meadows are vital to coastal ecosystems as nursery grounds for snook, redfish, speckled trout, snapper, tarpon and grouper. The health of our seagrasses also contributes directly to the health of our oceans and to the environment. The photosynthetic process of the seagrass captures carbon dioxide. The by-product of photosynthesis is clear, breathable oxygen. Does more need to be said? To see how seagrasses are being restored by the SeaGrass Grow campaign, to contribute or just learn more, check out www.seagrassgrow.org, http://oceanfdn.org/, www.seagrassrecovery.com or www.columbia.com/seagrass. Brandon D. Shuler is a fishing guide and writer. His articles appear in Outdoor Life, Saltwater Sportsman, Shallow Water Angler, Environmental Magazine and Flyfisher, and his fiction appears in numerous literary magazines.

Flyfisher Autumn 2010 - Winter 2011

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The

Texas Hill Country Slam

Photos and story by

Terry and Roxanne Wilson

Expect fast water and a strong current on the spring-fed San Marcos River.

T

he San Marcos River, located 30 miles north of the Alamo in a region known as the Texas Hill Country, is full of surprises. Its clear, spring-fed waters are swift and deep with cypress trees standing sentinel along its shores. Plentiful rock outcroppings, overhanging brush and deadfalls provide cover for a remarkably diverse fish population. The river’s constant flow and stable water temperatures provide a year-round bass fishery that ranks as the region’s finest. Its blue-green waters harbor three species of bass including largemouths, smallmouths and native Guadalupes – the Texas state fish. Several species of sunfish thrive in areas where the current is slowed near bank-bound brush, behind deadfalls and in slow pools created by old dams and once-active gristmills. The most abundant is the “yellowbelly sunfish,” which is a regional moniker for the redbreast sunfish (Lepomis aruitus). This brightly colored fish has endeared itself to fly fishers by displaying a fondness for feeding on

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the surface, its shear aggression and its tendency to grow larger than many other sunfish species. Surface-feeding yellowbellies are nearly always near structure. Casting accuracy can be the key to catching larger specimens, but they’re not choosy about the menu. Poppers, sponge spiders and small floaters/divers are effective surface flies. There are times, however, when slowly fished wet flies produce the best catches. “Match the Minnow” streamers in sizes 8 through 12 are also successful, with Spot Tail Shiners, Stonerollers and Fathead Minnows constantly available. A wide variety of flies can be successful, and we would encourage trying your own favorite panfish flies, but it’s beneficial to remember that the guides’ recommendations should be heeded. They fish the river daily and have come to know the preferences of the fish. Allow the fly to settle near structure by counting it down so that it can be returned to the point of fish contact on subsequent casts. A slowly imparted “lift,

Flyfisher Autumn 2010 - Winter 2011

drop, strip” retrieve with frequent pauses proved lethal on our trip. Most interesting of the panfish is the Rio Grande perch, which isn’t a sunfish at all – it’s actually a cichlid (Cichlasoma cyanoguttatum) with a distinctive shape, coloration and an elusive nature. Its angular face has a pronounced brow line and bulging forehead. Its color ranges from deep blue to dark olive with its entire body covered with turquoise freckles. They are very strong fighters that can grow to 12 inches or more. These unique fish prefer slack-water areas where small (sizes 12 and 14), dark flies fished using a slow retrieve work best. Five-weight rods served us well, but rod choice should be made with the size, weight and wind-resistance of the flies to be cast in mind, not the size of the fish you’ll fight. Floating line is likely all you’ll need and leader tippets need not be fine because these fish are not leader shy. Our San Marcos River adventure began when our friend Bill Huegel, 2009 Gulf Coast Council Conclave pro-


gram chair, contacted us about giving seminars at the event in New Braunfels. Immediately we inquired about fishing opportunities – after all, Texas fishing is legendary. Huegel responded by recommending that we contact Kevin Hutchison, owner of Austin-based Hill Country Fly Fishers. It was a good match. Hutchison’s passion for fly fishing for warmwater species equals our own. He is a big, affable fellow with exceptional boat handling skills and, as author of “Fly-Fishing the Texas Hill Country,” has an intimate knowledge of the rivers and the fish that inhabit them. Hill Country roadsides display spectacular wildflowers in spring. We drove along back roads through rolling hillside pasturelands decorated with Texas bluebonnets, Indian paintbrush, wild mustard, red clover and pink primrose to our pre-arranged rendezvous with Hutchison and Harrison Nash, 17, the youngest fishing guide ever licensed by the state of Texas – he was licensed at age 15. We launched two comfortable, two-man catarafts that offer the option of casting from a seated position or a solid casting platform with railing that enables the caster to stand. Each vessel stowed rods, fly bags, iced sodas and a five-star shore lunch, which included folding chairs and tables, and tablecloths (no kidding). Within the first minutes of the launch a scrappy 8-inch yellowbelly was brought to hand, an omen of the great day ahead. It was the first of perhaps 70 fish we caught that trip. Our own size-8 Bully’s Bluegill Spiders accounted for many with chartreuse leading the way. We also sampled Hutchison and Nash’s guide box of flies and used their “Swamp Monster” and Nash’s “Frail Fry” patterns with great success. Early into our float, the younger of us shouted as a strong fish turned her 5-weight into a witching rod. The tip top plunged near the surface as the fish bore toward a submerged log. Nash confirmed that it was a big Rio and finally netted the 12-inch monster. We also caught a number of Guadalupe bass measuring near the maximum size of 12 inches for that indigenous species. Guadalupes are beautifully marked with broad and dark striped lateral bands. They occupy a variety of habitat

from rock-strewn outcroppings, deadfall hideouts in quiet backwaters, and the edge of current seams. Although choosing slightly larger flies might attract more bass, our size 8 and 10 panfish selections provided plenty of Guadalupe hookups. Within the first hour we had com-

pleted our goal of catching what we had agreed would be the “Hill Country Slam,” which consisted of a yellowbelly sunfish, a Guadalupe bass and a Rio Grande perch. All were large for their species, in prime fighting condition, and, to top it off, were three species we had never caught before. Priceless. Our adventure continued when we traversed the rapids known as Cottonseed Dam, the site of a long ago, abandoned cotton gin. The dam was blown out by flooding rains that created potentially dangerous rapids and should be run only by highly skilled rivermen. Half a mile downstream is an impediment that simply must be portaged, where whitewater plunges 18 feet over Martindale Dam. Our boats had to be tied to ropes and lowered over the dam to the waters below. We portaged our gear around the obstacle. Another dozen fish later and with our mission accomplished, we docked at Shady Grove Campground/Spencer Canoe where our car had been parked. Here Pat and Jack Spencer offer canoe and kayak rentals, shuttle service, clean restrooms and beautiful campsites. It’s a good place to headquarter your trip. Call them at 512-357-6113. Accommodations and eateries to fit any budget may be found in San Marcos and nearby communities. We particularly enjoyed a great meal overlooking the beautiful Guadalupe River at the Grist Mill Restaurant located at 1287 Gruene (pronounced Green) Rd. We also recommend a traditional German dinner at Friesenhaus Restaurant and Bakery located at 1485 Castell. Both are located in New Braunfels. To begin your quest for the Hill Country Slam, visit Hutchison’s website www.hillcountry flyfishers.com, then either drop him an e-mail at fishhead@texas.net or phone 512-589-3474. To find accommodations and restaurants that meet your needs, contact the San Marcos Chamber of Commerce for a complete listing of each at www. sanmarcostexas.com or New Braunfels’ Chamber of Commerce at www.nbcham.org.

