West Denver Trout Unlimited


December 8, 2017

Fly Tyers for the 2018 Fly Tying Clinic

by: Cy Ball

A preview of the many tyers

that will participate in this event.

Ben Baxter

Ben is a third generation Colorado native. He works at Anglers All fly shop and has been there for about two and a half years. He has been attending the Fly Tying Clinic for about eight years, and he is happy to have the opportunity to give back to the organization. He has learned so much about tying from the Clinic, being on both sides of the table. He will be tying the Dolly “Dali” Lama streamer.


James (Jimbo) Busse

I’ve been tying flies since about 1969, Worked at a fly shop (The Colorado Angler) for over 20 years teaching fly tying, fly fishing school, and guiding. Have been tying at the WDTU clinic for over 30 years and always look forward to it each year.

Joe Butler

Joe has been a guide and instructor in the state of Colorado for the past 30 years. Known as “Big Trout Joe,” he has held several world records for large fish caught on fly rods. Joe is an accomplished author of several books, including “Big Trout on Flies.”

Joe has been featured on Colorado Outdoors and The Fishing Hole. He is a featured speaker at the International Sportsmen’s Expo. Joe currently hosts guided fishing trips in Colorado, Wyoming, Alaska and New York, and teaches fly-casting and fly tying throughout the year.


Kerry Caraghar

Kerry Caraghar was born in Colorado where his family has lived since the mid 1800’s. His love affair with fly-fishing began at an early age when he learned to fish on the beaver ponds of Buffalo Creek. It came as no surprise to Kerry’s parents when he announced his dream of one day becoming a professional fly fisherman. Kerry has significant experience fly fishing across the Rocky Mountain west and he enjoys salt water fishing with a fly rod. Ireland, the home of his ancestors, remains Kerry’s favorite destination for fly fishing. He currently teaches and guides at the Blue Quill Angler in Evergreen.

Nancy Cloos

Nancy’s childhood fascination with insects led her to where she is today. A natural artist, nothing intrigued her more than the incredible variety of insects of our natural world. Fly tying has given Nancy a chance to capture those insects in a variety of materials, fiber, fabric, beads, tinsel, fur and feathers. Nancy has tied flies at Orvis, Bass Pro Shops, and the ISE. She volunteers with Project Healing Waters and the Annual Kids’ Fishing Frenzy at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal.

Charlie Craven

Charlie owns Charlie’s Fly Box in Olde Town Arvada. He’s a long time Umpqua Feather Merchants Signature Tyer and the author of three fly tying books; Charlie Craven’s Basic Fly Tying, Charlie’s Fly Box and his latest, Tying Nymphs. His numerous signature patterns include such favorites as the Jujubee Midge, Jujubaetis, Two Bit Hooker and Double Gonga.


Herman deGala

Herman deGala is a Signature Fly Designer for Umpqua Feather Merchants. He developed the highly successful site flytyingclips.com. His video tutorials appear on the YouTube fly tying channel, InTheRiffle. His flies have appeared in books and magazines like Fly Fisherman, Fly Fishing and Tying Journal, Swing the Fly and Fly Fusion. He regularly appears at local fly shops and TU Chapters.


Pat Dorsey

A Colorado native, Pat has been guiding and fly tying for over 25 years. He spends approximately two hundred days a year on the water. Pat has authored several books, including the definitive work, A Fly Fishing Guide to the South Platte River. He is an accomplished fly tyer, and has invented many famous patterns, including the Mercury midge and the Black Beauty. Pat co-owns the Blue Quill Angler.

Instagram: pat dorsey fly fishing

Greg Garcia

At age ten Greg vacationed in Colorado, fell in love with the mountains, and knew it would be his future home. He is a self-confessed trout nerd, interested in everything associated with fly fishing. Recently Greg has become obsessed with steelhead, and fishing with a two handed rod. Also, on occasion you will find him casting to tailing bonefish. Greg is an Umpqua Signature Tier, a Scientific Anglers pro staffer, and the Manager of Angler’s All.

