Fly Fishing 2011 Round Up

A poke full of newsy nuggets from around the Northern Rockies for anglers


Letter from the Editor: Signs of Summer

The first sign of summer isn’t marked by birdsong

Letter from the Editor: Fly Fishing for the Greater Good

No one was sharing the secret

Written by Seabring Davis  

Seabring Davis

Other Contributions

Timeless Fusion Mountain Tradition A Modern Vision Summer Camp Perfect Harmony Winter Getaway: Red Lodge, Montana Beyond the Cabin A Fine Balance Good Country Authentically Western A Home for the Ages Where the Living is Easy Music in the Mountains The Flight of the Hummingbird Living the Dream Integrating Nature Mountain Exposure Eclectic Parkitecture Uniting Color Historic Symmetry The Year Of The Horse A Yellowstone Club Retreat Hearth and Soul Building a Timeless Legacy An Uncommon Cabin in the Woods Letter from the Editor: I Know Where the Fish Are Letter from the Editor: Big Sky Country Letter from the Editor: Forging Ahead Dining Out: Barn Dance Letter from the Editor: Like an Open Road Letter from the Editor: The Language of Fishing Letter from the Editor: Cast Again Editor’s Letter: The Passing Season Dining Out: Saffron Table Dining Out: Lone Mountain Ranch Serves Up a Sense of Place Western Design: Uniquely Rustic Western Design: JLF & Associates Letter from the Editor: Season of Possibility Dining Out: A Montana Tradition, Chico Hot Springs Letter from the Editor: Design Trends Dining Out: The Ranch at Rock Creek Redefines Montana Cuisine Dining Out: Seasonal Bliss Western Design: Refined Rustic Letter from the Editor: Winter Wave Letter from the Editor: Blending Seasons Western Design: A New Mountain Lodge Western Design: Historic Haven Western Design: In the Studio with the Viers Western Focus: Classic Connection: Miller Architects Western Design: Reviving the Barn From the Editor: Seasons of Simplicity Dining Out: Innovation Meets Tradition at Bisl Letter from the Editor: What is art? Dining Out: Holland Lake Lodge, Rustic Wonderful Letter from the Editor: The Secret Weapon Letter from the Editor: Fly Fishing for the Greater Good Western Design: Mountain Zen Western Design: Creekside Contemporary Living Big Sky on HGTV The Spirit of the West in Jackson, Wyoming Letter from the Editor: First Snow Dining Out: The Old Hotel Letter from the Editor: Signs of Summer Letter from the Editor: The Angler’s Sojourn Dining Out: Simply Good Food From the Editor: Hit the Road Making a Statement: Miller Architects Letter from the Editor: Winter’s Toll Letter from the Editor: Evolving Home Dining Out: Comfort Food Western Design: Cowboy Modern Western Design: The Idaho Club Letter from the Editor: Talking Art Dining Out: Conserving Montana One Table at a Time Dining Out: Cosmopolitan Cuisine at TEN Dining Out: Ranch to Restaurant Letter from the Editor: Waiting for Summer Letter from the Editor: Arts Economy Letter from the Editor: First Frost Letter from the Editor: Why Art? Letter from the Editor: Up Close and Personal Letter from the Editor: A Tradition of Talent Letter from the Editor: Winter Reflection Dining Out: The Taste of Whitefish Letter from the Editor: How Big is Your Bucket Letter from the Editor: Falling Short Western Design: Rustic Allure Dining Out: Fish Food Western Design: In the Studio with Painter Hugh Wilson Western Design: Home Base From the Editor Dining Out: Tradition, with a Twist Letter from the Editor: Staying Power
March 2011

When I was a cocky teenager in Casper, Wyoming, no one ever talked about fly fishing on the North Platte River. For a time I lived across the street from said river, on a bend that carved deeply into the hillside just above historic Fort Caspar. It was a stretch between the K Mart and the boomtown’s two remaining oil and gas refineries. The river was not pretty here; it was muddy year-round and littered with snags of trash blown by Casper’s notorious wind. The rip-rap made it treacherous for swimming or floating and if there were any fish besides carp that thrived here, no one was sharing the secret.

Yet, today Casper’s North Platte is heralded by fly fishers. American Angler Magazine declared it the #1 big fish destination in the world, albeit the Grey Reef section, not the town stretch; and last year Sport’s Illustrated listed Casper as one of the top recreation towns in America. What was once the dirty town section of the North Platte has now been cleaned up thanks to a remedy agreement between BP Amoco and the State of Wyoming. By 2005, the cleanup transformed the former Standard Oil refinery site into 350 acres of business park and recreational property which includes an 18-hole golf course, whitewater kayak course, a 250-acre industrial park and a 2,000 acre wildlife refuge, along with fishing access sites. The project is known as the Platte River Commons and is a community effort that has transformed Casper from “oil town” to a more diverse economy based on a higher quality of life.

That’s just one example of how the power of recreation can influence positive changes for a broad spectrum of users. But even in the wide world of sports, there are few pursuits with as great a reach into private and public interests as fly fishing. The residual efforts of anglers and landowners consistently result in a contribution for the greater good that spans generations and establishes priorities for clean water and land preservation for the future. This annual Fly Fishing Issue punctuates the way a sporting interest can result in such wide-reaching benefits.

Historically, the Northern Rockies, Montana in particular, has had a strong legislative voice regarding clean water. Read Images of the West to learn how one spring creek in Lewistown inspired The Streambed and Land Preservation Act of 1975. In “Under the Sheltering Pine,” Jeff Erickson writes about collaborative efforts on Montana’s Fish Creek between entities seemingly on different ends of the spectrum — from timber industry giant Plum Creek to The Nature Conservancy — that resulted in the preservation of a premier fishery. In Local Knowledge, we profile the heroes of O’Dell Creek, a fifth-generation ranching family that restored a tributary of the Madison River with remarkable impacts on wildlife, wetlands and spawning habitat.

While these articles highlight some impressive conservation efforts in our region, the rest of the issue errs on the lighter side, never fear. Look for humorous insights from Greg Keeler, Toby Thompson and Julie Lue. Travel down memory lane to Idaho’s Silver Creek with Ernest Beyl and read Outside for Greg Thomas’ exploits to find the biggest brook trout in Wyoming. I hope the issue will inspire your own adventures.