Top: The Yellowbelly sunfish is a beautiful complement to the steady action on the San Marcos. Middle: This 12-inch Rio Grande perch launched Roxanne’s pursuit of the Texas Hill Country’s slam. Bottom: The Guadalupe bass is a beautifully marked native species.

Terry and Roxanne Wilson of Bolivar, Missouri, are longtime Flyfisher contributors focusing on warmwater fly fishing. For more articles, tips or schedule them to speak at your club, visit their website at www.thebluegillpond.com or e-mail them at terrywil@windstream.net.

Flyfisher Autumn 2010 - Winter 2011

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Small Patterns, Large Fish Midge Fishing Techniques for Three Seasons of Success By Bill Toone able to trout as food year-round. In fact, due to prolific numbers and year-round availability, trout are used to seeing midges float by. They are most important in the food chain during the late fall, winter and early spring months when other larger aquatic insects are less active. This is the timeframe I find the following techniques most successful. The larvae and pupae stages can be quite productive, but it is the mating adult stage that can bring the most spectacular dry fly fishing to the angler.

PHOTOS BY BILL TOONE

M

idges are those ubiquitous, little insects trout love but most fishermen hate. Although they are often the only game in town for late fall, winter and early spring fly fishing, many fly fishers unfortunately avoid midge patterns like the plague. After all who really wants to fish a size 22 fly, especially in the low light and cloud cover most common during the winter and early spring months? Yet, fishing midge patterns doesn’t have to be the tedious, brain-damaging activity many think of, and, in fact, it can bring about some of the best fishing of the year. Midge is the name given to a group of small aquatic insects in the Chironmidae family consisting of approximately 1,000 different species. In loose terms they resemble a small mosquito in appearance but without the biting proboscis. Midges have many generations per year, so they are avail-

The adult midge is often mistaken for a mosquito, but thankfully this important food source for trout does not bite.


PHOTOS BY VERNE LEHMBERG

Larvae Stage Midges in the larval stage of their life populate the bottom of rivers, streams, lakes and ponds. They have a grublike appearance and are the loose equivalent of the nymph stage for a mayfly or stonefly. Popular larvae patterns include zebra midges, brassies and candy cane midge larvae to name a few. Black is a highly effective, all-around color, but here in the West, as we move into the February and March timeframe, red patterns can be like candy to trout. Be sure you have both colors in your fly box, because you never know when one color will be more effective than the other. Selecting the right larvae pattern is generally not the problem; it is getting the pattern in front of the fish that can be the most daunting. The method I use during the primary midge months of November to March is to offer my size 18 to 22 larvae pattern as a trailer behind a larger, weighted nymph such as a size 8 golden stone nymph. I use a 12- to 16inch piece of 4X or 5X tippet with an improved clinch knot tied directly to the bend of the lead nymph’s hook. The larger weighted nymph has a twofold purpose. First, its weight will help get the smaller larvae pattern down along the bottom where they are most commonly seen by trout. You want to be close to the bottom so a small split shot may need to be added to the equation to get the flies down. Second, the larger nymph frequently will get the fish’s attention to help it focus on the trailing midge larvae. As they need to eat large numbers of midge larvae to survive, they will not want to pass up your presentation. Be patient and deliberate with your fishing approach. When the water temperatures are colder, the fish are less active, necessitating a presentation closer to the fish than is required at other times during the year. Because of this, you will need to cover your fishing water with more casts and varied angles than normal, giving you the best opportunity to drift your fly by the fish just right. In other words, really cover the water.

Pupae Stage As the larvae mature, they will pupate on the bottom among the rocks, pebbles and silt. As it becomes time for the midge to become an adult, the pupae will swim or wiggle its way through the water column and try to break through the film. Fish taking midge pupae can usually be identified by swirls under the surface, dorsal or tail fins breaking the surface and/or “slappy” rises. Although midges will emerge throughout the day during the colder months, the best fishing, I find, is from late morning to dusk when the water temperatures have raised enough to increase fish activity. While there are midge emerger type patterns, fishing one can be a difficult proposition due to its small size and the low light conditions often found during the colder months. My solution is to fish a size 20 to 22 pupae pattern shallow using an indicator. A midge pupae imitation presented eight to 16 inches under a small indicator will often

The author’s favorite patterns are, clockwise from lower left, the Griffin’s Gnat, the Candy Cane Midge Pupae, the Renegade and the Cluster Midge.

do the trick. The indicator helps identify the strike as well as keeping the patterns higher up in the water column, similar to pupae trying to emerge. You will often find fish picking up pupae in the current in shallower riffles or at the seam where the water drops off. This same shallow presentation works well for these conditions as well. A bead-head pattern will help it get down into the water column quickly if fishing faster riffles or if conditions require a short drift. If midges are on the surface or I am fishing a slower run or pool, I will use a dry fly such as a size 14 to 16 Renegade with my pupae imitations on the dropper, instead of a small indicator. This can also be a good way to hedge your bet if you are not sure the fish are on dries or emerging pupae.