Bob Getz

Bob has lived in Colorado almost 32 years. He grew up in California fishing the Sacramento River Delta with his dad. After college, his father-in-law got him started fly tying before he had a rod. Consequently, Bob has a rather comprehensive library and a room dedicated to all things fly fishing. Currently, he is a fly fishing outfitter at Cabela’s as well as the Cabela’s Santa. Bob will be teaching fly tying and fly fishing in the Spring. What better way to cap off a career as a Rocket Scientist?

Peter Giffin

Peter has been fly fishing and tying for over 40 years. He learned by watching Betty Mallara tie at Bob’s Tackle Shop. He attended workshops with Syl Nemes and Alex Jackson, which fostered his interest in spiders and soft hackles. He has tied commercially, taught fly tying, and been an Orvis-endorsed guide. Peter currently lives in Ashland, Oregon, but he loves to have the excuse for tying at the Clinic which gives him a chance to reconnect with Colorado friends. He will be tying Yorkshire inspired spider flies.

Pat Higgins

Pat Higgins has been a fly fishing guide and instructor for 20 years. His currently provides one on one private lessons to help the novice fly angler get the right start in the sport. With his business, Bear Creek Flyfishing Company, he is Head Production Wrapper for SaraBella Fishing, LLC. Pat is also Project Healing Waters/Denver Chapter’s Rod Building Program Lead/Instructor. He has been fly fishing and tying for over fifty years and loves to share his experiences with other fly anglers.


Roger Hill

Roger grew up in the wilds of Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he learned to fish the creeks of the nearby Ozarks for smallmouth bass. After moving to Colorado, as an outdoors person who loved doing things the hard way, he took up fly fishing. Roger says that any fly fisher with an ego as big as his will think he can teach others to fly fish better than anyone else, and thus will write a book about it and get invited to run around the state posing as an expert. Roger cordially invites to come to his table and see firsthand the results on an ego run riot.

Gary Hoag

Gary G. Hoag, Ph.D., enjoys catch and release fly fishing across the USA and around the world with his son, Sammy. When Gary’s not doing his day job which, in biblical terms, is fishing for men as an author and professor, he serves as business manager and fly fishing guide for his son’s outfitting business, Sammy’s Fly Shop. Gary is a member of Trout Unlimited, Fly Fishers International, and Pheasants Forever.

Cell: 303-888-6052

Sammy Hoag

Sammy said, “I began my fly fishing journey at the age of 8 and, now that I am 21, I continue to grow and develop in my knowledge of the sport. Over the years my father and I have been privileged to fly fish together in 14 states and 12 countries, landing 67 different species of fish. I have taught people of all ages, from 8 to 86, with success. Sharing the wonderful experience of fly fishing has been one of my favorite things.”


Phil Iwane

Phil says he is artistic by nature, and views each fly he ties as a piece of art. He has tied hundreds of patterns but now has narrowed it down to flies that catch fish. Umpqua has selected his Iwan-e-Dun extended body mayfly series, and he will be demonstrating how to tie them. He will be also sharing other very successful patterns.

Phil has tied at The Fly Fishing Show, International Sportsmen’s Expo, Orvis Events, Fly Fishing Rendezvous, St. Vrain Anglers TU Fly Tying Expo as well as at many of the fly shops in Colorado.

Tim Jacobs

Tim is a native of Michigan. He resides in the Roaring Fork Valley, and is an instructor at the Michigan Youth Trout Camp and for Project Healing Waters in Colorado. Tim is a Federation of Fly Fishers certified casting instructor. He has guided in the Steamboat Springs area and the Roaring Fork Valley. Tim is also a demonstration fly tyer for the Whiting Farms Pro Team and Regal Vise Pro Staff.

Stephen Johnson

Stephen has been tying for more than thirty years. Some of his favorites are North Country flies (sometimes called spiders or soft hackles) and Puglisi-style saltwater flies. Soft hackles consist of minimal materials and look easy to tie. However, the challenge for the tyer is using the right material in the correct amount in the appropriate place. The Puglisi-style flies are fairly intricate and time consuming, but the finished product is worth the effort.

