Investigate fly fishing for all ages at upcoming two-day exposition

Fifteen-year-old Taila Oulton of Gunnison, shown here teaching some fly casting techniques to another youngster at the 2010 Western Colorado Fly Fishing Exposition, will be back at this year’s expo April 8-9. Oulton also is a talented fly tier and will be sharing her tying secrets during a fly-tying demonstration Saturday.

Professional fly tier Merne Judson of Gunnison will be among the 50 or so tiers demonstrating their skills at the Western Colorado Fly Fishing Exposition April 8-9 at the DoubleTree Hotel.

It wouldn’t be a fly fishing expo without some beautiful trout. Grand Junction anglers Maggie Byrne and Carol Oglesby admire one such trout caught during a past expo’s Women’s Fly Fishing Clinic. Any woman angler can register for the clinic with Oglesby during the Western Colorado Fly Fishing Exposition on April 8-9. The clinic will be in May.

The Western Colorado Fly Fishing Exposition loves youngsters and offers a day of clinics and activities aimed at anglers 16 and under. Every youngster gets a free expo T-shirt and the opportunity to win some fishing gear.



The 13th annual Western Colorado Fly Fishing Exposition will offer a full day of fly-fishing seminars and presentations on April 9 at the DoubleTree Hotel.

The seminars run simultaneously with the fly-tying demonstrations in the adjacent ballroom.

Seminar schedule:

• 9 a.m. — Dr. Tom Whiting, Ph.D., of Whiting Farms: “Fascinating Facts About Fly Tying Feathers.”

• 10 a.m. — Tyler Befus, “Youth Extraordinaire”: “Youth Introduction to Fly Fishing.”

• 11 a.m. — Tim Patterson and Matt McCannel, RIGS Fly Shop, Ridgway: “The Tankara Package.”

• 1 p.m. — Boomer Stout, Trout Creek Fly Shop, Dutch John, Utah: “A Fly Fishing Float Trip Down Utah’s Green River.”

• 2 p.m. — Steve Schweitzer, guide/photographer: “Fly Fishing Rocky Mountain National Park.”

• 5:30 p.m. — Banquet and program featuring wildlife photographer and author Mark Lance of River Light Images: “Landscapes of Trout.”

All events are free except for the banquet, which costs $25 per person and reservations are required. Contact Steve McCall at 210-7941 for banquet information.

Free tours of Ross Reels, Sage Rods and Whiting Farms will be offered April 8.

Information and a complete schedule of events are available at

Everybody loves a good mystery, especially when it concerns something close to your heart.

Perhaps no mystery is more perplexing, and perhaps just as decipherable, as the mystery of fly fishing.

The first solution is that your fly fishing improves by spending some time doing it.

You can get that start free April 8–9 during the Western Colorado Fly Fishing Exposition at the DoubleTree Hotel.

The expo’s theme is “Taking the Mystery out of Fly Fishing,” and you won’t have to rely on Sherlock Holmes to discover the joys of fly fishing.

And you don’t have to be beginner to find the weekend not only entertaining but educational and informative.

And free. (Did I mention that?)

It’s understandable that anyone new to fly fishing finds “spending some time” at fly fishing as pretty subjective.

It’s no mystery that many of today’s best fly anglers, tiers, casters, guides, authors and photographers have passed countless hours honing their skills.

Bernard “Lefty” Kreh, who at 81 has been fly fishing for more than 60 years and is internationally renown for his immense fishing, teaching and photography skills, certainly has been at it a long time.

And yet, Tyler Befus of Montrose, who at 13 has been fly fishing since he was 4 and already has several books and videos to his credit along with a reputation as a talented fly caster and a fine seminar speaker, also has been at it a long time.

But also it’s no mystery that anyone of any age willing to pick up a fly rod and toss that first fly at a willing fish will have just as much fun as any long-time angler.

The April 9 expo will feature casting instructors from top rod-manufacturing companies offering demonstrations and free lessons for anglers of all ages.

Equipment manufacturers will be there helping you pick out just the right gear for that local pond or the next road trip.

And you’ll find the mystery taken out tying your own flies, thanks to the 50 or so of the West’s best fly tiers displaying their talents and sharing their secrets.

You can meet up-close during the April 8 evening socializer and here’s betting you’ll walk out of the expo sharing their passion for faux bugs of steel, fur and feathers.

The fly-fishing exposition is a labor of love for the Grand Valley Anglers, the local Trout Unlimited chapter and an affiliate with the Federation of Fly Fishers. Members of the Anglers have made a tremendous push to get area youths involved in fly fishing and conservation, including spending hours in the local schools teaching fly tying and fly casting.

The emphasis continues during the expo, with clinics offering free casting and tying lessons and a day full of activities specially for anglers 16 and under.

Talented young tiers and anglers such as the precocious Befus and his multi-talented counterpart, 15-year-old Taila Oulton of Gunnison, are among the covey of teen-aged (and younger) fly fishing showstoppers sharing their knowledge, youth-oriented outlook and love for fly fishing.

Every participating youth gets a free expo T-shirt and the chance (very good, too) of walking away with a stash of fishing gear.

Parents, also, will have plenty to do, with tours on April 8 of Ross Reels and Scott Fly Rods in Montrose and Whiting Farms in Delta followed on April 9 by a full day of seminars, casting and tying demos.

The banquet on April 9 will feature photographer and author Mark Lance of Centennial presenting his “Landscapes of Trout.”

His stunning program captures a photographer’s view of the most spectacular landscapes in the world of fly fishing. Travel with him to the Patagonian Andes, to the Rocky Mountain West’s most hallowed fisheries and to little-known rivers on the Kamchatka peninsula.

Grand Valley Anglers will be registering women for a special women’s fly fishing clinic with Carol Oglesby, the Federation of Fly Fishers’ woman of the year for 2006.

All events are free except the banquet April 9. Tickets to the dinner and presentation are $25 per person. Contact Steve McCall at 210-7941.

In its 13 years, the Western Colorado Fly Fishing Expo has become the largest fly-fishing and fly-tying show between Denver and Salt Lake City.

The only mystery is why you haven’t attended the expo before.

Information and agenda is available at


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