Adults It is the adult stage, especially when midges are mating, that can bring superb dry fly fishing to the angler. When the adult midges mate, they do so on the surface of the water, rolling around in little balls or mating clusters. It is the mating clusters and not the individual midges that I usually try to imitate. A size 14 to 18 Renegade or Griffith’s Gnat are generally my go-to patterns, but other midge cluster patterns will work as well. During March and April, when midges and blue-winged olives are coming off together, I will trail a smaller BWO pattern off the back of the midge cluster, hedging my bets. On the rare occasion I find myself needing to fish a spent midge or single midge imitation, I will trail it behind a midge cluster dry, using the larger pattern as an indicator. I generally use 5X tippet for the trailer to help make a drag-free float, usually 12 to 16 inches behind the lead fly. Fish can be lined up so thick when taking midges off Flyfisher Autumn 2010 - Winter 2011

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PHOTO BY VERNE LEHMBERG

O’Hair’s Spring Creek near Livingston, Montana, is an environment where midges are available to the trout all year but are really a mainstay during the colder parts of the year. The main concentration of midges are shown here on the left bank near the green floating algae.

you get a hookup, try to lead the fish out of the pod in order to avoid putting the rest down. It is often hard to tell the size of the feeding fish if you simply see their snouts poke through the water surface. I have had many a pleasant surprise hooking an exceptionally nice trout that I presumed was a smaller fish. This year, when cabin fever moves into your life, try relieving it with some time on the water and midge fishing. If you attempt the techniques mentioned above, it may make your late/early season fishing more productive and enjoyable. You may very well find yourself alone on the water or – a worst-case scenario – sharing it with me. Bill Toone is this publication’s editor-in-chief and lives with his wife, Arletta, in Bozeman, Montana, where he telecommutes to his day job as director of purchasing for the Hylton Group in northern Virginia. He is also an instructor and guide for the Yellowstone Fly Fishing School as well as an FFF master casting instructor.

PHOTO BY BILL TOONE

PHOTO BY VERNE LEHMBERG

the surface, it seems as if they are packed in shoulder-toshoulder. Slower runs and seams, as well as pools with some current, are good areas for the fish to congregate. Foam pockets that form in the eddies are particularly good areas for rising fish that are taking trapped midges out of the surface foam. Try fishing the lee side of the river, as a strong wind blows midges against the shoreline – concentrating the insects and the fish there as well. Just as with midge pupae, the warmer hours of the day create the best conditions for fishing midge dries. Carefully scan the water, looking for heads bobbing up to the surface like buoys – a sure indication they are taking dries. Though the fish may be actively feeding, a drag-free drift is imperative. Depending on water conditions, a 4X tippet should work, but be prepared to switch to something lighter if you find the fish are ignoring your fly. I suggest approaching a pod of fish in a pool from behind them and downstream. If


The Midge Life Cycle

Story and photos by Verne Lehmberg

How to Imitate Each Stage

T

he non-biting midges are members of the order Diptera, the flies. As their name implies they have only two wings, in common with the housefly and horsefly. Thousands of tiny midge species are found in North America, ranging from 2 to 12 millimeters long. The midges in genus Chironomus hold their front legs up when sitting on grass blades, easy to distinguish from other small dipterans. The observant fisher needs to match the color and size of the natural midge when selecting an imitation.

Most midge patterns are small, sizes 20-24 being the most commonly tied. The four-stage, complete metamorphosis Chironomidae life cycle begins when the adult midges mate and the female deposits her eggs on the water’s surface. The eggs drift to the bottom of slower moving streams or lakes, hatch and develop into wormlike larvae. There, the larvae spin protective tubes and mature in the muddy bottom, filter feeding or scavenging plant detritus.

Gray midge with front legs raised, far left, and blood red midge larvae, 4 millimeters long.

Flyfisher Autumn 2010 - Winter 2011

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Blood Midge

Zebra Midge Andrew Puls Sweetwater Fly Shop, Livingston, Montana

Midges can live in the muck where the dissolved oxygen is low, 1 or 2 milligrams per liter, while the trout in the water above prefer 7 to 12 milligrams per liter oxygen. The midge larvae color varies. Some hemoglobin-containing midges are blood red. Other species range from yellow to

Size 22 (equivalent) midge exoskeleton, or shuck, reflects sunlight as it floats under the water’s surface.

brownish olive, black to cream color. The larvae sometimes drift in the current and are then available to the trout. Carp and other bottom-feeding fish probe the watery mud for these larvae continually. Many midge species go through a complete life cycle several times per summer; so trout commonly see all life cycle stages. The midge’s third stage, the pupae, is when it develops an enlarged head region with wing buds visible. When ready to pupate, midges develop a gas bubble around the head, and it rises to the water’s surface somewhat as a caddis fly does. This bubble sparkles with reflected light as the midge pupae ascend. The pupae sometimes have difficulty breaking through the surface tension. Most species

Midge Oscar Feliu The Villages, Florida

Midge Emerger Al Gadoury 6-X Outfitters, Bozeman, Montana

Red Z-Bro Midge

Green Midge Beadhead

poke their abdomens through the water’s surface and then twist their body through, ending up floating on the surface. Very quickly the pupae splits open the shuck and the adult stage emerges, dries its wings and flies away to seek a mate. Like mayflies, Chironomidae mate and die after they reach the adult stage. A few will take plant nectar, but their primary goal as adults is to reproduce. Just as with emerging mayflies and caddis flies, this emergent stage is a very vulnerable time for the insect, and trout most often take this form. Some pupae species’ bodies hang down below the surface with their heads up in the film as they prepare to break through. Each stage of the transformation from pupae to adult may be imitated with flies. Every fly representing a different stage is fished at the different levels relative to the surface; hanging below the surface, up in the surface film and finally when the adult midge wiggles out of its exoskeleton onto the surface, with the empty shuck trailing behind it. Flies are tied and weight or flotation added on appropriate fly parts to match the different midge life stage. For example, to match the drifting larvae stage, the San Juan Worm, or even a curved hook covered with red, black or olive thread will do. These are best fished with a tiny strike indicator or tied to a dry fly’s hook bend. One effective way to fish the midge larvae in deeper water is to tie on a weighted nymph ahead of the midge, and dead drift it near the bottom using standard nymphing techniques. Often a trout may swim out to inspect the larger, attractive nymph

Scuttle Muddle Midge Al Beatty Boise, Idaho

Micro Midge size 26


Glo-Ronomid Midge Scott Erickson Calgary, Alberta, Canada

K.F. Brassie

and perhaps refuse it, then take the tiny midge larvae. As larvae mature into a pupae, it develops an enlarged head and wing case. Flies representing either the larval and rising pupal stage include the Blood Midge, Zebra Midge, Red Z-Bro Midge, Green Midge Beadhead, Glo-Ronomid Midge, KF Brassie and other variations and colors in sizes 22-24, tied on a curved hook. These flies are often weighted with tungsten or brass heads. The Mojo Midge has the curved body shape of a midge at the surface. As the nymph reaches the surface and attempts to break through, its buoyant head may be in the surface film and its body dangle. The René Harrop CDC Midge Emerger is perfect for this stage, as it is fished with a bit of flotant on the CDC head, the CDC in the surface and the body hanging down. The Harrop series mimics midge life stages from emerger to adult. Oscar Feliu’s midge has a white poly wing that is dressed to float in the film while

