Vol 40 No 8
The Monthly Newsletter of the Wyoming Fly Casters
TEN SLEEP HOW SWEET IT IS JOE in ALASKA
I was hoping to have a fantastic funny story of fishing but I haven’t had a chance to get out this month. I do however have a great story of triplets! Yes, triplets!
I recently took a trip to Yellowstone NP with some friends. While there we saw some amazing things, including a pair of bighorn rams, a beautiful bull elk bathing in Yellowstone Lake, and a grizzly sow with three new cubs.
(Ha! You thought I was going to tell you about my friend Erin that has the triplets didn’t you). The bears reminded
me of the news I have heard lately about the introduced lake trout in the park causing declines in the Yellowstone cutthroat, which inturn was causing the declines in the grizzley bear populations, forcing them to turn to alternative food sources (namely the Yellowstone elk herds). The actions of a single individual (or possibly a group of individuals), threw an entire ecosystem into disarray, or partially. There were probably other factors entering into the decline of the Yellowstone Cut. The amount of fishing pressure this population received for many years, combined with the use of baited and barbed hooks, likely contributed to this decline. Long story short, many of the seemingly innocent things we do can have greater ramifications when compounded over years and many anglers. These “lessons” are part of the legacy that anglers should try to pass on to those they teach the sport. These are the legacy clubs like ours should strive to pass on as well. To hit on this point, I have been chatting with Janet Milek from Game and Fish, and we have been chatting about the possibility of reforming the North Platte Emergers. For those of you who may not know, the North Platte Emergers was a “splinter” of the WFC for youth. Anyone interested in teaching our next generation of sport fisherman please continued on page 9
Ten Sleep Outing Reminder The annual weekend camping outing in the Big Horn Mountains adjacent to Ten Sleep Creek is scheduled for the weekend of August 2-4. Matt Stanton and Lee Tschetter are sharing the stream keeper responsibilities again this year. There will be at least one breakfast and one dinner prepared for attendees. If you plan to attend and haven’t signed up already please call Matt at 2589915 so they know how many to prepare food for. To get there: Go North on I-25 to Buffalo, then head West on highway 16 and climb into the Big Horn Mountains. Travel about 50 miles and just past Meadowlark Lake you will turn right at the Deer Haven Lodge. Continue on the dirt road for seven miles, until you are about to cross the west branch of Ten Sleep Creek where you will see Deer Park campground. You can settle either in the campground (for a fee), or in the meadow on the other side of the bridge.
There was some concern about the campground being closed this year, but as of now it remains open to all users. Campground spots are on a first come basis. In general, fishing in the area is good to excellent this time of year. The small streams in the West Ten Sleep lake area are packed with energetic trout and are typically anxious to hit a variety of dry flies. A good selection of flies to bring along might include: Terrestrials (hoppers, beetles and ants), Adams, Renegade and Stimulators. Nymphs including Copper John, Prince and Hares Ear have also been used when the fish aren’t looking up. Historically, attendees have an excellent time and for some this is a must attend outing. Even if you can only make it for one day, camaraderie and hungry fish are a guarantee. Hope to see you there.
Wyoming Fly Casters
What’s inside ... Kelly Kukes, President Lee Tschettert, Vice President Casey Leary, Secretary Matt Stanton, Treasurer BOARD OF DIRECTORS Terms expire in 2014: Spencer Amend, Bob Fischer, Jim Johnson, Chris McAtee Terms expire in 2015: George Axlund, Bian Bayer, Derrick Dietz, Joe Meyer Terms expire in 2016: Cheryl Alexander Lee Wilson The Backcast is the monthly newsletter of the Wyoming Fly Casters, an affiliate club of the Wyoming Council of Trout Unlimited, the Nature Conservancy and the Federation of Fly Fishers. Editorial content does not necessarily reflect the views of the officers, board or members of the Wyoming Fly Casters. Annual dues are $20 for an individual, $30 for a family, or $250 for a lifetime individual membership or $450 for a life- time family membership. Visit the club website at www.wyflycasters.org. To pay dues or contact the club, write to P.O. Box 2881, Casper, WY 82602. The deadline for submission of information for each issue is a week before the end of the month. Make contributions to the next issue by e- mailing material to the Backcast editor at marketingmavenaha@ gmail.com or call (708) 997-2071. The Backcast is available either in electronic format or through USPS snail mail. To receive each newsletter through a monthly e-mail, you must be able to open .pdf (Adobe Acrobat, a software program available free of charge) documents. Usually, each issue is roughly 1 MB in size, some are larger. Your e-mail provider may have limits on the size of attachments. In order to be added to the e-mail list, send a request to marketingmavenaha@ gmail.com. In addition to receiving each issue of the newsletter earlier than your hard copy peers, e-mail subscribers are able to print each copy in vibrant color -- an added plus if the issue is rich in color photographs. By sub- scribing electronically, you also save the club roughly $17.40 a year in printing and postage expenses.
