MARCH 2016


Reeling Stoner


from Pat Malone

Working in a fly shop has several advantages besides getting to check out some of the cool new gear. Talking with customers, visitors, fellow fly fishers, and those just picking up the sport, seeing pictures of some amazing fish are all benefits of the job. I think one of the best is the opportunity to not only teach others, but also the occasion to learn from them as well.

I often get the question, "How do I catch the big fish?" (or something along those lines - no pun intended)  In order to answer their question to the best of my ability, I have to inquire what species they are going after, if they are fishing moving or still water, or if they intend to fish from shore or in a boat. I will use the information I have gathered from them to provide them with answers to help them catch the "big one."  Once, after I had just finished outfitting a beginner, complete with a brief casting lesson, I got to thinking to myself about the question - "How DO I catch the big one?" I took a moment and stepped back to when I first began fly fishing.  What is the best way to ensure success? Flip side - what about failure?  Or better yet, where did we go wrong when the big one gets away?  

If you are able to hook a big fish, you know your fly is working.  But what else could go wrong? The answer could be many things.  Most of you have probably heard the saying "a chain is only as strong as the weakest link."  In this case, a lot of times the weakest part of you system are your knots.  How many knots are in your system?  Most likely at least 4 (backing to reel, fly line to backing, leader to fly line, and leader to the fly) possibly many more depending on your system, each being another opportunity for a failure.  Just one bad knot can result in a score of Fly fisher 0, Fish 1.

If you are confident with the knots in your setup, another advantage for the fish is a weakness in your leader.  If you don't check your leader often enough, disappointment might come in the form of its snap  or the line going limp and upon retrieval finding no fly and an obvious nick in your line.  If only you had checked your leader after yanking your fly out of yonder tree...Fly fisher 0, Fish 2.
Finally, when was the last time you actually saw the back end of your fly line, or your backing?  All it takes is one little kink in the line on your reel left throughout the winter. Fish may find an escape opportunity when a kink in your backing catches the tip of your rod and snaps or your Albright knot slips free...Fly fisher 0, Fish 3.

Don't allow those fish to get 3 chances, 2 opportunities, or even 1 possibility to get away. It takes enough to get them on the line, don't lose one because you didn't take the time to check your gear.  The season is right around the corner and with a very mild winter, quite possibly an early countdown to open water.  We all want to see pictures of those big fish you caught, so check out your gear now instead of commiserating this summer.

Don't forget, with the new year, you need a new fishing license. If you fish on JBER, you need a new fishing permit. 

Spring brings plenty of opportunities to volunteer - and good things come to those who volunteer (such as free admission) at the Anchorage Boat Show in the Sullivan Arena March 3-6 (email Mike Lindsay at ), the Mat-Su Outdoorsman Show in Wasilla March 18-20 (contact Mike Malone at ), Fly Fishing Film Tour (F3T) at the Bear Tooth March 24th (see AFF website for info), the Great Alaska Sportsman Show in the Sullivan Arena March 31-April 3 (again Mike Lindsay), The AFF Spring Seminar at BP Energy Center in April (Rich Johnson ), or the AFF Annual Auction at the Lakefront (formerly Millenium) Hotel on Friday, April 15th (Ben Rowell at ).

May the Fish be with you,
Patrick Malone
President, Alaska Fly Fishers

from Patrick Dougherty
Bryan Burke of Deneki Outdoors

The guest speaker for out monthly meeting on March 7th will be Bryan Burke, the Anchorage-based representative for Deneki Outdoors, which operates fly fishing lodges in Alaska, British Columbia, the Bahamas and Chile.

Bryan was born in Anchorage and is a life-long Alaskan. He grew up fishing the
Kenai River and then, in the late 1990s, began guiding professionally for Deneki on the famed Kanektok River in Western Alaska. It was on the Kanektok where he was introduced to double-handed rods by the likes of Ed Ward, Dec Hogan, and George Cook.

These days he travels regularly for Deneki's sales and markenting team, he still lives and works in Anchorage, and still finds time to get down to the upper Kenai. His biggest fishing passion remains two-handed casting and swinging a weighted line and fly for rainbow trout.

