2007 One Fly Event History

Butcher Takes Individual Title

Team USA wins team competition

By Michael Pearlman, Jackson Hole News & Guide

Although the conditions were tough for anglers in the annual Jackson Hole One Fly competition last weekend, Dennis Butcher wasn’t complaining.

One day after scoring a meager 50 points on the section of the Snake River between South Park and the Pritchard Creek boat ramp, Butcher’s luck changed dramatically on the South Fork of the Snake. The Jackson physician landed three fish longer than 20 inches to score a whopping 906 pints in the canyon section of the South Fork, earning him top amateur-angler honors at the annual fundraising event.

“Everything happened right away,” said Butcher, who also landed the biggest-fish award for the second straight year with a 23-inch trout he caught during his two-hour bonanza. “It was my best day on the water ever.”

Butcher used a Marabou Minnow streamer tied by guide Jay Buchner during several hours of hot fishing on Sunday. Before losing his fly midway through the afternoon, Butcher had pulled in 23-, 21-, and 20-inch trout, as well as a pair of 18-inch trout. His two-day total of 953 points was 147 points higher than Walter Ungermann, the second-place finisher. Ungermann also used Buchner’s Marabou Minnow and scored 551 points on the South Fork on Saturday. The 2-1/2-inch fly features Marabou feathers with brown and white-olive coloring with a flashy tail and collar.

“When it’s dry it looks like a powder puff, but when it’s wet it has a minnow-like profile,” Buchner said.

“To a certain degree, it’s matching the type of minnows that are readily available to them this time of year.”

Ungermann’s two-day score of 806 points helped carry his Team USA to a decisive 661-point victory in the 40-team field, with Butcher’s Fishscalers team second and Thomas & Thomas third with 1,514 points.

The annual invitation-only event features teams of four anglers fishing 12 river sections stretching from Jackson Lake Dam to the South Fork of the Snake in Idaho. During the competition, anglers are allowed to use only a single fly each day. If the fly is lost or destroyed, competitors must retire from the day’s competition. Points are awarded based on the size and number of fish caught.

With unseasonably high releases from Jackson Lake Dam combining with rainstorms that occurred three days before the competition began, most competitors and guides agreed that condition were far from ideal. Anglers who had the misfortune of drawing the section of the Snake River Canyon between West Table and Sheep Gulch battled flows averaging 6,300 cubic feet per second and one guide reported rowing past a surfer on the Lunch Counter wave, a rare sight for September.

“There were more skunks on the Snake than there have been since the last time we had a total mud year,” said Jeff Currier, fly shop manager at Jack Dennis Outdoor shop. “The storms we had blew out the Buffalo Fork, Gros Ventre and the Hoback. It gets better each day, but it’s not a 48-hour thing.”

Competing as a participant for the first time was guide Will Dornan, owner of the Snake River Angler and his mother, Ellen Wilson Tambor, who quickly became addicted to the sport after Dornan gave her unlimited guided trips for life with his staff. Wilson Tambor quickly became a regular in the outfitter’s shop this summer, developing an addiction to fly fishing that was reinforced during the weekend of friendly competition.

“He spawned my interest, and now I’m done. I’m hooked,” Wilson Tambor said of her new passion for fly fishing. “When we’re on the river, all that other stuff isn’t there. It’s all about fishing.”

Wilson Tambor even managed to outscore her son on Sunday, scoring 31 points to Dornan’s 27.

Though the total amount raised by the event wasn’t available Tuesday, organizers expected to match the $200,000 the 2006 event raised through sponsorships, entry frees and an auction on Friday night. All proceeds benefit the One Fly Capital Foundation, which funds stream enhancement projects in the Snake River drainage. Those funds are matched by the nonprofit National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Last year’s projects included restoration work of Six Springs Creek in Driggs, Idaho, and continued rehabilitation work on Flat Creek as it runs through the town of Jackson.

Third-generation fishing guide Boots Allen received the Carmichael-Cohen Memorial Guide award while Stan Chatham won the Crosby-Carlsberg award for his dedication and commitment to the One Fly. Cole Sutheimer of South Fork Outfitters was the top Idaho guide, with his boats earning a two-day total of 1,697 points. Dean Burton of Westbank Anglers was the top Wyoming guide with 1,154 points. Dave Dierdorf of the LA Rods was the professional individual champion with a two-day total of 855 points.

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

Winning Fly

Marabou Minnow

The Marabou Minnow is a fly pattern that was inspired by a Jack Gartside pattern called the Marabou Soft Hackle. Jack’s pattern was designed to be sparse with very little flash and have great action. It works well, but it’s sparse design didn’t lend itself to being a ‘Fish All-Day’ One Fly pattern. Jay Buchner expanded the idea to include significant flash and a fuller, more dense 2-color marabou body and a tungsten bead. The marabou body was reinforced, so it would hold up to a full One Fly day. The result is a enticing minnow silhouette that seems to work quite well. This fly was used by both the 1st – both days and 2nd – 1 day place individuals.