Mojo Midge

the body dangles beneath the surface, a very effective pattern. Al Gadoury’s Midge Emerger has a trailing shuck and represents the midge as it partially emerges on the surface. Similarly, the Lady McConnell midge by Al Beatty, the size 26 Micro Midge and Naomi Okamoto’s Comparadun 24 Midge all have trailing shucks. Adult midges are floated on the water’s surface. Patterns for the adult midge include Beatty’s Scuttle Muddle Midge, Harrop Biot midge adult and the various cluster flies. Sometimes clusters of males try to mate with a female. Even in the dead of winter on the Madison River, midge clusters may be found on a sunny day. This surface mating activity is imitated by size 16-18 cluster flies. The old Griffith’s Gnat pattern is one of the most effective midge patterns for these clusters. Peacock herl seems to give a lifelike sheen to the Griffith’s Gnat. The more easily seen Harrop’s CDC Cluster Midge and the various Renegade flies also have the attractive peacock herl bodies, and are large enough to be spotted on the water by aging angler eyes. Fly Box Editor Verne Lehmberg is from Dayton, Texas, where he has recently joined the ranks of the newly retired.

René Harrop CDC Midge Series; Transitional Midge, Emerging Midge, Hanging Midge. Biot Midge Adult.

Lady McConnell Al Beatty Boise, Idaho

Comparadun Naomi Okamoto Los Angeles, California

Harrop’s CDC Cluster

Hot Spot Renegade Al Beatty Boise, Idaho

Flyfisher Autumn 2010 - Winter 2011

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Conserving, Restoring and Educating Through Fly Fishing

At the Vise CAULK MIDGE Story and photos by Scott Sanchez

M

idge hatches cover the late and early ends of the fishing season and provide great opportunity during these down times. You can enjoy plenty of solitude from other anglers while enjoying the company of numerous trout. When you see trout rising to November midges, it is wise to take advantage of some of the last surface feeding of the year. Then in the new year, winter and spring midge fishing is a great start to the full-on fishing season. In my home waters of the Greater Yellowstone area, the addition of more year-round fisheries has added to already excellent options. The Snake in Wyoming, the South Fork (the Snake in Idaho), lower Henry’s Fork, Gallatin, Madison and Yellowstone all have some great midge fishing. With lower flows, the larger rivers are much easier to wade. The best fishing is usually in the afternoon. In Jackson, Wyoming, and surrounding areas, skiing in the morning and fishing in the afternoon is a common occurrence. The trout will still be found in winter habitat adjacent to deeper, moderate currents. Inside corners, back eddies and slack water tailouts are prime midge fishing locations. The fish can move in shallow water but are still found near deeper retreats. We fish many patterns during midge hatches; pupa and clusters have become fashionable, but sometimes a good-old, single midge adult is the ticket. A variety of wing materials can be used for midge adults; however, foam makes an interesting wing. Razor Foam or similar foam look good, but my favorite for imitating the translucent wing is a sliver of window-caulk backing foam. I tripped across this material while I was looking for a certain color of foam for my big foam box. Tying some midges for spring fishing was my next project, and the caulk foam was the correct color. I cut a sliver of the foam off of the edge and secured it over the body. A test drive on the Snake River proved that the fish liked the appearance as well. This foam is sold in hardware stores as a foundation to fill in cracks around windows and frames before caulking. The cylindrical foam is sold in 3⁄8, 1⁄2 and 5⁄8 -inch sizes and comes in a color I would call medium dun. I believe it’s a polyethylene product. A 20-foot roll will set you back about $6. The stuff is pretty, tough and, when trimmed, looks very similar to the real deal. The sheen on it is nice – it almost looks like it has venation. In addition, it ties in with very little bulk. The foam on the outer edge will have a skin on it. This section of the foam will make a more durable wing. Olive, black, brown and dark dun are standard body colors and the same foam can be used for the wings on all of them. Tying flies with this caulking foam is fun and productive, and besides it beats the heck out of using it for its intended purpose. Scott Sanchez, the 2010 Buz Buszek Memorial Award recipient, is a fly consultant for Dan Bailey’s and a longtime member of the Scott Fly Rod Company’s Pro Staff. He is also the author of “Introduction to Saltwater Tying” (Pruett Publishing) and “A New Generation of Trout Flies” (Wild River Press). He was recently awarded the Arnold Gingrich Memorial Life Award by the Federation of Fly Fishers.

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Flyfisher Autumn 2010 - Winter 2011

MATERIAL S Hook: Dai-Riki 320 standard dry fly, sizes 16 through 22 Thread: Black 8/0 Abdomen: Dun turkey biot Wing: A sliver of dun-colored caulk backing foam Post: White, black or pink Antron or polypropylene Hackle: Dark dun, size 2 hook-gaps in width Thorax: Black dubbing

1

Step

Cement the hook shank, start your thread and make a base. Tie in a turkey biot by the tip with the concave side up. Wrap the biot on the rear two-thirds of the hook shank and tie it off.

2

Step

Cut a sliver of caulking foam from the edge of the foam. This will naturally round the end of the wing, without extra trimming. The width of the wing should be about two-thirds of the hook gap.

3

Step

Secure the front end of the foam to the thorax. The wing should extend just past the bend of the hook. The rearmost thread wraps should be done with light tension to keep the foam from drastically flaring.


6

Step

Secure a bundle of polypropylene fibers in the middle of the bundle. This will be centered in the thorax over the wing butts. Firmly wrap the base of the fibers with thread to create a solid post.

Dub the thorax and figure-eight wrap a little dubbing on the base of the post. A little dubbing at the base of the foam wing will help contain it.

5

Step

7

Step

Tie in a hackle at the base of the post, and then tie it to the post so it is anchored at the hackle’s starting point.

Wrap the hackle down the post, tie it off and whip finish.

C. Boyd Pfeiffer AVAILABLE FOR SHOWS & CLUB EVENTS

Slide shows Seminars Workshops Banquets

For information: 410-527-0717 • cbpfeiffer@msn.com

BT’S ROTARY TYING STATION The Station includes the vise, pedestal/tool base, and seven brass tools.

BT’s Fly Fishing Products 11965 W. Reutzel Dr. • Boise, ID 83709-4414

888-243-3597 (toll free phone & fax) www.btsflyfishing.com albeatty2@aol.com Flyfisher Autumn 2010 - Winter 2011

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Conserving, Restoring and Educating Through Fly Fishing

4

Step


Conserving, Restoring and Educating Through Fly Fishing

Fly Box Photo essay by Verne Lehmberg

F

lytiers from California to Florida contributed to the FFF by taking the time to demonstrate their fly creations and techniques to everyone attending the National Fly Fishing Fair and Conclave. When attending a national or council event, please express your appreciation to our talented flytiers. Verne Lehmberg from Dayton, Texas, is a longtime Federation member and an excellent photographer. His contribution to Flyfisher is always appreciated.

