Boulder Creek Clean-up is a success!

On Saturday, October 11th, Boulder Flycasters hosted a clean-up of Boulder Creek.  We were greeted with wonderful weather and by 30+ eager volunteers.  We successfully cleaned-up Boulder Creek from approximately the mouth of Boulder Canyon to Barker Dam.  Countless orange colored trash bags now sit along the Canyon waiting for the Colorado Department of Transportation to pick them up (big thanks to CDOT)!

A very BIG thanks to all of the volunteers!!!  Also, as an added bonus to the day, the Boulder Fish and Game Club took the opportunity to stock some fish in the creek.  This added to the satisfaction of making Boulder Creek a fun place to visit (and fish)!  Here are a few pictures.  We look forward to seeing everyone next year.IMG_8568

Boulder Flycaster Marian Clark waits for the rush of eager volunteers


BFC Chad Pettrone helps with the fish stocking

IMG_8575Eager Volunteers!!

IMG_8584BFCs Greg Nelson and Mark Riley enjoying lunch after a morning’s hard work.IMG_8585

Christine and Sasha are happy volunteers!  Job well done!!

Boulder Flycaster’s annual Boulder Creek clean-up

Fish passage workshop

Boulder Flycaster’s annual creek clean-up will get underway Saturday Oct 11th at Boulder Flycasters Memorial Park approximately 2.5 miles up Boulder Canyon. The park is about 150 yards past the tunnel on your left.

We’ll meet between 8:00 and 9:15 a.m. for registration and clean-up beat assignments. Bring gloves and waders if you’d like to pull out trash from in the stream. An old rake can do wonders to help with in-stream work. We’re planning on cleaning up both the stream and along the highway from the mouth of Boulder Canyon up to Barker Dam if we have enough volunteers.

Each volunteer will be responsible for about 1/2 mile of stream and we’ll have teams of two so bring a buddy or another family member to help us!

We’ll have plenty of trash bags and safety vests provided by the county and they’ll pick up all trash we gather later on during the week.

Boulder Flycasters will provide coffee, snacks, lunch and beverages for all those who help. You can sign up right now, email:

Gordon Wickstrom April 26, 1926 – September 18, 2014


It’s a sad day for all of Boulder that one of our own past away on September 18th.  Gordon Wickstrom was 88 and was a native Boulderite who lead a full and storied life across many rivers.


I was hoping that the cancer treatments he was given would be successful but, alas that was never to be.

Gordon grew up in Boulder, going through all the public schools here and then on to a number of colleges and was Professor of Theater at Franklin & Marshall College. He went on to achieve his Ph.D at Stanford University as he continued in everything theater. Over the years, he directed over 100 plays including directing and acting at the Colorado Shakespeare Festival. Gordon loved Shakespeare and played the role of King Lear a number of times.

We all knew Gordon, “as one” with the English language, and he was forever fun to be around. When he and his wife, Betty, moved back to Boulder after his retirement, Gordon became a Boulder Flycaster and was a member until his death. Gordon wrote two angling books; “Notes from an Old Fly Book” and “Late in an Angler’s Life”. I had Gordon sign both my copies. He made many contributions to the distinguished The American Fly Fisher, which is the journal of the American Museum Fly Fishing.

My connection to Gordon began many years ago when my father and Gordon’s father were business associates. My dad owned a coffee shop/drive inn called Bushes Drive Inn and Gordon’s father, Percy Wickstrom, owned Boulder City Bakery where my dad bought all his bakery goods. I was too young to remember much about both the bakery and Gordon, but in later years, we shared many memories of those times growing up in Boulder. That Boulder childhood connection carried on as the years became decades.

I remember when Gordon gave a speech to Boulder Flycasters when we dedicated the Boulder Flycasters Memorial Park (just past the tunnel, up Boulder Canyon). He was a superb speaker with his deep voice and commanding stage presence.

Gordon was the only one I ever knew that could tie a fly without a vice and he demonstrated it to me on more than one occasion . . . Amazing!  Gordon just loved to fish and his uncle gave him a bamboo fly rod as his first fishing rod.  He just loved to fly fish and his books showed that, and we shared one lake that he called ghost lake just north of Boulder . . . the lake dried up in the late ’60′s making it true to its name. The DOW stocked it for a number of years and my dad took me there often.

Gordon was a collector of all things fishing. He was the first person I went to when the Boulder Library asked Boulder Flycasters Board to prepare a history of fly fishing in the Boulder area. He contributed so many interesting fishing items that we weren’t able to show everything.   Gordon got into the internet with his monthly and/or weekly blogs the Boulder Creek Angler. If you go to: he posted his last essay, “The Fisherman” written on September 5, 2014. In it he wrote on . . . “all matters of art, life, love and angling” and I believe he lived by those words.

If one could describe Gordon’s life, it would be about a full a life as anyone I have ever known. I bet he and Betty got more out of the 88 years than anyone could have ever imagined.   I will miss that guy and will never forget him as long as I live!

FYI: His services will be held on Wednesday, September 24th at 12:30 p.m. at Ryssby church at 9000 N. 63, Longmont . . . hope to see you there.

Bob Bush

Charity Event for Casting 4A Cure

There will be a charity event for the Casting 4A Cure, A charity dedicated to finding a cure for Rett syndrome, a unique postnatal neurological disorder primarily found in females.