John Keefover

John has been a fly fishing guide for The Blue Quill Angler since 2005. He spends over 200 days a year guiding and fishing on Colorado rivers. John is a Colorado native, and has been fishing along the South Platte, and tying flies for selective trout, since the age of 14. He likes to joke that he was educated at Decker’s College, got his Masters at the Dream Stream Institute, and his Ph.D. at the University of Cheesman Canyon.

Instagram, @johnkeefoverflyfishing

Chris Kreuger

Chris owns and operates Rocky Mountain Fly Design, and is a signature designer with Montana Fly Company. He began tying commercially at age 14. Now a teacher by day and fly tier by night, Chris spends much of the year working with youth, teaching fly tying, demonstrating at shops and fly shows, tying commercially, and spending time on the water. Chris loves throwing articulated streamers for large predatory trout. He is a pro team member with Regal Engineering, Whiting Farms, and a signature designer with Montana Fly Company.


Lauren Lehigh

Lauren is a 16 year old who started tying at the age of 9. She has tied at the Fly Fishing Show, the ISE, and been a demonstrator for the Clinic for several years. She enjoys fishing the lakes in Red Feather and catching fish on the patterns she ties. She has traveled to Sanibel Island, Florida, catching trout, snook, and cobia. Lauren has helped out with a Project Healing Waters outing for several years in Red Feather. When not fishing, you can find her on the golf course, where she is a plus handicap and the 2017 4A State Champion. She is currently being recruited to play D1 Women’s Golf and has travelled nationally for many tournaments.

Landon Mayer

Landon’s success is fueled by an addiction to pursuing large trout with small flies and lightweight fly-fishing equipment. He enthusiastically teaches and demonstrates his techniques and on-river knowledge to fellow anglers, and has developed innovative strategies for sighting, hooking, and landing selective trout. Landon shares these tips and secrets in his books 101 Trout Tips: A Guide’s Secrets, Tactics and Techniques, Colorado’s Best Fly Fishing, Sight Fishing for Trout, and How to Catch the Biggest Trout of Your Life, in addition to two DVDs: Landing the Trout of Your Life and Weapons of Bass Production.



@landonmayerflyfishing on Instagram

David McElwain

David grew up fishing farm ponds in Missouri. He has guided for Bass Pro, and is a Master Dresser in the International Fly Dressers Guild. He teaches Fly Fishing Basics to over 800 students yearly for Bass Pro. He has published two books. He currently is a part of Sara Bella Fishing’s rod building team, and ties flies by request. He is happy to fish whenever he wants!

Michael McFarland

Michael’s passion for fly fishing started shortly after a day trip to Rocky Mountain National Park that quickly turned this historically saltwater angler into someone that has made high altitude fly fishing part of his daily life. As part of that journey, he became exposed to Tenkara and has really embraced the idea of mixing both western techniques and the traditional standards of Japanese fly fishing. Michael ties for NoCo Fly Fishing . He has demonstrated fly tying techniques for WDTU, the ISE and Healing Waters, among others.

Mark McMillan

Mark has been fly fishing and tying since the late 1970’s. A self-taught tier, he has become known for his inventive use and incorporation of common and not-so-common materials into flies of his own design. He has been a demonstration tier and instructor at various fly shops, fund raisers, and fly fishing and tying shows in Colorado since 2002. His patterns are effective for trout, bass, wiper, and carp, and his strong interest in carp fishing has led him to build a shallow water carp fishing boat, complete with a poling platform, for pursuing his beloved “golden bones”.

Walt Mueller

Walt Mueller, Jr., aka “The Otter” (always in the water and usually catching fish), has been an avid fly tier and fisherman for over 60 years and resides in Centennial, Colorado. He has the distinction of developing and marketing the original “Soft Milking Egg”® fly patterns to the industry over 15 years ago. While he initially developed these realistic and deadly milking egg patterns for the Great Lakes steelhead areas that he fishes, they have also proven to be exceptional flies for all the cold water fish species, from Alaska, Canada, the Pacific North west, Mountain west, Great Lakes, and other world areas for all steelhead, salmon, and trout species. In his presentation, you will see how to tie his seven different sizes of “Soft Milking Egg”® fly patterns in many of his 20 different translucent and opaque egg colors. As a bonus, he now has a new pattern called his “Soft Milking Embryo Egg” that uses different bead colors inside the egg, making for the most realistic fly pattern on the market today. As another first, he now can show you how to “peg” your Otter Eggs, Alaska Style, also with a small bead making a “Pegged Embryo Otter Egg” pattern that is so-o-o realistic!

