Reeling Stoner


from Pat Malone

As we begin to transition from days getting shorter to gaining daylight every day, one can't help but to start looking forward to the upcoming fishing season.  Some of us have been out recently or even plan to go wet a line next weekend.  But for the majority of us, the reality of donning the waders and dead drifting a flesh fly or delicately presenting a caddis right behind a log to a giant rainbow we know is sitting there is still a few months away.  For those of us who are not going to be able to make a trip to a warmer climate or to float the Kenai in the frigid temperatures of mid January, what is one to do with this down time to prepare to make the most of upcoming spring/summer/fall?
A good start might be to make a list of goals for this season - Fish a new stream or lake each week? Complete the Salmon Slam (to catch all 5 Alaskan native species of Salmon - on a fly rod)? Teach someone to fly fish? Or perhaps just catch a fish on a fly that you have tied.  Whatever your goals may be, the best way to be successful is to make a plan.  
That brings me to The Alaska Fly Fishers Club goals and plans.  The newly elected board for 2016 brings a wide range of experience and enthusiasm as well as new ideas.  With that, this board would like to get a fresh perspective of what you, the members of the club would like to see and what direction you would like the club to go.  In order to meet that goal, the leadership of the board has come up with a brief questionnaire for you to complete.  Later in the newsletter is more about the survey, how to take it, and how you can win an amazing prize for your time and input.
We will have several new opportunities and ideas we are going to discuss and implement this year.  First off, we will be trying out a new system to promote member interaction, involvement, and more importantly outreach between longtime members, new members, and potential members.  We will be placing conversation topics at a few of the tables prior to the meeting.  If you are interested in a particular topic you are encouraged to sit at that table and exchange notes with fellow members about that topic.  There is no obligation to stay at that table or to sit at a table where discussions are going on, but this is an opportunity to get to know others with similar interests.  We will also have sign up lists to give members the chance to volunteer or participate in various club activities/events. 
As a reminder, the AFF board meets (typically) the second Tuesday at 6pm each month at the BP Energy center.  Meetings are open to the public and club members are welcome to attend.
In closing, I would like you as a member of AFF to know if you have any questions, comments, concerns, or input, I am always happy to listen.  I can be reached by phone at 907-354-8781, or email at PMHSE@hotmail.com
Happy New Year and may the fish be with you,
Patrick Malone
President, Alaska Fly Fishers

from Pat Malone
Greetings fellow anglers, I hope you had a Merry Christmas and each of you is ready for the New Year.  Our General Membership Meeting presenter for the January 4, 2016 AFF meeting will be Alaska Wildlife Trooper, Travis Bordner.  Trooper Bordner will be sharing with us stories and experience from the perspective of a Fish and Wildlife protection officer.  He will also provide information about how we, as stewards of the resource can assist AST in their quest to enforce laws and regulations put in place to protect those resources.  Trooper Bordner will also field questions from the floor.  I look forward to seeing you on the 4th and bring a friend.
May the Fish be with you,
Patrick Malone
President, Alaska Fly Fishers

Just a reminder, the general meetings are now being held at the Elks Lodge at the Northway Mall, 3101 Penland Parkway, west end.

from Pat Dougherty
As your new board of directors takes office, we want your opinions about the Alaska Fly Fishers to guide our plans and priorities.
To collect your opinions about how well the club is serving your needs and fulfilling its mission of education and conservation, we've created an online survey.  We hope you ' ll take a minute to tell us what you think about the club and its activities, and how we can make them better, more effective and more valuable to you and the Alaska fly fishing community.
Who and what kind of presentations would you like to see at our monthly meetings? Tell us your suggestions and we'll do our best to schedule them. What club activities do you most value? Let us know and we'll make sure to give them the attention and resources they deserve.
One of our top goals for 2016 is to find ways to get our members more involved in club activities, whether that's the monthly meetings, conservation projects, community events, fishing trips, fly-tying workshops or something else. The biggest value in a club like ours is the connection you make with people who share your interests. Give us an idea how you want to interact with your fellow club members, and we'll try to make that easy for you. We also want to leverage your knowledge and skills educate the young people and new Alaskans who are the future of our sport.
The survey should take about 15 minutes to complete. As a reward for participating, everyone who completes the survey (AND includes his or her name) will be automatically entered in a raffle for new Simms waterproof fishing pack.
This club exists to serve your love of fly fishing. Please help us do even better by following the link below to  tell us what you think.