Date: Thursday Sept 25, 2014
Location – The Tasty Weasel, 1800 Pike Road, Longmont, CO
Expo/Happy Hour: 5:30 –7pm
Showtime 7pm
Price $15 – On Sale at the Tasty Weasel, Online or at: Laughing Grizzly Fly Shop

10675 Ute Highway, Longmont
Rocky Mountain Anglers
1904 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder
Front Range Anglers
2344 Pearl St., Boulder
You get
(1) Free Beer or Root Beer
(1) Raffle Ticket
(1) Koozie
Seating – we will have about 100 seats on site but we encourage lawn chairs, Camping seats etc
The Bone Wagon will be on site for food.
Films – Will be a mix of F3T content and Never before seen content – this is NOT just the 2014 F3T but another new film about fly fishing.


Sprucing up the Park

Today seemed like the perfect time to go clean up the Boulder Flycasters Memorial Park up Boulder Canyon.  The weather was cool and a little cloudy.  Six of us volunteered several hours of our Saturday doing just that (although we didn’t plan on the weather working in our favor). They were Dave Clark, Greg Nelson, Dan Miller, Paul Prentiss, Frank Selto and myself, Marian Clark.

Twice a year the Boulder Flycasters members go up there to cut down the tall grass, pick up trash and limb brush on the trails.  This was my first year as a volunteer and I have to say, I had a lot of fun.  Not only did we get outside in the air and burn a few calories, but we also did a good thing by cleaning up the park for the public to enjoy.

If you have never been there, it’s just past the first tunnel on Highway 7 headed towards Nederland and on the left side of the road.  They even have two nice benches facing the river great for picnicking.  Looks like the fishing would be good there too.steps

DMC Weed wacker


This is something I would encourage people to join in on for our future meets.  While we were working, a nice Asian couple with their children stopped by to see the river.  I really got a sense of pride in knowing that people stop by routinely, even from other cultures. We also witnessed a dad and his son come by with a fishing rod.

We hauled out a large trash bag full of trash and weeds.

It wonderful to belong to such a worthy organization who cares and are conscientious about the health of our rivers, streams and forests, and are willing to give up their personal time to keep our lands beautiful for all to enjoy.

Thanks Boulder Flycasters for staying on top of it!

Posted by Marian Clark, Member, Boulder Flycasters

Willow Harvesting and Staking

On June 21, I was joined by JD Fant, Kurt Soderberg, Jack Jostes, Mark Pscheid, and Fred Frankel to cut and stake willows for the Upper South Boulder Creek project.  It was an enjoyable and productive outing.  We cut over 500 stakes to be used later for bank stablization, and we cut and staked an additional 200 to restore an area where whole willow clumps had been harvested.  Many thanks to the volunteers!


willowssmall photo1

Red Rocks Lake USFS Youth Fishing Outing

Today, Keith Hesse, Greg Biesecker, Allen Nakagawa and I volunteered to help the U.S. Forest Service with their youth fishing outing in the Brainard Recreation Area. Colorado Parks and Wildlife was also represented.  It was a beautiful day, the kids were lots of fun, and fishing wasn’t real great.  I think everyone had a good time.





Donating Member Wins Guided Trip

P1040131 Greg Biesecker was the winner of our new raffle to help encourage Boulder Flycasters to become supporting members.  Supporting members donate at least $50 per year to Boulder Flycasters.  This money helps us to partner on conservation projects.  We have two projects right now that we are working on the Upper South Boulder Creek Restoration, and Jenny Creek. Visit to learn more about these two projects.

Greg’s day on the water with Boulder Flycaster board member and fly fishing guide, Chad Pettrone (that’s me!) was a success.  We fished the Big Thompson River for four hours in the morning.  Flows were at 350, water color was a little muddy but still almost a foot of visibility.  We nymph fished most of the morning, but Greg also caught a couple fish on dries.  Nymphs we found successful were a beaded green hares ear, CDC pheasant tail, blue poison tongue, and a pink Ray Charles sow bug.  Dries that caught fish were a black beetle followed with a size 22 parachute adams.

I guarantee everyone catches a fish on my guided fly fishing trips, and just because it was a volunteered trip, it makes no difference.  Greg was under the impression that I was going to take him to my secret spot to guarantee his fish catching - where the fish are stacked like firewood and eat on every cast.  On the Big Thompson, as well as many other rivers, location is less important than fish count.  We fished the section of water that is most popular, from Mall Road up to the Estes Lake dam, simply because it has the highest fish count at that location.  After the flood, fish counts actually went up under the dam because many of the lake fish flooded into the river.

30 fish is the number we agreed was a good estimate as to how many fish Greg caught.  You can do it too.  Visit to book me as your guide, and don’t forget to sign up as a sponsoring member to Boulder Flycasters at  Maybe you will be the next person to win a free guided trip!


Upper South Boulder Creek Walkthrough

On May 15, Frank Selto and I joined Corey Engen (Flywater), Blair Vajda (Walsh), Ben Swigle (CPW) and Chris Carroll (USFS) for a final inspection of the USBC project.  All the construction looked very good.  Follow up work needed:

Moffat area: seeding, erosion control matting, and willow staking on the creek bank: – Flywater

Moffat area: willow cutting for stream bank (200) – Boulder Flycasters

Moffat area: willow cutting and restaking in USFS area (30?) – Boulder Flycasters

Jumbo Mountain area: rough-in 4 access points – Flywater

Jumbo Mountain area: willow staking – perhaps 20 if we think necessary.

Once we are notified the contractor is going to the site for seeding, we’ll be asking for 10 volunteers for a day of willow cutting and staking – should have 10 days or more lead time.