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Ten Sleep Outing How Sweet it is! Joe’s Alaskan Trip Classified Ads
Front Cover Image: Photo by Stephan Gian Dombaj. Feel free to visit Stephans website for some truly remarkable imagery. Thanks to Stephan for allowing the WFC to use this image.
The mission of the Wyoming Fly Casters is to promote and enhance the sport of fly fishing and the conservation of fish and their habitat.
The Wyoming Fly Casters club was formed in 1974. The membership currently consists of approximately 160 members. The WFC was organized by a group of dedicated fly fishermen and since the club’s inception the Wyoming Fly Casters have strived to further the sport of fly fishing through conservation and education. Conservation of our water resources is one of our primary goals and in cooperation with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department we have and will continue to carry out worthwhile projects for the benefit of Wyoming fisheries. In addition to conserving Wyoming’s water resources we encourage conserving the fish themselves. A fish safely released today will live to give sport to others.
For easy access to digital version of newsletter go to: www.wyomingflycasters.org
How Sweet it is! By Peg Novotny
On July 6th, WFC member Kathy Knapp and I joined four other women for the Sweetwater Canyon Women’s Fishing Clinic sponsored by the Wyoming Wilderness Association. Joining us were: Dinah Utah (Casper), Tammy Slater (Casper), Christina Roe (Sheridan), and MJ Peters (Lander). In addition, Jennie Trefen as our WWA representative was terrific and George Hunker our fly fishing guru, superb! This is my second outing with the WWA and I have to say that I haven’t been disappointed. This is a knowledgeable group of dedicated individuals whose concern is to educate those who care about the environment by experiencing as much of it as possible. Several months ago I read about this outing in the WWA newsletter. It sounded like a great trip so I replied immediately. If you’re not familiar with the organization or their newsletter, it’s best to sign up for the trip of your choice just as soon as you can. The trips fill up quickly. As the most important fishery in the Lander Resource Area, the Sweetwater Canyon is a popular fishery for wild brook, brown and rainbow trout. Wyoming Game and Fish Department has classified this fishery as being of regional importance and manages the river for wild fisheries (no stocking). The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality rated these waters as “Class I” -- the highest quality and most important in the state. Prior to the trip, I just assumed that the“Sweetwater” River got it’s name during the 1800’s because the water was ok to drink. But I wanted to know more. So I did a little research. The Sweetwater River got it’s name because of it’s “taste.” Emigrants along the Oregon trail all agreed that the fresh water of the river was indeed, “sweet.” Decades before, the French Trappers of the early 1800’s called it the Eau Sucree, meaning Sugar
Water. Ever since then, the river was known as the Sweetwater River. It provides nourishment for the Sweetwater Valley in what is now Natrona and Fremont Counties. As such, it makes it’s way low and clear through the center of Wyoming and back. Hundreds-of-thousands embarking on a Great Migration would long for the days when the two would meet: the sweet taste of the Sweetwater and the healthy grasslands along it’s banks. They were a welcome oasis along a very long and arduous trail. Now it was time for us to “hit-the-road.” Tammy drove and Kathy and I were her passengers. Our group meeting time and location was 7:45 am at the Hudson/Atlantic City BLM road 2302, 5 miles toward Lander from Sweetwater Station on US 287/ WY 789.