-- Pat Dougherty
2016 AFF Vice President
from Pat Dougherty
We're trying something new at our January meeting. The Fly Fishing Roundtable is aimed at new club members, fly fishers new to Alaska, as well as experienced anglers who want to share their valuable knowledge.
Starting at 6:30, before the official start of the meeting at 7 p.m., a veteran club member will host a wide-open discussion about fly fishing in Alaska. Do you have questions about where and when to fish for different species, confused about fly choices, looking for informed opinions about rods, reels, other gear? We can offer you tips and advice.
Maybe you know a lot about the Kenai but haven't really figured out the Mat-Su. Need information about shuttles, guides or charter flights? How about where to take visiting relatives?
We want to make the Roundtable a place new fly fishers can get answers to basic questions as well as a way for older members to share what they know.
Dinner (if you register at akflyfishers.net) and drinks are available starting at 6:30. So grab a beverage, pull up a chair and join the conversation.
This month's Roundtable will be hosted by long-time member and current AFF board member Mike Malone. If you'd be willing to host a Roundtable, talk to Mike or Pat Dougherty .

from Jolynne Howard
Alaska Fly Fishers 2016 Monty Williams Memorial Fly Tying Contest
Contest Dates: January 1, 2016 through February 29, 2016

Rules and Contest Information :
  • Entrants must either be a member of, or related to a member of, the Alaska Fly Fishers Club or the Midnight Sun Fly Casters Club of Fairbanks.
  • There are three divisions:
    • Youth Division: 15 years of age or younger
    • Adult Division: 16 years of age or older
    • Advanced Division: Open to all members. Anyone that has previously won this division, or the adult division, in the last 2 years is encouraged to enter this division.
  • There are 4 categories:

1.     Dry Fly

2.     Streamer

3.     Nymph/Emerger

4.       Creative - Anything Goes
  • All flies will become the property of the Alaska Fly Fishers and will be used for fundraising for the club or donated to charitable causes.
  • Members may enter up to 8 flies in total, with no more than 2 flies in each category.  Youth members may enter 1 fly in any category.
  • Each fly must be accompanied by two 3x5 index cards, specific with the following information:

Card 1 - Category of Entry, Fly Name, Name of Entrant including address, phone number, and email address


Card 2 - Name of Fly with a detailed tying recipe.  PACK YOUR FLIES CAREFULLY

  • All entries must be packaged so that minimum handling is required prior to judging
  • The final date and time for all entries is February 29, 2016 at 3 pm.
  • There are three ways to submit your entries:  Deliver to Jolynne Howard at the club meetings on Jan. 4th or Feb 1st, or bring to the fly tying clinics on Jan. 16th, or Feb. 20th, or you may mail them:
Alaska Fly Fishers
200 West 34th Avenue, Box 1233
Anchorage, AK 99502
**Note: The club is not responsible for delays in mail delivery. **  
  • The  People Choice Award will be voted on and all award winners will be announced at the March 7 th 2016 meeting.
  • Judges and prizes are designated by the Alaska Fly Fishers Club and all decisions are final.  There will be over $800 in gift certificates and fly tying related prizes!

Printable PDF Contest Rules
clip art fly

 by Bill Hauser

Fish Talk
by Bill Hauser
Lamprey Eels

This is an updated version of a FISH TALK I wrote about 10 years ago. Did you catch the recent news story by Tim Bodony, KIYU - Gelena, Dec 15, 2015? He reported that the 2015 lamprey fishery on the Yukon River had recently closed with a harvest of 37,000 pounds sold. At $1.50 per pound the lampreys are more valuable than salmon. The harvest ends up in many markets, from gourmet restaurants to bait shops.