Loran Navarro

Loran is 16 and she has been fly tying for four years. She started through the Colorado Youth Outdoors program with Mary Ainslie. She first attended the Fly Tying Clinic in 2015, and met Scott Stisser, who took Loran under his wing and into the Cotinga Club. Loran has been tying classic flies ever since. In her spare time, Loran started taxidermy two years ago. She is now under the apprenticeship of Shane Smith, a past world champion bird taxidermist.

Vinny Pachelli

Vinny started tying flies at the young age of 12. After over 2 decades of instruction and guiding, he still enjoys sitting behind the vice conjuring up new ways of getting strikes on the end of the line. As a father, husband, and outdoor enthusiast, Vinny relishes seeing his family grow into great stewards for ethical fishing, hunting, and conservation. Vinny always looks forward to the West Denver Fly Tying Clinic, and he can’t wait to see you all!

Dan and Kassen Pass

Dan grew up in Golden and started fly fishing in 1992. He has fished extensively in Colorado and Wyoming. His daughter Kaasen is an avid fly tyer, and teaches fly tying to other kids. Dan runs the Fishing Buddies program for the West Denver Chapter. He takes people fishing who are new or newer to the sport and helps them learn the basics of fly fishing, catch and release, and conservation.


Eric Pettine

Eric Pettine has been fly fishing for 70 years this coming May 1st. He did his first guide trip in 1962 and was a part-time guide until two years ago. He began tying flies in 1960 while at the University of Colorado. Hank Roberts at the Western Angler was his mentor.
Eric currently designs flies for Umpqua Feather Merchants. He has written two books on fly fishing and articles in many of the fly fishing magazines. He was featured in six videos on fly fishing for Chevy Trucks advertising.
Eric works with the International Sportmen’s Expo doing fly tying demos and fly fishing programs.

Bob Reece

Bob Reece is a full time Jr. High Science teacher and coach in Cheyenne, Wyoming. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and a Master’s Degree in Natural Sciences. Bob runs a fly fishing club for 7th and 8th grade students. He also works with the Cheyenne branch of Project Healing Waters. During his summers he runs his own guide operation on the private waters of Horse Creek Ranch in southeast Wyoming. He writes articles for Fly Fusion Magazine and posts for Gink & Gasoline. He is a Signature Fly Designer for Umpqua Feather Merchants.


Al Ritt

Al Ritt and his wife Diana own and operate Al Ritt Flies. Al is a fly tying instructor and a destination travel host. He is Brand Manager for PEAK Fishing, a maker of premium quality fly tying vises. Al wrote the book 25 Best Most Versatile Flies (Stonefly Press). He is the fly tying editor for Fly Fusion Magazine, and his articles regularly appear in Fly Fusion, Fly Fishing and Tying Journal, Fly Tyer and Hatches magazines.
Al is a pro-team member with Whiting Farms, Pro Sportfisher, Performance Flies, Partridge Hooks, Semperfli and Loop USA.www.alrittflies.com

Peter Ryan

Peter grew up spin fishing the lakes and streams of New England. He moved to Colorado in 1993 and has been fly fishing ever since. For Peter, fly-fishing is a nonstop pursuit. His greatest reward is fooling a selective trout on an original fly imitation, often tied the night before. His love for fly fishing is matched only by his passion for sharing his knowledge and experiences with others. His original fly patterns have become staples for Colorado anglers. Peter guides for the Blue Quill Angler.

Steve Schweitzer

Steve was born and raised in Ohio. At age 7, his grandfather taught him the craft of lure-making and he was hooked ever since. He enjoys backpacking, hiking and writing about fly fishing and fly tying. Steve is author of “A Fly Fishing Guide To Rocky Mountain National Park”, and co-authored, “A Fly Fishing Guide to Colorado’s Indian Peaks Wilderness Area” with Mike Kruise. His latest book, “Designing Poppers, Sliders and Divers” is the most comprehensive manual ever written on top water fly lure making. Steve resides in Northern Colorado.