Wyoming Fly Casters
Sweetwater River Valley photo by Peg Novotny
The rest of the group was right on time too. We shuffled occupants until we found comfortably seating and our gear was quickly stowed in two high clearance, 4-wheel drive vehicles. Then we were on our way. Once through the grassland areas the ruts in the road gradually got worse. Being near the emigrant trails brought a realization of how difficult it must have been for those early settlers. No doubt they were really, really tough. Riding in a comfortably cool environment, we could still feel road ruts, hills, bumps and ‘cows.’ Which reminds me, I should mention that we had to drive around a dead cow in the middle-of-the-road. Isn’t that a song title too? Well, I’m from the midwest where there are plenty
of cows, but I’d never seen a dead cow before. On it’s back, with four hooves at attention and pointing straight up into that beautiful blue Wyoming sky. I wondered, did she have a few last words to utter? Back on track we passed the Pony Express trail and the Morman trail. This summer approximately 10,000 young missioners are reenacting the great Mormon migration by pulling wooden carts very similar to what they ancestors used. For this event, a new wooden shelter was built on the trail route as respite for its weary travelers. Driving just a few miles beyond this point, we reached our destination. What began as vast, rolling high desert plateaus were now peaked with rugged continued on page 6
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granite formations rimming the canyon walls. Once we got our fishing equipment pulled together we were ready to descend. The hike down this canyon was much easier than the one into the Powder Canyon. Thank goodness. So we reached a very nice grassy area where we gathered to prepare to fish. Once George completed some fly casting skills with all of us, we couldn’t wait to get in the water. It was so inviting. It was very clear, cool and refreshing. As we worked our way up the river, George would stop by to offer some personalized instruction. George’s instruction to me was rather enlightening. I’ve had some great fishing tips from WFC members and friends but George had some sort of connection with the fish. I know it sounds crazy but it’s true.
Tammy, George, Kathy and MJ at Pony Express marker
George came by and told me how to stay out site from the fish and how to just hold the rod and line out of the water. In other words just dangle the fly on the surface of the water. But then he’d say, ‘wait for it!’ The first time he said that I started to think wait for what? Then BAM, fish on! I didn’t have a clue and no one was more thrilled than I. Of course, he knew it would happen. Ha!
Instruction with Geoge Hunker prior to fishing
George then proceeded to work down river with Kathy, Dinah and Tammy. With 40 years of experience in outdoor sports and adventures, you immediately know he’s a pro. He started his company, Sweetwater Fishing Expeditions in 1997. He leads fishing and camping trips into the Wind River Range which are often called the best fishing in the lower forty-eight. He came to Wyoming from New Mexico when he was in his early 20’s, became a climbing guide with NOLS, the National Outdoor Leadership School known for teaching outdoor skills in some of the continued on page 8
To find out more about what the Wyoming Wilderness Association, please go to: www.wildwyo.org
Wyoming Fly Casters
Highlights The Sweetwater Canyon WSA encompasses 9,056 acres of BLM-administered land without any split estate or private inholdings. The WSA lies along the southeastern flank of the Wind River Range in the high plains desert. The 5,538 acres recommended for wilderness include the core area of the Sweetwater River Canyon, which is roughly 7 miles long and averages 500 feet deep. The inaccessibility of the Sweetwater River means that outstanding opportunities for solitude exist in the dramatic canyon. Rainbow, brown and brook trout inhabit the river and its tributaries, and moose, elk, mule deer and antelope may be found in the area, depending on the time of year. Golden eagles, prairie falcons and ferruginous and red-tailed hawks dot the skies. The river canyon offers opportunities for hiking, backpacking, fishing, hunting, nature study and photography. Of the 9,056-acre WSA, 538 acres have been recommended for wilderness designation in the 1992 report to Congress.
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Sweetwater River most jaw- dropping wilderness locations, and eventually worked his way up to Associate Director. There is much more to George’s story. For more information go to: www.sweetwaterfishing.com. It was great to have such an experienced fly fisherman with us during this trip. I have to thank the Wyoming Wilderness Association for the great people that work on it’s behalf.
