The holiday weekend might be behind us, but for anglers around the West the second weekend in September is a holiday in its own right: it’s the Jackson Hole One Fly Event. Since 1986, anglers have vied for the bragging rights of being named the One Fly Champion. Though it may sound simple in concept, anyone who has ever spent time on the river can understand the challenge of having to catch multiple fish using only one fly all day.
The event is not just for bragging rights; the Jackson Hole One Fly has raised millions of dollars over the last 30 years to “fund educational, conservation, preservation and rehabilitation projects for the benefit of trout populations primarily in the Snake River Basin.”
Live Water Properties Vice President John Merritt has captained the Live Water One Fly Team for the past six years. While he can’t divulge all strategies for success, here are his top secrets for the Jackson Hole One Fly.
- Take a spare fly rod. If you break your first rod, you absolutely will need a back up or your day will be over, even if you have managed to keep your one fly.
- Constantly re-tie your leader to your fly knot and check your leader. Casting and keeping one fly all day can be difficult and checking your knots can be the difference in keeping your bug or riding home in despair.
- Have a net with you at all times. Many flies are lost during the fight with the trout, and you never know when the “monster,” high-scoring trout is going to eat. Save yourself some trouble and have a net with you.
- Understand recent fishing reports and pick the right fly considering flows, stretch of river, weather conditions. This may sound obvious, but there is nothing worse than picking a bad fly! If the dark clouds are rolling in, perhaps throw a streamer. If the Snake Drake hatch has been solid, a large mayfly could be the ticket.
- Have fun! This is a wonderful event for a wonderful cause. Every participant should be thrilled to be a part of it, even if you lose your fly at the boat ramp before the day has even begun!
To see all rules for the 2016 One Fly Event or view the competing teams visit jacksonholeonefly.com. Good luck out there!