1988 One Fly Event History

Surprise! It's Winter

The summer of 1988 will be remembered as the year of the great Yellowstone fires. Probably the single greatest contribution to subsequent control of the fires came in the form of a heavy early September snowstorm. This storm followed a day of light rains and gusty winds.

For those who participated in the third annual One Fly Event, it was an endurance test of man against nature. Although the weather may have cooled the fires, it kindled the competitive fires of the now 28 teams in the contest. Saturday’s rain and wind did not prevent the skilled anglers from enjoying some good catches. A heavy and persistent snow greeted the contestants on Sunday. Many anglers were put ashore early in their float to seek shelter and warm clothes.

In the contest’s three years, no other demonstrations of human resourcefulness equal those of the fishermen and guides of the 56 boats that endured the foul weather.

The biggest fish of the event, a 20-inch cutthroat, was landed by Mike Callahan. With this kind of luck his Westbank Anglers team brought the team championship trophy back to Jackson Hole. The individual winner points went to John Flick of the Duranglers team of Colorado. The Duranglers finished in second place overall for the third year running.

To add variety, the 1988 event had fishermen from Australia and New Zealand. They probably still think they made a wrong turn and headed south to Antarctica rather than north to Wyoming! Hollywood actress, Heather Thomas, added glamour and showed great sportsmanship while casting hour after hour into a driving snowstorm. It was a year to remember!

Winning Fly

Western Coachman

This was the year of the Yellowstone fires. The first day was cloudy and threatening rain. Thinking that the day was going to be stormy, most anglers went for the wet flies, but not top angler John Flick of Durango, Colorado. John wanted a fly that could be fished both wet and dry and thus chose a Western Coachman, a Trude-style fly tied with white-rump deer hair for the wing and stiff brown hackle and peacock herl for the body. On Saturday, John built a lead so large that nobody was able to catch him. His two days of fishing the Western Coachman earned him top honors and a place in history for the fly.