His presentation will focus on the details of matching two-handed rod weights to different fish species, matching lines to rods, the pros and cons of various Skagit lines, sink tips, as well as running lines and flies. "You can just sum it all up," he said, "as the pure joy of learning to spey cast."

Deneki is owned by Amy and Dan Herrig. the company operates two lodges in Alaska; one, tent camp on the Kanetok River. The other is Rapids Camp Lodge on the Naknek River in the Bristol Bay region. (Mrs. Herrig's father, Jerry Shults, built Rapids Camp Lodge in the early 1990s)

The company also owns a steelhead lodge on the Dean River in British Columbia, and a bonefishing lodge on South Andros in the Bahamas. To round out the mmix, they have a lodge in Chile, and have recently opened in Baja, Mexico.

Watch for the chance to bid on a trip to one of Deneki's lodges in our auction April 15th. Thanks to the Herrigs for supporting our club.

Just a reminder, the general meetings are now being held at the Elks Lodge at the Northway Mall, 3101 Penland Parkway, west end. Please click here for a letter from the Elks Lodge.

from Bob Pawlowski
As per Section 8. Amendments, two changes to the AFF Bylaws are proposed to
  • align the Annual Dues with the new membership software and online registration and renewal and
  • allow for a member to be retained on the club rolls in an inactive status if dues are not renewed within 3 months.
The proposed changes are open for discussion and will be voted on at the May Membership meeting.  These proposed changes will require approval by a two-thirds majority vote of the quorum at the meeting to be adopted.
Section 2. Annual Dues 
At the club's Annual Business Meeting in November, the Executive Board shall propose membership dues for the following year. Upon approval by a majority of members voting at that meeting, dues for the next year are set at that amount. Upon the payment of dues, members will be in good standing with the club for the following 12 months.
Section 3. Default of Dues
Any member who has not paid annual dues for 15 consecutive months shall be dropped from the club's membership roll.
For further information, please contact AFF board members. 

Submitted by Bob Pawlowski

PDF of Current AFF by-laws

Kelly Galloup is Coming to Anchorage

Hey all you streamer strippers and swingers! "The Godfather of Streamers" is coming to Anchorage at the end of April and will be conducting three streamer tying clinics. Tow 4-hour clinics will be conducted on Saturday, April 30th and one 7-hour clinic (lunch provided) on Monday, May 2nd. More information is contained in the flyer.
Please go to the AFF website for opening of the online registration and payment process on February 1, 2016. Note: Due to the limited number of tying clinic participant slots available, no refund of registration fees will be allowed.
clip art fly
from Ben Rowell
Annual Fundraising Auction

The days are getting longer and we have started filling our fly boxes and preparing our gear for the upcoming season. As you get organized, please consider contributing new or gently used fly fishing items to the Live and Silent Auctions or the Cash & Carry Fundraiser at the upcoming auction on April 15 at the Lakefront Anchorage Hotel, 4800 Spenard Road. Your items may be donated to the club or sold with a 10% sales fee to the Alaska Fly Fishers for handling the transaction.
How to Donate or Sell:
To enter items into an auction or cash & carry, bring your items to the WJ Hernandez Fish Hatchery, 941 N. Reeve Blvd. The schedule is as follows:
Sunday, April 10 2pm - 6pm
Monday, April 11 6pm - 10pm
Tuesday, April 12 6pm - 10pm
How to Volunteer:
Volunteers are needed at the Hernandez Fish Hatchery April 10-14 to assist in processing auction items and on the day of the event, April 15, from about noon until the close of the auction.
We need approximately twenty volunteers to assist in making the auction a success. Volunteer perks include advance viewing of the auction items, fellowship with other club members, and dinner the evening of the auction!
Please contact Ben Rowell at or 306-7851 if you can help support this exciting and fun event. 
How to Purchase Tickets:
Tickets cost $20 and include light appetizers. To purchase tickets, CLICK HERE!
What to Watch For:
Leading up to April 15, we'll preview select auction items on our Facebook page and in the April issue of Fly Lines.

from Ben Rowell

Visit our Fly Fishing Film Tour (F3T) event page  to stay up to date on ticket sales, trailers, and more. 
clip art fly
from Ben Rowell

Congratulations to  Lorjena Daly Barringer for winning our January Facebook Photo Contest. Lorjena's photo, Arctic Grayling from Delta Clearwater, AK, received the most likes, earning her a 1-year membership to the Alaska Fly Fishers. Lorjena donated the membership back to the club to give to an angler who may not be able to afford the cost of membership! Thanks, Lorjena!