Damsel with nymph shuck and adult Al Ritt Loveland, Colorado

Mayfly Spinner Bill Blackstone Ojai, California

Wiggle Damsel John Newbury Chewelah, Washington

Pocket Water Caddis with adult green caddis James Ferguson Salem, Oregon Red Gut Bill Heckel Franklin Park, Illinois

E. P. Yellow Perch Dr. Steve Jensen Springfield, Missouri Clodhopper Mike Stewart N. Granby, Connecticut

Rhyacophila Caddis Oscar Feliu The Villages, Florida

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Flyfisher Autumn 2010 - Winter 2011

Stonefly Nymph Tom Harman Dillon, Montana Ribbon Caddis Oscar Feliu The Villages, Florida


T H E F F F F O U N D AT I O N

Leave a

Legacy Feel good today about the gift you leave tomorrow. By making a deferred gift to the FFF Foundation, you will help to ensure the sport you love is fostered and kept thriving with our future generations. The principal of your gift will remain in the Foundation to fund youth education, conservation and scholarship support. In addition, there are attractive income and/or estate tax benefits. The FFF Foundation was established in 1995 as a 501(c)(3) public charitable foundation and is managed by an independent board of trustees.

For further information contact Phil Greenlee at FFF headquarters in Livingston, Montana, telephone (406) 222-9369.

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VI

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AT I N G

CONSER

N

G

•

E

The Federation of Fly Fishers Foundation, Inc. Post Office Box 1688 Livingston, MT 59047

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S T O R I NG

•


Conserving, Restoring and Educating Through Fly Fishing

Woman’s Outlook CELEBRATING WOMEN AT THE 2010 CONCLAVE By Carol Oglesby

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ost of the week I carried a rain jacket while walking along the broad streets of West Yellowstone, Montana. The air was cool and showers were imminent amid the quickly moving storm clouds. The spirits of people, from days not-solong-past, linger in the memories and imaginations of visitors passing through town. It is a place where history is embedded in the aura surrounding the mountains, rivers and roads. Envision a land once disturbed by passenger trains spewing plumes of black smoke and announcing, with shrill toots and whistles, the daily arrival of vacationing guests. I wanted to stay long after the 2010 National Fly Fishing Fair & Conclave was over and linger over a passing vision. I imagined being the first woman with a fly rod to step boldly from a private berth with my bevy of fishing gillies – one to attend to my silk fly lines and imported cane rods, one to tie and care for my many finely dressed flies, one with a hand-knotted net to land my keenly hooked fish. The latter would dispatch them, lay them to rest in a wicker creel lined with fresh, wet meadow grass, and later deliver the day’s catch to the Union Pacific Dining Hall where the trout were served up at the evening meal. My vision stopped short of imagining the impractical clothing women wore “back then.” It’s true, “we’ve come a long way baby,” and the 2010 Conclave was proof positive of that adage. This is a great year to celebrate women in fly fishing, and kudos are due to the many women who attended, taught, planned and supported the successful event. Top the list with Jessica Atherton who breathes life into the Fly Fishing Fair. Thanks also to the other talented women of the FFF staff: Angie Gill, Barbara Wuebber and Judy Snyder are the backbone of the fair, a unique and solid team that makes event planning look easy. They are all the best! How many times did you hear that this year’s women’s fly fishing clinic, “Getting Started, Getting

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Better,” was the best class ever? I heard it from nearly every participant and instructor! Thanks to Molly Semenik, for planning and leading the two days, and thanks to Dorothy Schramm for teaching and providing the printed materials from the Fly Girls Club in Michigan, and a huge thank you to all of the instructors who made the program a great success. For

She provided a great pictorial and narrative account of our heritage in the sport that was displayed in a wonderfully conspicuous area adjacent to the conclave registration desk. Merriman has been a premier fly fishing instructor for more than 30 years. One of her many accomplishments includes the 1982 introduction of the first fly fishing vest designed by a woman for women.

Conclave 2010 Women’s Fly Fishing Clinic attendees on the South Fork of the Madison River. Photo by Pat Oglesby

the 2011 clinic, remember the class fills quickly, so do not procrastinate in sending in your registration! This year’s class filled in the first few days of advertising, and the majority of the students were either intermediate or advanced in their skill level. This proves that women keep coming back, and they are passionate about the sport (or “obsessed with it” as several women in class described themselves). The beginners in the group were introduced to the sport by an enthusiastic fishing partner (as were most of us who enjoy the sport of fly fishing). Class was held at the beautiful Bar N Ranch just five miles west of town, on the South Fork of the Madison River, where the women fished on the second day of class. Maggie Merriman carries the historic torch for women in fly fishing.

Flyfisher Autumn 2010 - Winter 2011

It was the beginning of the long-overdue inception and progression of women’s fly fishing apparel. She was also instrumental in the FFF for introducing and encouraging classes for women at the annual conclaves. Many female fly fishers today remember borrowing or buying boys’ or men’s gear that was ill-suited (excuse the pun) for a woman on the river. Clumsy boots, waders, jackets and clunky grips on rods made for an unpleasant experience for female anglers and were a deterrent for beginners. Hooray for the manufacturers that design and the fly shops that sell women’s fishing gear! Support them and thank them! Joan Wulff introduced the world to women fly fishers through her graceful performances featuring balletà la-fly-rod and proved that women are admirable contenders in casting


Fanny Krieger, honored speaker at the President’s Banquet, Conclave 2010

manufacturers and retailers took note and began accommodating the female consumers, and we women were strengthened in our unity. Teachers, guides, artists, writers and anglers blossomed. New friendships were formed that remain solid today – all because of the inspiration of one woman, Fannie Krieger. Never doubt that you as one voice can make a difference. Krieger was the featured speaker at the President’s Banquet, receiving a standing ovation for her inspirational presentation about female anglers and about getting youth involved in fly fishing. Our thanks to Fannie for inspiring so many fly fishers! Be sure to check out her new DVD:

FLY TIPS: Fly Boxes for Tiny Flies Tiny flies are fun to fish but a nuisance to store. Use a regular fly box such as a plastic, compartmented case, and tiny flies (size 18 and smaller) can mix among various compartments, getting your Griffith’s Gnats mixed up with tiny tricos. In addition, the tiny flies can easily blow out when opened during the tiniest breeze or briefest gust of wind. Boxes with individual, lidded compartments (Wheatley) can lessen the blowaway problem, but within the main box they can still mix up flies from various compartments. To solve this problem, get a simple pillbox from your local drugstore. Almost

