Reeling Stoner


from Bill Huber

Fly Fishers,

Welcome to the holiday season! I hope everyone enjoyed a wonderful and joyful Thanksgiving Day weekend.  Talking about Thanksgiving, AFF has a great deal to be thankful for this year!  First, I would like to thank all the board members completing their selfless service to the club.  We say goodbye to this year's board members Jolynne Howard, Chad Gage, Art Peck, Mark Huber, Steve Lambert, Chris Pouncey, and Josh Bell.  We all owe a great deal of thanks to these board members for everything they have done to support the club's mission and objectives.  We also owe a great deal of thanks to Casey Andrysiak (volunteer military spouse) for her many hours of support in building our website: This also is my last and final President's Pen as I will transition to the Past President position.  Thank you to everyone for your great support to the AFF Board and all the great activities, programs, and objectives we have completed over the past two years.
We are also thankful to the new board members who have volunteered to step up and get more involved and active in AFF Club activities.  We are pleased to welcome the following: Pat Malone, President; Pat Doughtery, Vice President; Bob Pawlowski, Secretary; Josh Shear, Gilley; and At Large Members: Cory Murdoch, Brenda Brown, Mike Malone, and Tom Rueter.  Ben Rowell is returning as our outstanding Treasure and I will be the Club's Past President.  Let's all welcome our new board members and continue to support them like you have supported us over the past two years.
Finally as the holiday season is upon us now, our December club meeting is our annual gift exchange.  The gift exchange is always a yearly highlight as members bring gifts $25 or less for exchange with other club members.  We also have several Santa gifts added to the mix to provide a great surprise for many attending. Many have walked away with rods, reels, lines, and fly boxes....what will he bring this year?
I just want to remind everyone our club has moved our monthly meeting location to the Elk's Lodge #2868, located at the Northway Mall, 3101 Penland Parkway, Suite A14.  We will also be serving a Prime Rib Dinner for the first 25 members attending for a very reasonable price prior to the meeting time.  This is a great opportunity to gather early and socialize with some club member.
Again, it has been my pleasure to serve as the Club President for the past two years and I appreciate everyone's support and assistance in continuing to grow the clubs mission.
Keep your lines clean, tight, and fish on!
Fellow fly fishers: We have come to the end of another year of lots of memorable fishing adventures and in some cases, misadventures. Experiences increase our knowledge base and prepare us for the next time we find ourselves in the same situation: how do I get this flesh fly right up under that log close enough to the bank to get just the right drift without getting it stuck in the overhanging tree branch?  Or how deep do I need to get this lake leech when the surface temperature is 62 degrees? Our December general membership/Christmas meeting gives us an opportunity to share with each other trips we have been on over the season, patterns we have found to be successful, and what to avoid.
This month, we will have Jolynne Howard sharing with us a presentation of her trips to the Alagnak River and Moraine Creek - alternatives to fishing lodges.  She went on four guided 7 day trips on these waters above Bristol Bay and will share with us why this approach to remote fishing can be so enjoyable and rewarding.  Jolynne is originally from Utah, moving to Alaska in the 1970s and when not fishing, is relegated to doing commercial appraisals. I'm sure she will share with us some appraisals of fish she saw and some she caught.
Also, again this year we will have Keven Kleweno share with us his presentation of "Fishing with Friends".  This is one I look forward to each year, as it reminds us all of places some (or many) of us have been as well as some waters we might like to fish someday.  Keven has been a longtime member of the club, sitting on the executive board, helping out with the Kenai Clean-up, serving as the Auction Coordinator on more than one occasion, and is the master of the Fly of the Month raffle.  Keven grew up fishing the waters of the Pacific Northwest before coming to Alaska and has a great background with some great stories to share.   
christmas gift clip art
Throughout our December meeting, we will have a gift exchange.  Bring a wrapped gift (up to $25) and you will receive a ticket.  When your ticket is drawn, you get to go pick out a gift from the table.  Santa has pitched in a few unknown, but valuable gifts so you never know - you might get a fancy pair of nippers and a zinger or a rod or reel.
I believe a first for the club, we are going to host a Prime Rib dinner to go along with the December meeting.  For only $20 per person, the Elks is going to prepare for us Prime Rib, potato, dinner roll, salad, vegies, and desert.  A RSVP is needed as soon as possible in order to arrange for enough for everyone.  You can call or text Pat at 907-354-8781 to reserve your plate. 
I look forward to seeing you all Monday night, but if not Happy Holidays,
Pat Malone
Vice President/President Elect
moose with present clip art

