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).

Yellowstone Area Report

  • By: Fly Rod and Reel
Yellowstone Fishing

Along about late June, we began receiving fishing reports that the Yellowstone region was bursting with great fly-fishing. Here’s an update: Dick Greene of Bud Lilly’s Trout Shop in West Yellowstone says: “We had high-water issues early in the season, but the water cleared fast. The salmonfly hatch was a good as I’ve ever seen it…the bugs exploded…

Full-Dress Portraits

  • By: Bob White
Pretty Fly

Sarah Briston paints classic salmon flies that were inspired or created by some of the best-known fly tiers in the world. And since I collect flies like some people collect baseball cards, it’s not surprising that folks like me are smitten by her colorful, highly rendered and wondrously beautiful artwork.

Dean River Records Fall

  • By: Fly Rod and Reel
Dean Steelhead Release

After a couple years of sparse steelhead returns on western British Columbia’s fabled Dean River, anglers found reason to rejoice this summer as…

Fly Outreach

  • By: Kirk Deeter
Angling Trade fade

The interesting wrinkle about the ICAST trade show (the all-tackle fishing-industry gathering held by the American Sportfishing Association) in Las Vegas this past July was just how many fly-fishing retailers were there inspecting new products for possible inclusion in their shops in late 2010 or early 2011. Except for a few exhibitors at the show (St. Croix and G. Loomis among them) who had hot products to introduce (by way of the new graphite technologies we described in the last issue of FR&R), the rest of the crowd was there to inspect the scene…kicking tires, so to speak.

Turneffe Alternatives

  • By: Larry Kenney
Turneffe Flats Jacks

In a rare stroke of luck, or something, the occupants of the middle and window seats next to me on the plane to Houston, from where Pat Dunlap and I would jump to a flight to Belize City, weren’t a fat guy and an anxious mother with a screaming infant. Instead, our neighbors were two 20-something cocktail waitresses who each worked their way through four Screwdrivers before we touched down.

“We’re going to the Bahamas to party,” said the blonde in the tank top, after drink number one. “Where you headed?”