Photos by Pat Oglesby

“Tomorrow’s Fly Fishers.” What are the future trends for women in fly fishing? I’m not sure I have an answer, but I understand statistics show that fishing and hunting sports are on the decline. I fear, as a result, our rights as anglers and hunters may be in jeopardy sometime in the future. We are all responsible for getting youth involved in outdoor sports to protect our heritage and rights as Americans. Women as nurturers and coaches may lay the fundamental steps in getting youth directed to a love of the outdoors and its healing qualities, as well as teaching the responsibility of preserving open and wild spaces for future generations. Together we can encourage, inspire, teach, be companions, stabilize, expand and enjoy the sport we love. Take the time to introduce someone to the sport. I can’t individually thank every woman for her involvement in the Federation of Fly Fishers. But collectively, I want to say a heartfelt thanks to every woman who taught a class, who attended the 2010 Conclave, and to all the female members of the FFF. Please keep renewing your membership and encouraging new members – together we can keep the sport alive and have fun in the process. Carol Oglesby from Grand Junction, Colorado, is a regular contributor to Flyfisher on female fly fishers’ interests. She may be contacted at pcoglesby@bresnan.net.

Tip and photo by C. Boyd Pfeiffer

all of these have individual, lidded compartments. One of the big advantages of such boxes is that the inner lids are ridged along the edges to prevent any looseness and loss of flies or mix of flies getting into adjacent compartments. These pill boxes are available in a wide variety of styles, from the four-compartment box to hold pills for one day, to those with seven compartments for weekly use to those with 14 for two weeks or even those with 28 for four weeks.

C. Boyd Pfeiffer is an internationally known sportsman and award-winning photojournalist on fishing, hunting and the outdoors. His 27 books include many on fly fishing and fly tying.

Conserving, Restoring and Educating Through Fly Fishing

competition. Today she remains the modern-day mentor for all female anglers. Maggie Merriman prodded the male-dominated industry, kicking and screaming, into a new phase of reality regarding women in the sport. Yet, it was Fannie Krieger who unified the women. She brought us all together in celebration of women as a united force in fly fishing. In 1995, Krieger had the brilliant idea to host an international festival for female anglers. A year later, the plan was in place for a gathering in San Francisco. I like to think of the festival as the “Woodstock for Women in Waders” (not to be confused with any calendars!). The response was overwhelming. Two hundred women from around the world gathered under one roof to discuss, learn, encourage and promote fly fishing for women. I was one of the lucky attendees, and today it is still one of the highlights of my fishingrelated adventures. There was discussion on every topic of concern to female anglers: clothing, the response to women in a fly shop, clubs for women … the topics were endless. Someone dared to ask, “Do women actually want to know the mechanics of casting?” “Well, yes!” I believe this single event had a major impact, and ripple effect, throughout the fly fishing industry. More clubs for women were formed;


Conserving, Restoring and Educating Through Fly Fishing

Casting SIMPLE CURES FOR PERSISTENT PROBLEMS Story and photos by Tom Tripi

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n the casting classes I teach, I often observe the same problems raising their ugly heads. Having come up with some simple cures, I’ve filed those ideas in my mind’s eye with the intent of sharing a solution or two. I hope the following tidbits on casting problems will help the novice and even more experienced fly fishers become better casters. Most fly fishers have trouble with the notion of slowly accelerating the casting stroke, then suddenly stopping the rod in order to form a loop. The first technique I was taught while learning was to compare the same action to throwing an apple on a stick. Everyone knows the drill. When a friend in New York gave me my first demonstration of the technique, he sailed the apple 30 feet. It looked interesting. But the concept was already familiar to me. One of my summer jobs while growing up was to pick up “wind falls” under our numerous pear trees. Being quite lazy, I quickly “developed” a technique of stabbing the pears with a sturdy stick and throwing them almost 100 feet into an adjacent cow pasture. I had developed a great forward stop, and I was only 12 years old! When learning to cast and applying the same technique, I found that it greatly helped to create loops. Now, when teaching, I round up a few of our crab apples and persimmons or make tennis ball-sized mud balls for students. I use a short stick to demonstrate/explain the throw/stop technique; about five repetitions later students have the motion mastered. Then, I immediately transfer the technique to an actual cast. I grab a prepared rod with a line already extending out on the ground. After a little practice, students usually associate the stop idea rather quickly, soon nailing the forward cast. I find that the abrupt stop required to propel any object via this method is more defined than, say, the cleaning-the-paint-brush technique. And students absorb the “stop” idea much quicker. Note, if you practice or teach with the paint brush technique, it works better when a real brush and a bucket of water is used. Students see the resulting distance of the thrown water when the technique is properly applied. It’s harder to see results when using a dry brush, or worse, if you’re pantomiming a fast stop without a brush. So, we’ve cured that problem. How about working on straightening your fly line before the pickup for a backcast? Whether you’ve stripped in too much line or struck to set a hook and missed, there always seems to be slack line on the water prior to the pickup. I’ve tried various methods to help students understand that slack should be removed prior to the pick-up. I’ve demonstrated the advantage of having a straight line to maximize the loading of the rod, but in many cases to no avail. Many have a hard time taking out slack. Whenever I anticipate such a problem, I leave 25 feet or so of garden hose lying out on the lawn, coiled just right and ready for use. The technique follows: Without telling the student what to expect, I ask them to grab the coiled hose and, using a side-arm motion, fling it out of the way. It always takes two or three tries to move the entire hose. Then I explain how it would be easier to move if the hose was lying

