2006 One Fly Event History
San Juan Worm Wins One Fly
Moyer take amateur title with an enormous Saturday and leads The Boys to team title
By Michael Pearlman, Jackson Hole News & Guide
When avid angler Peter Moyer showed of the San Juan worm he planned on fishing before competition began on the first day of the annual Jackson Hole One Fly he got a few surprised looks along with some words of encouragement.
“When he walked up to me and showed me the worm I said, ‘Don’t be afraid to fish a worm, Peter.’” said Worldcast Anglers guide Kasey Collins. “The reality is, it was a tremendous call.”
While One Fly purists may have squirmed upon hearing of Moyer’s fly selection, it was the charismatic lawyer and recent Wyoming Senate candidate who had the last laugh. Fishing the South Fork of the Snake River in Idaho on Saturday, Moyer used his worm to land one enormous fish after another. When the day was over, Moyer had racked up a one-day-record score of 905 points.
“It was fun to ‘worm’ the One Fly – it was time,” said Moyer, a mischievous smile on his face. “The big fish were really going for it.”
It wasn’t just quantity but quality of fish that contributed to Moyer’s off-the-charts score. Of the six trout Moyer measured on Saturday, the smallest came in at 18 inches, two measured 19 inches, two were 20 inches and one was 21 inches. Moyer also claimed to have spotted a 24-inch trout near his feet but wasn’t able to land it.
“That’s like fishing for the cycle and then some,” said veteran guide Paul Bruun. “That was spectacular.”
Though it might not have been the safest selection, Moyer opted to go with his “South Fork” worm once again on Sunday while fishing the Snake River Canyon. This time, Moyer’s choice backfired. After being skunked for the entire day, Moyer eventually trimmed his worm down so that it resembled a small midge. He wound up landing only one small fish, which gave him 27 points for the day.
In spite of his difficulties on Sunday, Moyer’s two-day total of 932 points lifted him over Dave Perkins of the NFWF Drifters for top amateur angler honors. Moyer’s bonanza also helped carry his team, The Boys, to the overall team title. The Boys finished with a two-day total of 2,560 points to top second-place finishers Thomas & Thomas, which finished with 2,185. Team USA was third with 2,159.
“I was urged to use a more team-oriented fly, but to me the key to the One Fly is an underlying silliness,” Moyer said when accepting his award.
The One Fly is an annual invitation-only event that features 40 teams of four anglers fishing 12 river sections stretching from Jackson Lake Dam to the South Fork of the Snake. During the competition, anglers select and are allowed just 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.
Sponsorships, entry fees and an auction held on Friday night raised approximately $200,000 for the One Fly Capital Foundation, which funds stream improvement projects in the Snake River drainage. Those funds are matched by the nonprofit National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
This year’s projects included installation of a bridge on LaBarge Creek near Pinedale to protect habitat of Colorado cutthroat trout, restoration work of Six Springs Creek in Driggs, Idaho, to improve Yellowstone cutthroat trout habitat, and continued rehabilitation work on Flat Creek as it runs through the town of Jackson.
While the weather was perfect for the competition on Saturday, two solid hours of rain that fell north of Jackson on Saturday night created tough fishing conditions for competitors assigned the stretch of the Snake from Pacific Creek to Deadman’s Bar on Sunday. The rain blew out Lava Creek, which flows into the Buffalo Fork and turned the Snake into a chocolate morass. By 2 p.m. on Sunday, some boats assigned to the stretch had only registered point totals in the single digits.
Jackson physician Dennis Butcher landed the largest fish in the competition, a 21.75-inch trout caught on the South Fork on Sunday. South Fork Outfitters guide Sue Talbot was the winning Idaho guide, with her clients (who included Moyer) racking up 2,122 points. Jack Dennis Fly Shop guide Jim Reetz was the top Wyoming guide with 1,565 points.
“Sue really worked hard; she had the boat in the right position,” Moyer said. “We were fishing water where not many guides go.”
Bill Jones received the Crosby-Carlsberg award for his dedication and commitment to the One Fly. South Fork Outfitters guide Lyle “Ooley” Piram was the recipient of the Carmichael-Cohen Memorial Guide award. For the second time in three years, Doug Easter earned the Vern Bressler Top Gun award as the professional individual champion.
The article is reprinted with the permission of the Jackson Hole News and Guide
San Juan Worm
Veteran One Flyer and intrepid storyteller Peter Moyer did it again, in his own style, by using his version of the San Juan worm. This fly represents none other than the many species of worms that grace our rivers. Many fly tiers turn their noses down on is simply tied fly and dismiss it as a non-fly. There’s no question about it’s fish taking qualities, however, in the school of fly fishing that treats dry-fly fishing as a religion and nymph fishing as a cult, it is a hated fly. Leave it to the Moyer, who introduced the size 18 Rusty Spinner to the One Fly in 1998, only he could’ve wreaked so much havoc with the ‘worm’. Remember the whole point of the One Fly is to have fun, something Peter never forgets.