The Monthly Facebook Photo Contest is underway.  Enter your fishing themed photos to Don't forget to tag, like, and share your photo. The photo with the most Likes wins!

clip art fly
from Jolynne Howard
Come to the General Membership meeting, March 7, 7:00 pm see the 
entries, winners, and cast your vote  
for the People's Choice Award!

Printable PDF Contest Rules


 by Bill Hauser

(Invasive) Crayfish
by Bill Hauser

Not long ago, I received this query from an Alaska Fly Fisher.

When I was down in Kodiak this fall I saw where they had discovered some crawdads/crayfish(?) in the Buskin River.  This seemed to cause the biologists a lot of concern - other than being an invasive species just what dangers do crawdads pose?  I ask because when I was growing up around the Columbia River they were fairly common and I was unaware of problems they presented.  Thanks."

I replied: 
" Hi. Thanks for the note.  Good question. Only problem, I am not a student of crayfish so I cannot easily answer. That said, I am aware there are many species of crawfish(es) and some make burrows in waterbody banks... which, for example, would not be a good thing for an irrigation canal or levees. And some are vegetarians, carnivores, and carrion (such as dead fish) eaters. And they make good fish bait. Some people like to eat them.

"So, of course, I did what I had to do...   I asked Mr. Google. He referred me to Dr. Wikipedia...

"To learn more about crayfish, go to: To learn about some of ADFG comments, go to:    
Hope this helps. Thanks for writing...   we both get to learn something new. 


So, what is this all about? Why is this important? The key word here is "invasive".
Here are some excerpts from the ADF&G website: A nonnative species is one that is found outside its previously observed range. One that has been introduced to the new environment, either intentionally or accidentally, by human activity (and usually with good intentions).

Nonnative organisms are referred to by many different names, including invasive, nonindigenous, introduced, exotic, alien, and transplants. These terms are commonly used interchangeably to refer to species occurring outside their historic native range.

Why are invasive species considered so bad? The big problem is unpredictability or unintended consequences. Every species has evolved in its native environment in concert with other species. If an invasive species is inserted into a new environment, it is impossible to predict an outcome. Will it be benign or beneficial or harmful for the environment or native organisms? The history of invasive species is a record of numerous things that are good, bad, and ugly.

The good: rainbow trout have been stocked literally everywhere outside their native distribution of the west side of the Rocky Mountains and south of the Alaska range. There would probably be few people (yes, some) to argue that this has been a problem. Most people would probably opine that ring necked pheasants that have been transplanted from Asia to North America has been a good result.

The bad: I suggest, brook trout, whose native range is in the eastern North America. Brook trout have been released into western U. S.  waters like fish-barren mountain lakes where they have become stunted in growth and have destroyed populations of insects and amphibians. Common carp, introduced from Europe to North America, usually are not held in high regard.

The ugly? How about lake trout introduced into Yellowstone Lake. This predator has preyed heavily on the native Yellowstone cutthroat trout. The cutthroat population has become depressed and the National Park Service has spent millions of dollars attempting to eliminate the lake trout. How about rats introduced onto Aleutian Islands (and around the world); they kill seabirds and are expensive to eradicate. Northern pike, of course, introduced into our backyard, are not pretty at all but in their native distributions, they are appreciated - including in northern and western Alaska... but despised where they have become invasive.

