West Denver Trout Unlimited


January 13, 2019

Our Tyers

by: Cy Ball

Table 3

Sue’s first exposure to fly tying was when she was about 8 years old, after she attended a sportsman’s expo in Phoenix. She watched a young man tying flies and thought, “I want to do that!” After moving to Denver, she enrolled in a fly fishing class taught by Dick Reeves, the founder of Front Range Anglers in Boulder. Within the past ten years, the woven hair hackle flies of George Grant have captured her heart. Though they are not fished much anymore, Sue enjoys teaching the history behind these flies and the unique techniques involved.
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Table 38

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.
Links: www.anglersall.com @BenCoFisherMan
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James (Jimbo)
Table 4

Jimbo has been tying flies since about 1969. He worked at The Colorado Angler for over 20 years teaching fly tying, fly fishing school, and guiding. Jimbo has been tying at the Fly Tying Clinic for over 30 years and looks forward to it each year.
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Table 26

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.
Links: bigtroutjoe@yahoo.com www.joebutlerfishing.com
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Table 20

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.
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Table 24

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.
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Table 31

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. Links: www.charliesflyboxinc.com www.facebook.com/charliesflybox/
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de Gala
Table 36

Herman de Gala 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.
Links: www.facebook.com/flytyingclips/ flytyingclips.com/
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Table 37

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.
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Table 8

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?
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Table 7

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.
Links: www.bearcreekflyfishingcompany.com
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Table 5

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.
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Table 9

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.
Links: sammysflyshop.com www.facebook.com/sammysflyshop/ Email: booktrips@sammysflyshop.com
Mobile: 303-888-6052
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Table 10

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.”
Links: sammysflyshop.com www.facebook.com/sammysflyshop/ Email: booktrips@sammysflyshop.com
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Table 12

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.
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Table 50

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.
Links: www.timjacobsflyfishing.com
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Table 33

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.
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Table 19

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.
Links: Instagram, @johnkeefoverflyfishing
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Table 13

Bill started out fly fishing in rural Missouri in farm pond and lakes for bluegill and bass. After moving to Colorado his interest turned to trout fishing and in 1994 he discovered the wonderful world of fly tying. When he is not fishing he can be found teaching classes (Fly Tying and Introduction to Fly Fishing), guiding and doing tying demos for The Peak Fly Shop in Colorado Springs, Co.
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Table 17

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. Links: www.rockymountainflydesign.com
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Table 49

As a Chicago Native, Kevin Le began his fly-fishing career in the Great Lakes and its tributaries. Later he grew his love of the sport by exploring the Driftless region of Wisconsin and Iowa. Kevin is now the fly tying manager and guide at Arbor Anglers in Golden, Colorado. When he is not busy chasing trout he enjoys long sandy walks, umbrella drinks, and bumpy panga rides. Links: www.arboranglers.com
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Table 28

Lauren is a 17 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.
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Table 34

Steve is a native Coloradoan who grew up with an extreme outdoorsman father and learned to hunt and fish at a young age. A best friend in North Carolina introduced Steve to bass fishing and he fell in love with it. Steve has competed on the Budlight and Bass Champs Team and fished in Alaska, Argentina, Belize, Canada, Mexico, and all over the U.S. Saltwater fishing is one of his favorite things, second only to big bass fishing with giant streamers.
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Table 22

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. Links: www.landonmayer.com/
www.facebook.com/LandonMayerFlyFishing/ @landonmayerflyfishing on Instagram
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David Lee
Table 23

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!
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Table 18

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”.
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Table 25

Graham has been a professional fly fishing guide for the last seven years. His addiction to fishing started when he was two, and fly fishing entered his life when he was sixteen. Graham has a passion for teaching, and hopes others can find the same enjoyment in fly fishing that he has. Graham is well-known for his practice of tenkara. Tenkara is an ancient Japanese style of fly fishing using a collapsible rod with no reel and a fixed length of line. His nickname, Tenkara Grasshopper, or Grasshopper, comes from his position as Head Blogger and President of theGrasshopper website: https://gearcoloradoflyfishing.com/
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Table 15