It's eel season on the Yukon River.  Hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of the squiggly, squirmy creatures are swimming up from the Bering Sea, a seething mass wriggling quietly beneath the river ice to spawn and die. Like salmon, except for the mystery posed by winter's icy cover. (This FISH TALK was inspired by an article entitled "Eels under Yukon ice turn into cash for villagers" by Joel Gay in the Anchorage Daily News, published: November 30, 2003.  Quotes from that article are shown in
italics.  Contact me if you would like a copy of that article. )

Although eels may "squiggle and squirm", there are no eels in the Yukon River.  What is going on here?  How is this explained?  

To read the rest of the article, click here.

Do you have a question for FISH TALK? 
Contact Bill at karelbill@gci.net
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 Millennium 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 meeting on Saturday, January 23  at 10am at Kaladi Brothers Café lo cated at 6901 E. Tudor Rd. (See map below)  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 the 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 Rowell.Benjamin@gmail.com 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


Shop Vac
Shop Vac

clip art fly





Please join us at the tying clinic, January 16th, WJ Hernandez sport fish hatchery, corner of Post Road and Reeve Blvd. Clinics run from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. Even if you'd never tied a fly before, please join us and learn. We have all the materials and tools you need, plus a beginners' table!
clip art fly
from Jan Schnorr
PHW logo

PHW Tying Clinics Update  

PHW staffed tying clinics at three locations for active injured military service members and disabled veterans.  Our regular fly tying session met 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.
Outside of Anchorage, PHWs tying clinics were held at the Wasilla Vet Center on the first and third Tuesdays during December from 5 to 7 PM.  During January 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 tying clinics from December 18th through January 4th)  

Tying Volunteers Needed -  Are you interested in helping others learn how to tie flies and talking 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 - 7:30 PM. .
                 PHW fish                   
PHW Annual Holiday Awards Celebration

The Annual Holiday Celebration was held at the Elks Lodge on December 10th at the Elks Lodge. Included in the numerous awards for the evening was the Most Improved Fisher, received by Rica Gaines. Mike Lindsay landed the Most Amazing Catch of the Year. Katie Puterbaugh, Francesca Popp-Wright, Erin Smith-Cohen, and Jerry Lewis each were acknowledged with an Active Participation Award for attending and tying at the tying clinics, participating in trips, as well as volunteering to support others and the program.  Josh Shearer was recognized as the Monty Williams Volunteer of the Year Numerous Certificates of Appreciation were given to sponsors, including Alaska Fishing & Lodging, BLM Fairbanks, BLM Glennallen, and the Elks Lodge.

PHW fish
                                  Rod Building Volunteers Needed

Are you interested in helping PHW participants learn how to build rods during January and February? Project Healing Waters is looking for volunteers who want to help staff the rod building sessions in Anchorage.    If you are interested, please stop by the William Jack Hernandez Sport Fish Hatchery on Thursdays between 5:30 - 7:30 PM, or contact Damond Blankenship at  damondent@gci.net .

PHW fish 
For updates or more information on Project Healing Waters as well as specific weekly activities, please see the  PHW Facebook page  or contact  PHWAlaska@gmail.com .
PHW fish
PHW would not be possible without the support of the 
Alaska Fly Fishers! 
Thank you for your continued support.  

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 aff.flylines.ed@gmail.com.

"The difference between fly fishers and worm dunkers is the quality of their excuses."
                                                                   ~ Anonymous
(you don't have to have a Facebook account to see our page)




color logo

In this issue: 

  • Fish Talk
  • Member Survey
  • January Meeting
  • Auction News
  • Fly Tying Contest
  • 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:  3rd-5th - Anchorage Boat Show
             7th - General meeting
             15th - Board Meeting
             19th - Tying clinic
             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 aff.flylines.ed@gmail.com 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 swingingleeches@yahoo.com
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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