Just a reminder: The Alaska Fly Fishers general membership meetings will now be held at the Anchorage Elks lodge in the Northway Mall, just east of Carrs/Safeway.

from Ben Rowell
  • President: Pat Malone
  • Vice President: Pat Doughtery
  • Secretary: Bob Pawlowski
  • Treasurer: Ben Rowell
  • Gilley: Josh Shear
  • Past president: Bill Huber
  • At-large members: Cory Murdoch, Brenda Brown, Mike Malone, Tom Reuter

 by Bill Hauser

Apex Predator or Couch Potato?
By Peter Westley and Bill Hauser

Fish Talk topics have often dealt with the different quirks of fishes' feeding habits, and observations often trigger new insight.  Watching the behavior of sharks as they cruise coral atolls has made me realize that they are both top predator and lazy beast.  In the lagoons of the South Pacific, the shark holds total dominion of the underwater world.  White-tip and Black-tip Reef sharks are the most common here, seen swimming with grace and elegance that makes me feel awkward and sluggish in the water. It was not until I began spearfishing that I began to understand the motive behind the cruising habits of sharks.
The bottom-dwelling groupers that live in the lagoon are easily shot with a spear, but it does not take long to attract all the sharks in the area.  The vibrations, scent, and sounds of the dying fish are like a dinner bell being rung and the sharks quickly snap out of their sleepy patrol and into a full fledged feeding frenzy.  Often, sharks will follow us as we dive down and shoot a fish, pouncing on it before we can get to the surface.  If a fish is wounded and falls off the spear, the sharks make short work of it, often chasing it into the rocks.  Usually, few fish is all we can manage to kill before the sharks get too aggressive, sometimes charging at us on the surface.  This has led me to believe that sharks really do not want to work too hard for a meal.  Why kill something on your own when a wounded, maimed, or dying fish is so much easier? 

Do you have a question for FISH TALK? 
Contact Bill at
Bill recently published Fishes of the Last Frontier, Life Histories, Biology, Ecology, and Management of Alaska Fishes and previously, Letters from Alaska, the Inside to the Outside


from Ben Rowell

Preparations are underway for the 2016 AFF Annual Fundraising Auction. The auction will be held on Friday, April 15 at the Lakefront Anchorage Hotel (formally Millenium Hotel).  This is the primary fundraising event for the Alaska Fly Fishers and a fun night for the club to showcase who we are and how we collaborate with other members of the community. 

The Donations Subcommittee is having its initial meeting this Saturday, December 5 at 10 am at Kaladi Brothers Café located at 6901 E. Tudor Rd. (map below) It is critical this subcommittee gets organized and begins securing merchandise. Please contact me if you would like to serve on the Donations Subcommittee and plan on attending Saturday's meeting. For those who can't attend Saturday's meeting but would like to serve on the subcommittee, please contact me as well and I'll make sure you get a copy of the notes and added to the subcommittee's email list.
There are plenty of other ways to become involved in the planning and execution of this event. If you are interested in serving on an auction committee, please contact me at or at 306-7851.

Committee members are needed to assist with the following:
  • Securing donations
  • Promotions and advertising
  • Auction merchandise check-in and organizing the week of the auction
  • Auction day setup, participant check-in/check-out, clean-up
Announcements will be made as additional subcommittees form and volunteers organize. 
Thank you for supporting Alaska Fly Fishers.
Ben Rowell
Treasurer & Auction Coordinator


from Ben Rowell

We're pleased to welcome Pat Dougherty as a contributor to AFF's Facebook page. Pat's addition will help us share more club news and Alaska themed stories, pictures, and videos with out followers. Check out Pat's cool fish hat by clicking here.

On November 24th, our Facebook page reached 1000 Likes! Thank you for following our page, commenting, and sharing your photos. Yes, celebrating Likes is kind of silly, but reaching 1000 is a milestone in the world of Facebook. Here's to 1000 more!