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Flyfisher Autumn 2010 - Winter 2011

straight. I proceed to straighten the hose and have them try again. Immediately the entire hose is placed into motion and it moves Various leader to fly line connections: The “in the direction of the size and color of the wrapping thread can speed up and stop” (a be varied so the connection can be used as a little Lefty Kreh lingo strike indicator if desired. there). I then ask, “Now, do you see why slack in your fly line doesn’t load the rod or help the cast?” The next few practice casts are usually much better than those before using the hose! A word on leaders: To me, a leader is like the tail on a kite. If the tail is too short, the kite is unbalanced and won’t fly correctly; if it’s too long or heavy, Casting “hoses” ready for use: Trying to the kite usually doesn’t move the curved hose in one motion is much fly at all because harder than moving the straight hose. there’s too much weight. When the tail is just right, the kite flies high and long. In comparison, when using a short or perhaps light leader with a heavier fly line, the heavier fly line turns the unbalanced leader over too quickly, causing it to slap the water or puddle short of the target. On the other hand, a light fly line can’t efficiently turn over a heavy leader, especially if it is carrying a big fly. A balanced line and leader (and fly) is essential to cast the long, delicately looped lines that we all strive to achieve. When making my own leaders, I use an accepted formula of 60 percent butt, 20 percent middle and 20 percent wearing (tippet) end. Many resources exist online and in books on matching the diameter of a leader to the end of a line. Review this information and your casting and fly presentation will improve, I promise. I attach my leader to the line via a small, rather unconventional loop made at the end of the fly line. I’ve never used loop-to-loop connections on leaders or in fly lines. Most are oversized, some form hinges, attract stream grass, loosen when casting, etc. I once had a chance get-together with a wise, old fly-fishing curmudgeon from the “Catskill School.” It was pouring rain, and we happened to be sitting together under a streamside shelter for a while chatting. He had fished the same 7½-foot Payne for more than 20 years; used a fine, oiled, double-taper line; and hand tied his leaders from a supple mono (although he yearned for the silk of his earlier years). His leader knots were small and surgically precise. Even at 15-feet long they turned over beautifully. His


line-to-leader connection was via a very small mono loop tied to his fly line, which gave me some ideas for later. He “tuned” his leaders quite well over the years, and it showed. The old Payne was smooth and accurate, dropping cast upon cast in the center of each rise. That, my friend, was great fly fishing! I make my line-to-leader connection as follows. First, I make a 45-degree cut at the end of the fly line. Then I simply fold over one-half to three-quarters of an inch of the fly line forming a small loop. Next, using 3/0 nylon tying thread, wrap the end and line as you would the foot of a snake-guide on a rod. No knots are required; I seal the thread with a small drop of super glue, forming an instant chemical bond on both ends of the fly line and thread. Just snip off the excess thread and it’s done. I tie the leader onto the loop via an improved clinch knot. This forms a strong, slim connection that passes through guides smoothly and lasts, in some cases, all season. My leader material is medium stiff – just flexible enough to carry the energy of the cast and turn over the fly. (Of course, it helps to balance the size of the fly with the size of the tippet.) Last, some thoughts on matching rods and lines. I remind all of my students that most modern graphite rods can handle a couple line weights up or down from that recommended by the manufacturer. That being said, I always test students’ equipment to check if rod and line do balance. I like to overload graphic rods by one and sometimes two line sizes. And I’ve watched other instructors do the same. However a few forget an important point. Always test lines on the water, not grass, and, if possible, with a hook-less fly that matches the leader. Some forget about the weight that water adds to a line, not to mention the weight of a big, wet fly. That added weight affects the rod’s action, especially lighter ones. Many more innovative hints and casting aids may be found in the exhaustive (and free) volumes of The Loop located on the Federation of Fly Fishers’ website: www.fedflyfishers.org. If you have unique, helpful hints that you use in teaching or casting and want to pass them along, please contact me via my website, www.tomtripi.com. I’ll mention you and them in future articles or you can submit them to The Loop. Master Casting Instructor Tom Tripi is from Folsom, Louisiana, where he uses a fly rod and canoe to pursue his favorite fish, teaches casting to students of all ages, and studies astronomy in his spare time.

THE FFF, BAMBOO AND FRIENDSHIP Story and photo by Al Beatty

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he headline may lead the reader to believe that I’ve become a bamboo rod builder, but that’s not the case; I’m still semi-sane. I’m just a fairly competent flytier who has observed our bamboo rod-building friends at conclaves and other fly fishing functions perform their magic on simple-looking pieces of the raw, wild grass. I’ve not ruled out building bamboo rods but also have to face the reality that my woodworking skills leave a lot to be desired. I remember well my high school woodshop teacher telling me that I might want to focus on fishing because I sure didn’t have “it” regarding his woodshop. I’m kind of glad I took his advice to “focus on fishing,” because I’ve sure enjoyed fly fishing over the years, sharing the avocation with my wife, Gretchen, and the many friends I’ve made in the sport and the Federation of Fly Fishers (FFF). Even though my woodworking skills were never developed, it is interesting how people who had that particular skill have come into my life and used it to express their friendship while I, in turn, shared flies with them. To prove the point, I have many handmade fly boxes, like those pictured here, that I’ve been given over the years by friends. It’s funny how a discussion about bamboo or wood can evolve into a discussion about friendship and how much the FFF and the people in it have affected our lives. When we look at our fairly large group of friends, we find everyone on the list is associated with the Federation in one way or another. We never know when guests will appear at the door for a visit that could last a couple of hours or several days. For example in the recent past we got an e-mail from Jon Lyman, former FFF education chair, and a writer for this publication. His message was succinct; he wanted to know if we would be home. I advised him I was here, but Gretchen was gone. Less than an hour later, the doorbell rang and it was Jon. I thought his e-mail had been sent from his home in Alaska, but, as he was standing at my front door, it was really obvious it wasn’t. I invited him in and made a pot of coffee. A conversation with Jon is always interesting, and I prepared for several pleasant hours reviewing a multitude of topics. It wasn’t meant to be; he was on his way to a job as a ski instructor. The purpose of his visit was to give us a bamboo fly rod he had built as a token of friendship. I was stunned! I thanked him and he was on his way, having stayed only a few minutes. He had spent many hours building the rod and drove miles out of his way to give us that beautiful bamboo The “friendship gifts” are just rod, then only visited for a short time. too special to take to the water, but who knows what may hapA simple thank you for such a wonderful pen at some future date. token of friendship is far from adequate. That said, it is all I have to offer except for this short column here in Flyfisher to recognize the great gift an FFF friend gave us with no expectation of anything in return. On the other hand, that’s how true friendships evolve; doing for others with no expectation of a return. For that matter, it seems like a great concept when thinking of membership in the FFF as well, giving with no thought of anything in return. My membership in the FFF has proven to be an important and eventful part of my life. In my opinion a membership in the FFF is a great return on investment. What is your opinion? If you are thinking of letting your membership lapse, don’t do it. You never know when the doorbell could ring. Flyfisher Editor Al Beatty is a longtime FFF member from Boise, Idaho, who enjoys tying flies, fishing with his wife, Gretchen, and working with her in their family business – BT’s Fly Fishing & Photography.