Kathy and George
They are great communicators who are very adept at pulling together resources and people who care about the environment. There is no better lesson about the importance of protecting our great outdoors than experiencing it first hand. With the Wyoming Wilderness Association, we have the opportunity to protect additional wild watersheds, intact ecosystems, old growth forests, important wildlife habitat, and wildlife migration corridors wild landscapes that truly deserve lasting protection as Wilderness.
“In the 1970’s and 80’s, the WWA worked hard to educate and train activists, which ultimately resulted in the passage of the Wyoming Wilderness Act of 1984. Tammy
The passage of the Wyoming Wilderness Act brought to all Americans the permanent protection of an additional 1.1 million acres of ecologically diverse, wild country. Currently the wilderness system in Wyoming is roughly three million acres. Five million acres of spectacular forest, desert and plains wild land remain unprotected and vulnerable to development.”
Whether we caught a fish or not, there were no regrets. The weather was perfect and the water refreshed us by graciously offsetting a very hot sun.
Jennie, Dinah, Liz
Thanks to the Wyoming Wilderness Association for another wonderful event.
Wyoming Fly Casters
Colin & Kelly
President’s Letter continued
contact me. I would like to get this started along with the new school year. Our speaker this month is Jolene Martinez from the Platte River Revival. She will be giving us some history of the Platte River and what her club has done over the last 50-60 years. Please plan on attending our WFC Annual BBQ in place of our general meeting in September. We will be enjoying burgers supplied by the club and bring a side or dessert to share. Happy Fishing!
It will be in the park next to the Izack Walton League building.
A thank you to all WFC Members I’d like to thank the members of the Wyoming Fly Casters for allowing me to design, write, edit and photograph the past eighteen monthly issues of the newsletter.
It has been a priviledge to be a member of the WFC and I want to thank everyone who has taken the time to provide me with much needed fishing instruction.
This Fall I’ll be going back to school to complete my certification in GIS, Geographic Information Systems.
You have all been very patient and kind.
I’ll be taking three night classes, working part time (30+ hours) and continuing to do some freelance work ... if I can fit it in!
It seems that the time I’ll have to fish this fall will be rather limited but I do plan to get out there! Any and all information on what will be going on with the Wyo-
ming Fly Casters from September on, will be available on our website. www.wyoflycasters.org There is also our Facebook page. If you haven’t visited either, please make an effort to do so. It isn’t difficult and this is a great way for everyone to stay informed. Anyone can add a post an upcoming event so you should be able to stay well connected. Communication is the key!
Just for the Halibut, Joe Meyer fishes Alaska! Here’s a couple of images from Joe Meyer’s recent trip to Alaska.
Wyoming Fly Casters
JAMIE LANG Sculptor
Large selection of framed, signed and numbered Vivi Crandall and Terry Redlin prints (contact me for names/prices) COLMAN FLEETWOOD COLONIAL POPUP CAMPER
INDOOR DRIFT BOAT STORAGE on the river $50/month or $500/year.
Scott Novotny email@example.com 307-315-3534 http://www.roadslesstraveled.
See your ad here! Just send in your ad information and any picture you have to accompany it and we’ll run it for you!
Men’s Chacos Z/1 Sandal. Size 13. “Matrix color” New in box $45 OBO Matt Stanton 307-258-9915
ZACH EVEN Artist & Outdoorsman Lander, WY
Outdoor storage $40/month.
Call Clarke 307-262-3306
SST Jacket XXL $300.00 2011 model NIB; SST Jacket women’s older style XL $125.00 NIB SST Jacket Small; older style used $50.00
PHONE 307.332.0210 EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
Scott Novotny 307-315-3534
The Backcast Newsletter www.flycasters.org
Ten Sleep Event
General Meeting Izaak Walton Lodge 7 pm
WFC BBQ at Izaak Walton 6:30 pm
Board Meeting Izaak Walton Lodge 7 pm