Speaking of sharing pictures, we're excited about kicking off our Facebook Photo Contest. There was a great response to last year's contest, as many of you shared your favorite pictures from the 2014 fishing season. Remember, the "best" photo is not necessarily the winning photo. The winning photo is the photo receiving the most Likes. So post your photos on our page and encourage your friends and family to Like and Share your submissions. More details are below.

clip art fly


NomadicWaters 2015 Brazilian ExpeditionShort Version
NomadicWaters 2015 Brazilian ExpeditionShort Version

clip art fly


from Chad Gage




Please join us at the tying clinic, December 19th, WJ Hernandez sport fish hatchery, corner of Post Road and Reeve Blvd. Clinics run from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. If you'd never tied a fly before, know we have all the materials and tools you need!
clip art fly
from Jan Schnorr
PHW logo
 PHW fish
Tying Clinics Update
PHW is staffing three tying clinics for active injured military service members and disabled veterans.  Our regular fly tying session meets at the William Jack Hernandez Sport Fish Hatchery on Thursdays from 5:30 - 7:30 PM. Tying clinics are also held at the Fisher House on Wednesday evenings.
In addition to the Anchorage tying sessions, tying sessions were held at the Wasilla Vet Center on the first and third Tuesdays during November from 5 to 7 PM.  During and December these sessions will continue to be held on the first and third Tuesday of the month.  Please see the Project Healing Waters Facebook page for details.
No PHW tying clinics will be held from December 18th through January 4th. For updates regarding specific weekly activities please see the PHW Facebook page at Project Healing Waters Alaska or contact for additional information.

Tying Volunteers Needed
Are you interested in helping others learn how to tie flies and like to talk about fishing during these long dark days of winter? Project Healing Waters is looking for volunteers who want to help staff the tying clinics in Anchorage as well as in Wasilla.  
If you are interested, please stop by the William Jack Hernandez Sport Fish Hatchery on Thursdays between 5:30 pm and 7:30 pm or contact
PHW fish
UAA Information Fair
Project Healing Waters participated in the UAA Military & Veterans Resource Fair on November 18th at the Student Union.

PHW fish

For updates regarding specific weekly activities please see the PHW Facebook page at Project Healing Waters Alaska or contact for additional information

PHW fish 

PHW would not be possible without the support of the 
Alaska Fly Fishers! 
Thank you for your continued support.  
END of the LINE
Member passing
Susan Winton

AFF member, Susan Winton, lost her 18-month battle with cancer this past September. While Susan was born in Melbourne, Florida, in 1949, she has always called Alaska home. Susan was most recently employed as a legal secretary for Richmond and Quinn in Anchorage, but she has a varied resume. She has traveled across the entire United States as a long haul trucker, she has snapped a shutter as a professional photographer, and a list of other employments. Susan was also an energy-packed, passionate volunteer, giving countless hours to AFF working at a variety of events, including the annual fund raising auction. Not only did Susan volunteer her time at the event, but many hours making fish pillows to boost the AFF proceeds. She enjoyed the annual Tangle Lakes gathering, landing a 24-inch lake trout from the shore with her 4-weight rod! Susan's volunteer work was not limited to AFF. She was also a volunteer for Women Listen's fly fishing retreats, to help women who are battling cancer find the solace that fly-fishing can bring.
Susan loved people and everyone who met her readily enjoyed her ever-cheerful disposition. While Susan was in the hospital in Anchorage and Spokane, people would visit from all over the country. She was a favorite of the nursing staff and she kept everyone laughing.
Preceding Susan in death was her husband, Patrick Lackey. She is survived by her son Charles Rossiter, Jr., her parents, her brother Gary Winton, and cousin Wallace Beitl. Her little dog, Lucy, also survives her and is living with Gary. 


Make a Difference
Get Connected

If you are interested in helping on any committee, please contact any AFF board member. Currently we are in need of volunteers for the Second Annual Fly Fishing Festival & Spey Clave, the Annual Fundraising Auction, the Great Alaska Sportsman's Show booth, Spring Seminar, the Kenai River Cleanup and more! Even if you only have a little time to spare, please consider volunteering. Every minute is valuable to us.  

And let us know about any cool things our members do! 
Email photos and stories to

"There's more B.S. in fly fishing than there is in a Kansas feedlot."                                 ~Lefty Kreh          
(you don't have to have a Facebook account to see our page)




color logo

In this issue: 

  • Fish Talk
  • December meeting
  • Election results
  • More!