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. 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, to the Mountain west.
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Table 40

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! Links:
vincent.pachelli@gmail.com www.goldenriversports.net www.thegoldengames.com
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Table 41

Dan grew up in Golden and started fly fishing in 1992. He has fished extensively in Colorado and Wyoming. Dan runs the Fishing Buddies program for the West Denver TU 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. Links: danpassrealestate@gmail.com www.tworiversinnwy.com
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Table 42

Kassen grew up in Golden. She learned to fish at a nearby lake with her dad. Her first fish ever was a bluegill!Kassen’s dad brought her into fly tying when she was young. She liked to play with the feathers so Dad decided to teach her how to tie flies. She started out with San Juan worms and eggs and she just kept learning. Kassen loves to teach other kids fly tying and hopes they will stop by her table and say “Hi!” Kassen’s message to other kids – “Just remember to follow your passion and you could end up like me – smart, happy, and awesome!”
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Table 39

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.
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Table 43

Richard specializes in tying flies for and fishing high mountain lakes in Colorado. He does many fly tying demonstrations at events like The Fly Fishing Show and at fly tying clinics at many Denver area fly shops and TU and FFF chapters. He is currently a member of the Regal Engineering and Wasatch Angling Pro Staffs. Richard and his fly patterns have been featured in books by Gary LaFontaine, Pat Dorsey, Marty Bartholomew, and Jim Schollmeyer and also in Southwest Fly Fishing.
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Table 1

Juan has been hooked on fishing since he first held a rod in the 4th grade. He earned his nickname after creating the Hopper Juan in 2007. His favorite rivers are the Arkansas and the South Platte. Juan teaches fly tying and guides for Anglers Covey in Colorado Springs. He is a member of the design team with Montana Fly Company, on the Pro staff of Regal Vises and on the Pro Staff of Deer Creek Flies based in the UK. Links: Instagram: Hopperjuan_fly_fishing https://www.facebook.com/hopperjuan
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Table 35

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 writes regularly for in Fly Fusion and Fly Tyer and Hatches magazines. Al is a pro-team member with Whiting Farms, PEAK Fishing, Performance Flies, Partridge Hooks, Semperfli and Loop USA. Links: Facebook – Al Ritt Flies, Instagram – ARFlies, www.alrittflies.com
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Table 27

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 Chapter of Trout Unlimited, and has been on the staff of the CTU’s Youth Conservation & Fly Fishing Camp since 2007. Links: rashinton@gmail.com
Laughing Grizzly Fly Shop 303-772-9110
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Table 32

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.
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Table 29

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.
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Table 11

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 titled The Fly Tying Artist, Creative Patterns for Common Hatches. Many of his flies, illustrations and articles were featured in Fly Fisherman Magazine. He is an 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”.
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Table 30

Son is a First Sergeant in the US Army. He was first introduced to tying by a Korean War vet as a way to deal with post-traumatic stress. Son is a history nerd, and finds the stories behind the flies as interesting as fly fishing itself. He is an award winning tyer and is a member of Whiting Farms, Regal Vise, Semperfli, Solarez and Moonlit Pro Teams. He is also an ambassador for Simms Fishing. You can check out Son Tao’s gallery of work at www.instagram.com/son_tao
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Table 46

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. Charles looks for size, behavior, silhouette and color. He rarely, if ever, uses flash materials, foam rubber, beads, rubber legs, etc., preferring to use natural materials.
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Table 2

Tom specializes in deer hair flies for both trout and bass, demonstrating fly tying at several national and regional shows as well as local fly shops along Colorado’s Front Range. In addition to tying demonstrations, he has published fly fishing photography in The Fly Fish Journal, “The Best Bass Flies”, Southwest Fly Fishing and MidCurrent. Tom is a FFF Certified Casting Instructor.
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