2005 One Fly Event History

Bonehead Conspiracy earns first-ever back-to-back team title; Allen repeats as top guide

By Michael Pearlman

There was no sight more welcome to anglers and guides participating in the 20th annual Jackson Hole One Fly than the mayfly hatch that took place on Saturday.

After enduring cold, rainy weather and slow fishing in the morning, the spectacular afternoon hatch included mayflys of various sizes, bringing big fish to the surface and helping anglers accumulate some of the highest single-day scores of the weekend.

“We were down right about Elbow campground and the river was literally boiling,” said veteran guide Scott Hocking of Teton Troutfitters. “It was going on for as far as you could see – one of those fantastic moments to be on the water. It wasn’t accompanied by wind, and all those magic things lined up and it was amazing to be out there right then. It leaves you grinning, especially when you’ve been wearing everything you own to stay warm.”

Hocking was honored with the Carmichael-Cohen memorial guide award at Sunday night’s banquet. Along with Tom Coy and Phil Steck, Hocking has guided in every One Fly competition held in Jackson Hole since the first competition in 1986. Also receiving awards for their long-term commitment to the event were Stan Chatham and Tom Chrystie, who have competed in the One Fly every year.

Sponsorships, entry fees and an auction held during the One Fly raises approximately $100,000 annually for stream improvement projects in the Snake River drainage. Those funds are matched by the nonprofit National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and together nearly $1 million was raised in 2004. Last year, the One Fly Capital Foundation awarded $50,000 for the rehabilitation of Flat Creek, while past projects have included funding of the Willow Creek pack bridge, constuction of restrooms at the Pritchard Creek boat launch and restoration of tributaries along the South Fork of the Snake.

For the second year in a row, the talent-laden Bonehead Conspiracy team took home the team title, amassing a two-day total of 2,550 points to defeat the Royal Wulffs, who finished with 2,298 points. Team member Mike Lawson was the first place pro angler, finishing with a two-day total of 637 points while team member Larry Bashford raked in 640 points on Saturday on the Moose to Wilson stretch of the Snake with guide Trey Scharp.

Bashford said his success could be attributed to “Having the good guide, on the right stretch on the good day.”

Jimmy Gabetas’s size 10 Turck Tarantula, aka the famous Jimmy Z, featured speckled legs and was used by all the competitors who fished with guide Boots Allen on the Moose to Wilson stretch. Allen’s boats earned a two-day total of 1,765 points to give him top guide honors for the second year in a row.

“It’s these center runs on the Snake that are the hot sections,” said Allen.

Bob Williamson’s fly the “BSF” was the fly of the year (see below).

The invitation-only event features 40 teams of four fishing 12 river sections stretching from Jackson Lake Dam to the South Fork of the Snake in Idaho. During the competition, participants select and use one fly each day. If that fly is lost or destroyed, competitors must retire from the day’s competition. Points are awarded according to the size and number of fish caught.

Steve Peet of New Canaan, Conn., was the first place amateur angler, scoring 329 points on Saturday with a Parachute Adams and 500 points on Sunday with a stonefly nymph, contributing 829 points to his team, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Drifters. On Sunday, Peet also reeled in the two largest trout caught in the competition, a 21 1/4 and 21” cutthroat on the South Fork of the Snake River, a section that traditionally holds some of the largest fish caught in the competition.

“It was the fattest cutthroat I’ve ever seen,” Peet said. “I wanted to use a Parachute Adams and he convinced me to use a stonefly nymph. He was right.”

Other anglers who scored over 600 points on Saturday were valley physician Mike Menolascino, who had 621 points for the Royal Wulffs and Bob Williamson, who led all competitors with 713 points on the lower section of the South Fork of the Snake.

“If you had the right fly, you slayed them on Saturday,” said guide Jason Balogh, who was working the Moose to Wilson stretch. In his first year as a One Fly guide, Balogh managed to rescue one client’s fly from a tree after instructing the angler to toss his rod onto the bank after he’d played out nearly his entire line. The angler bounced back a short time later and landed an 18 inch fish.

Hocking said that his long term involvement with the One Fly has allowed him to be exposed to different fishing styles from all over the country, and pointed to the new toilets at Pritchard boat launch as an example of the improvements generated by grants awarded by the One Fly Capital Foundation.

“I’ve enjoyed being able to fish with people from around the country and around the world,” Hocking said. “They bring different ways of fishing and techniques they’ve learned somewhere else, and some portion of that is going to be applicable. As a guide it’s great to have that kind of experience.”

In discussions about overall fishing conditions on the Snake this summer, there was nearly unanimous agreement that fishing has been excellent.

“This is the best year I’ve seen in 33 years,” said Steck. “It started early and water’s been low, clear and stable for the entire summer. We thank the Bureau of Reclamation for considering us in their water management plan.”

Third place amateur Henry Clement of the Frontier Flyfishers team said fishing conditions were the best he’d experienced in the three One Fly competitions he’s entered since 2001.

“Besides, if worst comes to worst, you look at the mountains,” Clements said with a grin.

The article is reprinted with the permission of the Jackson Hole News and Guide

Winning Fly

BSF (or Bob’s Stonefly)

This is another variation of the Chernobyl which Bob Williamson had been attempting to tweak for five years. An idea born while fishing the 1998 One Fly on the South Fork with guide Darren Puetz. Bob was having a good morning using Donna’s Chernobyl variation. When they stopped to net and release a cutthroat, Darren took time to dig for a stonefly to demonstrate what trout really think the Chernobyl is.

Bob says, “The first creation was quite ugly, yet it caught over 100 trout before I retired it. I looked at the bottom of a stonefly and tried to make it look like that from underneath”. The palmered hackle on the fly is from a suggestion that Paul Bruun once made … that it needed something underneath to make it more “buggy”. When occasionally asked the name, he said it’s Bob’s Stonefly, which doesn’t have much of a ring to it. So this year it was dubbed the “BSF”.