Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Breakfast With Lee Clark

It was Thursday, my first day of the IFFF Fair in Bend, Oregon.  There was a busy rush for everyone to eat breakfast and get over to the hall to start the days activities.  When I hit the breakfast buffet it was as if everyone of us from the IFFF fair had converged at almost the same time and overwhelmed this breakfast and the staff that was trying to keep up with the demand for the food.  I went through the offerings and found what I needed to begin breakfast and was lucky enough to find a table that had just been vacated.  After about two bites I noticed a couple looking about for a table and being by myself I invited them to join me.  After all the entire room was filled with fly fishing people so we surely had something in common.

It turned out to be Lee Clark and Betty, his wife.  Now I had a chance to learn something.  Lee was generous with his story of how the Clark’s Stonefly evolved and went on to become a standard.  He explained that once he developed a fly that would float well and also catch fish he wanted to share the joy.  He tied a lot of new Clark’s Stoneflys and then gave them away to his fellow anglers when he was out on the river.  The fly caught fish and a following of anglers and today it is tied by many and has evolved into many variations.

Lee stressed that for the under wing one needs to use polypropylene such as macramé yarn so as to float properly.  He also said that Anton is not a good substitute because of the flotation issue.  Lee has also morphed his own fly by adding a tail to imitate eggs from a female and he calls it the “Clark’s Lady Stone”.  Just add a dyed red Golden Pheasant Tippet feather at the tail.  Lee said he prefers the Daiichi #1280 which is 2x long and 1x fine wire in a size 10.  He feels that it has a better catch rate than the size 8.  He favors deer hair over elk, uses orange thread, and clips the bottom of the hackle.  He mentioned that John Kreft had put his Clark’s Lady Stone on his website along with the step by step tying instructions.  I contacted John Kreft and he gave me permission to use his photos.  Thank you John.  To see it go to johnkreft.com, then go to fly patterns, then to stoneflies and it should be in the middle of the top row.

If you see Lee out on the Metolius or Deschutes River, just give him a thumbs up.
It was a pleasure to bring this story to you.   Tom Collett



Breakfast with Lee Clark


Clark's Lady Stone
Photo by John Kreft, River Keeper Flies, used with permission


This promotional button is a throwback to the early days before it became as popular as it is today.  

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Thomas Gadacz, President, IFFF Florida Council

  • President's Report
    International Federation of Fly Fishers (IFFF) and Bend, Oregon 2015

    The IFFF had its 50th Anniversary and Fair in Bend, Oregon this year from August 13-15. There were many highlights including Joan Wulff, icon of fly fishing and casting as well as some of the past presidents and founding members. President Phil Greenlee celebrated the event with the Frank and Jeanne Moore Award. This award honored Frank for all his contributions to fly fishing and community service. Nathaniel Reed, an avid fly fisher, was the recipient and had a distinguished career in the Department of Interior where he instituted many good practices including the Clean Water Act. The event was hosted by the Oregon Council President, Sherry Steele and the members of the Council. Most of the meetings were at the Riverhouse Convention Center. There were over 80 workshops and program and over 100 fly tiers. Programs included fly fishing, casting, tying, youth and women's programs.

    The Awards banquet honored many contributors including Florida members Leslie Holmes, the Mel Krieger Casting Award, Tom Logan, IFF Conservation Award, Ron Winn, Federator Award, and Ken Hofmeister, the IFFF FL Council Award. See below for details of these awards.

    It was a great opportunity to observe and talk to many great fly tiers as well as getting some casting instructions from many of the best. The vendors represented many of the major manufactures of equipment and supplies, outings, lodges, boats, foreign trips, and related activities. Wednesday evening was the Awards Banquet, Thursday social at the Lea Schwab Amphitheater, Friday evening the auction and dinner, and Saturday evening the BBQ.

    The Fair is a great opportunity to see old friends and make some new ones. In addition to attending some of the sessions, I volunteered in the Youth Program and also did some fishing in the middle Deschutes and Tumulo Creek.

    Prior to the meeting Nick, my son and I did some serious fishing in the Lower Deschutes and East Lake. Nick had the catch of the day with a 20+ inch rainbow (a.k.a. steelhead). We also caught some nice browns and a white fish. Steve Erickson from Jeff Perin's The Fly Fisher's Place was an excellent guide. We fished the Deschutes from Warm Spring to Trout Creek.

    Sherry Steele, Oregon Council President hosted the Council Presidents Committee retreat on Saturday and Sunday so we had a great social time and some fishing. We fished the Metolius River in several spots. It is a spectacular river with great water which maintains a constant temperature of 48 degrees. It was probably one of the most beautiful rivers with the blue colored gorge at Wizard Falls. Tom Gadacz:President, IFFF Florida Council
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IFFF Conservation Grants at Work


With support from IFFF-Eastern Waters Council, Patagonia World Trout Initiative and many other funding partners, Friends of the Upper Delaware River (FUDR) has successfully completed 8 of the 11 treatments at Sands Creek. This work includes shoreline stabilization, floodplain re-connection, and the installation of trout habitat structures. all of the treatments will help improve water quality, create new trout habitat, mitigate flooding, and reduce sediment transport. 
Click to watch a video about their progress>>