Clearly, some invasive species have been accepted as beneficial, but it is much easier to find examples of introducing a problem along with a nonnative species. Is it worth the risk?
For more on the subject:

the Crayfish vs. the Newt
the Crayfish vs. the Newt

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. 
Read sample chapters at

 from Rich Johnson

The Spring Fly Fishing Seminar will be on April 11th, 18th, 25th, and May 9th this year. Even though the first session is more than a month away, now is the time to start thinking about promoting this annual event. This year we're expanding our member's ability to get the word out. In addition to AFF distributing posters and flyers to all the major fishing shops in Anchorage, Eagle River, and the Valley, we are making the small poster and the pre-registration "Save-the-Date" flyer available online as a PDF for you to download and post anywhere you feel is appropriate.
Simply go to; look to the Box to the right, at the bottom. The small poster is letter size and will print out in color. The Save-the-Date form is in a 2-up format so you can share with a friend.
We're hoping this new facet will help you as members reach out to new fly fishers.
Keep your eyes for online registration for the Seminar; we're working on it.
For questions or more information contact Rich Johnson at
color logo  


2015 Bob Mitchell's Fly Shop Compilation
2015 Bob Mitchell's Fly Shop Compilation

clip art fly


click for the animated version

The Alberto Knot

The Modified Albright Knot is also known as the Alberto Knot. It is a terrific knot for joining different diameter (thickness) leaders made of monofilament, fluorocarbon or copolymer to braided fishing line. 
The Aberto Knot will work with any braid line. However, if you are tying a leader to braided fishing line with a waxy coating, first pull the line between your thumbnail and forefinger to remove the coating.
Alberto Knie, who is also known as "Crazy Alberto" says, "Since the inception of the super lines there was no real mono to braid knots. And those common knots everyone recommended just didn't cut it! I actually tried many recommended knots until I came up with this knot and I've been using ever since. I have a few friends (and some friends who are world record holders) who love it and will not go back. In fact, it is being well received throughout the world and I am glad everyone is enjoying it."
Albright Knot Details
The Alberto Knot is a valuable knot that has a wide range of uses. It works for joining different types of fishing line like monofilament, fluorocarbon or copolymer to braided fishing line.
Advantages: The Alberto Knot will easily slide through your guides when casting.
see more here


from Cheryl Cline


The parking lot was pretty full for the February Tying Clinic and it was a fun time. The new magnetic name tags, thanks to Rich Johnson, are a touch making it just a little easier to get to know the rest of the club members.
Dave Rooker had his hands full with the beginner table including some very young novices. Featured demo tying by Ben Rowell (Barr' s Slumpbuster), Kevin Foley (" V" Tie Technique with Senyo's Laser Dub and Liquid Fusion) and Mike Malone (Parachute Purple Haze) was well received. There was observation of the flies in the water too with the testing tank full and flowing. Josh Shearer and Jared Long took on the monthly challenge and each tied a fly to  catch fish using only a size 24 hook and pheasant tail, but with results too tiny to photograph! It was wonderful to see so many members dropping by. Participation makes our club events.
The Fly Exchange of " favorite spring trout flies" is off to a slow start so it is extended through the April clinic. There are some beautiful submissions already so remember to tie 10 flies to be part of the exchange. You won't be disappointed with a box full of variety in return.
Tyers at the clinics are being very generous putting flies in boxes for the April Auction. Three boxes are well on the way to being full. More on the generosity of our members, we left the room organized and tidy thanks to those who so willingly pitch in!
Photo by Jared Photo by Jared
Photo by Jared
Top left, Ben Rowell. Top Right, Dave Rooker. Bottom, Kevin Foley. Photos by Jared.

The MARCH 19th clinic schedule includes;
9 am - Rich Johnson demonstrating flies from the IFFF Silver Award Program
11 am  - Chad Gage demonstrating String Leeches 101
1 pm - still to be determined
Rich Johnson will spend the remainder of his time at the Tie-Along table introducing the IFFF Fly Tying Group's Bronze Award Program. This is both an interesting and " rewarding" program to strengthen your tying skills. Get started with Rich's patient guidance. Dave hopes to see some returning beginners and again have a full table.
Monthly clinic skill challenges will not be announced ahead of time. All who have taken on the tasks learn from their efforts. 
We are scheduling demos, instruction and Tie-Along through next December and there are some great events coming up. Be sure to share your good ideas with clinic coordinators Dave Rooker and Cheryl Cline and let them know how you would like to be involved.
Stop in or stay all day between 9 and 3 at the William Jack Hernandez Fish Hatchery on Reeve Blvd at Post Road on the third Saturday of every month. The clinics are open to the public. Materials and vices are on hand if you choose to tie and don't have your own things. And don't be shy about using a hand cart to wheel in your own tools and supplies, there is an elevator.
No Slack on the water or on the bobbin!
Cheryl Cline

