Dick Talleur 1932-2011

  • By: David Klausmeyer
  • Photography by: Tim Savard
Dick Talleur

There are a lot of good fly tiers in the world, but there are very few great ones.

A good tier makes flies that catch fish, but a great tier is an ambassador for the craft. He is a patient teacher and is eager to help novices learn how to tie flies. He willingly shares hard-earned knowledge and expertise with more advanced tiers so they can learn the finer points and create better patterns. A good tier develops new flies that are named for him; a great tier shows a beginner how to make a simple Hare’s Ear Nymph in one sitting so he can enjoy the thrill of catching a fish with a fly that he made.

So long, Billy

  • By: Rick Ruoff
  • Photography by: Val Atkinson
Billy Pate

I am sitting on Buchanan Bank waiting for Billy Pate, who died in April (sources disagreed on whether he was 80 or 81). About 75 yards to the east is a white cross sticking out of the water, the final resting spot for some of the most famous tarpon guides in the history of the sport: Jimmie Albright, Cecil Keith, Jack Brothers—all were Florida Keys legends. This place is called “the Pocket,” a dip in the bank that tarpon are forced into by falling tides, giving a lucky fly fisherman the perfect angle to cast at those grand fish. It is the most hallowed spot in tarpon angling. Billy spent hundreds of days at the Pocket and, although not a guide, will soon be the most famous angler resting here. The memorial procession of family, friends, fellow anglers and guides is on the way. I can see dozens of boats on the horizon, all heading here.

Off the Water

  • By: Jim Dean
A-Bar Ranch

Fly fishermen were shocked and saddened when eastern Idaho’s fabled A-Bar closed in 2008 [see “Last Call,” March 2010 Fly Rod & Reel] but the good news is this: The A-Bar, legendary among parched trout fishermen, road-weary travelers and rambunctious locals, was purchased by TroutHunter, its next-door neighbor, and is being refurbished with plans to reopen this summer.

“Our goal is to fix the roof, do some painting and repairs and reopen on July 4, 2011, or as soon after that as possible,” says Rich Paini, one of the A-Bar’s new co-owners. Other partners include Paini’s wife, Millie, Jon Stiehl, Allen Ball and renowned fly tier René Harrop.

LIve Wood

  • By: Bob White
Live Wood

I am drawn to fish, and I look at each one as a precious jewel, so it’s not surprising that I admire Ellen McCaleb’s sculptures. Her carved wooden fish are elegant, subtle, and wondrously beautiful in their execution. They are as lovely as the fish that inspire her… and they seem alive, as if she’s magically breathed life into wood.

Angling Trade

  • By: Kirk Deeter
Angling Trade fade

Used to be that a fly-rod company built the rod and sold it to a fly-shop guy. The fly-shop guy then wrapped some casting tips around that product, and sold it to you (with a markup, of course).