Dick Shinton

Dick guides for the Laughing Grizzly Fly Shop in Longmont. His “office” is Rocky Mountain National Park, where he introduces clients to the joys of fishing for wild trout in small streams and high lakes. Dick specializes in simple fly patterns that catch fish. His fly patterns have been featured in books by Steve Schweitzer, Rick Takahashi and Pat Dorsey. He founded a Kids Learn to Fly Fish program as the Youth Education Chair of St. Vrain Anglers, and has been on the staff of the CTU’s Youth Conservation & Fly Fishing Camp since 2007.

Laughing Grizzly Fly Shop 303-772-9110

Dave Student

Dave has been a “fly junkie” his entire life. He loves tying, fishing and just appreciating flies. The art has allowed him to make friends and a living for over 40 years. His current position is Fly Specialist for Umpqua. This comes after almost 40 years as a commercial fly tier. He has tied for A.K. Best, Anglers All and Front Range Anglers, and nationally for Florida Keys Outfitters, Yellowstone Anglers and Henry’s Fork Anglers. Dave considers saltwater flats flies to be his passion and specialty.

Kiefer Stumpp

Kiefer is a senior at Standley Lake High School in Westminster. He’s been fly fishing since he was 9, tying since he was 10, and couldn’t really ask for a better place to learn! Over the years, Kiefer has evolved from a kid who likes to fish to someone that has competed with the US Youth fly fishing team and a Team USA regional or two. If it swims in Colorado, chances are he’s either caught it or it’s on the short list of things to land.

Rick Takahashi

Rick Takahashi is an author, artist, demonstration fly tier illustrator, and presenter of fly-fishing programs based on his books. Modern Midges and Modern Terrestrials, his newest book, is based on patterns he has designed and flies he likes to ties. Many of his flies, illustrations and articles were featured in Fly Fisherman Magazine. He is a Umpqua Feather Merchants Signature Fly Designer. Rick enjoys bringing fly fishing and fly tying to others, he ties flies every day for the pure joy of creating, “I’m one of those guys who enjoys tying flies as much as fishing them”.

Charles Vestal

Charlie Vestal has been tying trout flies for nearly 7 decades. He specializes in tying small trout flies and in revisiting historic patterns. Principally a dry fly fisherman, he also fishes classic wet flies and soft hackles. Charles is also active in a small group of individuals who dress reproductions of Classic Atlantic Salmon Flies. He has an extensive collection of books (mid 1800 – present), materials and hooks. He dyes his own materials using the methods presented in 1855 and makes his own hooks.

Jonathon Walter

Jonathan Walter moved to Colorado in 1988, and has been an avid fly fisherman ever since. He became a Fly Fishers International Certified Casting Instructor in 2004 and then obtained Master Certified Instructor status in 2013. Jonathan is a long time member of the Colorado Mountain Club and High Plains Drifters, a local FFI Club. He is the owner and founder of Clear Creek Fly Casting, LLC and offers private and group instruction tailored to individual needs.


Frank Whispell

Frank Whispell was born on the West Coast in Oregon and grew up in California. He has been fishing all of his adolescent life as well as his adulthood. He moved to Colorado back in the 1980’s and has been fly fishing ever since! He is currently a signature fly designer for Umpqua Feather Merchants, does annual demonstration fly tying at the Fly Fishing Show and the International Sportsman’s Expo (ISE) as well as other demo fly tying at various fly shops on occasion. He also hosts fly fishing trips to various areas of Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington and Alaska.

Matt Winkler

Matt was raised on a lake in the woods of northern New Jersey. Depending on the season, he might be throwing streamers in moving water, sight fishing shallow mud flats for big carp, or hunting stillwaters for oversized trout. In recent years he has taken up salt water fly fishing. He is a signature fly designer for Umpqua Feather Merchants and ties small scale custom fly orders. Matt demonstrates fly tying at shops throughout the region, and at several events each year, including Bass Pro Shops, The Fly Fishing Show, and the Fly Fishing Rendezvous.