clip art fly
from Jan Schnorr
PHW logo

PHW Outreach
PHW continues to reach out to veterans in the Mat-Su Valley, participating in the Mat-Su Homeless Connect Project on February 27th and holding tying clinics. The Project is designed to link veterans with various resources after transitioning to civilian life.  Over 600 veterans attended the event and PHW volunteers disseminated information about the Mat-Su tying clinic.  In addition, volunteers networked with other resource providers including a special program designed to help veterans gain home ownership rather than living in apartments or rentals.  

On February 19th, Katie Puterbaugh represented PHW at the Soldotna Sportman's Warehouse Ladies Night. The carnival style event, designed specifically for women, included auctions to benefit local non-profits, gift bags, food, door prizes, and raffles.  The event encourages women to participate in a variety of sports activities including fly fishing!
PHW fish
Rod Building Update

Seven participants are involved in the rod building class with the opportunity to not only fish with their rods this spring but enter them into national competition in April. All rods are 4 piece rods ranging from 6 to 8 weights and one individual is building a 10'6" switch rod. Participants are in the process of splining the rods, marking the guide placements, and wrapping the guides. Oh.... What fun!  
Are you interested in helping PHW participants learn how to build rods during March? 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 Wednesdays between 5:30 - 7:30 PM or contact Damond Blankenship at
                 PHW fish                   

PHW Tying Clinics Update  
PHW holds tying clinics at three locations 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. The February 11th session found Heidi Wild, owner of Wild On The Fly Custom Rods, demonstrating how to tie the Senyo Dub Sculpin and guided everyone through the tying process.  This will be a great "go to" fly next summer.  The session was well attended. 
Tying clinics were also held at the Fisher House on Wednesday evenings from 6:30 to 8:30pm as well as the Wasilla Vet Center on the third Tuesday during February from 5:00 to 7:00 PM. These sessions will continue to be held on the first and third Tuesday of the month.
Anyone interested in participating in the program or for more information, may come to any tying session, visit the PHW Facebook page, or contact


PHW fish 
Future Activities
PHW volunteers are finalizing activities and trips for the year.  As soon as all reservations and sponsorships are confirmed, announcements will be made on the Project Healing Waters Alaska Facebook Page and in the Fly Lines.  Participants may sign up for them then. We want to thank our volunteers and supporters for their donations of time, gear. and money to support our vets. 

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 .

PHW fish
PHW would not be possible without the support of the 
Alaska Fly Fishers! 
Thank you for your continued support.  

photo by Rich Johnson

Daniel Jordan, past AFF President, has some of his free-style salmon flies on display at Mt. View Sports just for the weekend. He's also starting to offer large metal based prints of his works of art. A wonderful way to share his passion with the fly fishing community.

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

The gods do not deduct from man's allotted span the hours spent in fishing."  ~Herbert Hoover
(you don't have to have a Facebook account to see our page)

Or find us on the web at 



color logo

click either of the images above to go to the websites

In this issue: 
  • Fish Talk
  • Auction News
  • Proposed by-laws change
  • 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!


March:  3rd-6th - Anchorage Boat Show
             7th - General meeting
             15th - Board Meeting
             18th-20th - MatSu Sportsman's & Gun Show
             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 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 Cheryl Cline at
to schedule the use of the vises or if you need a list of instructors.


Members' Corner 
Pudge Kleinkauf of Women's Flyfishing is offering a "Tying Salmon Flies" class from 6:00 - 9:00 on March 21, 22, and 23. Class is limited to six, and both gals and guys are welcome. Cost of the class is $125 and all equipment and materials are included. We'll be tying flies from her book, Pacific Salmon Flies: New Ties & Old Standbys. Sorry, this is not a beginners' class. Basic fly tying skills are required. Email or call 274-7113.

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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