Banner photo "Reeling Stoner" 

by  Gerry Balboni,

2011 Photo Contest

2015 Alaska Fly Fishers Membership

RE-New your Membership!

If you're not a member, join today!

The cost for membership is:   
$25 Individual Annual
$30 Family Annual
$250 Lifetime
Be sure to get your membership card and save on fly tying materials.  Discount details printed on the back of your membership card.


AFF Logo Raffle!

All members who wear Alaska Fly Fishers logo merchandise to the monthly meetings will be eligible to enter a drawing for a great gift. Drop by the merchandise table, show us your AFF gear and you'll receive a ticket to be eligible for the free drawing.  
AFF Happenings

All General Meetings: First Monday of most months, 7:00 pm at the Elks Lodge, Northway Mall, 3101 Penland Parkway, Suite A14, Anchorage, 99508.

All Tying Clinics: Third Saturday of each month, from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm at the WJ Hernandez Sport Fish Hatchery at the corner of Post Road and Reeve Blvd.

All AFF Board Meetings: Second Tuesday of each month, held in the BP Center, 900 Benson Blvd, Anchorage 99519

All dates are subject  to change!


December: 7th  -  Genera l                        Meeting 
              15th - Board meeting
              19th - Tying clinic


January: 4th - General                         meeting 
             12th - Board meeting
             16th - Tying clinic 

February: 1st - General                         meeting
              9th - Board meeting
              20th - Tying clinic

March:   7th - General meeting
             15th - Board Meeting
             19th - Tying clinic
              17th-20th - Anchorage Boat Show
             24th - Fly Fishing Film Tour (F3T) 
             31-April 3 - Great Alaska Sportsmans Show

April:  No General Meeting
           March 31 - April 3                     Great Alaska Sportsmans Show
           11th - AFF Fly Fishing             Seminar (1 of 4)
           12th - Board meeting
           11th-14th - Auction                  prep
           15th - Alaska Fly                      Fishers Annual Auction
           16th - Tying clinic
           18th - AFF Fly Fishing             Seminar (2 of 4)
            25th - AFF Fly Fishing             Seminar (3 of 4)

May:    2nd - General meeting
            9th - AFF Fly Fishing               Seminar (4 of 4)
            10th - Board meeting
            21st - Tying clinic  

June:   6th - General meeting
           14th - Board meeting
           25th - Tying clinic

July:   5th - General meeting
          12th - Board meeting
          16th - Tying clinic

August: No general meeting
          9th - Board meeting
          20th - Fly Fishing Fair             & Spey Clave
          20th - Tying clinic

September: No general                    meeting
           10th - Kenai River                  Cleanup
           13th - Board Meeting
           17th - Tying clinic

October: 3rd - General                       meeting
            11th - Board meeting
            15th - Tying clinic

November: 7th - General                      meeting
             15th - Board meeting
             19th - Tying clinic

December: 5th - General                       meeting
              13th - Board meeting
              17th - Tying Clinic

to All AFF Fundraising Auction Donors
Cheryl Cline
Damond Blankenship
Dave Rooker
Fred Lind
Janice Altman
Jim Galea
Jolynne Howard
Keven Kleweno
Kory Murdoch
Mark Huber
Martha Peck
Michael Zavosky
Mike Harsh
Paul Blanch
Pudge Kleinkauf
Renee & Jared Behrendt
Scott Lee
Steve Lambert
Tom Rueter

to All Kenai River
Clean-up Sponsors
British Petroleum
Cast Alaska
Cooper Landing Grocery
Russian River House
The Shrew's Nest
Get Fly Lines Sent to Your Inbox

We have email addresses for about 80% of our active members.  If this newsletter was forwarded to you, please help us get your correct email address into the system. If you know of anyone who is a member and is not getting their newsletter, please have them check their spam filter. 

Enter as a contact in your email so it doesn't get sent to spam.

Contact the editor for any corrections.  Thanks!

Fly Tying Outreach
Remember, AFF has 10 vises and tool kits available to loan if any members need them to teach youth. 

Please contact Chad Gage at
to schedule the use of the vises or if you need a list of instructors.


Members' Corner 


Have something to sell or a story to tell? A picture to show or something to share? This is the place! Send your submission today!




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