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Conserving, Restoring and Educating Through Fly Fishing

Fly Rod Corner


The FFF National Fly Fishing Fair and Conclave 2010 Photo Contest Winners GRAND PRIZE OVERALL “Klingon” by Patrick Richards of Hereford, Arizona PEOPLE’S CHOICE “Casting the Brenta” collaboration by Les Rosenthal and Pietro Brunelli of Gig Harbor, Washington NATIVE FISH OF N. AMERICA 1st: “A Moment’s Glimpse of the Glory” by Paul Hinchcliff of Charleston, South Carolina 2nd: “A Trout’s View Above and Below” by Sharyn and Bob Jacklin of West Yellowstone, Montana NATURALS AND THEIR IMITATIONS 1st: “Klingon” by Patrick Richards of Hereford, Arizona 2nd: “Can You See Me?” by Patrick Richards of Hereford, Arizona 3rd: “Early Morning Hatched Mayfly” by Steve Hegstrom of Mission, Kansas FLY ANGLERS IN THEIR ELEMENT 1st: “Casting the Brenta” collaboration by Les Rosenthal and Pietro Brunelli of Gig Harbor, Washington 2nd: “Double the Anticipation” by Michael Witt of Dardanelle, Arkansas 3rd: “Getting our Baitfish for a Day of Fly Fishing – Baja” by Patrick Richards of Hereford, Arizona

“A Moment’s Glimpse of the Glory” by Paul Hinchcliff

INTERNATIONAL FLY FISHING EXPERIENCES, SALTWATER 1st: “Rooster Fin” by Patrick Richards of Hereford, Arizona 2nd: “Manta” by Les Rosenthal of Gig Harbor, Washington

“Rooster Fin” by Patrick Richards

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Flyfisher Autumn 2010 - Winter 2011


“Klingon” by Patrick Richards

“Casting the Brenta” collaboration by Les Rosenthal and Pietro Brunelli

Flyfisher Autumn 2010 - Winter 2011

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Conserving, Restoring and Educating Through Fly Fishing

Fly Fishing Heritage VIENNA SAUSAGES By Jon Lyman

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killed fish all summer. A run of hatchery king salmon returns to the cove in front of my house each spring, and this year I trolled daily from the first of May until the run ended in mid-July. Friends and strangers shared my boat, with anglers from across Florida to Hawaii joining with Alaskans in the slaughter. We killed more kings last summer than I usually do in a decade. Great, broad fish, ocean bright, from 12 to 40 pounds, destined to either be taken by anglers as food or to die in the deep gyre of the cove’s tides. When the kings petered out, coho salmon ran so strongly that we stocked the freezers of friends too old, infirm or land-bound to fish. But I’m done with it – tired of the killing. I recently pulled Leo Braudy’s “From Chivalry to Terrorism” from the bottom of a local book bin – too thick for a quick read, too heavy for summer. To make his tome more palatable, I have been alternating reading chapters with sorties into James Babb’s “River Music.” The two books are so different in theme and style as to be an odd juxtaposition. Braudy’s

months butchering fish. Regardless of their hatchery source or my altruistic motive for taking them, surely such an incredible harvest was an act of fishing terrorism. The needs of friends and family aside, my dialing-in and repeatedly hammering those fish does not fit my definition of ethical angling. Babb’s image of the cans of chicken parts and mechanically shredded beef and pork blend in my mind into coolers full of red-fleshed salmon. I needed a break from blood: Fortunately, an evening with our local 4-H fishing club helped clear my thoughts. I teach fishing for our 4-H Outdoor Skills Club in the summer. It is hard to believe, but in Juneau, Alaska, where fish seem to be everywhere, at least a third of all kids have never fished. To go beyond the oneday wonders of fishing events and lead kids and parents toward angling avidity, volunteers join agency staff at a different venue each week to teach families to fish. With the salmon coming in, we took the ever-growing club (54 new anglers one week in midSeptember) fishing at Point Louisa,

“The willful summoning up of past styles of cultural behavior as a way of dealing with the present is always with us … (a)sleep in their splendid caves until they are needed.” Leo Braudy, “From Chivalry to Terrorism,” 2003 academic research and reasoning on the origins of the Celtic heroic and its evolution into 21st century terrorism is cleanly crosscut by Babb’s wonderful prose and humorous, fine insights into fishing. The themes and styles are so far apart, I avoided confusion until I read Babb’s chapter “Tales of the Vienna Sausages.” It’s a simple story, about food anglers’ quarry, and a justification for killing a few fish, once in a while, for lunch. My problem is that I spent two

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north of Juneau. The Point Louisa peninsula juts from shore to form a tight, horseshoeshaped bay in front of the old Auk Village. The Auk Tlingit Indians had a fine pebble beach. It had a southern exposure with wondrous views of snow-capped mountains and the sea, and great fishing for thousands of years. The village was abandoned in the 1920s: Now only a single totem pole marks the site. Today, Point Louisa is a public park offering pic-

Flyfisher Autumn 2010 - Winter 2011

nicking, scuba diving and fishing. Recently the father of two new anglers sat in a folding chair above the receding tide, casting pixies. Phillip is not in good health. He is overweight and slow to walk to our outings from his car. But he has learned to love fishing with his sons. Each week he has cast vainly from his lawn chair while the boys attempt to outfish each other nearby. On this evening Phil hooked a sea-run Dolly Varden. It was a good fish, in the mid-teens in length, and it fought hard. His boys rushed eagerly up as I hurried to help him land the char. They had killed fish all summer and now cheered their father on. It was his first fish. Phillip’s drag was initially set too loosely, and the Dolly ran far out and leapt as he attempted to reel it in. When he did bring it to shore, and I scooped it into the net, Phil said, “Wait a minute. Can we let it go?” It was lightly hooked, tired but not exhausted. No blood showed. I said, “Sure.” His boys stood by him, then joined me in the water to watch the Dolly swim away. Phillip said, almost apologetically, “I just wanted to give it back its life.” I need to get my fishing life in order. I want to read “To Know A River” again and spend a couple weeks perfecting the taper for a bamboo trout rod that waited on my bench for final planing and glue all summer. Each stroke of the plane will quiet me, each final scraping of tenthousandths of an inch will take me further back into why I love to fish – back to where catching fish is the least important part of fishing. With any luck, Roderick Haig-Brown will finish the job. Often in October, cutthroat and rainbow trout and Dolly Varden char are in the streams, picking eggs from the pebbles behind spawning salmon. I decided to wait until then to fish again. And for lunch I took a can of Vienna sausages. Jon Lyman from Juneau, Alaska, describes himself as just a trout bum on the lam in ski country with a writing habit.


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Flyfisher magazine Autumn 2010-Winter 2010  

Official magazine of the Federation of Fly Fishers, whose mission is conserving, restoring and educating through fly fishing. The FFF promot...

Flyfisher magazine Autumn 2010-Winter 2010  

Official magazine of the Federation of Fly Fishers, whose mission is conserving, restoring and educating through fly fishing. The FFF promot...

Profile for keokee